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Trouble at the Tavern

Posted in: Weekly Update by Ariel on January 25, 2008

I have sinned. The moment I opened the kitchen door I realized it. Perhaps the monkey screams brought me to my senses. How could I lose sight of my purpose? What blood lust possessed me to pursue the ape-man when my duties are always to the health of others. When I peered through the window and saw the ape-man gloating over his treasures, it”s like all else fell away.


Sure I said one little prayer to Pelor, but that was for me. To help me kill this man. And why? Sharasen, the trapped cleric of St. Cuthbert, should have been my focus.

It had already been a busy day. We were coming back from the Mayor”s house when Rufus brought us Jenya”s plea. It seemed like a good idea to see the Mayor. Ever since our first meeting with him, he”s seemed like a dupe, a dangerous dupe. I asked Myntilly, who is very charming, if she would agree to my casting a spell on her. The spell is called Eagle”s Splendor and it makes the person more charming (but only for 5 minutes.) She agreed. I told her that I wanted to also cast a spell called Zone of Truth when we were with the Mayor. All of us would be within a aura of truth; no one, no matter how charming, could tell a deliberate lie. Pelorian prayers are generally phrased as affirmations, so I felt like I could get away with casting the spell in the Mayor”s hearing. We discussed truthful phrases that she could use if the Mayor asked uncomfortable questions. We needn”t have bothered.

As we sat down to tea with him, I said, “May Pelor find truth within this room.” The Mayor smiled quizzically but Cinder assured him that I was always spouting out such pieties. Did we learn anything useful? We shall see, but in my heart I think so. The Mayor relies on the advice of a Lord Valanthor, who he has never really met, not face to face over a pot of tea. He has met the Lord in darkened rooms once or twice. I will not be dissuaded from believing that Lord Valanthor is the beholder we met a few weeks ago. Kasmojin called the beholder “lord”. Slim evidence, I realize, but I know I am right.

The Mayor blathered on about the Flood Festival. Frankly I was put off (he doesn”t seem to appreciate Pelorians), but Myntilly and Cinder seemed intrigued. Myntilly was brilliant in flattering him: “Where do you see Cauldron in five years?” The Mayor is in love with the sound of his own voice….. I did enjoy the Earl Grey tea.

On Lava street — we were on our way to Skye”s Treasury — Rufus came running up with a message from Jenya of St. Cuthbert”s. Could we come to her right away? Jenya was in such a state that I cast “Calm Person” on her so that she could complete a sentence. It barely helped. She thrust a scrap of parchment at Cinder. “Read. Read this. Oh no, oh no!” The note was some sort of magical writing spell. Sharasen wrote to Jenya telling her that he was under attack at the Lucy Monkey tavern. He has the wands and he”s been attacked by an ape-man. He”s taken refuge in the basement, but he”s hurt badly.

“I can get you mounts. The Lucky Monkey is just half day”s ride from Cauldron.” Jenya clutched at hem of Sadi”s cloak. “Please.”

As we were saddling the horses Rufus came running up. He”d been to the Cauldron Visitor”s Center and was bringing us a couple of brochures for the tavern. God be good, the place is huge.

The journey was uneventful. Krylscar has cast his lot in with us. He was dead useful in freeing the prisoners and he is a handsome fellow, so I don”t mind that he is with us. He says he felt eyes on us during the journey but I wonder — neither our ranger or our rogue could find a source.

We had plenty of time to study the layout of the tavern. Cinder and I were in agreement in our belief that the basement stairs must be the stairs shown in the kitchen. We convinced the others to make the kitchen first priority. At that time I was still focused on the right objective — rescuing Sharasen. Myntilly saw what none of us saw — a back entrance for the kitchen!

Once there, we crept around the east side of the building. Cinder could hear banging — almost like construction or something. There was a window to the left of the kitchen door. Cinder slowly raised up to look through. She saw a huge ape-man counting gold coins. We discussed ways to enter the building. The doors open out, so we could not hope to sneak in. Krylscar was all for doubling back and approaching the kitchen from another part of the building. Cinder reported that the only set of stairs she can see go up. I stood silent. What to do? Where in the name of Pelor is the basement?

We let our voices get too loud; we hesitated too long. Our strategy session was interrupted by a roar! The ape-man had heard us. Sadi immediately rushed to the base of a nearby tree. I stepped to the right and was surprised to see another window. Krylscar grabbed his halberd. Myntilly and Cinder followed Sadi”s action and headed for the trees. Through the window I saw the ape-man. His back was toward me.

The roar brought many allies into the kitchen. I counted 8 men (they looked like men. Normal men except they all had a red sash around their waists.) I called out the enemy number to my friends and then I said my prayer. The notion of killing the ape-man had suddenly filled my brain to the exclusion of all else. On the heels of my prayer, I cast another spell — Spiritual Weapon which created a shimmering mace that attacks an enemy for 5 minutes. I set it upon the ape-man.

The melee was intense. From the trees Sadi, Myntilly and Cinder could fire ranged attacks. One group of men attacked from the kitchen door. The door, when flung open, slammed into me. Another group attacked from the left-hand side of the building. One of Sadi”s shots went wild and hit Cinder. But overall my friends in the trees dealt injury upon injury to the attackers. The man who”d hit me with the door was pinned to the tavern wall by one of Cinder”s arrows.

As the battle turned in our favor (thank you for your blessings, Pelor), the ape-man fled through a door in the kitchen, carrying some of the loot from the table. Almost against my will, I was impelled to follow. I rushed through the kitchen, ignoring the fallen enemies, ignoring Krylscar who was rolling on the floor from a hit to his crotch, ignoring even my own injuries. Where was the ape-man?

3 Comments

  1. Oh Cinder, and my comrades… I’m so sorry to have hurt you. Our extended stay below ground, has caused a nature loving, outdoors gal to feel like a fish out of water. I pray to Pelor, that my outdoor prowess will return, and that my arrows may fly true again.

    Comment by Sadi Atallah — January 25, 2008 @ 12:44 pm

  2. No worries, Sadi. You let loose the truest, sharpest arrows I have ever seen, and I have learned much from watching you. Besides, I saw that squirrel jump past your arm just as you were releasing your shot. (He is probably the ape-man’s little pet.)

    Comment by Cinder — January 26, 2008 @ 10:09 am

  3. Sadi, am I making a convert of you? Since when did you pray to Pelor!? Do you need any informational literature? We have a little magazine called The Sunbeam….. Very inspirational.

    Comment by Indira — January 27, 2008 @ 8:43 pm

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