LeahofCherem

Solo - Ryuutama - Part 2

Jan 27th, 2017
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  1. The second day of Noah's travel starts with the sun rising over the hills to the east, casting a rich, warm glow over the landscape.
  2.  
  3. Kather 's voice rings out from outside, "Time to wake up, sun's up and that means Travelers get going too."
  4.  
  5. Noah grumbles to himself, sitting up inside and curling himself closer in his Bedroll. Despite the early morning chill, there's a warmth running through his body. "I haven't slept that well in ages," he murmurs to himself as he steps out.
  6.  
  7. Outside, there is a smoking firepit, being tended to by the red-headed hunter Noah met the previous day. The big tree above them whistles in the early morning wind as if to greet those beneath it's boughs.
  8.  
  9. Kather seems preoccupied with preparing breakfast, but manages to glance up and grin, "The meat from last night is still good, if you're hungry. Slept well?"
  10.  
  11. Noah: "Like a log," Noah replies, sitting across the fire from the Hunter. "I feel even better than when I left home." His gaze goes northwards, and Kather follows his look.
  12.  
  13. Kather: "You're from the little town up there then? Greenville, is it?" Kather passes Noah a stick of skewered meat.
  14.  
  15. Noah takes the stick and shakes his head, "Newgreen. It's so small, you'd miss it if you blinked." He smiles and takes a bite of meat. "What about you, where're you from?"
  16.  
  17. Kather nudges the coals of the fire a bit, "I'm from a Town even further away, Dawic. If your home is 'New' and 'Green", Dawic was 'Old' and 'Gray'. A place where fall and winter seem to last forever, spring and summer go by in a flash." She laughs a bit, watching the ashes dancing before smacking her knees and standing up, "Boring place and boring story! Get eating and get packed so we can move!"
  18.  
  19. Noah frowns a little bit, eating his food before shrugging, "I guess it must be a tiny place too." He licks his fingers after wolfing down the food, tossing the stick into the fire. Not long after, his tent has been broken down and bed rolled up.
  20.  
  21. Kather: Likewise, Kather has her bedding prepared, and spends the end of her time checking her sword for blemishes. "You'll be leading the way then, Noah. And be careful, I wasn't joking about the beasts on the road."
  22.  
  23. Noah raises an eyebrow, "You meant the ones you used to scare me into traveling with you?" He raises his hands in surrender as the Hunter darts too close for comfort.
  24.  
  25. Kather: "It wasn't like that! It was a serious warning from a fellow traveler!" The Hunter gives him a look between embarrassment and anger, before stepping back, "Well, maybe a little. What's important is something has been riling up the monsters as of late. I think it's why I got the quest for these in the first place." She shakes her bag of poison toad skins for emphasis.
  26.  
  27. Noah nods, "I see. I'll keep that in mind today."
  28.  
  29. =====
  30.  
  31. As the two make their way south, the rising sun gives way to clouds. Little movements in the clouds herald the passing of a Storm Dragon, and the cool wind of the morning gives way to cold rain that cuts to the bone. The Windbreaker isn't enough, and despite the good morning, Noah finds himself feeling heavy and tired. Kather, meanwhile, avoids catching a lion's share of the cold thanks to her hooded cape, and in fact walks with a better spring in her step.
  32.  
  33. Noah raises his hand as they come over another hill, "Hold on a moment." Leaning against a rotting signpost, he shivers, wringing out his shirt."I'm just, need to get some of the water out."
  34.  
  35. Kather stops, turning around and frowning, "You feeling out of it already? If this sign is right," she looks up at the rooting post, "Sewold is less than half a day away. Another ten, fifteen kilometers."
  36.  
  37. Kather leans closer, looking up his hood, "Actually, you don't look so good. Think we should take a break?"
  38.  
  39. Noah nods, starting to sink to sit, but hesitates. Underneath them, the ground starts to tremble.
  40.  
  41. Kather notices before Noah even realizes, one hand drawing her sword, the other pushing him back, shouting "Get back, down the hill!"
  42.  
  43. A moment later, a Poison Toad bursts from the ground like a pimple, smacking into her blade!
  44.  
