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"Stuck on the northeastern side of the political wasteland known as the River Kingdoms, the town of Brindenford is independent as matter of natural survival. When the Duchy of Chordille fell apart 100 years ago, the fallout from that war ruined the vast majority of the countryside, and the survivors of that tragedy banded together and built some walls to put their backs to." Pausing a moment, Odhanan Baoisgne taps out his pipe on his ample belly and begins packing it again from a small pouch, an interesting feat given that he never puts down his beer. He gestures expansively with the implement. "Now, this was a long time ago, and things have settled down more. The goblins and suchlike know better than to try and attack the settlement, and my job is mainly to help the loggers and fishermen that've had a drop too many cool off for a night in the local jail. That and clap any foooolish adventurers in irons what that cause trouble." He waggles his eyebrows and laughs, taking the edge of his last statement. "So, my new friends, what brings you here to sleepy little Brindenford? Juddelo! Get your sorry behind out here with some brews!"
It's early evening at The Lost Shepherd, the only tavern in town that caters to adventurers and those down on their luck but looking to advance it quickly. Given the price of a room at The Bridgeman, most travelers end up staying at this simple but affordable inn. Tonight, the main room is warm with a fire in the hearth and half-full with a mix of locals relaxing after a hard day's labor. Set at the bar, a large, faintly Eastern looking man addresses a group of travelers sitting at the nearest table. Odhanan, as he'd introduced himself, is a constables and citizen of the town, and enjoys a good drink.
Her brown curls bobbing with barely withheld mirth at the sight of the portly constable waggling his eyebrows, Joia surreptitiously casts her glance about when he mentions drinks. She pipes up, "Oh, I just love looking at all those old buildings and things; the Duchy must have been quite a place, aye?" She gestures expansively with both hands, as thought to cover a large area, and then brings one forefinger to her chin, "I wonder what the people were like?" She shrugs and twists around to look for Jeddelo, unconciously fidgeting with a small ring sewn into her clothing at the wrist.
Hopes that don't cause him to deem me worth clapping in irons. I just said looking! P'raps someone will mention wanting to do a little exploring of ruins.
Last edited by SnowTrimble : 01-07-2011 at 11:13 PM.
A young, thin man with black hair and green eyes steps forward to take the stool next to the stout halfling. "Odhanan, my friend, do you always greet visitors with the same speech? I do like it however, it's short enough as not to bore anyone too much with our little town's unimpressive story. He turned to Joia after that, and said My name's Roland and I happen to be from around these parts.
Proud Owner of a copy of the OotS Game
"Roland m'lad!" He smacks the young man firmly on the back. "Don't you be steppin' on my yarn now. Good stories are like good candles - you know ye've seen a candle before and ye know what its made of, but it warms the room up just the same." You get the impression that this is another of his favorite analogies.
The clinking of glasses heralds the ambling approach of a middle-aged halfling with thick black hair only just graying at the edges. He carefully hands a large stein to each of the customers, giving the newcomers a wide smile that makes one of his gold teeth flash in the firelight. Task complete, he hops up onto a stool next to the constable with a sigh, dusting flour off the heavy apron he wears. Completely ignoring a customer further down the ball calling for a refill, Judello pulls out an enormous meerschaum pipe and packs it efficiently. The two locals knock their bowls together and share a solemn look before erupting into belly laughter and lighting up. Taking a pull, Jeduello crosses his arms and speaks around the pipe stem, his tenor tripping along the words like a stone across a pond. "Well now, I heard yon lassie's question, and I tell ye, the founding faathers and mahthers of this town were just the townfolk o' the Duchy of Chordille, them who survived the rebellion of the Duke. They banded together and founded the town after they tore down the keep, and a lot of 'em turned to ruin robbin' after what they found under the dungeon levels. Dragon's Delve, they call it!" He sniggers. "Though lord knows why."
The customer down the bar, a short and muscular dwarf with a dirty gray beard and a large axe across his armored back, perks up at the mention of the Delve and begins to trundle over.
Karvek heard the halfling speak of Dragon's delve, and that got his attentions. He stood up and moved over to the small group of people, his pack, that he seemed to always be wearing, despite having been in the town for a few weeks, clattering a bit as he made his way over. "What do you know of Dragon's Delve?" He asked the short humanoid rather bluntly, though he was attempting to be polite. "I seek to explore there for personal gain, perhaps you can aid me with information, friend?" He added in a moment later, as an after thought of sorts.
Plopping down next to Judello with a jingle of mail, the elderly dwarf cuts off the halfling as he begins to open his mouth. "Bah! Judello can mill a rumor faster than anyone I ere seen, but he don't know aresholes from elbows when it comes to the Delve!" He pauses to quaff noisily from a dented stein and gives the pretty halfling lass an enormous wink. "Y'see, he ain't been down there, haha!"
Judello huffs a bit, giving the dwarf a disdainful sniff. "Oh is that so then Erlan, is that so? Since when does guarding the campfire outside the pit while them there adventurers are underground count as goin' 'down the Delve', eh?"
