The Blood Of The Lion

Day 02 - Testing Your Mettle

The group starts out in the valley north of Warren Tower, as the bodies of a group of thieves burn on a nearby broken cart. The group wonders about the escaping thief and whether they should attempt to chase her down, but instead decide on moving forward, on to Warren Tower to seek information about the kingdom’s current state.

Arriving at the city around nightfall, they find a line waiting for them to go through the north gates. The guards are demanding that all travelers going into the city go through an arcane object check. The group reluctantly complies, though Orik voices his anger at the situation. Each member of the team is checked individually, using a meter long rod that emanated a musical tone when interacting with enchanted items. The guards seemed to not care too much about the items that set off the rod, which promted Orik to ask what they were looking for. The guard dismisses the question, saying that it is kingdom business and a matter of security.

The group enters the city after their check, and finds themselves at a signpost explaining the various areas of the city and which direction to go to find each. Marked on the sign are arrows for the castle, the market, the craft sector, and guild sector, the town square, and two housing areas. From the names of the housing areas, it is clear that the slums are on the northwest side of town, while the high rises are on the southeast side.

The group heads to the town square to get water from the central well. They can see the castle just to the north of them up a main street as they fill their water skins. Near them, a bulletin board has postings from companies and townsfolk looking for help or advertising their services. The Sentinel Guild has a posting both for advertising their service and job openings in the guild. Orik decides that he’s done for the night and heads to a nearby tavern, rather crudely named The Rusted Clam. The rest of the group heads to a local general store to pick up a few things, Falx getting a Flint and Steel as well as a water skin, and Jansen getting a waterproof backpack. to protect his rations.

Jansen asks the general store cashier about a local blacksmith that he had been told about, and is directed to the east side of the craft sector. They head there and find Micah the blacksmith, who seems to almost not notice their presence while he continues hammering on a red-hot sword sitting on his anvil. In the tent behind him, they hear the sounds of someone working on another piece of metal. Jansen asks Micah about selling his newly acquired weapons from the fight with the bandits, and Micah calls his assistant Willow to the front. She silently comes out, takes the equipment from Jansen, lays it out, then goes and returns with 19 gold pieces, which Jansen accepts. She takes the equipment to the back, again without saying a word.

Nearby, Jansen notices a large wire mesh crate filled with various metal equipment in extreme state of disrepair. It looks as if they’ve been rusting through for ages, though the undamaged sections look almost brand new. He asks Micah about them, and it is explained that a group of adventurers came through town saying they were going after a rust creature, a being that was thought to be extinct. They didn’t return, and a few weeks later a traveling merchant brought the damaged equipment back. Micah recognized it and held on to it at the request of Willow.

Lelouche explains his knowledge of rust creatures, and how during the late Iron Age, they devastated entire civilizations by destroying metal with a magic ability that was embedded within them. They were apparently created by man in an accident while attempting to create metal-infused creatures to act as war beasts. They threatened to wipe out whole realms if not put to a stop, and so a serum was created which could coat a piece of equipment and protect it from the rust magic. Since the creatures were thought to be extinct, the serum’s creation method was lost to history, but Willow claimed she might be able to recreate it if she had the arcane focus that is embedded within the creature. She also implies that Micah is afraid to send people to the beast.

The group discusses the possibility of searching for the creature, and they ask Micah what he would be willing to pay for such an item. Micah offered to repair their equipment for free from any damage caused in the fight, as well as protect it from rust using the serum if Willow could recreate it. He also said that he would be able to offer more in the form of gold, but had to look into the market viability of the serum before he could name a number. Lelouche says that they’ll think about it, and asks Micah if he knew where to get ritual components, to which Micah recommends the guild sector.

Lelouche leads the others to the Magician’s Guild, where they are welcomed in by a young scholar at the front door. Inside, the guild has set up a welcoming area for anyone interested in their business or in buying products and services that they provide. The representative introduces himself as Matthew and asks if there is anything he can be of assistance with. Lelouche asks about the current situation in the kingdom, and Matthew offers to sit down and talk about the events..

He goes on to explain about the dividing of the kingdom and how the two brothers, King Oreth and Lord Leonne are squabbling and possibly will go to war soon. He praises Lord Merideth for being the level-headed child that is keeping them in relative peace. Matthew explains that Overseer Leonne and a man named Virgil The Red live in the castle of Warren Tower with Merideth, which grants them extra confidence in the ongoing peace, as the two brothers would be much less likely to enact war against the kingdom while their father was living there. Overseer Leonne is kept on the council of Lord Merideth, but since his mind has been going lately, it is most likely out of respect more than anything.

