The Castle, A Fantasy RP, Chapter 10, Current GM: Mookie_Magnus (Closed)

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Welcome to the Castle! In this RP, things will be done differently. Each chapter will be GM'd by a different person, and each chapter opens up the availability for players to leave if they wish. If you would like to GM a chapter, please tell us in a PM, that way, we know who is GMing in what order. Also, please give us a brief description of what you plan to do whilst GMing, and wait for our approval.

CHAPTER 1: A Man, A Cave, An Adventure

GM'd by Shapsters and Mookie_Magnus

A mysterious man walked throughout the castle, he had a large rucksack full of rolled up posters and was tacking them up to seemingly anything he could. He was putting these posters up for what seemed like hours, and the rucksack still appeared to be filled to the brim with posters. As the day began to wind down, he slowly ran out of posters and slunk his way out of the castle, hood over his eyes, he ran out of the front gate and sprinted down the road away from the massive city.

A green hooded figure wandered through the town, his curly hair stuck out from beneath the hood and a rat was following in his footsteps. He approached one of the posters,

Adventurers Needed!
I am in great need of a moderate sized group of adventurers; I have recently discovered a family heirloom has been lost in the depths of a nearby cave and I must retrieve it before my father passes away! I will be in the Shattered Axe tavern at approximately sundown tomorrow evening, more will be explained!

Many thanks
Arthur Winsler

Nerthach Akland scratched his chin as a bird landed on his shoulder; he softly patted the delicate thing and began walking away from the poster. He had already decided that he would help the man; the forest had been calling his name and he had not answered in what seemed like ages, but who else would answer this man's call? Would it be a rag-tag group of civilians, or a large gathering of mighty heroes? Nerthach would not know until tomorrow, but he eagerly awaited the time he can go back into the place where he truly belonged. The bird flew off toward a bug that was hovering around a lantern and Nerthach calmly watched it snap the bug into its beak and fly off.

Zemica walked freely about the town, looking for work as he often did. His ferret, Gerik, sat perched atop his right shoulder, cleaning his whiskers. Zemica stroked the ferret's soft black body, and light brown face.

"Who's a pretty boy?" Zemica asked affectionately. He approached one of the city's message boards, a large wooden sign where people posted news, jobs, and other various happenings.

"Let's have a look, shall we?" Zemica said to his companion. He perused the various fliers and posters on the board, looking for one that seemed appropriate. He spotted one, and grabbed it from the board. He read it thoroughly, and smiled to himself. He showed it to Gerik, who sniffed it and squeaked slightly.

"You think so, too?" He asked his pet. "Looks like good work. We'll help Mr. Winsler, and receive our payment. Come on boy, let's go."

He turned and left the board, and headed for the local Arena, to test his luck against an opponent.

Chang slowly walked back into the town. His head low in disappointment. He was turned down an audience with the town's king and now has no way of protecting the villagers.

Along the way toward the exit, Chang saw a some civillans reading a poster attached to the board. "We should take this." Said one man to the other "It seems simple enough." The other man turned to him and said "It obviously isn't a simple as it looks. If it was then he wouldn't need adventures. Besides. You don't even know what side of the sword your suppose to hold it by." The two men walked away arguing about the job.

Chang walked up to the board and grabbed the poster. If he couldn't get help from the king. Then I guess he'll have to hire some help with the reward. He put the poster back and slowly walked away to find some shelter in the city.

Kelale had been asleep for most of the day. The day before she had done nothing but help the local villagers stock hay into carts that would would be sent off to the nearby cattle farms. She had hoped for payment, in fact, they had promised to pay her. But in the end they didn't. The poor citizens could only pay her in hay. She kindly accepted, but sadly had no use for it.

Slowly opening her eyes she heard the bustling of the people from the street outside. Standing up from her make shift bed, which was nothing more then a few bed covers and torn pillows, she opened the only window to her lowly hut. Looking out to the city streets she determined that it was about three o'clock in the afternoon. The only way she knew this was because at around this time the street vendors would begin to fight with one another over who's selling what on who's territory.

