Starting Small RPG - adventure transcript

Felix Pleşoianu
2008-06-07

Foreword

This is a role-playing game that took place in early 2007 (IIRC) between me and a few friends. We played via a Web forum, therefore we didn't use any rules beyond typical play-by-post provisions: no god-modding, no invincibility and generally use common sense. It actually came out pretty well. Unfortunately, it fizzled before long.

The players:

I've color coded each player's posts, but the colors are not essential for following the game. The story starts in a small village from some typical fantasy setting.

The adventure

** Prelude

"The sunny morning came like any other, but today the light was friendlier than ever. The farmer was smiling while looking at his crops. His wife was shouting at their small children running and hiding behind the haystacks. Let them be... he might have thought. He looked at the horizon. Yes, a wonderful morning indeed... He felt more ready for what that day may bring."

** The beginning -

"Once upon a time..."

The Callbury village was usually a quiet and friendly place, and this day was no different. This part of the country was never known to be a very exciting place, the most "criminal" activities happening here were illegal hunting seasons and some cattle theft from time to time.

The villigers were not exactly poor, but they were far from their wealthy Bracken neighbours. Actually, between the little Bracken town and the Callbury village there had been certain disputes for centuries - nothing serious, really, but they did not like each other much. And sometimes, if a folk was getting drunk, he might even argue with his neighbours.

The village had only a few dozens houses, mostly rather modest, except maybe the one of the mayor and some of the most rich farmers. Around Callbury were most of the farms, agriculture being the main occupation here. Some had crops, some had cattle.

One of the most popular places in the village was the local market, not a big one, but there were all kinds of vendors here. They had no quality merchandise, but some decent items you could find here.

The tavern "The Sleepy Racoon" was also rather populated these days. Both local folks and outsiders were gathering here, and lots of strangers lately, which seemed quite unusual for Callbury. Too many new faces, and the local lawman, Mart Boyl - otherwise known as a reputable drunkman - was sitting in a corner, watching for anything out of the ordinary. Although, it did not seem to be the case at all that day. The tavern's patrons were running up and down, and the bartendeer kept pouring into cups at all times. The tavern's owner Gill Trot had his hands filled with business these days. All his rooms were filled with guests. Very unusual for this time of year...

The tavern customers were sitting at their tables, laughing and chatting.

<<Let's take a closer look at these customers, shall we?>>

The room was filled with lots of strange people. Some of them were the chatty type, like the fat business man that was being closely watched by his two bodyguards. His eyes did not look as the eyes of an honest man.

An elegant woman was sitting at some table, not taking into account the young "Romeo" that was trying to get her attention. She was looking rather discreet from time to time at some dark gentleman in his fourties, that was reading some letters at a nearby table. The young "Romeo" was not discouraged though. "Beautiful lady, your eyes look like two flowers..." The lady did not grant him a look.

Some simple looking peasants were staying in a corner and looked rather sad. They had a problem of their own it seemed. "Very bad, very bad thing is happenning there... We must be careful though..."

The lawman was watching carefully two people, who looked rather nasty for this part of the country, and their swords seemed rather long. They were having their drinks rather quitely.

Near the bar a very short fellow was standing, with a very amazed look on his face. His hair was red, and he seemed to be rather lost. His name was Nicholas Araquedas de Ajar i Rocho. How did he get to this place anyway? Some of the folks were looking at his with strong curiousity. Especially a very old woman, who looked like a strange witch from some bed time stories.

A young boy, Andrej was also an unusual presence, although his common human features (though delicate) did not make him look out of the ordinary in that place. The red-headed gnome seemed to have all the attention.

An old-looking priest seemed to look with interest towards Andrej, though. Maybe there were some unknown connections or it reminded him of a younger relative?

Another cleric was staying next to the old man, but the two of them seemed to have nothing in common, except their social status. The second priest seemed more like the traveller type, and yes he liked to travel a lot. He seemed rather tall for a dwarf, and his beard was blonde. His name was Roy Rusthammer and his life was devoted to Ilmater, the god of all healers. He seemed to have spoken with the old priest for some time. "I am sorry, brother Rusthammer" said the old man. "But I do not share the same sympathy for those pagan tribes. They deserve their fate." "Their fate?" Roy Rusthammer seemed at loss for a moment. He looked at the old man and decided he did not like him.

<<And now it is time for some action>>

One of the peasants staying at the bar had too much drinks apparently.

"One more, ale..." he asked.

"No more, Joyk" answered the bartender. "You had enough"

Joyk looked at him seeming not to understand what he says.

"No more? I see you having lots of ale here."

The bartender tried to quiet him down.

"No, I will not keep calm this time. Ale is only for children."

Before the bartender could say anything he turned and looked at Nicholas Araquedas.

"And I see you got lots of little children around, don't ye?"

He started to laugh:

"Hey, you child, isn't bed time for you? Time for you to go home at mommy!" He took his ale and went with a rather dangerous gaze on his face towards the gnome.

<<Time for our gnome fellow to do something, I guess>>

The old priest ignored whatever happened at the bar and was looking at Andrej. "That child is dangerous" he said.

Roy Rusthammer was a little shocked. Not only by the fact that the young man seemed as innocent as one can get, but by the mere fact that his "coleague" did not seem to behave like a proper priest. Maybe his deity required him to do otherwise?

Usually, the dwarf was not a curious folk. Curiosity killed the cat, didn't it? But this time he did not like it - a fellow priest was raising very unusual issues.

"I'll look into it, brother Inquitus" he added.

He felt really unpleasant about it, but he had to do it. So, he went straight to Andrej. "Howdy, young fellow. I need a word with ye, if ye may..."

<<Time for Andrej to make his move>>

"Why," stammered Andrej, "good day to you, too, master dwarf." But he didn't look at the priest; he was watching Joyk, with a rather worried look on his face.

The man wasn't exactly his neighbor, but in a small village like theirs, everybody knew everyone, and Joyk's wife, Karla, was a good friend of his mother. Poor Karla. Five small kids to raise, and a drunkard for a husband. Life was hard enough without that kind of stuff.

As is customary in freeform play-by-post, our game master encouraged us to help him build the story. Try it if you haven't already.

Roy Rusthammer was looking at Andrej face trying hard to see something wrong with this young boy.

"You know, young fellow, this may sound a little odd coming from a stranger, but I have to ask you this: you living in Callbury? Or ye're an outlander?"

While the dwarf was talking to Andrej the old priest did not take his eyes of the young boy. His gaze was not a friendly one.

Yes, the GM had a player character for himself. Again, this is customary in PBP, and with good reason. Makes certain things easier.