Lelouche buys residuum for his rituals, and asks if they have any historical records that might include details on the rust monsters that existed centuries ago. He is brought two books, which he flips through to find that the history of those creatures is light and does not explain the method to create the serum. Falx requests a geological survey and finds information on the kingdom and a number of small towns that dot the countryside. In addition, there is mention of a few towns and locations in the mountains, but no exact information about their locations. It seems that when the surveys were created, the paths to those towns were common knowledge but times have changed.

They thank Matthew and return the books, heading out to meet Orik at the tavern. Arriving at The Rusted Clam, they see a man thrown out the front window of the bar, and they enter to find Orik in a drunken brawl with a number of men. Jansen attempts to break up the fight, but only manages to distract one of Orik’s targets and allow him to knock the man out. He continues pleading for the fight to stop, eventually convincing the crowd to take a second and calm down. Orik puts his foot on a man’s head on the ground, reaches down, and takes the small bag of coins at the man’s side. He then walks to the bar, places the entire bag down, takes a random stranger’s drink, and walks out the front door.

Jansen apologizes for Orik’s behavior, tending to the wounds of the man on the floor before asking what started the fight. The man on the floor explains that his friend made a quip about Orik, saying that “he sure could drink a lot for such a little guy,” which sent Orik into a rage. Jansen apologizes again before heading out the door to find Orik, asking him if this is going to be a regular thing. Orik laughs, saying it might. Jansen warns him that he won’t always be so lucky, and that some day someone might get the best of him. Lelouche asks Orik if he’d be interested in searching for and killing a rust creature, and Orik implies he’s ready to go that very moment. The group heads to a nearby inn to sleep and decides to hunt the creature in the morning.

Jansen again asks to share a room, and Falx agrees to split the cost with him. Upon waking, the rest of the group hears Orik’s very loud and very Dwarven snoring coming from his room. Lelouche sings to wake Orik up, but it doesn’t seem to be effective. He carries on, trying a new song until Orik finally stirs and gets out of bed. Jansen eats one of his rations while the rest of the group buys a meal at the tavern. Lelouche and Orik each get a pint of ale.

The group suits up and heads to Micah, who seems unsure about their desire to go and find the creature. He says that he isn’t completely comfortable sending people to what may be their demise, but Lelouche assures him that they can handle themselves, especially since a large amount of their equipment is unable to be rusted since it is enchanted or non-metal. Micah seems to lighten up about the idea, offering them 500 gold pieces for the focus stone of the beast, saying that his local customers expressed interest in the serum. Jansen attempts to convince him to offer more, but Micah is not entirely convinced that Willow can recreate the method from ages passed, so he can’t offer any more.

The group heads to the southwest gate out of town. They find another security checkpoint, showing that they are apparently checking people in both directions. Orik again asks what they are looking for, but is told again that it is official kingdom business and a matter of security, so they can not disclose that information. Orik gives the guard an attitude but ultimately lets himself be checked again, and the group heads through to the outside. Following the path to the west, they see a large quarry being operated and the path seems to end, signaling they would be wandering through wilderness. They continue on and watch as the environments they move through subtly shift from plains to tundra, to a desert near the mountains.

Heading over sand dune after sand dune, they don’t see any signage that might indicate where they should be looking. After what seems like a small eternity, they stop to yet again look around from the top of a dune, but this time Lelouche spots something strange. Under the shifting sands, he spots something that looks different from the rest of the sand. He indicates this to the group and they head over. Lelouche uncovers the item, which appears to be a breastplate damaged in a similar way to the equipment back at Micah’s shop. Jansen uncovers a helmet in the sand that looks like it has been torn through in the front, and everywhere around the gash is rust as if something had deteriorated it while slicing through it.

Lelouche asks the group if they have any ability that might clear away the sand, and Falx tells everyone to step back. Waving his implement through the air and pulling winds across the dune. The sand begins to clear, revealing a large number of pieces of equipment in various states of disrepair, all massively rusted. Lelouche notices one sword in particular is embedded in the sand vertically, though it seems most of the blade is above the surface so it is standing unnaturally. He tells the group to move back, and uses Mage Hand to remove the item. The sand suddenly begins to shift, rising as the different equipment tumbles to the side, revealing a large scorpion-like creature with several tendril appendages on it’s head.

The monster rears up, revealing two suckling beasts below it. The two children lash out at Orik. While grabbed by the beast’s tendrils, Orik notices his hammer has rusted nearly half-through. He can feel the source of power coming through him, noticing a stone embedded in the creature’s head that must be it’s focus. He yells to the group to convey this information. They continue fighting the beast, eventually slaying it. The two suckling creatures shrivel up and undergo a spider-like death rattle as their mother falls for the last time.

200 EXP from battle + 100 EXP from role-play = 300 EXP total (13600 EXP total)

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