Merric is up and about and pretty well just materialises from out of nowhere when the group starts to collect in the courtyard. How DID he get under the wagon? Anyways, shortbow strung across his back, pack buttoned down tight, short sword and daggers sheathed at his waist and he's seemingly very anxious to get on the road...perhaps just typical halfling excitement!
"That guy? no friend of mine. How long have you known the halfling, Merric?"
He sips the still hot coffee and he conceals a grimace akin to swallowing bad medicine. "Uhmm, Darla said..Well it's my fault I guess. Your statue thing. She said I must have left it out, I mean to say..I left it out and it's gone. That's on me. So I has got to pay you for it. How much is something like that worth?" Durven makes another face not wanting hear how much a stupid statue is going to cost.
Sen takes the coffee and adds a bit of liquor from a small flash to his, offering the flask to Durven. "What did he want? Kind of early in the morning for diety tomb salesman to be working, eh?" Sen will allow Durven to provide all the info possible. "The halfling? Just since last night. Can't say I've spoken to him much. Is that what the man was acquiring about? The halfling?"
Sen will give Durven his best surprised face at the mention of the statue. "Wow! Well uh, I mean it was a relic of a long forgotten people. And to put a price on it, I don't really know. Most of these things are usually labeled "priceless." Sen will shrug and give Durven a look of unknown. "We will worry about a price at a later time. Never know, it may show up again. Cured relics have a way of doing that. Unnatural things. Evil things. I probably should never have given it to you in the first place. Alas, it is what it is."
(OOC: Totally not cursed. Just fucking with him at this point and planting a seed to use later if he does find it.)
Dathyra was up early, as always. Only having to rest for a short time, that gave her plenty of time to be ready. Winter was almost here, meaning she had to start using her thicker robes. She particularly disliked the winter. Cold weather did not suit for elves and it always reminded her of that horrible day.
Finishing the long braid in her dark hair, she set about to making sure she had everything. She tightened her leather armor once more. She hated the idea of having to fight, but as Holg often told her, there were times when she was going to have to, if anything to protect those around her.
She headed downstairs and out to wait by the cart. She could see that she was among the last to arrive. She quickly put up the hood on her robes. At least that would keep the tips of her ears somewhat warm.
A still groggy skald stood in the empty main room of the inn for a moment. He stroked his beard in thought, was there something he was...? He slapped his palm against his forehead. The courtyard! They were meeting in the courtyard! Without sparing it another thought, Harivaldr readjusted his pack and jogged out to the courtyard, where he could see all those who he'd met last night gathering about the cart. He let himself slow to a less frantic pace and waved at them as he approached.
"Ho there, I trust I didn't keep everyone waiting too long?"
"Rather chilly this morning, is it not?" Phyllis beathed out as she not-so-subtly siddled close to the elven woman. The weather was a convenient conversation starter, but Phyllis held little love for the northern weather. Then again, anything was cold to Phyllis, compared to the welcome warmth of the West. So with a warm cup of tea of her own creation, she felt a little more brave against the cold.
She nodded a greeting to both the dwarf and half-elf (with a raised eyebrow at his rather cleaner state and straighter posture), she wondered aloud to Dathyra, "Where do you suppose our halfling friend has ventured off? Surely he would like some breakfast before we part." A pause to inspect the elf's armor. "And you look quite ready yourself."
"I'm right here Phyllis." Merric says, stepping into sight from the other side of Dathyra.
"Sorry...I wasn't hiding - at least not on purpose. I seem to have this natural tendency to blend in amongst the legs of you taller folk. But don't worry, I'm usually around somewhere. I've already eaten. Found some food someone didn't want as they left it lying around earlier. Hey, when are we going, I really hate to burn good daylight standing around. Morning everyone! Anyone else want to get a move on? Even the horses look restless to me."
Dathyra could already feel her face getting a slight chill, being the only part of her uncovered. "Chilly, yes," she answered. "I've lived my whole life in the north, and I still can't quite get used to it. Though, I suppose it was easier when my family lived in High Forest. At least then the trees shielded us from most of the cold winds."
Merric eagerly showed himself before Dathyra could answer Phyllis' question. A good bit of traveling with her old companions, and Dathyra was used to having to look up to see Holg's eyes and down to find Jodon. It gave her some more perspective on races that she had never met before her travels. Either way, it seemed that Phyllis' mind moved from one topic to the next quickly.
"Yes, my order, well...mostly my brother and Father Uridan insisted I left well prepared." She checked her armor yet again. It gave her a sense of security. "At first, I thought it was a little silly. After all, I was on a charity mission. What on earth would I need to be armed for? But, it has come in handy. And if raiders are a concern on this trip, I do want to be prepared."
Durven greets everyone as they gather in the frosty morning air. He nods appreciatively at Phyllis' more practical attire and the cleric's leather armor."Well it looks like you mean business."
"Ho! Harivaldr you are just in time for breakfast." He says as the Bard comes out of the tavern doors. He moves over to the covered crock and starts dishing out bowls and handing them around.