"Lived here all my life, why do you ask?" Andrej still spoke absent-mindedly, but this time he paid more attention to the traveler. He didn't look like one of those sleazy city guys. Besides, he was a dwarf, a race he had learned to know as fundamentally honest. And the question itself wasn't so suspicious after all; maybe he was just trying to find an old acquaintance or something...

The noise at the bar seemed to increase, and it was all related to Joyk. The bartender seemed to let things get out of hand.

People were starting to get curious about it. Faces turned more than often to the bar, and discussions started to get to a halt.

The old priest eyes were also drawn to the scandal.

Roy thought for a second and then said to Andrej:

"I want to tell you something, but please pay attention and do what I say accordingly. There is a man at a table right behind me. He is an old cleric named Inquitus. But please, don't look straight at him."

Fortunately, Inquitus' gaze was not upon them at that moment.

"He claims you are trouble."

Seeing Andrej's amazed look he added:

"Look, do you by any chance know Inquitus? Or have any idea why he would think so?"

<<Maybe is time for Andrej to come up with something from his background >>

Andrej wasn't in any danger to disregard the dwarf's advice; he was looking at Joyk like everyone else. But now his attention was fully on the strange conversation.

"Inquitus? Sounds like someone from Wolfsmark Monastery. They've been trying to spread their faith among us for generations, or so my father says. Never with much success. We don't like them, and they don't like us. But I never personally..."

He stopped abruptly. Why was he telling a total stranger all this?

Wolfsmark Monastery - the name sounded familiar, and yet the dwarf could not exacttly say when or where did he hear about it. As far as he knew (what he had heard while passing through the nearby villages), that monastery was somewhere north from their current location, about a day or two if you did not travel too fast. It was also one of the very few monasteries from the county, and not a big one by any standards.

Something was odd in the whole situation, and though maybe it was just a missunderstanding, his dwarfish senses were saying a different story altogether. Maybe there was something about the the tonight's ale? "I believe you, young fellow" he added. "There is something about this whole issue that bothers me though. Keep around, I will try to find out more." He went back to the other fellow priest.

While the dwarf was moving back to his table, the dark gentleman in his fourties seemed to look at him in a peculiar way. The elegant woman saw that and she became also interested for just a few seconds about Roy. She lost rapidly her interest tough.

The fat business man was talking to some trademan: "Business these days is rather tough. You have no idea how much merchandise I lost lately due to road bandits"

"Road bandits in this part of county?" asked the amazed trademan.

"Well, not here, but far south... There is where all the good cloth is coming from anyway..."

Roy came back to the old priest and said:

"I am sure there is nothing wrong with that boy, brother Inquitus. He does not even carry a weapon."

The old priest was adamant:

"Willingly or not he is the tool of evil. People like him are getting whipped and punished at our monastery. Until the evil leaves their body, or until they die."

The dwarf was shocked. He did not believe that wipping someone wouold be an effective manner. But dwarves were very different from the humans after all.

He did not like the idea of someone being whipped to death though.

"Brother Inquitus... isn't whipping a little too much?"

The priest looked at him angry:

"Physical punishment is always required to vanish the evil from us. I preach is to my pupils. And I hope every other priest does"

I hope not - thought Roy, but this time he was worried. Could the old man try to hurt Andrej for some obscure reasons? He had to find out more.

A patron came to bring them other drinks. He started to talk to Inquitus.

The dwarf thought quickly and then came to a decission. He looked towards Andrej and and made him a discreet sign which indicated the young fellow should follow him outside the common room of the tavern.

He raised from the table finding an excuse to go outside.

Andrej was a quiet country boy, unused to religion or politics and the rivalries they stirred. He never had any quarrel with one of the brothers at Wolfsmark, and he couldn't imagine why he would. But now all sort of things came to his mind. For example, between Calsbury and the monastery lay a dark forest, somewhat feared by the more superstitious locals - like all forests. Except in this particular one lived an old ranger called Nikos, and while he was a friend of the village he never went anywhere near the "holy" place.

And Andrej spent a lot of time around the ranger...

He noticed the dwarf's sign and started towards the door, while calling to the drunk man at the bar: "Mister Joyk! Your wife was looking around for you earlier."

It was all a youngster like him could dare given the circumstances - Joyk was almost old enough to be his father - but now he could leave with a clear conscience.

The dwarf was expecting Andrej in the hall right before entering the common room. Here were also starting the stairs for the upper floor guest rooms. He said to Andrej:

"I am going to make you a deal, young fellow. There is something about brother Inquitus that bothers me. I need to find out more about him. I am willing to pay you for that. Can you find out what room he stays in? Maybe one of the serving patrons knows. If not, try Gill Trot, the tavern's owner. But be careful with it, he might get suspicious. I will wait here at the entrance."

<<This looks like a quest for young Andrej. Maybe it is time for his diplomacy skills to develop a little bit?>>

Andrej looked at the noisy room behind them, then back at the dwarf. "I don't like this Inquitus either, master dwarf. I'll help you."

But then he looked again at the entrance, He didn't feel like going in there where that awful man could see him. He turned slowly, as if waiting for a solution to present itself. And it did.

"Be right back," he said, as he ran toward the Raccoon's exit.

What he had seen there, or rather who - a she, to be specific - was Anita, the barmaid who came every morning to buy milk from their not-so-little-anymore farm. And every morning she looked at Andrej in that particular way, which even he, in his naivete, could not misinterpret.

"Hi, Anita," he said, stopping by the girl.

Anita seemed to fancy young Andrej a lot, but her job did not let her much time. Even if she stepped out for short periods of time, she could not go away too long until Lynd Evler, the head over serving patrons would notice her absence.

Lynd Elver was not a very pleasant person, not one you could talk to anyway. And he really liked Anita. He watched her with predator eyes, and he had tried not only once to become her lover. He had no success whats-ever, so he became very jealous. He started to treat her in a very abussive manner. He would cry at her even at the smallest mistakes. And the gods forbbid that another man would talk to her...

So, Anita was very careful not to show anything towards anyone, not even the slightest sign of interest - or her boss would really hurt her.

Even now, although she did like speaking to Andrej she was very rushed. Her face was already showing signs she was scared not to be caught in his company. "Hi, Andrej."

Before the young man could even respond though, despair was on Anita's face, while her eyes were looking at another person stading at the door.

"Anita, told ye so many times not to talk to customers!"

Lynd Elver's voice was full of anger, and he surely looked pissed.

"Move along to the bar. Customers are waiting"

"Aye, master Lynd" she just said and ran inside.

Elver's eyes looked at Andrej filled with hate while he turned around and went into the tavern's common room.

