SESSION 006 - Black Wolf
MOONDAY, 03 NEEDFEST (MID WINTER) 579CYThe Wayward Inn was a bustle of activity and merriment. Patrons drinking whilst listening to an old bard strumming his lute with tales of old. Serving wenches worked balancing trays with food and mead and food. They made their way around the common room, serving patrons and slapping an old patron when his hand went a wondering, where it shouldn’t
Markus sat with a heavy heart, even the tankard of ale he had bought had lost its appeal. Duerin had taken his leave earlier in the evening and had returned home. He had said something about needing rest and evening prayers.
Markus peered over at the half-orc who sat at the other end of the table; he had devoured four plates of spicy potatoes, a whole chicken and six tankards of honey mead and looked to be trying to gain one of the serving wench’s attentions again.
Soon Markus’s thoughts were drawn back to the past few days, trying to see if there was something he may over looked. He sat there contemplating what he could have done differently, to no avail. He drained the tankard of ale and thought it best if return to his uncle’s manor; maybe he had overlooked something there.
Erehwon was most disappointed that they needed to leave, as he had just ordered another plate of spicy potatoes and a tankard of ale, but never the less agreed to accompany Markus back to his uncle’s manor. They made their way back to the manor house, but it wasn’t until the two friends had crossed the courtyard that they noticed that both the cottage and manor house were in complete darkness.
Markus made his way to the cottage he and Bren shared.
Opening the door he reached for the lantern that hung to the side of the door. The wick of the lantern soon burnt with a strong flame, turning the nozzle of the lantern the flame grew brighter, bathing the room in a warm light. Markus looked inside the small room; he could feel the hairs on the back of his neck rise up as he entered the room. The first thing he noticed was that room had been ransacked. The bed lay overturned in the corner of the room and the contents of the cupboard lay strewn across the floor.
“The dagger,” Markus thought, “They were searching for the dagger, and luckily the Cuthbertine priest had taken the dagger with him.”
There was no sign of Bren, or his uncle’s guards for that matter. Cautiously Markus and the half-orc made their way across to the large manor house.
Duerin return to his small home that he shared with Brother John. It was with that thought that he realised the truth, Brother John was dead. The young dwarf was overcome with remorse for the loss of his mentor and friend. He vowed that he would find all that were responsible for the death of the priest and he would have justice. He walked over to the hearth.
The dwarf knelt to start a fire, to give the cottage some warmth. Taking some bread and dried meats from the shelf he walked over to the table opposite the hearth. Sitting down the dwarf ate his evening meal deep in thought. After he finished eating he retired to his cot and spent the rest of the evening in prayer to St. Cuthbert.
Darius and Tarrick made their way to the old druid’s cottage in the Fens. The night was cold and the road was covered in sludge from the earlier snow fall. The old friends travelled in silence.
It was around midnight when they reached the old cottage.
Darius opened the door to his home, calling out to Irriana’s as he entered the cottage. Tarrick followed the old druid in. There they found Irriana asleep in Darius’s bed, he brow burnt with fever. “Tarrick please tend to her,” urged Darius. “First I must gather my things from the donkey,” instructed Tarrick. “While I am doing that you can fetch some water for that pot on the fire,” said the healer pointing to the large pot.
The old healer placed his things on the floor of the cottage and proceeded to examine the dryad. Some time passed before Tarrick spoke to Darius. “I can save her, but I need the help of an old friend from Hommlet, Jaroo. He knows more of these fey creatures, than I do. Take word to him and tell him I need his help,” said Tarrick. “I will do what I can for her until you or Jaroo returns. I have enough herbs and potions to make her comfortable, I assure you,” said Tarrick. “Return to Kleinmere and travel with the Cuthbertine Priest, he too must travel to Hommlet,” instructed Tarrick, “It is best not to travel alone.”
“What of the du Monte boy ...? Does he have the dagger?” enquired the man known as Black Wolf. The Halfling took a double step back, as his master turned to look at him. “DOES HE HAVE THE DAGGER!” shouted Black Wolf again with his fist clenched tightly in front of the Halfling.
“M-m-m-master Wolf, we couldn’t find the dagger. We search the boy’s cottage and the manor house. I-i-i-it’s not my fault master. He must have given the dagger to one of the others, maybe to that Cuthbertine priest,” stammered Minge.
Black Wolf stroked his chin as he listened to the halfling's report; he could feel the anger growing inside of him.
“FOOL!” shouted Black Wolf, his anger evident as he backhanded the cowering halfling into the table. “All I asked was for you to bring me the dagger. A small task you said. A task I will remind you that both you and that assassin Malek failed at.” With that Black Wolf picked the little Halfling up by his neck, “What of the exchange, little one? Will he come to the graveyard?”
Minge swallowed hard as he felt Black Wolf’s hand tighten around his throat and lift him off the floor. He blinked hard to hold back the tears; desperately he spoke, “m-m-m-Master he will meet you alone at dawn.” It was all he could say before he felt himself being tossed to the side of the room. Minge crashed into the wall and lay there in a crumpled heap, gasping for air.
Regaining his composure Black Wolf walked over to the writing table. Sitting at the table he penned a note that he needed delivered to Hommlet. He lifted the red sealing wax to the candle that burned on the table. The red wax burnt with a thick acrid smoke. Holding the melting wax above the parchment, he dripped the wax onto the parchment forming a small puddle. He took a moment to let the wax dry before placing his signet ring into the wax puddle; he made a fist pushing the ring into the warm wax. Upon removing his ring from the wax, the initials B.W. was imprinted into the wax.
Pushing the chair out that he sat on, Black Wolf walked over to the door, his fur-lined cloak bellowing with the sudden motion. Opening the door he addressed the man in the corridor, “Deliver this letter to one of our agents in Hommlet and make haste.
“And you my Halfling friend … Have you prepared things like I have asked?” asked Black Wolf. “When do our friends arrive from Highport?
“Yes … Master, I have. They arrive the day after tomorrow and they agree to your terms,” responded the Halfling.
“Good … now leave me,” said Black Wolf his mind already on other matters.
The Halfling took his leave, closing the door behind him, “One day Minge will have his day… one day,” he muttered as he walked down the corridor.
Black Wolf let the hood of his cloak fall back onto his shoulders and looked upon his reflection in the window.
“What fools these people are,” he thought. “No one suspected a thing. That fool, du Monte would pay dearly for his wife’s return. Then there was the small matter of his son, Markus du Monte, but he would succumb to an ill-fated accident”. The thought brought a smile to his face, as he ran his fingers through his receding hairline
Bren lay in the dark cubbyhole, his feet and hands bound. The last thing he remembered was falling asleep in the cottage. When he awoke he found himself here in this dark, rancid place. “Could things get any worse …,” he thought. It was at that point he felt something large crawl over his legs …