As the group neared Grimhollow cave, fondly passing locations where they brutally massacred patrolling hobgoblins earlier in the story, they began to hear the sound of someone singing. A pair of small shoes drying by the water’s edge provided further evidence that someone new had taken up residence in the old cave. Foradjinn dried the shoes, and, while carrying them toward the cave entrance, enthusiastically added his voice to the song. Immediately after the bard began to sing, the other voice stopped. The face of a young boy peeked cautiously out of the cave towards the group, and after some coaxing the child approached the group.
The lad introduced himself as Kyrie, an orphan who was informally adopted by a famous traveling performer Zanmar. Kyrie had enjoyed his life under the tutelage of the famed bard for some time, but it seemed Zanmar had begun to train Kyrie to steal from his enthralled audiences. “I knew it wasn’t right, and so i ran away” Kyrie nobly declared. The adventurers, were less comfortable with a 12 year old child living alone in an abandoned dragon lair. A quick inspection revealed that no fierce beasts had moved in (although something appeared to be whittling away at the dragon corpse in the back), nevertheless, a quick sending spell revealed that Xander of Drift Valley was open to having the boy join him and Caleb (another orphan we met on our first trip to Lylillen) on the farm. Even Kyrie saw the advantages of the proposal that he move to Drift Valley and so it was agreed that the young boy would join the adventurers to Lylillen and make for Drift Valley afterward.
While Igneel showed off his exceptional rabbit catching skills, Syl directed his unseen servant to clean up the cave. Alston indicated some distrust of the boy, who himself acknowledged he was a thief, so, as they settled in for the night, Syl cast alarm around where Kyrie slept.
Indeed late at night the young boy roused himself and began to silently move among the group. Syl watched for a moment then, using minor illusion to project his voice directly behind the poor child, asked what he was up to. A loud yelp escaped from the unsuspecting kid. Fortunately that was all that escaped at the surprise, as it turned out Kyrie was merely heading off to relieve himself.
The travelers roused themselves from sleep (except Syl who was spending his time waiting for the others practicing Sylvan with his Sprite Sisal) had a quick breakfast and set out at a leisurely pace for Lylillen with a lengthy shopping list.
Shopping in Lylillen
Alston retrieved his new rapiers from Thanen, and they were spectacular indeed. Well honed and perfectly balanced for the gnome it was clear the elven smith had great skill. A few test swings had our sneaky friends eyes sparkling with excitement at the two beautiful instruments of death he now held. Next on his list was the dagger Titan had agreed to enchant. There was no answer at the tinkerer’s door however. Crius confirmed that his brother had left for the mages college, but knew nothing about the dagger. He invited the gnome to accompany him to the abandoned house, and after unlocking the door permitted Alston to search the place in the event it was left behind. Determined not to leave without his prize, he searched high and low before finding the weapon left behind with no note (almost as an after thought as the scatterbrained enchanter was leaving). With the promise of bringing flaming death to his enemies the gnome next proceeded to guess at the activation key word. His efforts paid off as he eventually learned the phrase needed to ignite the dagger in a bright burning flame.
Kavendathis also paid a visit to Thanen. The brave paladin, dedicated to protecting others, had commissioned some scale mail be made from the scales of the green dragon they had slain. Defense was his goal, but he got much more. With great pride the smith retrieved a carefully wrapped package. The whole time chatting in excitement about the opportunity to work with such unique materials, Thanen revealed a resplendent suit of dark green armor. The scales, the near giddy elf informed Kaven, were amazing to work with, and exhibited unusual reactions during the creation of the armor. It was discovered that apart from allowing the wearer to move more smoothly and look absolutely smashing, the scales also provide a measure of protection from poison.
Syl immediately headed to Omalen’s place and spent most of the next two days there learning new spells. Omalen being the most formal magic teacher the young elf has had made Syl practically beam with pride at the older wizard’s praise of his ingenuity with the sending spell. Undeterred by electrical shocks and a certain majestic paladin showing off his own magical prowess, Syl studied and practiced with such focus and intensity he was quickly able to master several new arcane formulas.
Igneel, impressed by Thanen’s other works, inquired if the talented blacksmith had anything that might benefit a monk.
“Well, what kind of armor do you wear?” Thanen asked, the reply of “none” came as quite a shock, but not more so than the realization that the younger wood elf more often than not didn’t use a weapon either, preferring his fists instead. “You mean you go into battle unarmored and punch people?, How am i supposed to help you with that!?”
