Post date: Jan 14, 2011 9:1:0 PM

Dodecitina 19, 1000 PC

After Wintersky is delivered the talking horse RacesLightning by the Teton warchief HawksPride, our heroes race over to the Town Hall to find the location of Zenda Blackfoot's grave.

There, they meet Lord Melage Random, who survived the destruction of the castle district and has been living in the Town Hall. He escorts them before the Valencian priestess keeper of the archives.

The priestess questions Sparta about his ancient family history and uncovers a connection that Celesta believes may be a key to defeating Hardun. The priestess divulges the location of the grave, satisfied with Sparta's answers.

The heroes walk through the eerily quite city to the ancient cemetery to search its southern most corner for a hemispherical grave marker. Dale casts find the path, making the search as quick as possible.

Celesta uses ethereal jaunt to investigate the sight and after a lengthy search determines the ring is not in the grave. With this discovery, Sparta suggests that it must still be in the cellar of The Smoking Pipe.

As they turn to leave the cemetery, Nyza decides to visit her follower below the cemetery and finds Ixolal guarding the entrance to their underground lair.

The heroes on edge, waiting for some monster to attack, walk warily back across the bridge and over to the round door of The Smoking Pipe.

Wintersky: Well, you are full of surprises.

Celesta: Did that horse just snicker?

Dale: Kinda sounded that way, didn't it.

Wintersky: You have yet to answer, handsome steed.

Celesta approaches the Tetons.

RacesLightning: Oh...yes.

RacesLightning: And I like the name.

Wintersky: It seemed right.

RacesLightning: You must be the real thing; only they can tell a horse's name just by being around them.

Wintersky: This is my friend Celesta.

Wintersky: They?

Celesta: It is talking? Sorry, you are talking?

RacesLightning nods.

Wintersky: She usually seems more intelligent.

RacesLightning snickers again.

Nyza: Is that because of the spell, or can you always speak, horsey?

Celesta raises an eyebrow at Wintersky, "He may be quite intelligent, but it is still unusual for a horse to speak."

Wintersky: This is Nyza, another friend.

Wintersky: I was speaking of you and you being a mother are definately a she.

Nyza waves cheerfully.

RacesLightning: I have spoken for a couple moons.

RacesLightning: Are you made of fire, little one?

Nyza: Yes.

RacesLightning: It is good that everything around here is stone then, I guess.

Wintersky: Sparta, Dale, come meet RacesLightning and HawksPride.

Nyza: Oh, it is no problem. Nyza can fly if there is grass around.

Celesta continues to marvel at the talking horse.

HawksPride: And AmberHooves, as long was we are making introductions.

HawksPride: AmberHooves does not talk.

Wintersky: AmberHooves, too.

AmberHooves snorts.

Sparta: Pleased to meet you and these are Ringo and Ferocious.

Dale: I'm afraid they don't speak as well as you do.

Celesta pries her attention away from RacesLightning, "Lady Celesta Artural, at your service."

Wintersky: RacesLightning will be joining us.

Ringo barks.

Wintersky raises an eyebrow in question at HawksPride.

HawksPride: Yes, Great Shaman?

Wintersky: Will you be staying or have you other duties to attend to.

HawksPride: Oh, I must return to camp.

Wintersky looks disappointed.

Wintersky: We will meet again soon I hope.

HawksPride: I am certain of it. The Great Chief is expecting me back shortly.

Wintersky: Have you time for a short break, to eat and rest?

HawksPride: I have broken my fast already and must return. Drymorjoc has been stirring again and I am needed to command the warparty.

Sparta: You've only broken your fast once? What about second breakfast?

Nyza: He has? That is news...

Wintersky: Spirits guard and bless you.

HawksPride: Yes. The Great Chief is ready to thwart any actions he may take.

HawksPride: Thank you, Great Shaman.

HawksPride turns AmberHooves and begins cantering back through the city towards the south gate.

Wintersky watches him go.

RacesLightning: What is your next course of action, Great Shaman?

Wintersky: I believe we have a graveyard to search, a ring to find and a ghost to send on her way.

Celesta: But first, let us narrow our search for the grave a bit.

Wintersky: Not to mention killing any undead that attack.

Celesta nods, "Shall we?"

Wintersky: And, having our first ride together.

Dale: I think I'll join you.

Wintersky: Do you mind a saddle?

RacesLightning shakes and staddle and tack magically materialize on him.

