Having made excellent and ample arrangements for the rest of the eight, Jolly could not abide standing idly by while a sense of unease continued to grow in his belly. As of recent weeks, the slow nagging sense that evil encroaches had grown. At first, Jolly dismissed these fears and worry from others as the weaker constitution of the mostly human inhabitants of the town. Certainly, the recent withdraw of the frontier army that had so long provided protection from ne’er-do-wells and monsters alike had shaken the confidence of the people. And now, with the complete withdraw of the army from Brightstone Keep that sits atop the far end of the valley some months old the troubling sense had only grown. The army had been called on to distant wars and all feared what that vacuum would bring.
Since he sent the note to the 8, Jolly has reviewed records in the town archives and combined with the oral history of his people he has left a report in writing to those following after him with instructions to pass this information along to the others at their lodging, which Jolly has arranged at no cost, at the Randy Shanker.
With these arrangements made, Jolly has headed into the surrounding area to scout out the area and gather more intel. No one has heard from him in a few days.
The reports he left behind states that the Keep originally housed up to 100 soldiers, and when combined with the reserves stationed in the wooden stockade on the southern bank of the Mari River, provided ample security. However, both are now abandoned. The specifics of the keep can be found in the copies of the map that have been provided. The map is some years old but as far as anyone knows, no major changes or building have occurred. The keep sits on a plateau on one of the larger mountains to the north in the nearby range. Jolly also noted from experience that from the towers of the keep, one has a commanding view of the entire valley around Marikest.
Furthermore, when the army pulled out of the area, many of the most talented persons went with it—and a lot of the scum stayed behind. Marikest’s remaining guards are concerned about the rise in crime and banditry on the roads in and out of the town. With several guards leaving with the advancing army, those left behind are now undermanned and rapidly approaching being overwhelmed.
Maester Aleblood goes on to note the town council is more than willing to pay 100gp/person to able bodied and competent men to scout and report on the keep. If some agreement is able to be reached they would be willing to negotiate some financial arrangement for manning the keep and providing supplemental security for the region. They have also dispatched runners to try and recruit other replacement forces for the long term protection of the area. However, no news has been fast in coming from these runners.
In a rudimentary code (like cockney slang) that the eights were keen to use in their adventures, Jolly goes on to note that he overheard at the Randy Shanker a dwarf, Makkal of Psen, and two men talking about a ‘raid’ and how they should ‘stay away from the east quarter.’ Not sure of their intent or disposition, he declined to leave this written in plain common so as to keep the honest persons honest. On each note, sealed with red wax, Jolly has left his all too familiar mark. None of the notes appear to be tampered with, and all arrive in town relatively unscathed, save Morgrym.
Metagame (MG): For weather and moon patterns we will use this chart as a reference: http://lunaf.com/english/moon-phases/lunar-calendar-2013/
For sunrise and sunset times we will use this: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html?n=848&month=4&year=2013&obj=sun&afl=-11&day=1
The order of arrival in town is:
Gideon/Stacey C: 1st to arrive in Marikest in the early evening on the 4th of the Fourth month.
Edmos/Kevin: 2nd to arrive on the 6th, around 5pm.
Talathel/Sam W: 3rd arrive same day as Gurny, around 10am on the 8th.
Gurny/Matt W: 4th arrives same day as Talathel, around 3pm on the 8th.
Hodekin/Aaron W: 5th to arrive on on the 9th at 4am.
Throp/John S: 6th to arrive at 12 noon on the 10th.
Morgrym/Jason H: Last to arrive (7th) on the 12th.
As far as what you do once you enter town keep in mind that Jolly has made these arrangements:
To: Doral Dohrmann – Proprietor of the Randy Shanker
Subject: Temporary Leave/Temporary Liege
My Friend Doral,
As you know, I was once an adventurer of sound repute. Also, as we go back a long way, you know that I am a proud dwarvish citizen of Marikest. When I showed up at your doorstep several months ago, you saw me correctly for what I was. I was a dwarf who was broken and was in need of some solace. You forced me to cast off my armor and weapons and to take up the apron of the brewer. The sweet sound of that filthy and defiled gear hitting the floor was more of a blessing that you will ever know.
