Remnants of the Old Empire

Crouching Lynx's Inn

Photobucket It was a quiet early spring’s morning in border province of Lynx County. Many trade roads have passed here and as such many establishments by the road emerged. One of such was the famous Crouching Lynx’s Inn.

The day in Crouching Lynx‘s Inn started out quietly. The patrons were having a breakfast, no doubt getting ready for their upcoming journeys. Few words were exchanged inside as no one wanted to ruin the stillness of the morning. Only occasional laughs and mug bumps on a table were heard from the table of four, closest to the Innkeeper. Two mercenary guards outside were keeping the peace of the travelers. Little did they know the Inn was about to be swarmed by adventurers, looking for each other among other things.

A young half-elf named Irieella wearing monk robes approached them. Her cloth obviously worn from many travels. She was carrying a pair of Nunchuks and Kama‘s along with her. The mercenary was surprised to see a girl with such unusual weapons and immediately asked her to remove them. Being a law respecting person the girl didn‘t protest in any way. She entered the Inn and settled at a large empty table on the right as if waiting for something.

The second to arrive was a man. He had shortly cut black hair and was average looking in every way, but with a little bit of a charm to his smile. It seemed as if the man was obedient as he put his two short-swords in mercenary‘s chest, but unknowingly to the mercenaries he decided to hide five of his trusted daggers in the sockets under his belt. The guards never saw through the man‘s Chain shirt as he smuggled the weapons to the Inn. Upon entering the man immediately engaged in a conversation with a barmaid asking if anyone caused her suspicion. She pointed her finger to a strange, but silent patron at the bar and the man moved towards him.

Another person to arrive was a lone halfling traveler. Hexar, as the person called himself, looked as if he was just a child in human‘s eyes and the mercenaries mistook him for such. Hexar was furious at the remark and he wasn‘t any happier when the sling was demanded to be taken away from him. Still, he confidently gave the sling away saying he didn‘t need any weapon.

Upon entering the inn Hexar approached a dwarf traveler. Surprisingly the dwarven merchant didn‘t take kindly to Hexar‘s company, suspecting that the halfling may be picking his pockets or performing some kind of cruel practical joke. After being shooed of by the merchant the halfling was invited over by Irieella, whom he didn‘t recognise as half-elf as first look. Irieella soon offered the halfling a seat and began chatting with him, expressing her condolences for rude dwarf‘s behaviour. As they engaged in a conversation yet another patron arrived. This man was wearing a dark robe with a hood on his head. He left his bow behind and enterred the inn. The man didn‘t seem particularly interested in the patrons as he moved to the most remote corner of the Inn made for gamblers. A gnome was sitting behind the gambling table as the newcomer started talking to him in the gnome‘s own tongue. It wasn‘t clear what they were talking about, but it seemed that the gnome was delighted by stranger‘s gesture as he let him spin roullette a couple of times.

Hexar and Irieella were talking to each other, discovering that they had many things in common. Both of them have travelled a long way with their final destination being city of Abadon, yet none of them revealed what exactly they were doing in the Inn.

The man in Chain shirt found little luck in striking up a conversation with the mysterious bloke by the bar, so instead he diverted his full attention to a lady besides him. The woman subtedly refused to chat saying that she wouldn‘t want to bother such a charming man with her troubles, but he kept on insisting to tell. Finally the lady revealed that she was travelling away from Abadon to her parents home in Nighon as her brother, who was one of the militia, recently perished carrying out his duty. The man wished the unfortunate soul good luck on her journey and moved in onto a table some thirty feet away from the myserious man at the bar. Upon observing he noticed that the man was sweating heavily, had a nervous look about him as he kept looking back for something. As the barmaid approached the tables the man in chain shirt offered her one silver to lure the nervous patron out of the inn. He told her to tell the man that he wanted to speak with him outside and that no harm would come to him, should he come out. The charm of the barmaid overwhelmed him as for once a smile appeared on his face. Soon both men left.

Meanwhile, around the large table on the right side of the inn Iriella and Hexar were chatting about their past. Irieella revealed that she was an orphan and once had a place called home, but there was nothing for her there anymore and so she started travelling. Hexar was even more obscure in his speech. He said that for whatever reasons he couldn‘t stay home either. The two decided to order a few drinks and called the barmaid over. Hexar asked her if anyone was looking for them or any other patrons lately and the barmaid said that she heard the inkeeper mentioning something about adventurers passing this way and that he was supposed to meet them in order to hand something to them in his possession.

Outside the inn the two men finally intrduced themselves. “The name’s Raiza” said the charismatic bloke as he called to the mysterious man, who introduced himself as Jacob Tyler. Trying to earn the man’s trust Raiza showed him his King’s contract. Jacob immediately bursted out with joy. He said that he was a royalist who volunteered to keep an eye out on King’s mercenaries should they pass here. He revealed that he was worried because he knew that the Abadonese don’t take kindly to king’s men and wish to form an independent state of their own. The enthusiasm with which Jacob spoke about his allegiance led Raiza to believe that the man was being true with him.

