Adlania : The Land of Change [M] (IC)
Ah… so you wish to hear a tale? I thought so, you headed right to me the moment you stepped inside. Well, how about I tell you a tale? It's known well back home, but in these parts it is not so well known. Hm… ah! I know where to start it off! This is the tale of four adventurers brought together by fate. They were strangers to each other initially, but this is their tale. It has its heights, and its depths, but it is an intriguing tale none the less. What? Will you be disappointed? Why, I hope not! I wouldn't be a very good bard if this tale was boring! Now then, the story begins in the small village of Desus. Here is a map. Ah, yes, it is not on there. Well… that is because the village itself is so tiny that the village is not included on any maps! But the village is located near the town of Rulam. It is a mining village and at the time they were suffering from goblin troubles, and so they put out a call for adventurers to aid them…
The rain was pouring long and hard. Lightning streaked across the sky here and there, and every so often there would be a loud boom that echoed around the village. The village itself wasn't that big. The only folks that lived in it were those that had lived there for generations upon generations. The few buildings that comprised the village looked old and worn down, in fact they were so worn down that water leaked through the roofs due to the deluge outside. The local inn wasn't anything spectacular. It was a wooden building that only consisted of one floor and thus only contained eight rooms, with two of them out of commission due to fungus problems. The other rooms contained the extremely bare necessities which included beds that were very stiff and could cause back pains, desks that were rotten and so much as touching it would very well cause one of the legs to snap, and a window that was caked heavily with dirt on both sides preventing the occupant even seeing light from outside. The wooden plans were worn and some were even broken here or there allowing various insects inside the rooms if the metal buckets that the innkeeper graciously offered to guests weren't' kept on top of the holes. Oh, and the rooms themselves were rather small, barley allowing any room between the bed and desk for the occupant to maneuver around.
Outside of the rooms was a single hallway barely wide enough to allow two individuals to walk down side by side. Once one was able to escape the hallway there was a rather large area out front where the Avian innkeeper would stand behind a desk, looking incredibly bored out of his mind. He wore his uniform which consisted of a dirty blue shirt with wing holes crudely cut from the back of it. He completed the look with a pair of mud stained black slacks and a rather worn down brown leather belt that looked as if it would snap at any given moment, and considering his belly size it was a wonder it had managed to survive for so long. On his shirt was a pined silver tag that declared his name to be Winso, for the moment the innkeeper was just flipping through his book lazily as he leaned back in his chair.
One of the other highlights of the town included the general store. If one was to step inside they would see a young Musus dressed in a short sleeved tan shirt with a pair of blue shorts on. He also wore a pair of worn down sandals and had next to him a towel that he used to clean up the counter he stood behind. On the wall behind him were a variety of items… though the quality of said items was rather… drab to say the least. Such items included frayed rope, candles that were world down to a stub, papers that looked very moldy, and who could forget weapons!? Yes, wooden clubs that looked as if they had seen the last of their glory days, swords that were very blunt and knives that were rusted over. The Musus himself looked very cheerful as he kept himself busy looking over his supplies or wiping down the counter to please a customer who was surely going to step through the door at any minute.
The other places of less interest included houses that had looked as if they had lasted for a good hundred years, but who was there to look at houses!? The last place of interest was the tavern, and suffice to say, the tavern owners seemed to be doing as hard as they could to make the place look better than the other buildings. For one thing, the roof wasn't leaking. The wooden walls and floors weren't broken in places and there was a lack of insects on the floor and in the air. In fact, the place was so nice that a majority of the town was settled inside. There were multiple tables settled in just the right spots so that they didn't clump together. At one of the tables near the wall sat a Umbran lightly drinking his ale. He was dressed in traveler's clothes consisting of a long sleeved black shirt with a pair of red pants along with brown boots.
At another table near the middle of the tavern were seated two male Musi and a female Musus. One of the males looked rather old and was dressed in a waiter's uniform which mainly consisted of a white long sleeved shirt with a pair of black slacks and black shoes. The other male Musus looked rather young, he was dressed in a pair of brown robes with a hood attached that covered him from head to toe. The female was dressed more freely with a short sleeved green shirt and a pair of brown shorts. It seemed the robed Musus was busy chatting with the one dressed as a waiter while the female Musus just listened to the two talk.
Yet at another table sat a well equipped male Avian who looked very much like some sort of mercenary. He wore a set of chain mail armor and even had a helmet set next to him on the table. Buckled to his belt was a sheath that protected his sword. Also at the table sat a young Avian who looked to be in his teen years. He too wore chain mail and also had a sword resting on his waist. Next to him on the ground was a large green pack.
