Summary of Loot: 14 x Gold Pieces, 24 x Silver Pieces, 1 x Scroll for the Bird Council at Alderhart
Mission Status: In Progress
Hey friend, Paikea here.
I’ll be honest. It’s been tough these past few moons. Nestor’s trail has gone cold and until today I was all alone in desolate Meadowfen. The Gallus are on edge, for the roads are filled with bandits and vagabonds. As a result, this morning the market place was deserted; just a handful of merchants were selling their wares and most shops were closed and boarded up indefinitely.
There are also worse rumors that Calamity is coming to Meadowfen! Occasionally, some days I would see mysterious plumes of smoke appear on the horizon. The thought of Calamity raises every quill on my body! Calamity has taken so many homes, so many lives and no one, not even Nestor, knows how to stop it!
As my mind lingered on fire and fear, a poor Sprig, stumbled through the town’s gates, bloody and beaten. I wish I could say, I ran to her aid immediately, but I felt myself freeze. I saw a Mapach approach and help stand her up. Through their common speech, I heard words, like “burned” and “destroyed.” My eyes roved the marketplace, searching in vain for Nestor, for guidance.
That’s when I noticed Huitaca. She was one of the few Raptors in the marketplace, so I should have noticed her before but I was too absorbed in my own self-pity as usual. Once I caught sight of her, I immediately recognized her; my parents always remind me of the gratitude I should have for the Perch Guard that brought us to safety, to Alderhart. It was nearly two decades ago, but there is at least one thing I am good at, it is remembering to be grateful.
I ran forward. She appeared bemused as I frantically waved and asked her to come help me help the Sprig – oh why can’t I do things alone? Thankfully she obliged and we both approached the Sprig who was now being aided by the Mapach and another Raptor carrying her fur wares. Ardwin, the Elder, also arrived.
The Sprig, named Cara Stormsinger, confirmed our worst fears. Calamity has destroyed Ashbarrow. Even those who survived the flames, were attacked by the road robbers. Many are dead and to our knowledge none escaped unscathed.
Ardwin looked at our group, he called us “adventurers” and asked if we could help. I felt an immediate sense of duty and empathy for Cara and Ashbarrow. Emboldened by the group surrounding me, I reflexively volunteered. I turned to the others, to Huitaca, who agreed to join me to my relief. The older Raptor, named Katya, appeared busy with other tasks but was willing to go as well! The Mapach, Mavry, was suddenly addressed by a Luma named Rhen, who seemed to have materialized from nowhere. I was so distracted by the horror Cara was describing, I did not even observe his arrival, despite his fancy ruffled feathers that adorn his neck! Mavry and Rhen appeared familiar with one another and while Mavry was at first hesitant to join, they both eventually agreed. I was so relieved as I do believe in strength in numbers. Suddenly I was no longer alone!
Ardwin handed me a scroll to give to the Bird Council in Alderhart and we set off. I was so thrilled at the prospect of going back to Alderhart on an important mission with strong friends, I didn’t even notice the trouble literally down the road from me.
Bandits! Mapachs and a Vulpin who was called Frey by her henchmen. They were robbing a poor Cat person who was in pretty bad shape. After a horrible fight, where I even had to use Thunderwave (it actually worked!) we defeated the bandits. However, their leader, Frey got away, by stealing into the woods as we battled. Katya and Huitaca began investigating her trail as we spoke to the Cat person, who we learned is named Eliza.
Eliza was on her way to Winnowing Reach. She was a merchant and promised us much reward if we were to help escort her. I’ll be honest I am not too interested in any reward and was more interested in continuing on our way to Alderhart, with no detours. However the rest of my party wanted to go to Winnowing Reach and also check out a house in the woods that Katya and Huitaca discovered. I reluctantly joined.
After disguising Eliza in her beat-up wagon, so she could rest and heal her wounds, we headed to the house in the woods. The house was rundown and aside from the Mapach tracks the Raptors discovered, it would have taken me a lot of convincing that anyone lived there.
We cautiously entered, finding not much other than an old library, with dilapidated books and a study with a desk that held some healing potions. Rhen found some other item in the study while he and I were searching- a brown pouch, hidden in a fireplace. But he did not show me and tried to secret it away. That action did not sit well with me. The rest of our party continued to follow the tracks down the hallway, when suddenly I heard a loud booming voice shout something like “Fools” and “welcome to your deaths.” I ran over to where my other companions were, as I did not want to be alone with Rhen who seemed interested in looting and may not be so reliable if he’s not willing to show me what he found.
Where I ended up was an otherwise empty room with a wooden floor and an outdoor porch. Everyone seemed perplexed by the voice, which seemed to come from nowhere and no one. I began to investigate the room with everyone when I noticed that that dust in the air was travelling up from the floor. There was a trap door!
Rhen used mage hand to open the door and it led to a circular stairwell deep into the earth. I immediately produced flame to light the way a bit and strengthened my quarterstaff to be safe. And we all headed down together, I was the last one to enter. Mavry went down first, as she can see well in the dark.
Once we got down there we encountered more Mapachs who work for Frey! At first it was hard to tell what was going on, as we were all cramped in the staircase and Mavry seemed to be talking to the Mapachs in one of the few languages I don’t know. But soon a battle ensued and we defeated one of the bandits. My companions took the other robber hostage and tried to pressure him for information as we searched the hidden rooms. We did find a good amount of gold and silver, as well as some mysterious notes and books.
The bandit’s name was Rigby and I felt kind of bad for him; he was uneducated and appeared to have little opportunities in life other than to join Frey and her robbers. He also was always stuck in the dark, dank basement guarding the loot. As we interrogated and searched Rigby he did reveal something terrifying, that the Frey has been using undead skulk to protect her treasures! I immediately wanted to leave the house after hearing that!
After my companions were satisfied that they got as much information as they needed from Rigby they tied him up and left him in the house. I did want to take him back to Meadowfen but I was overruled. I suppose it is best we continue on our way to Winnowing Reach with Eliza. The sooner we get there the sooner we get to Alderhart and complete this important mission!