A Northern Plague

First Impressions

Or how to piss off the locals in 5 easy steps

The Bamph Brother’s Mercenary Company is one of many throughout the continent of Ativa. What sets it apart from most others, is their willingness to accept anyone of any race, from any background. All they need to do is prove their worth. And the group heading to Duvik’s Pass is on their way to doing just that. Sent north with little information on what to expect, the party caught a ride on a caravan heading that way.

They stuck to themselves most of the trip, and got to know each other, but not many people along on the ride. Except one man. Sitting alone on the back of one of the carts was an older man, grey of hair and slight of build, with large bags under his eyes and a tremor to his hands. It was immediately obvious to the party that something was bothering this man.

Inquisitive as young adventurers tend to be, they inquired upon his problems. His name is Dovah, and as It turns out, he is a merchant of some wealth from the town of Orlae, and had sent his son, Aryk, to Duvik’s Pass when news reached the city that silver veins were found running throughout the Knife’s Edge mountain ranges. He funded an excavation and mining crew, and all seemed to be going well, until a few weeks ago, when he stopped receiving messages. He was headed to Duvik’s Pass now, to find out what has happened, for better or worse.

After some discussion, the party agreed to help him find out what happened, for a price. Being up in his years, Dovah knew he couldn’t do much on his own, and he needed rest, so he agreed. He would put the group up in the local inn, and pay them if they could find anything out. The group agreed to the terms, and arrived in Duvik’s Pass.

The party immediately split up to explore the town, and see what they could find.

Keiran and Ezos went to the village square. They noticed that many of the townspeople seemed to be in quite a state of despair; many seemed to be starving, ambling about with eyes downcast, and some seemed to have some sort of sores covering their bodies. Keiran immediately set about trying to brighten their moods with a magic show, and it captivated everyone, including the mayor, Cristofar Sandars. While the magic show was going on, Ezos realized that the well in town seemed to be blocked off, and upon inspection, realized the water seemed to be tainted; a fetid odor wafted up from its depths, and the water seemed to be cloudy and off-colored. After the magic show, the mayor approached both Keiran and Ezos, and explained that there had recently been some type of disease outbreak that they couldn’t figure out the cause of. They even have a cleric in town who couldn’t seem to solve its cause, nor heal the infected.

“He must be a shitty cleric,” Ezos said, shaking his head. The mayor immediately tensed up, and began defending the cleric, who had been the towns only hope in these tiring times. He was not amused with Ezos, but Keiran tried his hardest to smooth things over, and for the time being, the mayor seemed amicable. He continued with his explanation. Recently, after returning from a day at the mines, some of the men had come down with an illness; they were tired, sore, and covered in boils and sores. Within a few days, they were dead. Looking for more information on this disease, Keiran and Ezos headed for the local temple.

Meanwhile, Damon and Eldunari cut through town, and headed straight for the mine, to see what they could find of Aryk. When they arrived at the mine, just a half mile out of town, they noticed the lack of any signs of life. There were no footprints going in or out of the mine, and there were tools scattered about, covered in snow. Heading into the mouth of the mine, Eldunari noticed what appeared to be signs of a battle; the support beams were chipped and gouged, and all of the torches around the entrance had been ripped from the walls and scattered about. Eldunari wanted badly to enter the cave to see what they could find, but Damon had no plans to go in without the rest of their band. With nothing else to find, they headed back to town.

Keiran and Ezos arrived at the local temple, which they were pleased to find was a temple to Boccob, the same god they worship. There, they met Father Sammael, an elderly half elf priest. He shared with them the information that he knew about the disease, which was not much more then the mayor. He also told them that there was a temporary cemetery just outside of town, where they were burying the dead who were infected. Upon further questioning, he revealed that he hadn’t actually been involved in the burial process, but that his acolytes had, as he himself did not wish to be diseased. They also learned that the disease seemed to spread to members of the infected’s families. Disturbed with the information they had received, Keiran and Ezos left the temple, and headed back to the inn, where shortly after, Damon and Eldunari arrived. There, they shared the news each of them had learned, had a little to drink. But Ezos felt as if there was more to learn from the priest, and headed back to the temple. Damon couldn’t let him go alone, and decided to join with.

When they arrived at the temple, they asked the priest a few more questions, including whether he had any information on the people who had died. It turns out he had kept a list of the deceased, and handed it over to them for inspection. And on the list, they found the name they feared they would: Aryk. They bid him a goodnight, and headed back to the inn. When they arrived, they found everyone still i the common room, talking and relaxing.

It was then that Eldunari noticed a woman who appeared quite sad, and dressed better then anyone else in the room. She approached her, and learned that her name was Arianna Tungsten, and she was the wife of the chief miner, who was one of the first to fall to the disease. She didn’t want to press her too hard for information, and eventually excused herself. Eldunari returned to her table, as Arianna left the inn, and shared the little information she had with the rest of the party.

“But, if she was the miners wife,” Ezos asked, “why she wasn’t infected with the same disease?” Eldunari’s eyes lit up, and ran out the front door of the inn, kicking it open and ripping it from its hinges. As the splinters still fell to the ground around him and yells from Winthrop the barkeep echoed into the town, Keiran chased right behind her, and sent forth with a magical incantation, a rope from his bag, and bound Eldunari with it, tying her up and stopping her in her mad pursuit. Explaining that it probably isn’t a good idea to rile the local population up with a mad dash through the streets in the middle of the night, he eventually calmed her down, and released her. There was no sign of Arianna around, anyway, as it had been quite a few minutes since she had left the inn. They entered back into the inn, and apologies were made, and a silver piece was paid to Winthrop for the door. Everyone headed back to bed.

Except Eldunari. Eldunari decided she wanted to head back to the mine, and see if there was anything else she could find. After falling out of the window and spraining her ankle, she made her way there. As she neared the entrance to the mine, she heard a gibbering sound up ahead. Peering from behind a bush, she spotted a kobold, covered in sores and muttering to itself. Terrified of the creature, she sprinted back to town. When she arrived at the inn, she decided it would be best to avoid the eyes and questions of Winthrop, and attempted to scale the building back to her window. Unfortunately, halfway up the building, a piece of siding gave way beneath her fingers, and she plummeted to the earth below, breaking a few ribs and her collar bone. She immediately started screaming “KOBOLDS! KOOOOBOLDS!”

Candles were lit in windows throughout the neighborhood, and guards came running, halberds and swords out, torches burning. “Kobolds? Where? What happened here? Were you attacked?”

“Kobollllds!” she screamed, until Ezos arrived, and convinced the guards the Eldunari was quite drunk, and had clearly been quite the fool, and seemed to have fallen and hurt herself. The guards had seen drunken fools before, and left them to their troubles, but didn’t go far, and kept an eye on them until they entered back into the inn. Ezos said a quick prayer to Boccob, and a blue glue seemed to emanate out from her hands, healing the wounds Eldunari had received, and silencing her screams. They headed back up to bed.

Comments

also forgot the part where cristofar mentions being the one who inquired after the Bamph Brother’s merc group. Woopsie. Will fix.

First Impressions
OhJorden

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