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 Episode One

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PostSubject: Episode One   Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:10 pm

A vast green country, dotted now and then by lazily rolling hills and sparse trees; the Uldoon Trail runs for miles along this pleasant terrain with hardly a point of interest save for a few quaint inns and farmsteads. While this road may not appear to be anything special, it is in fact the road upon which would begin a tale that would shape the fate of Faerûn, and possibly even the world, forever. Four complete strangers travel along this trail, bound for the same destination, unaware of each other's presence. Four strangers on four different missions whose destinies would become inexplicably intertwined: A hardy dwarven warrior investigating troublesome rumors for a friend, whilst running from his own troublesome past; a halfling soldier, assigned to a new post far away from her home and far away from a love which cannot be; a druid, pulled along in the back of a cart, searching for answers to her metamorphosis and healing for her shattered body; and a half-elven musician looking to pay his respects to a great man and looking to the stars for guidance.

Elsewhere, the Cult of the Dragon--a cult known throughout Faerûn for bringing unlife to fallen dragons--has been much more active than usual. Rumors and whispers abound, but so far no increases in the sightings of dragons, whether alive or undead, has been noted. This activity has not, as yet, reached as far south as the Uldoon Trail...

One single point of interest lies along the Uldoon Trail; the very same destination for which these four strangers are bound: a small town that acts as a merchant's hub (due in no small part to the fact that it is the only town on the trail), Greenest. As the travelers head toward Greenest, each of them in turn happens upon a quaint little inn; the last inn they would find before reaching the town, the aptly named "Journey's End Inn". Weary from a day's travel and encouraged by the fact that the inn was slightly less than a day from town, the four travelers each tie up their various mounts (the druid being aided by her travel companion) and enter the inn.

Inside, the inn is nothing out of the ordinary: at the front desk stands a human in plain clothes with tan, wrinkled skin and close-cropped grey hair peppered with white. He greets everyone the same way he's greeted for years, with a hearty "Hello, and welcome to Journey's End!" The lobby also serves as the common room, filled with rows of tables and chairs, most of which are occupied by road-hardened merchants deep in their cups and hardly aware of any comings or goings. A couple men sit in front of a hearth at the end of the room, warming their hands and nursing mugs of ale. The room is quiet but for the low murmur of idle chatter.
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:51 pm

"Journey's End, eh? Wouldn't that be a waste of an adventure." Torfinn says loudly before boisterously laughing. "Fine bunch of individuals in here, wouldn't happen to still have room for me would-jah?" He says with a smirk.
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:57 pm

"Sure, sure! We've got room for yeh!" the innkeeper says as he hands Torfinn a key marked with the number 14. "I'll be sending one of the maids to get your room ready. Shan't take much longer than half an hour. In the meantime, make yourself at home! I'll have a mug o' ale sent over to yeh. First one's on me!"
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:16 pm

The Marchants and Meursaults went in to pay for their room, looking forward to lying down in beds for the remainder of the evening. Alibastar and Talis remained outside, securing the carriage and horses. Since they left town, Talis hadn't said anything. Unsure of what to say, Alibastar chose not to pry into the matter, and he enjoyed a few minutes outside with her in silence.
He drew from his flask, then offered it to her. She declined. Before putting it away, he took one more sip, and they began to wander down the trail a bit, still in silence.

The two finally returned to the inn about an hour later to find their elder companions had settled in for the night. "I think I'll be headed to bed. I'll see you in the morning," Talis stated, made her way to the keeper to find what room they were in, and headed upstairs.

Alibastar, just as Talis went upstairs, heard a robust voice come from the entrance. It was exactly what he wanted to hear after such a long, grim journey. "Fellow traveler, would you like to share a drink?" he asked the dwarf, offering a hand to him.
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:35 pm

"havent had much of a chat in a few days, and company would be an interesting turn from things trying to kill me." a cold gaze takes Torfinn's eyes, "You wouldnt be here to kill me would you?" He pauses slightly then shakes his head slightly and the grin reappears on his face as he takes the hand of his new acquaintance. "Im just giving you trouble. Torfinn is the name I was given, and what shall I call you?"
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:40 pm

OOC: Talis is located in room 35. The rest of the Meursaults and Marchants in various other rooms scattered about the inn.
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:43 pm