Walking around the tavern was a Lizan waiter. The Lizan was busy taking orders on his small pad and rushing back and forth from the kitchen situated near the rear of the tavern. Though what seemed peculiar was that a elder looking female Musus who glanced around the tavern every so often. She was dressed in a light brown robe and constantly drank her glass of water. Every time someone stepped inside the tavern she made sure to glance them over before returning to drink her water. There was a sign attached to a pole situated at the table she was seated at.
For any adventurers who are here regarding our goblin problems, please meet here!
For now she just drank her water, waiting for those who had taken up the bill she had posted up to arrive and meet with her.
A cowl hid his face from the world. Though light did reveal part of it, sometimes. His face was nothing special - he could pass as a common peasant if he liked. His hair was white, not from age, but from servitude to the god of death, Delinus. and his eyes were dusky grey, cold, sunken and lifeless. Looking at his dark reflection on a puddle in the middle of the street, he fixed the buttons of his black cloak, then stepped forward with his hard leather boot splashing in the puddles the rain water was forming.
It was raining heavily. His robes weren't exactly waterproof, so he quickened his pace towards his destination: the tavern. Walking intensely into it, he stopped put, his eyes scanning the place. There were no water leaks here, but he was not fond of the place altogether. Too many people kept him restless, while the sight of swords and chainmail upset him to the point of reaching for his hidden daggers on his belt, inside of his robes. He knew they could not see him, but a hooded person was always somebody to look down upon. With the edge of his eyes, he caught a Musus of interest looking at him, and he instantly fixed his gaze on her. She was drinking from a glass of water, a sign attached to a pole on her table. Reading it from afar, he walked towards her, his hand never leaving the hilt of his dagger.
He sat on the table on the chair as far away from the female Musus as he could, without uttering a single word.
Narr Effeld, Adventurer
It was a day like any other. Except it wasn't! A small village was the focal point of a fairly nasty storm, packed with rain, lightning, thunder, and heavy winds. The homes rotted, nastily eroding, helped along that path by the storm, though time had already done its damage long before. Mud was dragged along the streets everywhere one walked, and the only decent building was where most of the town had gathered: the tavern. In many ways, this was a very typical town of Adlania. But today, it was about to be greeted by a very atypical guest.
The tinkle of the rain met with the metal the Musus wore, a pair of swords clasped upon handles on his back like an 'X'. The Musus wore a long, black, worn, torn and muddy cloak which covered the entirety of his body, though an opening in the cloak, one would see a long-sleeved black shirt, and over it a brown, leather vest. He wore a similar color of word, torn, black pants which was tied at the waist by some rope. Upon his hands he covered with grayish silver chain-like gloves, both bit for defense and comfort. His boots, as were expected, showed signs of wear, as the Musus had long relied on them along his travels. In fact, shoes were quite important to the Musus, as he often went through many pairs over the nature of his work. These had already most of the signs of the approach of the end of their life. A hood complemented the outfit, apart of the cloak which he wore. His eyes were fairly well hidden, but those who would try to see his face would see a fairly young Musus in his 20's, an expression of content on his face, and a pair of bright hazel eyes.
He was quite the unusual Musus, so much unlike his fellow Musi, but also unique among other species. But complementing his rarity among personality types among his species is his variety of his professions. By many different titles has Narr been known, none ever sticking for very long, though he took pride in nearly each of them. It would be difficult to ascertain the true purpose of the Musus, except to those who knew him well enough to have heard his tale in its entirety, and those select people are few in number. However, through all his travels in Adlania, he never quite managed to shake one title, and that was perfectly fine with him.
He was Narr Effeld, Adventurer.
Timing it to perfection, Narr burst through the doors of the tavern just as the lightning sizzles through the air, making the effect seem as though it was his appearing that garnered the release of static energy. He casually walked through, eyeing most of the patrons in the tavern before setting his sights on his target in mind: A sign which said of a gathering of which he would play a role, another small step towards his own secret lifelong goal. Two people already occupied the table, a hooded man and an elderly Musus, sitting across from each other. Narr gave the two a confident smile, and sat at a proportional spot in between them around the table.
"Well met, fellow adventurers!" Narr said brightly as he sat. "Narr Effeld. For you gold, at your service."
