Chronicles of Bronze

Kendall

The party and a dwarven fighter resting in the inn were all awoken mid-morning by the female dwarf innkeeper, Branka, who was searching for her husband Kendall. Upon noticing that he wasn’t in the rooms for the paying visitors, she left to go organize breakfast for her tenants of the last night mumbling in concern to herself. The party and the fighter reorganized their thoughts and proceeded downstairs to breakfast. At the community table, the party noticed the fighter feasting on a suckling pig, some in disgust and some with hungry eyes. As Branka came by with the rest of the morning meal, she was asked by Airest what was causing her worry with her husband. Branka replied that while Kendall had a slight habit of wandering off, he was always sure to be home before breakfast needed to be prepared for the guests. He was a little ‘off,’ in her words, but was a good man that made her laugh and had no reason to leave her without warning. After the party agreed to help, she let them know that he occasionally would stop by his ‘cousin’s’ house, the net-mender at the north side of town, and also informed the party that they could help themselves to any coin her husband was carrying, especially because he had been in the safe that morning without permission. She also informed the group that Kendall made a habit of wearing a very peculiar hat, a green tricorn with a blue peacock feather stuck in. As she gathered the dishes from the party and turned away, Leopoldi, the druid’s cat, leapt onto the table and scarfed down a few bites of the fighter’s bacon while he was preoccupied with the back end of the lady dwarf walking away with the dishes. Before a scuffle could erupt between a still-hungry dwarf and a cat half his size, the druid stepped in and calmed the fighter with promises of gold in return for his assistance in finding Kendall. He of course agreed and got his leftovers to-go. The group with the new fighter made for the north side of town and upon arriving at the net-mender’s, recognized it as the shop that Boyd had waited for Airest and Thorn in while the pair recovered his sister-in-law’s body. Upon entering, they all quickly noticed the proprietor of the establishment, deftly working a net over in his hands, making quick work of the holes in the trawling net he held. He introduced himself as Dillandee Merritouch and wondered what such a motley crew would want with him. The party asked about the whereabouts of Kendall and Dee let them know that he had the habit of walking the treeline for fruits, and then sometimes would walk through the market street as the vendors were setting up their stands for the morning crowds. The party asked whether Kendall started his search for fruit by heading east or west along the trees, to which Dee replied, “Whichever way the first bird flutters is.” The party was starting to realize just how ‘off’ Kendall is at this point and decide to make for the treeline in hope of finding his tracks leading to the market to perhaps avoid trekking into the woods. As the party reached the treeline, they noticed that there was only one set of tracks heading to the west with no matching set of tracks coming back across them. The crew followed the tracks for a distance before the tracks stopped and made to the north, straight into the forest. The group formed up a distance behind Thorn and followed the tracks in, weapons at the ready. Minutes later, the group happened upon the hat, sitting perfectly upright in the sand along the path that continued to the north. At this point, Thorn noticed obscured tracks crossing and dancing around Kendall’s tracks. Making doubly sure nothing was around, Thorn passed the hat back down the line to be stored safely and then followed the tracks again to a clearing where he could see Kendall’s body on the ground in the middle. Thorn glanced around and saw nothing, and called the druid’s cat up to his side to see if the cat noticed anything. The cat started to growl quietly as it glanced around looking for something at about the time that Thorn caught a whiff of animal fear on the wind. He glanced at the tracks again and noticed there were several sets of obscured tracks all over the clearing, in many different sizes. Making a gamble, he charged into the clearing banging his axes together and roaring as he made for the body. The smell of fear grew more intense as Kendall rolled over with a grumble, “Whats all that racket?!” Thorn stopped with mild surprise that Kendall was not a corpse and asked what was there. Kendall replied that he was playing with his friends and needed to take a nap because they tired him out. Thorn asked, “Friends?” to which Kendall replied, pointing at several empty spaces where the obscured tracks tended to stop or get even more muddled, calling out different animals and then finally to another empty spot on the north side of the clearing and saying a small child was there. The rest of the group slowly made their way forward as they heard Thorn talking to