Zabeth and Gwyn arrive at the Keep on the Borderlands having come from the Realm, leaving behind careers as Beekeeper and Costermonger respectively.
They enter the keep meeting the Corporal of the Watch and the Scribe, and Jorin a Stable lackey leads them to the inn for a copper piece.
When they arrive the new comers go to the tavern where they find the bard (performing an average musical show) and paladin spending time. Before long they were joined by the Captain of the Guard and four Men-at-Arms, three of which are the Kulick Brothers. The men wasted little time informing the Taverner Erwin Kuhn, that Argosa and Tinaroth were henceforth banned from enjoying the services of trade in all its forms while staying in the Keep.
Zabeth and Gwyn overhearing the conversation, thus became aware of who might be in charge in this stone walled refuge, and who were now no longer allied with those in power.
The captain, and the fourth man-at-arms soon left, leaving behind the Kulick brothers to make certain there would be no ‘trouble’ from Argosa and Tinaroth. The Innkeeper then turned to Zabeth and Gwyn trying his best to appear his normal jolly self. The two patrons order some honey mead, and inquire about the conversation with the Captain. Erwin nervously explains as the Kulick brothers stand near, but seemingly unaware.
Meanwhile Roderick Kulick, the meanest and oldest of the three sends a bar maiden to remove Argosa and Tinaroth’s plates. The brothers smirked and laughed as Tinaroth’s lute became sheepishly quiet and his song came to a close. Embarassed Argosa took out his frustration on his companion by criticizing his ballad. “Could of made the Reaver king sound a bit more fearsome?!” He complained. Tinaroth looked about the room, not a single patron seemed to have noticed he even stopped playing. “I’ll only get better, you’ll see.” He said with a shrug.
Zabeth took another sip of the honey mead. He pondered over what type of need he might be able to fill here at the Keep as a beekeeper. It would be easy to sell honey to a tavern which sells plenty of honey mead, if only he could find a carpenter to help build a few bee keeps he thought. He glanced at his sister, they had just crossed 10 days of open road without help to have reached the walls of the keep. A feat of equal fortitude and luck, but could fate be driving them here? He looked to the mercenary in plate mail seated next to the man with the lute, there was something about them beyond what his eyes could tell. What could be the reason they drew the ban of the Captain? “Bar keep!” he called. The brothers perked their ears, and watched the newcomers from the corner of their eyes. “What have those two done that bans them from eating here?” Roderick Kulick shifted in his tattered mail, leaning his bulky torso as he began to rudely stare at Gwyn.
Erwin Kuhn spoke softly as he began “I don’t presume to know, nor do I mean to find out. They’ve raised the ire of Liebrecht Oldenhaller, guildmaster, and he’s not one to cross.” “Who?” Zabeth knew of such men, who wielded great power over merchants. In the realm guilds laid claim to entire classes of working men and tradesmen. Their wealth was built by the sweat of the brow of the men who strove to make a living, only to pay unfair shares to a guild which offered very little in return. “Not a guildmaster…” Herr Kuhn continued, “the guildmaster. Liebrecht Oldenhaller controls all that comes and goes within our bailey and operates along a fine line of allegiance with the King’s Castellan. Through him all imports and exports transpire. Without his blessing a man can barely eat, let alone run his business…”
“Well, ye a strawberry tart ain’t ya?” Roderick interrupted, leaning close enough to Gwyn that she could smell the scent of raw onion, and fish on his breath. There was an awkward pause as Erwin moved along, and Gwyn took a deep gulp in nervous silence. “Ya need a place to spend the night, get ya selve in my bed n’we’ll share a warm night las.”
Zabeth had heard enough, “Hey, you need to mind your business, and keep to yourself!” But Roderick in a confidence inspired by ale and stupidity, chuckled and straightened his back standing to his full height, and fanning his shoulders wide to appear larger and more intimidating. “Hahaha, and who’s going to make me?” He asked incredulously. Zabeth stood from his stool “I’ll make you.” He said lowering his voice and stiffening his jaw trying to summon the courage to face the bully. The brothers wore heavy leathers and mail, weapons of war hung from their belts. Things were about to go from bad to worse.
