It was another dreary day in the village of Willowvane. I’d come to see the festival, though the weather had kept many travelers at bay and the merchants hadn’t even bothered displaying their wares for the day. Still, I was out and about making my rounds when he caught my eye – a man of odd dress, clearly injured, and carrying what appeared to be a baby; rushing through the village. He sought solace from the drizzle in the tavern, and I followed. It appeared my trip may have been worthwhile after all.
I sauntered in behind him and found myself a spot in the corner, attempting to appear as inconspicuous as possible, which I’ve found can be rather difficult for me considering my… physical attributes. I note that despite his apparent exhaustion, injuries, and child the man appears to be penniless. I am debating how to use this to my advantage when a small scuffle appears to break out in the far corner of the room.
A man of some build, also of foreign dress, marches over to them and appears to quell their skirmish with a piece of gold, which is doubly odd as he appeared to have been bartering with the tavern keeper for meal and board with potatoes. My attention is drawn elsewhere though, as I glance up to see that the man with the baby has come over to greet me.
I order up some gruel so my new companion and his child may eat, and am able to ascertain that his name is Kai, he found the abandoned child while passing through a nearby raided town, and that the child is in fact half-elf, like myself. He is disappointed that I am unconnected to the nearby elven tribes and am unable to find the child a home. His disappointment is short lived, however; as the men in the corner have begun to grow quite rowdy again.
Seeing as the situation seemed to be escalating quickly my Kai and I jumped up to intervene – we had barely begun to diffuse the situation when the village guards were called. The tall man with shrouded face pulled the two of us back to the corner in order to avoid drawing the attention of the guards. After but a moment he ordered us to room 13, which I assume was his. Despite having my own room and being rather interested in the scene playing out in the corner, the baby needed protection and the injured man was my key person of interest. I followed him to the room where we were able to secure the child in the basin and return to the tavern.
Despite a less than graceful entrance to the room I was able to scurry into the kitchen with the tavern keeper and his son. From there, I was able to watch the fight ensue when I noticed a creature in the room – not attacking anyone, but attacking the door from the inside, as if trying to break out. It made quick work of the door and ran off into the mist, and the tall man quickly strode out behind it. As Kai and the guards seemed to be handling the bar brawl, I opted to take out after them.
As there was no rear exit I was forced to sneak out past the fight and was greeted by a mauled corpse of one of the local barbarians. I could still see the swish of the foreign traveler’s cloak and hear the footfalls of the beast he seemed to be following and pursued them while keeping my distance. From what I gathered, it appeared to be under his control as he was attempting to interrogate additional barbarians he encountered. I was unable to catch the full conversation, but I gathered that the barbarians had some great leader which had given the order to raid the village.
The tall man then turned his attention to me, asking if I had knowledge of the origins of the men he had encountered. I informed them they were a local barbarian tribe, linked to a series of raids on local villages. We then went back to the tavern, encountering Kai looting the bodies along the way. We opted to inform the local authorities of our discovery and further interrogate the men in the bar, as they seemed to be in cahoots with the barbarian tribe. We were informed that they were bribed to start the fight in order to occupy the guards, and that they came from Teaton.
As for my new companions and me, the tall man informed us his name was Runi and that he would be joining the party going out that evening to find the barbarian tribe and get to the bottom of this. I agreed and bribed Kai into joining us in exchange for healing and my agreement to assist him in finding a home for the child upon our completion.