A Mysterious Figure
Meanwhile, another figure stood. The figure, who appeared incredibly enigmatic due to his imposing height and ragged, tattered cloak which hid his face, stayed unmoving while the relentless rain slid from his form. The figure enjoyed the sound of that the rain made upon impacting with his cloak. Occasionally, the figure would sway as a gust of wind touched his skin; seemingly moving along with it before returning to his initial position. Great crashes of thunder and wicked bolts of lightning flashed overhead, but still the figure did not flinch. He stood, head to the ground, apparently watching his mud-stained leather boots. Of course, this was not true, for this particular mysterious figure could not see. He could not smell, or hear either. He had never experienced the world in this particular manner; only through his mind did he 'see,' 'smell,' and 'hear,' the world. His mind was precious to him; it was everything he had, and anything that he'd ever need. This mysterious figure was an Umbran. The Umbran felt a need to feel water on his blank, black face, so he removed his hood and allowed the cold, refreshing droplets to slide down his skin. The ability to feel the life around him, and, in his opinion, the most precious sense of all, was the only one he was truly allowed to possess. Nature had decreed that he be limited to this. Still, he felt no sorrow; his one sense allowed him to have a much clearer perception of the world than others. Any other being would have been clouded by their vision, deafened by their hearing, and confounded by their smell, but not this Umbran. He was gifted with the extraordinary powers of the mind, which was all he would ever need.
The literally faceless Umbran figure proceeded to don his hood once more, after he decided he'd had enough of the rain on his featureless visage. Still, he stood, in the middle of the village, which appeared as featureless and dull as his own face. The Umbran often liked to travel to relatively deserted places, such as Desus, to seek solace and reflect. Despite constant training to become more powerful, the cloaked Umbran needed some time to look back on his life, and possibly shed some light on its future.
Suddenly, a slight shuffle at his feet. The stoic, tall Umbran looked down to see a small, beige infant playing with the mud at his feet. This beige being was a human, with long, blonde hair and grey eyes. She stared up at the Umbran, a glowing curiosity in her eyes. If he could have smiled, he would have, but he didn't. The cloaked figure simply looked down at her; although he had no eyes, the same feeling of curiosity overcame him. He had never seen a female human before. It was strange for both of them, since she had most likely never laid eyes upon an Umbran either. She was not afraid of him, though. An admirable trait. The curious young girl inspected him; through his hood, she could barely see a slight patch of white on the right side of his face. "You look like a moo-thing," she said playfully, smiling.
A sense of forewarning overcame the Umbran figure. He knelt down as low as he could, but no matter how much he attempted to have a height that was level with hers, he was always too tall. The young girl gazed at the blank face beyond the darkness of the hood. Curious as she was, she began extending her hand slowly, towards his face.
"Do you want to see a magic trick?"
A voice suddenly whispered these words, but the little girl could not hear them. It was as if they had been spoken directly into her mind, without even being spoken in the first place. She withdrew her hand, a concerned look plastered on her face. "You are a strange moo-thing," she said. Slowly, solemnly, the figure nodded.
"Well, do you?"
The little girl nodded, coming to the realization that the strange moo-thing was the source of the whisper. Slowly but surely, around the two beings, small, thin spires of metal began to emerge, astounding the young girl. There were four spires in total. At first, they stood straight, but they soon began to bend at the ends, extending over the heads of the human and the Umbran. They intersected above the two, coming together with a slight clink. "Wow!" The girl marvelled.
"You have not seen anything yet."
As soon as he said this, a piercing bright light began descending from the sky, towards the two individuals: a lightning bolt. The bolt of electrical power split through the sky, a booming crash of thunder right behind it. The little girl shrieked as it surged towards her, but she did not move. The lightning did not hit the two beings, instead it stopped at the intersection of the four spires, saving the mysterious Umbran figure and the little girl. The little girl watched as sparks from the lightning bolt travelled down the metal spires, and harmlessly into the ground. "Amazing! You're a magician!" The little girl decided cheerfully, as if she'd entirely forgotten her fear from a few seconds ago. The faceless Umbran, obviously a mage, nodded once more.
"Now run along, your mother will be missing you."
The little girl looked confused when the Umbran Mage said this. "Mother? What's a mother?" She asked innocently. The Umbran stared down at the young, and stood up once more. The spires of metal sunk back into the earth from whence they came, leaving the two beings in exactly the same position they were in before. A stoic, tall Umbran in a ragged cloak and a curious young human girl observing the moo-thing.
"Come with me."
