Black Fang Company

Prelude:

in which our heroes meet and embark boldly on their first quest...

Chronicles of the BlackFang Company

Prelude

in which our heroes meet and embark boldly on their first quest…

February 16, 2012

Session Run By Sean
Session Chronicled by Jenn

Sandpoint has been struck wary. The citizens of the town are afraid of the mysterious creature that has been devouring their livestock; terrified that they may be next. Sandpoint’s mayor, Kendra Deverin, has offered a reward of 1000 gold pieces to whomever defeats the being who has cast her townsfolk into a panic. She knows the town’s future is in jeopardy and, maybe more importantly to her, she knows if the creature is not defeated sooner than later, she is the public figure to be held responsible.

Deverin has posted fliers around Sandpoint and has made her quest to kill her antagonist very public. One such flier has made its way to the Rusty Dragon, the dark, shabby tavern where most of Sandpoint’s darker and less distinguished individuals tend to gather for wine and women. Discussion has arisen regarding the source of the town’s recent terror. The people have dubbed the creature ‘Blackfang.‘ One long, black tooth was discovered in the remains of the creature’s most recent kill, but its origin is unknown. Most of the chatter is just the quibbling of Sandpoint’s farmers and peasants, but there are several sets of ears perking up when the discussion turns to the recently implemented reward.

“Someone needs to do something about the Blackfang!” one voice booms over the others. Heads turn towards Valeros, seated in the centre of the tavern, surrounded by empty flagons and busty wenches. “I think it’s high time I collected that gold…if only I had a lovely lady to wait for my return..” He turns his mead-stained mug toward the girl on his left and grins, his dark hair waving. “Who is braver than I? Is there no one prepared to join me?” Silence follows for only a moment before a more lilting but equally determined voice declares, “I shall join you, warrior.” All heads glance to the dark corner where a tall female form rises from her table. “You will need my assistance.” Valeros laughs and shouts, “You, Kyra? A man-eating beasty is no companion for a lady of the cloth as yourself! If you require a bloodthirsty mate, meet me later in the alley!”

Kyra pulls a small stone figure from her robes and shields it gently in her palms. She stares at it for a moment until his laughter dies, then lifts her eyes to his once more and says reverently, “Valeros, I fear you are young and foolhardy, and you are not aware of the evils which await you. Sarenrae will guide and protect us from harm, and the Church would be most appreciative of your bravery and may even forgive your corrupt lifestyle and your lewd behaviour directed at myself and other ‘ladies of the cloth.’” Kyra glances at a robed man who has been staring at her since she arose. “Of course, I would ask that your generosity is equal to your bravery. The Church would only request a portion of the reward offered.”

Valeros is quiet for a rare second. He stares boldly at Kyra and runs his rough fingertips over the shaft of the heavy longsword at his side. “Milady,” he says, lifting a drink to her, “I would be honoured if you joined me. Sandpoint needs a hero and a reverent disciple of Sarenrae would be a fine witness. You will return with stories of my shield and sword, and you may take my offering of part of the reward to your God.” He smiles at the sighs of adoration from the ladies at his side before guffawing, “Of course, I may need a stronger hand to help protect a woman from this beasty!”

His laughter halts when the robed figure Kyra has noticed rises from his chair and draws back his hood. “I will join your party,” says Ezren, his eyes still on Kyra. “I have powerful magic and we do not know what awaits us on this hunt.” Valeros laughs. “You, wizard? Did your father not teach you that wizards are meant to study scrolls, not interfere with battle? No, I suppose not. He was too busy plying his pagan gods with spices!” Laughter roars in the tight room; Ezren’s father was no longer welcome in Sandpoint. He had been disgraced when he denied the Church and was found guilty of accepting gifts and bribes. Ezren squares his jaw and declares over the jibes, “I am nothing like my father.” Sweeping his robe to one side and revealing a scarred quarterstaff, he approaches Valeros’ table and brandishes a perfectly smooth crystal orb. A dim light, almost imperceptible, glows deep within. “You will find, warrior, that my magic is every bit as dangerous as your sword.” With a slight nod of Ezren’s head, his staff whips out of his grasp and knocks Valeros’ from the table before the warrior can catch it, then returns just as swiftly to Ezren’s hand. The wizard flourishes his orb, now a bright fiery blue, before Valeros’ eyes before returning it and his staff to the folds within his robes. Turning to Kyra, Ezren says, “I do not want for anything. I will offer my arcane assistance to you and the warrior and ask for little. I only wish to prove myself and restore my family’s name in the eyes of the Church.” He holds Kyra’s gaze until she bows her head to him. “Join us, Ezren, and your honour will be known to all of Sandpoint.”

Valeros sighs at the puddle of beer next to him and rises. “Well, I suppose since my drink has been defeated by your magic, your skills may be better suited to battle than to scrolls. You may assist me, wizard, but it will be my sword basting in Blackfang‘s blood! Shall we prepare for our journey?” He reaches to retrieve his cup from the ground when a dagger, faster than wind, pierces the flaps of his cloak, holding him to the chair. Valeros turns his head to the slight figure who appears from the shadows. A small elfish girl with an impish grin approaches him, one hand holding a full cup and the other hand twirling a silver coin so dexterously it seems to dance. Her voice is musical. “It seems to me that a thousand gold pieces would split much more evenly between four than three. Care to have one more?”

Valeros stares down at her before chuckling and boasting to his audience, “Come now, little one. That was a nice shot with the dagger but don’t you think you should leave battle to the adults? Allow me to pay for your drink and then we will be on our way.” Valeros reaches under his cloak, searching for his coin purse. The small girl smiles, still balancing the silver coin, not speaking. Valeros looks away from her, still rummaging for his money. “Now where did I….ladies, have you seen my coin purse?” The wenches titter and fawn over him once more, shaking their heads. The innocent-faced elfish girl waits until Valeros faces her again. So quickly Valeros could not see it done, she hides the dancing silver coin and holds her tiny hand out to him. Clutched within is his purse, still fat with coins. “Looking for this?”

Valeros is rarely caught speechless, but he is caught unaware. He may seem foolhardy but he is smarter than many believe. His skills in combat have honed his agility and dexterity to a fine point, but this waif has bested him, even with a simple joke. He concedes to himself that someone as sneaky as her may bear watching but would undoubtedly be helpful. He puts on his most charming grin and asks her name. “I am Merisiel. I am no match for you in strength, but I am faster than any warrior and my daggers rarely miss their mark. I am in need of some fine gold to help me in my travels.”

Valeros , Ezren and Kyra greet Merisiel and head out to the street where they begin to privately speak of their plans. After agreeing to split the reward evenly, they turn to the night sky and wonder where to begin.

“The beast dwells within the cave to the north.” The sexless voice croaks from beneath the dark hood of the person huddled in the alley. The fellowship turn to the voice. “Who is this? How did you come by this knowledge?” demands Valeros. “Show yourself in the light,” Kyra persuades. They watch as the figure slowly rises. The air becomes sharp and still and the hunters’ breaths hang in the silent air. The moment seems to extend forever until in a flash the hooded figure disappears. Valeros draws his sword, Kyra’s hand reaches for her blessed scimitar, Ezren’s fingers brush his glowing orb, and Merisiel squeezes her dagger handles, always at the ready. “To the north,” the voice whispers once more, simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. Then it is gone.

The hunters look at each other and nod. “To the north,” Valeros says.

What does the future for our heroes? What manner of beast is the dreaded Black Fang? All shall be revealed in the next chapter of The Chronicles of the Black Fang Company.

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syoebius

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