By now there were too many nasty people in that inn, and Andrej wanted nothing more than to get out of there. But while Elver was just a bully - that didn't really scare the simple, hardworking boy - that priest looked like someone to be concerned about. But what to do about it?

"Not as easy as I thought," he said ashamedly as he returned by Rusthammer. "He still in there?"

I positively loved this exchange, even though I "lost". It's a good example of why I enjoy roleplaying. And the GM was kind enough to help me out, so no problem.

Before the dwarf could even reply, the common room's door opened and two men came forward discussing. One of them was the owner of the tavern himself - Gill Trot, while the other was the local lawman Mart Boyl.

"I tell you, that man did not come with honest intentions. You must be careful" said Boyl.

"Now, wait a second" replied Trot. "He is one of my guests. Until he does something illegal, I can't throw him out of my inn."

They both silenced when they saw Roy and Andrej.

"I'll go back inside" said Mart Boyl and he dissapeared inside the tavern. Trot was just staying there with his own thoughts.

<<Maybe now would be a good time for Andrej to talk to him>>

"Good day, mister Trot," said Andrej, trying to sound cheerful, "busy day, eh?" After a pause, he added: "How's Mark?"

Mark was Trot's son and a friend of Andrej. Not the best, but few others had inquired about his health when he was stuck at home with a broken ankle. He was simply returning the favor now.

The tavern master looked at him as if just woken up from his thoughts. "Good day, Andrej" answered Trot. "Well, Mark should be somewhere outside. Youngsters these days can't be kept inside even if you wanted to. So, what can I do for you? Does your mother need anything?"

"Actually, Mr. Trot, it's Mrs. Karla. She asked me to check up on her husband, so..."

Andrej looked quite embarassed about it, and he wasn't faking.

"Say, lots of new faces in our village." He was happy to change the subject, for more than one reason.

After a second, he remembered to smile towards the dwarf. Not all the new faces were unwelcome.

"Yes, yes, lots of new faces" said the tavern owner, becoming thoughtful again. "Some of them really bring trouble..."

He looked at Andrej again:

"Some of them have crazy demands. Like this woman staying in room number 6. She wants roses in the bath chamber. And there is this business man who wanted the largest room of them all."

Andrej understood the tavern owner's situation well enough. He'd seen his share of customers at the marketplace. But today he was interested in a particular one. He tried not to show it too much, though.

"I thought I saw a priest from Wolfsmark. He would be more humble, I imagine?"

"Humble?"

Trot seemed to be irritated.

"Those arrogant monks are anything but humble. They are bad news everywhere they go. Preaching about hard discipline by beating up people..."

He made a pause.

"Though this time he did not ask too much. Father Inquitus usually demanded the room with the north view. I was surprised he did not comment when I told him that room was already taken."

He laughed: "I gave him room 8. Hope he is more than satisfied there..."

"Why," asked Andrej amused, "does room 8 have something special?" He tried not to look at Roy Rusthammer, who was seemingly doing his best to pass unnoticed.

Trot laughed again: "We call it 'the rusty chamber'. Because the door as well as the windows are in the worst shape ever."

He lowered his voice: "We even pray that a stronger storm does not coome, it may take those windows away."

He laughed and went back to the common room.

"So, room 8, eh?" said Roy Rusthammer.

He looked at the young boy trying to decide weather or not he should involve him.

"Ok, Andrej, this is what I am going to do. I want to get inside the priest room and take a closer look. I am not convinced about his 'good' intentions, that is why I need to find out more."

He stopped: "I am not a thief or anything, but this might be important. And I need your help."

The boy's expression was suddenly very sober.

"Neither am I. A thief, I mean. If it wasn't about this man, I wouldn't even consider it."

He paused.

"What do you have in mind?"

In the meantime in the tavern room...

Joyk seemed to have forgotten any limit. He looked at the gnome while saying with entusiasthic sarcasm:

"I see that halflings are granted whole chairs. I wonder why... They should be granted only half a chair since they are... ye know: half... lings!!!"

He started to laugh.

"Maybe you should get yourself half a chair, mister gnome. Do you want me to cut for you in half?" he said with a dangerous grin on his face.

<<Things are starting to get out of control here, maybe the gnome should really do something>>

<<It is time to introduce a new hero...>>

A cloacked figure was descending the stairs of the inn in what seemed a rather unnatural manner. He looked frail, but he was keeping ferm while coming closer to the common room entrance. He seemed to know the surroundings pretty well, since he had been the inn's guest for the last few days.

His name was Kerro.

Kerro looked around a bit with a light face trying to take in the feel of the evening. He headed for a serving wench thinking of a cold ale.

The serving "wench" to whom Kerro seemed to have headed was a young woman called Rosita.

She was a rather large female, although that did not seem to bother many men that were trying to her attention. Some of them even succeded for some short time. But she was really interested in getting a man who could fulfill her ambitions. And right now she was aiming at the head of the serving staff Lynd Elver. She had noticed though that Elver was aiming for someone else, and she really hated Anita's guts for that. "That bitch must pay one day..."

So, Rosita was not exactly in the best mood when Kerro got closer to her. "So, what ye be wanting, skinny man?" she asked him rather annoyed.

"I might not be so skinny if you fed me better" replied Kerro with a smile on his face. "Please bring me some cheese and ale and perhaps an ale for yourself if you'd care to join me, it might brighten your evening..."

Rosita looked at Kerro as if seeing him for the first time. Her face seemed to reflect a certain calculation state. She examined Kerro very carefuly, deciding that his appearance was showing some kind of wealth. And since some of her greater ambitions were associated with wealth...

The decission was taken and a wicked smile crossed her face:

"Sure, honey. An ale for this lovely man is comming right away."

As they sat together Kerro leaned towards her, to give the whole thing a conspiracy tint. "So, darling, tell me everything. If you had a magic ring with all the power in the world what would you do first? Anybody special to reward? Or punish?"

Rosita was still suspicious, though. She hadn't seen any prove that Kerro really had the money he seemd to have.

"What kind of ring?" she asked. "Is it made of gold?" she added greedily.

"Hmmm... looks like I was aiming too high" thought Kerro. "Speaking of gold, was there by any chance an obnoxiously rich guy traveling through.. err.. town lately? Big 6-horse carriage, small retinue, the whole thing?" he asked out loud.

What Kerro said had drawn a little attention. The fat business man looked at him for a split second. Also the local lawman seemed rather intereted in the mysterious skinny fellow.

One peasant at a nearby table answered Kerro's question:

"What's the matter, too much ale for ye, me friend?"

Rosita was angry and pushed away Kerro's arm:

"I am not staying with ye until you show me that ring!"

