Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Prologue To Chapter Sixteen...

Bothwell and J'Homme were delighted to have Kennet back safe and sound

Marigold groaned and rolled over in her bed. She could hear the clatter of sword-on-sword as Kirchin and Holly sparred below the window of her room in the courtyard of The Merry Riot Inn.

It wasn't just the celebratory drinking from the previous night that was making her feel ill. She was still disturbed by what had happened when she snuck away to the tavern's cellar to try out her newly-found 'tentacled wand'.

The ale had been flowing freely - as landlord Bothwell refused to take coin from anyone, so pleased was he at the return of his errant son - but Marigold was twitchy and wanted to know more about her new possession.

Peter Entwhistle still didn't feel like his old self
In the shadows of the cellar she tried waving it at casks, mugs and crates, but then a large rat scuttled across the floor.

She pointed the wand, pressing down on the tentacle as she did and promptly vomited when the rat stopped in its tracks, spasmed and then folded flat into a thin envelope of flesh.

The creature's bones had somehow been pulled outside its body and lay in a rat-shaped pile next to the furry skin sack.

Covering her mouth, she ran back upstairs, past her partying colleagues - who were too in their cups to notice - and up to her room.

Well, at least now she had an idea of what the wand did!

Marigold's mentor, Peter Entwhistle, had spent the evening stuffing his face with food. Probably due to his extensive wounds, he still didn't feel quite right - despite the miraculous effect the 'joy juice' had had on him.

Although his colleagues had decided to return to the abandoned house to retrieve what treasures they could, Peter had declared that he would be returning to bed, and for them to wake him when they got back.

Berk wants the Joy Juice
The chubby bald halfling, Berk (co-owner of Berkclay Brothers Brewery), was fascinated by Peter and Marigold's descriptions of the powerful 'joy juice' and kept rubbing his hands gleefully asking Marigold if she could bring some more back from the house.

His rather slimy persona persuaded her not to reveal the fact that she already had a couple of extra vials of the mead-like liquid in her pack.

Nursing a thick head, Kirchin had risen early - having promised to work with Holly on some basic fencing techniques to hone both their skills.

Chatting with Bothwell, the ebullient publican had agreed to loan him a wheelbarrow, which was what Kirchin had wanted to retrieve the suit of platemail from Jerol's manse.

Holly had spent a great deal of the night before, and this morning, talking to the locals about Jerol of Jirrey. Piecing it all together with her own knowledge of the region's lore, she now had a better understanding of the legendary adventurer and his comrades in The Most Excellent Brethren (Jerol's very successful adventuring and trading company).

After she had sparred with Kirchin for a bit, she was going to visit the druid's circle outside the village and harvest some herbs to make healing balm for the party's return trip to Jerol's haunted mansion.

Davian was regretting agreeing to sample the Berkclay Brothers 'fire ale' during the boisterous celebrations for the return of young Kennet, but despite the heartburn he was now suffering, he was determined to find out more about the eternium 'skull ring'. Despite its very basic design, the ring seemed resistant to all damage.

Dwarvish tradition associated the mysterious metal with 'good fortune' and Davian scratched at his beard as he wondered if this ring would somehow grant him luck.

Having spent most of the last night gargling honey mead, poured for him by the tavern's three serving maids (the sisters Darly, Dayla, and Dayl), Harry was delighted to discover that come the morning his voice had returned.

With a song on his lips, and confidence in his heart, he was just about to try out his onyx bow at a target he had set up on the far side of the courtyard, when Marigold threw open the window of her room, stuck her head out and proceeded to be violently sick... breaking his concentration!

Darly, Dayla, and Dayl
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