We arrive back into town around mid-afternoon, and head straight for the Lord's house. We knock on the door this time, Vigo answers and lets us in. He bids us to take off our coats and shoes, shows us to a locked crate in another room where we may leave our belongings, and hands me the key. Kaz declares we have the item the Lord Ellington requested. Vigo takes us through the huge house, the hallways seem unnaturally long and winding as it takes at leave 20 or so minutes to get back to the parlor. He bids us sit, and leaves to bring us tea and snacks. I sense something different in the room, and take advantage of our appeared solitude to more closely examine some of the magical items around the room.
- There is a wand of unknown kind.
- A feather sitting on a stand, with some delicate, faint writing in Auran – a poem about the feather god, Quetzalcoatl. I believe that is Serp's god.
- A book which is bound in some sort of monstrous hide, in some unknown script.
Several items have also been removed since we were here several days ago.
The door opens and in walks Lord Ellington. We say hello, I give him the love letter from Einin, an interesting lady I comment. We set the box on a small table,1 he opens it and pulls out the statue gingerly. He looked to be quite happy with the piece. He pays us for the delivery, quite a generous 100sp to us each (Luna, Kaz, and myself, Serp did not accompany us).2 As we sit to have tea, he explains to us that he is a part of a large group spread out across the country. They have been looking for couriers, assistants of some sort to carry out various, often somewhat dangerous tasks. They are not about self gain, or power. We would be trusted with various important secrets, and given some sort of inconspicuous identifiers. We would also, of course, be generously rewarded in both coin and other various means, and could always decline specific tasks if we deemed it too dangerous. He refuses to tell us anything more, however, until we have agreed to join this mysterious organization and work for them.
We all agree this sounds like a wonderful opportunity to fund our travels, and accept. He invites us to dinner later in the evening and has Vigo show us to rooms so we may rest.
Vigo takes us to a guest suite with several very nice rooms and a connected center living space. He says we may stay here for the remainder of our time in town. There is a nice writing desk in a quiet corner of the living room for me to write my journals. As I sit writing this, Luna is asking about any local markets in town, I'd like to stock up on a few things.
…I will continue when we return…
After finding out the outdoor village market has already closed down, and only opens a couple times a week to begin with, Vigo gives us directions to the smaller 'Berma's General Store' open daily for travelers. He warns it is not as well stocked as the village market, but Luna and I head over to check it out anyway. It's kind of a drab building sitting nearby the marketplace, a sign hanging on the door with letters fading. Inside it seemed set up haphazardly, with no care to any kind of order. Looked like a travelers store put together by those who don't travel. The products were fairly random, of varying degrees of use and quality. Took some searching, though I did find a few useful and intriguing items. Searching the towers of mostly worn down books, three caught my eye.
- One looks to be an old history book about The Hall of Mosses, though named differently the maps inside looked quite familiar.3
- Another was a diary written by an adventurer, by the name of Helmaer. Although I do not recognize the name, there were several topics of interest that popped out on a quick skim through.4
- The last book has me excited, it seems to be written in some sort of code. While it is written in Primordial, of which I am of course fluent, the words are utter nonsense.5
I also surprisingly found a Healing Potion6 while rummaging through the shelves of bobbles, though the owner had little idea what it was. Supposedly she just managed to stop her son from drinking it in time – think she thought it was some kind of poison or would turn him into a rat. Turned into my good luck as I was able to convince her to throw it in with the books in exchange for a few pounds of saffron we had gathered in the woods. Walking back outside after making my purchases, I find Luna is now the very excited new owner of a Goat7 they bought off a local farmer. Why a goat?
I also checked in over at The Shepard & Rose for any news coming out of the city. Not too much of interest, news of the explosion out at the Mage Academy has reached out here, and something about it being connected to an accident on one of the trade ships at the port, which is impossible. I never went anywhere near the port. Seems it has caused a few new restrictions to be put in place, on magic allowed in the city.
We arrived back at Lord Ellington's Estate, just as Vigo popped in to announce that dinner would 'be served momentarily', if we would like to change. That last part definitely had a hint of disdain as he looked us up and down, and waited until we were more 'properly' dressed. I pulled out my formal Mage robes from the academy, might as well get some use out of them.
We were led into a large dining room in a different section of the estate, much more formal than the other rooms we had seen so far. A stranger sat at one end of the table, looked somewhat familiar though I can not place where – perhaps on the tour a few days past. His face is mostly shrouded underneath a large hooded cloak. Once Lord Ellington arrived, we sat to eat. Vigo, assisted by a young woman, brought in a soup to start, a fresh fish plate, and a main entree of duck. Each dish seemed to be catered to our own tastes. Kaz's look more exotic and well, raw. The stranger's are more high class, fancier as if served to some sort of nobility. The entire meal was beautifully executed, satisfying, and quite delicious.
Afterwards we withdrew to the private sitting room to discuss the business of future work with this organization Lord Ellington spoke of. The conversation of which I will record separately.8
The rest of the evening was spent mostly in study and craft. I had a few hours to myself to look through the book I purchased. The History book is written in Old Common, titled Stories of the Tahalb Forest. Skimming through for any mention of some sort of portals, I do find the word in connection to some unfamiliar city which does not appear on any map I've seen, or could find in the book itself. Nothing about how they appear, or where they come from, just a warning not to try stepping through them.
The Diary seems to be from around 50 years ago, very well written as if by a scholar. All mostly in common, though with some notes in what looks to be Dwarvish marked in on several pages. I would speculate that to be the writer's first language.
The Primordial Ciphered text, I am fairly certain is in some sort of code, an alphabetical letter substitution. It will take some time to decipher, though I believe I have discovered what "A" is.
- Palinouros of Galana, in the Village of Stromel, on the Fifty-Seventh Day of Sperkho, in the Year of Raidho 972.
1 Delivery of Letter and Sculpture complete.
2 Reward = 300sp [100 to each Luna, Kaz, Ouro]
3 Book bought: Stories of the Tahlab Forest, traded for 1lb of Saffron [Ouro]
4 Book bought: Diary of the Adventurer Helmaer, traded for 1lb of Saffron [Ouro]
5 Book bought: Primordial Cipher text, traded for 1lb of Saffron [Ouro]
6 Bought a Potion of Healing, essentially got for free as an add-on with the books [Ouro]
7 Acquired a Goat [Luna]
8 [See Day 7: Part II]
Wealth Level: Comfortable [All]
471 XP each [Kaz, Ouro] and 321 XP [Luna]