  45. Kather 's guard prevents it from getting in a surprise attack, but she has to take several steps back, adopting a guarded stance aimed at the toad.
  46.  
  47. One, two more come out of the ground, croaking and surrounding her!
  48.  
  49. Noah draws his bow over his shoulder, nocking an arrow, "How did they come from below us?!"
  50.  
  51. Kather yells back, "Doesn't matter now, just get ready!"
  52.  
  53. =COMBAT=
  54.  
  55. Noah manages to get the first move, raising his bow and firing at the toad approaching Kather! Noah 's arrow flies and strikes true, cutting the frog across the back and spilling thick, sticky blood on the ground.
  56.  
  57. Kather steps up, swinging her blade with a snarl, "Take this!" Her sword swings to the side as the toad tries to leap at her: a moment later and she could've missed! but the blade sinks through the monster's side and cuts to the bone, sending the body flying to the side as she adjusts her stance.
  58.  
  59. As the first dies, the second monster charges in during the tiny opening Kather has! She's not fast enough, and it crashes into her! Kather winces as her arm takes a nasty blow, her skin cut by the hide of the beast! A sickly purple ooze is left behind in it's attack. And the other one lunges forward at her legs! It bashes into her, sending her back another few steps, her leg cut up and layered with ooze.
  60.  
  61. Noah draws another arrow, circling to the side and closing one eye. He waits for one of the toads to step on a muddy patch before firing! He manages to sink another shot, injuring the toad!
  62.  
  63. Kather follows up, kicking one of the nearby branches at the the toad before lunging with a strike! But her attack misses! and the blow sends a ringing impact up her arm, the sword whining with discomfort.
  64.  
  65. The toad they both tried to hit attacks Kather again! As it lunges, the strike catches her upside the head, sending her off-balance and dealing a seerious blow!
  66.  
  67. The second toad launches itself at her, but this time Kather manages to block it, sending it flying back. Kather doesn't look back but instead yells in a shaky voice, "Noah, we need to end this, quick!"
  68.  
  69. Noah nods, closing his eye and taking aim. He pulls in all the focus he can, firing at the signpost behind the frog!
  70.  
  71. Noah manages to strike, and the sign falls, cracking one of the Toads on the head! However, it's not trapped underneath like he thought it would be.
  72.  
  73. Kather looks back and yells, "What made you think that'd work?!" And she turns back in time to take a swing with both hands!
  74.  
  75. Kather brings the sword down on the frog, catching it between one of the stones from the road! Doesn't seem to kill it though, but it's halfway there!
  76.  
  77. The toad, in it's desperation, jumps forward, sinking teeth in it's wide mouth into Kather's leg!
  78.  
  79. As Kather lurches back in pain, she narrowly avoids the second attack!
  80.  
  81. Noah moves again, shooting at the biting toad! And his attack hits! His arrow sinks deep into the frog's neck, punching in one side and out the other! It lets out a gurgling wail as it collapses, drooling blood and ichor.
  82.  
  83. The Monster Hunter doesn't waste any words, turning to the final toad! Kather narrows her eyes, and her blade rapidly cuts a deep mark in the toad's back, causing the thing to screech with rage!
  84.  
  85. It lunges at her, but Kather manages to dodge the attack, sword in both hands!
  86.  
  87. Noah fires another arrow, sinking the wood into the toad's back. "It's gotta be dead soon, we've almost killed them!"
  88.  
  89. Kather takes a deep breath, lunging forward. She doesn't let out a sound as her blade smashes through the creature, ruining the hide as it cuts the thing in half. A moment later, she lets out a heavy, shaky sigh, the rain washing the muck off her face and blade.
  90.  
  91. Noah lets out a pent-up breath, collapsing onto his backside, 'W-we did it..."
  92.  
  93. Kather nods, wiping off her sword, "We gotta get moving. They're probably more awake because of the rain, and if we killed some of them here, there'll be more if we stay."
  94.  
  95. Noah shudders, "I don't think that'll let us leave." He raises another arrow to his bow, pointing."
  96.  