Kendall and were all pretty sure he was crazy. The fighter and druid could see nothing but dirt, Kendall, Thorn and the cat and were pretty sure he was just making things up. The cleric saw a bunch of goat-raptors standing around the clearing, with a large one standing in the clearing on the north side, all of them were staring at the group. The cleric was pretty sure Kendall was crazy because they weren’t any of the creatures that Kendall had said were there. Kendall reiterated that he was playing with his friends and walked up to the big one he had called a small child and set his hand on the top of its crest, “tussling the child’s hair” as he saw it. Thorn made another gamble on the creature’s intentions and stepped forward with a roar and picked Kendall up by the neck and bared his teeth at Kendall as he roared. A scant second had passed before Thorn found himself with the wind knocked out of him as he lay on the ground reeling from a blow to the gut. Airest had watched the big one standing next to Kendall ram Thorn with his head and then stand again beside Kendall. Thorn quite smartly remained on the ground and started to whimper. Airest let Thorn know that the big one had relaxed a little bit and Thorn sat up with his axes laying in his lap. Kendall, meanwhile was going on about what Thorn thought he was doing and that he had no right to assault him like that while he was in front of a child. Airest told Kendall that his wife had sent them because she was worried about him, and he asked if it had really been that long since he left. After hearing the responses, he called to all of his ‘friends’ and gave them all hugs and promised he would come back and play with them again. The group made for the city again, placing Kendall protectively in the middle of the party. They returned Kendall’s hat back to him at about this point as they made their way to the city. Airest stayed at the rear as the only one who could watch the goat-raptors to make sure they would not try anything funny. As they approached the edge of where Airest could see them, she noticed them all scatter, right before Airest was hit in the side with a stream of black acid from a distance. As she cried out, the party turned to see the assailant and saw a monstrosity, later identified mid-battle as a runehound, coming in for the kill. The party rushed in to battle, most attacks dealing minor damage that was repaired before their eyes. Thorn then got a very lucky strike, greatly wounding the aberration, and the fighter quickly dispatched it with yet another lucky blow, cleaving it into several pieces with one swing of his battle axe. As the party stopped to catch their breath and examine the creature that had just attacked them, Kendall piqued up, “Good job on that one guys, but what will you do about these three?” As the party turned around from their near-death experience, they were faced with 3 fleshrakers, kin to the velociraptor, just smaller and covered with spines on their backs that secreted a poison. The cleric let the party know that these dino’s were oppurtunists whose primary mode of attack is a pounce that would let the fleshraker’s attack with both arms and legs, a bite and their tail, and if that failed to kill their victims, they would retreat to let the poison finish them. The druid set her cat to guard Kendall as the rest of the team made quick work of the 2 fleshrakers nearest them. The cat made a valiant effort to keep Kendall safe, but a fleshraker pounced on Kendall, who managed to stay upright, before being bitten, clawed, raked and smacked. The blows were too much for Kendall who fell to the ground in a heap. The party made very quick work of the last fleshraker, not even giving it a chance to move before it fell under their barrage of attacks. When they reached Kendall, they found him severely injured, but stable, and the cleric used a quick heal spell so he would be able to walk under his own power back to the city with the group. The group made it back to the inn safely and were greeted with many thanks from Branka. Airest asked Kendall for the money he had been carrying to which he was surprised. “My friends got my purse off the belt as we played on our way to their home, they buried it ‘neath my hat, as it were so that I would not lose it while we played tag and so I wouldn’t forget it on my way back home. Clearly I forgot, since you all handed me my hat instead.” The party grumbled and the cleric decided that since there was no immediate reward, that the party would be able to lodge at this inn indefinitely and would be able to get their meals from the inn as well. Branka agreed of course, as she had originally planned to offer them that anyways. Airest cursed her luck as she realized she could have asked for more, though she couldn’t think of anything at that instant. The party made for their respective rooms to rest up after the long day of trekking through the forest, despite it still being only midday.

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