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RP (non-canon): D&D Mission 1: Getting "Acquainted"

Gabriel

🎖️ Game Master
The region of Lorber, south of Belok, Year 456

The party makes it's way south, away from the misery that they had all experienced that they had encountered in Belok. They travel along a main road, towards one of the major cities in Ravenshire where they hope to complete each of their individual goals, and the quickest way was through the town of Caloma. As they travel they see a wagon coming towards them. They continue to walk and as the wagon passes the driver flags them down.
"You folks lookin' to travel through Caloma? Well I wouldn't rec'mmend it. 'T seems that a large group of rats have been shpotted near the town, and the scholars tink they be carryin' a d'sease of some sorts. If you want go through den go 'head, but theys rec'mmend you go back and detour through another v'llage if you's lookin' to go further into Lorber."
With that the wagon driver flicked his whip at the horses and started down the road, back where the adventurers had come from.
 
Talarin scoffed. "Giant rats? That's good, Joanna here is always hungry." Talarin rubbed a special pouch on his cloak where his familiar lizard slept. She opened an eye, and gave a small annoyed hiss at being woken up. Then huddles back down to sleep. Talarin chuckled as he turned to his new companions. "What do you all want to do?"
 
Denkou shrugged, still not entirely used to traveling as a group instead of on her own. "I'm fine with heading into town. Not my fault if the villagers get angry though. Still, I think we can all use some time in town." She started rolling a coin over her fingers. "Plus, rats aren't really much of a threat, diseased or not. Just kill 'em before they bite you."
 
Birdsong brought the half-halfling out of dreams, realization that she had fallen asleep woke her with a vengeance.

The tree she had settled under for the night was hollow around the roots, offering some semblance of shelter from weather. But, with all the predators that roamed the forests and roads, human, animal, and non-human, she was still surprised that she wasn't somewhere else--

That line of thought was forcibly cut and she simply accepted the fact that what could have happened, didn't. Sorri peered out from behind the tree roots at the road, checking both ways before leaving the tree and finding a safer location. Morning was her quiet time. Before the boredom of walking and thoughts from the night before could intrude, and in following the example set by her parents, the half-breed halfling dug a worn, leather-bound book from her backpack and undid the strings holding closed the square of cloth that it was wrapped in. There was also another book, this one with notes covering the pages and most of those pages still blank, but she left this one in the bag for now.

An hour later she re-wrapped the book in its cloth and returned it to the bag, then put away the remains of what constituted breakfast for her. Then she checked her clothes...they were slightly smelly by now, four days running and only washed once in the last two, but still in reasonable condition. A linen shirt with a boy's leather jerkin over it covered everything from her hips to her collarbone; the shirt went to her wrists while the jerkin stopped with cap sleeves at her shoulders. Her pants were leather too; Mother had given up trying to keep Sorri in cloth pants, much less skirts. Oh, the young girl would wear skirts, but the pants were much more durable and moved easier than a leather skirt would, even a loose one. Standing up, Sorri put a brown, thick, wool cloak -- hooded and lined with softer wool in the hood -- on her back. It had kept her warm at night so far. But her sandals were starting to grow thin at the soles. She frowned when she noticed, then sighed. No helping it now...Once everything that was out was repacked and in its proper place, Sorri set out back to the road to travel alongside it.

The road in these parts cut through a ravine. Perhaps a stream had flowed through the hill before, and when it dried up the road was set through the crevice? Whatever the case, she walked up the hill and ventured near the crest of it to see if she could look further up and down the road. Looking up the road she noticed a trio of people...all of them taller than her, so they were likely humans, or at least not dwarves, gnomes, or other halflings. They were listening to a wagon driver who seemed to be giving them instructions or a warning--

Starting to walk down the hill toward the road while watching the people further up was much trickier than simply walking. Sorri lost her footing and ungraciously tumbled down the side of the hill and onto the road with a stifled cry of alarm, her staff and bag clattering as they hit the hard dirt.
 
The tallest and broadest of the three scoffed. "Y'bunch are talking as if the rats'ere out ta kill us." His right hand rested on the hilt of his sword, which was wrapped around his waist and resting against his right hip. It seemed like a comfortable position.

"Monsters'll kill ya, but rats? Unheard o' it. I say we go through. I's not like we goin ta stay more than a day there, eh? The villagers might need ta get werried, but us, we're just passin' by." Aurelus shrugged. "Sides, it's like the lass said. I's not hard to stomp on a rat."

He moved a few loose stands of his hair from his right eyebrow and then proceeded to point down the road to the 'forbidden rat-infested village' with the same hand. "We go ta Caloma, rest and eat for a blink, and then gather some much required information on the recent events nearbye. Perhaps we can look for some odd jobs ta get some gold and gather more resources for our travels..."


The ex-soldier turned around and looked at his two teammates. "...speaking o' travels, we all headed anywhere and nowhere, and tha's fine, but, what you guys lookin forward to? What do you want to do before ya die, y'know?

Perhaps we can mutually help each other, eh?"
 
Talarin started to reply to the fighter's query, but stopped as Joanna started squirming her way out of her pocket/home. He watched as she crawled down his leg and over towards the fallen traveller. Joanna nuzzled her and cocked a questioning eye back towards Talarin, who walked over as well. "Who's this Joanna? Making friends already?" he picked Joanna up and then helped the girl up. "Are you ok?" he asked while rubbing Joanna's favorite spot on her head.
 
