Vita est ludus
The thin line between fantasy and reality...













Tarrastra Adventure 7

Yoshi's notes



17th year of the reign of King Kevin.

Fourteenth day of "July". Morning.

Weather is overcast and muggy.


Carric Dendreu - Male Aasimar Druid 1 (with eagle Tan-kurun)

Caelesti - Female Feytouched Rogue 1

Lady Lyonessey "Nessey" Lavena Rowana - Female Aasimar Aristocrat 1

Yoshi - Male Human Monk 2


Carric follows the tracks, and they backtrack to the main path. Carric decides that they looped around and are heading back towards the village. Back at our camp, we lose the tracks.

We proceed up the path. About five miles up, we notice a tent pitched by the side of the road. There are a couple people there breaking camp: a man and a woman. The man is 6' tall, lean, craggy weathered face, black eyes and beard, brown clothing, a green cloak, a cap, and soft leather boots. He's rummaging in a pack; there is a staff lying next to him; he is idly chewing on a piece of straw. The woman is about 5' tall, sort of a fox-like face, gray eyes, brown hair tied back, nondescript traveling clothing. She's busy rolling up the tent. She has a rapier at her belt.

Yoshi calls out, "Hail!" Carric looks about to see if their tracks are "familiar".

The man responds, "Ah! Fellow travelers." The woman stops packing, and looks on with interest.

Carric says, "Where are you headed?"

"We're headed to Meadowbrook."

"We're going to Oakrille!"

"Ah! Nice town."

Nessey asks, "Where is Meadowbrook in relation to Oakrille?"

"North of Rowansmeade."

Carric says, "Did you see anybody pass by here, perhaps two people?"

"Can't say I did. Why? Looking for anyone?"

"As a matter of fact, we're looking for Corum Trimble. Do you know him?"

"Really? In some sense he's a competitor. He's from Meadowbrook, actually. Whatcha going to Oakrille for?"

"We left a fur to get treated there; we're going to collect it."


"Yes! Seamus, in fact!"

"He's good."

"So, you're a trader?"

"Well, a peddler. Everything I have a carry in my pack. I stop in all the little villages and peddle all the knickknacks and doodads that they can't really get. Corum has bigger loads."

"By the way, I'm Carric!"

"I'm Gareth! Pleased to meet you!"

Nessey says, "And who's your companion?"

The woman walks over and says, "I'm Mavis."

"And who are the rest of you?"

"This is Yoshi, Lavena, and Caelesti. We're from Rowansmeade."

"Ah, Rowansmeade. Big city."

"Yes, too big for my taste. By the way, this Corum, what does he look like?"

"Ah, short guy, ruddy, reddish mustache, blue eyes. If I see him I'll be sure to tell him you're looking for him."

"By the way, about a ten-day ago, we encountered an unpleasant character who we're pretty much convinced is a wererat., by the name of Kiaran."

Gareth sniggers. "Yes, he's a bully. Show him some strength and he won't bother you. But don't get bitten!"

Nessey says, "We have a dancer/performer in our group! Is Mavis a performer, too, or is she a peddler?"

Mavis looks at us and sort-of nods, and says, "I travel with Gareth."

Carric says, "So, you were saying 'don't get bitten'?"

"So, you're off to Oakrille. Have fun there! But if you're looking for Carum, go to Meadowbrook. When you go, stay at the Golden Twig."

"From the road, how far up is Meadowbrook?"

"About as far north as Rowansmeade is south."

"Do we need anything that Gareth is selling?"

Yoshi says, "What do you have? May we see your wares?"

He spreads out his wares.

Carric says, "Any ladies want to buy some jewelry or something?"

Caelesti says, "Like a white pig?"

Gareth glares. "White pigs are not common. But ladies! look at this! Lavena! look at this!"

"Well perhaps another time; I'm a little low on cash," says Nessey.

Yoshi says, "I wish to purchase something."

While Yoshi looks at Gareth's wares, Carric says, "Something odd happened at the Golden Cockerel. Someone looked just like Lavena. So, on your travels, if you see someone who looks just like Lavena, I think they're up to no good."

Yoshi picks out a necklace with a green stone. "How much is this?"

"Well, this is pretty nice. This would be like ... 10 gp."

"And that hair pin?"

"That will be ... 8 gp."

"I will give you 5 gp for both."

"How about 14?"


"Split the difference. 12. These are custom crafted costume jewelry. Look how nice they will go with the ladies."

"Very well. 12, with our thanks." Yoshi gives the necklace to Caelesti, and the pin to Nessey.

