Nahla/ Arlene, Darvish’khan/ Chris, Jade/ Leigh, Elli/ Shalea, Rowan/ David C., David/ David R.
Serinda is a nice, quaint little town, and the smallest we have been to. There are two parts to the town – the old town which has a palisade, and the newer. The palisaded area that Elli was being held in is just outside the old town, and its palisade backs up to the town’s. There’s a small river (the Folly River – shallow, and likely too small to be navigable) just outside town. The town is focused on farming, and there are probably as many animals wandering through as people.
Elli has all of her gear, including her amulet – she goes into town, greets the first person she sees and asks to be directed to the mayor. She goes looking for the mayor and notices the town flag is green (situation normal). [Shalea tries to give an Elli headache to the GM.]
She goes to the main square and finds it full of people and animals – merchant stalls, people making deals. At the far end of the square is the town hall. There are guards at the door, but the doors are open and people are going in and out. She goes up to the woman sitting behind the desk, introducing herself. The woman has never seen an envoy badge, asks to see it, and kind of fangirls. Elli gently interrupts her to ask to see the mayor. The clerk goes back into the office and brings out an older man with thinning grey hair and a prominent adam’s apple, looking stressed and overworked. The clerk is tugging on his arm, “that’s her! That’s her!”
He hands the envoy badge back to Elli and escorts her into his office. And sends the woman back to the desk. Elli promises to have a chat with her later.
Mayor Aer Rentann offers her tea, and she accepts, if it’s not too much trouble. She sort of blurts out she was kidnapped by bandits and in the palisade just out of town. He’s gobsmacked. He’s further gobsmacked to find out Kolya was in his village and that the farmer’s hostel outside town was being used as a bandit hideout.
Elli tries to explain what we’ve been doing. The mayor reveals they’ve had increasing problems with bandits. She asks for a place to rest until the rest of us arrive. He calls in the assistant and asks her to take Elli to the inn and get her a room at the inn ( The Riddle of the Falcon – not the only inn in Serinda, but the only one you want to stay at).
She also gets rooms for the rest of us. It’ll be half an hour before her room is ready so the innkeeper, Indystan Sherdh, offers her food and drink. She accepts tea but rejects the venison stew in favor of just bread. She’s still not ready for red meat. The mayor’s clerk happily joins her and they chat away. Elli does gently ask if the mayor is expecting her back, “Probably,” is the answer. Elli tells her heavily redacted stories of our activities.
The rooms are ready in about half an hour – it’s a small suite. Once it’s ready, Indystan shoos away the clerk and Elli goes to collapse into a bed.
In the woods outside Serinda, the rest of the group is traveling towards town – they find the Folly River and follow it in to town. Serinda is the only town in our circuit which is not located on the coast, although there are several small farmsteads outside of town which are.
We reach the town as evening falls, right behind some herdsmen with sheep. Darvish’khan avoids the sheep droppings. The herdsmen park their sheep for the night. Darvish’khan asks Elli where she is, but she’s asleep.
He asks the first villager about the best inn in town and we’re directed to Riddle of the Falcon. Indystan greets us and has someone show us to the suite. Jade says she’s taking care of the horses but she’ll see Elli first.
Reluctantly, Nahla gets the venison stew, like the rest of the envoys. Jade immediately pounds on the door to wake Elli. Darvish’khan opens the door and ‘wakes’ her, with his nose. She screeches and grabs his neck, then starts sobbing. Jade hugs them both, hard. As hard as Jade can hug. The inn staff quietly closes the door. Rowan says they’re bringing up some food and does Elli want some? Yes, because she’s apparently been asleep for a number of hours? She still doesn’t want red meat, so Rowan will ask for fish. Elli takes a few minutes to get herself cleaned up while we’re waiting for the food.
They bring the venison stew and a big salad. They also bring five pints of beer, one of them in a bowl. The inn brews their own; very dark ale.
Elli reveals Kolya is related to one of her fathers (Gregor). She’s about to explain when Darvish’khan suggests that she think her way through it and he’ll relay it. She also tells us a bit about what she remembers of him; which isn’t much because she was a kid and the adults didn’t tell the kids anything. (Gregor joined the family when she was a small child, and there was talk at that time of Kolya. There were also rumors that he was behind the fire which burned the bakery right before she left for college, though Kolya said that wasn’t him, that it was someone who got ahead of themselves and who was punished for it.)