The young girl obeyed, following the tall Umbran away, deeper into the village. The two walked for a little while, neither saying a word, before the reached a building that stood out from the rest, somewhat. Unlike the other unkempt, old houses from which this village was composed, this tavern appeared more orderly than the rest. With the exception of the rain on the roof, no part of it was leaking, and, surprisingly, no pungent smell hung thick in the air. The little human girl appeared anxious at the sight of the place. "But, magician, that's where the drunkards go," she explained worriedly. The Umbran paid her no mind, he simply entered, with her following closely behind.
"What can I do you for, sir?" the barkeeper said cheerfully. The Umbran mage, with no expression on his face, came closer to the barkeep until all separating them was the counter. The barkeeper struggled to maintain his cheerful attitude at the sight of the looming Umbran. "I want you to find a suitable caretaker for this girl," he said, motioning toward the young human cowering behind him. "But I-" the barkeep began, but was cut off by the sight of the strange Umbran's black-and-white face. "Will do," he said simply, and motioned for the girl to come towards him. "It'll be fine, girl. Go ahead." The girl stepped forward from behind the Umbran, apparently shy. The Umbran thought that strange, seeing as at the sight of himself, she had not flinched, but at the sight of a barkeep, she hid in fear. The smallest things can be the most frightening, whereas the larger ones are to be faced with courage, the Umbran reflected, as he watched the girl being led away by the barkeep. This wasn't the first young orphan he'd encountered living on the streets, nor would it be the last. The Umbran remembered when he himself was an orphan on the street; if his mother had not been kind enough to take him into her care, he would not be here today.
The Umbran mage turned his gaze. To his right sat a table, and around that table, two Musi and a cloaked figure, much like himself, sat. He knew this was where he needed to go, for he had been summoned to this dreary little town for one specific purpose: to sit at that table. After sitting there, who knew what could await him?
So, he sat. Briefly, he performed a quick mental scan of the three adventurers with whom he sat. He saw that the one next to whom he sat was a Monk, the other was a Mercenary, but the third one he could not decipher. Most likely the rain messing with my head, he decided. However, from the little he could detect about the mercenary, he certainly seemed like an interesting sort.
The Umbran first sent a telepathic message towards the mercenary alone. "Hidden one...do you not possess a face? If so, why hide it?" He noticed that several beings, mainly Lizan, stared at the two hooded ones with suspicious eyes. This town clearly did not welcome strangers.
Then, he announced himself officially to all three of the beings at the table.
"I am Abraham Soule. I believe you requested my assistance?"
A man enters the tavern, dressed in loose cloth of earthy colors, of beige and brown. A few leather belts seemed to be holding his outfit together. His head was wrapped in a long scarf, which trailed off behind him. Only his eyes and hands were visible, the skin of which was a dark tan. For he was a nomad, and one that had traveled to many places. On his hips, the handles to his daggers could be seen peaking out of the cloth he wore. Strapped around his back was a fairly normal looking lute. At times, you could almost make out the padded armor he wore under the loose clothing he wore.
He looked around the tavern, a boring and drab place. He spotted the sign. It seemed he had stumbled into a place that had some problems with Goblins. He walked over to the table slowly, and took a seat to wait for the meeting to begin.
While he waited, he pulled his lute around, and began to play a soft tune. It had bright tones, but was somehow sad. He sang quietly, so that conversations could still be had without disturbance. His voice was deep and smooth, and it carried the sense that this man had felt unimaginable pain.
"Oh little birdy, don't you cry
just spread your wings across the sky
if you can find it in your heart
just don't cry until you start
Fly, fly, fly away
fly into the stars at night
Fly, fly, fly away
fly until you see the light
Oh little birdy, don't you see?
your tears will be the end of me
if you should find that you're in pain
just fly away into the rain
Fly, fly, fly away
fly into the stars at night
Fly, fly, fly away
fly until you see the light
Fly until... you see the light..."
There was a slight applause for his performance, it was enough to bring a little life into the tavern. he replaced his lute on his back, and turned to the rest of the table, and waited silently.
Desus - The Tavern
Due to the tavern being bare bones and housing only a few individuals seeking shelter from the weather outside, it was more apparent whenever a new face entered, so when Vesper walked in there was a small cease in activities and conversations as curiosity caused those already situated to glance over at the man that had entered. Already by glancing him over they could make some guesses as to what species he was, either an Umbran or a human. It was rare to see humans out of their cities, and they only had one pass through the town just this year alone. However, before the conversations could continue on a few more face popped inside.
The first was a male Musus who seemed to be looking quite forward to presentation. He timed his entrance just right, causing some of the patrons, including the waiting female, to jump. As he sat on down the female could see that he was brimming with confidence. Yes... he was already causing a positive first impression as she put down her drink. If anything, she could see a kind of innocence in his eyes.