"I wonder why all these guys seemed friendlier a few days ago" he pondered. "Or maybe I'm just not myself tonight...".

Out loud: "You're free to go if it's rings, not ale, you want. With a gold ring like that I'd make kings and queens of all in this room. Alas, I'm just a journeyman trying to see the world. So what will it be? Will you have another drink on me?". He said all this while trying very hard not to look at the fat business man.

Believe it or not, Adi was actually the most experienced roleplayer in our little group.

Rosita was really pissed now.

"You skinny bastard! How dare you..."

She stood up and walked away quite angry.

The business man however seemed more than interested in Kerro's person. He whispered something into one of his bodyguards ear while looking at the newcommer.

The peasants stading in a corner were also looking at Kerro amazed and with respect. The local lawman and the tavern owner also seemed interested in him. The two men that wore swords with them also started to look in Kerro's direction. Indeed, more than a few of the local folks, as well as strangers shown signs that Kerro had caught their attention.

One of the business man's bodyguards came straight to Kerro and said to him: "Master Goldween would like to have a word with you, if you may join him at his table."

Nicholas had enough of Joyk's jokes. He jumped on the chair and with a quiq movement he got his half sword out and put it near Joyk's mouth.

- This squirt is tall enough to cut out your tongue pig. And did it many times to others like you. Saying that he made some signs with this free hand.

Joyk's mouth opened and his togue popped out, strangely long and folowing a will of its own.

- Anyone here has anything against cuting this thing? 'Cause it seems that for him is only trouble, said Nicholas.

And here's the gnome finally joining the fun. Don't remember what kept Redshoby, back then, but he had difficulties getting into the story. Playing a gnome from another plane (Azeroth, heh heh...) I guess he had a hard time finding his place.

Joyk seemed to have been more than surprised. He could only think first: "Children these days... you give them toys... and they become danger to those around."

Fortunately for him, those were only thoughts, so the gnome could not hear them.

He realised pretty soon that this was not the attitude to save him from the gnome's blade. He was starting to be afraid. His eyes were filled with both fear and guilt.

People around were looking rather curious at the whole episode. Silence seemed to conquer the room.

The tavern owner looked rather worried. He made a sign to the lawman. The bartender was faster though:

"Please, sir Nicholas, you'll have to excuse Joyk. He is not feeling well after so many ales. He is a good man, but he is very troubled lately. Please, don't hurt him."

Everybody was waiting for the gnome's reply to this forgiving plea.

With a nod to the business man in question Kerro replied to the bodyguard in a lowered voice: "I believe this room is a bit crowded for serious talk right now;" he made a subtle gesture toward the disturbance between Nicholas and Joyk, "tell your employer that I would be glad to visit him tomorrow morning at his place of business should he be so kind as to provide a guide."

He waited for the guard to deliver the message, left a few coins on the table for the ale and the cheese and started towards the main door.

Nicolas looked at Joyk then looked at the other people in the inn. as much as he would of liked to cut the red, shiny, booze smelling tongue he admited that he didn't liked to get in a war with all the village. Better for him to drop the issue and look for some allies.

So he dropped Joyk on the floor pushing him with his foot.

- You are right mister bartender. Is not worth it.

Then he jumped down from the chair and looking one more time at Joyk, he exited the room.

Joyk was trembling, fear in his eyes and was mumbling: "Don't wanna die... don't wanna die..."

He ran to the opposite direction, towards the back entrance of the common room.

Mart Boyl, the lawman did not like the attitude of the gnome, even for a bit. Although, Joyk had been searching for trouble for some time...

"You think he would have cut poor Joyk's tongue?" asked a peasant at a nearby table.

"Don't know yet" answered Boyl. "But gonna find out".

He went outside after Nicholas.

The two armed men from the common room looked at each other and one of them stood up and also went for the exit.

Meanwhile outside the common rooom...

The dwarf and the young boy went upstairs at the first floor. Rooms were ne side and the other of the hallway. It was rather quiet and dark.

"My room is no. 9" said Roy Rusthammer. "That would be right next to brother Inquitus' room."

The door to room no. 8 looked in a rather poor shape, and yet it was not exactly an easy job to force it.

"Let's go to my room, perhaps there is a way to go in using the windows." After all, the owner of the tavern had already said that a storm might do more than shake the windows of that room, didn' he?

<<If Andrej decides to follow the dwarf in room no. 9... Or if he decides to force the door... one way or another, the quest might continue.>>

The lawman reached Nicholas before he would get to the tavern exit: "Sir Nicholas, I would like a word with ye, if you might."

Not expecting the gnome's words, he said:

"Back there, what you did... I am sorry to say, but it was a little harsh. I am not trying to defend Joyk - he only brings trouble. But please, do not try in near future to do your own justice while you are staying in Callbury. That is my job."

He paused and then asked:

"What are your intentions for the near future, anyway, mr. Nicholas? What do you wish to do in Callbury?"

<<Dialogue options for Nicholas are available here...>>

The tavern surroundings...

While getting outside the "Sleepy Racoon" Kerro could see the village road (not a very good one), and right across it lots of common houses. To the left was the way to the mayor's house and other 'wealthy' houses (after that the road continued to the eastern nearby forrest), while to the right the he could get to the local marketplace.

There was also a small path which lead behind the tavern. Some strange noises were coming from behind the tavern.

Right across there was a cart and in it some outlander who seemed to come all the way from the Bracken Town. He must have had some quality mechandise in it.

Near the entrance of the tavern a young boy was staying and looking at the trader across the street with greedy eyes.

On the upper floor of the inn, Andrej was trembling.

"Let's try from your room. If anyone sees me..."

The boy's voice trailed off. He wasn't quite sure what would happen to him, except he'd never be welcome in the village again.

Like any young man, Andrej dreamt of adventure. But he didn't expect it to begin like this.

<<Edited a bit... I hadn't noticed the amount of playing that took place while I was writing.>>

Nicholas looked at the lawman.

"Do? I don't know. I am kind of lost here. I don't know anything about your people or about the town. If i'd had a new sword I could offer my services. But with this.. and he showed the half sword he had... I can't be of much use to anyone. I think I will get on the road and look for others like me."

He laughed. Then he added:

"About Joyk. I was indeed in a mood to cut his tongue. I would have if I was on my father's lands. But not here. I don't want to get in trouble with your laws."

And in his head. "At least until I learn what the heck is happening with the magic in this world."

The lawman look at Nicholas thoughtfully.

"Maybe I could help you getting that sword."

He looked around hoping no one would hear him and then he said: "I have a certain task that I need to be taken care of. If you can help me with this one maybe I could get you a decent weapon. What do you say, sir Nicholas?"