Denkou quirked an eyebrow at the tumbling person. "I think the question you asked the snake made more sense. Who is she, and what is she doing behind us?" She stopped the coin, tucking it away. She waved the wagoneer on his way, and turned to face the rest of her group after tossing the man a copper coin, as thanks for the information.
 
Aurelus, too, looked at the fallen child, following his teammates' eyes. Her attire and the way she landed onto the group was odd enough that he was now suspicious. She looks suspicious ta me, fer some reason... It's as if she tripped 'ere on purpose...
 
Talarin held Joanna close as he gave Denkou a wounded glance. "Joanna isn't a snake. She's a lizard." he gave Joanna a quick kiss on the head.
 
Sorri attempted to get to her feet, weighed down by a bag that may have been heavier than she was. She eventually made it up by using her staff to balance herself and Talarin's offered hand after studying him a moment; once standing again she could move easier. The tumble had more surprised than injured her. She dusted herself off while glancing around at the three tall ones.

She didn't mind being small, but there were times when Sorri felt very much like a "kid" (as her father called her...no one she knew used the term) instead of the young not-quite-adult she was. Now was one of those times. Because her facial features more strongly resembled a human, most thought her an under-sized child before noticing the teenage maturity of her traits and realizing she was probably at least part halfling. Some turned condescending, others ignored her, a few were outright hostile. However, these folks were being rather nice, even as they talked over her. So Sorri decided to try being friendly.

"I am fine, thank you," she replied attempting a smile, looking at Talarin and Joanna first, Aurelus, then Denkou. "I didn't think anyone was on the road, that's why I was on the hill. To look around."

Talarin seemed a bit eccentric with his lizard, but weren't appearing dangerous. Denkou looked normal, if fidgety. But Aurelus' watchfulness made Sorri uneasy.

"Sooo...it was good meeting you all and thank you again for your help...maybe I should be on my way..."

She turned toward Caloma and started walking. 
 
When the short girl was out of earshot Aurelus wondered out loud "Wonder what the little lass'n a hurry for..." He began walking towards the town and asked the other two once more. "So, what d'you two want out of life, eh? Journeyin' life only gets good if you've something to get out of it!"

Aurelus seemed rather happy, for some reason. He, himself, couldn't explain why.
 
Talarin watched the little girl go along her way. He scratched Joanna's head while she snuggled back into her pocket. He thought about going after her but stopped himself. He turned to Aurelus and said. "Im just travelling the world, and practicing my Art" he grinned as he down the path to the village.
 
"I felt a change of location would be... beneficial to my health. So I got going." Denkou shrugged. "No real reason. I figure I'll just keep moving until I find somewhere I like enough to hang around." She followed Sorri with her eyes, despite the fact she was talking to the group.
 
The group continued down the path, talking amongst each other as they went. They walked for many hours, stopping only to eat. As the sun began to set behind the mountains off to the wast, a town could be seen on the horizon. By the time the sun was gone and the sky was dark, the party was just arriving at the town.

"Welcome to Caloma!" A guard called out to them. "If you guys are looking to stay for the night you are welcome at the inn. Just head down the main road, take a right at the town center, the inn is on the left. The stores will be open for another hour or so if you want to do some shopping, a map with store locations can be found on a bulletin board in the town center."
 
Denkou winked at the guard in thanks, before looking around. "Well, I think we should get rooms at the inn before we do anything else. Nice to know where we're coming back to."
 
"Aye," Aurelus agreed with the woman rogue, "I'm startin' to like Caloma already! A map in the town center, generous gards, shops open after sundown; respectable hometown, for sure!"

Aurelus began walking in direction of the inn. The walk had been quite long. They had seen the day pass by them as they walked, and now it was night time already. Lamps were lit across the town streets, and already you could smell the fresh cool air of the night seeping into the settlement to lull it's citizens to sleep.
 
Sorri arrived a little after them, cutting across terrain when she was able. That had slowed her down enough that they had passed her without either party knowing.

The guard waved her through with the same greeting he had given the trio ahead of her, which she replied with only a wave and a smile before moving on into the town, heading for the map in the center.

Today marked a month since her loss in Belloksh. She had stayed in the northern regions, heading to Condale and then toward Fairview while making short stops at the roadside towns and posts between those places. If she didn't know anyone, she usually hid nearby, if she did know someone, she dropped by and asked for help if she thought they were friendly. Some helped with rations and repairs, others sent her on her way for one reason or another. Only one tried turning her in; in fact that was what convinced her to start turning south.

Sorri wasn't sure if she had been in Caloma before with her parents. If she had, then she hadn't been paying attention to landmarks at the time. She perused the map, noting how well-set the town was. "They have a theater?" she murmured in mild surprise. Hmm...
 
Talarin followed his companions. But he looked around slighly disappointed. "I kinda imagined this place to be a bit more, I dunno sad and gloomy. Maybe that trader had it wrong."
 
When the party reached the inn the innkeeper was lounging in a chair, reading through a scroll. The innkeeper was older, probably mid-50s, silver-gray hair around his head, leaving a bald top, and had a pair of reading glasses on. He looked up as he heard the door open and snorted a bit. "I thought the guards weren letting people into the village no more cus of dem rats, but i guess it is kind late and no kindhearted person'd turn you nice folks back to the dark, wanderin around. The name's Martin, and it'll be 5 silver per room, or 2 gold if you feel like some luxury tonight. Food'n drink are across at the bar. I'd only recc'mend staying tonight and getting the heck outa dodge, bad times round here."
 
Talarin turn to regard the innkeeper. "Yea, we heard a few rumors on the road. What exactly has been happening around here?" Joanna popped out and added her keen stare with her friend's.
 
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