After leaving the Council Hall, Lamb began planning her afternoon. She came well prepared and as such needed no additional supplies. It would do no good to worry further today when there wasn’t a single shred of solid detail to build a plan on. The half-orc pulled out a large piece of parchment, and began sketching as the group walked back to the River Shining. Between the bookish orc and the insane gnome, it was nice to not be the most unusual member of the group.
As the party made their way to the inn, Avreen slipped away without a word. She wandered about the city for a bit, finding her way to the market. A sign with a simple bow and arrow drew her eye and she walked into the fletcher’s workshop, exiting quickly thereafter due to exorbitant prices for the silver arrows she was after. “I think I’ll come back later, to get some arrows at a more honest price…” she muttered to herself as she walked away.
Once back to the River Shining, Avreen came inside to see Clamant already performing (and drinking) in the common room. Avreen noted that the harp performance was drawing quite a bit of positive attention from the crowd — Clamant would make for an excellent distraction at some point in the future. Avreen sat next to the rest of the group at a large round table.
Helyg was talking to Reenan, who had taken a seat next to the group. “Thank you for hosting our little group. I’m sure it’s a hassle to have so many different beings under one roof. It takes a deft hand to manage a place of this size, but I see you have two.”
The old elf replied with thanks and a well-practiced smile, judging by the faint lines on her face that betrayed her age. "I’m sure you’ll want to know what I know about town. Not much interesting has happened recently apart from events I’m sure you’re more educated about than I am, but the duchess encouraged me to share with anyone willing to help everything that I know. In fact, there was another group — from the Lords’ Alliance — that intended to deal with the werewolves last month. They captured a werewolf alive and brought it back here, much to the town watch’s dismay. They questioned it before it died. The party then traveled southeast to the Misty Forest and hasn’t been heard from since. If you want to know more about it, you should ask Eravien Haund. He’s a member of the Lords’ Alliance — "
“HEY Reenan” Pyewackett interrupted. The table turned to look at the gnome. “D’you know where I can get these things, but in silver?” He slapped a greasy crumpled list on the table. Reenan reached over and gingerly picked it up. A look of confusion grew on her face as she saw the childish scrawls and stick figure drawings along the side. “Sanity?”
“Grrr, it’s just…” Pyewackett trailed off for a moment, before continuing: “I was gonna make another list but someone ate my pencil. But, hell, if they got it…”
“Well friend, you should be able to find most of these things at the market, just inside the south gate of town.” The gnome immediately pushed back from the table, knocking his chair over before bolting out of the inn. Reenan managed to wipe most of the bewilderment off of her face, and the smile returned as she turned back to address Helyg and the rest of the group. “Where was I? Ah, all I was going to say was Eravien is a member of the Lords’ Alliance and also of the Council of Guilds. He certainly will have more information for you.”
Reenan’s last sentence was punctuated with a substantial round of applause as Clamant finished another song. The party joined in, and as it died down Reenan spoke again. “I’m afraid I need to attend to business. If you need anything, let me or one of the attendants know.” The rest of the table murmurs thanks with the exception of Garlan who simply grunts.
“I think our large friend here has the right idea” Avreen posited. “We should gather information today, and leave first thing tomorrow morning. No use getting caught out at night.” Helyg nodded.
Garlan grunted again. “The quicker we rid the world of these monsters, the better,” he spat. “They disgrace mankind by wearing our skins. I say we head for the villages first thing tomorrow morning to root them out.” He abruptly stood, saying “I will leave my belongings in my room and then go to the town to purchase a silvered weapon. Please meet me here in a few minutes if you wish to accompany me.” Without waiting, he left to go to his room.
Aila and Helyg made their way to the constable’s office and jail. They were welcomed inside, being on business from the duchess. “Greetings.” The constable approached, saying “I’m sure you want to hear about the prisoner.” Aila nodded a yes in response.
“The prisoner was brought in here last month. He was a human at the time, in terrible shape. I was amazed he was still alive. The Lords’ Alliance tortured him. I was bothered by this until the man transformed and nearly snapped his chains. The Lords’ Alliance immediately killed him, thank the gods.”
“Can we see the bindings?” Helyg asked.
A pair of broken manacles and a set of chains with bent links testified to the terrible strength of whoever had been bound by them. “Might we borrow some of your restraints?” Aila requested.
“Unfortunately we don’t have an abundance of supplies. To be honest, I’d rather you kill them than bring them back here,” the constable said with a grim look.
At his home next to the Council, Eravien greeted Aila sweetly and Helyg in a more saccharine manner. “And to what do I owe the pleasure?” the noble asked. “We heard that some of your soldiers had success in dealing with the werewolves, and we wanted to help.” Eravien returned the smile accompanying Aila’s statement, and welcomed them in.
“Of course I will let you know all that I know. I only ask that you give the Lords’ Alliance their due credit for assisting you in this manner.” Aila nodded sweetly, doing a good job of hiding her contempt. “The prisoner was interrogated under a Zone of Truth. He let us know that the werewolf pack has almost forty members, and they come from a distant land called Barovia. They worship a deity called Mother Night, who neither I nor the cleric have ever heard of. Evidently the beasts murder adults for fun and food. The children have been captured as a sacrifice to their dark god.” Eravien shuddered as he said this. “Ander, the group’s cleric, said it sounds like the werewolves leave and return to Barovia through some kind of ancient portal. I know little of such matters.”
“Ah, might you give us a description of your task force?” Helyg asked politely. Eravien gave names and descriptions, with a poorly-hidden scowl. “Thank you kind sir. We’ll leave you to your business now.”
“What a nice man.” Aila commented. Helyg chuckled as the two walked to the market.
Something was watching him. Pyewackett dragged his pack — full of most of his shopping list — behind him. He whipped around to see a raven on a post behind him and to his left. “…” The raven cocked its head to the side. “Don’t be a smartass.” The raven cawed once. “Fine, whatever. Listen.” Pyewackett pulled the recently purchased and shiny bell from his pocket. “You can have this, BUT…” The raven hopped closer on the post. “I need to know about the were-beasts.”
As they walked about the market doing their business, Aila and Helyg spotted their gnome whispering and wildly gesticulating to a bird. After a moment, he pulled a whistle from pack and made a shrill shriek with it, drawing the attention of everyone from the surrounding stalls. “This is mine though, you can’t have it” the gnome said. He then walked away, dragging his goods. The half-elf and the half-orc shared a sideways look, then a shrug, and continued their search.
Avreen twiddled her fingers inconspicuously. The lock on the window across the street popped open, and the rogue stopped concentrating on her mage hand. She moved to the alley next to the fletcher’s and began to look through the window. A passerby paused in the street for a second, making eye contact with her before hurriedly walking away. She’d have to be quick. Fortunately she had made a note of where the fletcher kept his silvered arrows, and effortlessly opened the locked chest. She took five of the arrows and left fifty gold pieces in their place before replacing the chest, crawling out and relocking the window, and making her way back to the River Shining.