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Leading the troupe into the tavern, Ancho listens stoic until the name Mathidla was mentioned. This was his whole point of being here... the legendary Full Moon's Trick! Ancho opens his mouth about to ask the location of this church his contact had last headed to, but the ever-jabbering Eldon beat him to the punch.
While waiting for Eldon to finally breath, Ancho peers across the layout of the bar, noting anything out of the ordinary and all the possible exits if a hairy situation suddenly erupted. Once the Ale and food arrived though, his stomach wrested control of his senses and he dug hungrily into dish.
"This is the best ale I've tasted in a long while, sir! Thank you for sharing what little you have with us." Ancho says through bites of food. "Ashlyn... During our fighting through the streets, I was bitten by one of those corpses. Perhaps you might know of a way to purge the sickness that I might of contracted?"
Spot and Listen Checks to see or hear anything of interest amongst the bar patrons. (LOL so terrible)
"Oh my, that sickness seems to really have taken a hold. Im afraid I don't have anything that can help. These undead diseases are magical in nature. They resist normal medicine, requiring some sort of magical healing to cure."
grimacing at Anchos dire news he turned to the party as he picked at the food offered him by the barkeep for his coin.
"It may not be a good idea to tarry here then. If Mr.Peppers is in need of healing resting here will only be interrupted by more of those damnable abominations. Perhaps we could make for Madame Eva, she may be able to help Ancho with his predicament as well as give us some insight into what lies ahead of us.
"I would like to rest and memorize new spells to better deal with this threat. Though, I suppose that could be done at Madame Eva's, as long as Madame Eva is still there and she hasn't succumbed to this or another threat." Eldon sips some of his wine and screws up his eyebrows in thought during a bite of weak stew. "I suppose I could be up for the journey but I will need to purchase some supplies, a crossbow at the least. I'm not sure how many battles my current spell selection will get me through. I guess it really depends upon what sort of things we might encounter while traipsing through the woods. Ashlyn, do you know what sort of dangers we might face in the surrounding woods?"
"Im afraid I haven't the faintest clue what lies outside the city. The Vistani know the land well though. They actually live outside Barovia, but are stranded here until the zombies stop attacking. I suppose Arik or Ismark might be able to help you too. Arik is the owner, and Ismark is the burgomaster's son. He's over there in that back corner."
A man sits in a shadowed corner apart from all the others, and sips wine from a goblet. He is dressed better than anyone else in the room, wearing what passes for a noble's outfit, though it is dirty and stained.
Looking at the man in the corner he nodded slightly. Giving a nod to his fellows to follow him over to the man in the corner, he pulled up a chair and gave a smile to Ismark.
"Hello sir, I am told you are called Ismark. My name is Ralston Allcott. My diminuitive friend is a one Mr. Eldon, The dashing fellow there is Mr.Ancho and last but not least the pious Mr.Xaxil. We were needing some information about the woods surrounding here, we plan to make for Madame Eva sometime sooner than later."
Watching from behind at Ralston's attempt to persuade the wine-drinking Ismark, Ancho steps forward beside Ralston and puts a little force behind his demeanor.
"Now boy... We were sent a missive to come help your little zombie-infested burgh from your father, Kolyan. Perhaps if you were to help us you could earn yourself a couple gold pieces, or you could not help us and face the wrath of your father, once we explain how much help you were to us." Upon mentioning gold, Ancho brings his left hand to his belt and jingles a small pouch of coins towards the grubby noble.
"I highly doubt that you have received any kind of missive from my father. But now that you have my attention, why don't you put some of that gold to good use and freshen up my beverage. Arik knows what I drink."
"Ah yes, I bet that would be most helpful." Barnaby hops down from his bar stool and heads over to Ismark's table. "Pardon me sir, but I have a letter from the Burgomaster right here." He checks a few pockets and procures a neatly folded letter.
Ismark finishes his last sip of wine and slams his goblet down on the table. He snatches the letter form Barnaby and begins to read it. After only a couple of seconds he tosses the letter back at Barnaby and sais "This is not my father's handwriting. Get this rubbish out of my face."
"Oh, terribly sorry, that must be one of the ones I scribed myself." Barnaby fumbles around for a bit, searching through all of his pockets and pouches. "Ah, here we go. Iv still got the original right here."
Ismark skims the letter and throws it back at Barnaby. "I don't know what kind of games you're trying to play with me, but my patience is wearing thin. This is not my father's handwriting either, my sister suffer's no such ailment, and we have never but absolutely never had any problems with the local wildlife. Now if you wish to waste more of my time, for the love of all that is green, get some drinks, sit down, and drop the inquisitor act."
The annoyed noble's words perk up Ancho's eyebrows. "Sister?? The letter we received, that you clearly deny being your father's handwriting, says that the love of Kolyan's life was greveiously injured. Now excuse any rudeness, but how can the love of your father's life ALSO be your sister? Perhaps, you aren't whom you say you are sir?" Ancho stares hard into the man's eyes, hoping to discern any form of subterfuge that might follow his questioning.
"I have no reason to lie. I am Ismark the Lesser. Ireena is my sister. We grew up in this town, and no one has ever insulted me by questioning my identity before. Whoever wrote that letter is either completely insane, or has never stepped foot inside Barovia."