Yet another popped on in. An Umbran stepped in, and while there had a curious mood in the tavern toward the other two guests, that mood quickly died down with the dark one. The patrons glanced away with the three other Musi quickly getting back into conversation, the lizan waiter went around checking up on the guests but also making sure to keep an eye on the Umbran. The Avian mercenary at his table wasn't actively looking at the Umbran, but he did place a hand upon his sword and gently pulled at the handle just a bit to let a tiny sliver of the blade reveal itself. The younger Avian also placed a hand on his sword, following the example of the one he traveled with.
As Abraham Soule sat down at the table the female didn't so much as squirm from her seat. Sure the rumor was that if one stared at an Umbran's face their own soul would be sucked out, but who believed such nonsense? They were people just like everyone else in this establishment, and he had even looked out for a child! Nothing wrong with that at all in her book.
The last to arrive was, surprisingly a human. Once more curiosity caused the patrons to look at the obvious bard. The female smiled as he began to play a small song for the tavern and as he finished he did receive some applause from the three other Musi as well as the younger Avian.
The female glanced about them, finally deciding what to say. "Well, I must say, I didn't expect such a good turnout. Three of you are quite impressive." She looked right at Narr, "You are quite an interesting one youngling. So full of youth and looking to impress as well as find adventure in this world of ours, no?" She turned to Abraham, "And another who shows compassion despite how cruelly the world can treat his species. A light within the darkness I could say." She smiled at Haze, "And yet we have a human, rare around these parts mind you, who looks to want to share his music with the world. I am glad to have met you three, however." She glanced over at Vesper and quickly pulled out a small pocketbook from her robes and flipped through it. "Let's see... dresses in dark colors, covers himself all over, wears a cowl to hide his face because it looks cool or is supposed to be mysterious, and even doesn't speak a word to anyone but stays as far away from the others. Those signs point to all sorts of bad professions. Let's see... assassin, thief, pickpocket, mobster, backstabber, murderer, I can go on but I won't." She closed the book and placed it back in her robes. "Suffice to say, if you WANT people to think you are thief or such, then go ahead and continue dressing as such, if however you want to, I don't know, SURPRISE THEM, then perhaps dress differently."
She coughed lightly and drank down some more water. "Well, like I was saying, this is a turnout I wasn't expecting, I'll make this quick and simple for you all. About two weeks ago goblins began to appear around town. What they have been doing is attacking the town. We managed to repel the first night, but every two nights the goblins come and wreck havoc on our buildings, cattle and crops. It is devastating our community, we barely have food that could last us one more week. We are unsure as to why the goblins attack us and so we sent one of the retired warriors in town, Richard, to investigate. He hasn't come back yet and it's been five days. I fear he is captured or worse, dead.
The goblins have lived for several years besides our village and have never before made a move to attack, so we are uncertain what has set them off like this. Surprisingly, they haven't attacked for the previous three days which makes me fear they are building up some sort of force to come and invade the entire town, I would rather that not happen. Your mission is simple, go to the goblin caves and stop them however you can. I don't care if you kill them all, if you talk them out of it, whatever you wish to do then do it. Also... if you could find Richard... or his remains at least then I will gladly impart another reward onto you. If he is alive, then escort him out of those caves, if he is dead if you could retrieve either his ring or necklace as evidence then I would appreciate it.
The caves are long and treacherous, and unfortunately we do not have a map of the caves. We do have lanterns we can lend you if you have a need for lights. The caves are very dark and I fear that is how the goblins managed to overtake Richard. That is all the information we have, though if you have need for any supplies or any other information, then please don't hesitate to ask."
He saw a figure like his, hidden in robes. Possibly an Umbran, judging by his slenderness. He sat on the table and introduced himself, also sending a message to his mind. Hidden one...do you not possess a face? If so, why hide it?
Death is faceless. I represent him as faithfully as I can. Such is the meaning of my appearance... which appears to be strikingly similar to yours. You do have a face. Why hide it? He was using the exact same words the Umbran magician had let out. He wished just thinking of the words would transfer them to - Abraham, wasn't his name? - his mind.
Another hooded figure caught his eye, a human, as it happened. He was not really looking forward to meeting him. When the priests of the temple of Delinus had told him that his parents had abandoned him, he had developed a growing loathing for fellow humans. This human proved himself to be a bard when he started his song for all the tavern to hear, making Vesper frown in disapproval. He thought of songs and poetry as such a waste of time, when the bards could be doing other, more important activities. Despite his thoughts, he forced himself to clap slowly at the bard's applause, but his eyes were quickly drawn to the old Musi, who started talking, now that they were all here.