Undeterred, Erlan waves away Judello's accusations. "Ach, ye, it be true that I wern't "one of the party" as they say, but I got my chance to see the first stretch of ruins after the mage o' the group had blasted all the resident orcs into greasy smears. What wonders there were, too! A glass cylinder what could ne'er be broken by sword or spell, a room with a blizzard inside, 'an a pool of crystal water untouched by the decay that haunts the rest o' the place, an' thats just a start! It all stays with me even now..."
Last edited by ProfessorM : 01-10-2011 at 10:30 AM.
Joia smiles at the good-natured banter as she takes a long swig from the stein. Her eyes gradually widen in appreciation as the dwarf mentions some of the wonders associated with the ancient ruins. "But I've heard there's been none comin' back from the Delve, alive." She pauses a moment, giving the old dwarf a teasing smile, "What's gone in far enough, anyways. Not to cast doubt on ye tale."
Erlan frowns, some of the laughter leaving his eyes. "Aye... well, the problem there be that not many know enough to quit while they're ahead. They eventually run in to something too big for 'em to handle and, well, that's that." He sighs and takes another swig.
Judello taps his teeth with his pipe stem. "Didn't some other group of high-powered adventurers come breezin' through here a couple months ago? Had some ridiculous name, the Swamp Somethin'."
Odhanan nods. "The Fell Bog Raiders that was. Said they was plannin' on driving down far enough to recover some big arcane device and then gettin' out. Haven't seen 'em since. At least they bought horses before they left."
Roland nodded. That's what I always say, Erlan. And that's why level headed adventurers come back out of the Delve more often than powerful ones. Kill what you can, run when you must, and take what you find seems to be the most sound strategy.
Maybe if I sound adventurer-y enough I can finallyhave a party to go into the Delve myself, instead of always listening to other people's tales.
Proud Owner of a copy of the OotS Game
"Take me to the Dragon's Delve, Erlan," Karvek said, looking rather intense and driven. "Perhaps first I should gather some supplies and tools before this venture, beyond what I already possess. We can set out in the morning," he concluded quickly, leaving little time for the dwarf to accept or decline his taking the large man to the delve. It was not rudeness nor some haughty sense of superiority that made him this way, but his understanding of duty and place.
Joia blinks at the sudden seriousness, feeling as though she's suddenly made a social gaffe regarding lost adventurers. Is the Delve for true so much more deadly than other ruins? She hides a flush behind a long draught on her drink.
She takes the opportunity to respond to Roland, nodding knowingly, "I've got plenty a practice turnin' tail when need be, when I've looked into some a the smaller ruins here and thereabouts." she pauses, "I can wend my way about doors and walls safe enough, but my strategy regardin' critters has nae been to try to kill a one of 'em." Joia's eyes flicker briefly over towards Karvek as he makes his demand, her eyebrows going up in surprise and some interest.
Erlan crosses his arms. "Weeell, I ain't opposed to leadin' ye to the Delve, but I ain't gonna stick around and wait for some orc or other to murder me in my sleep. It'll cost ya 5 silver a day for me services, and you'll need mounts unless ye fancy a really long walk. No matter how ya slice it, its still 75 miles of dense forest to reach the ruins." He scratches his beard. "Either ye can make yer way back yerself, or we can plan a time for me to arrive and guide ye back."
"I see. If it is dense forest, what advantage do horses bring us? They can move no more quickly than ourselves through thick underbrush," Karvek said, contemplating what to do. "Never the less, I shall pay your fee in the morning, and we will set out. After seeing the way there, I will decide whether I shall need your aid in the return trip," He concluded rather quickly. He did not fear what he would find in the delve, but facing a horde of monsters alone in the dark was a daunting task, no doubt the exact reason he was sent here.
Roland is begining to think he'll be left out of yet another incursion into the Delve. He does, however, make a last attempt to be included. "While you seem to be a resourceful man, it may not be wise to venture there alone, mister... well, if you mentioned your name I'm afraid I didn't get it. I have a personal intent to go into the Delve myself, and my new friend here seems interested as well. He says, nodding his head at Joia. "Perhaps it'd be a good idea to share the costs, share the profits, but more importantly, lowering the risks, by undertaking this enterprise together."
Proud Owner of a copy of the OotS Game
Karvek turned to regard this other man, looking over him, his eyes narrowing as he stared at him. He then looked to the halfling. "...very well...I am Karvek Zouliev. You both may accompany me if you wish," he said, his visage softening somewhat.
Joia smiles brightly towards Roland and says to the group, "Lovely! I'm Joia, Joia Delly. And I'd love to go 'down the Delve', and would nae have the chance without others." She adds somewhat mischievously, "If we choose not to buy mounts I figure I can always ride a dwarf."
str 10 dex 18 con 12 int 14 wis 10 cha 11
AC 16 touch 15 FF 12
Saves: Fort +1 Reflex +4 Will +0
melee +1 ranged +5