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Seoni scanned the crowd. Unsurprisingly the Waterfront was teeming with activity, and Seoni wished Seelah’s message had arrived intact. The only thing Seoni had been able to make out on the location was that it began with a “w” which could mean Waterfront, Woods, Wooden Bridge or perhaps there was an inn or tavern nearby with a “w” name. From her travels, Seoni knew anything was possible.

“Keep your eyes open for a female paladin,” Seoni said to her companions.

Trevin absentmindedly plucked at a few strings on his lute. “I have a feeling I’ll have material for a new song by the end of the day.”

Gilsa scowled at the troubadour. “Let’s try to stay focused.” Then she pointed off to their left. “I say we start that way.”

Seoni didn’t have a preference on direction, so she deferred to her guide.

As they turned the corner, their way was blocked. By his uniform, he appeared to be from the Night Watch, and Seoni wondered what he was doing out so early.

“This area is closed until further notice,” he said almost in a drone which meant he must have been saying it for a while now.

Seoni smiled charismatically. “Our apologies,” she said sweetly. “We’re looking for our friend. Perhaps -”

The Night Watch looked annoyed. “This area is closed until further notice.”

Her smile disappeared, and she gestured to her allies to move along.

“That usually goes better,” Trevin noted.

“Indeed,” Seoni replied, hoping the closed area wasn’t connected with Seelah.

Seelah signaled her Standard Bearer to stand back, then she moved forward through the woods to investigate. She’d barely taken two steps when a Goblin Commando leapt out from behind a tree, and threw something at her. Thankfully her chain mail blocked whatever it had been.

Seelah tossed aside her pack to give herself more maneuverability, and counterattacked. Her strength was no match for it, and it soon lay crumpled at her feet.

“Looks like things are getting exiting,” she said, only now taking the time to draw her mace.

Seoni smiled as she finished haggling with the vendor and pocketed her new potion. Throughout the transaction, she’d noticed Trevin’s fidgeting.

“Trevin, perhaps you could use your skills to get us some more information on what’s going on with that restricted area,” she suggested.

She’d barely finished the sentence before he was gone.

“I may have somethin else ye’d be interested in,” the vendor drawled.

Seoni looked at him skeptically. The potion had been the only item of value she’d seen, and she suspected he really just wanted a way to make up for his loss on that sale.

He pulled out a rolled up parchment. “A Treasure Map!” he declared.

“Do I look like a treasure hunter to you,” she asked and turned away.

“Wait! Just have a look.”

He unrolled the parchment as she looked back. It was unlike any other map she’d seen.

“What does this mean?” she asked, pointing.

The vendor studied the map, and from his face she could tell he had no idea.

“It shows the treasure you most desire,” he finally replied, though it didn’t really answer her question.

She snatched the parchment from him, and the map shifted as she examined it. It was obviously magical, which the vendor knew, but it wasn’t about desire. Once she had realized the map’s purpose, it went blank, and she tossed it back to the vendor.

“Trouble’s coming,” she said.

A Paladin should have had the wisdom to avoid an ambush, but apparently Seelah was having a bit of bad luck. She swung her mace at the Skeleton. Her strike should have been powerful enough to knock its skull off. She’d once again discarded her pack, and her mace was a decent weapon, but somehow the skeleton shrugged aside her attack and slashed at her, doing minor damage, before disappearing.

Starla handed Seelah her pack. “Are you all right?”

“Nothing this can’t cure,” she said before casting a minor healing spell.

Then, deciding things were perhaps getting too exciting, she strapped on her longsword.


She turned to see one of her allies on the Night Watch approaching, and she doubted he came bearing good news.

As the Treasure Map had shown, a Bunyip charged them. Unfortunately, Seoni had been looking the other direction and was caught off guard.

Despite this slight setback, Seoni was able to cast her Force Missile spell which incinerated the monster.

“That was amazing!” the vendor cried, forgetting about his ire over the Treasure Map.

“I put too much power into it,” Seoni replied. Now she wouldn’t be able to use that particular spell until the next day.

Now more cautious, she pulled her Amulet of Life from her pack and fastened it around her neck.

Just as Nile, the Night Watch, reached them, Seelah shoved her allies down, tossed aside everything but her longsword, and then heaved that longsword like a javelin. It struck her target, and the Shadow screeched as it dissolved.

