Draviga's Tale

The part I: Search for Elisa

Yölliset seikkailut täysikuun loisteessaI have spent few days in Stoel and soon drifted to bad reputed Trapps. I had no money and so I have joined the food line in the Guild of the Free. I met my old friend Orion there too. I came with him to Stoel. One day the priest of the Guild of the Free had a mass. It was a teaching story of someone called Maodighomhnaig. To me it was only a story.

One day we gathered a corner of the guildhall. In addition of priest of Ceoline, Orion there was local female thief, Shan and Morganbach Tval, shortly Morgan. In addition Jacquel, or "Jack" from Orinoco and Magnus "Dam" Harleigh from east, Daelton. They were both bards but although Dam was better player and singer I like to watch Jacks dance. They all including Morgan were apprentices of the Guild's wizard, Dark Master, and had made some kind of oath to him.

In addition of brother Stone, Jiro Ivich and Dark Master one of the leaders was One-Hand. He was founded the Guild. I had heard rumors that he was once guard but get caught for theft and lost his right arm. There must be thousands of members in the Guild of the Free. The main part of members is good people from Trapps unlike the people in the Crossing. I heard that lately a part of the members wanted that the Guild should change its activity more profiting. The beggars and other scum should be kicked out and stop helping them. The members who separated are called Uskans.

After the mass Jiro who was helping One-Hand called us. He told us that we had spent enough time here and we should do our part to help the Guild. Jiro gave us the first mission. We had to find daughter of Eorl Goldsmith. She had disappeared few days ago. If we were successful and found Elisabeth he would pay us a good reward. This warmed our mind.

After an incredible long conversation and speculation we finally went to see Eorl Goldsmith. The ferry trip was really expensive, 2 pieces. Wizard Morgan and brother Orion went to talk with Eorl and Jack and I waited outside. I suppose that guards would not let us all in to gold shop. Dam and Shan went to do something else. Finally Morgan and Orion came out and told us following: Elisabeth was supposed to marry local noble, Filippo Greenwall. Eorl showed them a crystal ball where was picture of Elisabeth. We went to plan our next move to a good tavern dam had suggested. Tavern was Old Angry. Beer was as watered as it was anywhere else.

After a while we came to conclusion that we should talk the Greenwalls too. They may have some information. When we left the tavern, we heard that there was an execution in Geston Square today. When we crossed the Geston Square we saw a lot of entertainers and jongleurs. I tried to keep low profile because I was sure that there was other thieves working in addition of Shan. The one entertainer grabbed me on shoulder and took a silver coin from my ear.

When crown concentrated on the entertainer and me, someone yelled 'thief'. One of the city guards recognized me and quickly they circled me. I am not a great warrior, even though everyone believes that, and I didn't trust my luck on that day, I surrendered. I drop my scimitar and all my daggers, the one I had in my boots too. I saw that I had spoiled their day by doing that. I will not let them kill me today. That lord Kreed will have my wrath someday if I get a chance...

Guards dragged me to jail and Jacquel followed us to the guardhouse. I was not alone in jail there was also old and ragged man. I checked that man if he still was alive and as the reason why he was here. He asked me to come closed and gave me a strange dragon ring. He warned to give it anyone. Before I could respond I head sound of boots and door opened. Priest in white came with two guards and took my cellmate away, obviously to be hanged.

Because most of my clothes and tools were taken away I tied the ring back of my hairs. After a moment I head sound for door and suddenly it opened. In the doorway stand a guard but he was somehow familiar. Then I realized that his sound was just like the entertainer had in the Geston Square. He took a coin behind my ear and said that he would help me away if I find answer to his riddle:

"What you must keep if you give it?"

I told several wrong answers in panic but finally I found the answer. The word. I grinned to me and went to the other cell to make diversion. I closed the door and waited a moment. I heard sound of guards going farer and begin to sneak out

Maybe it was destiny or luck but I didn't found anyone in the main room. I found my equipment on the table. I grab them and then listened the front door. I heard two guards chatting and opened the door a little. I saw same two guards standing near door. I pondered a moment. Then I took my dagger and cut the cords of two bows. I wore green cloak guards used and moved to the door. I took a deep breath and then I kick the door open and run. I wished that the guards were heavily equipped and could not run as fast as I can.

I run several minutes and slowed before a street corner. When I regained I begin to remember where is the nearest safe house of the Guild of the Free. After few hours I finally found one. They let me in to rest. Because it was late and the picture for caught was fresh in my memory I stayed for night. The old woman living in the house was unkindly when I asked food. I had no money so I could not hire a boy to deliver message to others.