"Name's Alibastar Marchant, I go by stargazer," he says, giving the hand a strong grip, attempting to match that of the dwarf's. He laughed as he released the hand, "don't worry, dwarf, I'm only a half elf, so you can still half trust me."
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:08 pm

"I've fought beside your kind before, haven't had to keep both eyes on one yet!" he barley finishes his sentence before roaring out another hearty laugh. One would almost think he had a few too many drinks long before he walked into this inn with how he is composing himself.
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:10 pm

."No Sam, take me back outside. You know I can only fall asleep under the stars. " replies Nocturne hoitily.
"I'm tired from dragging your ass for miles, I don't fit on your stupid hammocks, I want a bed. It would be good for you too, a good bed is what you need so you can recover.  Hey Mr. Inn man, what are you looking for for me to get a room?" Sam says all in one breath.
"Fine, I'll get some wine, white. I haven't had...." She starts to count her fingers when she gets distracted. She peers around the bar, then quickly shys her eyes and opens a thick manual.
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:24 pm

"So, what brings you to Journey's End, Torfinn?" he asks, having a seat at a table, resting back in the chair. "How far are you from your destination?"
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:39 pm

"surprisingly I was traveling here, if you could believe that." gesturing to the odd folk sitting about the room as he sits down at the table with his new acquaintance . "A friend asked me to stop by for a bit, so here I am. How about yourself? you came in with a spirited bunch." Torfinn takes a slow drink from his newly arrived mug of ale and scans the room, the he spies two individuals by the front desk and pauses to stare at them for a moment before returning his gaze to stargazer.
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:00 am

The inn door was pushed open by a very, very annoyed looking man, with a small girl trailing right behind him.

"But I don't want to go to bed, Grant! I'm not tired." She was tugging on the shirt of the man, presumably Grant.

Grant audibly sighed and said "Yes, I know, Lieutenant, you've said twice already. And I can't say I'm surprised, seeing as how you napped half the day away in the back of the cart!" Rolling his eyes, he turned to the counter. "We need a room for the night, Innkeeper. Two beds if you have it, but one will be fine. She can sleep on the floor." He gestured to the girl behind him, who now looked indignant.

"I will most certainly not sleep on the floor, Sergeant! I am your Superior Officer!" You could hear the capital letters in her speech. She turned to the Innkeeper, who looked quite amused, and said "One bed in the room, sir, if you please. My subordinate," she pointedly glared at Grant, "will be sleeping on the floor tonight!"

Grant rolled his eyes again and took the room key from the chuckling Innkeeper. "Okay, Leuitenant, whatever you say. But I am going to go to sleep right now because I had to drive the cart all day. But tell you what, to make up for my quip earlier, I will unload the cart and take our stuff up to the room. That okay, sir?"

The girl crossed her arms and huffed, grumbling.

"Sir?" Grant waited.

Grumbling a bit louder, she said something almost audible.

"I'm afraid I didn't hear that, sir." Grant smiled a little.

"Uhg. Yes, fine. Have at it, Sergeant."

"Thank you, Leuitenant." He patted her on the head as he walked back outside to gather their things. "Don't get too drunk before bed, we've got another long day of driving tomorrow."

The Leuitenant rolled her eyes and glanced around the room before hopping up onto a stool at the bar and ordering a drink.

Looking around the room more carefully this time, she grimaced a little bit at the sight of the purple cripple in the wheelbarrow contraption, and quickly turned away.

Then she saw it. The most glorious beard she had ever seen in her life.
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:01 am

(@ Nocturne/Sam)

"Silver a piece'll do jus' fine," the innkeeper says heartily (much the same way he says most anything). "Got a ground floor room with two beds that should suit yeh well enough. I'll have the maid get your room ready. Might be a while, seeings as we've got quite the crowd tonight. Go on and sit yourself down for now. Must be some long travelin' days you've had what with having your friend there in tow. Firs' drink is always on the house at Jouney's End."

