The party sat to a corner of the tavern, the dark hue of the afternoon glow sending streaks of shadow across the room, the melodious voice of a soft-faced bard carrying across the room as a woman spoke, her weary eyes trembling with worry as she explained her predicament “My husband. Simply rose from bed one night and walked out, his eyes glowing green as he did”
“Did you see where he went?” asked an inquisitive rogue, her stick of charcoal in hand scribbling furiously on the inside of her opposite arm with notes.
“I… I tried to follow him but it was late and he disappeared off past the woods and they’re unsafe to travel at the best of times besides night,” she said, her head shaking “Please just bring back my husband, I’ll pay you each 5 Dragons now and 5 Dragons when you return him to me” she pleaded. The rogue looked at her and nodded in acceptance.
“We’ll find your husband” she promised as bags of Waterdhavian Gold Coins called Dragons were spread across the table to each of the party members, their disinterest towards the money varying dramatically. With the transaction complete the woman rose from her chair and left the tavern followed quickly by the party. As they exited the establishment, the rogue turned to her companions. “So how do we want to proceed?”
“Well. I need to visit a tavern” the sage said matter-of-factly, his jawline stiff with empty determination. The rogue sighed.
“If you needed a drink we were just in the tavern” she flatly retorted.
“Ah, yes but I am not in thirst, I came out to this area to study language change and I’m fluent in Orcish if anyone else has been affected I’ll know it!” he declared rather loudly. The rogue merely rolled her eyes.
“Fine, I’m off to inspect the husbands forge” the rogue declared before turning to walk-off
Faehana slipped through the thick doorway back into the tavern and moved toward the bench, the barkeep gazing across at the majestic bard as she sang her gorgeous chorus to the heavens. Faehana slipped onto the bar stool with a satisfying thump and listened to the slow bustle of the tavern around him, the shuffle of footsteps as an elf rushed off to a late appointment, the grumble of a hungry Dragonborn 2 meals in. Faehana was having a field day, the accent of this region was extraordinary, transcending language and race as it pervaded all facets of spoken language in this region. As he listened, his brown began to furrow as he heard the low mourn scowls from a trio of orcs. Faehana quickly strained to hear.
“It don’ happen, I can’ not think Dror and Ghok gon’ like that” one orc remarked, his head shaking intensely from side to side
“And whatn’ wit their glowin’ eyes and strange walk?!” another replied in inquiry.
“Glowing eyes” Faehana muttered to himself as the music abruptly died down.
“What’s this about glowing eyes?” came the intense inquiry from an unknown speaker. At first, Faehana had ignored the inquiry assuming it had been directed at the orcs but as the sharp nudge of an index finger pierced his thick cut sages robes his sharp eyes looked up into the piercing gaze of a half-elf, her sharp jaw and intense inquiring stare made sharper by her tightly braided hair. Faehana stared up silent for a moment before the stranger inquired again.
“What’s this about glowing eyes?” she said more intensely.
“Um… several townsfolks… have walked off into the woods” Faehana stumbled as he slowly attempted to shift from philologist to conversationalist. “And they were all denoted by glowing green eyes as they walked off,” he said more comfortably recovering his ability to speak. The stranger frowned; her lute cradled more tightly in her arms now as she paused to think.
“And you’re trying to find these missing people?” she inquired calmer now than before. Faehana looked on in subtle bewilderment. Is she always this explicit? He wondered.
“I. We. Are, we’re tracking down a woman’s husband for her” faehana explained.
“So, there are more of you?” she inquired even more interested.
“Yes, there’s a cleric I’ve contracted on for security during my research and a rogue who’s been tracking this conundrum at the behest of a mob boss” I replied. At this, her face lit up with interest.
“So you study magic?!” she inquired intently.
“Well, yes but my primary proclivity is, in fact, philology,” Faehana said with pride. The bard merely frowned at the word. “I study language,” he said with a sigh and a slump in his shoulders. She nodded in understanding before her intensity returned.
“So, can I tag along?!” she asked excitedly.
“We already cut a deal with the wife I don’t think-” I began.
“Oh I don’t need the money, the last few days performing has earned me enough to cover my fees well enough!” she said wish I could say that about my finances Faehana thought sourly. “I just want to tag along for the ballad, I’ll be the only bard in Faerûn to have chronicled the defeat of THE necromancer!” she remarked, her hands spreading in an arch as she spoke. My shoulders slumped even further.
“We don’t know it’s anything to do with necromancy, but sure. Welcome aboard”
“Oh! I can get potions for the Party!” she remarked before spinning on her heel and dashing out of the tavern, her long skirt pants and braided ponytail fluttering with the run. Faehana simply sighed good luck trying to find cheap potions lyth fae
“Bar, a round of ale please,” Faehana said with an exhausted sigh.