<<A quest is rising here...>>

"It depends. If the task is over the price of the sword, I prefer to stay swordless. I never sold myself cheap. "

"I believe this task does not exceed in any way the price of a sword" said the lawman.

He looked around for a few seconds as if looking for someone and then added: "What troubles me these days is that we have lots of strangers and I cannot carry myself for all matters regarding the law. I have to keep an eye on certain individuals and I came to neglect some other aspects of my job."

He paused.

"One of this aspects is regarding missing goods."

He looked carefully around before adding:

"For the last few days I had small complaints about missing things. It's not much - cloth, a chicken, fruits. This may seem small, however they are all tied in the same area - a few houses from here, and it involves the property of a few good farmers who live there: The Gardman and Borchman families."

He coughed: "I would not bother you with such small task maybe, but yesterday I had a bigger complaint. Mrs. Gardman says that a family jewel is missing. So, before things escalade I need to find out more, and maybe catch the petty thief. Would you help me with this task sir Nicholas?"

<<Waiting for Nicholas' answer here...>>

Meanwhile at the inn's first floor, in Roy Rusthammer's room...

The dwarf's room was rather modest, suitable for any common traveller. It had a small garderobe, a chest and a bed. The window was showing a view from behind the inn.

The dwarf opened the window, a rather noisy action. He tried to push himself outside as much as possible without falling. He was looking at the the window of the room which was supposed to be occupied by brother Inquitus.

"I believe the window is in a poor condition. It may open if you force it."

He looked down, trying to find something he could put his foot on if he jumped over the window.

"I can see some kind of log here that comes out of the wooden wall of the inn, and that was somehow put besides both of the windows. It could support some human weight on it if you step on it and try to reach our neighbour's window. Of course, the person who does that exposes himself/herself to a rather nasty fall from the inn's first floor, and you can only use the wooden wall to grab as a 'safety measure'."

He looked again outside the window: "However, this is a rather thin log and I don't think it supports my weight. Maybe a child or a woman one."

Roy looked at Andrej: "I think it may support your weight, young fellow. But I can't force you to do this. There may be other ways. So, do you think you could risk going on that window and trying to get in our neighbour's room?"

<<Waiting for Andrej's answer to this challenging task...>>

"If it is about a petty thief, i think is a fair bargain. I would find the little burgler and cut his fingers."

Saying this he made a few steps, then stoped and turned back.

"Oh, yes. I don't know where are this houses. Any other details would be also nice".

Andrej was getting dizzy at the mere thought of getting out on that ledge. But when he leaned outside, it was to check something else: whether there was any onlooker behind the inn. Which was ridiculous, of course: someone could pass by there at any time, especially when he wasn't looking.

"Very well, master dwarf. What should I look for in brother Inquitus' room?"

<<Meanwhile outside in the village...>>

Kerrol took a leasurely stroll around the village with his eyes mostly outwards, looking for anything out of the ordinary in the forest.

Eventually he found his way back to the tavern and approached the outlander. "Good evening sir, what kind of wares are you trading?"

And that was the last we heard of Kerro. Turns out, Adi is a very busy guy...

The merchant looked at Kerro with very interested eyes. The word "money" and "cow to be milked" must have crossed his mind a few times.

"Good evening, sir. Why, I got here all kind of wares. The ones for young travellers, the ones for nobles, jewels for women, nice cloth perhaps?"

While talking to Kerro, he kept looking from time to time to the young boy on the other side of the street, who was staying near the inn's entrance.

"Or maybe such a great gentleman as yourself is looking for... more special merchandise?" added the outlander.

<<Meanwhile at the inn's first floor, in Roy Rusthammer's room... - part 2>>

Andrej was already half on his way over the window, when Roy sopped him. "I thought I heard a noise, he said. Hold on a second."

He went to room's door, slowly opened it and looked outside. A young couple was on the hall, and they were kissing. From time to time the young lady seemed to laugh.

Roy closed the door and came back: "It is nothing. I think you may continue. When you get there I want you to look for anything written on paper or parchments. It may give us an idea of what is happening."

Andrej nodded pensively. While his parents didn't quite see the value of literacy, the old ranger had taught him reading and writing - the basics, at least.

He tried the wooden ledge outside the window before fully relying on it; he had at least two meters to go until the Rusty Room's window, and twice as long a fall if he slipped. More than enough to break a leg if he wasn't careful.

While Andrej was trying his best to keep on that log, at the basement, right under his feet another interesting episode was happening...

The dwarf's room as well as the priest's room had windows with the view to the backside of the inn. Here, besides the structures that were built for animals and some even for servants, there was a large yard. After it, on the same property there were a bunch of trees.

Although it was almost evening, there could be seen some human silhouettes, although their figures were not exactly clear to the viewer.

"God damn, Lairis" said one of them. "You should be careful. You might kill him."

The other was more quiet, his whispers could not be heard.

Fortunately for Andrej, they were not looking up, or they would have seen him. But he must be quiet and move carefully otherwise they would hear him for sure.

<<This represents a possible secondary plot, if Andrej would like to investigate later perhaps?>>

Despite the intriguing conversation heard from the back yard, Andrej succeded to reach the priest's room window. The window looked to be in a very poor state, even a child could have force it to break in.

<<What will Andrej decide: force the window and go in or return to the dwarf and maybe tell him about the discussion he had heard below?>>

Hanging like he was on the inn's outer wall, the young man weighted his options. Breaking into the priest's room seemed easy enough, but whoever was in the backyard could not fail to hear the noise. On the other hand, going back now was a double risk. He might not get a second chance.

Andrej hesitated, and the time passed...

<<Meanwhile at the inn's entrance hall...>>

The lawman started to explain to sir Nicholas how to get there:

"When you go outside the inn you go to the right. That would take you inside our village. You keep it straight, but you don't reach the marketplace. You will se on the right side two houses, one with the rooftop red, a very bright red. That is the Garmans house. The other one has the rooftop bright blue. Those are the Borchmans."

He explained to Nicholas that the road would take a few minutes only, and that those were the estates of some merchant families, both Borchman and Garman were dealing with grains. Their houses had large yards behind, and of course - they were neighbours.

"Be careful, sir Nicholas. They are not very friendly folks though. You must mention that I sent otherwise they might not talk to you."

<<The way to Borchman and Gardman is very much free... Will sir Nichloas take it?>>

<<At the first floor, outside the inn, in front of brother Inquitus' window...>>

Andrej was hesitating, and yet the moment was not very well chosen for such attitude. The whispers below were becoming more and more restless, as if the two protagonists were having a disagreement on something. One of them started to move, in a very angry mood. If he would look up, only even for a split second, he might discover Andrej hanging outside on that log...

