Zak looks at the guards and they all look familiar to him. He's seen them a few times doing their rounds since he's been camping around the town in various spots for the past few weeks. He is almost certain they they've seen him too... although they thankfully haven't approached him as of yet. Zak becomes a bit nervous since he doesn't know if they know about his recent squatting habit... and decides to mostly let the others speak to the guards. Eventually he extremely awkwardly says:
"I was just helping these folks get to town. Yep met them a ways down the road like the Elf here says. Seems Hef has some business with Ms. Constable lady, and I thought it was best to not keep her waiting. Do you know if she's at the Barracks today?"
"I was invited to town by Constable Starsong. These fine folk," he gestures to all with him, including Spotty, "met me along the road, all with hopes of helping somehow. I owe the constable a drink and you likely don't want to delay that too terribly long." He closes with a smile, not leveling a threat, just bantering with fellow soldiers.
The guard looks up at Hef: You’re here to see Felosial, huh? I can take you to her, although I don’t think she’s in the mood for a drink. Will these.. uh.. people.. be joining you?He adds, pointing at the others, mostly the Kobold.
"I'm happy to take anyone here who wants to help." he reacts down to pay Spotty's shoulder, but apparently underestimated just how far down that was. He winds up awkwardly patting Spotty on the head and continues. "I don't imagine anyone wants to go to a 'Sunless Citadel' alone."
He turns to Martin, "You may want to come along, Dawnbringer. If anyone here will have an idea of where to start looking for your missing priest, it'll be Fel." He winces and corrects himself, "Felosial."
Zak is relieved when the Guards ignore and pass over him.
"Maybe they haven't noticed me after all!" Zak thinks to himself as the party starts to follow the guard to the barracks. He feels scared, but excited to actually be a part of something or to have even spoken to anything other than animals for the last little while.
The guard guides all of you into the Barracks, you notice the place is quite big, with a central cantina, and what looks to be multiple dormitories. You notice a few guards and rangers sparring in a courtyard out back. You are taken to an office at the far end of the building. The guard knocks on the door and opens it slightly, he announces:
There’s.. uh.. a group of travelers seeking out the constable.. they are blabbering about dragons, cattle, children and such.. but one was asking for you by name specifically..
You hear a hardy female voice from inside:
Thank you, Jorun, you can let them in, please stand by.
The guard, who goes by Jorun, opens the door wider, and nods his head to the group. Once inside, you see a strong middle-aged half-elf woman, dressed in plated armor, with long ginger hair.
Constable Felosial Starsong is sitting at a desk looking at what seems to be letters and maps and such, but gets up as soon as you are all in, approaches Hef and gives him a strong forearm grip handshake (she’s not a hugger):
Hef, old friend, so glad you could make it.. things are really getting out of hand here. With the New Road coming right through town, and with spring coming, the traffic here is the highest we’ve ever had.. we are probably going to have to expand the city watch! Are these friends of yours?
She then turns her attention to Zak:
You’ve finally decided to visit? I’ve heard about you from my scouts, they tell me you haven’t been causing any trouble all winter, so I can only assume you don’t intent to start now!
Hef wouldn't dream of asking for a hug, on the job or off. He knows better. That tooth is still loose.
He slaps her on the shoulder in a comradely fashion as they grip forearms. "Good to see you Fel. Constable Starsong. Let me introduce everyone that tagged along. We have Spotty,Renny,Gwenant and Martin." He introduces them each in turn. Finally he motions to the half-orc with a smile. "Sounds like you're familiar with the big fella. He's Zak. Seems as good as any other scout I've served with. Probably cheats at cards, though." This is also said in good humor. He's got a good impression of Zak and is trying to lighten the atmosphere.
Well, Hef, you should know better than to play cards with an Orc....
She stops herself, and goes to Zak. She peers into his eyes, and she sees no anger there, not savage Orc eyes, but rather sadness, loneliness... human eyes.. She opens out her hand, inviting him to a hand-shake, and tells him:
Half-Orc.. apologies. We are used to making those kind of jokes here, but I meant no offense. It can’t be easy for a guy like you in this world, and I hope the townsfolk in Oakhurst can make you feel comfortable here! Let me be the first to officially welcome you here, Zak!
