- Durgarth and Elysium arrive at the ‘Coach and Horses Inn’
- The Lady Isolde sends her belongings to a room..
- A dwarven Thief takes what is due..
- A Sea-Elf Captain gets lucky and wins a new ship!
- The party are hired by Isolde for protection
- The coach is mended and sets off to Brettonia
- The coach is waylaid by mutants again
- One of the mutants is known as an old friend
- Old Jim the coachman is killed
- A stolen Elven Star-gem ‘sings’ to Dorian the Sea-Elf
- A mutant attack is found: a family dead
- One of the dead (Kastor) looks just like Elysium, a case of mistaken identity..?
On paths now less frequently travelled lies the the Coach and Horses, a coaching Inn in Brettonia, the Old World, normally a would be safe place neighbouring the Empire. Dorian the Sea Elf sits within engaged in a game of poker the stakes high. On the table are piles of money, his ancient map and a questionable Ship belonging to Albert ‘Long-Beard’ the old Sea-Dog. Philiphe Le Morleu, another – seemingly with the upper hand looks likely to take all. In view of them through the double doors of the inn, Durgarth an Ogre of some size and strength, a human cloaked and obscure and a lady of noble blood enter. Behind them limps Oswald an actor from the Borders, clutching his chaos poisoned neck and trailing behind limps Lady Isodle’s maid weighed down with a plethora of unneeded travelling cases. The group were attacked whilst on route to the ports of Brettonia. These days such attacks were deadly, these days attacks by bandit were favourable compared to the mutants attacks which were now on the increase. As they enter Gawald the Inn Keeper and Tobian the Halfling servant sluggishly come to the their aid for the coach they were travelling on was waylaid and damaged.
After a little rest and food Durgarth, Gawald and the stable-hand repair the broken carriage, while noble Lady Isabella seeks a moment’s rest within her room, the others meanwhile drink and watch with interest to the on-going game of cards. As the lady withdraws upstairs a dwarf watches her with a monetary and particular interest. The dwarf, Gilan tipped off regarding something precious Isodle may be carrying can’t believe his luck (having failed to catch her when she departed from Nuln), here she now was. With her return from her room he sees his chance to study her belongings. Her room is locked, but for a Safe-Blower this proves not to be a problem, at least that was his hope, with a small explosive device the charge is set. Then ‘boom’, a little too much on the charge and a little too much smoke. Gawald rushes upstairs, bypassing the clouded, obscured Gilan, and shouts to Tobian to fetch water (these two are having a busy day). Tobian questions the Dwarf’s part in the smoke but with a little lie all is well, the room now open. With Tobian occupied the dwarf makes for her room. Inside are stacked trunks and cases full of the finest clothes gold crowns can buy and on top of those, carelessly left, sits a jewellery box. The best thief is an opportunist and this thief is good; quickly pocketing the box he opens the window and descends to the ground below and before re-entering the inn he hides the box in the coach and then strolls stealthy back into the inn.
Back at the poker table the Sea Elf has played a marvellous hand somewhat surprising himself and Philiphe Le Morleu (a professional gambler and cheat) thereby winning the final game at the table – taking all. The cloaked human who entered is Elysium a user of the art of magic, though not of the Colleges of Magic his ability is natural and with a secret hush of words Philiphe’s sleight of hand goes wrong. Dorian the Sea Elf in winning through ‘magical luck’ as won all and in that a new ship – what luck especially as he lost his last one gambling a few months ago. The Sea-Captain Elfsoon joins with Elysium for a drink unknowing of his aid in the game and in their unwinding time passes by for the patrons of the Horse and Coaches.
Gawald having now finished the repairs on the coach shouts to the inn’s visitors that time has come for them to be moving on (having quite enough for one day). Those who were on the coach make their way back on board less Oswald now too ill to travel but plus the dwarf. The dwarf tailing along due to the stolen gem and the others to keep the Lady Isolde safe. Inside the carriage of the coach sits Isolde, Marie, her maid, and Dorian the Sea-Captain, (he being allowed to accompany her seeing as Elves are ‘simply wonderful’ and that they ‘actually wash unlike Ogres’) the Dwarf and Elysium sit above as befitting their social-class while Durgarth sits heavily at the back making a slight indent to the carriage roof. With the coach loaded and horses fed Old Jimthe coachman climbs to the well-used seat on the roof and snaps the reins jolting the coach into movement.
It is mid-afternoon and a low hazy sun filters through the horizon, birds can be heard tweeting infrequently from the surrounding hedgerow and aside from the chill in the air and the gathering clouds all seems well. Along the journey a troupe of soldiers pass by sharing news of grim tidings while at a crossroads two freshly dead outlaws can be seen swinging from decaying gallows. Further on and deeper into the countryside farmers can be seen from afar tending to sheep and the smell of manure gives an unwanted incense to the nostrils, however the most excitement occurs when passing another coaching inn – however the driver does not delay: all seems quiet, all seems safe. Above, the gathered clouds begin to deliver small flurries of snow as the chill and wind pick up strength, and with the change in the weather comes a change in circumstance – ahead in the road a fallen tree blocks the route, the feeling of safety starts to slip. The carriage is halted, something is ill at ease, could this have been the long path, back at that crossroads was this the wrong turn? Jim said not but he was old and getting forgetful saying it “had been a while” since making this journey and with the regular driver being off sick (with the pox) Old Jim was covering for extra pay.
Durgarth the Mercenary Captain, quick to sense danger, jumps down from the coach rooftop and strides over to remove the blockade but with an ‘eagle eye’ he spots a rope connected to the tree; a trap – this is an ambush! His senses too indicate others nearby and then from either side of the coach, coming from the overgrowth appear two groups of monstrous chaos fouled mutants some with tentacles, some bloated, some with animal faces but all inhuman. And from the mud beyond the tree another mutant appears – its flesh decaying and rotting, moulding and re-moulding over sinew and bone, a gathering collection of flies – his odour even from distance a putrid stench. This mutant is none other than Rolf, Rolf Hurtis. Gilan the Dwarf recognsing him from some ‘dodgy’ work he was given a while ago – obviously time hasn’t been kind to poor old Rolf.
Battle rages. Durgarth keen in battle lifts the heavy log and throws it at some distance and with some force ‘taking-out’ one of the group of mutants. Within the coach Lady Isoldefaints across her maid while Gilan prepares a charge for the other group. With a well aimed lob mutant flesh burns and flies in all directions – a ghastly sight. The mutant Rolf now stands seemingly alone until Durgarth readies his massive moon-axe. A clean hit cleaves Rolf in two, however Rolf has been warped beyond humanity and he now speaks in two-halves – still alive! But not for long – Dorian the Sea-Elf places a well aimed pistol shot through Rolf’s brains. Rolf is no more.