Upon being stationed with the two soldiers in the Eastern side of town Kai, the Gunslinger, and the Crusader all had an excellent view of the mountains. Unfortunately they also had some chatty soldiers that began to tell what would sound like camp fire horror stories about a being that lives just beyond the mountains they were looking at. The being lived in the swamp at the base of [[Hell’s Point Peak]]. From what the soldiers stated this “Lurker” comes down from the mountains at night to steal children smelling of lavender found in the river to the West.
Feeling curious once their watch was done for the day the adventurers separated and began to explore various parts of the small village. The population of Charleston is only around one-hundred and fifty, and there are approximately fifty guards that aren’t counted within the population since they are stationed by the military, and aren’t permanent residents. Among the few shops that were their Kai spotted a florist. He decided to stock up on miscellaneous possessions to use in future combat so he decided a perfect item would be a flower pot.
As Kai entered a bell rang, and he heard a female voice call out asking whoever entered to come in the back. Behind the counter there was a doorway that led to a back room where Kai saw a strange sight. A lady wearing a colorful dress with long murky green hair was cutting up various flowers to plant once more. The reason why this was strange was that she had short pointed ears that resembled that of an Elf, but she had the build of a Human woman. Further questioning revealed she was simply a Half-Elf, and that she had almost always lived with Humans.
Unfortunately for Kai his awkwardness quickly led to a very bewildered woman who sold him an empty pot that he overpaid for since he did not understand the value of currency and she was too confused to tell him that he had made a mistake. Kai decided to name his new empty flower pot “Stephano”, and traveled to the local Longhouse for dinner, and a drink. Unfortunately for the woman this was not the last strange visitor she would have.
Within the longhouse Kai began his enjoyment, and not long after he arrived the Crusader finally entered into the tavern. While Kai began his meal, eating stew that was the night’s dinner, the Crusader was being questioned by the Mayor of the town, Jonathon Wilston, who believed the town’s florist was an Elven spy, and he wished for the Crusader to weed her out since he was a member of the Church, and could be trusted. They discussed the rest in the Mayor’s office so they could have a more private conversation since Kai was eavesdropping.
The Crusader determined that the Mayor was obviously crazed, and that he was not going to stop until he had finally rid his town of the florist who was apparently an “Elven Witch”. The Witch in question’s name was Ema Ocono as the Mayor finally revealed, and the Mayor was going to be trying her for his accusations on the very next day. Deciding to investigate further so as not to convict someone who was innocent the Crusader made his way to the florist to ask her more questions. When he arrived he had seen Rolind creeping her out with wanting to examine “a living Elven specimen”, but eventually she stated that she felt uncomfortable with that, and that she wished for him to stop bothering her.
Further questioning revealed that she was not a witch, and had always been criticized because of her Elven heritage. Upon this discovery the group decided to inquire as to why she always went into the forests to the North even though the Mayor told her not to since he believed this was where the Elves were hiding out, and he claimed she was giving them information on the cities perimeters, guard hours, and what to expect upon entering the city. She claimed that the best of herbs could be found in within the Northern Forests, and that she had never even seen an Elf in those forests.
The group decided to have her show them where these flower patches were and she led them to the Northern Forests being careful to go eastward first to avoid the Gnolls. It was nighttime when they first started their way into the forests, but luckily they were never ambushed by anything. Within the forest she showed several different flower patches in the area, and was helpful in identifying many of the plants, and pointing out the Gnoll encampment when they reached the Western boarder of the forest. The Gnolls were nearly a mile away so there was no fear of being discovered as she showed a patch of flowers that had the precious herb Blood Leaf growing off of a tree on top of the flower patched hillside. Rolind quickly took this opportunity to harvest it since both he, and Levi were still fairly injured from the fight with the bandits (Blood Leaf is a medicinal herb in the New World).
Further within the forest Ema had shown everyone a very beautiful patch of land with a water fall, and a small pond that it fell into with flowers lining the boarders of the pond. She pointed out grave-root was around the area, and the group questioned why such a herb would be found in this area that seemed to be vibrant with life. Eventually Rolind decided to dig not trusting that it was simply a bird that had died. This dig revealed that there was a half-eaten femur bone of an Elf below the ground. The group was quickly reminded of the Lurker, and believed that this may have been something that it had been munching on before.