She smiles and winks at you:
Unless you are up to no good! Perhaps avoid any card games going on in town..
Finally, she turns to Spotty:
Spotty.. is it? What brings a Kobold into town? I heard Hef vouched for you, and I don’t judge a character on his race.. but I can’t say the same for the townsfolk. We have all kinds of visitors coming through these days, but I can’t say Kobolds are a usual sight.
Zak is pleasantly surprised to see how friendly everyone is once they arrive at the barracks.
"Uhhh... yes... yes Ma'am. Thank you Ma'am, you are right, I wish you no trouble at all... just looking for a place to call home to be honest. Thank you so much for your warm welcome and I would be happy to help out any way I can around the town once everything gets settled down perhaps with the city watches or scouting duty." Zak shakes Felosial's hand firmly as she might expect an Orc to do, but not firm enough that he's trying to show any type of strength or aggression towards her.
He then shows a huge smile with his Orc teeth bearing out over to Hef who seems to be taking a liking to him although he isn't certain because he simply doesn't understand any types of social queues. "He's right... I definitely cheat at cards"says Zak, which was in fact true, but was more an attempt to mimic Hef's humor the best he can.
Martin Waits for a pause in the conversation before speaking up in his gruff dwarven voice. "Be it that you have heard of an elderly cleric of Lathander here about? The guard at the gate said that if any have you would be the one to have." Martin wiggles self consiously knowing he was not in the normal colors of a priest of Lathander due to being in the bad graces of the Morning Master in Neverwinter.
Gwenant stands in the back with Renny, content for now to let the others speak their piece. On watching Hef's interactions with the Constable, her face splits in a mischievous grin as she whispers into Renny's ear, "Think they were an item at some point?"
Renny looks at Gwenant in surprise for a moment and upon further consideration as she looks over at the Constable and Hef... just starts to nod slowly, "Oh.. wow.. yes maybe" then she looks back to Gwenant with her own mischevious grin, "Or maybe it was just him."
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"No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow" "No power in the 'verse can stop me"
Anyways, enough small talk.. things are going wild in Oakhurst, and we really could use some help from anybody willing to assist!
Recently, our farmers have been struggling with increasing attacks on their cattle. Nobody knows what is behind it but it seems to originate from the ruins of the Sunless Citadel. You can find the ruins by following the Old Road towards a large ravine in the forest.
She shows you a roughly drawn map of the area.
With the recent development of Oakhurst, the town needs expanding, and so unfortunately, we can’t really afford mercenaries.. but I have talked to Mayor Vurnor Leng, and we are looking for solutions to reward anybody that can get rid of whatever is attacking the cattle.. I will add that it will most likely be glory and favors, rather than actual gold!
However, if you find anything of value while exploring the legendary ruins of the Sunless Citadel, the city offers you salvage rights to anything you find there! We are hoping to make it a tourist attraction in the future, to help the town grow financially!
If you are looking for gold, you should probably go talk to Kerowyn Hucrele. She manages the local General Store and is doing pretty well for herself nowadays. About a month ago, we sent a party of local adventurers to the Citadel, but they have not been seen nor heard of since. Two of them wer... ARE children of Kerowyn Hucrele, Talgen and Harwyn. One of my rangers, Karakas, insisted on going as well, and I am getting worried about them...
She looks at Martin:
I’m not hugely familiar with different faiths, but we did have a Paladin visiting town about a month ago, he decided to join the party to the Citadel I believe.
Also, for your information, it is about mid-afternoon.
Gwenant and Renny, if you want, you can make an insight check to read Felosial’s body language ;)
"Hmmm..." Hef eyes the map and considers the walk. "About how far down the road is this citadel? Could a party make it before dark if they left at first light?"
He realizes he's made an assumption and looks to the group, "It sounds like several of you are here to look at the same problem I am, if from different angles. I'm heading to this citadel. Does anyone want to come along? Always safer to do these things in groups."