Year 1367 DR, Year of the Shield, end of Marpenoth
Porthos sits in the Lady Luck Tavern, sipping a beer and enjoying his breakfast of sausages and bread fried in bacon grease.
The door to the tavern opens and he looks up to see one of the militia men approaching him. “Shirlyn SpearSliver sends his regards and has asked for you to make way to his solar for a meeting” With out waiting for a reply the militia man turns and leaves the Lady Luck Tavern.
#I best go see what that was about. Pushing himself back from the table Porthos looks at the last of his breakfast and gathers whats left, stacking the sausages onto the bread and eating as he walks.
Outside of Shirlyn’s solar Pimble leans against a wall eyes closed and seemingly relaxed, at the sound of boots scuffing on stone he cracks an eye. Porthos and Dirk arrive with Dirk’s usual remarks on how he hopes Lieutenant Beldath wont be in attendance at this meeting.
Closing his eye again, Pimble greets his two companions, “I see you two were summoned here as well” Stepping from the wall Pimble faces Porthos and Dirk. “As usual for bureaucrats, hurry up and wait.”
Shortly after Porthos and Dirk arrive the door to the solar opens and an aide steps out “Shirlyn is ready to see you now.” The aide closes the door behind the group, not entering himself.
Standing behind his desk Shirlyn offers a smile as the three enter. “It is good to see you three in good health, having proven your mettle the town of Daggerford has a request of you three.” Leaning forward Shirlyn gestures to a map laid out on the surface.
“There is one last caravan leaving Daggerford travelling to Water Deep.” Drawing a line with his finger from Daggerford down to Water Deep. Pointing out hamlets along the path “We would like you to scout the way down to The Way Inn, and report back on the conditions and safety of the road. Avoid conflicts if at all possible.”
“If you stop at any inn on the way down the militia will cover standard accommodations, and you will be supplied with horses for the journey, as well as winter blankets.” With a cough Pimble hands Shirlyn a sheet of paper, I have a list of provisions we would like filled."
Shirlyn takes the slip of paper from Pimble and looks it over quickly, everything on the list will be provided as it is our standard list…except for the addition of the fur cloak. That you will have to supply for your self."
As they leave the solar, Porthos nudges Pimble, “Where did you get that list? Did you know we would be going out on a mission?”
With a shrug and shake of his head Pimble answers “No, I have just been wanting a fur cloak. So I kept that list made up and in my pocket just in case”
Porthos laughs and smiles but says no more as they continue on their way.
Pimble meets Dirk, and Porthos near the stables after every one has collected their gear. As the horses are being brought out his eyes are scanning the crowd around, suddenly he excuses himself and slides into and through the crowd. Disappearing from sight, Pimble makes his way toward a short rich looking man wearing a fine fur cloak. “What a fine cloak good sir! Where ever did you come by such a fine garment?”
In a pinched and nasally voice the opulent looking man replies “I was out trading at Baulders Gate when I purchased this cloak.” “That is a great find!” Exclaims Pimble “Have you had any problems with bear mites? Nasty little buggers”
Unconsciously the merchant starts to scratch himself, “I’ve never heard of them, a…are they dangerous?”
“Oh no not dangerous…usually. Some times they can cause a serious disease, very very rare though.” Pimble "pushes a bit to far. The merchant straightens and stops scratching. “Well thank you for the warning. I will make sure to have my cloak cleaned and deloused.” With a quick turn on his heal the merchant quickly waddles away.
Returning to the others Pimble snaps his fingers “I was this cloae to having a free fur cloak” Holding his hand out with thumb and forefinger barely separated.
The journey down to The Way Inn took three days at an easy pace for the horses, Pimble collecting any and all herbs he sees. After his third seperation from the group Dirk turns to him “Why do you keep going off to pick flowers and plants? Got your eyes set on a lass back home?”
Pimble laughs and beams his halfling beatific smile. “Oh no, but if I collect enough plants some of them are bound to be used to make healing solutions.” Porthos laughs “At this rate your saddle bags will be filled to the brim by the time we return!”
“All the better chance of having something useful.” Pimble retorts.
The days passed uneventfully on the trip down to The Way Inn, the first night spent at Liams Hold. An old tower turned inn, as promised the inn provided a room and meals for militia on duty. Young Porthos has taken his job very seriously and is suspicions about the innkeep Ben being a spy for bandits. Even having Dirk check for new tracks as they leave the next morning.
The second day passed as peacefully as the first, chatting with farmers and traders that crossed their path Porthos, Pimble, and Dirk continue on their way. Just before nightfall the group decides to make camp at one of the well used areas rather than push through the night to reach the hamlet of Bowshot. Porthos builds a fire and cuts fresh wood to replace what they would use for the night.