What you don’t know is that my Deity Cayden is making it clear that the insecurity that we are all feeling about Marikest is real and that there is something amiss nearby. As you might have heard by now, I have several fellow adventurers coming into Marikest in the coming days/weeks and I would like to use the Randy Shanker as our base of operations. We will be happy to pay you what you think is fair for me to secure 7 rooms and to have some privacy from prying eyes.
I may also require that you vouch for my partners and I over the next couple of weeks and although I don’t want you to lie on their behalf, I just ask that you give them the benefit of the doubt to those folks who might wonder about these new folks in town. Most of the crew are very easy going and you and your staff will find them to be a pleasant, if boisterous, lot. There are a couple of characters who are a bit rough around the edges though and if they get out of like with you or your staff, please bring it to my attention and it will be dealt with. Swiftly.
I do not anticipate that this is going to be something that it’s going to take a terribly long time for us to accomplish once everyone arrives. I figure a couple of days worth of planning, gathering supplies, and getting caught up will be in order. Once we head out, we will leave you with a suitable retainer to hold our rooms and to watch our gear. In the event that it takes longer for us to get back than we planned, I’d also like to work out an arrangement where you would store our gear for us and reimburse us later for what we don’t use. Finally, some of my friends will be bringing their own mounts for this journey. If you could please see to their care, I would be in your debt.
You may have noticed that there are a couple of extra kegs of beer lying around that I’ve been secretive about. I have been saving these for my friends when they arrive. Once we leave on our little adventure, the casks are yours to pull for your patrons. These are my gifts to you my friend. Charge extra! They aren’t perfect but there isn’t a beer drinker in 100 miles who wouldn’t ask for a second pint ‘if you please’. Kegs marked Travelers Walk are filled with a light brew that will put a spring in your step and a song on your lips on even the most dreary of days. Kegs marked Jolly Good are filled with a strong, sharp, and bitter ale that will bring a warmth to their cheeks and a rememberance of good days and old friends. As such, I am also leaving you these recipes as a gift to an old friend. These brews are my masterworks (Profession: Brewing 31) and they have months of myself and my Deity in them. Feel free to use them as-is or have your brewmaster adjust them to see fit.
Thank you my friend for everything. I will be gone for the next couple of days so please let Gideon know if you hear of anything or if you need anything special from us. He will be the point-person for any special requirements that my adventuring group has so please have your staff route them through him. Also, if any of my boys get out of line with the barmaids, please make the patrons aware that Jolly will be ‘displeased’. I’ve saved enough of their lives for them to know what that means.
We’ll be talking soon.
To: Hubrid Darkfeather
Subject: Assistance and Business
Maester Darkfeather,I wanted to thank you again for helping my friend Gideon make his way to the Shanker before he fell afoul of the city guards. As you know, I have several more friends coming in the next weeks and I would be in your debt if you could help me out. My friend Gideon needs to have a guide to Marikest for the next day or two. I need for someone to show him around who can tell him where to buy gear but I really need for him to get shown where adventurers need to go to learn the lay of the land as it were. As you would expect with a large party like this, we have some characters in professions that require special introductions or accompaniments that a monk might not pick up on. If you could please provide Gideon with someone who might know how some of the darker streets run, I would appreciate it. For your benefit, what I commit to providing to you are two things. The first is that all business that my team has to deal with regards to weapons, armor, or smithing will come to you. I haven’t seen these fellows in a while and it’s possible that they have come into some money. I will have them send it your way. Secondly, I will personally provide you with a written report of what we learn across Marikest with regard to the threat we face. I doubt that I will provide much new information but I believe that what we have will be more comprehensive than what you might have. I will be leaving straight-away to do some fact-finding on my own to add credence to the rumors we have heard. I should be back in a day or two so please contact me then if you have any questions or concerns with our arrangement. Gideon and the team will be based at the Randy Shanker so if you need to check in with them, Doral should be able to be of assistance.
Jolly Aleblood – Priest of Cayden Callean