The group stands over the corpse of a large scorpion covered in a rusted metallic sheen. Falx expresses concern over the killing of the creature, as it seems to have been protecting it’s children, but agrees that they had very little choice once it came out of the sand. Lelouche tells him that they accepted the mission, and that it had to be done. Jansen plays devil’s advocate, saying that any battle can be avoided.
Lelouche approaches the beast’s corpse to investigate the object in the creature’s head that Orik mentioned during the battle. Embedded a few inches into the creature’s forehead is a stone of some kind. Digging his sword in and pulling the object out, he discovers it to be an iron ingot just larger than his fist. Lelouche expresses that it seems to be enchanted with some sort of ability and must be the source of the rust power the beast was utilizing.
Jansen digs around into the piles of destroyed equipment and finds two chest-plates, three helmets, and two swords that he believes are salvageable. He also finds a ring, which he places on his hand after failing to detect any sort of enchantment on it. Orik begins to search over the length of the beast, working his way down from the stinger to the tail and then to the lower abdomen before finding the venom sack. Orik and Lelouche both fill their water sacks with venom after drinking their water. Lelouche gets the very last of the venom and a bit of the monster’s blood in the sack as well, due to trying to wring the last of the venom out of the sacs by hand.
The group decides to set up camp next to the carcass of the beast, setting up makeshift beds with whatever they have around. During the night, Lelouche hears growling and snarling, eventually tracing it to the direction of the beast. He fires a magic missile into the side of the beast, which explodes open as it has begun to decay due to exposure. The growling stops, and Lelouche sees a group of desert wolves stalking around the beast to face him. He manages to wake up the group but in doing so, causes the wolves to attack. He goes invisible and dodges the leader of the pack, which then turns to Orik.
Orik is only half-awake when he finds a wolf grappled onto his arm by the teeth. In his confusion, he attempts to swing his hammer at the beast but misses multiple times. Lelouche walks up behind the beast and slashes it’s throat open, becoming visible in the process. Orik turns on one of the remaining two wolves, who have begun to circle Falx and Jansen. Giving a mighty roar, he manages to scare one away but the other takes a defensive position behind Jansen, keeping the group on one side of itself.
Jansen, in a moment of insight, casts Instant Friends on the wolf, which becomes an unwitting ally for a short time. Lelouche plays fetch with the creature for a bit before ordering it to run away from the area. The group heads back to bed and manages to avoid any other intervention from desert beasts during the night. As everyone wakes, Lelouche suggests the Jansen heals Orik, and Jansen offers to do so but Orik is being rather difficult about it, not wanting to sacrifice his pride.
Lelouche cooks some wolf meat from the remaining carcass and feeds it to Orik as well as eating some himself. Falx and Jansen both refuse the meat and eat a ration instead, Jansen being a vegetarian and Falx not being entirely comfortable with eating a beast that was only attacking due to being startled while searching for food itself. Lelouche almost drinks from his water skin, but then thinks better of it, remember it is filled with venom. Orik leads the group home, hoping to find something to drink when he gets there. Up ahead as they approach the city, they see the security checkpoint and there is a bit of a commotion.
Security is roughing up a civilian, and after a short argument, a guard informs the man that he can either submit to the check or go somewhere else. The man walks away in a huff, but the group decides to head inside through the check regardless. Lelouche places the ingot he got from the beast into his earring to hide it, sending Orik in first. Orik gives the soldier in charge an attitude and the guard gives him a hard time in return, squeezing his arm near his healing wounds, then pushes him through into the city. The guard then goes to check Lelouche, but the rod they use to check people detects that something is within the earring and he is demanded to show the item.
Lelouche considers making up a lie, or possibly escaping, but decides to tell the guard the truth and see how things play out. He removes the ingot from his earring and, upon a demand to do so, hands it to the head guard. The metal gauntlet of the guard rusts and dissolves at the touch of the ingot, which alarms him, but Lelouche explains what the object is, and the guard hands it back. He tells Lelouche to keep it hidden while in the city, and then takes down information pertaining to the group, saying that if they hear of any funny business with that item, they’ll come looking for him.
