Rufus never mentioned how dreadfully boring watching over people sleep can be. Maybe he enjoys the silence, either that or he gets off on viewing people slumber. I’d rather not think about it either way. It has taken us several days, but we have finally arrived at our destination of Varnhold.
I would like to say we were greeted with a warm welcome, or even a cold welcome. We were not greeted at all, as the entire population has vanished. I am relieved that the curiosity of my dear travelling companions kicked in, because my fear of the situation would surely have taken over. Mass disappearances are the work of magic, very powerful magic. Alas, I have no answers to this point.
Rufus took point, darting in and out of the buildings with a determined stealth that one would have to admire if not for the over dramatic body language telling us to be wary and quiet. Eventually our scout led us to the inn of the town, which had a fresh carving into the side wall. “Nomen”, it read. The name belonging to the centaur tribe that had recently begun to terrorize Varnhold.
Inside, we found a fey creature immobilized in a ghostly aura. The creature was a Spriggan, a tree-based fey with a bloodlust and wicked sense of humor, not unlike a less civilized Rigg. Fortunately, the creature stumbled upon a Snake Sigil hidden in the texts of a book it was no doubt trying to loot. There were several texts littered around the common room, penned by Professor Penguard. Sir Thorne examined the upstairs and came across a master crafted violin, and another text written by a Carmen Brivosa, a named general in the Taldorian army. Inside had a name, Vordakai. I know not this creature, but hopefully these books hold the key to it’s identity. Young Gazl, on the other hand, has picked up a few bad habits from young Rigg, and looted a fine wine from one of the houses. To think, I normally rely on him to be our conscience!
Eventually our band had finished scouting the town, including finding several scrolls found in the church. We made our way to the town’s keep, with slim hope that the townspeople were inside. Surprisingly, there was smoke from a fire to be seen as we approached. This optimism was quickly dashed to the wayside as raspy voice in the Aklo language demanded us to leave. I was beginning to magically persuade our rude doorman to open the gate when Sir Thorne decided noble steed should knock it down, crushing the creature below it.
A raucous battle ensued, with Sir Thorne charging with a fervor I had not seen in almost a year. Whatever doubts I had about the rust both Francis and Noble Steed might have had vanished as he quickly lanced another spriggan in twain. To be honest, I was impressed by all of our efforts. Rufus has used this year to clearly become a better marksman, as he felled several creatures in a matter of seconds. Gazl’s powers grow in ways I cannot imagine, though his are as subtle as mine. He offered a quick prayer to Shelyn, and instilled quite a fervor in our very souls! I found my spells potent &easier to manifest, Sir Thorne’s armor sheened with a protective white aura, and Rufus’s aim became nigh unerring! If it wasn’t for the Hound Archon that I summoned, I found myself the odd man out, biding my time observing my team in battle.
Eventually the battle was finished, with the mighty Noble Steed crushing in the skull of the spriggan leader. We found untold and countless treasures within a powerful Bag of Holding, but my eyes were to the skies. It appeared we had a spy in our midst in the form of a raven. I tried to scare it off with my spells, but it dodged them with complete ease. The creature even managed to duck an extremely well placed arrow from Rufus. The others brushed me off as crazy, but this creature was most certainly magical and definitely not there by coincidence. I will continue to monitor our little friend. I believe him a scout of this Nomen tribe.
Now it is almost time to wake young Gazl for his turn on watch. Which is good because I have grown quite bored and tired in the interim. I can hear young Rigg trying to wake him up already. Strange, I’ve never heard him use that tone before…