When the old Musi placed that remark upon his clothes, he utterly dismissed it as irrelevant to the subject. She started speaking of goblins, just what he had come in Desus for. The caves didn't sound much like the environment he would normally move through, and that made him shift in his seat, considering. She spoke of the treachery of the caves and then Richard, the lost warrior that had been sent to deal with the goblins. He carefully considered the last of her offers, restless as he always was.
"Supplies would do us good, if anything," he spoke. "And additional information is welcome to our cause."
Narr Effeld, Goblin Hunter
Narr placed his elbows on the table and smiled brightly, following the movements of the others as they sat at the table. He gave an acknowledging nod to the Umbran known as Abraham Soule, and clapped his hands along as the nameless human bard performed his own piece. Along with the others in the tavern, Narr applauded his performance. "Well sung, friend." Narr told the human, giving him an encouraging smile. The older Musus, looking around the table at the others, and believing everyone who was supposed to had arrived, she proceeded to explain as the reason why they were gathered in the small tavern, in the small town.
Narr leaned into his chair as he listened silently but excitedly as she first remarked upon the gathered. She addressed Narr first, to which Narr nodded in reply to her question. Adventure was his calling, though the payment certainly didn't hurt either. He made occasional glances around the bar as she addressed the others, before she returned to the topic at hand: the goblins. It was interesting that they were acting up in recent times, but Narr didn't care enough to pay it too much mind. Whether they were simply hungry themselves and thus needed food, or they were acting under the direction of someone or something else, that much didn't matter. What mattered was they had become enough of a problem to others that he was hired, which meant as of now, Narr was now a goblin hunter.
When the old Musus asked if the they needed anything in particular, the hooded individual asked for any additional supplies they could have, or perhaps some more information. Narr didn't see the point. The mission was simple enough. Go to the goblin caves, and stop them from performing another attack. Of course, to Narr, that meant only one thing: wipe out all of them.
Narr stood up, looking at the Musus with a smile. "I think I'm all set. Just point us to the caves, and we'll take care of the rest! Come on, no sense waiting for them to kill you all and burn your village to the ground!" He said, both eagerly and nonchalantly, not paying any mind to the words that come out of his mouth, even if they seemed a bit insensitive.
Abe sat quietly as he read the dark one's mind. He discovered that this human had no particular name, but was often referred to as Vesper. He also worshiped the God of Death, Delinus. That was bad. Abe had met worshipers of Delinus before, and they were no simple matter. It made sense that Vesper was a mercenary; after all, mercenaries brought down Delinus's deadly fury upon those of the mortal world. However, in Abe's own experience, Delinus worshipers tended to be deceitful and potentially dangerous, some even going insane and dealing out death wherever they can. Some of the worst mass-murderers and serial killers in Adlania had been Delinus worshipers. Still, he decided to think nothing major of it unless he received some indication of hostility from the human. For now, he would simply keep an eye on him.
"You are mistaken, friend," Abe began, removing his hood, "I have no face, whereas you are blessed with one."
Abe had once made it a habit to examine anyone he would be working with mentally before a mission, so as to make sure he was not working with insane people. He turned to the Musus, Narr Effeld. Indeed, he was an interesting character. From what Abe could read in the Musus's mind, he had a somewhat naive, almost childish view of the world, but he was skilled and craved adventure. His cheerful attitude will bring life to the group, Abe predicted. Next, he turned attention to the Bard, surprisingly another human. He had sung a song to which Abe had politely applauded before he sat down. He seemed to be a calm person, sitting at the table just as quietly as Abe and Vesper, but he did not appear quite as enigmatic as the other two.
Yes, this team would be quite alright. He had his doubts about Vesper, but the other two seemed perfectly alright. From the simple fact that there were two humans around the table, he deduced that their population must have been growing, and possibly coming out of their cities for once. Indeed, they were a rare sight, but they reminded him of his dear mentor Ygreg. Despite what all others thought of the man, he still managed to make it high up into the Magic Society. He was an inspiration for Abe, because he, too, would never have been expected to become a powerful Mage. Still, he was far more powerful than he let on, and he was determined to prove it.
