Friday, December 9, 2011

Tales from the Dragon’s Head Tavern

In the Castle Ward is a modest place that caters to stuffy older Waterdhavians: married couples, retired ex-adventurers, shopkeepers, merchants, and others who like to sit quietly or talk over their drinks. The proprietor is short, stubblefaced, and unlovely to the eye, but Vorn Laskadarr, is also quick, efficient, and kindly.

Pipe smoke hung a heavy but flavorful substance to the air about the Dragon’s Head Tavern. Trystan, a small-time hero in the Dock Ward, noticed the tavern was busy; it was the reason she wanted to meet here, the two of them would not be noticed as out of place.

Trystan avoided the Dragon’s Head as of late because it brought painful memories of the evening of the starfall; when the nights where Trystan and his best friend Miles would go prowling for women- or adventure, came to a terrible and horrific end. Trystan smiled weakly as memories of mock fights over a ‘women’s honor’ often resulted in threesomes of legendary degree.

Trystan’s mind wandered to thoughts of politics and the future of Waterdeep as he looked toward the Castle; the leadership of the city has disjoined but have seemed to have marshaled into three major authorities, each with its own agendas and partnerships; one eye set upon the enemy and one eye set upon each other.

Memories of Miles flooded back when his eyes landed on Ahghairon’s Tower. The magnificent tower stood for over a hundred years unmolested, if you don’t count the folly of children and Seragrimm’s skeleton. The skeleton. The shock of his dead friend shook him from his revere.

It was of course the skeleton that killed miles; when the stars fell, a brilliant light encapsulated the tower. Seragrimm skeleton exploded, showering both Miles and Trystan in sharp white hot bone shards. Miles died saving his friend. Some witnesses say the tower hold some divine spell power and that magic is affected somehow around the Castle Ward, but that is of little concern tonight.

Outside, Jovena dismounted her horse Thunderstorm and tethered her to the hitching rail that was carved to give it a scaled texture. Making sure all of her possessions were properly secured, Jovena entered the tavern.

Dragon paintings, tapestries and structural designs added to the decor the moniker outside implied. The place was busy, but her appointment was easy to identify. Then she saw him. He was dressed in a fine blue suit, he smelled like a dream, and on every inch of his exposed skin she could see runes of such detail and complexity it was dizzying to look upon him for too long.

 “Trystan? I am Jovena.” She said.

The man motioned for her to sit and to help herself to the full pitcher of graff that was keeping the table company. Jovena could see the pain in the man’s eyes but decided not to comment.

“What can I do for you sai?” Trystan said equably. Although depressed, Trystan could not deny the woman’s viral beauty.

“Perhaps if I relate my situation, you would be better capable to assess what you can do.” Jovena said with more abrasion than she intended. She settled herself, drank a dragon-flagon of graff, poured herself another, and began her tail…

The twins Alyssa and Santis clutched the warrior Duncan with all the strength a child of nine could muster. Together they fled upon the magical black courser, Sandiraksiva; it was the children’s father’s prized steed, but he was dead now. They were all dead, all except the three of them. They needed to get to Waterdeep.

Eight straight days in the north, they needed to get to a road before the weather worsened threatening to end their flight. Ahead in the distance, a large tor rose from the ground, its form illuminated by occasional lightning bolt flashes. Seeking shelter from the dangerous storm, the tired, hungry and lost survivors entered the ruins only to find horrible monsters that had similar ideas.

“I need to find them and bring them back before whomever or whatever is hunting them discovers their location.” Jovena was sounding desperate now. She didn’t want to reveal that the twins were divine aspects and would also require protection when they reached the city.

Trystan retrieved his gunna and laid out a blank parchment upon the table, which now held company with an empty pitcher. Jovena sat in stunned amazement as Trystan placed his hands on the scroll as several runes that were carved into his flesh began to glow with brightening intensity.

When the glow subsided, she could see the runes also appeared on the parchment; they had been copied to the parchment creating a magical scroll.

“This scroll will assist you in locating your loved ones.” He advised as he rolled up the scroll and handed it over to the fire-haired woman, “and when you find them I believe I have a place they will be safe.”

1 comment:

James Caruso said...

I also added links so that when you click on Arsten and the others it takes you to their Aspect post.