Player Perspective – Otis
It’s always about Cedric, isn’t it? I was content to stay in the forest for a few more days, but I suppose his thirst couldn’t be helped. We made it out of the woods unscathed, and onto a well-traveled road just outside a city. Even though sickly fog masked how large the looming city truly was, I noticed a feeling of optimism about this place. Connecting the dots, the soothsayer from my youth had mentioned a city (or was it a tower?) that promised happiness and opportunity, and I was sure this was as foretold. Imagine my surprise when Cedric announced that he knew this city, and promised a meal and comfortable lodgings at some establishment of wide renown- the Forlorn Maiden or sommat. Of course, I had never heard of such a place, but I was simply content to have a guide at this point.
We wandered deeper into the city, and the fog gave way to great spires to the north. Another promising omen, and I was filled with confidence. This was certainly a place of great intrigue. We arrived at our destination, but my companions simply milled about the entry! Were they expecting a welcoming fanfare, or perhaps a formal invitation? Was it that they were warded off by some ill omen, such as an abundance of red dyes and hues? Not sensing such malevolence, I threw open the door to the Forsaken Maiden, and proceeded up to the bar. For such a highly-rated tavern, the social scene was quite dead, but there was a comfortable lack of red décor. No matter; I was here for food and rest. The innkeeper seemed tense, and revealed that the city had been steadily losing residents. His main disappointment stemmed from a regular who appeared to be late.
Ever the one for theatrics, Cedric burst through the door and strode up beside me. The sparsely populated area broke into applause, and the innkeep’s face brightened. So Cedric really had been here before or simply bore an uncanny resemblance to someone popular here. Either way, Graham the barkeep produced a letter for Cedric, and informed us that all expenditures had been paid. Good fortune indeed. I instinctively wandered toward the northernmost unoccupied table. Naturally my party followed, as I’m sure they also deemed it unwise to risk the balance of our newfound good luck.
Cedric quickly discussed the contents of the letter in hushed whispers, but he seemed extremely optimistic about the undertaking. It seems a priest of sorts had a job for us to do, and Cedric was keen on accepting it. Vida had also recently expressed disinterest in the forest clime, citing “lack of opportunity” or sommat. My spirits were lifted to hear each other member of the group agree with the general terms of the request, further evidence that this was to be. Taking advantage of our new employer’s generosity, I splurged by accepting a mug of milk.
Standard public house procedure followed: Cedric broke out his lute- even heavily intoxicated, his performance was certainly better than it had been in the forest and in villages- and Vida prowled about to scouted the premises. As Cedric proceeded to repeat musical numbers, I scanned the room for interesting conversation. A few strange phrases were spoken: “The great wolf is in the chapel”, and “The watchers have not left us”. It was during this time that I felt in-tune with everything that was going on in the room, all at once. But this euphoric feeling was not to last, as m’lady Vida entered the room with a hint of concern on her face. As if on cue, Cedric passed out mid-note, and we took this chance to shuffle upstairs, but not before requesting a bucket from the bar.
Up in our party’s room, Vida revealed a strange phrase written in elven that she had found on a door. I mentioned that I had heard this very phrase downstairs in the common area. Perhaps this was simply the name of a room, but “Leg Door” was certainly a poor choice. We decided to investigate this room, but we retreated back into our room almost immediately. Upon returning, our Paladin had fallen asleep. At that moment I also began to feel the effects of sleep, and I recall drifting off with the wonderful feeling of satiation at the meal, drink, and warmth.
I awoke with Vida murmuring at the window. Something about skeletons in the street. What? This was the Forsaken Mistress, not in Urgathoa’s court! I arose to confirm suspicions, and noticed that there were indeed a few skeletons in the street! However these were not simply ordinary skeletons; it was Graham and Meric from the Frostbitten Mistress common area! Graham’s plaid shirt and crusty blonde mullet were unmistakable, although appeared a bit older. Adjusting my studded leather codpiece, I followed my companions downstairs.
The common area; once warm and inviting, was not the same as it had been the prior night. The aura of good tidings that I had sensed the prior day was quickly slipping away. Vida moved to lock the entry door, but to no avail. Athyria’s cat was out of the bag, and we would define our fate against 4 skeletons and 2 half-werewolves.
Battle was a blur. We were quickly rushed by our bony attackers, and Cedric and Lyn withstood mighty blows. Despite this, Cedric decapitated his undead aggressor, and galvanized our troupe into action through an inspiring monologue. Lyn seemed to be flailing about wildly; but once she calmed down she smote her attacker with a radiant pillar of light, vaporizing the skeleton with the power of faith. I withstood a glancing blow to the shoulder, but no significant damage was incurred. We emerged victorious, but it was a pyrrhic victory of sorts; our hosts and friends from the previous evening had been dispatched. Innocents will always be causalities in times of conflict.