The day had been relatively calm. Small spurts of wind would come and go, but other then that the day was sunny and humid. Grabbing her things from her room Kelale stepped outside of her hut and began to walk down the crowded market place in search of work.

She searched for jobs, but no one needed help, so she decided to stop by a local food vendor instead.

"Hello Micah." Kelale said to the food vendor.
"Ah, hello Kelale. How are you?"
"I'm ok. I've been searching for work but have yet to find anything."
"Why don't you go help that Arthur Winsler man? He's been tacking posters onto any space he can find all day. Saids he's looking for some adventurers. Something about an heirloom."
"Where would I have to meet him?"

The food vendor handed Kelale a poster and shrugged. Reading over it quickly Kelale finally got her answer.

"Shattered Axe tavern at sundown tomorrow...."

"This things heavy," Dek grunts dragging the stag carcass through the streets, a hole in it's neck indicating it wasn't a natural death.

Morning Dek! smiles the guildmaster, got a good kill the day ain't ya! the mountainous man laughs.

"Yeah blood buck just about tramped me before it went down," he grins sheepishly.

Be worth a good few coins anyway, he winks to Dek, say, you hear about that Winsler guy?

Dek replies with a shake of the head, "nope, how?"

Look, he hands Dek a copy of the poster that was handed in, says he's looking for adventurers. Sounds like it should be an easy job for you. he laughs lifting the stag by the antlers with one hand.

"Hmm, I'll check it out," he grins up at the man, "but first pay me!"

Ya bugger, grunts the guildmaster dropping a bag of coins into his open palm, now get! he chortles before mocking to kick Dek out.

---------------------------------------------

"Shattered Axe Tavern," Dek reads the poster again to let it sink in as he sits eating an apple on the steps, "I'll be there."

Vladek had just arrived in the city. For three days he had been travelling, eastwards, coming from a merchant encampment where his last job had been; Protecting them poor merchants from a bunch of thuggish raiders. Easy stuff. Initial pay was dissapointing, but he had managed to threaten and coherce the travelling vendors into a more appropriate reward. Not that it mattered, it was all going to be gone in a week or so anyway, spent on alcohol-filled nights in the presence of morally-objactable women down at the local tavern. Then, just as soon easy as it had come into his pockets, the money would quickly vanish, and he would soon have to show himself the door to the streets, where he would've looked for some other shitty-paying job to keep his habits going.

A vicious cycle it was.

Vladek stopped in the middle of small, dirty street. He was alone. He pulled back the hood of his cloak, revealing a head of dirty dark hair, and a face just as dirty and tempered. He reached into his pocket, pulling out a small handkerchief, folded onto itself. He carefully unfolded it, and put the contents of it in his mouth, before starting to chew. They were leaves of the fabled Riverwench. As soon as he started chewing, he felt himself invigorated, and almost in a state of ecstasy.

His head felt lighter, and he started moving it from side to side, a big smile on his face. It was then that it caught his attention. To his left, plastered to the walls of a delapidated old shack, was a poster.

"Adventurers Needed!"

Vladek moved closer to the poster. Reading wasn't exactly his forte, but he managed to catch the basic gist of what the message was.

"'... in g... great n-nad? ...mo... mo-moderate sized grawp of aaa... ad...veeent... urers?' Oh, adventurers." he said, reading out loud, stuttering and butchering the language throught the whole sentence.

"'Sha... at-tered Axe tavern... tomorrow evening."

A great big smile appeared on Vladek's face, revealing his yellowish teeth.

"Tavern, eh? And a job? Might as well head down there now. Gots the coins to have a good time in the meantime anyway." he thought to himself.

He ripped the poster from the wall, and slipped it into his pocket. He put his hood back up, before heading back into the dark and damp streets, headed towards Shattered Axe tavern.