The innkeeper slides a key labeled with the number 22 over to Sam, then turns back towards the door as a tall man walks in with a squirming halfling in tow.
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:12 am

The innkeeper walks over to the window to flip a sign over so that from the outside a traveler would read "No Vacancy". "Looks like rain tonight!" he says to no one in particular. He then goes back behind the counter and busies himself with opening new casks of ale and wine and sending the maids out to other rooms as they return from making each ready.
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:22 am

Alibastar orders an ale as Torfinn's is brought to him, and looks back to the man. "We're on our way to an old friend's funeral. The lady I came in with is his daughter. My parent's and I have known the man for at least the length of my life, and our neighbors used to travel with him. Typically we're a much more energetic group," he nods as his ale is brought over, "you should see Angelo once ale touches his lips. Typically I'm the storyteller," he takes a full drink from his mug, "but that bastard completely steals my thunder."
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:42 am

Sam places the silvers on the table with a little extra for the innkeep. Seconds later heads to room 22.
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:05 am

Looking at the innkeeper, "It won't rain unless there is someone using a strong magic at work. It is to warm and not humid enough for rain naturally."
"Is your inn normally this busy? Is there a festival or something going on to bring all these people here?" asks Nocturne.
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:18 am

The innkeeper (Barliman), in his absentminded performing of tasks, keeps sending glasses of white wine to Nocturne, not realizing that he's already given her her free first drink. Meanwhile, he spots Gwenyvere walking over to the table where Torfinn and Alibastar are sat and prepares a round of ales to be sent over, two pints and one much larger mug which he calls a "dwarven pint".

Realizing that Nocturne is talking to him, Barliman looks up and smiles a big toothy grin. "Not usually this full, no. Normally just merchants passing through Greenest and some folk heading there lookin' for a quieter way o' life. Most o' the merchants are folk I'm familiar with; see 'em in here all the time. Got a couple families headed to a funeral, one of 'em is over there with the dwarf and the halfling. Other'n that, got more'n a few faces I ain't seen before, but I can't say why they're passing through. No special festivities that I'm aware of in Greenest." A slow pitter-patter of rain begins to tap against the windows as he's talking. "Well, look at that," Barliman says, "firs' rain o' the season!"
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:07 am

"RAIN! What, not possible..." She gets out some paper and hurriedly scribbles some strange symbols. After a moment of writing, she hobbles over to the halfling.
"I need a second opinion. What is the absolute humidity outside? I would say it approximately 45.2%."
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:42 am

Torfinn stares blankly into his mostly empty mug, "loss of a comrade has a way of sapping your spirits". He stares out of the window for a second before finishing his mug. "Speaking of sapped spirits.." Torfinn says with a chuckle, he is suddenly reinvigorated, and hastily stand from his seat looking around the room for the barmaid. "My mug is dry and so is my pallet! barmaid, another round for me! Barmaid? Barmaid?!" He stumbles back slightly and falls back into his seat, mug still raised into the sky.
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:45 am

"A story teller, eh? Wouldn't happen to know any tales about dragons would you?" He says with a hearty chuckle to stargazer. "Would be interested on hearing some grand tales of those"
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:45 pm

Gwenyvere, who had forgotten her drink and promptly hopped from her stool after seeing the Beard, had made her way over to the table at which the Dwarf and Half-Elf sat. She stared at the dwarf from behind the Half-Elf for a moment, and was getting ready to ask permission to touch it when she heard someone from behind her ask "I need a second opinion. What is the absolute humidity outside? I would say it approximately 45.2%."

A shiver running down her back, she turned around to see the purple cripple had hobbled over to her and was now staring at her intently. "Um," she shifted uncomfortably, "sure, that sounds right. Water was sticking to the horses, so..." her back bumped up against the back of the Half-Elf's chair.

At the same moment, she hears the Beard's wearer say "tales about dragons, would you? Would be interested in hearing some grand tales of those."

Completely forgetting about the purple engaging her in conversation, she crawls up the back of the Half-Elf's chair, holds onto his arms, puts her head on his shoulder and says with wide sparkling eyes "Is someone going to tell a dragon story?!"
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:06 pm

"RIGHT! 45.2 with a margin of error around 0.4...." she writes down more calculations while downing the wine.
While still looking at her parchment, says "Be careful about what you say of dragons, you never know who is listening."

"That doesn't make sense, it would have to be 8 degrees [Celsius] above waterfreeze to rain. Strong magic, not good...."
Lazily she muses over the prospects of magic, when she remembers her initial mystery. She approaches the other travelers.
"Why are you all here? It is to much of a coincidence for you all to be here."

