Since visiting the shipwreck, we all suffered from a low morale. The loss of a party member isn’t a feeling many of us are likely to forget; I aren’t sure if it was because members of the party had particularly grown to like Xela, or if it was because we were all harshly reminded of the imminent dangers of our adventure. Thankfully the last couple of days onboard remained calm and uneventful. Good, since I’m not sure how much fight people had left in them.
As soon as we got to dry land, we all wandered straight to the tavern (apart from Valten who I actually saw stop and kiss the ground for a while) to celebrate our safe passage. It was hard to move in the place because of all the Dwarves from the ship. We adventurers found a place to talk fairly privately and most spoke freely about their feelings with regard to where this adventure is going. Enough people were openly questioning the motives of Fir’on to make me nervous. They trust each other too freely; all it would take is one person to tell who said what and all our heads could be on plates by the morning. What a buffet that would be.
It soon became clear that it wasn’t just each other they trusted too willingly, but outsiders too; the apparent Sherriff of Easture and his Deputy approached us, asking every detail about who we are and what we were doing. Vuranel and Anya refused to stay quiet. I had to take the matter into my own hands and knock out Anya. Sadly my actions didn’t exactly go unnoticed by the two officers, resulting in our group looking somewhat more suspicious. Granted, I probably shouldn’t have aimed for her face…
Worth it, though, since I got the pleasure of knocking out that tactless loudmouth. Okay, a little harsh, maybe, but she should have taken the hint and kept her mouth shut.
The Paladin has some saving qualities that meant I was less inclined to knock him out, too, regardless of the officers’ presence. In the end Fir’on stepped in, made us bribe the dishonourable sods, and we were left to it under the proviso that we stay for no more than two days and give him all our names, races and jobs.
But we weren’t actually left to it.
The Deputy, a Gnome whose role in life is clearly to do the Sherriff’s bidding, was left to watch over us. Though perhaps he knows his boss better by the title ‘master’ or ‘lover’.
We went over to the Dwarven ship Captain, hoping to forget the scenario that just unfolded. He invited us to take part in another drinking contest. Anya and I had learnt our lesson from before the journey, so we took no part in it. Bill was understandably happy to have a rematch, but Valten was unsurprisingly stupid enough to take part alone against those two. Predictably, Valten ended up losing and paying for the drinks. Less predictably, Bill won the Captain and thus his prized Golden Goblet. The surprise on the Dwarves’ faces… Well, Squid Slayer became even more revered.
The following morning, the two of us spoke about something that had started to bother me; Korben not knowing about what was going on between the two of us. I asked him if he minded me telling him, and what exactly he thought I should say. After his initial, disappointing answer of “whatever you want”, I got out of him that he was actually serious about us. We’re on the same page, then, thank gods.
Breakfast was followed by a disturbing announcement that the two lovers — sorry — officers, were to be joining our quest as guides for the journey ahead. None of us were particularly pleased about that, but Fir’on would accept no one’s objections.
After that, we each went our own ways into town to stock up on supplies. I went into town to buy a new bow, but the (unprovoked) rude Dwarf in charge got his bouncer to attack me. Hit him in the face, dodged his hit and he let me walk away. Didn’t think he’d want to keep going after that embarrassment.
I also took my opportunity to talk to Korben about me and Raendir. He said he’d already worked it out. Sometimes I wonder if he knows me too well. Anyway, he warned me to be careful, clearly looking out for me, but that’s about it.
When we all returned to the Tavern, the real fun began. Valten had found a poster advertising the local gladiator ring. Whispers of such a place in Easture were known to us all, so to have the possibility to visit the arena was incredible. Valten, however, was eager to participate in a tier 1 contest.
It was a match that kept the audience glued to their seats; 8 Orcs vs. Valten and (the cleverly named) Dog, his Hunting Dog. Even with his hangover slowing him down, he somehow managed to win.
With the encouragement of that victory, Squid Slayer and Vuranel went for tier 2, fought two bugbears and won. Another very impressive and exciting match.
The most impressive match by far (though, granted, I’m slightly biased) was Vuranel, Everius Vulpi and I in a tier 3 match against close to 80 bandits- or at least that’s what it felt like. I was hardly injured, but Vuranel and Everius both came close to death. Vuranel somehow arose after passing out. The way the sun shone upon the Paladin at that moment was enough to wonder if his god, Pelor, is actually real.
So, with five of us leaving Easture with at least one medal, and most of us leaving much richer than when we arrived, there were definitely benefits to visiting the place. We’re just going to have to wait and see how much of a problem the two supposed ‘law-enforcers’ turn out to be. I have a bad feeling about those two…