The day, Faldir felt, was beginning to die as he wandered toward the sprawling city. His stomach rumbled- perhaps, as his eyes set themselves on the tall towers and great gates, his stomach reached out for fine inns and warm food. His rucksack, tied onto the side of his steed's saddle, had nearly run empty and forced him to travel on naught but a few meager slices of bread and sour wine. At least now he could have some cheese with that bread.

Heaving a sigh, he nudged his horse forward, a tall grey mare who dragged her feet wearily. Though she was usually quite energetic, their travels had taken a toll on her endurance; two weeks of swift riding with little stops between cities had worn her thin, and even the thought of carrots and dry hay couldn't sway her to move quicker. Grudgingly under Faldir's command, she- Donya, that is- picked up her head and trotted lazily, kicking upward a small trail of dust clouds.

Upon nearing the city, a man in a cloak and deep hood hurried past, carrying an empty sack. Faldir watched him a moment- merely interested in the oddity of his almost stealthy behaviour- before entering beneath the looming gates and into the city.

The entrance was the worst. This became the opportune moment for beggars and peasants to run forth, holding out cups, bowls, or just their bare hands for gold. From there, the streets thinned, bearing only the working class as they ended their day and strolled home eagerly. After a few streets, these disappeared, and the houses grew larger, many with small gardens of personal foods for the owners' cooks. It was in this neighbourhood that Faldir came upon a two-floored inn, with its thatched roof, brightly lit windows, and a small stable.

It took little time to unpack his luggage from Donya's weary back, groom her, and settle her in a nicely sized stall for the night. In what seemed like moments- perhaps since he had grown so tired himself- Faldir had found his own room, with a feathered bed and nicely cut wooden furniture. Dressing down from his armour into a warm and ornately designed dark green jerkin and dark breeches, he leaned out of his window, breathing in the chill- and slightly smoky- air. As he gazed toward the people wandering the street, his bright eyes caught sight of a poster on a neighbouring building, barely visible in the dying light. He could make out only two words of the poster:

"Adventurers Needed."

Smiling to himself, Faldir shifted and propped his chin upon the palm of one hand. I can always check that tomorrow. He took a deep breath and yawned, staring toward the sky and the dim stars that stared back.

The sky seemed to long for lingering remaining moments with which to rest upon the grayed green breast of the mountaintops. A wash of pink and orange filled the air all the way from the East to the Zenith.
"BlessÚd be this day, for it is a beautiful one that the Lord has made. I am thankful for being where I am, if just for this view." Thought John to himself aloud. He stood with his hands holding each other over his chest in front of the gate to the Convent, where it sat perched on the ridge of the Southern edge of the valley overlooking a few fields and a village below.
John quirked his head to the right, as from some sort of sensation unseen, listening intently. A shudder came from a bush not even ten yards away, ushering John closer to investigate. A harpie lept out from the bush in a very loud manner, skwaking and screaming profanities of the must unkind sort. It started to flutter about John's person, in some vain attempt to peck at him through his thick armor. With a quick movement of his arm he backhanded the bird-creature to the ground, where it struck a rock. It started to tumble around trying to get up with both of its wings broken, as John procured his sword.
"Suffer not, the unclean to live, foul of another world." With a single motion the bird had been rendered in two peices, and it began to decay into ashes. With no blood on his sword to clean, he replaced it back to its holster and began to walk back to his post to continue to watch the grand sunset.
"Go into the village." Murmured a voice which John was altogether familiar with, one that came not in the Eathquake or the Fire, but in a whisper. Wordlessly, he obeyed and trekked down into the town. Although John was a patient man, he was not one that had moderation in his mind when it came to surprises, so he ran the entire way down the mountain to greet that which God compelled him.
As he ran down and past those few peasants who had not yet found their ways home from their daily work, and the occasional cart of hay, he heard the voice again.
"Stop. Look."
Immidiately John stopped running and looked around where he was. The sunset was gone and the loudness of a black void stared back where once warm colored glory was. One hundred yards from the edge of town, near the old watermill. Posted on the side of the building was a sign reading "Adventurers Needed!" in large, friendly letters.
"Your will be done." He muttered, and began a silent walk towards the tavern, noticing among average folk and average goods a man with a ferret and comedically colorful clothing, as well as another who was evidenced in his prowess as a hunter by dragging a stag.