  97. Kather turns in time to see the Cockatrice lurching up.
  98.  
  99. An ugly chicken-like creature with a long neck and ugly yellow eyes, instead of feathers on it's wings, bat-wings take their place, and a long tail drags behind it. As if woken by the rain, it was probably attracted by the smell of blood.
  100.  
  101. Kather lets out a low curse, "Alright. If things get dire, we run. Just get away from it, don't worry about me."
  102.  
  103. Noah takes the first shot, "I'd be a terrible traveling companion if I did that!" He draws his bow all the way back, eye closing as he takes aim! He waits for the enemy to cross the earlier muddy patch.
  104.  
  105. Noah 's attack hits, punching a hole through the cockatrice's wing as it lets out a horrid screech!
  106.  
  107. Kather takes a deep breath, focusing as she swings the blade wide, using the slick guts of a toad to propel herself forward! Her attack strikes, and before the creature can even caw, cuts through the neck!
  108.  
  109. The creature flops to the side, spitting up blood from the neck. Dead in a moment, before it could even strike.
  110.  
  111. Noah coughs, "Well... That was easier than expected..."
  112.  
  113. Kather grabs the monster, sinking her knife into it's side quickly to speed up the blood drainage. "I won't begrudge it for an easy meal. Let's get going, before anything else shows up, again!"
  114.  
  115. Kather is later able to clean it up and prepare two rations of food, handing one pack of wet meat to Noah.
  116.  
  117. The two make good on their travel, and the rain even comes to a light drizzle. However, as they walk, the path slowly becomes choked in mist.
  118.  
  119. Kather grumbles, "I guess we're growing near to Sewold. I hate this mist, it's way too easy to lose your way here."
  120.  
  121. Noah clears his throat from her other side, "I'm over here. If we just stick to the road..." he ignores Kather's jump of surprise at his voice and marches up the hill, where the mist starts to break. "And, is that familiar?" He points to a tower, poking through the mist maybe another hour's walk away. At the top, a light glows, a pinprick against the clouds.
  122.  
  123. Kather manages to catch up, nodding, "That looks like the Sewold Lighthouse. That's where the Baron lives, it's actually attached to his keep. Fancy, isn't it?"
  124.  
  125. Noah frowns a little, "Wouldn't that be inconvenient? If you were attacked by an enemy army, by sea or by land, they'd know where you were, and you'd have to be on a cliff to useful as a lighthouse, right?"
  126.  
  127. Kather shrugs, "You're overthinking it. It's kinda like... 'come an' get me, ya bastards', kind of deal, isn't it? And besides, Sewold hasn't had a war in ages. Or been involved with one anyways."
  128.  
  129. The two make their way down the hill, as the road turns from patchy mud and stone to cobbles, and the sides of the road go from empty to wooden posts, to stone, with farmsteads alongside hosting beets and other tuber vegetables.
  130.  
  131. Noah looks up as the old walls of Sewold come into view, stone barriers thrice his height. The gate is wooden, and has a tiny queue to enter.
  132.  
  133. As they come to the front, a pair of guards stop them. "Welcome to Sewold, who are you and what brings you- oh, Kather, you're with the guild, aren't you?"
  134.  
  135. Kather beams as they recognize her despite the rain, mud, and slime, "Yea-huh. No tax to enter the city, right? Oh, an' I got nothin' to declare too."
  136.  
  137. The guard nods, "In you, go, but then who's this?" He nods at Noah, and leaves Kather fumbling for words for a second.
  138.  
  139. Noah starts, "I'm with her, I'm an assistant from another guild. Er..."
  140. Noah: Negotiation check result: 2 + 2 + 0
  141. Noah finishes, "Newgreen."
  142.  
  143. The Guard looks at his friend, who is holding back a laugh, "Right. We know Newgreen, tiny town up north. Doesn't have a guild, does in Barney?" He looks at Noah again, "Nice try lad, but it's a pair of Sil to enter the town. Taxes and all."
  144.  
  145. Noah looks hopeful, "Any discount for travelers?"
  146.  
  147. The Guard glances at his friend, "Sorry mate, we can't just let travelers away with that. New policy from the Baron's people. Two Sil."