Exasperated with Ismark's nonchalant manner, Ancho turns and walks towards the last Vistani, still sipping on his ale. As he turns, Ancho leaves the stubborn noble's son with a last remark.
"Ismark... While you sit there sipping on your wine, your townsfolk are dying outside, being eaten alive by the undead shambling through the streets. I and my troupe of Lightbringers might of been lead here by a false accord, but that DOES NOT allow you the right to stop us from our sworn duty. You could be a hero or a villain by the single choice you're making now, whether to divulge what information you can that will help us or not. I pray to Mask that you make the right decision, not just for your own safety, but for your wards as well..."
"Im not sure what you want from me exactly. You come up to me and insult me. Then after I invite you to drink with me, you insult me again. Then you try to play my conscience, even though you have never told me what it is you want. You are not the first gibbering lunatics to come through town, and you're sure not to be the last."
Walking back over to Ismark to hear his newest commentary on their lunacy he simply shrugged his shoulders in anguish. He put a hand up to his face, fingers holding the bridge of his nose as he spoke in a slow and even tone.
"We meant no offense sir, we merely need information regarding the woods surrounding this town. We plan to make for Madame eva soon and need to know where abouts we may find her, as well as any creatures or danger that you may be aware of."
Ancho saunters up to the lone Vistani and offers a polite introduction, "Hello! I am Antonio Rodrigo Alejandro Peppers and I was wondering if I could sit and chat?" Ancho calls over for a mug of ale for himself and the Vistani. "What be it you're drinking tonight?"
Nodding to Ismark, Ralston watched Arik as he came to refill the drink and handed him the coin to pay for it. He turned his attention back to Ismark for a moment.
"I'm sorry if my friends and I have come across as curt, but we are most distressed at this towns current situation, and now seem to have received false information, which we did not know until we arrived. Enjoy your drink, and I hope we all make it through this."
Nodding his head to the man he turned and walked back to the bar to take a seat, looking around and noting his companions positions.
"Ahm havin tha ale. 'S'all tha same." He quickly downs the rest of his drink and waits for his replacement. "Sooh what cana dofer meh new friend?" He grins with a stained smile that is missing a few teeth.
As you turn, he puts his hand on your shoulder. "Don't sweat it. Were all under a lot of stress lately, and confusion is running hot and cold these days. Not a damn thing makes sense, the least of which being the folks who have suddenly started wandering into town." He takes a sip of his wine and leans in close, speaking quietly. "Now that you've got my attention, maybe you can have a seat and tell me how exactly you plan to help us. Just keep your voice down."
Feeling Ismarks hand on his shoulder he tilted his head, turning and looking the man in the eye. He pulled the seat opposite him away from the table, and slowly sat, putting an elbow on the table as he leaned in so he could keep his voice low, as instructed.
"Too tell the truth, my companions and I came here mostly of our own designs. Myself I was searching for Sir Urik. I have need to speak to him for a personal matter. When we heard from our new acquaintance Barnaby that there was some trouble here we came presently. We're all able to handle ourselves against these types of troubles, so we're going to get to the bottom of this. We met Ashlynn and she seems to think the Vistani know some things around here so we're going to try Madame Eva..see what we can find out about whats going on."
"Sir Urik has come through here, though I wasn't able to talk to him. He marched around like a zealot, drawing far too much attention to himself. I doubt there would be anything I could do for him anyway, not anymore."
"What can you be doin' for me, eh? Well, whenabouts did all these dark creatures start walking the streets? I, and my compatriots here," points a hand over to the others, "are skilled in the ways of evil extermination. Perhaps if there was some sort of clue that could just point us to the source of all these undead... we could clean it up for you townfolks."
Ancho leans deeply into the little man, "Maybe I could lose a few coins from my purse for such information as well..."
"You see, a few months ago, he who rules the castle...that devil Strahd...tried to pay us a visit. I don't know why. However, my father stood up to him using a powerful amulet. Then the attacks began."
Ismark takes a drink and looks around to make sure no one is paying him any attention.
"With the amulet he was able to hurt Strahd, but one morning we woke to find our father dead from poison. After that the power of the amulet wouldn't work for me or my sister Ireena."
His face turned grim when he was told such dire news. Powerful adversaries were exactly what he didn't need. Ralston nodded to Ismark as he listened and the corners of his mouth showed the worry that he was feeling.
"I see. Strahd must be something of a terror the way you speak of him. Tell me of this amulet. I seek a holy symbol of these lands...It is what I came to speak to Sir Urik about. If these lands truly are under the yoke of an oppressor I feel my companions and I will have much ahead of us."
"If you're looking for the amulet, you could talk to Ireena. Perhaps she'll give it to you... much good it will do you. But Ireena wont leave the mansion. She's sitting vigil by our father's body to make certain he doesn't become a zombie."
"Myself, Im going to sit here and drink. I recommend speaking with Madam Eva in the Tser Pool encampment west of town. She can give you more help than anyone else I believe."
Arik takes the glass and fills it with ale from one of the casks behind him. "Im afraid we've got more families than rooms at this point. Been that way for over a month now. You're free to find a place to lay down though. This place has sorta been our last haven against the zombie attacks."