Arthur Winsler shuffled into the tavern, he nervously pulled out a map and examined it,

Now where was that blasted cave? Oh where did my father go those many years ago?

He tapped his finger on the map as he pondered the location of the cave, he quickly shoved the map back into his bag as the first adventurer walked in. With a mouse on his shoulder and a stray cat at his feet, Nerthach calmly walked into the bar, he immediately spotted a nervous looking man and began to approach him.

"Mr. Winsler I presume, I should hope you are the man that was seeking the, quote, 'adventurers'"

The man held out a hand to shake, Nerthach accepted and as he reached his hand down a small white mouse fell out of his sleeve and landed on the ground, it shook itself off and scuttled away. The man shuddered and the two men shook, he nervously nodded and pointed at a chair,

"P-please sit down. I sincerely thank you for helping with my... problem." The man hesitated as he spoke, he appeared to have a nervous air about him, "I shall explain more when more people come."

Nerthach calmly sat down after the man finished speaking, he calmly waited for more people to come.

"It's just about sundown, wouldn't you say Gerik?" Zemica asked his furry companion. Gerik looked at his master with an odd look, and tilted his head to the side. He responded with a small squeak, and continued grooming himself.

"I agree... Let's get to that Tavern." Zemica got up and began walking the short trek to the Shattered Axe. When he arrived, he quietly walked in and looked about for Mr.Winsler.

"Gerik... Did that piece of paper say what Mr.Winsler looked like?" He looked to his ferret, who merely shrugged. "That has to be the most appropriate answer you've ever given me."

Zemica spotted Arthur Winsler, gripping his hands anxiously, and another man. The man looked about five years younger than Zemica, though his age could not be completely told from that mass of curly brown hair. The man dressed in green robes, a style Zemica had not seen often, but it complimented the young man's hair and eyes. He had an earthy look, although that may have been in part due to the various creatures at his feet.
Gerik jumped from Zemica's shoulder onto the table, and then to the floor, biting the neck of a small mouse at the green-robed man's feet. The ferret picked up the dead mouse, and proceeded to eat it beneath the table.

"Good boy, Gerik..." Zemica applauded Gerik's hunting. It was sunset, and the ferret was becoming active. "That mouse wasn't a pet of yours, was it?"

"You must be Arthur Winsler." Zemica said to the nervous man. "I am Zemica... I'm saw your poster... I'd like to help."

Thirty-four... thirty-five... thirty... six?

Faldir sat upwards with a grunt, frowning. Laughter erupted beneath his window. Rising from the floor, his abs tense from his brief exercise, he leaned over the sill and looked straight down.

A young couple stood in embrace below, kissing each other on the necks and chest. Faldir drew a deep sigh, and withdrew. "Wonderful. My first night in a soft bed, only destined for a sleepless night. Is this not a tragedy?"

As his stomach rumbled quietly, he made his mind; he would get a full meal, instead of the simple soup and bread the inn had shared, and hopefully upon his return the young pair would have moved to a more comfortable residence. Pulling the trunk out from beneath his bed where he had stored a number of weapons, he pulled out three things: a long hunting knife, a short sword, and mantled cloak. The knife he slipped to the inside of his boot, hidden safely; the sword, he strapped to his left hip; and the cloak he draped over his shoulders, which buttoned at the high-collared neck and draped over both arms, ending at about the waist. It was a dark green similar to his jerkin, also decorated with fine golden strands of patterns. It would keep him warm during the chilly evening.

Well-suited for darkness in the city, Faldir exited the room, shooting a passing glance to his spear that leaned in one corner. Down soft wooden stairs and through lively bar rooms he strode, leaving the inn. As he exited the front door, the sign that had caught his eye earlier stood out more noticeably than it had ever before. Adventurers Wanted. At this distance, he could make out the smaller details of the poster.

Shattered Axe tavern.

