The guard does seem somewhat startled to see a fourteen-year-old walking alone toward the gates of the town, but it’s more surprise than suspicion.
He’s a human, probably in his late thirties, with his most outstanding feature being the bushiness of his eyebrows.
Guard: “Hello, young miss. What brings you to Calda? Not to be rude, you understand, and I’m sure you’d like to find a warm bed. It’s just procedure.”
Máire: “I heard there was some trouble around here and thought I could be of assistance.”
Guard: “Really? Not to disparage you, but you do seem a little young. Still, I expect we can use all the help we can get, what with these goblin attacks.”
(Really? More goblins?)
(it’s called ‘foreshadowing’, thank you.)(makes sense)
“Well,” he continued, “did you have anyone you were planning to stay with? Friends? Family? If not, we have an extra bedroom. My daughter’s only a few years younger than you are. And I’m sure the wife would be
Máire: “Thank you for the invitation. I might take you up on that.”
Guard: “I’m sure the wife would be alright with it, and it’s probably better than staying where all the other travelers do. Rough men nearly every one.
Well, at any rate, you certainly don’t seem like a threat to the village. Come, let’s enter.” He turns and calls up to a man on a platform on the other side of the wall. “Ho, Ailill! Let’s open these gates, shall we?”
Some moments later, the gates swing wide, revealing a village of about 150 houses, as well as a larger building near the town center. The guard leads Máire through the winding dirt streets to a rather large house (for a guard’s salary). He opens the door and calls for his wife.
“Ambriodhe! Set another place at the table, we have one more!”
His wife appears- a willowy, red-haired woman, whose face may possibly be where all the extra freckles in the country are stored.
A meal follows quickly, and Máire is seated with a bowl of stew in front of her almost before she realizes it. Sweetbread accompanies it, likely left over from the day’s festivities- over sooner in this town than her own, judging by the silence of the streets outside.
She discovers the guard’s name- Conill- when his wife mentions it, but by this point she’s tired enough that she falls asleep as soon as she is shown to her bed.
Godsday, Jalas 18
When she wakes up, the house seems to be empty, but the sun is already fairly high in the sky, and the streets outside are bustling. Máire determines to find and thank her hosts before going to offer her services.
A look ‘round the house doesn’t seem to locate them. You might find Conill at the wall somewhere, but then again you may not. You didn’t even meet their daughter yet. Ambriodhe might be in the village market. ( off to the market then)
Alright, let’s go with a quick Investigation check to try to track her down. Finding the market too, I suppose, but that’s probably fairly intuitive.
Anyway, roll a d20.
got a 15 before bonuses.
As she figured, the market was easy to find- even if it hadn’t been in about the same place as in her hometown, all she would have needed to do was follow the noise. Finding Ambriodhe is slightly harder, but Máire eventually tracks her down near a stall selling cloth in various bright colors.
“Ah, hello Máire!” Máire isn’t entirely certain at what point she mentioned her name, but she was fairly out of it last night. “You slept well, I hope?” Ambriodhe holds a strip of bright yellow fabric to her chest and. “How does this look? No, nevermind. Anyway, was there some particular reason you were looking for me?”
Máire: “Yes, I wished to thank you for your hospitality. Is there any way I can repay you?”
Ambriodhe: “Oh, no, don’t mention it. My husband brings stray folk home all the time. Helping give people a place to stay is payment enough.” (not really sure what to say here. Can I inquire about the problem the town has been having before approaching the chief?) (Sure, go ahead.)
Máire: “Ambriodhe, the real reason I was looking for you was to inquire about the trouble the town has been having. Usually the festival lasts through the night but it was already over when I arrived last evening. Can you tell me anything about this?”
“Mm. Dreadful business. Goblin raiders. They do tend to raid our flocks now and then, but they’ve been getting more bold lately, attacking the town itself. Usually at night, which was why most of the people went to bed early. They wanted to be rested, just in case.”
