Serenity, Indeed

In a Festival Fix
Much can go awry during the festival preparations...

As the day began in Rinn Town, Poly the gnome strode the grounds for the upcoming festival. Throughout, people of all races were setting up their booths and unpacking their wares. One table caught her eye, that of Nebel Dalbones, another gnome. Poly decided to help the other gnome in setting up the booth.

Zephyr, a human native of Rinn, was also strolling the grounds that morning, looking for work. After some minor persuasion, he convinced Nebel to pay him a few silver pieces for some manual labor.

Raven Mourner, a human from the Northern country of Pevenath, was in town for the festival. Though he was looking for noble questing opportunities, he had to settle for helping an ageing wheelwright. The wheelwright needed to carry out a heavy anvil from inside his shop, so as to ply his trade in the good weather. After the two of them dragged the anvil out the front door, the wheelwright dropped his end in surprise: the half-finished wheel outside his shop was now completely crafted. As the two stared in wonder, the door to the shop toppled forward, detached from its hinges. Raven noticed a metallic wasp-like creature perched on the door frame. It took off and flew down the lane; Raven followed.

Meanwhile, Thorial the elf was also browsing the festival grounds. After noticing a motley group at one booth, Thorial joined Nebel’s helpers just in time for the gnome crafter to unveil his wares. An assortment of wind-up toys, self-propelled gadgets and small automatons rolled around the display table. After a small crowd gathered, Nebel pulled out a case from behind the table, “Ladies and gents… I have here in this case two wonders of magic and mechanics! They can repair almost anything given to them! Behold!”

And the case was quite empty.

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Some Light Gardening
Our heroes try their hands at 'agriculture'...

A few days after the unlikely events that brought them together, Thorial, Raven Mourner, Zephyr and Poly had again separated during their time in Rinn:

Though the rainy-season hadn’t begun yet, the festival was well under way; and Thorial was partaking of the sights, sounds, merchants and events therein.

Raven Mourner began the day at the Wand & Scepter Tavern, along with Zephyr. While Raven Mourner was enjoying a morning drink, Zephyr was flaunting his shiny new set of armor to the locals, having purchased it with the spoils won from the kobold kidnappers.

Poly had returned to her home in Baravar’s Hollow after the events with the kobolds, and had earned some bragging rights with the residents there. At the present, however, she was in Rinn to partake of the festival. As she was browsing the merchants (some being fellow gnomes), Poly spotted a small black-and-white bird in front of one of the merchant stands, looking expectantly back at her. Upon closer inspection, she found a small scroll tied to the bird’s leg. The scroll read:

Everia, I trust you have arrived well. I know that you are preparing for the festival, but I need Yellow Petany, and quickly. I can give you another pair of enchanted baubles as payment if you can bring me eight ounces of the herb within the week. Do not cut them from the root; I need the specimens to be whole. Heremon

As the bird flew away, Poly decided that she needed help in tracking down Everia, and began to round up her unlikely companions. Once together, the group asked around and scoured the town, apparently always a few steps behind their missing halfling. Realizing the prompt need of the letter’s writer, the party decided to leave a note for Everia, and acquire the letter’s request themselves.

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The Culling of the Ankhegs
First gardening, now animal husbandry...

After an unusual errand, Poly, Raven Mourner, Thorial and Zephyr found themselves in the city of Serenity. It had been some days after they arrived, and the unlikely quartet awoke to the steady drizzle of the rainy-season.

As Raven Mourner overslept at The Silver Table, Zephyr tried to remedy a hangover in the common room. Around at the town hall, Thorial spotted a posting for some work in the farms north of the city: apparently some of the farmers have an ankheg infestation that needs to be dealt with. Armed with a new task and in need of reinforcements, the elf headed back to round up his companions.

Meanwhile, Poly was browsing the rain-soaked marketplace. One of the merchants flagged her down with a proposition: her name was Mareshka, and she had need of a delivery crew. Without knowing the full details, Poly returned to The Silver Table as well.

With everyone awake and together, the group decided to see what Mareshka had to offer, and try to help out the farmers afterward.

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Taking to the Sewers
A terrible place to lose something...

A few rainy days after they last got together, the group was enjoying some minor fame from having aided the northern farms. Although, having been revealed as a changeling, Zephyr spent the interim time in a number of guises, and missed out on the repute associated with his ‘normal’ face.