Faldir glanced down the street, and by chance, noticed a boisterous group of drunken men bumbling down the road. The building they had just exited bore that very same name. I suppose I know where I ought to eat tonight, then? he thought as he set in that direction, weary but intrigued.

The inside of the tavern was nothing he hadn't seen before- loud men, roaring fires, and a ceiling seemingly made of smoke. He felt a sudden sense of difference, as his fine clothes and clean face separated himself from this world. Nevertheless, his eyes strayed upon a trio of men chatting, somewhat stiffly as though they were new to one another. Faldir had entered the room in time to catch the end of a shaky sentence.

"I saw your poster... I'd like to help," said one man to another, who sat rigidly on his seat, as though expecting it to burst in to flames beneath him. Confident this was the right man, Faldir casually moved toward the pair, his face friendly but unsmiling.

"As would I. I assume, then, you are the man who so fervently covered the city in paper?" asked Faldir, raising his eyebrows slightly. He bowed his head respectively, then raised it with a new and warm, but worn, smile.

"Sir Faldir Greyshone. A pleasure to make your acquaintance." He nodded his head to the others in turn.

"Yes yes, excellent to meet you both, p-please sit down Mr. Greyshone and we shall discuss further in a moment."

The man sat down beside Nerthach, he seemed to have a confident, but in no way cocky attitude about him and was cleanly dressed and shaved. Nerthach reached his hand out for a shake, the man shook and a snake slithered from Nerthach's arm onto his. Calmly removing the harmless snake, Nerthach began to strike up a conversation as they awaited more people.

"My name is Nerthach Ackland, I feel I am right for this posting for a have control over the essence of mother nature. And your names are?"

"My name is Zemica... Some affectionately call me Zemi, if you need it contracted." Zemica introduced himself. "Below me is my friend Gerik... He's a bit busy at the moment... Enjoying his meal."

Zemica smiled at the ferret, who happily crunched on the mouse.

"It's nice to meet you... Nerthach... Sir Greyshone. I look forward to working... and possibly fighting... alongside you gentlemen." Zemica took a seat at the table and made himself comfortable. "While we wait for anyone else that will be joining us... Why don't we start getting to know each other?"

"...bloody drunkards," mumbles Dek pushing by a small group near the door, burping, laughing and shouting at some girls passing the door.

He caught a glimpse of a small group sitting at a table in back, a ferret eating something under the table.

Since they're not drinking and singing, I guess that's who I'm after, he thinks to himself, eyeing the group.

Forcing his way through the bar, Dek gradually got closer to the group.

"Any of you Arthur Winsler?" he asks holding the poster in his left hand.

Vladek descended the stairs leading up to the second floor of the tavern. His dirty white shirt was completely unbuttoned, and the buckle of his belt hanged loosely from the side of his trousers. His breath smelled of ale and mead.

His pay had been spent, and in record time at that.

As he stumbled his way to the ground floor, he jumped onto one of the tables, and as he buttoned his shirt, he shouted in a thick western accent, slurred by ale:

"Sir Arthur Winsler? Is Arthur Winsler here? I am intersted in yer job proposition."

Everyone in the tavern turned around.

Chang looked throughout the streets for this Shattered Axe Tavern. Chang had never seen a tavern in his entire life. Trying to find it was like a blind man trying to find the color red. After three hours of searching Chang found the building, an axe shaped sign hung above the door reading Shattere Axe.

Chang entered the tavern and looked around.The room was full of people,but they were all staring at a man on the staircase. Chang walked slowly across the room while the drunks' attention was focused on the man. Chang looked at all of them carefully as anyone of them could be the person who was hireing. Chang noticed a man in the back with a map on the table.

Chang approached the man who was talking to a few others. "Excuse me sir, but are you the one hireing?"

The day had gone relatively smooth. No one needed help, so it would be another day without food for Kelale. She had been laying about in her hut, completely forgetting about the time. As the sun began to set Kelale remembered that she had to go to The Shattered Axe tavern and meet Arthur Winsler.