Wintersky: Wow.

Celesta: Oh, that is wonderful.

Legeand: Magical tack, that will make getting ready easy.

Sparta: Nifty trick. I wonder if Ringo could learn that one?

Wintersky: I have shoes if you want them.

RacesLightning: The ones I have are wearing, so yes this would be good.

Wintersky removes horseshoes and a saddle strap from her pack.

Celesta: Let me remove the old ones, the magical ones should just attach.

Wintersky smiles and bows to Celesta.

Celesta casts a minor spell and the nails come free of RacesLightning's hooves.

Wintersky places the shoes on RacesLightnings hooves.

RacesLightning: Those feel good. It is like I am hardly touching the groun...I am not touching the ground!

Wintersky: Oh, dear. I have not introduced you to Elenia, my cohort.

Wintersky: If you stomp, you send out a wave that can knock beings in front of you to the ground.

RacesLightning stops abruptly after raising a hoof to stomp.

RacesLightning: Good to know.

Wintersky laughs delightedly.

Celesta: Let us have you ride towards the Town Hall where the records are kept.

Celesta: We will meet you there.

Wintersky: You can run on soft uneven ground easily; even water should you choose.

Wintersky: Ready?

RacesLightning: Yes, most definitely.

Wintersky mounts RacesLightning with a flourish and leans forward for him to run.

RacesLightning bolts off at a full gallop.

Sparta: Oh well, I guess the refugees need second breakfasts more than we do.

Melora: Legeand, was that a talking horse?

Legeand: I believe so.

Legeand: After everything I have seen...I can believe it.

Sparta: C'mon, Ringo. Let's follow Miss 'Sky.

Wintersky draws Blessed Black and experimentally fires a few arrows while RacesLightning runs.

Melora: The Avengers and I are going to take another day to rest. Be careful.

Sparta mounts Ringo and follows RacesLightning at a gentler pace.

Legeand: Can do. I should be good for at least this trek.

Celesta smiles while drawing a staff from her glove, "That horse is still not as fast as a teleport."

Dale leaps atop Ferocious and follow Sparta and Ringo, calling behind her.

Dale: You coming?

SnowShadow races along behind RacesLightning.

Celesta: Legeand? Teleport or run?

Legeand: I will teleport. I do not think I can keep up with animals.

Elenia: Teleport

T'Krosh leans close to Nyza, who seems slightly distracted.

Wintersky: This is great!

T'Krosh: And, how will you be following?

Nyza: Huh? Oh, right. Me fly. And, so will you.

Celesta takes Legeand by the arm and Elenia with her other and teleports to the steps of the old Town Hall.

Melora smiles and returns to the safety of the fortress.

Wintersky: Dang, I think they beat us.

RacesLightning: The lady is a wizard after all.

Nyza: But we are going in style!

Sparta and Dale come trotting up moments later.

T'Krosh: Oh yes, it's very stylish to fly like a giant fiery target.

Wintersky: Certainly can not beat for comfort or class.

Celesta: Extravagant, but fun.

Celesta heads up the stairs into the Town Hall.

Wintersky: Teleporting always make me a little motion sick.

Celesta looks over her shoulder, "Intoxicating to me."

Wintersky: Come on, you will not be the first horse in city hall.

A stately gentleman exits the doors at the top of the stairs.

Lord Random: Welcome, heroes.

Wintersky: Greetings, Lord Random. It is nice to see you again.

Celesta: Lord Random! You are alive!

Wintersky looks closely at him.

Legeand: We did not think to see you here.

Lord Random smiles, "I am a descendant of the Emperor. We are hardy folk."

Wintersky: Like halflings.

Lord Random: This place is far safer than the estate...guarded by a powerful entity.

Sparta: Entity?

Wintersky: Hmmm.

Lord Random nods at the ghost floating over the square.

Sparta: Oh, you mean my Nana.

Wintersky: Do you know where her grave is.

Lord Random: Its location should be in the archives here.

Celesta: Which is why we are visiting.

Wintersky: Perhaps you would lead the way.

Lord Random: Certainly.

Lord Random turns and re-enters the Town Hall followed by the heroes.

Lord Random: The archives are kept by the Valencians. They may request some service for access to the archives.

Wintersky: Perhaps ridding the city of a ghost that will cause a cataclysm will suffice.

Celesta: They usually look for answers to questions to record. Sometimes it is just a matter of answering a question.

