0330, Zol, 3 Milos, 3E1000
A heavy heart hung over Half Point.
As the members of the guild carried the assassins’ bodies out to a pile to be incinerated near the forge, the Heroes 4 Hire carried their own dead, four of the original founders, down to a set of tables the smith had set out for use as preparatory undertaking. Calyx Siannodel and Karraway, both faithful of Belenus, were quickly prepped for transport by Mahim “Mayhem” Dwalin, the guild master, and by noon were on their way south in a wagon to be interred by their fellow clergy at the Temple of Belenus, a day’s journey away in Anchorhead. Meanwhile, the rest of the Heroes, save Dajjal who was still in Tingerhof, prepared two pyre-ships for Ryoun Rodri and Sergeant Greves.
The staff prepared a feast and plenty of drink, and that evening a vigil was held on the shore of the White River, Ryoun and Greves bodies placed each on their own pyre-ship, and the boats floated out into the river. At the end of the eulogies, Naïlo Thia and Smedley “Deadly” Hampton fired flaming arrows into the boats to set the pyres ablaze. The pyre-ships blazed for more than two hours as the somber reverie continued ashore, celebrating the lives of two great heroes, before they finally were consumed and sunk to the bottom of the river.
The vigil remained for a good while, well into the night, until sleep demanded folks return to their rooms. As Thia walked back towards the Heroes’ Haven from the water’s edge, she noticed that she had not seen Erendriel Thalolan in a long time, maybe not even anytime during the vigil. As she puzzled his strange absence, a tall, lithe figure in a traveler’s cloak approached her from the crowd. In Elvish, he asked if she was Thia, and when she said yes she asked his identity. He produced a letter, held it open for her to see her own penmanship and her seal in the broken wax, and said, “My name is Naïlo Elnoril, and believe I am your father.”
Long, silent moments passed between Thia and the elven man named Elnoril. He was unusually tall for a wood elf, but his movements belied no betrayal of grace from his frame. His hair was platinum blonde and his skin fair, and the point of his nose reminded Thia of her own when she looked in a mirror. When she could finally find her breath, she stammered a string of questions in Elvish tripping over her tongue along the way. “Perhaps we could find someplace more comfortable to talk,” Elnoril finally suggested.
They two of them walked to the Heroes’ Haven and took up residence in the comfortable armchairs surrounding the fireplace just off the main lobby on the first floor. Alton Beeblebrox was already sitting nearby in the same group of chairs, regaling several guild members with stories of their adventures. As his group broke up for the night, he remained and conspicuously eavesdropped on the elves’ conversation.
The two elves spoke for hours, each with a plethora of questions for the other. Elnoril barraged her with interrogations as to her whereabouts for the last 75 years, her original disappearance, and she recounted her incarceration at the hands of a Devil Lord and her subsequent escape, her time with the wolfpack, her search for the pack’s destroyer, her joining the Heroes 4 Hire, her eventual destruction of Madcoil, and lastly their current quest against the Dark Priest, Lord Daemonne. She barraged him with questions of family and home and all the blanks in her memory, and he recounted the town of Naïlo Nalore, deep in the Silverleaf, and of her family… Naïlo Lorilei, her mother… Naïlo Aenwyn, her younger sister… and Naïlo Talila, her youngest sister. He also recounted the endless search they have conducted and the bottomless expenses they have spent in their attempt to find her.
The hours were filled with the lilting melodies of Elvish, often still awkward in their rapid back and forth of discovery and sharing. But by the time Thia requested the staff ready a room for Elnoril, the two had bridged the gap of years lost and found each others’ hearts again. Elnoril implored her to return home and come see her mother and sisters, but Thia explained the pending continuation of their quest against Lord Daemonne. She promised, however, that as soon as that was settled, she would return home at once. Thia also asked Elnoril about Thalolan, but he did not recognize the name. When she gave his full name, however, her father did vaguely know of the Erendriel clan. Satisfied with the progress of the evening, things drew to a close and everyone returned to rest.
The next day was spent making preparations for the coming adventure.
Wir, 4 Milos, 3E1000
The Heroes 4 Hire plus Thia’s father departed in the morning and traveled the day to Anchorhead. Once there they acquired their usual rooms in the Onyx Fountain Inn, except Thia, who camped with Thalolan, Potema and Rumblebelly in the woods on the outskirts of town. Thalolan had traveled with the animals instead of the group, and Thia was getting the distinct impression that Thalolan was actively avoiding her father. She addressed it with him later that evening, and he admitted that historically, her father did not like him. He wanted to cause as little friction as possible now that the two of them were reunited, so he kept a respectful distance. Thia thought the ‘respectful distance’ was more like a gulf, but she took his words at face value… for now.
Zor, 5 Milos, 3E1000
The next two days were a flurry of preparation activities. The Heroes started by inquiring at the Harbormaster as to any ships that were available and looking for an extended contract, and found three among the group that they personally knew: the Northwind, the Darkmaiden’s Dance and the Sea Wyvern. It was an easy choice, and the Sea Wyvern was contracted for the expedition.
Supplies were purchased in quantity, and transloading of goods and vehicles were completed in due time. Elnoril booked passage on a ship bound for Atryae leaving on Sul, so he was happy to have a few more days to hang out with his newly rediscovered first born. Allendretta teleported Dajjal back to Anchorhead in the morning, and he made several personal arrangements throughout the city before joining his comrades in the preparatory activities. The team had a long discussion regarding their lack of a dedicated healer, and ultimately it was decided that they really needed… desired… to resurrect Karraway.
The necessary materials were gathered and the Heroes rejoined at the Temple of Belenus in the Temple District of Anchorhead. They plead their case with the Bishop, and eventually he agreed to the rite. Karraway’s corpse was exhumed from its crypt in the Undercroft and prepared for the ritual, and the afternoon was spent in prayers of supplication to convince Karraway’s spirit to return. When all was done, Karraway, broken and weak, sat up on the altar and rejoined his fellows in the realm of the living.
0600, Sul, 9 Milos, 3E1000
The next morning, the Heroes awoke for their departure to the Ashen Wastes and the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun… and an ultimate showdown with Lord Daemonne and his cult of fanatics. Thia bid her father a tender farewell, and again reinforced her return to Atryae once the Dark Priest’s plan was thwarted. The Heroes finished the last of the packing and loading of the mounts and beast-friends onto the Sea Wyvern, and before the sun was fully cresting the campus-spire of the Forum Arcanus, the Sea Wyvern was under full sail and heading out to sea.
0900, Sul, 9 Milos, 3E1000
What fate awaits the Heroes at the end of their trek back to the Temple? What preparations has Lord Daemonne made? What forces lie in wait for the Heroes?
Find out in two weeks, on “TGC: Heroes 4 Hire!!”