In somewhat of a panic Kelale grabbed her things and bolted out of her hut. She sprinted down the market streets and towards the tavern. One block after another, turn left then turn right.

No, no, no. I can't be late. I need this job!

After a few more minutes of sprinting like a maniac she finally arrived at her destination. She was breathing heavily and was tired, but would manage just fine.

She opened the door slowly only to see a bunch of drunkards sitting about, but noticed a small group of people sitting around a table. They didn't seem to be drinking so Kelale approached them.

"Hello strangers, my name is Kelale. Would any of you happen to know where Arthur Winsler is?"

Yes yes, I am Arthur Winsler, now please sit down, all of you and I will explain more." the group of adventurers calmed down and sat around the nervous man, "Now, when my father was a young man, not to young mind you, he could fend for himself, he decided to set out on an adventure. With his grandfathers shortsword in hand, and excitement in his heart, he ventured into a nearby forest looking for something, anything to do. He eventually found a cave that was inhibited by some roaches, excited my father was to finally have this sword shed some blood, he ran full bore into the cave and quickly found himself lost." Arthur stopped for dramatic purposes, he seemed to have lost his studder and was now telling the story with confidence and excitement in his voice, "My father went through this cave, frantically trying to find an exit, even a glimmer of sunlight would have calmed his heart but he could find no such thing. DOWN a pit he went!" at this point he slammed his fasts on the table, the group was oddly enthralled with the story, man the seemed to have a way with words, "Losing the sword in his hand and the last bit of sanity in his heart he fell down into a deep dark pit. Stumbling around in the darkness, my brave father managed to climb back out the other side, and what does he find? An exit, a glorious exit with the sun shining through. My father ran, he ran as fast as he could out of this cave and back to the home of which he was born and raised. He embraced his mother in a hug, relieved to see her for the first time in what had seemed like weeks, to which his mother replied,

'Where did you go this afternoon, you missed lunch!"

At this point Arthur burst out laughing, slamming his hands on the ground as tears rolled down his eyes. He abruptly stopped and looked at the group with a more than serious expression on his face, "Now, as you may, or may not have guessed, the shortsword which belonged to my great-grandfather is the item of which I would like you to receive for me, it is of great importance of my father to see the sword before he passes. N-now the matter of which I am unsure is what inhibits the cave, it could be cockroaches and bats, but i-it could be s-so much more."

At this point he pulled the map out again and began to ponder where the location of the cave was.

Vladek stood up, and put his hands on the table.

"Yes, yes. This is all very interesting , dear sir, but I believe some sort of reward was mentioned? Possibly in gold coins? Adventuring is a risky business, I'm sure you'll understand that, I atleast, can't go sticking the neck under the axe for free... Especially if this cave could be inhabited by 'so much more'" he said, now looking Arthur straight in the eyes, a big fake smile on his face.

He looked up to the rest of the group, as if searching for confermation of his words.

As the group continued to converse, indulged in the briefing of their future and fate, with little introduction or interruption, John slipped rather unnoticed through the doors. Those who did were not of Winsler's company, and upon seeing John in large ordained armour thought him to be some sort of Executioner, upon which they looked at him, made a cross-pattern with their right hand across their head, chest and shoulders, and went back to their buisness. John ignored them, simply looking off into space and heeding nothing but what would appear externally, his thoughts. At his own descrection he turned to his left and started towards Winsler's table, hovering behind a man who had just stood up.
"Yes, yes. This is all very interesting , dear sir, but I believe some sort of reward was mentioned? Possibly in gold coins? Adventuring is a risky business, I'm sure you'll understand that, I atleast, can't go sticking the neck under the axe for free... Especially if this cave could be inhabited by 'so much more'."
John silently assumed he had come to the right table, giving a slight nod to the man who seemed the least interested in listening and the most concerned in his own affairs as to the administration of others, while still rather nervous.

Kelale jumped slightly when Arthur, who seemed to come out of nowhere, spoke to the group.