  148.  
  149. Noah grumbles a little, handing over two Sil and passing by the sniggering guards.
  150.  
  151. Kather glances back, "Y'know, I could've given you two Sil, if you're that poor."
  152.  
  153. Noah clicks his tongue, "It's not about the money, it's about trying. Anyways, do you know where we could get cleaned up, a place where we can rest?"
  154.  
  155. Kather rubs her chin, "Mmmhm. Here, come with me to the Guild first, and we'll talk about it after that. It'll expand your options, I think." She nudges him with her elbow a little and makes down the cobbled road.
  156.  
  157. Noah follows after her through the evening streets of Sewold. It's a middling-sized town, a little small for a Port Town though. The city is constantly engulfed in a mist. All of the buildings are built of cool grey stone, and sprout moss and lichen where they can find purchase. There's a large market square near the port, with a clear view of the sea. At the highest point of the city, situated off the high cliff, the Sewold Lighthouse is a beacon to ships and travelers alike. Rumored to be older than the city itself, it is a much nicer, neater construction than the Baron's Keep around it, a pillar of marble-like material instead of roughly-hewn rock.
  158.  
  159. Sewold is mostly known for it's trade in wool and waterproof clothing, and thanks to the Monster Hunter's Guild in town, the trade it does with those looking for 'exotic' material. This leads to all sorts of people passing through Sewold at one point or another.
  160.  
  161. Noah finds himself standing in front of the Monster Hunter's Guild, looking up at the multi-storied building with awe. A great head is hanging over the door, a beast with wild wooden fur and great fangs. Water drips down it like drool, and it's with apprehension that Noah follows Kather in.
  162.  
  163. Kather , meanwhile, looks right at home the moment she enters. "Master Sige! I'm back from my trip!"
  164.  
  165. Inside, the floors are a worn, flat stone, wooden tables with groups of chairs are against walls covered in monster skins, trophies, and embellishments of the guild's previous members' deeds. It's almost like a tavern, and that's not helped by the guild's Master standing behind a counter, doing some detail work on a wooden sculpture.
  166.  
  167. Master Sige glances up from his work, one of his eyes magnified with a giant glass circle. Flicking the piece up, he sets down the hand-sized snake and jerks his chin at the redheaded girl leaning across the counter, "Well well. Figured you got yourself lost out in the mist, but here you is, with a bag to boot. Anna stray pup too, it looks like." He glances over her shoulder at Noah, still in the doorway. "Well, don't just stand there, you'll let in the cold." Master Sige is a taller figure when he's not hunched over his sculpture, his red beard stained deeply with grey. His skin is leathery and tough, but his eyes are a piercing gray. His hands, plucking up a file and his sculpture, are both giant and covered in scars.
  168.  
  169. Noah walks in, getting a better look at the Guildmaster as Kather protests his lack of faith in her, watching as she proudly drops the back filled to the top with giant toad skin.
  170.  
  171. Kather: "We managed to kill a Cockatrice too," Kather puffs up, "Ambushed us during the rain, but I lopped off it's head before it could get in a hit!"
  172.  
  173. Master Sige scoffs, "Cockatrice. You try out a Basilisk then, kill one of them bastards, then come and brag about it, ya'hear?" He pokes her in the chest, earning a deflated look from the girl. "But regardless of that, you've completed the quest then, fifteen dead frog skins?" He talks, pulling on a pair of thick leather gloves with metal fingertips, adjusting the apron across his chest.
  174.  
  175. Noah clears his throat, "Eighteen, if you could the three before the Cockatrice, Kather." He watches as the Master pulls the skins out, one by one, checking them and piling them up on the bar.
  176.  
  177. Kather nods excitedly, before hesitating, "Wait, we forgot to cut them up and get the skins! We were in such a hurry to get away that-" she's already turning and heading for the door.
  178.  
  179. Noah is about to stop her when-
  180.  
  181. Master Sige bellows, "Oi! Quick your yelling and get back here! They're probably picked away at by some other predator by now, and I'm not letting you leave to wander the roads at night. You'll get lost and die for sure, and looking at your cuts, Missy Blue Cloak, I'd be a fool to not bet on that."
