A brass bell chimes as Flan, Yalandra and Kurdreg enter the blacksmith shop through a crude but sturdy wooden door. A high pitched voice greets them and Kurdreg looks around to see where it could be coming from. They all expect to see a small child or perhaps a young woman, but are taken aback to see a large imposing man, his build evidence of his arduous trade. They all tilt their heads to take in the relatively giant figure and are momentarily paralyzed by the beady eyes bearing down on them from a head that appears to belong to a rat.
“Welcome folks. Take a look around. Let me know if anything catches your eye.” The squeak of his words is almost comical. Kurdreg and Yalandra manage to compose themselves and peruse the shop, hoping to find tools that will be useful on their journey, but also that they can afford.
“What's up with your head?” Kurdreg cringed hoping he didn't actually hear those word coming from Flan. “Hey buddy, can you hear me? What's up with your head?” Yalandra looked up her eyes darting from the shop keep to Flan and then to Kurdreg. She seemed to hope that he would have something to say to deflect Flan's crass inquiry. When Kurdreg continued to stare at Flan, Yalandra looked up to the blacksmith. She didn't think it was possible for his eyes to get any beadier, but in his anger they had. She was certain that if his head wasn't covered in fur that his face would show to be as red as a turnsnark.
In a deathly quiet voice, the shop keep whispered “Get out”. The high pitch made it almost difficult to think that he was serious, but the tension in his forearms as he balled his fists indicated plainly that he wanted them out of his shop urgently.
“Are you serious?” Flan, obviously not sensing the shop keeps unease seemed completely unaware of the grievance that she had caused. She was quite used to getting her way, using her small size to her advantage in most situations. Kurdreg, not willing to push their luck, picked up the gnome by her arm and carried her from the store without a word.
“HEY! What the heck?” Flan cried, trying to squirm from his grip.
“I thought it best not to risk a fight because you don't know when to shut your mouth!” Kurdgreg grumbled as he dropped Flan to the ground.
“It was a fair question...” she pouted.
“And I gave you a fair answer.” He said walking off. Yalandra followed leaving Flan to catch up.
They headed to the Restful Hydra to meet Dar-Wynn and see if she had any luck selling her ale. They find Nori at a table in a brightly lit corner of the tavern and join him to wait for Dar-Wynn.
“You find anything at the alchemist?” Yalandra asks.
“I did pick up a jar of feverfew. Pretty good bargain. Three gold.” Yalandra had no idea what a fair price was for feverfew so she just nodded her head. “I also found out a little more about this flower I picked up in the plains. Turns out that it grows where magical creatures have died.”
“What good's it for?” Flan asked reaching out to touch the petals.
“Well, nothing that we know of... yet” he said hopeful that he would get a chance to experiment with the flower at some point.
“It's marked with death. If it's useless, you should get rid of it.” Kurdreg said as he eyed the flower with skepticism.
“Not useless. We just don't know what it's uses are.” Nori reached out and took the flower from Flans hands and placed it carefully back into the wax paper where he kept it.
At the bar, Dar-Wynn is nursing the swill that the bar maid gave her when she asked for a pint of beer. She would much rather have her silver piece than this dish water, but she was trying to make a good impression. She leaned forward and smiled as she looked the bar maid in the eye as she spoke. “Tikchec, this ale is quite tasty, but I've got something that will keep a cheek on every stool at your bar.” She grabs her flask from her satchel and pours a sample of her Leila Root Beer into a wooden cup. Tikchec takes a small sip and then drains the cup shaking her head in approval. Dar-Wynn smiles charmingly and refills the cup. “How about a trade? 20 gold pieces and a room for the night for myself and my friends”
“I'll let you get the room and I'll throw in a meal, but no gold.”
“Room and board, plus breakfast” Dar-Wynn prompts giving another smile. When she see's Tikchec considering she adds “and five days travel rations.”
Tikchec, picks up the cup and swallows the second serving as she thinks it over. “Deal”
Dar-Wynn heads over to the table where she had spotted her friends. “Where are Nori and Flan?”
Kurdreg grunted “Nori went to pray. Who knows where Flan is. How about some of that root beer?”
