With the Black Rattlecaps secured, all haste was made to arrive at the Old Beldame’s hut to get help for their poor, magically-insane hermit. Arriving, they bargained their way back inside again– “We brought you the mushrooms you were looking for, will you help our friend now?” Cried out Gavriil, the Human Arcanist. Taking the man inside, the Beldame was her usual gruff self, grumbling about having so many people in her hut watching her work. It did not take long, thankfully, before her spells were complete however– at which point Noruas, the Human Gunslinger, rushed the rest of the party out of the hut with their friend to talk to him in a less grumpy location.
Indeed, the party made haste back to Elbat Dnuor in order to get their hermit friend proper care– he was malnourished, and still quite old. Leaving him for a time in the care of Eleo Masim, their Druidess Councilor, the group prepared themselves to take care of their duties about town– though they did have a single day’s time to themselves. Gavriil used this day to mark down, translate, and otherwise research the ruins of the Stag Lord’s Fort which their capital was built around, in order to see if he was able to draw any connections between the deity of Gyronna who used to be worshiped there, and the ‘Lady’ which had been mentioned by the Wight in the Lonely Barrow. Unfortunately, at the end of the day he had nothing else to turn up with– no firm connection between the two could be made.
Eneko the Human Bard/Cavalier spent much of his time that day studying in the library, learning more about undead and controlling magic. If left to his own devices, he would have remained there for the rest of the day– unfortunately for him, Noruas had other plans. That night was to be the full moon of the month, known as the Lover’s Moon, and traditionally was a time to be spent with your love interests. Noruas spent a considerable amount of her time that day and evening encouraging the eligible young ladies of the town to approach the Baron, hoping to spark a lasting connection. Only one such lady made proper advances…a nervous, dark-haired woman with blue eyes who timidly approached Eneko and struck up a conversation. It went well, and in fact resulted in the Baron agreeing to a date with the woman– two days hence, on Oathday!
Unfortunately, Eneko’s duties took his mind off this romantic endeavor for a time, and he completely forgot about his date when the time came! Noruas, realizing that this had not come to pass as she had carefully planned, was quick to send, in the Baron’s name, several flowers and chocolates, as well as a note of apology and a request to meet for dinner a different night. To the Gunslinger’s delight, this date went off without a hitch, and the woman, Julie, seemed quite smitten with the Baron by the end of it– even if he was not quite as convinced. He requested that Noruas, as Spymaster, devote some time to investigating the woman and her family, to make sure that she was of good repute.
In the meantime, the party had another crisis to face: Early one morning, Grand Diplomat Gavriil was approached by one of his scribes, Thomnas, who had urgent news– there was a man in the town common, speaking up against the kingdom’s leaders! Gavriil gathered his companions and the group of them made their way down to the commons, where they found the man Grigori standing upon a small box, orating to a large crowd of citizens! Grigori was speaking blasphemies against the PC’s, of how they were unfit to rule, how they would leave for weeks at a time to go gallivanting about the countryside, and did not properly take care of their citizens!
Unfortunately for the PC’s, many in the gathered crowd seemed to be going along with Grigori’s claims, and so Eneko and Gavriil began to refute the orator’s points, attempting to match him claim for claim. Noruas, on the other hand, began to make her way through the crowd towards the podium. While the argument between Grigori and the PC’s continued, much of the crowd seemed to be siding for the most part with the rabble-rouser– up until Noruas finally made her way to the podium, stuck her musket in Grigori’s back, and announced that he would be run out of town for his trouble-making. Gavriil was able to talk the crowd down, almost shaming them into leaving, and the issue of Grigori was, they believed, solved– “Leave town, and if you come back again we will shoot you.”
Things were quiet for a time– the party went back to their kingdom duties, and things were fine for a time. A dump for trash collection was placed in a far section of the city, and a garrison was built for the city guard– with Gavriil then sending word to House Lodovka of the successful construction, as they had promised to fill such housing with an army for the kingdom. A few days after construction completed, Thomnas the Scribe approached Gavriil again– Grigori was back, speaking out against them once again! Wearily, the Grand Diplomat grabbed his companions, and they made their way to the town commons, where much the same scene as a week or so earlier greeted them.
Noruas once again made her way straight to the podium where Grigori was speaking, while Eneko and the rest offered brief rebuttals of the man’s clearly biased points. It didn’t take long for the Gunslinger to reach her destination, and she abruptly smacked Grigori– lightly– across the face with the butt of her rifle, saying, “You have impugned upon my honor, and in accordance with the laws of the kingdom, I challenge you to a duel!” Grigori’s face paled, but he had little choice but accept– he had been preaching that they were not people of honor, that they had ran him out of town for doing nothing but speaking his mind, but if he declined his challenge he would clearly lose his audience.
With resignation, Grigori accepted Noruas’ challenge– and in accordance with established dueling laws, set the terms of engagement. The duel would be between just the two; only melee weapons would be allowed; no moving outside of the fighting circle. Grigori had the choice of how to fight– to the first pushed out of the circle, until one relented to the other, or to the death. Though he was clearly wishing to declare one of two outcomes, the crowd– stirred into action by both Eneko’s ventriloquism spells and Elysia the Half-Elf Ranger’s chants of “to the death! To the death!”, demanded that this be a decisive duel to the death.
The crowd gathered in around the dueling circle, the party moved out of the way, Grigori drew his jeweled rapier– and the fight was on! Noruas moved first, closing and striking Grigori on his shoulder with the butt of her musket. Grigori stumbled back and waved his sword at the Spymaster, but her firearm, wielded like a quarterstaff, blocked the blows. Again Noruas struck, a blow to the gut taking the breath out of his lungs, but this time the orator was able to recover, and slid his blade into a chink between Noruas’s armor, drawing blood. It did him no good in the long-run however, as Noruas’s next blow was to his jaw, knocking him down into the dirt, where he begged her for mercy– but received none. Noruas raised up her musket, and *slammed* the butt into his face, crushing the remaining life out of him, and ending his troublemaking for good. A cry went up from Gavriil– “Justice has been served!” It was echoed by Elysia, and soon picked up by the crowd, who hailed Noruas as the hero, slaying the slanderous rabble-rouser!
This event behind them, the party was back on track to taking care of their kingdom– deciding this month to spend their time on required duties at the beginning of the month, instead of at the end. Once this was completed, the party returned to Eleo– who had spent much of her time helping to nurse the old hermit back to health. The group opened up with questions on the hermit– who was he, where did he come from, did he remember who put the spell on him? Unfortunately, most of these questions had no answers, for the hermit seemed quite addled even without the magic. He was wholeheartedly grateful for the lack of voices now whispering in his head, but could not recall his name, where he came from, nor anything about the lady whispering dire words in his head all those years. The one thing that he could remember, he told the party, was a name: Bokken. “Bokken? Like…the old hermit living near Oleg’s Trading Post?” Elysia spoke up. Noting this, a plan was made to travel to Bokken’s Hut to see if they could get any answers. Before leaving, several days were spent in Elbat Dnuor, wherein Eneko studiously learned the ways of the Dirge Bards, and Gavriil spent much of his cash crafting wands of healing for the party, so that they could stay on their feet longer in dire situations.