Archives: Quest for Neria
Chapter 4: To Wizard Darjis
After a four-days journey, the quartet arrived in the small village near Alan that Jereidons mentor lived in. The trip had been rather quiet, as they had been able to tag along with a merchants caravan en route to Alan. The merchant had hired a company of mercenaries, and if any bandits had been considering raiding them, the mercenaries had been a good deterrent. As they came close to Alan, the merchant parted ways with them to go into the city, while the adventurers continued on to the village.
It was a small farming settlement, with little services beyond a single tavern with a few rooms for travelers. Not many people stopped here who didnt have business with the villagers, as it was so close to Alan, so there was little need for an official inn. Most of the buildings were residences, small houses for the farming families and anyone else who desired a quiet life away from the hustle and bustle of the big citythis obviously included the mage Darjis.
Evening was not far away once they arrived, and Katela was more than ready to get off her feet. Looking around the village, Katela tried to determine which home could belong to Jereidons master. So... where to now? she asked Jereidon, pausing in the center of town with her hands on her hips.
Jereidon looked around and seemed glad to be back near his master, whom he had been meaning to check in on and introduce his familiar anyways. Hes on the edge of town, just an hour northwest. Its an easy walk, the path is well marked, Jereidon spoke as he carried on, nodding to some of the locals and seeming quite relaxed closer to home.
Katelas shoulders slumped. Awww....MORE walking? she whined, but followed Jereidon, dragging her feet.
Aquila was personally worn out from the adventure. Sure, they got a ride from a merchant, but it had also made the petite girl rather uneasy about the situation. So far shed done far more traveling in the four days than shed done since shed left her step-brother. After hearing that about an hour more of their time would be spent towards walking, she sighed with a hint of mere exhaustion. This trip was taking a toll on her, which was pretty sad considering she was still very much an exceptionally young woman.
Is there perhaps a way to just... take a minute before we head off once more? she asked, glancing down to her feet, I know we havent done too much for a while now, but Im kind of... tired, she added. Of course, if she absolutely had to continue walking, it was not a problem. Her pace had slowed down drastically, especially since Katela had also said something about the walking.
After this long a little farther will not hurt us to much, Brynn said, trying to lift the girls spirits. Once were there, we can finally relax, and have a warm soapy bath maybe. All women liked to pampered a little, in Brynns experience. A hot bath certainly sounded good to him, as did getting off of their feet. The dwarven cleric did, however, keep out a weary eye for anyone who was watching out for them too intently. Someone perhaps that would not be glad of Jereidons return.
Jereidon looked to them and sighed, Brynn was absolutely correct. Even his slender frame was tired, as he was never in the best shape from years of books. The only thing that kept him keeping up were is boots, which enabled him to move faster. He was thankful of this, and that his master was so close by. Seeing a few villagers he recognized he nodded and waved to, getting friendly greetings back. After this we should take a couple of days to rest, my master has plenty of room. We could take several minutes to sit down if youd like, a quick break from walking wouldnt hurt.
It might be a good idea to put out word of what were looking for, Brynn added. You know spread the word to the locals, who may have some information, or perhaps the odd traveller who might have seen a similar attack more recently. Brynn purposely didnt say been the target of, not wanting to dampen their spirits. That way, while we are taking it easy, the info could come to us. He looked to the other members of their little group to see if they thought it was a good idea.
Oh yes! Katela replied to Jereidon eagerly. Maybe we should get something to drink over at that tavern. Thatd be the best place to talk to the locals too, Id think.
The idea of getting some real food and drink, rather than trail food, appealed to Brynn even more than a bath, made evident by a sudden rumbling of the dwarfs stomach. Not quite what I had in mind, but I like the way you think Katela, Brynn said smiling. The cleric of Myrii raised his nose to the air and inhaled deeply. All this road dust must have stiffled my sense of smell. I cant tell which inn smells better.
Theres only one inn, Katela pointed out, hooking her thumb toward the tavern. Thats a house, she said, pointing to a large house that could have been mistaken for an inn. Maybe the mayors or something... Well, lets go put our feet up! With a burst of new found energy, Katela led the way across the square and was the first to push open the door of the tavern.