Carric says, "Well, nice to meet you. Have a pleasant journey."

"Thank you." Mavis goes back and rolls up the tent.

We continue on our way. Yoshi says that he paid the peddler primarily for his information.

We make camp. Nothing happens.

[July 15.] Nessey wants to know if we are suspicious of Gareth and Mavis. Carric says, "Gareth's description of Corum matched the innkeeper's. I think he's trustworthy."

We proceed towards Oakrille. Carric notices a large rat up in the trees looking down. Carric says, "Hi Kiaran!" The rat scurries off.

We get to Oakrille. We talk about whether we should go in disguise; whether Old Nell will recognize us; whether we should impersonate a cultist.

We head to see Seamus. Nessey stays outside to embroider a white pig into Caelesti's collar.

"Ah, hello! Come in! Come in!"

"Hi, Seamus! It's me, Carric, again. And you remember Yoshi?"

"Ah! Do you have any more furs? I have yours here!" He pulls it out, and shows us; it's expertly tanned.

"That's beautiful. You did a great job. By the way, has anything happened in Oakrille lately? Any news?"

"No, nothing interesting. Occasional travelers coming through."

"Have you heard of Corum Trimble?"

"Name's familiar. Doesn't by my furs."

"We also met a couple on the road, Gareth and Mavis."

"Oh yes, they come through all the time. Well, here's your fur!"

We look at Nessey's handiwork, and aren't quite sure we recognize a pig in what she's doing. We wander through the town, looking for a pig. Nessey keeps removing her work and trying again, eventually succeeding, after gathering a following of curious children!

We camp as we did before, setting a watch to observe Old Nell's house as well as our campsite.

During the first watch, lamps are lit in Old Nell's house. Eventually a woman comes from the village and enters her house.

Caelesti approaches. She hears Old Nell's voice. She's saying, "They're back, eh? And hanging out with pigs? That's strange!"

Another woman's voice says, "Yeah, Bab and the kids, they thought this was the funniest thing."

"Wonder why they came back. Well, thanks for telling me!"

Caelesti hears a rustling, and sneaks a way. The doors opens and the visitor walks away towards the village. Calesti things the woman could be Lindsay.

When she returns, she says, "I think they wonder why we're back!"

We see no further activity that night.

[July 16.] The next day, Nessey says, "I think I should go to Lindsay's house with Caelesti and show her my white pig and tell her I want to join!"

Carric says, "Does anyone else have a better suggestion? Would it be advantageous at all for Caelesti to talk to Lindsay in a ... persuasive ... manner."

Yoshi says, "Yes. But I actually think we should go straight to Meadowbrook. Well, we should find out from Lindsay if anything interesting happened as a result of the starfall." We discuss other topics for Caelesti as well, including asking about Curm Trimble.

We break camp, and are heading towards town. Old Nell watches us walk by out the window, and gives us a little wave.

We look around to see if the coast is clear. A group of kids spy Nessey and run up!

Carric says, "Nessey, why don't you entertain your kids away from the house."

"Okay, I'm going to wander over to one of the pig stys."

"All right!" That's just what they were expecting. Nessey sings to the pigs.

Caelesti approaches Lindsay's door. Yoshi approaches from a discreet distance. Carric watches Yoshi. Caelesti knocks on the door.

"Hello?" Lindsay opens the door. "Oh!"

Caelesti casts her spell again. Lindsay's eyebrow rises. She says with a smile, "Oh! It's you again. Come in!"

Caelesti says, "Hey, what's been happening?"

Lindsay says, "Well, you've been away! What have you been doing?"

Caelesti summarizes our adventures, at one point misstating herself to say that she was bitten by a wererat. Lindsay says, "A wererat! Did you have wolfsbane?" (Yoshi hears this.)

"So, did anything happen with the ritual?"

"Well! I'm sure things have happened. Nell says that the messenger has arrived, but you would know that, of course."

"Ah, yeah! But, anything else?"

"So, why did you come back to Oakrille?"

"Because we had to get a fur that we had left to tan here. And I was wondering when the next ritual was."

"At the usual time. But, tell me more about this fur. You said you were fighting wererats? Who wants a rat fur? What are you going to do with it?" She pauses. "Would you like some tea? I would like some tea."

"Oh, thank you!"

Lindsay goes to make tea. Some time later, she says, "So, who are these people you have been traveling with?"

"Um. They're my friends. From Rowansmeade."

"Ah, Rowansmeade. That big city. Yes."

"What are their names?"

"Well, let's see. There's Yoshi. He's a monk! Carric. He's a druid. Then there's Lavena. She fights for us."