Orik heads off to drink as the rest of the group heads to Micah. Jansen shakes his head in disapproval, but Orik is already on his way off and doesn’t even notice. The group remaining arrives at the blacksmith shop, surprising Micah by not only returning alive, but with the power source of the rust creature in-hand. Micah tests the object and is amazed by it’s power. He places it in a leather pouch and stores it under his desk, returning to give the group a sack of five hundred gold pieces.
Orik orders two tankards of ale, then heads out the door with them, incidentally stealing the tankard glasses in the process. He begins to head back to the group. Jansen asks Micah about repairing the equipment that he found in the desert. Micah reluctantly agrees to fix it, because he felt partially held to his honor by the promise to repair their equipment, and had failed to specify he only meant the equipment they brought with them in the first place.
Micah explains that Willow would look into the ingot and that they should come back in a while to ask about how long it would take, and how much progress she makes. Orik arrives and the group introduces him as their fourth member. He asks that Micah fix his hammer after the initial confusion about who he was. Micah agrees, taking the hammer and assuring him it would be fixed by the next morning.
Lelouche attempts to use the ring that he recently acquired to discover the original source of the ingot, but it fails to bring him any information. After checking over it, he discovers that it’s actual use was to discover nearby spells being cast that are otherwise unable to be seen. He convinces the rest of the group that the ring is innocuous and he can’t tell what it does, then stores it away for later use, focusing on the ingot and it’s origin. Micah assures the group that he’ll put Willow to work looking into the ingot as soon as he’s done with all of the metalwork they left for him.
The group hears a bit of commotion north of them, and see that there are people heading that way in large groups. Jansen asks a nearby civilian about what’s going on, and he is informed that the castle has called for a public announcement to be made, and a lot of people are going to hear what Lord Merideth has to say. The group head to the castle courtyard to hear the announcement.
Up on the steps, Lord Merideth stands next to an old man introduced as Overseer Leonne and a decorated knight introduced as Virgil The Red, surrounded by the town guard. Merideth makes an announcement that Virgil The Red will be her emissary on a diplomatic mission to make peace between her brothers, in an effort to avoid the possibility of war. The crowd cheers for her, and Virgil accepts the task after the Overseer relinquishes his vassal to the mission. The townsfolk begin to disperse and the group discuss what to do next.
Orik chugs his remaining tankard down, feeling that he’s being judged by the crowd for not drinking fast enough. Jansen suggests the mapping job for The Torrey Company from the town square news board they looked at the night they got into town. On their way to look at the job description again, they notice a large number of wanted posters hanging around the town square which weren’t around the day before. Inspecting one, Lelouche reads about a wanted bandit named Whisper, but no picture is available. A nearby guard explains Whisper’s crimes of theft and public endangerment to travelers, and states that there is an unspecified reward for information pertaining to the whereabouts of Whisper, or the return of the bandit, preferably alive.
The group discusses the possibility of looking into finding Whisper. Jansen doesn’t believe he has the experience to go after a trained thief of that caliber, but Lelouche is intrigued by the possibility of such a large reward. Lelouche and Orik head to the apothecary while Falx and Jansen head to a nearby church. Orik asks the apothecary woman about the venom they extracted, and she explains some of it’s attributes. It is extremely strong as a venom, but can be consumed by drinking without posing much risk. It holds no obvious magical properties. Lelouche asks about practical use of the venom, and the woman describes that it would do a good amount of damage if it was injected into someone. Compared to other torture methods, it wouldn’t be extremely painful, so it wouldn’t be useful for interrogation. She warns that it is powerful enough to take away the use of an arm or leg, but should not be used on the torso or head unless you seek to kill a person. Lelouche asks about the possibility of coating a weapon in it, but the woman is unsure of how much would get into the target from stabbing them that way. Teeth and stingers are generally designed to stab first, then inject from the inside, so normal weapons wouldn’t make full use of the effect.