Pimble tries and fails to fish, but Dirk returns from the woods triumphantly with a brace of hare for dinner that night.
Stopping in Bowshot only long enough for lunch, the group reaches The Way Inn before nightfall. The inn its self is walled and fortified while the town around it is open and sprawling, as they approach the town they are stopped by one of the local militia “Halt who goes there? State your business.” Always one of the first to speak Pimble steps forward “We hail from Daggerford, my team and I were sent down to scout the way for the last caravan heading to Water Deep.”
Lowering his spear the guard smiles “Be welcome friends from Daggerford, I will spread the word to the militia here about the last caravan coming this way. You should go to the inn and inform Doravin Redbeard the innkeep if you would be so kind.”
“We certainly can, we plan to stay the night there as is.” Pimble waves at the guard and turns to the inn, Porthos and Dirk falling in behind him but quickly catching up to the halflings small steps.
The Way Inn is veritably packed, the innkeep Doravin busy running to and fro, but he stops to welcome the group from Daggerford “Good day, you must be the group from Daggerford. Please have a seat I will have food sent out for you.” Porthos looks confused “How did you know we were from Daggerford?” “You’ll find that news travels very quickly in a small town like this. I heard almost as soon as you entered town.” Seating them then quickly off again to attend to other matters.
A feast arrives at the table and Pimble dives in, devouring everything in front of him. Porthos and Dirk eat heartily but cant keep pace to the halfling and his appetites.
At the end of the meal Doravin returns to the table. “Would you be returning to Daggerford or continuing on to Water Deep?” Porthos answers first “Our return to Daggerford begins tomorrow, why do you ask?”
Doravin points with his chin at a table across the inn. “Merchant over there was asking about the trip to Daggerford, and if there was any one else going that way. If you dont mind, I think he would like to meet you about your return.”
“Of course leade on good innkeep Doravin” Pimble declares “we can at least hear him out.” Doravin introduces them to Meldar Farwander the eldest of the group. Sitting at the table with him are three young men and a young woman. “Please sit, I am Meldar. These three men here are my animal handlers. The young lady to my side is my daughter Dolora. I am an animal merchant, coming up from Baulders Gate. We were attacked a few days ago to the west of here, what guards that weren’t killed abandoned us at the first sight of blood” Taking a drink with a shaky hand Meldar continues “The five of us made it out with a good part of the heard, but fear continuing on the way without an escort.”
“I hear that you will be travelling to Daggerford and I wanted to ask if we could make the trip together?” The halflings eyes get a gleam; almost the color of gold. “We are certainly willing to help if you are able to pay.”
“I would be wi…” Porthos cuts Meldar off, “We will do it free of charge good sir. It is our duty as militia of Daggerford.”
Turning to whisper in Pimbles ear “Think of the reputation and promotions we can get.”
Business being settled Pimble, Porthos, and Dirk settle in to the table for drinks with Meldar and his group. Porthos comforting the distraught Dolora with smooth words and smoother fiddling.
Pimble eyeing a large group of farmers as an easy mark, gets up from the table and approaches the rowdy group of farmers.
“I have a challenge for any of you, a strength competition between me and the strongest among you!” A large man who looks to be a farmer steps forward. “What is the wager little man?”
Pimble falsely bridles at the remark, “five silver pieces for the first, ten for the second and thirty five for the last.”
Retreating into a huddle the group of farmers mumbles between them. The largest one breaking off again and returning to stand in front of Pimble “Accepted. Together we can collect the coin.”
From the crowd some one taunts “What is the first competition little man? Arm Wrestling?” Pimble smiles and points in the direction the call came from “That is exactly right! The first contest is arm wrestling.”
The crowd laughs as a table is cleared and pulled out. Taking up positions at either end of the table Pimble and the large farmer grasp hands and count together, “three, two, one”. In the blink of an eye Pimble losses to the farmer.
Standing up and rubbing his arm, Pimble declarers “The second contest: Take three shots and walk in a straight line!” The innkeep Doravin so wrapped up in the competition does not think to charge for the six shots.
Throwing all three shots back Pimble jumps up onto a bench and takes three steps before losing his balance and falling onto his backside. Letting out a loud belch. Pimble shouts “Top that!”
To the cheers of the crowd the farmer drinks the liquor and steps onto the bench, wobbling as he walks down the length of the bench, turning at the end and making his way back as the crowd cheers and claps.
“The third challenge will be holding your open hand to a candle flame for as long as you can. The winner of the last two challenges can go first.”
As the large farmr steps up and sticks his and into the flame the crowd goes quiet. Biting his lip to hold in the pain he lasts for the count of seven before pulling his hand back and cursing in pain.