Quickly the group left believing that the Lurker may still yet be lingering around the area. When they arrived back in Charleston they escorted Emma to her shop, and went back to the infirmary to sleep since they hadn’t been shown the barracks just yet. A half a night’s sleep before they were woken by an angry Marshal Sommers who was spitting out the water Roland had replaced his Vodka with. A short argument later, and the group decided to prep for the upcoming trial that was at 9am.
Feeling uncertain of the outcome of the trial Kai decided to visit Emma with the proposal that she travel to his homeland so that she would no longer be persecuted by the Humans, or the Elves since she did not fit in with either. She told him that someday she would love to see his homeland, but for now she wanted to clear up her name before she saw amazing new lands, but she seemed to give an uncertain promise that if things went sour at the trial she would run, and use the materials Kai had given in order to make it to his homeland.
With that Kai, Rolind, the Crusader, and the Gunslinger all traveled off to meet one of the persecutors named Abigail Veiss. From this point they were met by a thick and stout woman who was obviously from a rural area. She was belligerent after she realized the group was defending Emma. Earlier it had been revealed by Emma that this woman was angered since Emma had run her out of her florist business since Emma was the only one willing to go into the Northern Forest, and on top of that it was revealed that the dreams this woman had may have been from the local fauna called Julio’s Weed that is often mistook for a pipe weed named The Emperor’s Gift. Julio’s Weed was significant since it was actually hallucinogenic while The Emperor’s Gift was simply for smoking and relaxing with.
After having her show her pipe weed the party had then found Julio’s Weed within the various bits of Emperor’s Gift she had. Unfortunately she then claimed it was good thing her father was not home since he would have surely beaten them all at that point. Kai took this as a challenge and rushed to the fields where her father could be located. A quick brawl led to Kai standing victorious over the poor farmer. Rolind quickly patched him up, and just afterwards the bells signifying that the trial was about to begin started to ring.
After a brief introduction a Templar had ridden all the way from [[Julio’s Landing]] to do a quick trial. He was very weary from the unreasonable demands to have such a high ranking official come all the way out to such a small town to do a trial that appeared to be nothing more than paranoia. Luckily this worked for the defense greatly. It was a quick trial that ended in it being postponed for a bit over a year since the judge wanted the sorceress Eldrassa Contolio to conduct her investigation on the magic the Elves have been using to summon Okash before they continue the trial to make absolute sure that it would have nothing to do with what the locals were claiming.
After the trial the group was reassured by the man that Emma would probably not be executed so long as she didn’t do anything within the next year to make them think otherwise. For this reason she was unable to leave the town boarders for the next six months. Unfortunately this would mean that she could not keep her own business affluent since she was the only person who harvested the flowers of the local area for her shop. The group took on the responsibility of picking flowers every evening after they had finished their shift of watching the town.
Luckily they had fairly good directional sense, and memory to keep them from getting lost, or forgetting where the herbs were. The business was able to keep conducting business, and while the group did not get paid for their good deeds they were rewarded with knowing that such a heinous trial did not ruin one woman’s business. Unfortunately these peaceful nights did not all end on such a good note.
One night as they were coming back from picking flowers they smelled a fowl stench in the air on the boarders of Charleston. They went to the guards who watched the northern city limits, and one of them claimed that this was what he had smelled when the Gnolls had attacked months ago. Thankfully Rolind and Levi were all healed up from their grievous wounds that they had suffered from the bandit lords. They rallied the town guard, and two fifths of them moved towards the stench.
They were able to spot the Gnolls who had believed that they were being sneaky scouting out the town. Quickly the large group of battle ready soldiers charged the small scouting party of Gnolls. It was a slaughter, but unfortunately it was not unheard. A screechy piercing howl sounded in the distance as the men began reloading their gunpowder rifles they could hear the sound of a thunderous charge begin to echo from the North. Finally figures could be seen in the shadows, and Kai decided to use his empty flower pot on the first Gnoll of the group.
Throwing the flower pot Kai managed to nearly knock the Gnoll in a headdress unconscious, but the remaining Gnolls that were charging just behind it were unphased by one Gnoll getting injured. The battle between the two large groups was intense. Many good soldiers had died, and the spiteful Gnoll who had taken the flower pot to the head jabbed Kai with his spear nearly running Kai through. Kai unfortunately fell to the ground injured, and dying from such a horrible wound. The remainder of the battle ended fairly quickly, and the remainder of the party patched up their fallen comrade, and saved the life of another soldier. Unfortunately there were only eight total soldiers outside of the group who had lived through the battle.