With this knowledge Raiza returned to the inn, once again with his daggers safely hidden under his belt. He perceived the inn for people foreign to this land and quickly noticed the halfling and half-elf chatting on his right. The man went in straight, interrupting the conversation. “You have obviously travelled here from lands of different kings. That is a lot of land for a mercenary to contract”. The opening had a few hidden clues that only Irieella was able to grasp properly. She immediately suggested the three to come outside and discuss what has been said in greater detail. Hexar was confused but agreed to go outside with the group. Just as they walked out of the inn the trio noticed the cloaked man following them. He didn’t seem to mask his presence in any way, but the very sight of a hooded man made Hexar nervous. Irieella and Raiza were already finding similarities in their tasks as the hooded man approached closer and closer. The fearless halfling stood in the way of the man and the companions. The man took off his hood. His little horns were seen on his neck. One could make no mistake – this wasn’t a man at all, it was a tiefling. With the atmosphere heating up the conversation was about to break into a fight when Irieella stepped in and displayed her contract in the open for all to see. The other adventurers did the same as they soon realised that the people in front of them were the very people they were supposed to rendezevous with.

The party was about to head out when they were reminded that the inkeeper wanted to see the new adventurers and so they returned to the inn. The party introduced themselves and the inkeeper cheerfully greeted them to his fine establishment. He said he was obliged to give the adventurers a gift that he kept in the attic. Raiza didn‘t seem to trust the man as he moved behind the inkeeper, attempting to hear any suspicious sounds coming in through behind the warehouse‘s door. All he heard was someone going through the many things in the warehouse as the inkeeper soon returned with a bottle of wine. He said that he was given the wine by a messenger boy and was told to give it to the king‘s mercenaries once they arrived. “I was also given a letter” – he said – “I was told that only the group’s leader could open it”. The four sit down at the table and accepted the win with the letter, but Raiza remained suspicious. He inspected the wine for any oddities, but was unable to find any clues that the bottle has been tinkered with. Upon looking over the label the cautious man determined that this was a poor quality wine, fit only for the commonfolk to drink and claimed that the innkeeper was cheap, trying to push through some kind of piss to him. Needless to say, the innkeeper was furious and argued over the wine. Even subtle attempts of the half-elf were unable to calm him down as he walked away from the adventurers.

Much discussion was to be had who should be seeing the letter. Finally the offered solution was to open it before everyone’s eyes. The letter contained two gold coins, obviously granted for the leader. Hexar claimed these quickly. The really interesting part was the writings of the letter.

_Greetings, traveller. I trust you and your crew have reached Nighon safely. I have an urgent matter I want to discuss. My proposition might interest you. You can find me in Lord Conner’s villa. Rest assured, if you accept my proposition, you will be paid.

-Master wizard Depone._

The letter intrigued the party, but they were not sure what to make of it. The adventurers were about to leave the inn when the four people, three men and a young girl, who was barely sixteen, stood up from their table and blocked their way towards the exit. Seeing this Jacob moved in behind Raiza quickly and handed him a dagger secretly, whispering out “You might need this” in a low voice only an owl could hear. A bald man in the front, the meanest looking man of the three spoke up. “We overheard your conversation with the innkeeper” – he said – “You should know that we do not take your kind kindly around here”. Irieella tried to reduce tension by stating that no trouble will be had, because they will leave peacefully, but the disgruntled patrons refused to let leave the party without bruises. The bald man pulled out a club, that he no doubt carried in illegally and was about to jump at Irieella, but her quick reflexes allowed her to turn the club sideways as she elbowed into the closest opponent delivering a powerful strike into his vitals as the man stumbled and fell onto the inn’s floor. The tiefling quickly ran towards the inn’s door, but as he opened he cursed in unknown tongue as he saw that the mercenary guards weren’t behind them. Luckily, in their dash for safety they left the weapons behind them and the tiefling has hastily returned to the fight with his bow and his arrows on shoulder. The assailants kept the pressure up on Irieella pounding her with their fists. It seemed as if the girl could fall at any moment, but Hexar – the seemingly powerless Halfling moved in. He pointed his finger at the other goon as a missile of magical energy darted forth from his finger striking through the man, making him fall unconscious due to succumbed damage. The patrons shrieked in horror as they ran out of the inn and hid under the tables. Hexar moved towards Irieella and muttered something as the halfling sorcerer touched her side enveloping the monk in some kind of magical energy truly known only to Hexar himself. The young girl fighting besides her leader unsheathed her hidden dagger and moved in to strike Irieella, but even though it looked as if her strike would find it’s target swift and true, the dagger deflected upon meeting some kind of magical barrier. The girl wasn’t the only one to bring weapons into a fist fight. Raiza threw Jacob’s dagger into the attackers and pulled out one of his own, moving into the brawl. He slided right between the bald assailant’s legs and moved with astonishing grace that would make an elf drop a jaw to the side, delivering a fatal wound from behind into the girl’s neck ending hers shortly lived life. Irieella, empowered by oncoming victory, pushed the remaining man towards a wall and delivered a powerful kick into the tip of his chin, rendering him unconscious. Raiza quickly attempted to save the girl he’ve just injured but at that point it was already too late.

The party stood there for a few moments, tables pulled and chairs broken. The innkeeper later assured them he would take care of the mess, but requested the party to leave as not to draw more trouble. The Half-elf monk Irieella, Raiza – a rogue from the lands of man, the tricky halfling sorcerer Hexar and the tiefling ranged named Carrion all set out towards Abadon attempting cross the countryside’s hills.

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Jerom

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