"Darla made this. It is Arkoloczetkch" he pronounces it with strong hacking noise associated with many Orcish words. "It is her Grandmother's recipe." He takes a bite as he talks and you can see his neck muscles convulse to force it downwards along his gullet. He keeps his jaws clenched as he continues in a higher pitch. "It's a fermented- stew-idge that warriors would eat before battle. Makes you brave!" As he finishes his helping you can see a bit of an intestinal struggle going on but it subsides and he relaxes.
Need everyone eating the Arkoloczetkch to make a CON save vs DC 12.
If you make your save you have Advantage on all saves vs. Fear for the day/night.
Durven does take a moment to motion Merric over to the side. You can't hear what they talk about.
Durven doesn't give Sen any information regarding the visitor.
Durven finishes loading the wagon and tying down the cargo. He maneuvers the wagon out onto the road that later becomes more of a trail as it begins it's way into the Flint Hills of the Northern Reach.
Watching the bartender choke down his meal gave Dathyra pause to consider her options. On the one hand, she didn't want to be rude. After all, Darla had gone to the trouble of making a dish that was important to her culture. She should respect that. On the other, she did want to live past this morning, and seeing Durven barely swallow down his did not make a good case for the meal. However, deep down, she knew it was at least a hot meal, and she should be thankful. When her family had been refugees, many nights had gone by when she and Vaquen had to go without anything just to make sure young Eryn and their mother, who was only able enough to sit up and drink a little water at the time, could survive another day. And since then, Dathyra always knew that any meal offered was better than nothing at all. She thanked Durven, and closing her eyes and praying for the best, took a bite.
Durven takes you to the side to let you know that someone was asking about a halfling. They gave him the alias name that you used, but they described you. Durven tells you that he sent them away but he's a bit uneasy that there might be some trouble.
For a moment, Harivaldr just stared at the bowl in his hand, letting the... delightful scent of orcish cooking waft into his nose. What was the word Durven had just used? Fermented? The skald tilted his bowl slightly and watched as the entire semi-solid soupy mass awkwardly sloughed to one side. Well, he thought, from a certain point of view, rot is a type of fermentation... Then he shrugged and took a deep breath before tilting the bowl back and attempting to gulp down the whole thing in one go. Food was food after all, and a hot meal, no matter how suspicious, was to be treasured on the open road. (Constitution = 11)
After they began moving (and after his stomach finally calmed down), Harivaldr took up a position walking beside the cart for the first leg of the journey, and only hopping on if it begins to outpace him.
"Ah", the memory lights up from yesterday, while she was scowling and thinking of the colorful words to aim at her brother, she remembers seeing thr group and talk of healing. "So you are a priestess then? What order which you hail from?"
Merric's comment of eating someone else's leftovers had Phyllis snap her attention back to the halfling, face drained of color at the thought of it. To Dathyra, Phyllis was a mess of opening her mouth and closing it like a confused fish. She didn't know what to say, other than he better eat something hot and freshly cooked.
Phyllis will brave the soup out of polite etiquette, however it was plain on her face that she wished that she hadn't been taught such. CON SAVE: 8
(Phyllis will take any spot that she can sit. Especially after that roll)
Darthya takes a bite of the Arkoloczetkch and seems to be fine for a moment then her eyes go wide and she makes a quick dash for privacy. She returns moments later and hands Durven an empty bowl. "Thank you, it was quite something."
"Yeah, I know, " he looks up at the second story window of the tavern. "She sure is."
Well, so much for starting off their journey on a full stomach. Nausea subsided and nothing left in her stomach to lose, Dathyra finally dared to stand back up. Gods, that burned! She supposed that was one thing to be thankful for: she was no longer cold. She never heard Phyllis' next question. Once the Arkoloczetkch hit her stomach, she felt like it would burn a hole in her stomach and split her open. It burned even worse coming back up. Taking a few deep breaths, she could still feel her head spinning and she probably looked a lot paler than usual. But, it would pass, she told herself. It had to pass, right?
Once her legs no longer felt like they would collapse beneath her, and she could walk steady, she returned to the group, certainly feeling a lot better than moments earlier, but definitely not in her best state. She decided to follow along behind the cart, and tried to direct her focus to keeping eyes and ears out for anything out of the ordinary. That at least gave her something else to think about besides the lingering soreness in her stomach.
The group hears the distinct sound of muffled, halfling laughter coming from beside the wagon where Merric had been nestled in out of sight after chatting with Durven.
Anyone who looks over sees Merric doubled over with laughter after seeing Darthya retching into the bushes. "The only thing better than a good case of the pukes is a worse case of the shits! Or both at the same time!!" Merric chokes out between his fits of laughter. Upon seeing no one sharing his mirth, Merric stops his laughter, wipes a tear from his eye, and looks to Darthya and mouths a silent "Sorry...."
Merric immediately hops into the wagon as it starts to move, and finds a niche near the back where he can keep a close eye on the road behind. Unslinging his bow and a placing a few arrows within easy reach, he crouches down and almost disappears from sight. Anyone listening close enough might hear "Tall folk have no sense of humor....." muttered under his breath.