Quest For the Holy Relics: In Which They Learn What Has Occurred in Their Absence

These are the narrative portions of a Dungeons and Dragons a play-by-post campaign, compiled from the contributions of the players. By its nature, it’s a collaborative work, and rough around the edges.

The party returns to the horse-drawn cart that had been parked just off the main road. After taking a few short minutes to prepare for the three-hour ride back to town, the four companions are well on their way.

The roads aren’t terribly busy on this particular day; every few minutes, perhaps, a lone traveler or a pair passes in the other direction, but for the most part they have the trail to themselves.

Approximately two hours into the journey, as they near the crest of a hill, voices can be heard from the other side of the slope. They sound like they’re arguing, but it’s difficult to make out the words at this distance.

“You’re not listening to me, jackass! I just needed a little more time to–” says a female voice, but a gruff male voice interrupts.

“Save your excuses, wench. I follow orders; nothing more, nothing less. When we–”

The source of voices come over the crest of the hill. They’re traveling in the opposite direction, and as soon as they notice the party, they both stop talking. They don’t stop moving, however, and the two groups will soon pass each other on the road.

There are four humans and two half-orcs. Three of the humans are male and well-equipped, wearing leather armor and with long swords sheathed at their hips. The half-orcs have one-handed battle axes strapped to their backs. The last human is wearing an emerald-green cloak with a hood, but it’s easy to tell that it’s the owner of the female voice. She looks uncannily similar to the Clementine, the daughter of Alydar’s mayor.

His thoughts occupied by what transpired at the kobold den, Sarm glances over at the other wagon in his distraction, taking in the appearance of the group who he quickly takes to be other adventurers. He gives a nod, but says nothing to impose any unwanted hospitality.

As the pass, Quintus hears the two chatting, but doesn’t really worry about it until he gets a good look at the women, “Well, if it isn’t Clementine, daughter of our good mayor. Wonder what she is doing all the way out here with this lot… and he’s calling her a wench?”

He then shouts to the passing group, “Didn’t your mother ever tell you how to treat a lady, you barbarian? Much less the mayor’s own daughter!”

“Steady Quintus,” Bones murmurs as he rides atop his beast. “These men are well armed and ill-tempered. A bad combination to be sure. I’m not sure who that woman is, but if she is truly the mayor’s daughter, we should tread all the more lightly.”

Daisy perks her ears up as she pads along. She narrows her eyes and begins to lick her lips. “Same goes to you, little one,” Bones says.

The other party stops, and all eyes turn to Quintus. The woman speaks, after an uneasy beat of silence. “Good sir, I’m afraid you’ve mistaken me for someone else. My name is Cl… uh… Cleo,” she stutters awkwardly. It’s apparent from her mannerisms that she is hiding something. “And this is my brother, Davos. What you overheard was an argument over family matters, and I would suggest you keep to your own affairs.”

“Aye,” one of the human men chimes in, “and if I were you, fancy-man, I’d watch what I say. See, I don’t take too kindly to insults. Lucky for you, the lady’s here to hold me back; try your fortunes again and I might not be so generous.”

Though Sarm has grown deeply suspicious of the opposite gathering, he doesn’t find himself in a position where he can question them, and is unsure of whether their unknown intentions are relevant to he and his associates. “Let our anger stay a simmer,” he says to his companions. “Counsel is difficult to give to those that wish not to have it. The young do not always pick their friends wisely.”

The swordsman grins menacingly toward Quintus. “Best listen to that dark-skinned friend of yours. I suggest you start movin’ yourselves on, before I do somethin’ that you’ll regret.” He cracks his knuckles and not-so-subtly pats the hilt of his weapon, though he does not rest his hand on it. His companions stay still; the girl has looked away, now hidden by the hood of her cloak.

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