In the morning I continued my journey and headed to shore. I went to sell my old cloak but old bloodsucker merchant didn't want to buy it and I had to sell the guard cloak. He gave me a silver piece, which appeared to be real when I bit it. I went to docks and there was new problem. The ferryman could not give be money back for silver because he had so few customers in this morning. And money changing was expensive. I went to near tavern and drank a beer. Innkeeper gave me back eight copper pieces. Then I paid and ferryman took me over the river.

I found Orion for the Guild of the Free. We thought that the others are in a tavern in the Crossing. We traveled back and found others in the inn called Old Angry. Magnus had own room in that inn and seemed that he had fell in love to the daughter of innkeeper. I didn't explained all my adventures and hear what the others had found.

Morganbach had visited in Pelles and talked with Filippo Grimwall. Elisabeth was fiancée of his son Filippo junior. The junior was so upset for his fiancé's disappearance that Morgan could not talk with him. Senior told that Elisabeth had a lover Cain before Filippo. Cain was criminal and was later sentenced to mortuary. Also Lili the servant girl who was with Elisabeth that Elisabeth had disappeared in Docks when she was washing her hands. Morgan heard also rumors that the place was haunted.

Morganbach asked if Greenwall could arrange my freedom because I was essential to the mission. After that they had returned to city and went to Geston Square. Before execution there was announcement. They were going to hand some Erhard Silly and three of his companions, White-Eye, Halland Perivan and Calmansil Scarred, were promised good reward.

Then a beggar came to ask two coppers for Shan. She needed them for her coffin. When she didn't get them she stabbed herself and died. Orion, our healer priest, tried to help her but he could do nothing. This caused chaos especially when someone yelled that he saw that priest killed the beggar. Soon the city guards arrived and feared priests of Brotherhood of Light and they took Orion with them. Orion was taken to the Grace to some temple and he had been questioned but for some reason let go after that.

Those priests of Brotherhood of Light are nasty people. They think that all other races except humans are automatically unclean and tainted by darkness. Because of them in Alhraed and Orinoco everyone chases orcs, elves and other non-human. Here in Stoel they do not have very much power yet but I know that they have planned to change that. I heard that they are collecting money to build a huge cathedral.

At night Jacquel, Shan and Morganbach, had been stalking a ghost and then found it. Morganbach had run first and after he came back the ghost had possessed Jack and spoken on her mouth. The spirit of Elisabeth claimed that Cain had killed her and took her body over the river. The girls who were nice yesterday looked like they have aged ten years. Fortunately I did not mention that to them as Dam did or I could have shared his fate.

At the same night brother Stone ordered Orion to do a mission. Jack, Shan and Dam had met man called Gath. He had claimed that he knew where Cain was and he had resurrected Elisabeth. He had promised to reveal the hideout if they do him a favor. We had to get a body of gladiator Vladenko from mortuary and bring it to a merchant in the Crossing. Dam had found out that there was something wrong in the death of Vladenko. One of his opponents had used poisoned dagger. The men were supposed to be unarmed in that combat.

That followed a long conversation what to do next. The innkeeper came to us and gave Shan a pouch. Inside the pouch was a small rope and tip of dagger. I mentioned to Shan that in D'Urd that was a warning of assassins. And victim was Shan. The strange meetings with beggars continued when we left the inn. A little earlier a man had asked two coppers and now that man was hanging in the front of door. To increase out information we decided to meet Eorl and Grimwall senior once more. Because I was not interested to walk among city guards I joined the party going to Eorl. We didn't get more information and we decided to meet Gath who was in Red Dragon Inn.

When we got inside I decided to stay downstairs and guard our party's back. Others went to the room number 5. I completed my disguise by ordering a beer. I waited long but finally they came back. Orion was looking angry and Jack told me that Orion and Gath had long dispute concerning the religion. Gath made no sign to ease the job and refused to reveal the whereabouts of Cain if we do not bring the body of Vladenko. We returned to Old Angry.

There Shan and Dam told us that Cain had broke to the estate of family Greenwall, get caught and sentenced to mortuary. The mortuary is located south from Trapps. Philippo Older mentioned also that there was wanted sign for me when I had "disappeared" from jail. Shan used a lot of words that were not nice for the chauvinist Greenwall Senior.

