Testing Sanity

Chapter 01 – Blingdenstone

First Assignment

At the Golden Oak Inn

On a fateful night Kade was performing at the Golden Oak Inn in Silverymoon with Alora in attendance as part of show with a number of local acts. They both saw Mialee enter. Kade kept playing; the show must go on. Alora smiled, gracefully stood up and raised her hand to Mialee. It was odd that Mialee would come to a tavern, but maybe she came to hear Kade play. Behind Mialee entered two dwarves and a very large half-orc. Alora raised an eyebrow thinking that was odd. Mialee had already taken notice of Alora and made her way to her. The three behind her followed. “What in the name of the Goddess…” thought Alora. Mialee mentioned that they would find a table in the back and if Alora could get Kade when they were done and meet with them. Kade continued playing. He had recently made a new song, a song of hope and overcoming hardship.

After he was done and thanked his fans, he excused himself and Alora brought Kade to see group. The next act came on, a pair of lute players. They all ordered drinks and Mialee introduces Puggter, Rynox, and KalEl. When asked how they know each other, Mialee mentions that she knows KalEl and Rynox having met them in the Glimmerwood; she helped them survive orc search parties hunting them. Puggter is Rynox’ close cousin. She mentions if Kade remembers a certain bard and hands Kade a letter. Kade recognizes the seal.

They were being summoned. They were to stay at the Golden Oak until the closing of the bar; it would give them an chance to start sharing stories and knowing each other. A gnome in a red cloak would come to meet them. She would take them to they were to meet the person who called upon them, the bard Brando Lunablanca.

Like clockwork, a female gnome in a red cloak enters the inn. She looks over the room and walks over to the bar. She whispers to the innkeeper and gives him some money. He smiles. They both look over to the group and the innkeeper walks to the end of the bar closest to their table. “Why don’t you folks come with me?” He nudges his head towards the back of the place. Pugg whispers to the group as they all get up, “Remember to thank her for picking up the tab.”

The bartender leads you all to the back mentioning loudly that the Inn has a renowned cellar filled with rare wines and aged spirits (the drinking kind). Everyone is a bit excited about the prospect, but those hopes are dashed when, as the group gets out of sight, the gnome whispers, “Act natural, we are leaving through the back.” The weapons the group had to check at the door are returned to them and they all follow the gnome out.

The Mission

The gnome leads the group through a grove of trees in the center of this city block. She accepts the whispered thanks of the group for picking up the bill at the inn. She takes them to the back door of a building. She tells them to all to enter, that Brando is waiting in side. As the group enters, she grabs an orb, says some magic words, and copies of everyone appear. “I have to walk back now. Please go inside. This is so exciting!” she says with a smile and walks away. The copy of the group walk with her.

Inside the group meets a familiar face, Brando greets everyone with a big hug for each of them. A young human girl pours drinks for everyone, wine for the elves, whiskey for the dwarves and the half-orc, along with some hors d’oeuvres. “My friends, thank you for coming. I hope you were not made uncomfortable by all of our precautions, but these days you cannot be too careful. Please sit down. I hope these fine drinks will help set you at ease.”

There is plenty of seating for everyone in the group. The drinks are delicious. “Some call it luck, but I believe Destiny had weaved our paths together, each and everyone of us. I remember when Kade and I went around entertaining for that year and how I met the lovely Alora through him. I remember meeting Rynox, Puggter and KalEl after that harrowing experience which Rynox and KalEl survived with the help of Mialee. And I was blessed by the Moon Goddess for the privilege of knowing Mialee. And now look at all of you. I am pleased you have all completed your training and are now ready for whatever the world may bring. To new beginnings!” He raises his glass. “To new beginnings!” everyone responds and take a drink. The young girl comes around with bottles and refills everyone’s drinks as Brando continues talking.

“I will not mince words. I saw something special in each of you. You all exhibited, naturally without any manipulation, qualities that we find in the heroes that bards like me sing about or in the epic legends we have all heard or read. I must make a confession to make. I have been for sometime under the employ of a powerful group. This group has made it their mission to foster heroes in this world that is in such dire need of them. We are in a world where murders go without justice, where the innocent are enslaved, where the people are made powerless and oppressed by tyrants. I am sure none of you are strangers to these evils. I think each of you know what I am talking about. I offer you the opportunity like none you have ever received in your rather long lives (compared to us humans). Will you heed the call? Will you join together and make a difference?” He stands up and looks at everyone in the group.

The members exchange looks. Brando’s words struck a deep chord. With a creepy unison, everyone steps forward at once. “Yes!” says Alora, “Aye” say the dwarves, KalEl thumps his chest twice with his right hand, Mialee nods once. “Then it is settled. Our benefactors have found those that are in need of your help.”

Brando lays out the group’s first mission. They are to meet at Hunter’s Gate in two days at dawn. There they will be taken along with a merchant caravan to a village in the Northdark called the deep gnomish town of Blingdenstone. Years ago, the Drow of Menzoberranzan razed the town, killing every gnome that did not manage to escape. The survivors and their descendents are only now trying to re-establish the settlement. The gnomes are failing. The benefactors believe that there may be outside interference causing them to fail, including some organized group. The benefactors want the group to go to Blingdenstone and help remove this interference.

In the days leading up to the mission, Brando helps team get the equipment they need to be successful in their mission. (This is the generous equipment list everyone currently has in their character sheets).

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