Celesta: Oli would be handy to have along for this.

Sparta: Well, let's see how we do without the ol' bard.

Dale: We could use the sending stone.

Wintersky: Well, let us see what they want.

Lord Random leads the group into the lowest basement of the Town Hall where a priestess stands among books, tablets and scrolls.

Valencian Priestess: Welcome, seekers and givers of Knowledge.

Sparta: Howdy.

Sparta: We are looking for records of my Nana's grave.

Valencian Priestess tilts her head to one side, considering.

Valencian Priestess: Your Nana, halfling?

Sparta: Nana Zenda's ghost is protecting the city square above. She was one of the original settlers of Troll's Bridge. I am descended in direct line from her.

Sparta: I think she's buried somewhere in the old cemetery. I'd like to visit her grave site.

Valencian Priestess eyes brighten, "A decendant?"

Sparta smiles.

Sparta: Aye.

Valencian Priestess: I have a gap in an ancient halfling bloodline. There are too many years between Bruce Longshanks and Hayward the Farmer. Are you of this bloodline?

Wintersky realizes the priestess already knows part of the answer.

Wintersky: Is this the question?

Valencian Priestess: The question is...Who are we missing?

Wintersky looks at Sparta.

Sparta: In that case, yes, I am descended from Hayward. We halflings take pride in our family line.

Sparta: You speak of Bruce son of Cecil? His son was Mukwonago, Mukwonago begat Muskego and Muskego's son was Hayward.

Valencian Priestess: What was Muskego's profession and what House was he associated with?

Sparta: Ah, another question?

Wintersky: Perhaps you could tell us the location of the gravesite?

Celesta: She will after a bit more prying.

Celesta (whispering to self): Oli would be jumping out of his skin right now.

Sparta: Muskego was born in Rebelton like most of the Mantyson's clan members. He journeyed to Troll's Bridge as a young man where he held many jobs.

Wintersky: Sparta could talk for days about his family history. It probably would not require more than pints and meals. but we need the location of the grave.

Valencian Priestess smirks at Celesta.

Wintersky: Time is a limited quantity right now.

Valencian Priestess: He had a particularly important job working for a particular House, did he not?

Sparta: You seem to know quite a bit about Master Muskego. Is there something in particular you are looking for?

Valencian Priestess: The House, if you please?

Sparta: He spent some time working for Chicdells, if that's what you mean. Though I believe it was before they ascended to the council.

Celesta's jaw drops.

Wintersky: Hmmm.

Valencian Priestess smiles, "The grave is in the southern most corner of the original cemetery marked by a hemisphere stone.

Sparta: Thank you. If you have more need of my family history, perhaps we can chat after the current cataclysm is averted.

Wintersky: Perhaps we should get ready for nasties before we get there.

Celesta nods still regarding Sparta with surprise.

Wintersky: Do you keep a list of what lurks in the cemetery, priestess?

Valencian Priestess: No, that is the providence of The Grotesque.

Wintersky: Too bad. The Grotesque and I are not on speaking terms at the moment.

Wintersky: Good Day.

Valencian Priestess nods and returns to her meditations.

The group leaves the archives and heads back to the entry of the Town Hall.

Celesta: Sparta, the Muskego that worked for Angelo Chicdell was your ancestor?

Sparta: He was.

Sparta: Though that was a long time ago.

Wintersky casts Mass Align Weapon to Good.

Celesta: I think you are the one that will finally put Hardun to rest.

Dale: Miss 'Sky, would Owl's Wisdom help against the nasties you're expecting?

Wintersky: Yes.

Sparta: Really? Why do you think that? He's a vampire, wouldn't Miss 'Sky be a stronger opponent to him?

Dale casts Mass Owl's Wisdom.

Wintersky casts and shares Stoneskin with SnowShadow.

Celesta: There is a legend about the parting of Muskego and Angelo, that the ones blood will undo the others.

Sparta: Well, I hope it doesn't require shedding of my blood. I'm rather partial to it.

Celesta: I read it in the Artural Family history, but I always just thought it was a parable. I will have to see if that book survived to find the specifics.

Sparta: Perhaps after we release Zenda, we can search for it together.

Celesta nods.

Dale casts Long Strider on herself and Ferocious.

The group makes their way through the ancient core of the city and across the bridge without incident, casting spells in preparation of the worst when they enter the cemetery.

Wintersky casts Life's Grace on Legeand.

Wintersky: It would be great if there is nothing here to bother us.