Also, the wind started to blow a little harder. This would make the staying on the log a hazard for anyone.

<<Will Andrej open that window... or not?>>

Nicholas noded to the lawman.

"I agree. The Tall People are in many cases afraid of me. I will try to be discreet."

Saying this, with no more words he turned his back to the lawman and the inn and walked slowly towards the borgmans house.

"He said before the marketplace...", he thinked for himself.

It took him a few minutes to reach the house. Nothing extraordinary, beside the obvious lack of architectural taste.

"Ok, this has a red rooftop", he said and then stoped, looking at the houses and, most important, at the fences.

<<A few details about the houses and fences will be nice, he thought.>>

One thing Andrej didn't know was that when people can't decide, life decides for them. Or in this case, a sudden gust of wind. As the boy struggled to keep his balance, a wrong move made him fall with all his weight over the creaky window.

The GM thought I was crazy, but come on, what was I supposed to do? The entry was going to be noisy anyway; I figured I would at least vanish from view as quick as possible.

In the village...

Sir Nicholas was stading in front of a house with one upper floor and a bright red rooftop. Even the fence was bright red. The architecture of the building was not exactly pleasant to the eye, but the overall impression was that a merchant with a rather decent wealth might live there. The front gate was open, but in right in front of the main entrance there were two people disscusing, one of them in his middle 40s the other in his 20s. There was a garden besides the builduing, beyond the fence. The garden seemed to continue far behind the house. This was the Gardman's residence.

Next to the "red" house (at the right side) there was an almost similar building, but with its toproof and its fence bright blue. You could have sworn those buildings are twins, their ugly architecture was almost the same. An almost similar garden was near that house. Its front gate was shut and no one seemed to move inside. That was - of course - the Borchman's residence.

Before Nicholas could say or do anything a mail delivery boy appeared out of nowhere and was heading to Borchmans' residence front gate.

"Anyone home?" he shouted.

He received no answer.

He seemed at lost: "I really need to deliver them this message..." He just stayed there, hoping someone would come out.

<<Sir Niholas, there are 2 houses, two possible actions here. Chose carefully...>>

<<Meanwhile at the inn's first floor...>>

Roy Rusthammer was worried that someone might have heard the noise of Andrej's falling inside brother Inquitus' room.

He first went to the door and listened carefully. The two lovers have stopped laughing and they were whispering. Roy was almost starting to curse but... the two lovers were bursting into laugh. They did not seem to care or even hear anything else but what they were doing.

Roy went to the window and looked carefully down. One of the two men from the backyard was looking up, but fortunately for the dwarf in the wrong direction.

"Did you hear that Lairis?" he said.

"Stop calling my name" mumbled the other.

The other stood there for a few seconds then decided that he had heard wrong. They were back to their misterious activity from down below.

Roy was a little nervous, things were starting to get out of hand. And he only had to trust a young boy he had just met...

<<Inside brother Inquitus' room...>>

The room seemed a little dark at the beginning, or maybe Andrej was just dizzy from his falling. When colors seemed to be at their right places he started to see the details.

The room was pretty simple, like the it's neighbour's one - the dwarf. It only had a bed, a wardrobe and a traveller's chest. Andrej had fallen on a rather cheap carpet, the only other piece of "furniture" from the room.

<<Pretty simple setup for Andrej's searching skills...>>

Andrej was no thief, but he knew how he was supposed to act. Moving as fast as he could, he opened the wardrobe and chest, then moved to look under the carpet and bed. He even gropped under the mattress - not too much, as it looked ready to tear itself apart. At first, every little creaking noise made him jump, but after a moment he got used to his situation. Then again, that moment might have been enough for him to get caught. What would he say? He had no idea and no time to think about it.

This was actually clarified out of band (we did that a lot): I was describing what Andrej was trying to do, assuming nothing happened along the way.

Nicholas saw the kid, and said to himself that he had more chances to speak with someone more of his size then with the scared Tall ones. So he rushed to the kid and posted himself in front of him.

"Hello there little one. It seems no one is home today. Who knows where this Borchmans are. May I be of your help?"

<<In front of Borchman's residence...>>

The mailing kid looked at sir Nicholas with wonder:

"Wow!!! A real halfling??? Is the first time I see one! How did you get here, sir?"

<<Time for sir Nichloas to give us some background details, maybe talk about his homeland... or just tell the kid to cut the crap and get to the business.>>

<< The inn's first floor, brother Inquitus room...>>

The chest contained only old books, used for prayer maybe. Most of them were in a language unreadable for those who were not initiated.

The bed revealed nothing out of the ordinary.

In the wardrobe there was one black robe. At a first glance there was nothing unusual about it. However, at a more careful search Andrej discovered an open letter addressed to the priest.

He read:

"Dear brother Inquitus,

The issues you are aware of are getting more and more aggravated. There seems
to be an increase in the phenomenon and I am afraid we cannot contain it much
longer. The chief of our Order has already taken measures, but I feel we have
not seen the worse yet.

About the matter in hand, for which you were sent from our beloved monastery
- did you find the infidel you were looking for? We have prepared the proper
punishment for him, whenever you retrieve the person in question.

May the light be with you and may it destroy the unbelievers.

Peacefully yours,
brother Patricius"

<<Meanwhile in Roy Rusthammer's room...>>

Suddenly a noise outside on the hall came to Roy's attention. Someone had come on the stairs. The two lovers had sotpped laughing. There was a strange silence.

Borther Quitus voice was suddenly heard:

"What you two infidels doing here? This is a great sin! You cannot kiss and embrace in public! May the light curse you both!"

The couple in love was stunned.

"But... but... father..." said the young man.

"I am no father to you, unbeliever!" replied the priest angry.

The young woman was astonished. She started to cry.

The priest got angrier:

"And you creature of darkness who comes to corrupt pure men with your voluptous forms and exotic cloth. Away with you! Or I will let the light be upon you!"

The two lovers ran scared down the hall.

Roy realised that brother Inquitus was going too far. This was not supposed to be the message of the gods. However, first thing first - he had to do something to make Andrej aware of what was going on outside, on the hall.

"First and first, little one, I am not what you call a halfling. What is a halfling anyway? I am a gnome, form the lands of Ajar, where my father rulled tha city of Rocho as Supreme Iron Mage. He looked at the big eyes the kid had made and he realized that those names and titles didn't mean anything for him. Let me simplify little one. My father was a mage, he knew how to use a good sword and he was of noble blood. We had many lands, and many villages, not to different than this one. I was schooled in the most prestigious magical school our land could offer and then... during a Evocation class, I ended here, in this world. I don't know how or why. I know I want to go back, but I don't know any means of doing that. especially since the magic here is so different..."

