“Shhh!” Jessalin ‘Jessakat’ Farseeker commanded, pointing towards the upward stairs as she ducked into a shadow around the corner. Stealthy as a mouse, the adorable little halfling did this with no trouble at all. She was a tall Hin, with long auburn hair with many braids intertwined with gems and fine metals.
Slegna on the other hand was an odd looking Dwarf, wearing tattered clothes on top of a glorious mithral breastplate. The armor and clothing are all dark colored and strangely there is no beard on his scarred face. Rather, a mask hastily thrown together combining a smile and frown hides his expression. He grips his axe tightly, ready to spill blood.
Bows drawn, two elves crept down the stairs, covering all angles of the room and each other. The human following them stepped forward between them.
“Friend or foe!” shouted JessaKat, trying her best to throw her voice, to not give away her position.
“I assure you I mean no ill intent,” the human said sternly. He was about the height of an elf, with a lithe build like one too. He stood with a hand on resting on his sheathed sword. He had an eyebrow piercing, a faded hair cut and a red tint to his hair. His armor is marked in gold tribal designs, and the sheath for his weapon looks as if it’s made of red marble, with a gold inlay of clouds and vines.
Slegna growls, “The last time I heard something like that, a man’s blood was spilled. I… spilled it.”
“I only spill the blood of those who mean to cross me,” the man countered.
Aye… What is your purpose here, mister?
JessaKat sneaks into position near the bottom of the steps, her daggers ready at her hip. More daggers line her sides, barely noticeable under her clothing. She takes a good look at the marks in front of her, noting weak spots & openings in their armor.
One of the elves remains silent, his un-trusting stance firm. The other chimes in. “I, if anyone was wondering, or could help me, was looking for a drink?”
Slegna sneers at the elf, pops the lid on his jug of dwarven ale, and takes a swig. “No drinks here,” he glares, wiping swill from the crooked smile in his mask.
The elf raises a brow curiously at the dwarf, “Not even for a few coins?”.
“Aye, you suddenly speak as if you know dwarven fluently!”, he lowers his axe and steps towards the elf, pulling a golden mug from his pack. The tension eased, the halfling cracks open a bottle of fine elven wine and joins them.
The two elves introduced themselves. Aerndin Giladrae, a recognizable though unmemorable elf, aloof and carefree as some of his kind are reputed to be. He regaled the group with tales of his journey from Cormanthyr, for no other reason than to seek adventure. His ally, Arcadian, was a polar opposite. Sternly, he continued to watch the group, never removing his hand from his weapon, though at least he lowered it. He spoke little, least of all about his partnership with Aerndin. The human was Darnell Seishun, a mercenary with the elves. Serious and contemplative, he was both eager and hesitant to share his personal mission.
“I was told by my village elder to journey to a series of locations, this one among them. I am not allowed to release their names, but I seek some people similar to myself – same skin tone, same height, same manner. They journey from the east, where the sun rises in their favor.”
“We seek a wizard,” Aerndin offers.
“Aye, of course,” Slegna jabs with a laugh, “that why ye be in his home, eh?”
Darnell glares at the dwarf. “A wizard? More like a coward.”
“I wouldn’t volunteer to speak ill of one with such power as our friend, eh… This wizard we seek within the confines, however, has a power unknown to I.
“Power is not judged by ones attainment of it, but by the spirit of his path.”
“Aye… can already tell I’m not going to like you…”
“Like me or not I mean not to slander your perception, I just speak to the means of my irritation.”
“Ah!” JessaKat screams to get the squabbling tallfolks’ attention. “You should all stop acting like fools! It is well known how powerful this wizard is. Best we be on guard and shield each other. Take on this fortress and it’s treasures we may find, might be a pretty hefty haul for us all!”
At that moment entered another human. He had shaggy, unkempt hair on his head, which was buried in map. Likely, he was a tomb-raider or treasure-hunter, following the group and letting them clear the way… and the traps. If he was here for the wizard, he could do the same. Let them exhaust each other in battle, then finish off the wizard himself. His backpack slung over one shoulder, he looked up from his map. “Oh! Shit!” he sputters as he turns around and quickly but cooly walks back up the stairs. Once on the ground floor, he slings his arm through the other strap and begins sprinting.
Caught off guard and bewildered, the group hesitates. Aerndin joins Arcadian in nocking an arrow.
Aerndin motions with a nod at Arcadian. “Lead the way.”
After quite some time, the group finally made their way upstairs, and after an even longer while, they cleared the entire ground floor of the Castle Mistamere Ruins. Upon returning to the floor they met on, they continued the routine. Occasionally when boredom would strike, any wanderers were taught a sharp lesson. At one point, Darnell was caught on the far side of a battle, and another time Arcadian split off from the group, only to end up falling into a pit trap.