  182.  
  183. Kather stops, turning to trudge back, grumbling to herself.
  184.  
  185. Master Sige clears his throat, turning to Noah, "Well then boy, what's your story then? You don't look like one of my Hunters. Picked up Kather on the way after she got lost then?"
  186.  
  187. Noah nods, Kather's sudden revival and insistance that it's not the case doing more than he could say. "I'm a Traveler, Noah, at your service. I'm from the town of Newgreen, and I'm planning on catching a ship leaving Sewold."
  188.  
  189. Master Sige raises an eyebrow, "At my service, are you now?" He laughs darkly when Noah starts to stutter, "Just games, boy. But let me do you a service and give you this tip, on the house: you're not going to take a ship out of here anytime soon."
  190.  
  191. Noah frowns, "Why's that?"
  192.  
  193. Master Sige sniffs one of the skins and shakes his head, "Oof. That's fresh alright. Because the port's been closed, on account of the pirate activity."
  194.  
  195. Kather: "Pirates?" Kather perks up.
  196.  
  197. Noah: "Pirates?" Noah can't help from blurting out.
  198.  
  199. Master Sige: "No, Kather, and yes, Boy," The guildmaster starts with a warning tone, "There's been some band of sea dogs harassing trade ships up the coast, and the Baron's said that until the Naval dispatch gets out, we're not to see any trade. Too many lives and too much money lost to the bastards."
  200.  
  201. Noah frowns, "The Navy? What Navy?" He glances at Kather, who shrugs.
  202.  
  203. Master Sige grunts, "The Baron says 'The Navy'. I reckon he's trying to get help from one of the other Baronies 'round here, or at least hire some heroes or adventurers to handle it, but that's just my guess. Until they're gone, though, no ships in or out of the Port. And don't even think of finding a smuggler- any of the ones you find 'round here are probably working with the blighters."
  204.  
  205. Noah purses his lips, "But, then what am I supposed to do? My plan was to find a ship and go from there, I don't have another plan."
  206.  
  207. The master sighs, glancing at Kather. "Here, Boy. Noah, is it? Go get some sleep, find a tavern, get a meal in you, and then come 'round here and ask again. Poke around town, perhaps you'll find something to do in the meantime. Jus' don't settle down."
  208.  
  209. Noah nods, adjusting his bag. "Is there a tavern nearby? Someplace, er, cheap?"
  210.  
  211. Master Sige sighs again, "Cheapest place is the Old Hare, down this street and take a left, walk another street and take another left. You can try the side alleys, but I wouldn't, you'll end up sleeping outside after getting lost."
  212.  
  213. Noah nods, waving a hand, "Thanks again. I'll see you tomorrow. Kather, you too. And, thanks for today."
  214.  
  215. Kather frowns a little, but the door closes before she can finish her line of thought.
  216.  
  217. Noah takes a deep breath of town air and sighs, looking up at the clouds. It looks like it's about to rain again to his eyes, and he starts his way down the street, but before he can make the first turn..."
  218.  
  219. "Hold up!" Kather bursts from the door, jogging to catch up with him. "Hold up, Noah, wait jus' a sec!"
  220.  
  221. Noah turns, "What, did I drop something? What is it?"
  222.  
  223. Kather shakes her head and grabs his hand, slipping a weighty bag into it. "Here, from me to you. I could've died out there today, an' I figure I owe you a little something for it." She grins widely.
  224.  
  225. Noah freezes, the coin pouch heavy in his hand, "I, I can't accept this, this is too much."
  226.  
  227. Kather: "Eeeh?" Kather frowns, "I'm no cheapskate, you know. Do you think I hold my life in low esteem?"
  228.  
  229. Noah: "That's not what I meant," Noah starts, before he's cut off.
  230.  
  231. Kather: "Well, I don't care what you meant. Keep that with you, I won't accept it back. Throw it in the well if you don't think you need it. But do yourself a favor, and head take a right here, then a left after the first light post. Stay at the Pilgrim's Candle instead, it's more, but the beds are actually beds."