He stoped. He took a breath of air and changed the subject.

"But what brings you here? Need any help? Or as a matter of fact, maybe you can be of use to me, little one. What do you say?"

Andrej had tucked the letter under his belt and was putting everything else back in order when he heard the commotion. He almost tripped running for the window, but he managed to get out in time. After a few steps on the wooden ledge he suddenly remember the two men who were talking in the garden earlier. But better them than that evil, evil priest.

<<Edit: will the suspicious bastard blame the earlier gust of wind for his broken window and disturbed carpet? When is he going to notice the missing letter?>>

The old priest was still angry on the poor lovers:

"Youngsters, these days. They are growing monsters! They are embracing the dark habbits: kissing, caressing... ugh! The light curse them! What they need is a clean whipping!"

He went to the door of his chamber and started to insert the key into its lock.

Roy Rusthammer was thinking how to prevent disaster. He quickly disturbed his bed, the carpet and he dropped on the floor whatever book or piece of cloth he had on the bed.

He then moved to the window and whispered to Andrej: "Whatever you do, do not move from the log. Do not come into my room either."

He then pulled down the rather poor curtain that was covering the window.

Now his room looked like a storm had come into it.

He then ran to the door and opened it wide while saying out loud:

"This is preposterous! I will have to talk to the innkeeper at once!"

On the hall, brother Inquitus was looking at Roy as if not understanding: "What on light's name do you mean, brother Rusthammer?"

The dwarf seemed angry (he was trying his best to act like it):

"I should have listened to the folk I was travelling and not get a room on this side of the inn. But no, I wanted a room with a view to the back yard, so I would not get to hear the sound of carts under my window."

The priest was baffled: "The sound of carts? What is wrong with your room, brother Rusthammer?

The dwarf looked really angry this time: "What is wrong? What do you mean what is wrong? Where have you been all night? They were talking all over the tavern about it! The damn wind, that is!"

Inquitus was really lost at that point. Was the dwarf going insane?

"I don't understand brother Rusthammer, I really don't."

Roy seemed to lose his patience: "They talked all night about the harsh wind coming to these parts, but I never believed them. Till... NOW! And now I have to speak with the innkeeper at once!"

The priest had not heard about any wind talk at all, however he did not question Roy rusthammer at all. After all, the dwarf was a priest - therefore above any suspicion.

"Was the wind really that harsh?" he asked.

"Was the wind harsh? It was more than harsh! It was a disaster!" Roy shouted. "Come here into my room, see for yourself" he invited Inquitus.

The view of Roy's room was more than graphic. The priest seemed amazed: "Did the wind do all that???"

The dwarf sighed:

"I wish I had taken a room on the other side. These windows are rusty at best. should not have trusted the innkeeper at all... He calls this comfortable."

Roy looked almost sad:

"And my books... My precious books..."

The floor was filled with all the stuff that Roy had dropped in his rush.

All of the sudden brother Inquitus' eyes were filled with fear.

"In the light's name... my room..."

He ran out in a very unpriestly way and he quickly opened the door to his room. What he saw out of the ordinary was the damaged window and the derranged carpet. Nothing else seemed to be touched.

He was relieved.

"Don't worry, brother Rusthammer" he said out loud. "This wind was sent by Tempus to show the unfaithful how powerful the light is. I am sure that in other heathen rooms the disaster is even greater. It is a test for our belief." Not waiting to hear the dwarf's answer to that one, he closed the door behind him.

The priest seemed only interested to get to bed, so he was trying his best to put back the window.

From the outside wall, Andrej could hear all the work he was doing. It did not take him long though, the window seemed to have lived similar episodes in the past, therefore sooner than expected the window was back in its place, and very much shut.

What was quite amazing was the fact that despite his age the priest did not seem even for a second to be tired. Strange indeed...

<<I believe it is time for Andrej to move forward on his log...>>

<<Meanwhile in front of the Borchmans' residence...>>

The delivery boy was still looking at sir Nicholas in wonder.

"You seem like a great warrior, sir."

He sighed: "I wish I could learn the art of war myself."

He then had an idea: "Can you please teach me one move, sir Nichols? Just one demonstration of your fighting capabilities. Please, please."

He looked quickly: "I will do anything for you if you do that. I could even deliver some messages. Or do any errand."

His eyes were pleading.

<<Maybe sir Nicholas could show some of his skills, the boy could be a nice addition to his mission... or maybe he could force the boy to simply say what message he came to deliver>>

A moment later, Andrej stuck his head in Rusthammer's room: "Aw," he wispered, "you did one convincing job here." He wiggled into the room. "Here, read this while I tidy up a bit. I couldn't make much sense of it."

He fished the letter from his belt and handed it to the dwarf. "By the way, " he added, "thank you."

Nicholas raised his shoulders and thought that it will not be such a bother if he will show a trick to the little one.

"I will," he answered. "but you have promised me something. I hope you will remember the promise after."

Saying that he raised his hand over the child's head and touched his ear. Then he retracted the hand and opened it in the front of the kid.

"Look what I have found in your ear, he said. An egg."

Then he took out his sword and gently hit the egg with it. The egg cracked and a little red bird got out and climbed on Nicolas' hand.

"It's yours, sayd Nicholas to the kid. If you help me."

The delivery kid had lost his breath while looking at the red bird. "Did... that... come... out... from where? How did you do it?"

He looked to sir Nicholas as if it was his idol.

"You are a great knight, sir Nicholas. Anything you say, I will do. I am your humble servant."

He put his knee down, while syaing that (he must have heard or read somewhere that this is the way knights must do).

"How can I help you sir Nicholas?"

<<Now, maybe sir Nicholas has some very specific thing he wants to know or a specific task he may give to the young boy...>>

Meanwhile in Roy Rusthammer's room...

Roy was reading brother Inquitus' letter and tried to figure out what it meant. He did not know the sender of it - brother Patricius. However, he realised by its content that serious issues were happening at the Wolfsmark Monastery. Maybe that should be checked out later on...

<<The Wolfsmark Monastery seems like an important quest for any serious group of adventurers, however we do not have that group gathered yet, do we?>>

Right now, the only problem that came into his mind was that the issue at hand was not solved. Brother Inquitus had come here in Callbury looking for a certain "infidel"... and yet, was that infidel he was looking the young boy named Andrej? Or, was he another person. Roy wanted to find out.

Somehow, this "infidel hunt" seemed a smaller episode of something larger.