"She's the one who's been embroidering for all the pigs in town? Entertaining the children?"

"Yes! You should see it."

"Would you like to meet them? They're right outside; why don't we invite them in?"

"Oh no. You're my friend; I don't need to invite these others in."

"What was the name of the last guy that you and Old Nell went to the ritual with? I don't think you told me."

"No. Why don't you go see Old Nell; she wants to talk to you."

Meanwhile, Nessey goes to Old Nell's, with the children around her, and knocks on the door.

"Ah, Nessey, have you come back for your fortune?"

"Well, yes, but I cannot afford it, so I embroidered this white pig on my collar, and I'd like to join the one true mystical way, and I thought my fortune would be revealed to me!"

Nell looks at her, and smiles, shakes her head a bit, and says, "You know, Nessey, you are something! You are a piece of work here!"

"You don't think that would work, Old Nell?"

"Nessey, I would like to do a divination for you. And no, I'm not going to just do it because you've done this little embroidery and are entertaining the pigs. The Goddess will want her payment; I am willing to barter. You could trade the fur that Seamus was working on; it's not worth a divination, but I would do it."

"Oh, I don't think my friends would let me do that. They'll let me give you a quarter of the fur! Surely that's enough."

"Nessey, you don't know what furs are worth. The whole fur is still a substantial discount. Go talk to your friends."

"But if I become a follower of the one mystical way, wouldn't I get a fortune?"

"Nessey, you've been speaking obliquely, here, what are you talking about?"

Nessey leans forward, and says, "Cerridwen "

Nell says, "Nessey, you are full of interesting assumptions. I will barter with you for a prophecy. But I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Well, Cerridwen has revealed to me we are kindred spirits!"

"Nessey, you ... I really ... you are delusional! I am sure you divination would be fascinating!"

"Well, Old Nell, I will come back. I see you are uncomfortable here in the sunlight."

"Come back with your weasel pelt and I will do your divination."

"Goodbye, kindred spirit!"

"Goodbye!" she says, firmly closing the door.

Nessey goes back to sing to the pigs.

Meanwhile, back at the cabin, Lindsay says, "Old Nell has been wanting to talk to you ever since you were here before. You should go talk to her."

"Okay, I will! Thanks!"

Lindsay shows Caelesti out. Before she closes the door, she looks straight at Yoshi. "Good bye."

Caelesti says, "Well, that felt different from last time. I didn't really have a connection."

"I see. So, I guess it wasn't really successful." We head over to Nessey.

Carric says, "So, Nessey, you've been over here entertaining the pigs?"

"Oh yes, we've had great fun!"

A kid says, "So, are we going back to Old Nell's?"

Carric says, "I don't think so. We just wanted to visit Seamus. It's good you remembered that from a ten-day ago!"

"No. We were just there!"

Carric says, "Nessey! This kid over here says you all went to Nell's. That couldn't be true, could it?"

"Oohhh! ... I don't remember, exactly..."

"What do you mean you don't remember? I seem to recall there was a time when I heard no pig singing."

"I must have been ... meditating."

Yoshi says, "Uh, Nessey. Please tell us what happened."

"Well there were a couple pigs, and they were rolling in the mud..."

"No, Nessey, please! tell us."

By now the urchins have left.

"I think it's time for lunch."

"Nessey, if we are to work together, we must be more forthcoming."

Carric says, "What did that kid mean when he said we should go see Old Nell again?"

"Uhh. I only saw Old Nell once today; I don't know what he meant by 'again'."

"Did Old Nell come into town and see you?"

"Not that I know of. I didn't see Old Nell in town. Anyway, she didn't like the bright sunshine. She's more of a night person, don't you think?"

Carric turns to Caelesti. "So, Caelesti, do you think you got any useful information?"

"I don't think so. The spell felt different than last time."

Yoshi says, "She did say something about wolfsbane. Something to do with helping with wererats."

Carric says, "Maybe Old Nell would know more about wolfsbane and could tell us how to use it."

"Why don't we go see Old Nell? It is daytime; it should be safe."

We go there.

Carric knocks. "Hello!"

Old Nell answers.

"It's good to see you again. I'm sure you knew we were around. We wanted to thank you for the philters you made for us for filth fever; they seem to work well. I was wondering about something we heard in connection with a wererat ... something about wolfsbane?"

"You didn't say anything about a wererat. But wolfsbane, yes."

"Well, we may have been unsure that it was a wererat; we werent' bitten, but we were wondering about wolfsbane."

"It's good you weren't bitten; if you were, you might have been undergoing some ... changes. But wolfsbane might be useful."