Narr was the first to react to the old Musus's kind words towards three out of four of the adventurers. His rather rude words may have been a little too loud, since a nearby table of Lizans was now staring at the group with somewhat angry eyes. Lizans, as Abe had discovered growing up with them, could be rather temperamental sometimes, especially the males. He only turned his head to the Lizans and stared them with his blank slate of a face, the white patch on it unnerving them a little more than they out to have been. A couple slumped back in their seats, looking away from the Umbran, but the others only looked at him more menacingly. Their expression read a clear message, and with a quick mental scan, it was confirmed: "Get out." Abe was happy to oblige, no longer wishing to spend any time in this old shack. He would rather welcome the rain outside than the beings in here.
So, he stood up next. "Indeed. I, too, am prepared," He said, rising slowly from his seat. "Which way is the cave?"
As the meeting began, the bard picked up on a few things about the group he had happened upon. Firstly, was the abnormally high number of individuals who were hiding their face. Perhaps they had better reasons than he, but it was none of his business.
The second was that not everyone at the table was pleased with his performance. He may not have been able to see his face, but he had been performing long enough to know a dissatisfied audience.
He let it go for the time being, as there was business at hand. It seemed that Goblins had been attacking the Village, and had even captured an innocent. The bard was quite familiar with cases like this. "Your town must have done something to piss them off. Goblins don't just start attacking out of nowhere without being antagonized." He looked around the room. "Well, whether it was intentional or not, you've brought on the anger of some goblins. I pray for Richard, because you won't like what they might have done to him. We should move quickly if we wish to save his life. Much longer and you can guarantee he'll be in someone's stew."
He turned back to the table. "Where is this cave?"
Desus - The Tavern
The silent human was no longer silent, instead wanting to know any more information she had for them as well as wanting some supplies, which was natural she supposed. The Musus on the other hand seemed to be quite eager to set out... though that eagerness did end up causing some of the other patrons to glance about at his loud statements. The Umbran was also eager to set out and the bard was shedding some information already! Quite a lovely chap!
She nodded her head, "Yes, I suppose we did. Though I am unsure as to what exactly we did. That is partly why Richard set out, to find out why they started attacking. And no, I wouldn't want Richard to be served in any sort of stew. The entrance is outside of town." The Musus pulled out a sheet of paper with a drawing of the small town and detailing a path leading outside of the village. "This path is north of town. Follow it, but you'll want to take this fork in the road right here." She pointed further on to where the path split. "Take the left road and it will lead you right to the cave entrance. You'll also notice signs of goblin inhabitants such as strong smells and perhaps some totems here or there. Be careful adventurers. While I fully hope that you are successful in your task, if it seems that death will come upon you, I implore to you leave and at least bring back whatever information you have learned."
She smiled weakly, "As to supplies you may need, go over to the general store. Our newest arrival, Barrus, is inside manning the counter. He just departed from the Musi cities. He's a cheerful fellow, should be able to get you what you need. Most of our supplies aren't... as durable as those sold in the cities, but it should serve you well none the less. Also, these supplies will be free for you to use. No need in stealing every coin from those who are trying to save the town. Now if you want to you can go ahead and depart, just be careful."
The other patrons in the tavern slowly began to disperse one by one, still a bit spooked by what Narr had shouted out, though with him talking with one of the few in town who truly knew what was going on, of course they would take it as a warning. Of course the elder Musus sighed, "Well, that's something to clean up now. In future adventurers, don't go shouting about death and fire." She weakly sighed and stood up and left as well to calm the townsfolk.
He listened carefully to the Musus and looked closely at her drawing, absorbing every bit of information she gave them. Drumming his fingers and pondering over the sound of the Musi and the rain, he considered what she had said about seeing signs of goblin inhabitants; from his experience, the shamanic totems could be full of magic hostile to them. Glancing at the Umbran magician, he hoped he was skilled in his art. If they were to confront other magicians, Abraham would be of best use to them.
When the Musi woman was finished with the sketch of the town and the paths that led outside it, he took it from her hand gently. The piece of parchment disappeared inside his cloak while he nodded silently to thank her. She went on for the supplies the general store could provide, talking of a Musi, Barrus, that ran the store; also mentioning that the supplies would be free. Excellent. "Thank you kindly," he said curtly, walking past his newfound allies and the upset townsfolk towards the exit of the tavern. The Musi monk seemed to have been obscenely loud in his outshout.
Exiting the quiet tavern, the rain begun drumming on his hood. He stood for a second, navigating, then went over to the General Store, which had a sign right above it. A thunder struck the sky in the mountains as he opened the door and entered. "Welcome, welcome," a cheerful Musi greeted him, braiding his hands and looking at him as if he was truly welcome, "how may I be of assistance?"