"Andrej" said the dwarf. "We really must find this person the letter is speaking of - the 'infidel'. I believe some terrible things may happen to him if we do not find him fast."

He tought for a second then continued: "We must proceed at once, while brother Inquitus is in his room. He will not trouble you while he is staying upstairs, therefore look what I need you to do. You must gather information from some of our guests in the tavern or even from the innkeeper and/or tavern patrons. We really must find out who is the one man that brother Inquituts is hunting."

<<This sounds like some 'police' investigation episode for young Andrej, if he wants to take this path...>>

Sir Nicholas was taken by surprise by the result of his trick. In his old world this was done usually by the Academy students.

Well, 'twas nice that it did work.

He aproached the kids ear and whispered.

"Did you so something strange around here? Someone laying around this two houses or maybe someone jumping the fences? If ye did will me mighty nice from your part to tell me."

The kid was thinking for a bit, then answered:

"Fact is, sir Nicholas, there are lots of people sneaking around lately. I believe Borchman family has some business they don't want anyone else to see. Especially the Gardman family. They are neighbours. They envy eachother. Whatever one does the other one does either. Very strange merchants if you ask me."

He was looking at Borchman residence:

"Even now I am delivering what it seems to be an important message for the Borchmans. But I see no one is home. The message comes from Bracken."

He was showing to Nicholas the paper he was carrying.

"But I can't find them" he said saddly.

He looked at Nicholas and then suddenly a glimpse of light seemed to be on his face:

"Sir Nicholas, do you think you can help me? Maybe you know the Borchman family and you can deliver them this message, because I can't stay here any longer. Can you?"

<<Will sir Nicholas get the message and maybe find something from it? And also if he asks more he may find out more...>>

"Sure, said Nicholas. I will help. I don't want them getting angry on you. Give me the letter. I will give it to them later. And please don't forget to feed the bird. "

The delivery kid said:

"Sure, sir Nicholas, here it is the letter."

And he gave the envelope to Nicholas.

"Very nice bird you gave me, sir Nicholas" he added very happy. "I will take care of it, I promise."

He looked around and then he said:

"Look, I will not go far, I will be here by the Borchmans' fence in case you need me. I see there a tree that I think might suit the needs of the bird."

The boy went just a few yards away from sir Nicholas and he looked very happy. He did not pay attention to anything else but the bird.

<<In case sir Nicholas might need the boy for errands or for information he will know where to find him...>>

The envelope that the boy had given to sir Nicholas looked very simple and - surprise - it was not sealed. Actually, not much of a surprise, 'cause the merchants thought that the boy could not read and their methods were not exactly the most accurate when it came to secrecy. Or maybe there was nothing to hide...

Now, now, that's straight from your typical computer RPG: the NPC who waits around mindlessly for the player to approach him again.

The letter from the envelope said:

"The grains cargo got here yesterday, so, as we have agreed - the
merchandise that you ordered will come your way. The 'payment' consists
in what you asked, so it will be brought by someone other than the usual
people we got. You will recognize him by his red cloak and blue hat he
is wearing. He should get to your house shortly after the messenger of
this letter arrives.

Just remember: use the merchandise carefully, it is rather hard to get
another one in such short notice.

Yours,
Bran Richfield, 
member of the Bracken merchants guild"

**Note 1 - Bracken is the nearby town, nearest to Callbury (it was already mentioned in the introductory part)

**Note 2 - Possible courses of action for sir Nicholas:

  1. wait for the merchandise delivery man
  2. try to find out more from the kid with the bird
  3. try to get to Bracken
  4. try to get inside Borchamn's residence (which is locked, but he can jump over fences maybe?)
  5. try to get inside Gardmans residence, where there are 2 people
  6. get back to the inn
  7. browse more into the village of Callbury

And now an all-out menu! How funny is that? But don't blame the GM, we were all in the same boat, i.e. significantly more experienced with CRPGs than "real" roleplaying.

<<In Roy Rusthammer's room at the inn...>>

Andrej gathered an armfull of things from the floor and began to tidy them up on the bed. This was beginning to take long. His family would be worried. Luckily, it was Sunday. No work to skip. He could just tell he spent the day with... ahem. Leave the lies for later.

"Did you notice brother Inquitus talking to anyone in particular before we met?" He asked Rusthammer. "Except for you, I mean. Can't just ask around at random, I'd raise suspicions. There's a lot of inter-family rivalry around here, you know."

"I believe he did have a chat with the innkeeper - Gill Trot. Actually is rather odd that although the window of the room was almost destroyed he preffered not complain to the tavern owner. Maybe they are friends?"

"Let me see... Does he know any tavern patrons?" He thought a second: "I don't remember but I think he talked to one of the waiters..."

"Also, I seen him talking to the local lawman Gill Trot. Maybe he asked him of the infidel? Or about any crime lately? Who knows..."

He thought more and then he said:

"There were some peasants in one corner... But, nope. Brother Inquitus does not care about the lower class. There were some disguised soldiers too... I don't think he had anything to do with them. Also the lady and the young man who admired her - as you have seen upstairs Inquitus is not exactly the romantic type. So women are out of the question... Maybe the young Romeo? He most certainly does not like young fellows in love, does he?"

He continued:

"There was one dark gentleman sitting alone at some table... He was in his 40s. He also seemed to be the viewing target of some poeple among whom I could see the elegant lady (romantic reasons maybe?), the lawman and... oh, yes brother Inquitus. Maybe he is the 'infidel'? Or he may know somethiing about it."

Roy looked at Andrej:

"There is a strong possibility that even you may be that infidel he is after. Maybe brother Inquitus does not know for sure who the infidel really is and he my actually be in a certain 'witch hunt'. Let's not give him the victim for it, shall we?"

<<Andrej has a few starting points here, some f those characters may have their stories and quests as well..>>

Nicholas found a nice and hidden place behind some bushes. He sat down and entered a kind of meditation state. A small eye appeared before him, like a shadow, and started to move toward Borchmans fence under Nicholas's control. At the fence the eye just entered a missing knot hole in a piece of wood and reappeared on the other side.

<<He was trying to look at the courtyard and make some sense in what he was seeing. The image was a little blurry.>>

"I just don't want to get in any trouble." Said Andrej in a plaintiff tone of voice. "But there seems to be a lot of jealousy around lately. People don't trust each other anymore. And now... this."

The boy hesitated, hand on the door knob. He was looking downwards at the dwarf, but he felt the other way around. He wasn't mature enough for this kind of situation.

"Why are you doing this for me... Brother Rusthammer?"

At this point real life took over and the adventure died. Looking back now, though, I'm surprised to see how long it really was.

Post mortem notes

What went well

What went wrong