Aldûr: The First Age

Scorched Earth and Guildmasters

With Chorianna’s Villa left behind, they struck out upon the road to Gilden. Erdris, the Blacksmith pressaged the party onward to retrieve natural salt in order to fend off any attacking demons. A salt flat was conveniently found within but a few hours travel on the first night from the Villa.

The party licks their wounds, nursing and regaining their sapped strength and abilities which had slaked the ravenous thirst of the lesser demons.

Three nights from their departure, the sky begins to rain as they approach the hilly regions leading up to the mountain range looming in the north. As they round a bend in the muddied road their eyes see scorched land towards the horizon. Small bits of flame flicker and dance, sizzling in the pouring rain; shifting and sliding across the landscape to seek shelter from the downpour. The fire elementals find none.

One such entity accosts and startles the horses pulling the wagon, causing them to bolt. Theodalindra and Edmond deal quickly with the reckless entity, its essence evaporating into the wind upon its demise.

Soon after, a fork in the road is encountered. A large, shadowy figure silently trails the wagon, skulking quietly along. Edmond’s keen eyes alone scope out the culprit, and with flourishing waves of his arcanist’s hands he illuminates the countryside, revealing the stout and large figure of an ogre bedecked in well groomed and tended tuxedo.

The shadow revealed, he asks what the intentions of the party are, as he holds some accountability to a mistress up ahead by the name of Valoria. Edmond keys upon the name, recognizing her as a Grandmaster of the Adventurer’s guild, though honorary only.

The feckless, rambunctious youth climbs silently aboard the wagon while Edmond and the others chat briefly with the dapper Percy. As Percy inquires where they have just come from, it is disclosed that they had escaped from Chorianna’s Villa and but upon a hair’s breadth from death due to a clutch of demons in the area.

Young Valoria chimes into the conversation, apologizing and noting that the group accosting Chorianna’s Villa were likely a group fractured from the larger horde she had been dealing with herself. Valoria Then invites the party to partake of a rather large wild boar roasting above a caged fire elemental.

Edmond offers to free the fire elemental and replace the captured entity with arcane flames, to which Valoria Acquiesces. The young Mistress then sizes up the members of the party and notes Nomen Clature’s status as a healer, fervently requesting “Heals” from the bearded brother of the earth. A promise is made that on the morrow she would receive as much.

A burlap sack sits beside the fire, and from within an object squirms for freedom. When pressaged as to the nature of the sack, an irked Valoria states it contains someone who attempted to cozen her of her fungibles; a highwayman who waylaid her for her necklace. She is, however, unclear if this was the case or if she is misremembering, as she feels she may not have her entire faculties about her.

Edmond inquired of her if he should perhaps be let free of the burlap sack, and Valoria gladly recommended that he may be of some use to the party, as he had said something about tracking the plague that they all seemed to be keen on and was naught but dead weight to her.

Opening the sack, it is revealed that Salius, the wanderer, was accosted by the young Guildmaster upon the road. His arms and hands are tied, the rope binding him woven into an intricate mat of knots. Valoria Indicates that she isn’t sure she remembers how she had tied him up. Edmond severs the mass of rope with his dragonfang dagger, freeing Salius from his bonds.

Nomen informs the newly free Salius that he is not to partake of lifting anything from his person, lest Nomen be forced to eat his brain. A bewildered Salius nods in response.

Wishing to test her guests in their physical aptitude, Valoria accosts the dwarf in an attempted half-nelson. Nomen, baffled as to the behavior, merely plays along to Valoria’s disappointment. The young Mistress finds more fervent fighting spirit with Theodalindra, though is somewhat dejected that a still unconscious Milton is unavailable for the exercise.

Piqued at Nomen’s unwillingness to ‘Play’, the young Mistress notes that during the night he sleeps with a particular affection for a large femur clutched to his breast. She prods the newly released Salius to swap the mace for a fuzzy teddy bear.