The building was just as expected, a regular small town tavern with a few villagers drinking to the end of a long day. The barkeep was stationed behind the bar, where most of the men were sitting. Along the back wall was the entrance to a hallway that led to the few rooms the tavern had for guests. Katela plopped down at the table nearest the door with a sigh of relief.
Say, why dont ya just make yourself at home? Brynn teased Katela, before turning to Jereidon. You said your master had room for us all to stay at his tower, should we request a room just in case hes filled the open areas? After all, it had been some time since youve been there.
Aquila had followed obediently, not even bothering to say much. Thankfully, they were able to stop for a little bit and rest up for a minute or so, that was good to hear. She sat down near Katela and gave a soft sigh, Finally, some time to just relax, she murmured under her breath. It felt nice; to actually lift her feet up. However, the thought of still walking after this made her want to cringe. More walking in the day only made her wrinkle her nose in disgust. This wasnt going to be very pleasant, not until she could manage to get herself to sleep later that night, hopefully.
Alright, sounds like a good plan. Im sure hes also busy with his books, but hes always been like that, Jereidon replied and sat down as well, looking back to the innkeeper and giving him a wave. The man and his wife had ran the inn since he had arrived here, of course there was a few new faces in their staff hed noticed but then it was nice. Id come in here while on errands every time and have my lunch, the food here is actually very good. So how long do you want to rest your feet for, if your tired we could talk to him tomorrow.
I suppose we could wait... Katela said, putting her feet up on the chair next to her. Lets have some supper and get some beds, eh?
Dont think of it as waiting, think of it as getting a head start on finding Jereidons sister, Brynn said, clapping his hands together. Im going to go see the owner, to see if he needs any clerical assistance that would equal out to a room stay, and a bite to eat. Id even settle for some dishwashing or floor scrubbing, if theres nothing else. Im not picky as long as I get a bed to sleep on. With that, the dwarven cleric pushed off from the table and went in search of someone who knew where the owner was, or the owner himself.
This was pretty regular for Brynn. He had spent the last several years traveling from place to place doing his gods work. When he was short of funds he had to work for his food and lodging, same as anyone else.
The barkeep, a hearty man with a balding head, was at his post behind the bar, talking to some of the local men who were enjoying a brew at the far end. He gave the newcomers a passing glance, and he vaguely recognized the young mage. Jereidons handsome face was one that stuck in peoples memories, after all. He hurriedly wrapped up his conversation with his regulars, then made his way out from behind the bar and over to Jereidon and company.
Hello there, he said with a friendly grin to the group, before settling on the familiar face. Arent ye Darjiss old apprentice? he asked Jereidon.
Somehow Brynn and the barkeep had walked right past each other as Brynn went in search of the man to arrange for alternative payment of their bill. Unable to find the man, the dwarven cleric eventually got to the bar and asked some fellows where the bar owner had gone off to. The men there of course pointed to the table where Brynns companions sat. So, rolling his eyes, Brynn walked back over to the table hoping that he didnt miss anything.
Aquila glanced around the tavern, merely listening to what all had been going on within the last several minutes. She didnt have much to say about what was going on right now, which still wasnt something new for her. Her blue eyes intently watched the owner who had made his way over to the table. It appeared like he knew Jereidon, but it didnt seem to surprise her so much. She tapped her fingers on the table for a brief moment, before glancing around once more. She was getting incredibly nervous right now.
She looked to Brynn, who had just come back to the table. A playful grin pranced upon her lips, I take it you havent asked him yet? she asked, keeping her voice down to a whisper. At this rate, she wouldnt mind doing anything to help Brynn out with being able to stay for the night and obviously get something to eat. She was starving right about now.
Trying not to interrupt the inn owner and Jereidon, Brynn whispered back to Aquila with a grin on his face, Hard to find him when hes right where Im supposed to be. Thats what a dwarf gets for using the outhouse. When you come back everyones moved.
After the small talk was over, Brynn cleared his throat to get the owners attention. I hate to sound like a free loader, but may perhaps you would take trade in exchange for a room for the eve and a hot meal?