Shortly after Dale and Lucien had left with their associates, I found the halfling Dale had told me about. What an interesting creature he turned out to be. He is very quiet, almost hesitant to speak. He has kind gray eyes and red hair. While I have only met a few halflings, he seems far too serious for his kind.
Since I would like very much to see Lucien again, I have offered to accompany D.W. to Thelamar. He agreed, so we left immediately. It was a rather quiet journey. I talked about some of the things going on around Bellshank of late and tried to draw him into conversation. His answers are rather brief, though he is not rude about it.
Not long after reaching Thelamar, we ran into Dale, Lucien, and Valda. It was then I learned they had lost one of their party members, a wizard named Josias. Everyone was upset, but it was the elf who held my interest. I suggested he walk with me so we could talk in private.
Dale updated D.W. on what had transpired. They both took a look at the tome, but neither could understand the strange writings inside. It looked like gibberish to them. They then went seeking the owner of the book. D.W. kept getting a strange feeling he was being watched as they made their way to the sage’s home.
Once again, the sage was shouting to them as if deaf. He was delighted at the recovery of his tome. Before answering any of their questions, he insisted the pair drink some of his special tea. Dale was unable to keep the vile fluid down, which the old man found amusing. He told them he would only tell them what he knew if they could pass his test. Only if they were worthy would they be able to handle what he knew. His instructioned them on his rules for the test and told them to see him when they were ready to leave. They agreed they would come back when they were ready to go.
On the way back to meet the others, D.W. again had the feeling someone was watching him. He spotted a figure skulking along behind him and devised a plan with Dale to see who the figure was after. In short order, they managed to catch the person. It was a young man claiming to only want to adventure with them as he was alone. << Really horrible intro of new character to game >>
In the meantime, Valda had gone to the public bath, an oddity for a druid, as she preferred the heated water to natural surroundings. While there, a scruffy looking man with horrid breath and missing teeth offered to scrub Valda’s back for her. He continued to harrass her as she quickly dried off, tossed on her blouse, and left with the rest of her clothes shoved under her arm. She headed straight for the tavern, hoping to find her associates there.
The three males were sitting in the tavern when a partially dressed Valda rushed in. On her heels was a naked, lecherous looking man who aimed straight for the druid, his hands outstretched to grope her. Dale took one glance at the wretch and cold konked him. Zephyr, the newest member of the party, helped him drag the unconscious man out of the tavern to toss upon the ground unceremoniously.
After supping, the four went their seperate ways to sleep for the night, agreeing to meet at the tavern in the morning. When the sun rose, they headed back to see the sage as he had instructed. He gave them each a potion to drink immediately and watched them carefully to see that they did so. He shook his head at their not even questioning him as to what the potion was.
The quest he gave them was simple. Find his missing chess piece, a white rook, and return it to him. Enter the hidden passage of the ruins but do not return the same way. Survive and come back to see him. Only then will he believe they were capable of figuring out the Salvus Expedition. If they could not manage this simple task, they had no business seeking out something as complicated as an expedition.
The foursome headed directly to the ruins as directed. They found what looked to be a well upon the flat surface. When they looked into it, they found it was a covering to a room 60 feet below the ground they stood upon. With some rope and a few unexpected falls, they managed to descend to the room below.
The entrance room held four large, marble statues – a rogue, a wizard, a fighter, and a bard. When everyone was finally in the room, several of the party had healed themselves with potions and such (the druid apparently forgot once again that she could heal).