As the area quieted down the sound of battle could be heard from the other side of town, and the group separated leaving Levi to escort Kai to the infirmary, and Roland, the Gunslinger, and the Crusader to find out what was going on at the opposite side of time. As they neared they saw a Gnoll in a much more ornate headdress doing battle with the guards who had remained to protect the city. Quickly Rolind determined that he wanted that headdress for his own trophy collection since he was inspired by Kai giving up all of his previously claimed trophies to the Crusader who had downed the Gnoll who had defeated Kai.
Rolind took the first shot at the oncoming Gnolls just barely missing the Chieftain Gnoll’s heart. The remainder of the battle was fairly short ending in mostly a slaughter of the already battle weary Gnolls. As was hoped Rolind had slain the Gnoll Chieftain, and claimed some trophies off of him. Afterwards Marshal Sommers’ corpse was found amongst the dead, and a brief investigation from Rolind revealed that Sommers had been drinking before the battle. While this discovery unsettled everyone they still knew that they had to continue on. A funeral was held for all of the lost soldiers, and Marshal Sommers.
By the time Kai had mostly recovered from his wounds the new Marshal had arrived in Charleston. His name was Marshal James Fletcher. Several more months went by under the newly appointed Marshal James Fletcher who had once made a mild comment about how the group should probably not work so hard for the Elven woman if they want to prove that they are not bewitched, but he never went any further than that. Eventually the six months that the group was stationed in Charleston had flown by before they knew it.
Upon them getting their orders to leave the group had begun packing when Emma approached them with a spectacular bouquet of flowers in an ornate pot. She gave the bouquet to the group, and thanked them for everything that they had done. While she knew the bouquet had no use to them since they lived in a barracks it was the only thing she could give them as a parting gift. The group gladly accepted, and were happy that one person waved them off as they finally left Charleston some of them vowing to return when her trial would come up to make sure she would be safe from an unjust persecution.
Five days went by before they finally had made it back to [[Julio’s Landing]], and they noticed that the walls had been fixed over the span of the six months they had been gone. While Kai went to return the books that he had ruined in combat he was chased out by the angered librarian who wasn’t going to leave him alone until she had received payment for her destroyed property. Luckily Rolind paid her what Kai owed since Kai at this point had no money. Rolind decided to give Kai an allowance so that this wouldn’t happen again. With money now in his hands Kai set off for a new store full of books.
Meanwhile Levi, and the Gunslinger reported back to Marshal Deviticus Salrin who was pleased to see that they had made it through their long service. Unfortunately his happiness quickly turned to irritation as he realized that their next mission was issued by Amilio Devaughny who wanted them to check [[Dragon’s Head]] for possible Elven hideouts since Elves had been spotted by the scouts in the area. Unfortunately this mission required Amilio’s servant, Charles, to give them the packet full of plans for this mission that specifically told them their every move while in [[Dragon’s Head]]. From there Salrin begrudgingly told the two to go back and rest up for the night since Charles, and Devaughny were already off duty. The two agreed and made their way back to the barracks.
Elsewhere Kai had arrived at his destination. The magic shop he had seen while originally exploring the town. This magic shop was known as “The Magician’s Trick”. Inside he saw an elderly woman who appeared fairly ugly even for a woman of her age. He inquired about her book selection, and she began searching for a book named, A Brief History of The Lanian Empire. While she was looking for that Kai spotted a book that was written in the language of the Kami. The book’s name was A Summary of Animal God’s and Their Kin.
Kai asked about the book, and with much effort the woman read the title, and only got one word wrong. Kai began to question how she knew the language, and she claimed that she had traveled all over the world in her youth. After finally examining Kai more closely she then claimed to know exactly where he was from. Kai paid for the book, and left the shop pleased to know of someone he liked was with [[Julio’s Landing]]. From their he made his way back to the barracks to get a good night’s rest along with the others…
Note: I know I got Rolind’s name wrong a few times in this since I got half way through writing this before realizing I was still spelling it as Roland; so no I don’t intend to fix it since I’ve already spent enough time writing this. XD