Chapter 1: Entering Khazan, Part 10   Leave a comment

Wulf and Gronk were on a mission.  They had just arrived in town.  Now they had to find out how to get out of town.  This took the form of investigating the river docks on the eastern side of town.

Wulf heard about a boatman named Phinnq that might be willing to take a party upriver.  He went and spoke to him and learned Phinnq would be heading east with a cargo of “metal items” for two villages upriver.  He could take passengers for 5 gold pieces a day if they also worked and helped “row the boat”, 10 g.p. per day if they just came as a passenger.  Phinnq’s Phawlee (the boat) would stop nights in the two villages.  He didn’t ordinarily go as far as Castle Greybat unless he had a cargo for the castle, and that was rare, but he had been there once or twice.  It was not a place he had ever wanted to stay overnight.

At the stable, he learned that Kloppity was a chain, and had other stables all over the Dragon continent and had branches in one of the villages upriver.  Horses were 10 gold pieces a day.  Lizards were faster but cost more–20 gold pieces a day.  There was also a security deposit required for renting a mount, and no mount would be able to carry Gronk.  None wanted to carry Wulf–very skittish around him.
On his way back to the Grinning Goblin, Mensa spotted them in the crowd and followed at a distance.  Mensa definitelhy followed them into the Grinning Goblin.
Meanwhile in another part of Khazan, Algris pursued his mission at the Herome Palace.  All he found there were long lines of people waiting to get inside, and no obvious way for him to make his inquiries.  Noticing the large crowd, Algris pulled out one of the apples, began cutting runes into it while muttering in Cetacean. He then ate it and wrapped a piece of parchment around his face like a mask. To those who asked, he spoke of plague and the need for protection. In fact, that’s what he was here to see the Dragon about and they best rethink their priorities.

Back at the sea docks, Edurin stifled his excitement long enough to say, “I won’t let you down.” But only ten days. Not much time for getting more than physically close to his goal. Plenty of time for adventure.Edurin tucked the purse of gold into the inside pocket of his leather jerkin. Strangely enough, he felt comforted having the silver anchor charm.Business concluded, Edurin headed out to meet up with Weslynn at the tavern. Along the way he picked up nuts, hard cheeses, and unleavened bread for the journey no more than nine days worth of provisions or as far as his personal stash of coins takes him. As always, he kept an eye open for trouble. He learned well his early lesson of hospitality (hostility) of Khazan.
As he walked briskly back across town he was stopped by a half-elf with a bruised face who asked him if he knew a good place to eat.  He told Perry that he was headed for a tavern called the Grinning Goblin, and he was welcome to come along if he wished to.  On their way they passed through the center of town and saw Algris Srog trying some mumbo-jumbo with an apple and a handkerchief.
When Edurin spied Algris he said to Perry, “We may be in luck.That fellow has family in Khazan, and may have need for a couple of body guards.” Edurin called out a greeting to Algris, “Hello, fellow traveler! I saw you in the watch house just this morning. May we have a minute of your time to talk?”
And inside the Grinning Goblin where Weslynn had gone after having no luck with her fellow wine merchans, all this was happening.
Lumlas spoke to the bartender, who was human, not goblin, and arranged to have the largest table in the place for the group. A bunch of gamblers had it at the moment, but it looked like the game would be breaking up soon. She got herself a seat and a drink and waited for Weslynn to join her, which didn’t take long.
In response to Weslyn’s question, Zhanh smiled and did a simple bow.. “Zhanh olt Grezhakh, Journeyman Wizard. at your service,” he said. “My commission is vague; I am to accompany you to Castle Greybat, and report back. I assume that that would include doing my best to make sure your expedition succeeds; that is certainly my plan. To that end, I have my magic, and I have lived much of my life on ships. I am an accomplished waterman; that should help with a river trip, I would think.”
Weslynn nodded to the journeyman wizard Zhan. “I see, did they say how they knew of this event? I am curious how the guild of wizards knew I was in need before I had gotten any further than the watch house. But no matter, I am in no circumstance to frown on aid. You are welcome to my little group here. Your magic and knowledge of waterwork should come in quite useful.”
Zhanh seated himself at Weslyn’s table and shrugged. “How does the Guild known anything? They are the Wizard’s Guild of Khazan; they know everything within the borders of Khazan that they want to know. If they want more information on Castle Greybat, the place must have substantial defenses against scrying.”
“True,” Weslynn replied, “which I think explains why you are here. If it is too heavily protected for the guild to scry, then they send a spy. Perfectly reasonable caution, if there truely is a vampire running the place.”
Bart, the bartender walked over to the table. “Do you folks want some food, some drinks? You can’t just sit around yakking at my biggest table, you know. I don’t see that the three of you really need that much room.”
“We have more coming most likely, barkeep. What do you have to eat for lunch today, if anything? And what’s your cheapest beer?”
“Petzil’s is the cheapest.  Shall I bring a pitcher or three over to the table?”
“Check back in a few minutes.”
Perry, a young half elf, walked in to the Grinning Goblin – he assumed his new friends were following him. He hadn’t learnt how to find things out discretely yet and called out in his youthful naievete and exuberance “Anyone here going to Castle Greyb

