What next after Gorin's Lair?

Collin, Kerbach, Gremage, Zeek, Kit, Oren, Cedric and Doomnoodle sat around a table in the Green Grape Inn. Doomnoodle was prattleing on, "…now the green Vander grape has a deliciously tart aftertaste…at least compared with its botanical cousin…the green Verdi…though in truth, my tiny tongue prefers the heavy sweetness of a Cornwalsh red…"

Kerbach interrupted with little worry for his small companion's feelings, "Back to what we were talking about…what is next for us?"

Gremage spoke up, his white eyes glistening in the lantern light. "Please be kind enough to go over our options again, Collin."

"Well our options are three…"

"First, Kit's friend 'Pockets' stole a key from a mysterious looking traveler the other night at the Golden Hippogriph. He is offering to give us this key fashioned of blue stone…if we promise to give him an equal cut of any treasure we locate with its use…as though he had adventured with us. I have heard of a key such as this…and heard songs sung of it. 'The key opens the door of fire, sealed by Galen a decade ago. Go to the land that was once a pyre, to find the lock in the blue door.' These phrases refer to a region to the southeast of Greenmark…plagued ten years ago by a group of bandits called the Brigands of the Flame…under the leadership of a mysterious warrior known only as the Fire Lord. The brigands numbered some two hundred and rove throughout the countryside, looting and putting to the torch anything they could not immediately haul away. The Fire Lord was described as a knight in coal-black armor, and some believed that he was in league with foul, forgotten gods and infernal spirits. Some survivors told stories about flaming elementals fighting alongside the Fire Lord's raiders. Galen Green led a large group of adventurers and guards into the region…slaying many of the bandits, and driving the remainder, including their leader, back into their hideout near the Lippenfalls. Green and his heroes assaulted the vaulted halls of the Fire Lord, but were driven back by fiery creatures summoned to fight to on the Fire Lord's behalf. Green had a wizard in his employment read a spell from an eldritch scroll that sealed the entrance and created a matching key which Green took with him. The blue key that 'Pockets' Brown is offering us may be that key…think of the treasure we could find behind the sealed doors of their lair!"

"Secondly, there is the legend of Timmrick of the Whispering Woods, an incredibly knowledgeable sage. It is said that Timmrick can answer any question, no matter how obscure. It is said he sets a price for each person that would question him…but what price would not be worth the answer to any question! The challenge is pursuing this course, would be in surviving the journey. Timmrick lives at least 4 days journey into the mountains, and this is a challenging trip at this time of year…with the month of Quindonex ending…and the Month of Iron almost upon us!"

"Finally, there is the Sunless Citadel…in the mountains to the east. In a former age of this world the Citadel was a proud fortress…but long before there even was an Azure Kingdom, the Citadel was swallowed by the earth itself. A tribe of mountain goblins infesting these ruins ransoms a single piece of magical fruit to the highest bidder of Greenmark once a year in the month of Tercex. They've been doing this for the past 12 years. Usually, the fruit sells for about 50 gps, which is all the townspeople can bring themselves to pay a dirty goblin. The fruit, apparently an apple of perfect hue, heals those who suffer from any disease or other ailment. They sometimes plant the seeds found at the center of each fruit, hoping to engender an enchanted apple tree. When the seeds germinate in their proper season, they produce a twiggy mass of twisted sapling stems. Not too long after the saplings reach 2 feet in height, they are stolen - every time. It is assumed that the jealous goblins send out thieves to ensure their monopoly of enchanted fruit. This Sunless Citadel is probably filled with treasure…and it might be a good idea to figure out how these goblins came to possess magical fruit! Think of the healing we could bring to the town of Greenmark if we could locate and appropriate this wondrous tree and its magical fruit…."

Zeek spoke up in broken common, "Three paths…three choices…the spirits shall direct us…." Zeek throws his bones and strangely etched dice onto the table, and seems to go into a trance as he attempts to read them.

Oren immediately reacts. "What kind of decision making is this?! We all know the path should go on. Who may be stupid enough to think otherwise? Zeek?!"