"So what do we do with it?"

"Well, if you eat reasonably fresh wolfsbane within an hour it could help ward off an affliction."

"Do you have any?"

"I have a couple sprigs that are fresh enough. 5 gp per, say. If you think you might run into one of these wererats within the next few days."

"Well, we might." Carric buys the two sprigs.

Old Nell turns to Nessey, "Have you spoken to your friends like I suggested?"

"Oh. Old Nell said she'd tell our fortune if we traded her our weasel fur, but I told her you wouldn't."

Carric says, "Wait! Wait! I'm confused."

"Well, she said that she'd been willing to trade the fur for a casting of the spell."

Old Nell says, "Yes, it would be a discount on the cost of the spell." Caelesti agrees.

Carric says, "It's true it might be useful to have a fortune told for Nessey, but ... um ... I'm confused, when did we have this discussion?"

"Oh, earlier today."

Carric says to Nell, "Um. Since we all own this fur, we all need to discuss this, outside." Carric firmly grasps Nessey by the upper arm and we go outside.

When we're outside, Carric says, "Nessey! You had a discussion earlier today without us?"

"Well, yes, but I wasn't alone: I had all the kids with me!"

Caelesti says, "That's a good idea!"

Yoshi says, "Nessey, we must be forthcoming if we are to work together."

"Well, I was afraid you wouldn't want to trade the fur!"

"We must all agree, when we are together, that we should not go off and do something alone like that."

Carric says, "Yes. You need to let us know what you're doing. She could have cast a spell on you!"

"Well, I just figured if I had gone there by myself, she might talk to me. Caelesti went off by herself."

"No, Caelesti went with the party; we were covering her."

Yoshi says, "We must all agree when we do something."

Carric says, "Now, let's discuss trading the pelt for your fortune. I'm in favor; at the very least it will save us the burden of carrying this around for several days. What do you think?"

We all agree.

We go back to Old Nell. "We have decided to accept your offer in exchange for this pelt."

"Ah, yes, put that over there on that bench. Nessey, sit here on this chair across from me."

"Is that the special chair?"

"It's the chair where my client sits. And you are my client." She lights some incense and crushes some herbs, tossing them onto the brazier. "What is in store for young Nessey?"

"You seek some who also seek you. Beware. All whom you meet are not as they seem."

Nessey says, "So am I going to be rich and famous?"

"I can only look into the near future. I have only looked into the near future for you... I would need to make a ritual for a long future."

"Isn't an ermine pelt worth a long future?"

"Ermine! Young lady, you are having a delusion! Now, I wish to speak with Caelesti in private."

Caelesti says, "Okay."

"We will be right outside."

Inside, Old Nell says to Caelesti, "Caelesti! So, what's the story with ensorcelling Lindsay?"

"Well, let's see. Only days ago, I didn't have that ability, so I thought I'd try it out, and get some information."

"You know, your conversation with Lindsay, and Nessey's conversation with me, were quite interesting. Makes me think you have all sorts of ideas about ... me ... especially..."

"Well, you see what happened, we found your name on a note with the kidnappers."

"And who were these?"

"Meaghan and Fiona."

"I don't know anything about Meaghan. Fiona is an associate of mine. I send potions and things to Fiona now and then."

"Lindsay told me what you said to her. I think you and your group have troubles of your own, and I would appreciate it if they did not involve me!"

"Well how do we go about solving the mystery? Somebody was trying to kidnap Nessey."

"Well, I gave Nessey a divination. It was from the Goddess and it was true."

"Well I didn't understand it."

"Well, as I said Fiona is my friend, and if you would like to solve this mystery you should go elsewhere. And don't spy on me!"

"Well, Yoshi's church seemed to think Fiona was innocent. So if you are Fiona's friend, you must be innocent too. But am I curious, what's going to happen in the tenday from the ritual?"

"That's none of your business! Good day!" She escorts Caelesti out. "Good day," she says to us all, glaring.

As we depart, Caelesti says, "Old Nell says we should solve the riddle of the kidnapping elsewhere." Caelesti tells us about the conversation.

At some point, Carric says, "You know, if Old Nell can cast a divination, that's pretty high magic, she could probably tell that Lindsay was charmed."

Yoshi says, "I have a thought. It seems unlikely, but maybe they were tyring to kidnap your imposter instead of you."

Caelesti says, "Or maybe they were going to return the imposter after the ransom was paid!"

On the way out of town, we stop for lunch.

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Copyright © 2009 by Brianna Sollandry <brianna at hambo dot com> Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
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