Eventually Igneel produced his unintentionally ostentatious “throwing discs”, and asked if there was a way to improve their effectiveness. “Throwing discs? Aren’t these just gold coi…nevermind. Sure, let’s see what we can do”. With a picture of a throwing star Igneel had from his monastery, Thanen was able to produce several of the deadly weapons…at a one for one exchange for the oblivious monk’s “throwing discs”.
There was a foot race, some bacon, and Foradjinn almost exchanged a sizable sapphire for some basic jewelry making information (fortunately Milana is not nearly so cantankerous as her husband and tried to help the unassuming bard understand the rock’s value and beauty). Foradjinn (intrigued during his earlier arcane studies with Syl) asked Omalen where he might learn more about his magical abilities and was directed to an Arcanist in Port Cecil named Aspar.
Haré via Drift Valley
Eventually it was time to leave Lylillen again, it was decided that the group would accompany Kyrie to Drift Valley and swing by Haré afterward for some unfinished business with the local crime lord, before heading to Port Cecil The journey to the farm was uneventful, prior to their arrival at the farmhouse Syl suggested that Kyrie answer any question posed to him truthfully. Content with his answers they introduced him to Xander. As it turns out the co-owner (and Xander’s brother) Geoffry was uncharacteristically late returning from the solstice festival in Port Cecil. The group agreed to inquire after him as they were already planning on visiting the Capital. Geoffry usually stayed at the Gleaming Star or Laughing Rose inns.
While on the road to Haré the following morning the group discussed their plans for dealing with Ferrin. Alston pretty openly suggested killing him as his preferred option. With thoughts of assassination on their mind the group spied a tipped wagon. Upon drawing closer a woman called out for help. This sounds like an ambush Foradjinn said moving off the road into the trees and casting invisibility on himself. Igneel followed, and Syl (who typically relied on the survival skills of the two travelers) was right behind.Kaven, upon his magnificent pony Cleo, and Alston along side continued on the direct approach down the road calling out to see if the woman was injured. Sure enough as they drew near the wagon a heavily armored half-orc appeared from behind some boulders on the opposite side of the road from Foradjinn, Igneel, and Sylarise. “They look like they should be able to pay well” boomed the blackguard. Not about to suffer the presence of one who clearly extorts money from innocent travelers Kaven didn’t need a second thought and charged.
With an impressive display of skill Cleo knocked the challenger on his back with a powerful kick of her hooves and Kaven took advantage of the situation by stabbing his supine foe with a javelin. Alston followed the initial charge with his typical deadly precision and scored a solid hit. The half-orc was much tougher than anticipated and proceeded to stand up and begin his own assault. Additionally a halfling who had remained hidden suddenly appeared and with his own deadly skill retaliated against Alston. As Kaven and the half-orc faced off, Syl sent his hounds to aid Alston who was having a difficult time matching blows with the opposing rouge. Despite his opponent’s superior damage output, Alston was kept conscious by Syl who was able to heal him from a safe distance with the help of Sai.
Igneel, with his usual speed and dexterity, charged the woman who had begun firing arrows at the group. A swift palm strike to the chest left the archer stunned and with impressive agility the monk leaped over the fallen wagon to join the fight with Kaven. Foradjinn moved in and pressed his sword to the neck of the incapacitated archer and tried to get her to stand down. Although their enemies considered fleeing the fight both the blackguard and the halfing rogue were cut down before they could escape.
Stepping out of the tree line for the first time in the fight Syl cast suggestion on the archer “Cousin, it is good to see you. Why don’t we visit and you can give us a tour of the area”. The magic befuddling her mind, Atunia brushed Foradjinn off of her and greeted our wizard with a warm smile and an affectionate hug.
The bandits worked for a boss out of Port Cecil “acquiring” magical items. Indeed the haul was spectacular. In addition to some gold Alston retrieved boots of speed from the fallen halfling. Atunia informed us that they double the wearers speed. From the fallen blackguard Kaven received some platinum currency and a ring of evasion, allowing him to auto-succeed on three dexterity saves each day. Foradjinn retrieved the archers bow (which had fallen during the battle) and Atunia informed him that it occasionally (on a crit) seemed to deal truly exceptional damage to foes.
The group headed towards Atunia’s camp (as she was getting disheartened at the sight of her dead comrades, but didn’t want to burden her “cousin” with such things). On the way to the camp however, the group learned that Atunia had a wizard friend still in the area…