Monday, August 17, 2015

Lack of Heirs

Marpenoth 19, 1367 DR - Year of the Shield

“Here,” Coryn said as he gently clasped her hand over the ring they had recovered. “I hope this memento might bring ye some solace, and here is your house idol which we found earlier this day.”
 Before their eyes she seemed to age decades. All strength and apparent sense of purpose left her eyes as her shoulders drooped, "why did he have to chase after them? Our son was lost in the raid, and now I no longer have him."
  “I am deeply saddened by your loss madam,” Coryn gently placed his hand on her shoulder. She felt frail, much frailer than he had expected.
  “He was trying to right a wrong done by another,” Remenissions replied his voice far softer and gentle than any of the fellows had heard before.
 “Our sympathies to you and yours,” Coryn said, squeezing her shoulder slightly. “Is there anything we might be able to perform for you to aid your woes?”
              Baroness Cromm nodded as she clasped the idol and handed back the ring, “It is of no use to me. My husband has no living heirs, when I die the estate will go to a distant relation of mine. The signet ring means nothing now, and is only useful as a magical trinket.”
            “Very well milady,” Coryn said, “we shall keep in their remembrance.”
             “Do the laws of this land not permit a female Baroness?” Remenissions interrupted.
             “There are not many laws in this land,” she replied, tears streaked her soot stained face, “but I am too old for more children. When I die this hold shall pass to my family from another barony only to be added to their lands.”
              Remenissions nodded, “I see. Is there anything else we can do to help you madam?”
 “When you arrive back in Daggerford tell Dervil Ironeater I have need of his family's services.”
 “Okay. We will,” Remenissions promised.
 “Dervil Ironeater,” Coryn agreed, “it shall be done.”
The cleric turned to leave and was surprised to see Dorian no longer beside him, but was rather leaning against one of the few stable walls. He stared at a plain gold ring that was tarnished and slightly green with age. The ranger looked up from his ring and stared at Coryn. Stuffing the ring in a pouch, the ranger walked over to joined Coryn and Remenissions.
 "I have one last thing,” the Baroness said, her voice cracking.
 Coryn turned back around.
 Reaching into her bodice she pulled out five small pouches, “One hundred gold lions. They keep their value even outside of Cormyr.”
             From the corner of his eye Coryn could see Dorian hesitate before taking the gold.
           “My lady,” the ranger spoke as though his mind were elsewhere, “if it's any consolation I know how it feels.”
             Justian and Haeming stepped forward, each taking a small pouch.
            "If you had not come when you had, I would have lived a lifetime wondering what happened to him.” Baroness Cromm smiled, though Coryn could tell it was a forced smile as she nodded to Dorian.  Her eyes were damp and shined in the sunlight that that lit the broken courtyard. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Bad News

Marpenoth 19, 1367 DR - Year of the Shield

Remenissions pulled a map from his bag, “Only about ten miles past the estate.”

“That's a pretty long detour,” Dorian huffed. “I don't think we need to go to THAT extreme.”

“Do we have anything else better to do at this point?” Remenissions said.

“Yes,” Dorian pulled the map from the paladin’s hands, “like get back to town and report.”

“Or would you rather Coryn's idea and we split up the pieces amongst ourselves?” Remenissions scratched his chin.

Dorian looked Remenissions in the eye, “That's what I just said.”

“I can make the report,” Justian interrupted, “and deliver the remains of the amulet to the Commander. The rest of you need not trouble yourselves.”

            “And toss it somewhere, is what you said,” Remenissions retorted staring back at Dorian. The ranger and the paladin glared at each other. Their mounts huffed and snorted at being forced so close to one another. 

"Rather share,” Haeming said, “giving them all to one person, broken or no, is not wise either way."

Justian tried to create some space between the two, but failed to make the duo budge, “The town can melt it in the blacksmith's furnace.”

            “The leaders won't do that Justian,” Remenissions insisted.

            “Fine,” the young warrior replied before turning his steed toward the Cromm estate.

Coryn rolled his eyes, dismounted and picked the thrown map from the ground and handed it back to Remenissions before mounting his steed once more, “Agreed Haeming the pieces should be split amongst us all.”

Coryn checked his gear one last time and cantered toward the short distance to the estate, followed closely by the fellows.

 The walls that remained standing were had become cracked and brittle from the heat. Scorch marks blackened the grey slate making the hold appear splotchy and sick. Only one door on the gate remained standing. It hung loose from its one remaining hinge. One by one the fellows rode their steeds through the shattered entrance.

 Servants ran about the courtyard, shoring up the walls and the house. Making sure no new flames ignited from cinders that still emanated heat. Dorian dismounted, asking each servant where the Baroness was, only to receive the same answer, “I don’t know.”

Dorian went back to his mount only to have Coryn wave his hand. The Baroness was covered in soot and blood. Her burnt and torn gown hung from her slumped shoulders as she walked from the nearly ruined house. Dorian steeled himself. He knew loss and anguish. This would not be easy, but if anyone should do this it should be him. 

Dorian and the death of Baron Cromm
He could see her eyes grow shiny with tears as she watched him approach. He could hear his fellows dismount behind him. Dorian almost waved them off, but didn’t want to turn from Lady Cromm. She would need a strong shoulder.

 “I'm sorry,” Dorian said, “his party was wiped out, but those responsible have been dealt with. Your husband has been avenged.”

 Dorian could see Remenissions out of the corner of his eye. The ranger turned his head slightly. The paladin had a pained expression. Perhaps he has a soul after all, Dorian shook the thought from his head.