We decided to see Gath once more, this time Morganbach led us. Our intention was to lie to him and try to get more information. When we get to the Red Dragon innkeeper told us that Gath had moved to the room seven. I stayed first downstairs but when I heard noise from upstairs I went to assist others. When I arrived I saw illusion of big and sturdy barbarian to disappear. We smell bloodroot from room seven and broke in. If someone was smoking bloodroot he could not resist us. The room was however empty and there were no way out especial when we closed the door. Dam cast a spell and announced that there was nothing magical in room, in other words no one was invisible.

We found Gath from room five. Morganbach begin to speak like mad and soon we, the common people, lost the red line. According to our plan we lied to him that we would do his job although we were planning how to get him to the hands of Brotherhood of Light. Still we didn't get more information except that target of Vladenko's body was merchant Eumark.

At the same time Orion and Jack went to tell the priest of Brotherhood of Light that there were a worshipper of evil in city. And after we left the inn we heard that Gath was caught by the Brotherhood of Light and tortured to death. Morganbach went to ask for the temple of Brotherhood of Light but didn't get any useful information for Gath. We decided to return to the Trapps.

During the ferry trip before anyone paid two coppers the ferryman went mad. He took his dagger and cut the rope. Luckily Shan and I got the ropes before they dropped to the water. Someone managed to force ferryman down and I tied his legs and seized his money pouch because we had money shortage. He tried to struggle and drop to the river. The ropes didn't help him and he disappeared to under waves. We managed to get into the Trapps with the ropes.

The lacking of out clues we went to chat captain Daniel who was in charge of mortuary. I had to stay away because I was outlaw. The journey was futile because we didn't have enough gold coins to bribe him. That was my opinion.

At the same evening when we were on the Guild of the Free pondering our difficult mission Jiro came and said something about lazy people but he went away when he noticed that we didn't listened him. After a while a man appeared to the door. He told us something about murdered friends of One-Hand that lived in southern Trapps. After that he fell down and we saw small needle in his back. Orion went immediately to peek out and he got hit of needle too. We went carefully out and tried to locate the assassin with blowgun.

Others lost their interest soon and went away, probably to search the murder area. Only Dam stayed with me. One of us noticed a movement on the balcony of next building. We agreed that the building must be searched. The needles were shot from there, probably. Dam waited on front door while I sneaked to the backdoor. I put some heavy objects on it and then we went in. Place looked like ordinary tavern except the waitresses were topless. Dam wanted to sit for a moment in bar but I went to upstairs.

I came to some kind of corridor and there were doors on both sides. I walked to the door that I suspected to lead to the balcony. I opened the door a little. I saw a woman lying on bed. She winked to me and tried to lure me in with her forefinger. Unfortunately I had to leave her because my money pouch was empty. So I closed the door and tried to find trapdoor to the roof or secret doors. Finally I realized my pitiful situation and because I was alone I went back down.

We drink couple of beers with Dam before we went back to the Guild of the Free. The guild was deserted.

After an hour the other members returned. Jack explained that they had had a fight with monster that looked like Elisabeth. The monster was banging a door when Morgan had cast a spell on it. After a short fight it had fled towards the shore. In the house was a little wife, a doper of bloodroot, with her children. They had followed the beast to the river where it wounded by Jack dived and disappeared. Morganbach was in bad shape and he mumbled something about little green men. Shan had had some wounds too and had been paralyzed for a moment but was recovered.

Angry Jack demanded Orion to have conversation with us, with me and Dam for the immoral life. They would have needed us in the battle. Orion took us father but he was fortunately sympathetic to us; he was not married man either.

We made new conclusions when something strange happened again. Orion noticed that Shan's backpack was moving and then his silk rope came out. It moved like a snake. It started to harass Shan and cornered her. Dam dodged the rope easily and then went out with Jack. At some point someone hit the rope and cut it into two pieces. Now we had two slithering ropes. The other attacked Orion. I tried to keep the other down and then Shan tied several knots to it. The situation calmed and I took a lantern and lit it.

A man appeared to the room. The man, Tartaros, claimed that he had seen a man who looked like wizard sneaking outside. Morganbach didn't accept that explanation but suspected that Tartarus was behind the incident. Someone made even a joke that he had charmed to Shan. Well, we let him go but I followed him in shadows. He went to a tavern and begin to drank beer. I took a pint too and went to corner table to drink it. The man seemed to sit by himself and didn't talk to anyone in an hour so I decided to return back to guild.

The security level of Guild house had lowered and we decided to go somewhere else. Jack and Shan decided that we could go to their house and when no one had anything against that we headed to there.

Immediately at the door we noticed that something was wrong. There were muddy footprints on floor. We moved carefully inside and noticed a blood on the floor. It was coming from the second floor. Morgan and I went to examine the source. The house seemed a little rotten. Later Shan told that she had fallen through the second floor and I saw the mended hole. Anyway, we climbed carefully and avoided the most rotten steps. Morganbach showed the light.