Approaching bar, she looks at the dwarf and half elf. "You both say you came because of death?  What manner of death did you lose your companions?"
"I forget my manners, sorry for your loses."
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:15 pm

"LAST CALL!" Barliman belts out to everyone in the common room, "PLACE YOUR FINAL DRINK ORDERS! IT'S NEARING MIDNIGHT AND I'LL BE OFF TO BED SOON. ENJOY YOUR NIGHT AND THANK YOU FOR STAYING AT JOURNEY'S END!"
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PostSubject: Re: Episode One   Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:41 pm

(Perform check=22 [16+6])
Suddenly surrounded in an audience, yearning for a tale, Alibastar naturally stood. "There is a tale of a dragon I've heard. It's popular among us stargazers, commonly a first tale that we hear before joining the brotherhood." He throws back his ale and places the mug back onto the table. "The Stargazer," he began, taking a step back from the table, his long stride filled with exuberance, "who's name has been lost through the ages, was travelling far east of Faerun. Where other adventurers traveled with companions and swords and magic, The Stargazer traveled with only his heart, his voice and his treasured flute." As he spoke this last phrase, he produced his own pan flute from his hip, and played an uplifting riff, sustaining the last note as long as he felt it needed.

"The Stargazer, eager to spread happiness and a love of story happened upon a fork in the road. Not familiar with the area, chose to follow his spirit, and continued his journey into the mountains. The pass he traveled is told to be the most beautiful mountain pass in the entire continent. The walls, expertly carved by dwarves, The Stargazer deduced from the precision of not only the lines in the art, but to perfectly smoothed walls carved into stone. However, the art contained many nuances of elves and humans. Such beautiful work, which he had been surrounded in for at least 500 feet of the trail, he concluded could have only been a collaboration of an tremendous group of artisans."

"Completely lost in the story he was immersed in of heroics, brotherhood, triumph and celebration, he failed to notice a brass dragon sitting in the trail around a bend. The Stargazer kept his composure and stopped, unfamiliar with the nature of dragons as he had never encountered one. 'My apologies,' he exclaimed to the creature. 'I am Stargazer, it's my pleasure-'

"'I am Fafnir, also known in these lands as Fraener,' the beast interrupted, 'and you must have something for me, mortal.'

"'How do you mean?'

"'If you've no tribute to offer, Stargazer,' a great roar behind voice, as if accusing the name, 'then you've a deathwish.'

"'I've nothing to offer you, Fafnir, and if this is where I meet my end, it must have been in the stars for us to cross here.'

"Now the dragon was confused with this being willingness to accept the end. 'You do not fear death?'

"'It's one of only a few events shared by all mortals in the world, and if I shall pass this milestone today, then I'm proud to move onto the great stage with my brothers.' Fafnir was still confused.

"'Fafnir, if you will attack me, I've no sword or spell to defend against the assault. I arm myself with only faith and story. I will be proud for my death to punctuate the wonderful experience of my journey in this mountain.'

"Fafnir realized that this being was one of only a handful in the last several centuries to travel this path without the goal of attacking him for his hoard. In addition, he was the first in many decades to truly appreciate the tale that was told through the trail. 'Stargazer,' his voice now containing a softness, 'you are a truly noble being. I fear the only persons who travel here are on a journey to offer gold and tribute for my protection of the land, or on a mission to slay me to retrieve my treasure at the end of this trail. I was wrong.'

"The two made peace, shared stories, and The Stargazer was invited into the dragons lair as a gesture of brotherhood. Fafnir's final request was for a retelling of the story on the walls, in a mortal's voice. It warmed him to the core."

Alibastar performed a short tune on the pan flute, a brief song the followed the entire movement of the story. "And with that tale, The Stargazer was awarded a platinum piece from the dragon, a piece from a terribly ancient civilization that reminded Fafnir off his early life. He kept this piece of treasure always on him, a keepsake to always remind him of his first dragon brother."

One more tune was played on the flute, in a very distinct style characteristic of the Moonshae Islanders. Alibastar took a bow. "One more brew for me, sir," he hollered at the beckon of last call.
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