“Thank you again for your information, and your hospitality. I will speak with the town’s leader about how I might help.”
“Of course, love. And feel free to come back, however long it is you’re staying; we’ll be glad to put you up.” Ambriodhe then gives Máire directions to her destination: “Now, go straight. Turn left at the smith’s shop, then take the third right. The rest should be simple.”
It is; quite soon Máire is standing in front of the larger building she saw when she first entered the town. The door doesn’t seem to be guarded or anything; presumably they need everyone watching the walls. The building is two stories tall, and rather tall stories too, with a high peaked roof and wooden shingles instead of thatch.
[skyrim discussion removed here]
Inside is an entryway of sorts, with another doorway. This one doesn’t have a door, though, just an embroidered tapestry. She pushes it aside to see a long, wood-paneled room, mostly taken up by an almost equally long table. Seated along the table is a group of four people, although the head of the table and most of both sides are empty.
There’s a halfling with somewhat impressive sideburns and a scruffy beard; a blonde elf who you’re fairly sure is female, but the robes make it hard to tell; a human man whose hair is more gray than brown; and a matronly human woman. They all seem engrossed in conversation, and haven’t noticed Máire yet.
( okay what is the polite way to do this?)
(I wouldn’t know, I’ve never done it. But no worries, just act confident.)
Máire: “Hello, I’m here to help you with your goblin problem.”
…They haven’t heard you. Try it again, but louder.
I cast frost on the table in front of them.
That… may impose disadvantage on later diplomacy checks. Or not. Certainly bold. Too late already did it.
Máire points her staff at the table, a ray of frost shooting from the tip and icing over the wood.
The human man jumps back, swearing, and then turns toward her. The halfling’s chair nearly tips over. The elf and the human woman act slightly more composed.
Human man: “And you are?”
“Sorry for my rudeness, but my voice is still a little sore from yesterday. My name is Máire and I want to help you with your goblin problem, if it wouldn’t be too much to ask.” (in a convincingly apologetic voice, hiding my frustration)
“Gods’ Truth, no! We can use all the help we can get!” The man says, relaxing. “My name is Cathal. The halfling is Aralt, the elf is Seiorsa, and the woman is my sister Eithne.”
“Good to meet you, traveller,” says Aralt. Seiorsa and Eithne each chip in with a “Likewise.”
“Nice to meet you all.”
“So,” Cathal asks, “What do you do, exactly? You’re a mite small to use a sword like mine-” he gestures to his sword, a two-handed broadsword slung over the back of his chair- “or, I imagine, many others. If that staff is all you have, I’m not sure where to put you to help.” Eithne gives him a somewhat disgusted look, apparently annoyed that he has either failed to put together the frozen table with spellcasting, or that he’s managed to forget that the table is coated in ice.
“Put me in the rear lines and I will be able to use spells to support your efforts, for a time anyways, then I will switch to the staff to help finish them off.”
“Ah, a mage then, are you? Very well. Rear lines with the archers, then.”
“And I assure you, your table should thaw reasonably unharmed.”
“Ha! Thanks. Not my table, though. It belongs to the chief,” Cathal responds.
(I cringe inwardly.)
“Not that he cares,” Aralt adds. “The idiot got himself killed two weeks ago.”
(Ashamedly, I relax noticeably)
“It wasn’t even the goblins. He went hunting and was somehow outmaneuvered by a bear. I ask you, how does one not notice something that size sneaking up on you?”
The other three nod. They seem more annoyed at the chief’s stupidity than sad at his death, which seems fairly normal. (at least in a Celtic-ish culture.)
“At any rate,” Eithne says, “Let’s-”
A guard bursts in the door and through the tapestry. “They’re coming!”
“What, now?” Cathal cries. “In the middle of the day?”
“Yes, sir!” The guard pants.
“Well, then,” Cathal says to Máire with a smile, “Let’s go!”