  232.  
  233. Kather shoves him a little to get the point across, smiling. "And I'll see you tomorrow. You better show up, you hear?"
  234.  
  235. Noah looks at the money in his hand, before slipping the pouch into his bag and nodding, "I'll be there as soon as I'm up. And, thanks again."
  236.  
  237. Kather laughs, scratching the back of her head, "Ah, you're gonna make me embarrassed. Get out of here before I hit you."
  238.  
  239. Noah takes her advice, waving again as he takes her directions. Passing by a guard patrol and the first light, he comes to a hanging sign of a Robed figure with a staff in one hand and Candle in the other, painted in white. "Must be the place," he mumbles, before stepping inside.
  240.  
  241. Inside the Pilgrim's candle, the walls and floor are wood, and there's a crackling fire and a hearth. As it's evening, there's plenty of people inside, drinking after a day's work and enjoying a cooked meal. Slipping through the tables is a young woman with sandy hair, carrying a tray of food in one hand and a trio of wooden mugs in the other. She drops them off at a table of sailors', fielding their complements, thanks, and innuendos with all the embarrassment of a young girl. A moment later, she glances up and notices Noah, "Ah, welcome to the Pilgrim's Candle! Have a seat and I'll be with you in a moment, or see yourself to the bar!"
  242.  
  243. The bar in question is populated pretty heavily, although there's some open spaces. Behind it, there's an older man with a balding hair and red face pouring ale and cleaning glasses and wooden mugs, while behind him a kitchen is bustling with activity.
  244.  
  245. Noah takes the girl's suggestion, moving to sit. A look around to find the stairs and the door, and Noah sits back, running a hand through his hair. "So nice..."
  246.  
  247. "Isn't it?" A voice answers his, a woman's voice. A moment later, one of the chairs at his table pulls out, and the owner of the voice sits down. An older woman, with black hair pulled over one of her shoulders. Several thick lines of silver run through her hair, and her eyes look like they've seen plenty glance at him. She flashes him a smile, "You're a new one here then, aren't you? Name's Ridget, Ridget Shalley."
  248.  
  249. Noah blinks, surprised by her forwardness. "Ah, Noah. My name's Noah, Ms.Shalley."
  250.  
  251. Ridget smiles, a slightly distant look in her eye, "Mrs." As Noah flushes at goes to apologize, "Don't worry. I don't wear the ring anymore. You're a traveler, aren't you?"
  252.  
  253. Noah manages to catch himself and nod, "Yes, I just started my journey. Left my home of Newgreen a day ago."
  254.  
  255. Ridget nods a little, "And it's been going well so far, seeing that you made it here. I was under the impression that the road was plagued with monsters this time of year."
  256.  
  257. Noah nods again, "Yeah, there were quite a few on the way here. If I hadn't met with a hunter on the way, I think I would've had to turn around and try my Journey later in the year."
  258.  
  259. "A hunter, you said?" Ridget waves down the waitress, "One meal for me, and an ale with it."
  260.  
  261. Noah panics, "Ah, I have some foodstuffs, if you can heat it up I'll pay. And, I need lodging for the night, if that's..."
  262.  
  263. The Waitress beams, "Of course, I'll be back with a tray, and a couple's room will be Ten Sil."
  264.  
  265. Noah blinks, "Couple's ro-" he looks at the grinning woman to his right and hesitates, "Wait, no no no, it's not like that."
  266.  
  267. Ridget covers her mouth as she laughs, "Ah, just him Beth, you know me."
  268.  
  269. The Waitress lets out a little grin, "It was too easy. A room for a single is still 10sil though, including the charge for the food reheating."
  270.  
  271. Noah rubs his red cheek, "Seriously, do I come off as that much of a bumpkin?" He ignores the giggling of the waitress, reaching into his bag to hand over the wrapped cockatrice meat and ten silver coins.
  272.  
  273. Ridget finally calms down as the waitress slips away with the money and food, "Now now, it's all in good fun. Besides, I was going to ask if you, Traveler Noah, had an idea where you were heading next."
  274.  
