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[Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted

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Chaosmark:
Food and sleep. After a long day walking along the road, that was all Ren wanted. Sleep she could find as easily as climbing onto a roof somewhere, but food was a different matter. She wasn't sure that fish-onna-stick was quite going to cut it, but nothing else she had passed was even remotely appetizing.

As the feline was deciding to turn back and give the "fish" a go, a scent of something truly delicious wafted right past her nose and grabbed hold of her stomach like the hand of a god. Whatever that was, she wanted it. Letting her keen sense of smell guide the way, Ren made her way through the crowd. The path led to an inn of some kind, with a golden spear of some kind she'd never seen before hanging outside. Going by the name on the sign, it was a "trident".

A quick glance around the interior led her to the bar, where a large, fishy individual was serving patrons. "I'll take a plate of whatever that amazing smell is."

caesar193:
(OOC: I'm just going to assume its dinner time, and Neketh has cooked some food.)

(OOC Talk Two: It seems that some of the stuff I had said was false. I've edited it out, so it may be different from when you last read of Peregrina's exploits)

Peregrina opened her eyes to dog slobber. Geri was anxious, to say the least, to eat. Or maybe just to slobber on Neketh again. Either way, Peregrina was forced to roll Geri off her body, stretch, and don her equipment. Let's see... dagger in case of unruly guests, bow and arrows in case the Trident burned down in a case of arson, and... oh, well. Might as well stuff everything in her backpack and bring it along.

Peregrina trudged down the stairs and gazed across the scene. Mostly humans typical of the area, but there were some odd features. Like that weird masked one.

She strolled up to the counter, gently chastened Neketh for the nickname "Shorty," and got a plate of grub. She sat at a table a little ways away from the masked one, slipped a chunk of meat into Geri's mouth, and whispered a quick command to Geri, to watch the masked guy because, well... he has a mask on. There has to be something wrong with a masked chap. He's probably is some villain with horrific scaring or something.

Wulfhere:
In the Shah’s Stronghold
A cool fountain stood at the center of the castle’s cloistered garden, its water splashing merrily.  Before it stood a gleaming golden statue depicting an androsphinx, its lifelike frown seeming to focus on all who entered the place.  Wandering along the garden’s shaded walkways, Therdamin took in the rare and unusual flowers that filled the garden’s beds.  Many of the garden’s plants were known for their medicinal properties as much as their beauty.  As he wandered, a tall, clean-shaven man approached, his sober features split in an unreserved smile.  This was the court physician, Valnetor Dreimond. 

“Good Therdamin!  I had hoped you would accept my invitation!  It is such a pleasure to see a fellow scholar.”  Valnetor glanced down at the nearby blossoms, bending down to pluck a few, then taking off his brimless cap to use as an improvised bowl.  “Pardon my distraction, but these blossoms have finally reached perfection!  As you can see, whoever first planted this garden either had a fine eye for medicines or a gift for poisons, since most of its plants could be used for either.  I sometimes wonder whether the gardener intended woe or weal, or perhaps... both.

“I had planned to go into the town today, if you’d care to come.  There have been some cases of illness that I would like to study, and I’ve also received word from a noted healer visiting the town.  He’s staying at the inn, so we had best move quickly, lest the place’s fleas drink him dry or their leaden ale sap his wits.” The normally-quiet scholar grinned at the prospect of carousing among the townsfolk.

While the two chatted, one of the Shah’s household guards approached, pausing at a courteous distance until the physician waved him closer.  The soldier touched his  turbaned helm and chest in salute, then began an obviously rehearsed report.  “Esteemed Scholar, it is this humble one’s unfortunate duty to inform you that the handmaiden of Lady Nefertari, the Altanian girl Zahra, has been found… dead.” 

The scholar blanched and stepped back.  “What happened?  I saw her just the other day.  She seemed in perfect health!” 

“’Twas murder, sahib.  She was stabbed scores of times, her jewels despoiled and her remains dumped in an alley.  I have just come from informing the Lady.”  The guard’s voice was quiet, shamed to deliver news of harm to the household he was sworn to defend. 

“By Mitra, such a death bodes ill.  I pray that the malefactor meets quick justice!”  Turning to Therdamin, his previous good spirits were replaced with a frown.  “Let us still journey into town, but I suggest that we don our arms ere going.  With murder in the air, ‘tis the course of wisdom to be prepared.”


In the Golden Trident
A trio of Common Viridians lurched into the inn, their center member supported by two others.  Their appearance coarse and gazes suspicious, they nodded grimly toward the barkeep and carried their ally into a secluded back room.  The disreputable halfling ‘Hands’ followed close after, his urgent whispers punctuated with violent gesticulation.  Throwing his hands up in frustration, the Halfling left the argument to wind between the tables to Exeta Fynn.  The mysterious healer was forced to abruptly put down his tankard, lest his face be exposed to the indignant Halfling’s abrupt approach. 

Ren overheard part of the whispered conversation:
‘Hands’ was angry that the men brought their friend to the Trident, arguing that ‘the Greens’ would be less likely to bring attention to the 'Brotherhood'.  The stranger responded that the Shah’s Household men have started rounding people up in that area, upset over some wench’s death. 

Arriving at his table, ‘Hands’ bowed briefly toward Exeta.  “I see you wear a doctor's mask.  Would you be able to aid an injured shipbuilder?  Our friends have coin, if you can remain discreet.  If his foreman hears of his wound, he’ll surely lose his position.”

valadaar:
Therdamin was dismayed, but did not show it.  One now would meet judgment early, and others would find their hearts much heavier when their time came.

Both were regrettable.

"I'll be but a moment, Doctor Dreimond." he said as he went back to his room to fetch his armor.


Shadoweagle:
Exeta had been growing somewhat disgruntled at the lack of reply to his earlier sent message, and had taken to people watching. There was plenty of colourful people in the Golden Trident; an Elfish fellow had arrived, and the earlier spotted halfling had come back to the common room with her faithful beast, and then there was one of the catfolk! A rare sight indeed; Exeta had only seen one before, and this time he found it was him doing the staring for a change.

His boredom growing, Exeta turned his attention back to the halfling and her pet. "Say there, that's a healthy looking pup you have there! What's the beast's name?"
Exeta didn't get a chance to hear her reply however because just at that moment the shady 'Hands' approached the alchemist with his shady request.
Exeta considered the man for a moment, then glanced over to the entrance of the room where the injured fellow was taken. "Well, my healing talents are rusty - I have taken another route with my learning... You know what, I'll take a look, but I cannot promise anything." Exeta Fynn paused and glanced around the room, his eyes pausing on Peregrina momentarily. "But I have a condition - with respect, I'd like an extra pair of eyes not affiliated... Perhaps the lovely lady and her furred companion here if she agrees?" Exeta nodded to Peregrina.

Ooc: perhaps a Diplomacy check to see if Hands will let someone else come in with him? Or whatever rolls are required there.

Also, quick post made on my phone to keep the ball rolling. I'll tidy it up tomorrow arvo, and sorry if the continuity is shot.

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