Legeand: If it were so easy.

Nyza: Nyza see enough demons. Undead would at least be a step in the right direction.

Dale: At least they can burn.

The southern ancient core is extremely quiet and there is no activity or movement.

Wintersky: I will keep watch, you guys look.

The group enters the cemetery and it is just as deathly quiet as the rest of the area.

Wintersky look for spirits.

The group heads south through the cemetery searching for the rounded tombstone. The area is surprising bereft of any spirit activity.

Nyza looks a little worried.

Wintersky nocks and arrow in Blessed Black.

The group enters an area of the cemetery and the halflings find it familiar, as it is very similar to the cemetery in Rebelton.

Wintersky casts Detect Undead.

Sparta: This looks more like a halfling's resting place.

Dale casts Find the Path.

Dale takes the lead through the graves as though she knows exactly where to go. In moments, Dale is standing before a small hemisphere of ancient, worn stone.

Dale: Sparta, here is your Nana's final resting place.

T'Krosh: Who brought a shovel?

Celesta: Who needs a shovel? I will take an ethereal jaunt to take a look if that is alright.

Sparta: Please do.

Celesta casts a spell and becomes insubstantial, lowering into the ground beside the marker.

T'Krosh scratches at his left shoulder, waiting anxiously for Celesta to return.

Sparta approaches the marker and brushes away the dirt and vines that have accumulated around it.

Wintersky lets her eyes rove the surroundings, watching for movement.

Celesta does not reappear for quite a while, but finally emerges like a ghost from the middle of the marker. She moves to her original spot and rematerializes.

Sparta: Did you find her ring?

Celesta: There is very little left after so many centuries, but there was no sign of such an impressive ring as she wears as a ghost among the bones.

Celesta: The sarcophagus has not been tampered with by the looks of it, so it must be somewhere else.

Wintersky: Check the headstone.

Celesta: There wasn't anything within the headstone either.

Sparta: The Smoking Pipe? Papa Manty says the ring had a tendency to fall off.

Celesta: That is where you said she fell against some orcs.

Sparta: Yes, in the cellar.

Celesta: Could it have been there all this time?

Wintersky: Has it been made part of Manty's Heirloom?

Wintersky: Or sheath?

Sparta: Her dulcimer stayed in the tavern all these years, perhaps the ring did too.

Wintersky: Let us go look.

Sparta draws his heirloom.

Wintersky: Perhaps Zenda knows where it is.

Sparta: Papa hasn't seen the ring since they were separated before the fall of Walton.

Celesta: Her ghost is wearing it, so she probably does not think it is lost.

Sparta: Nana seemed reluctant to speak of the ring. She hid her hand when I asked her about it.

Celesta: So, she is probably protecting it until she can see her love.

Wintersky: But she is aware she is a ghost. She must know her body is gone. She may know where her belongings are that could survive such a time.

Celesta: Like I said. She probably does not consider it lost.

Wintersky: Let us leave here before we bring unwanted attention upon ourselves.

Nyza: A moment, please.

Celesta looks at Nyza.

Wintersky heads towards The Smoking Pipe.

Dale: There doesn't seem to be much here to attract?

Nyza: Me want to split off while you look. The Troll's Bridge kobolds are beneath this cemetary, yes?

Wintersky pauses and waits when Nyza speaks.

Nyza: Nyza have to check that they are okay.

Celesta: We are here and it seems quiet enough.

Dale: We should stick together.

Wintersky: Too quiet. Like the quiet before a storm or a battle.

Dale: Can you scry on them?

Nyza: Hmm, perhaps. They are underground though.

Wintersky: I will wait.

Nyza finds the secret entrance to the caves.

As Nyza approaches, a voice in Draconic commands, "Halt!"

Nyza: Ixolal? Is that you?

Ixolal: Mae'Krix?

Ixolal: You are all fiery.

Wintersky is wary.

Nyza: Oh, Nyza did not notice.

Ixolal: Well, you are.

Nyza: Ms. Sky, everyone, please continue to the tavern. Nyza teleport back in a while.

Nyza: Me have to talk with Mexkir, especially with the demon invasion about.

Dale: Be careful, Nyza.

Nyza: Mm, thanks. It will be okay.

T'Krosh begins to follow Nyza, but she stops him and points toward the other heroes.

Sparta: If your sure.

Wintersky: You will be safe?

The Troll's Bridge Cemetery