Salius is caught in the act of placing the bear within Nomen’s posession while sleeping. The dwarf awoke, accosting the thief and demanding to know where his holy gift from Val’Jogund had disappeared to. Salius indicates that the young Guildmaster had put him up to the prank.

Theodalindra steps in to prevent anything untoward to happen to the put upon Salius. She asks what all the noise is about and is informed from the Dwarf that his mace has been lifted. As Theo inquires as to where he last had it, he notes that the mace has been returned to the wagon and placed in the spot where he had been sleeping.

An irate Nomen takes the mace and holes himself within a self-shaped stone cot, whereby his belongings could not be relieved of his accompaniment. Valoria, whose joke had been ill-received, petulantly piles stones around the sleeping dwarf.

Edmond Du Valain woke early in the morning to spar with the young Mistress Valoria, having acquired from her travel supplies a worthwhile Gildaean Sparring Blade. The two spend a good hour trading blows, both considering the workout to have been worthwhile.

At that time, Nomen woke. Dismissing the surrounding shell of his stone cot, a pile of stones falls upon his head causing bruises and contusions. He immediately confronts Valoria, demanding to know what happened to his mace on the previous night. Valoria indicates her desire for Nomen to fulfill his bequest sworn the previous night, while an angered Nomen indicates that he will not heal her until noon if she does not answer the question.

Lolithiana, freshly woken, finds herself in no mood to listen to the distractions of arguments and promptly erects a field of silence between the arguing parties and the rest of the group.

Valoria Decides to wait it out, wandering off. However, Nomen has other plans; following the young Guildmaster, he harangues her with questions of the previous nights events. A petulant, put upon Valoria indicates that she refuses to answer the question, asking if Nomen hasn’t the intention of keeping his word.

She provides an opportunity for him to commit to his foresworn action, and then unleashes her anger upon him; Borrowing the waters from the Holy Lake of Gilden, she deposits some of it into an amplifier and then proceeds to pummel the dwarf, channeling the energies from the crystal amplifier through her fists to insure that he does not perish in the process.

A defiant Nomen continues to demand answers to the question posed, only heating Valoria’s ire further. She empties the phial around her neck of Holy Waters and fills it with daemon essence gathered from her recent spat with the entities. Her last blow saps the dwarf of all but the most rudimentary of faculties, and Nomen folds like a wet rag, drooling from the mouth as his mind is as empty as his muscles are weak.

Storming off, a short discussion between Edmond and Theodalindra comes to an agreement of speaking to both Valoria and her handyman Percy.

Theodalindra discerns from Valoria that she has every intention of letting Nomen keep his word, but that she feels he deserves to be a drooling moron for a little while… she assures Theodalindra that she has the means of removing the cursed affliction from the dwarf.

Percy indicates to Edmond that the young miss was likely irked at Nomen’s unwillingness to train, but also that she thought it was adorable that he cuddled the large femur like a pet while he slept. She had not intended for her prank to be blown so out of proportion and was not likely to humor the dwarf in answering his demands.

Eventually, Valoria restores Nomen to his old self using the stolen Sun, kept in a bullseye lantern in her possession. The warm rays of the sun rid Nomen as well as Edmund of their afflictions. A Contrite Nomen, after speaking with Theodalindra, kept his promise and restored young Valoria’s mind to its original state.

A thankful Valoria indicated that she had not used the power of the sun on herself as she had been foresworn against any personal use of the item. Edmund coaxes her to have him hold it for a moment and utilized its energies upon her.

The young Guildmaster provides a short-cut for Edmond and the group to take, indicating that a Blossom Arch was a few miles straight through the fork. She gathers up her rope, binding it together again with her deft hands, and tosses her grappling hook up to the sky, hooking it upon the deep darkness devoid of sun. Indicating that she would be absent for some hours, she bids the party adieu and claims she would see all of them later, then she climbs the rope to return the sun to its proper place.

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