  275. Noah sits back, "Now that, I can't tell you. I was planning on taking a ship to anywhere, but I learned the port's been closed because of bandits. So, I guess tomorrow I'm going by the Hunter's Guild and asking for help finding a new destination."
  276.  
  277. Ridget lets out an amused noise, "Hmmm? Was that it then, just a ship to any old place?" When Noah nods, she clicks her tongue, "Well, I suppose I should pitch my question now then. If you're looking for a place to go, why not Riehill, two days east of here?"
  278.  
  279. Noah raises an eyebrow, parsing his memory for information Riehill.
  280. Noah : rolling 2d8 Knowledge of Tradition (1+1)= 2
  281. Noah raises an eyebrow, parsing his memory for information Riehill. Nothing comes to mind, and he scowls, "That's not a place. Not a place I've ever heard of."
  282.  
  283. Ridget stares at him, "You... You're joking, right? It's just down the road! Right over the hill!" She sits back herself, "Noah, are you sure you're safe to be wandering the world? You're going to end up in a bandit's lair, or a monster's stomach, with that kind of worldly knowledge."
  284.  
  285. Noah glowers, "Right, if that's the case then, tell me about this Riehill. What's there to see there?"
  286.  
  287. Ridget starts off describing the town, a typical farming town, famous for the martyrdom of a Famous Sword Saint. "Every spring there's a festival of the Ringed Flowers, celebrating the life of the Saint, and people from all around gather to pray and play and enjoy the fresh warmth of life. I'm surprised you never heard of it, I'm sure people from Newgreen attend it."
  288.  
  289. Noah nods a little, thanking Beth the waitress when his food arrives, eating slowly. "So, you're saying I should attend this festival? Sounds like as good a reason as any, but I should probably see if there's any work I could take in the meantime. How long until the festival?"
  290.  
  291. Ridget runs her finger around the rim of her beer mug and thinks, "Seeing the date... Mayhaps, a week from now? Plenty of time to walk there, but as for finding work... I have a proposition for you."
  292.  
  293. Noah glances up from his meal, "For me? I'm a Bard, not exactly much I can do."
  294.  
  295. Ridget shakes her head, "Aah, but you have a Hunter friend, and you're armed. I require an escort to Riehill. I have business to attend to, and I'd also like to set up a stall at the Festival. I could use a hand running it too, if you're glib with your words."
  296.  
  297. Noah nibbles on his food, nodding after a moment, "I'll consider it. There's pay in there, right? I notice you didn't mention that."
  298.  
  299. The woman grins, "Clever boy. Smart of you to ask. Yes, there will be pay involved, for you and your friend. It's imperative that I reach the town soon, and my goods are important to me as well."
  300.  
  301. Noah nods, "Alright. Tomorrow, I'll ask Kather if she's up for it. I think she's looking for money as well, so it'll be a good chance." As he finishes his meal, the warmth of the Tavern takes it's toll, combined with the meal, "Now, I think I'm going to go and get a bath, then go to bed."
  302.  
  303. Ridget raises her eye, "At this hour? All the bathhouses are closed, save for the seedy ones that aren't for bathing, as it were. You'd be better doing that in the morning." She waves over Beth, "Another Ale. I'll be here come morrow, Noah. I plan to hear your answer before noon."
  304.  
  305. Noah frowns, "I don't get what you mean by seedy houses, but alright. I'll see you come high noon then. Good night, Mrs. Shalley."
  306.  
  307. She smiles, "Ridget is fine, if I can call you Noah."
  308.  
  309. Noah nods, offering his hand. The merchant looks surprised for a moment, before taking and shaking it. Her hands are surprisingly soft, well-taken care of. "Until tomorrow then."
  310.  
  311. With that, Noah finds the number of his room and heads up. Before lying down to sleep, he stops, writing out a letter to his mother on the past several day's events and what he's learned.
  312.  
  313. Noah finally folds up his letter and sets it aside, blowing out his candle and kicking off his shoes. Stripping to a simple tunic and undergarments, he lays down on the bed and falls asleep.
  314.  
  315. ADVENTURE ONE - THE PATH TO SEWOLD, CONCLUDED
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