Argosa’s voice rang out “Find another goblin to pick on Kulick?” he shouted in mocking the big brute. “You mind yer own damn business boy!” Roderick answered his veins bulging in his thick neck. “Three against one huh? Just like how you killed, or tried to kill that little greenskin you found sleeping in a bush eh?” Tinaroth said, adding insult and embarrassment. Austin wanted nothing of his older brother’s troublemaking, his head hung low. Roderick through up his fists, squeezed into tight balls of fury. Argosa and Tinaroth laughed aloud, Zabeth and Gwyn smirking behind Roderick’s broad back.
Austin and Jaime grabbed their brother and began pushing him to the door. Roderick’s face was a deep red, as they pushed him, he cursed threats of throwing stone’s upon the heads of Argosa and Tinaroth, the rest of the tavern patrons simply watched him disappear through the door.
Zabeth and Gwyn thanked the men for defending them, and became acquainted, Argosa and Tinaroth offering them a place to stay in the private apartment lent to them by the Priest.
The party leaves the Inn and heads to the private apartment, only to find it locked. As they search themselves for the key, they deduce that Mors was the last to use it, and probably has it. Argosa and Tinaroth look to each other with grim realization of what this means. Zabeth and Gwyn only stare in curiosity “What?” Zabeth questions them. “It’s nothing really, we just don’t have our key…” Argosa shrugs, doing his best to appear nonchalant. Argosa attempts to open the latch to the apartment door. “Locked?” Zabeth laughs, Tinaroth grins, realizing their new friend seems to have the kind of humor that is present when others are not so amused.
Argosa was not amused. Dissatisfied, he turned away from the door, “We’ve got to find the Priest. He’ll let us in. Come on, let’s go!” He commanded. The three followed him to the center of the Bailey where the two nicest homes in the keep resided. Zabeth and Gwyn marveled at the grand style of the homes considering their distance from the Realm, knowing full well that anyone who could live in such grandeur must have the power to match such a display of wealth.
Argosa knocks on the door, and waits. Moments pass but there is no response. As each of them begin to wonder where the Priest might be Argosa knocks again, and still no one comes to answer the door. “I suppose the Priest might be at the Chapel?” suggests Tinaroth. The group headed for the Chapel, just as they did so Gwyn caught a glimpse of an old man with a gray bushy beard, wearing a modest worn cloak and tunic just as he disappeared around the back of the manse they had just left.
When she brought it to the attention of the others, Argosa and Tinaroth immediately passed it off as something minor and nothing more, yet as she persisted Argosa finally stopped. “It is best to let sleeping dogs lie.” And with that turning again toward the Chapel he continued on his way.
When the group arrived they entered the house of worship two acolytes prayed at the altar on the Eastern end below the massive colored window, a marvelous and beautiful work of talent and art. As Zabeth and Gwyn simply stared at the window taking in the interior of the reverent chapel, Argosa and Tinaroth announced themselves with the clink of a coin in the offering box mounted to the pedestal. In a moment the Curate arrived from the cool cellar below and gently walked to the four, a welcoming smile upon his face as he fixed his old and wizened eyes upon them.
As Argosa began to inquire about the Priest Zabeth and Gwyn noticed how the Curate spoke with the type of assertive confidence only a man of faith and power can. He immediately directed the conversation towards his doubts of the Priest, beginning with the matter of his mysterious origins further East, and his peculiar manner of attire. “Gadol Shemot, has refrained from delighting us with his blessing and attendance…” the Curate went on passing a glance to both the offering box and the wooden pews to either side, passing his serpent staff from one jeweled hand to the other as he spoke. “He is likely in the bowels of the infernal ”/campaign/fables-of-the-borderlands/wikis/caves-of-chaos" class=“wiki-page-link”>Caves of Chaos or attempting to beguile our Castellan with some matter we can only assume is against our best interest.
The party left with little more to be gained, and decided to split up on separate errands. Tinaroth and Zabeth would visit the Blacksmith while Argosa and Gwyn went to the Stable to check on something else, mysteriously important to Argosa alone.