"I agree with him." Kelale said as she pointed towards Vladek. "Helping people out of the goodness of our hearts is good and all, but doing it for free doesn't put food in our mouths. There does need to be some sort of payment for all of the trouble which I assume we are going to go through."

Kelale was surprised with herself. Normally she was the quiet type, but two days of not having work and no money to buy food was beginning to irritate her.

"Indeed." Zemica agreed with the girl and the rough-looking man. "I'm quite certain that Mr.Winsler will be more than happy to pay us... And pay us handsomely. However, seeing as we now have a party of eight plus Arthur, I don't think that anyone would object to a light meal. Seeing as my life may be dependent upon you people, I'll order us something."

Zemica got up and managed to coerce a bar-wench into providing something to eat, which would be out shortly.

"Now... Where exactly are we going to be headed?" Zemica said, returning to the table. He glanced quickly at the girl... She seemed out of place here among these men. Her hands were callused, but not in the same fashion that a swordsman's would be. No... These hands gripped some sort of spear or staff, and had seen more manual labor than battle. There was something interesting about this girl, although he could not place it.

Why would she be going on this potentially dangerous mission? Does she need the money that badly? Is she some sort of spellcaster? He thought to himself. He returned his focus to the map on the table, and took a look at it.

"Ah! I remember now." Arthur Winsler said to the group. "The cave is right here..."

Arthur pointed to a location just southwest of Castle Town and the Castle. A small village was marked on the map, just north of some hills. Taking out a piece of sketching coal, he marked the cave as being West-Southwest of the village by a few miles.

"So we merely need to bring you this short-sword from within this cave, and you'll pay us?" Zemica said, rather bluntly.

"Of course... Please... You have no idea how important this is to to my father and I." Arthur beseeched the group.

Faldir nodded slowly, remaining respectfully quiet as new members of the group drifted forward, filling seats. He remained standing beside Arthur, his arms folded across his chest, hidden beneath his short cloak. He leaned closer to the map as the man pointed to the map, finally having remembered the location of his lost treasure.

He had little to no need for the man's money- in fact, any reward he could give would likely be much less than he earned in a month. He frowned slightly. Then why am I so intrigued as to this matter? Does some destiny bid me closer? His eyes shifted toward the top of Arthur's head, and he stared a moment as though trying to gain some insight into his mind. Of course, he didn't gather anything.

"Of course... Please... You have no idea how important this is to to my father and I," said Arthur to the group, almost pleadingly. Faldir shifted, hearing the words of his father in his mind, from so many years ago.

"Do you know why we travel, son?"

"To gain a further understanding to our neighbours and allies."

"And?"

"A-And... Ah..."

"To fight, boy! To aid those who, under the eyes of most nobility, would be cast asunder and left to suffer through life. But we are not most nobility, are we?"

"No sir."

"No.. No we are not."

Faldir glanced once more to Arthur, before speaking. "I pledge myself to your cause, Arthur Winsler. I seek no riches, only fulfillment of another sort. I will aid your quest."

Perciving the whole cause and notation of such talk was not hard for anyone, and with that, John interjected
"And I as well, My esteemed Winsler. I serve you by that which my Father has told me, and I seek no reward, for mine is not in this life."

"I might as well go along, too. I'll be more than happy to take your shares of the payment, you two. To split with the others of course..." Zemica stood, and placed Gerik back upon his shoulder. "Gerik and I accept your job, Mr.Winsler. We'll retrieve that sword for you."

The ferret upon Zemica's shoulder nodded in agreement, an odd thing for a ferret to do, but it was appropriate for the moment.

"I think I can agree with my comrades, I live of the many fruits of mother nature, so I have no need for large amounts of money. It seems that some of the people here must pay rent, meals and feed their animals so how much will this pay?"

At this Arthur sighed, "Would 200 Ignots suffice? That would work out to be..." he pondered for a moment before someone in the group called out the answer, "Yes of course, 40! And to the men that turned down the money, I insist that you use my house as a rest on your travels any time you want, which is marked on the map! Now, I must be tending back to my father, please hurry with my quest!"