We found a body on the second floor. It was lying on floor. Just in case I took my scimitar and turned the body to its back. The faces were familiar. He was Tartaros, a man I left a moment ago to the tavern. The poor man who was still warm had dagger in his chest. Dagger was not unusual except its tip was broken. Shan had a few days ago a tip of dagger but it didn't match to this dagger. Morgan and Orion noticed also that there were some strange runes on floor made by blood. Either they were body's last writings or part of some dark ritual made before we came.

We examined the house thoroughly I even went attic and roof but in vain. When I came back I closed the window and decided to stay and guard the place. When the blood was cleaned and body was thrown outside we went to bed.

In the morning we continued our journey. Because we had an additional body we had to get rid we went to mortuary. We left the body there and heard that the monsters had hit again. We went to the crime scene in the other words two houses opposite to each other. The one I went seemed to be a house of men and women who used bloodroot. The floor and ceilings were red for blood.

However our journey in mortuary was not futile because we realized that Trapps is an island. Behind the mortuary there was dark forest where remain the old cemetery. That would be prefect place for a man like Cain. Nobody would disturb him there. Morgan had money and he rented a boat for a fisherman. He used twenty gold pieces. We took our belongings from the Guild of the Free and begin to row south past the mortuary and towards a dark forest.

The forest seemed as people told it would be. It felt like an evil spirit had floated on it in addition of the smell of rotten corpses. The trees were blackened and leaves were yellow. I cut one branch and noticed that odd yellowish and glowing liquid was dropping in it. We pulled out boat to land and find a path. We followed it and tried to hurry because no one of us would have wanted to stay for the night. After a small walk we came to great tomb. The great door was on the ground. It looked like a great power had hit it from inside.

Shan, who knew the writing, like wizards, recognized runes above the door. They were runes of Alun, The demon Gath worshipped. Inside the door we could not see anything it was covered by darkness. I lit a torch and threw it inside. It disappeared immediately. I heard the sound when it dropped to the ground, but still I could not see the light. Morgan who knew the magic best tried to push his staff inside and finally walked inside. When he came back he told that place was enchanted by a magical darkness but it was otherwise harmless. Our priest warned that the place was full of evil, but that was not surprise to any of us. Happily we walked in.

When we get in we saw the bones on floor to move. They formed into a ten skeletons that had short swords. Silence followed. The skeletons watched us with their empty eye sockets. Then they formed a line and marched down to the stairs. Only two skeletons stayed as guards. Magnus and I approached them carefully. After a few seconds they were bone dust. After that we followed the other skeletons and went down to the stairs. Stairs ended to the great double doors that begin to open without sound when we approached them.

Behind the door we found following: Skeletons we had followed were standing near walls. In the middle there was a large table and chairs. The meal served to the table was brains, eyes, intestine and other internal organs, hands and feet, and fingers and toes and that kind of body parts. Some of us had troubles and they almost vomited. Behind the large table sat a man who raised his voice and invited us to join the meal.

We just met the Cain. Just when our party was inside the doors closed making a booming sound. Behind the curtain came Elisabeth. She was white as dead and her fingernails, which Shan had met earlier, were at least 4 inches long.

After a blink the battle begin when Morgan cast spell on Cain. Immediately the skeletons attacked us. Jack created mirror images around her trying to confuse her enemies. I threw one of my daggers towards the skeletons and then two short sword strikes knocked me down. After a moment Orion healed me and I came to my conscious. But I got two more hits and went down again. My last memory was that my new friends wouldn't leave me here, because they had no way out either.

Finally after a long time I woke. I was dragged out for the tomb. The others were examining the objects they had found for Cain: two magical rings, short sword and a small magic wand or chopstick having a skull rune on it and other runes describing Alun. To my questions the others told that skeletons were destroyed and Cain and Elisabeth were killed. The body of Elisabeth was transformed to slime and we had nothing to bring Eorl. We had not faced fatal losses but everyone seemed to have wounds.

Our party left the graveyard. We made a story for Jiro that contained Uskans and finally he decided to tell Eorl. We played a dice for the magical items and my luck brought me a magical ring. Morganbach told me that it protected against some spells. Next day Jiro came to us and gave us 30 gold pieces. The moneys were from Philippo Greenwall. This was less than promised but we were satisfied. I bought leather armor. It would help me next fight and probably prevent happening that I faced to happen again. And I also enjoyed a couple of beers

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