Dar-Wynn pulled out three cups and poured them all servings of the ale. “We're running low and unless we can get more money, this is how we eat so we really shouldn't be drinking it all.”
Yalandra drank her serving in one swig and thrust her cup into Dar-Wynn's face. Dar-Wynn should have been offended at the gnome's blatant dismissal of her words, but she was also proud of her work and glad that her friends enjoyed it.
“This is it. Unless you have some other form of payment...”
The gnome didn't answer, but she raised her eyebrows coyly and sipped from her cup, eyeing the elf over the rim.
Dar-Wynn answers with a wink before pushing back her chair. “I'm going to go check out the shops. I'll be back in a few hours. The bar keep owes us dinner.”
As dusk approaches Dar-Wynn returns to the tavern ready for a hot meal and bed. Just outside of the door she can hear Flan boisterously talking, which usually isn't a good thing. As she enters the tavern she sees her friends have been joined by several people that appear to be guards or militia. Flan is standing on the table waving her arms in a flourish telling a tale that is likely embellished if there is any truth to it at all. She notices the gnome has a flask and all of their new found companions are nursing cups of what she assumes to be her ale.
She pulls up a seat next to Nori and pretends to listen as she surveys the newcomers. There is a dark elf who looks piqued, but is also listening intently to Flan's story. A human female looks bored, but keeps eyeing Kurdreg. Dar-Wynn thinks maybe she is interested in the dwarf. The others, also human look amused and also glad to not be at work.
After a short while the elf, who appears to be in charge, thanks Flan for the ale and excuses the group stating that they need to get back to the barracks.
“Why exactly did you just give away half a keg of ale?” Dar-Wynn asks calmly. “I thought it would be a good idea for us to make friends.”
“More likely, you were buying them off so they didn't squash you.”
“They wouldn't have squashed me. I helped point out the problems with their defense. I mean, I walked right into their barracks! They were grateful to me.”
“So to show their gratitude they offered to drink my ale?”
“Well, like I said, making new friends.” She left out the part where her new 'friends' picked her up by her arm and put her out.
Dar-Wynn rolled her eyes. She knew there was more to that story, but didn't care enough to ask.
The group leaves town and heads to the old battlefield Gonesby. They leave their cart at edge of city and head into the ruins. They don't realize that the ground below their feet is hollow. Flan, Yalandra and Kurdreg fall through a soft spot in the earth and down into a tunnel. It smells of insects. Yalandra manages to crawl up and out. Flan makes a few attempts, falling and covering Kurdreg with dirt. She finally makes it out and is followed by Kurdreg.
They decide to head back out and on the way come across a fallen pillar. It has landed on a handle of some sort. Kurd removes the pillar and pulls handle. It lead down into tunnel and Flan casts dancing lights. Using his ability to see in the dark, Kurd goes down into the tunnel and calls out, but receives no answer. He finds a storage room with farming equipment, seeds, bulbs and fertilizer. He comes across the body of a dead dwarf. Checking the pockets he finds 12 gold pieces. He comes across the body of an elf which has 6 gold pieces in it's pockets. Kurd finds a map in a desk along the far wall. Another body, this time a halfling, has 5 gold pieces. The group joins him and they take the fertilizer, bulbs and tools to sell back in town. They also collect 5 lbs of tomato seeds, 500 ornamental bulbs, 5lbs of miscellaneous veggie seeds, 25 shovels, 25 hand shovels, 25 hoes, 15 rakes, 25 cultivators, 10 pruning shears, 8lbs of fertilizer.
Heading out, Flan, Yalandra, Dar-Wynn and Kurdreg fall through the ground again . Nori attempts to pull everyone out. Kurd is the last one out and while he is still underground he sees eyes heading towards him. It is a swarm of spiders, but Kurd makes it out just before they reach him. The spiders climb out of the hole and attack the group. They manage to kill the swarm, but Kurd takes damage. After the fight he takes 2 potions to help him heal.
Back in town the group gets 30 gold for fertilizer, 50 for the tomato seeds, 10 for the other seeds and 100 for the tools.