"I want answers. You want answers. WE will go speak to the sage. I am going to kill the fool who took my rubicite war axe and necklace. This gives us the chance to do it all. Ask your question at may, and be done with it. Here is the plan:

-I will ask the sage where my Necklace is.
-Vax will ask about Zeek's true intentions. Is he a rogue? Is he a commoner? Is he just a fool?
-Zeek will ask the sage where my Dwarven War Axe is.
-Kit will ask the sage who took these items.
-Collin will ask the sage where my Necklace is as well. Double reassurance. If conflicting answers with what that sage tells me, off with its head!
-Gremage can also ask where my axe is. Same principal. I pity the sage who tries to deceive us!
-Kerback can ask the sage about the Hooded Mage and the quest in which we are partaking in.
-Doomnoodle. HAH. He can pay for all of our questions.

"YOU know where I stand. Lets not spend too much time on this issue. Ack! Yes. We are soon Vax. You heard the man. Lets get done with this already!"

Collin smiles a wry smile, and addresses Oren in a tone that can best be described as somewhat patronizing, "Mayhap Lord Oren has forgotten the likes o' a highland winter. Living inside es da's warm walls its not 'ard to forget. Alas I was born a highlander and I'd a nota be caught in such this time o' year. Aye, a question or two I 'ave for the esteemed sage myself, but they'll be jus as good come spring. An beggin pardon of me good friens, I've doubts of a visit to the fiends that Lord Oren's da saw fit to seal away might not be to good an idea till we lads take some more seasoning. No, my council would be the third. I've no love for the thought o' another stinkin 'ole, but we do have the experience, an sounds full o' gold!"

Kit Places her soft ebony hand on Oran's "Lord Oran ., You know as well as all of us we are sorely low on funds and may not have enough to pay for this information. I know you were waylaid outside of the town and could it not have been a army of lowlife Goblins that ambushed you? They are a likely suspect and we may get the funds from them to go to the Oracle if they are not." Appearing to Kit's left is Thomas Furfoot , Owner of the Green Grape "Here yee go Miss Kitty a glass of fine Burly Downs Brandy , compliments of the gentleman at the bar. Kit turns and waves at a well dressed middle aged Merchant ,mouths a couple words and nods. Turning back she takes a sip of the brandy." Isn't that sweet . One night three months ago and he remembers my favorite. Though he doesn't seem to remember the 20% tip I took while he was snoring the morning away, but anyway , The Goblins seem the best choice , and I would also like to mention If any of you are looking for some information I have a few contacts in town other than my tubby middle-aged pickpocket friend we got the key from , one with information on building layouts and their owners, another on the sorts of travellers that come around town, and a third that may know something about the city of Tunis..., they wish to remain nameless so you will need to go through me" Kit swirls the Brandy and takes another sip and smiles.

Zeek is finished reading his bones and runes. "Oren speaks the truth...The spirits say that someday we will seek out this prophet and determine whether he be true or false in his intentions. The wise man says, 'as the faery fire draws the lost, so does a fools folly attract charlatans.' But the day to seek the Sage is not today." Zeek shaking his fist in the air towards Oren but to one side, "Your words fly up, but never the light of day makes it's way upon you!" A shadow grows over Oren's face and then quickly passes. "Aye!! It tis the spirits that say; 'Seek out the Darkness.' A Sunless Castle be that which way we should go!"

Kerbock smiles "I've never killed a goblin before, it sounds like fun. The treasure of the Sunless Citadel is ours for the taking...though we must pay a heavy toll in goblin blood! Sacking a town would be like old times, and I miss that action. Speaking of sacking towns, who would have more loot than theives? Tunis must be full of bounty. Kit, we need to find out more about this town."

Cedric leans forward. "I believe the Sunless Citadel would be more to my liking. It seems to be within our limited abilities to complete this quest, and who knows what lost knowledge I can find in the depths of an ancient keep! From another Age of Man, no less. I want to speak with this Sage, Timmerick of the Whispering Woods, but that can wait. As for the Fire Lord...I fear that adventure may be the end of us all!"

Gremage nods. "I am for the darkness of the ancient Citadel. It is there we will find knowledge and coin. I am in no hurry to face a Fire Lord...alive or dead! The Sage will probably charge a hefty price, and we can ill afford any price these days."


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