Kolya mentioned ‘ The Brotherhood’, some kind of bandit gang and possibly the reason for more banditry in the area. No commentary on his contributions to the banditry.
Jade asks how many bandits? Elli mentions that when they finally removed her hood (after several days of being drugged and hooded) she saw a couple dozen? But no sign of the rhy-hawk. But she notes that they apparently lost people to the Morlocks in both Cardosa and as far away as Elsport (!!).
Nahla authorizes Darvish’khan to alert Lady Demina and the capital. Jade sleeps in the stable with the horses, much to the stable boy’s astonishment.
18 Hiathon 320
Breakfast is bacon, eggs, bread, tea. Jade thinks we should pursue the bandits immediately; Nahla points out that we can’t get enough people in time. Jade is really not happy about waiting for reinforcements. Nahla is stubborn and sticks to getting troops first.
Darvish’khan and Elli will go check out the hostel – it is a small compound, built for caravans or people who come into town with small herds to store their animals there. There are two buildings for people and two for animals. Elli realizes the warding was likely cast yesterday; she uses Second Sight to read the signature of the adept who cast the warding.
The area shows signs of being rapidly cleared, but in an orderly fashion. This is no disorganized mob. Only horses were here, no livestock such as goats, sheep, or chickens. Darvish’khan finds their tracks leading out towards the coast – Elli remembers that the group that got eaten in Elsport had been let off a ship, and suggests that this group was possibly going to meet a ship.
Jade goes to the stable to fume while Nahla goes to see the mayor, with Rowan’s company. The clerk is very enthusiastic and when Rowan shows her his amulet, she grabs it and pulls him down. And starts asking questions about their adventures, and when Rowan says he was a refugee from Jarzon, what Jarzon was like? Nahla suggests that Rowan and the clerk can chat while she goes to chat with the mayor.
The mayor wonders if Nahla would like some tea. She would, and apologizes that the mayor’s clerk is likely going to be busy for a bit as she’s “chatting with” Rowan. The clerk is apparently the daughter of a bard, and was raised on tales of envoys and heroism. Alas, she didn’t inherit her mother’s restraint or manners or social skills. Though she is a good clerk and quite bright, which Nahla suggests means that at least she might be able to learn.
The mayor asks after Elli since she seemed a bit frazzled. Nahla says she is, but anyone would be. The mayor is concerned that we go after the bandits quickly; Nahla explains that there are some necessary delays (Darvish’khan and Elli are trying to find their trail, and it will be at least a day before we can get more troops). The mayor says that the sheriff has six trained deputies and we could possibly muster troops from the surrounding area, and that they should include the sheriff in this discussion.
The mayor steps out and calls for his clerk. There’s a pause and he calls her again. Rowan tells her the mayor wants her attention. She releases Rowan’s amulet and goes to talk to the mayor. The mayor asks her to go get the sheriff, Eluera Dullance (vata’sha). She says there’s no messengers available and the mayor reiterates that he wants HER to go. She is very reluctant, but finally goes.
[Darvish’khan: The soldier who has a clerk in every town. Rowan: that’s what I’m afraid of!]
Rowan hurriedly joins Nahla, the mayor, and the sheriff. The clerk is crestfallen as the door closes. Nahla explains, the sheriff wonders when we’re going. Nahla asks how many people the sheriff can muster as Elli saw at least a few dozen bandits, and the sheriff agrees that she can’t provide enough people to deal with that. Nahla explains that she can also ask back to Cardosa for troops as well.
While they’re talking, someone starts banging on the door. The clerk is sitting there with a deputy – “Mayor, sheriff, a ship has run aground at the mouth of the river. I think it’s Jarzoni.” Nahla: “Mayor, may I…?” Mayor: “Please!”
Nahla asks Rowan to retrieve Darvish’khan, Jade, and Elli while she, the sheriff, and two deputies go to the ship.
Rowan rides up to the hostel and lets Darvish’khan and Elli know what’s going on – they go back to the inn to pick up Jade and the horses.
Nahla arrives at the ship – she identifies it as a civilian ship, with the bottom ripped out by rocks, and full of refugees, which farmsteaders are trying to rescue.