The start of the day found Raven Mourner fast asleep, Poly bragging to some local gnomes, Thorial (and his new loyal canine companion) browsing the marketplace, and Zephyr heading to Mareshka’s Magic Shop to pick up some newly-enchanted armor.

Over in the marketplace, one merchant caught Thorial’s eye. This merchant was selling a magic amulet that would summon a giant bee to serve the wearer. Thorial was intrigued, but not willing to pay the asking price of 500 gold. Apparently the exchange drew some attention, as some of Poly’s fellow gnomes noticed and went to observe. Poly followed.

Meanwhile, Zephyr found out that his armor was supposed to be delivered to the shop earlier that morning by Mareshka’s delivery boy. He never showed, so an agitated Zephyr went to investigate. After checking with a blacksmith across town, the annoyed changeling went looking in the marketplace. There, Zephyr met up with Thorial, just as he purchased the ‘bee amulet’, and just as Poly arrived. Once together, the three of them continued to look for Mareshka’s delivery boy in another part of town.

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No Honor Among Thieves
A covert mission for a very important figure...

Two days and many baths after exploring the sewers, Poly, Raven Mourner, Thorial and Zephyr could all be found within the walls of The Silver Table, protected from the incessant rain. Raven was asleep in his room, Zephyr exchanged stealth tips with his new assistant Olffrick, and Poly and Thorial were entertaining the morning crowd with tales from the sewers. One listener seemed more intent than the others…

Both Poly and Thorial noticed him at the same time: a bald dwarf with a gray beard walking between the storytellers; the other patrons seemed to move aside to let him pass. After a short time, the dwarf pulled Poly aside and introduced himself. He was Telnik Stoneaxe, head of the city guard, one of the four members of the ruling council, and one of the heroes that liberated the city years ago. And he had a proposition for the group.

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Night Falls and Serenity Falters
A midnight meeting and devilish doings…

Fresh from the underground hideout, our group had found evidence of an upcoming meeting with the unknown thieves’ sponsor. The sponsor was going to be at the Giant’s Table crossroads at midnight, awaiting the thieves’ activity report. Charged by Telnik of the town council, the group was charged with uncovering this mysterious sponsor.

Rested up and having less than a day to prepare, each member of the party managed to go about his or her business before the nighttime meeting. Poly, Raven Mourner, and Thorial began the day in the Silver Table, where they picked up the latest news: this year’s rains were causing unprecedented sinkholes in the Northeast area of the city, which also seemed to be causing the livestock to act strange. Furthermore, Telnik the dwarf had fallen ill overnight. The unease in the town was almost palpable.

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Down, Down, Down, to a Burning Ring of Fire
To seek what’s hidden under the herbalist’s home…

A week after the spate of ominous events, the city of Serenity was beginning to calm down. Fat Tiger had been assisting in the reconstruction of the town wall, Poly had resumed her routine of feeding her ‘pet’ mimic, and Raven Mourner slept late each morning. Thorial had spent some of the time gathering news, and this particular morning was no different.

Apparently the prior attacks from the gruesome nighttime creatures happened all throughout the city; the casualties were relatively light, as most people fled in terror from the horrible things. Luckily, all of the creatures were completely gone by the following morning. No new sinkholes had formed in the Northeast grazing fields, but the sinkholes that already had formed have not been filled in, making those roads and fields still quite dangerous.

As a final piece of news, Telnik Stoneaxe was finally recovering. This was further evidenced by the fact that Thorial received a note from the dwarf, requesting the group’s presence for another mission.

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Trogs and Tribulations
A lizard problem gets in the way of the next strange stone...

One week after their last outing, the city of Serenity seemed to be getting back to normal. The town wall had been repaired, and Telnik had recovered from his unknown illness. Acting on the good news, Raven Mourner began the day by going to see the dwarf. Upon reaching the town hall, however, he was met by Telnik’s assistant Isabella. She relayed that the councilman was indisposed at present, but he did have a new task for the group.

Isabella wanted the group to continue investigating the strange stone columns. The stones were somehow related to the recent events in town, and their source and purpose needed to be determined. Isabella was aware of the recurring inscription on the stones, and she charged Raven with returning to the thieves’ hideout and getting more of the inscription.

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