Zhanh ordered another cider (he had one with his lunch, a few tables away), then asked Weslyn, “Is Captain Subtle over there with you?”

“I assume so, or at least he wishes to speak with us.” Weslynn waves to the half-elf and calls out, “I am she who seeks that place, what of it?”
Perry swung round, flushing. It occurred to him rather belatedly that not everyone liked their business made public. He gave his customary half-bow and crossed to the woman’s table. ‘Pardon me if I have caused offence. I meant none I assure you. I seek my father whom I fear may be a captive or worse at a foul place – Castle Greybat by name. I seek others going hither that I may join a company, stout and true. I am ready to pledge my loyalty to companions who will do likewise. I am young and at the first step of the ladder to wisdom but I know spells which may be of value in such a grim fortress.’ Perry drew breath and held the woman’s eyes as he waited for her reply.
“Held captive? What brings you to suspect this, nameless wizard” said Weslynn, thinking it was strange how many wizards seemed to want to join in, or at least spy on, her group.New!

Zhanh muttered, “He came thence, and hither, and together we went hence, and thither,” quietly, and shook his head. More loudly, he said, “Wizards are an irritation in the order of the cosmos; we never fit in, and usually stand out.”

“I wonder if there’s a pile o wizards discount,” she murmured to herself, before turning her full attention back to the group, and the nameless half-elf supposed wizard before her.

Perry grinned. ‘You’re funny!’ he said. ‘Not funny peculiar but funny in a good way. I’m Perrry and I didn’t choose to be a wizard – my mother made be one.’ He grinned again, this time sheepishly.
‘I visited Madame Zolgah and shattered her crystal ball – that was when she was finding my father and we saw the coffins in the castle. All I can hope is they’ve locked him in there and he hasn’t been there too long. I guess I’m in a hurry!’
He motioned to the barman to get drinks for the group and sat down. ‘Tell me your names please and where you come from. I”ve led a sheltered life in the forest and I’m eager to find out about strange new worlds and peoples and boldly get to know them.’

“I am Weslynn Janourn, I am pleased to meet you, Perry. I am by trade a winemaker and merchant. My last shipment to Khazen was stolen three days ago, at a nearby roadside inn, and I have discoverd that the thief took the shipment through Khazen, and is supposed to have travelled upriver yesterday to Castle Greybat. Given the insult to my family buisiness as well as myself, I am in pursuit, as best I can. I have been fortunately to run into others who have offered their aid, which is why we are here in this tavern, to discuss the problem, I plan later to seek funding from friends who might be in the Merchant Square. If not, then we will most likely seek work. I hope your father is still safe, if his has been scryed in this Castle Greybat. I have never been there myself on my missions trading, but I am informed it is ruled by a vampire, with gargoyles for guards. I have been repeatedly warned it is a fearsome place and not to go there. It sounds like you have less choice in this matter than I do, unfortunately.”

“Well, then. I am Zhanh olt Grezhakh. I an elf by blood, but I was raised by goblins, and educated by an uruk. My master was a graduate of the Guild Academy here in Khazan, and he sent me here to continue my studies. I have been tasked to accompany Weslyn and scout Castle Greybat for the Guild, by way of initiation.” He smiled at Perry. “I know nothing of forests, Perry. I spent the first half of my life in a cave, and the second half on a ship. I suspect you and I will have stories to trade.”

(and I’m going to cut it off there.  It looks like almost everyone has signed in to the Planning session.  I still intend to do these blogs, but the real game action will take place on the Trollhalla forums._)
end
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Posted May 15, 2012 by atroll in Uncategorized

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