And with that the man shuffled out, leaving the map and the adventurers alone to ponder over the job of which they had accepted.

Zemica turned and began speaking with his would-be companions. He started with the girl, being the gentleman he was.

"Hello, miss. It's very nice to meet you. You said your name was Kelale, did you? That's a very lovely name... Mine is Zemica, and this is Gerik." He bowed slightly to her. The bar-wench approached with the food that Zemica had requested. The better half of a large loaf of bread, a fair-sized wedge of soft cheese, and several helpings of shaved, salted and cured meat.

"Thank you very much, madame." Zemica handed the woman an Ignot for her service, and she returned to her work.

"Now... Please, you are completely welcome to join me. You look a bit famished, if I may say so myself, and I do not enjoy dining alone." This last remark was responded to by Gerik, who made a quiet squeak as a slight objection. Zemica scratched the ferret's ears, and it was content.

Vladek quickly stuck a dagger in the map, nailing it onto the table.

"I'll do it. 40 Ignots... that's enough to buy ale for a week! Good sirs, I will accompany you all in this venture. Now... let's get pissed!" he said.

He then shouted at the maid who was just coming back from their table to bring beer in large quantities.
As she came back with the drinks, he grabbed his pint and before chugging it all down said:

"Come on lads, drinks are on me." as he threw a small bag of coins onto the table for the maid to pick up.

"40 Ignots will do just fine, sir. I'll also be joining you on this quest."

All I need for a month is about 20 Ignots. The rest I can give to the farmers.

Kelale was deep in thought when she heard a man's voice speaking to her. Turning around she saw a man, about 5'6, with a ferret on his shoulder. She smiled at the odd sight as he introduced himself to her.

"Yes, my name is Kelale Lorenthche. Its very nice to meet the both of you."

As Kelale finished introducing herself one of the barmaids walked over with a plate of food. He stomach growled loudly.

"Please, you are completely welcome to join me. "

Grabbing a small piece of bread off of the plate Kelale savored the taste of the bread.

"Thank you for being so generous."

John after having removed his helmet to absolve the think murky atmosphere, looked disdainful at Vladek's wasteful action of immediately spending a portion of his reward before even undertaking any action.
"You would spend that much without even lifting a finger? Come now, think ahead. If we are to find this sword tommorrow, then we must permit our minds peace and not the lingering of bitter malt."
"Who are you?"
"My name is John."

40 ignots will suffice. At least until the villagers can get back to trading said the Monk to himself.

"My name is Chang." He said bowing as a greeting to both John and Kelale before grabbing a small morsel of bread.

"Vladek... Vladek Synvolk." he said, looking at this weird type called "John".

"I know your type, all high and mighty and stuff. You can do as you wish, but I am a spur the moment kind of man."

He then turned his attention elsewhere, drinking some more.

Faldir watched in silence as Arthur hurried out of the tavern- a little suspiciously so, he thought. The others turned to one another and began to converse, leaving himself to stand in silence.

As the plate of food arrived, Faldir sat, claiming Arthur's vacant chair, and drew a deep sigh, inhaling the sweet scents of meat and cheese. He felt very at ease, though he had not been within a crowd of any size for weeks and weeks. He allowed the conversation from the rest of the tavern to flow through his ear and out the opposite, as gentle background noise.

"I know your type, all high and mighty and stuff. You can do as you wish, but I am a spur the moment kind of man." Faldir glanced to the side where the two chatted, the righteous knight and the flexible drunkard.

"Judge a man not by how he prepares for his mission; but how he executes it," he said calmly, with a soft smile. He paused, then looked at the pair.

"I apologize. Forgive my intrusion."

"Wise words... wise words indeed!" said Vladek, slapping the young lad on the back and laughing drunkenly.

"I see there's someone here I can agree with. I didn't quite catch your name though."

Vladek examined the man thoroughly.

"Those seem to be some quite expensive garments you're wearing. Are you a noble of somesorts? What are you doing in this shit hole?" he asked, before laughing again, now stuffing his face with bread and cheese and washing it down with beer.

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