Last Night in Ganse?
The duel between the half-ogre and the blackguard did not last as long as some of the onlookers and impromptu gamblers had hoped.
For six hours, long after the exhausted companions had returned to the inn in order to recuperate from their assault, Bauer was grilled by the city guard…and then jailed, along with the few remaining guards still loyal to the deceased Farax. Having been explained that one of his punishments for his countless transgressions while serving as Farax willing crony, would be to face the determined Volgottor in a duel as the half-ogre had decreed, Bauer paled but remained silent.
Meanwhile, Aerex, Talia, Kyrian, and Vorodon had slept, and later, rested and cleaned up, the foursome had returned to the barracks to be fêted properly, as the guards had suggested.
Ort Baslo, the freshly elected Captain of the Gansian guard, (after all, Lieutenant Hepple Farax had kept his rank from his days in the Empires army) greeted the companions with his usual non-emotion, but the rest of the guards were thrilled to be rid of the corrupt menace (not to mention serial rapist) and his closest cohorts.
That night, the companions and guards ate and drunk in a low-key, but spirited celebration. Previously, when the companions had returned with Jervoes head, Aerex had been received like a hero and given the title of honorary Gansian guardsman. Now Vorodon, Talia, and the ever-ebullient Kyrian had received similar honors. The foursomes were true heroes…at least in this far-flung little town.
Vorodon had thrashed Bauer in short order. It was hard to tell if the villain begged for mercy in the end. Vorodon’s huge, meaty hands had locked around Bauer’s windpipe, and no one would know if the blackguard had any last words. For a few moments there was silence when Bauer slumped listless to the floor. Then, a pair of junior guards picked his body up and carried out of the room, presumably for a dishonorable burial. It quickly became apparent to the companions that neither Farax or Bauer had been much liked or even respected. But guards being guards, it took an outside party, the Adventurers-Upon-Return, to institute change in the ranks…
Soon after, the party resumed. Voro had only suffered several deep scratches to his face, during the altercation, and was now draining a jug of wine, as he plopped down on the garish purple divan, the massive sofa creaking from his weight.
Kyrian meanwhile had finally gotten a clue in regards to his earlier queries. One guard, Lemek, had perked up at the elf’s description of the maiden, which the knight had earlier referred to in his solicitation for information.
Lemek had recognized the description of the wizard in question. Amelissan, it was a beautiful name, Lemek thought as he addressed Kyrian.
“I saw her sir—umm--sir Kyrian. Saw her with these very eyes. South of here sir. South—I was riding on bandit patrol, maybe a mile south, nary a tenday ago. I saw the one you described. She was sitting on a tree stump and petting an owl she was. All alone, in a little clearing, in foul infested bandit-lands, no less! She spied me, she did sir, and as quickly as she appeared through the copse of laurel, she was gone again, sir, gone. The owl screeched and took off to then sir. And well, that is all I know. Maybe—perhaps, if she was a wizard as you say, she was heading for Ssembra the Southern Pearl sir. Many wizards, priests, and scholars have wondered south from here lately sir--all heading to Ssembra. In four score days, the Symposium will be held."
Lemek paused for breath.
“Yeah, and a thousand windbags will debate which of the thousand gods is the right one.” added another guard and snorted. “May as well stay at home and play with themselves…accomplish the same…” he concluded, impressed with his own wit.
“ Err, umm--perhaps your lady has gone there as well, sir Kyrian?” Lemek uttered in summation.
“If you’re headed down south”, a deep-voiced guard chimed in, be thee careful. Along with the scholars, mystics, and holy men on pilgrimage, you’ll find more bandits than you can shake a spear at, and worse…we have heard rumors that cults are forming in the hinterlands. Cults of foul gods and demons, as always seems to be the case every fifth year, whenever the Symposium is held. The men of the Rainlands--the South, are sheep, and succumb quickly to any pagan charlatan. Travel is treacherous they say…not to mention the Blue Moon will be seen in four days, if star-gazers are to be believed...bad omen that, if you ask me...which you didnt.”
The guard, Creen, drank from a mug of mulled wine, and continued
“There have been rumors”, he dramatically lowered his voice, “rumors of a dragon..and some new cult of monks who revere it...Takkma something, they call themselves. Be thee careful. Spring does not bring hope to Ganse and its environs, it brings woe.” The glum, introspective guard finished his cup of wine, and went off to shoot darts, in the same corner of the mess hall, where Talia and Aerex were presently questioning young Iscar…
The bladedancer and the inspector were speaking to the young man, who was feverishly describing the latest events in far-off Jantir. The political intrigue made Talias mind spin, but Aerex, despite himself, ate up the latest rumors of his city of birth. Recently, one Tolodin of the family Disprantor, had ascended to the most powerful position in the Council of the Eleven Thousand and One. He was the One. This was the very man, Iscar claimed, whose lion-like mane, was not just colorless, but silver and gold and platinum, or a stark blinding white, depending on the suns light. It was in fact…quite like Talia’s own locks. Truth told, Iscar surmised, Talia’s facial features even resembled those of the now famous, Tolodin Disprantor.
After assuring Talia that he indeed was not joking, Iscar began to politely plead with Talia and Aerex to take him with them, if they indeed had intent on traveling to Jantir. The lone guard, who had been only recently banished to this forsaken mining town outpost, did not dare to travel the wilds alone, but now saw an opportunity…
The celebration continued well into the night, and before long, Vorodon had beaten every guard in the barracks in a friendly arm-wrestle…twice each.
<OOC> Ssembra is 150 miles south of Ganse. Jantir is 550 miles east of Ganse. Ssembra is a major port however, where one may cut down on travel time to Jantir, by boarding passage on a ship bound for the Empire's capital....Just a geographical primer...Feel free to go and do whatever you wish!.</OOC>