Kalwala stepped into the awkwardly silent forge; her daggers scabbard soundlessly swaying with her dress as she strode across the room. Her bright eyes stalked across the room taking in the dark and silent shop. As her eyes traced across the room, they settled on a lean built man, his pockmarked face smothered in ash and grime who sat off to a side of the room. As he noticed her, he rose from his improvised stone seating to wave her away.
“Ai, I ’pologise Miss weer closed fir today” he began as he stepped towards her, his hands shaking and his eyes darting as he approached the Tiefling, her smoothed horns and sharp jaw intimidating.
“I’m the Huntress hired by Mistress Sabelina, I’m here to start looking for her Husband” Kalwala began before the pock-marked man began to stutter again.
“A, Ah, mi apologees Miss Hunter, goodwife Sabelina had tol’ mi ye wir comin’ round” he stuttered out in anxious embarrassment.
“Were you here when Master Ailwin walked out?” Kalwala inquired, her arms crossing in thought.
“Ay, I’s wir. I’s an Apprentice y’sees. So’s I’m sleepin’ riht hir when Master Ailwin alls most runs me riht over. Eye’s briht as liht, green asa smith’s forge I’s tell ye!” he began to explain his gestures wild and dramatic. “Is witchcraft if I’s evr seen it!” he finally finished, Kalwala nodding for a time before finally speaking.
“Which way did he go?” Kalwala finally spoke. At this the Apprentice frowned.
“A… is was dark y’sees and I’s know nihts a bad time to be followin’ foaks y’know” he replied. Kalwalas face merely turned into an annoyed frown “But! I’s did sees ’im. Go left, out the doors” he said matter-of-factly. Kalwala merely sighed internally before thanking the Apprentice and turning to leave. “Is mi gratest kind Miss Hunter Miss!” he said cheerily as she stepped out to the bustling roadway. Her eyes scanned the roadway before stopping at the pompous stride of the Sage one of these days someone’s going to knock the pompous air out of that bloated academic she thought to herself as she watched him cross the thoroughfare and I hope I’m there to witness it she added sourly.
“So apparently a pair of Orcs also abruptly walked off in the night, their eyes glowing. What have you found?” he inquired, his pristine and well-armoured cleric bodyguard stalking behind him.
“A Blacksmiths Apprentice who saw Ailwin go left” she replied drearily.
“Oh, so nothing. Count peasant rabble like apprentices to be oblivious” he remarked with visible disdain. “One moment” he simply remarked as he pulled out a large spellbook, flicked to the middle of the book and muttered a precise yet complicated incantation at the forge. “The trail leads that way” the wizard spontaneously remarked pointing his right index finger towards the forest. Kalwala sighed.
“Yes I am aware he went into the forest, I already learnt that from the wife,” she remarked with irritation in her voice.
“Yes, but unlike your generic directions I have an exact direction for our missing blacksmith,” the sage remarked matter-of-factly.
“Fine let’s get going then,” Kalwala remarked before putting a foot forwards.
“Alas we cannot leave just yet,” the sage remarked sheepishly. Kalwala scowled, her Infernal fangs clearing the mask of her lips.
“What did you do?!” she hissed in an inquiry.
“I may, have invited a bard. To accompany us,” he said even quieter.
“You what?! How much is she asking of the cut?!” Kalwala growled.
“None. She isn’t asking for a cut!” he retorted defensively
“Ryzirv!” she cursed in infernal, snapping her arm in the air.
“Val’z haf tavywsuztm suzm py!” the sage barked back, Kalwala’s eyes widening. He speaks infernal! She thought shocked.
“I’m a philologist what do you expect?!” he remarked insulted “My work is with living language, of course, I’d learn Infernal,” he remarked, his mask of a reaction returning atop the outburst of emotion.
“All right! I’m here! Unsightly fatanyu! Potions are expensive!” interjected the bard as she slipped through the diffused party. “What is your name again wizard?” she began as they now began their journey towards the woods.
“You never asked bard, Faehana of the Jowanet” the sage replied with a cloud of inevitability hanging over him.
“That’s a woman’s name, why’d your parents give you such a name? And you don’t put ‘the’ in front of a town” she inquired puzzled.
“They were expecting a girl, and that’s because I was born on THE sailing ship Jowanet” Faehana said sourly.
“Well my names Farren, Bard of the Mountains at your service!” she proclaimed to no one in particular before whirling on the cleric and rogue taking up the rear “And you two are?” she inquired, her head tilting with curiosity.
“Sir Ugaburk, Knight Cleric of the Red Fellowship,” he remarked with pride.
“Kalwala, pocket connoisseur,” she said sarcastically with a fanged smile.
“Oh, a rogue? So local thief like Xanathar or continental like shadow thieves?” Farren inquired as if asking a harmless question.
“Shadow Thieves,” she remarked sourly, her glare sharpening as they continued off towards the woods.