Lelouche asks the woman about washing out his water skin and the safety of drinking from it now that it’s had venom in it. The woman describes that although it may taste metallic, the residue of the venom wouldn’t be poisonous and as long as you weren’t bleeding internally, it wouldn’t pose any real risk to you. Lelouche buys two globe vials for three silver pieces each and ties them to his waist. Lelouche and Orik both then buy a new water skin, which the woman fills from a nearby barrel in her shop. Lelouche asks the woman about Whisper, but she seems uncomfortable talking about the subject. She tells him that she’s heard rumors about the man, but whatever he did this time has got the guard in a frenzy and she’s afraid to get involved in any way. Lelouche accepts this and drops the subject.
Jansen prays to Pelor after studying rituals within the church. He asks a local clergywoman about the kingdom, desiring to know about Whisper. The woman describes a rather large donation made to the church, and how they believe it came from Whisper as it had his signet stone attached, which is the symbol left at all of Whisper’s crime scenes. The donation was made around a year prior, and helped the church survive during a time of need. The woman adds that all kindnesses aside, she can’t abide by his actions around the kingdom. She tells Jansen that whatever Whisper has done this time, it must be big, because she’s never seen the guards put any real effort into stopping him before. Jansen thanks her for the information and she introduces herself as Magdalen and describes her time in the church, growing up in a convent and finding herself in Warren Tower six years ago to work in the clergy.
Jansen attempts to ask about Magdalen’s status as a woman of the church, but Lelouche and Orik burst in visibly drunk, apparently having headed to the tavern after the apothecary. Lelouche attempts to flirt with the clergywoman but is shut down promptly by her mentioning that as a woman of the cloth, she doesn’t take men and is uninterested in marriage. Jansen, attempting to stop them from making a scene in the church, suggests they leave. Orik hands Magdalen a mug, saying “May this mug watch over you”. Jansen again insists they all leave and turns down Orik’s offer of his other mug of mead, upsetting Orik, but he manages to calm him back down. He then convinces Orik that he left a mug at the tavern, causing him to rush out the front gates. Jansen apologizes to Magdalen and heads out with Falx to wrangle the group back together.
Orik arrives at the bar, and Lelouche is sleeping out front. Orik drags him inside, insisting that they need to continue drinking. Orik orders six drinks to be lined up and gives some to Lelouche. They have yet another drinking game, and Orik passes out on the bar. Lelouche pays for the tab with Orik’s money, and Falx helps the both of them back to a nearby inn where Lelouche again uses Orik’s money to buy them a room. Jansen, seeing that the group is finally calmed down and headed to bed, goes to the church and asks Magdalen about possibly staying in the church overnight. She offers him one of the cots they set up for vagabonds, citing that there aren’t that many tonight and there should be plenty of space if he needs a place to rest.
Waking in the morning, Jansen heads to the lobby of the inn to wait for the rest of the group. Lelouche wakes up and comes down, apologizing to Jansen but offering an idea to use Seek Rumor in order to find leads on Whisper. He asks Jansen if it would be a good idea to go and apologize to Magdalen, and Jansen suggests he do so only if he promises to behave himself. Lelouche implies that Orik is a bad influence, but Jansen says not to put the responsibility of your own actions onto others. He adds that while he doesn’t agree with their actions during their free time, he will ignore it so long as it does not cause any harm to innocents or the church in the future.
Lelouche goes to wake up Falx and Orik, who finds a mug under him in the bed. They all go down to the lobby to meet up with Jansen, who explains what Magdalen told him about Whisper. He implies that he thinks there is something strange about the situation, and that he is unsure of Whisper’s intentions being good or bad. He suggests they look more into it. He adds that he commends Whisper’s actions in the church, but can’t abide by his thievery and as such he needs to be brought to justice. The group heads down the meet Micah, Orik running ahead in excitement to retrieve his hammer. The rest of the group arrive as he is testing it, swinging it wildly in the streets. Jansen asks Orik if he can heal his arm, nearly insisting this time. Orik allows it, noting that the wound is beginning to smell, and the skin begins to clear and suture as Jansen applies his magic on it.
0 EXP from battle + 300 EXP from role-play = 300 EXP total (13900 EXP total)