Stepping up to the candle Pimble thrusts his hand with out the barons ring into the flame. Putting on a show of being in pain as his hand heals almost faster than the flame can burn it. Pimble holds his hand in the flame till the count reaches fifteen seconds before snatching his hand away, letting some one catch a glimpse of burnt flesh; having palmed a piece of meat to complete the effect."
To the cheers and jeers of the crowd Pimble states to the farmer “I’ll just keep my original fifteen I would owe you. Making your debt twenty silver.” With grumbles and curses the farmers pay out. Pimbles coin purse is bulging with copper coin.
Setting out the next morning the scout group from Daggerford and the merchant with their herd plan to pass the halmet of Bowshot to reach the camping ground before night fall. As the party passes Bowshot Porthos sees a shape in the distance that was not there on the trip down. Pimble and Dirk volunteer to scout the way ahead while Porthos stays with the group.
Making their way slowly Pimble and Dirk move toward the mound. After checking that there was no danger around the approach the oddity. What they find is a pile of goblin and orc heads, most of them pin cushioned with arrows. Stepping closer Dirk examins one of the arrows fletchings, “I would wager these are from wood elves. Looks like they are clearing up the area a bit.”
Returning to the road Dirk informs Porthos of what they came across. Seeing no reason to stay any further the group continues on their way staying cautious and vigilant. Reaching the camp well before night fall Pimble goes to fish and Dirk sets out to hunt. Just as dusk settles into night Dirk returnes to camp empty of hand, while Pimble returns with a large catch, plenty enough to feed the whole of the party.
Setting camp for the night Pimble, Porthos, and Dirk draw for watch shifts; Pimble pulling first and Dirk last.
Not long before Porthos is due to wake Dirk for his watch, when the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. Walking the parameter of the camp Porthos catches movement out of the corner of his eye, turning in time to see goblins charge out of the woods screaming.
With a shout to wake his companions Porthos launches a javelin at the first goblin, the point driving through the goblins chest and pins it to the ground the goblins war cry becoming a strangled gurgle as it dies.
Porthos draws his axe as Dirk arrives at his side to meet the rush of the remaining goblins, Pimble ducks further inside his sleeping roll as if to will the interruption to his sleep away.
The remaining three goblins arrive at the same time, two moving in on Porthos the remaining one facing Dirk. All three goblins lash out at once. Dirk deftly parries the attack, while Porthos catches both spear thrusts on his shield, counters one thrust and cleaves the goblin through, nearly splitting it in twain.
Suddenly two javelins fly out of the darkness, both miss their mark announcing the arrival of two orcs into the fray.
Dirk slashes with his bastard sword, dispatching the goblin facing him, he turns and thrusts with his dagger at the second goblin attacking Porthos and catches it unaware killing the goblin instantly.
As the orcs arrive Pimble (Still in his sleeping roll) tries to sneak up on one of the orcs heading to attack Dirk.
as he gets nearer his blanket snags on a twig alerting the orc to the halflings presence. Surprised by an enemy so close the orc swings with all his strength, missing and throwing himself so off balance that the orc falls, hitting his head on a rock.
The second orc is cut down by Porthos with one swing before it even has a chance to attack. Pimble stabs at the fallen and stunned orc, his short stature causing his blade to slide from the orcs armor with out a scratch. Porthos leaps over the bodys in front of him and slams his axe into the orc as it struggles to get up, severing his spine.
Moving quickly the party moves the corpses out of the camp ground and Porthos sets about removing heads and creating a pile to mimic the one found earlier by Bowshot. Knowing no one will be able to get back to sleep every one packs up and gets an early start on the next leg of the return journey.
The rest of the trip to Daggerford remained uneventful, Meldar getting a room at the HappyCow, asks to meet with ever one at the River Shining inn after they debrief Shirlyn SpearSliver.
Later that evening Porthos, Dirk, and Pimble meet Meldar and Dolora at the River Shining Inn. “You all have my gratitude for getting us here safely. We would not have made it if it werent for you three. As discussed I have 20 gold for each of you. I also have something extra for you as well.” Pulling a scroll from his pouch he hands it to Porthos. “I was planning to sell this, but I figured you might be able to put it to good use.” Porthos unrolls the scroll, revealing a map to an old dwarven hall deep in the mountains.
Taking a step back Meldar says “I also have a few magical items and I am willing to part with one for the service you have given us. The first is a wand, the second is a spear, and the third is a dagger.” Examining the make and quality the party quickly and unanimously decide to take the dagger and give it to Dirk.
The rest of the night is spent in revelry, Porthos renting a room at the Inn makes his move on Dolora, handing her a key and whispering in her ear "Come by any time, and enjoy a nice opulent room for a night.