"Barrus, is it?" Vesper asked him, a sour, forced smile audible in his voice; he looked around the store as he walked to the bar, where the shopkeeper was standing behind. His eyes brushed past the wares, searching.
"Yes, I am Barrus," the Musi said with a happiness that was kind of hindered by the fact that he was asked for his name. "You must be one of the lads the town hired, aye?"
"Aye," he agreed. "Do you perchance have a spare shortsword? Of any kind and age, I do not mind."
"Well, I happen to have one, though it's quite old... it won't cost you anything, friend," he leaned in, using a confidential tone, "I'll be happy to dispose of it, in fact..." He looked in a chest behind the bar, then found what he was looking for; he unsheathed it in front of him. It was truly short, almost as short as a dagger, and rusty like that old Musi woman in the tavern. He gave it to him with the sheath.
"This will do," Vesper declared after he tested two clumsy practice cuts. It was too big for his liking, too heavy to use, but it would do for what he had in mind.
The shopkeeper gave him a concerned look, examining him. "Are you sure? Using that thing will be tricky."
"It has is uses," he agreed, sheathing the rusty sword and hanging it from his belt, making sure it was obvious he was carrying a sword, and a rusty one at that. It flung from the side of his cloak, showing perfectly.
"Can I get you anything else?"
"Some food, perhaps, and a rope." If by any chance we get lost in these caves, I would rather stay alive, he thought, taking the the pack of food and the rope. It didn't seem to contain much too enticing food, but he knew that hunger made any food edible. He thanked Barrus with a nod and headed out of the shop.
He walked in the rain, avoiding the mud puddles on the road of the town. His feet took him to the end of it, where the road to the north was, and he stood there, waiting for the others.
[OOC: if we do get lost in the caves, Vesper will outlive all of you and eat your corpses. :D]
Narr Effeld, Cave Seeker
Narr eagerly looked down at the map displayed before the group by the older Musus. He scanned it intensely, trying to memorize what he could from it in what little time it would be displayed around him. He had traveled by this area before, though he had never been to this particular town (he wasn't missing much, it seems). Narr was generally good at memorizing maps, as one of his key professions was a treasure hunter, and thus he had to observe and interpret them when he would go on such adventures. The map the Musus presented was standard enough so Narr would ensure they wouldn't get lost, even if they forgot her directions. So instead, Narr focused on the nearby scenery on the map instead of listening to her speak. There were three others who would be listening to her. Instead, he would be watching and memorizing.
When Narr believed he had gotten a good look at the map, he tuned back into the conversation, barely catching the end of what she was saying. "Well, that's something to clean up now. In future adventurers, don't go shouting about death and fire."
"Right!" Narr exclaimed eagerly, standing straight and pushing away from the table. The hooded human had already proceeded out of the tavern, presumably toward the location the elder Musus provided. "Well, I don't really have much use for cr*ppy equipment, and I ate before I got here, so I'm all set to go. When you're ready, meet me out front!" He shouted, and headed out the door.
The rain continued to pour hard across the roads, with Narr quickly putting on his hood to avoid getting wet. He headed to the north entrance of town, any nearby citizens who were inside the tavern before who saw him gave him passing stares, to which Narr generally ignored. He headed to the end of the road, strolling quite calmly and with a certain pace, as he expected his companions would take a while to sort out their necessities. He was surprised to see one of the others, the human in the cloak, to already be waiting as well.
"Heh...look's like someone's as eager as I am!" Narr said to him, as he walked toward the side. As he approached the man, he stopped to the right of him and looked onward to the road ahead, one of his hands grasping at one of his swords, tingling with excitement at what was to come. He tried to compose his eagerness, calmly smiling from behind his hood, scanning the path forward to try and connect that which he saw from the map with what he perceived right now. He eagerly awaited the rest of the group, reading to seek the cave.
"Well, I don't really have much use for cr*ppy equipment, and I ate before I got here, so I'm all set to go. When you're ready, meet me out front!"
"Heheh," the nomad laughed to himself as Narr walked away. Slowly, he stood up from the table as well. "A little over eager, isn't he? I guess I will be on my way as well." He turned to look at the Musus who had hired them. "We'll bring him back, if we can. Don't lose hope, even though it looks grim." With that, he followed suit, and also left the tavern.
The Nomad hated the rain. It filled him with a sense of dread for what it could do. But he did not let it get to him. He walked slowly through the small village. There really wasn't much to it. Goblins... This town needs a hero. Maybe we can give them 4.
He was surprised to find 2 people waiting for him at the entrance. He moved in to join them. "You need to work on your manners" he said as he pointed to Narr.
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