Without a word, Starla went to retrieve the sword, but it was stuck fast to a tree. Nile came to her aid, and they pulled the weapon free.

“This will need repairs before you can use it again,” Nile said, passing the sword to Seelah who stored it away and fastened her wooden shield on her arm.

“Thank you. Now, it seemed like you had news?”

In thanks for saving his life, the vendor had freely answered Seoni’s questions. When he admitted the area had seen a recent increase in crime, especially cattle theft, she knew that’s why Seelah had summoned her. It was very sweet that the vendor seemed reluctant to send her into further danger, but he’d pointed her in the direction of Jubrayl Vhiski’s hideout.

They’d just entered a rather dank and dark alley when Seoni grabbed Gilsa’s arm.

“Don’t move,” she hissed. Seoni slowly crouched down. “Too late. We can’t retreat without triggering the trap.”

She held her hands in front of the Runes, silently praying for the gods’ blessing as she muttered a spell under her breath.

There was a tense moment before she felt the power drain from the trap, and she exhaled in relief.

“What was that?” Gilsa asked as Seoni rose.

“An explosive trap, but I’ve disarmed it.”

She would have explained more, but caught sight of a guard she knew.

“He’s definitely somewhere in these woods,” Nile said, striding alongside Seelah.

She noticed a discarded crossbow. She picked it up to inspect it, the weapon light in her hands, but a weapon that was more about dexterity than strength just wasn’t for her.

She tossed it aside as she said, “The woods are a rather big area, and we’ve made a bit of noise already. He could have already escaped us.”

Nile shook his head. “No, he’s here.”

Before she could greet the guard, a bandit, likely one of Jubrayl Vhiski’s henchmen, leapt out at them. The guard’s eyes widened, and he ran.

Seoni barely had time to wonder what had just happened when Gilsa said, “Don’t worry, we’re in luck. My sister’s here.”

For a moment Seoni thought she was seeing double. Then she realized Gilsa’s sister was her twin.

“I need energy from one of you,” Seoni said, holding out one hand as she dug out her Sage’s Journal with the other.

Surprisingly it was Gilsa’s sister who grasped her hand.

“This will hurt,” she warned.

She pulled on the woman’s energy and used her journal to help her focus a blast of arcane power at the bandit. The magic slammed into him, and he went down.

Gilsa caught her sister as she crumpled and cried out a warning as another bandit approached.

Seoni discarded the potion she’d pulled out of her bag, and readied her arcane armor. She then grabbed Gilsa, draining her energy and once again using her journal to send a focused attack. The second bandit went down as easily as the first.

Thankfully that seemed to be the last. Seoni looked at the prone bodies around her. She was unconcerned about the bandits, but she’d need to get her allies to a safer location.

“Seems it’s been busy in the woods,” Seelah said, picking up a leather packet. She opened it and discovered a nice set of thieves’ tools. “Nile, if Vhiski really is here, it’s likely we could use some backup.”

The Night Watch nodded, then headed back into town.

Seelah turned to keep on with the search and smacked into an invisible barrier. She stumbled back a pace or two, then reached out with her hand to find what she’d hit. The air in front of her shimmered and a line of text appeared. Unfortunately she couldn’t read the language, but fortunately the leather packet she’d found had just the right tool. She opened the packet and slipped the tool out of its pocket. As soon as she touched it to the barrier, it vanished, leaving a scroll behind.

The thieves’ tools she tossed into her pack. She wouldn’t get any more use out of those for a while.

Starla handed her the scroll, and she unrolled it.

“What is it?” her standard bearer asked.

“A defensive spell,” Seelah replied. “I think I’ll save it. If Seoni ever gets here, she might be interested in it.”

With nothing more to discover at the Waterfront, and her allies safely resting at one of the inns, Seoni moved on.

She came to the wooden bridge and tensed for an attack when she sensed movement. Then she thanked the gods when it just turned out to be some harmless local wildlife. Then someone was actually approaching. A young woman in the typical attire of a standard bearer.

“What are you doing here?” the young woman asked with false bravado.

“I’m looking for my friend. A paladin. Any chance you’ve seen her?”

The woman shook her head.

“Do you know these parts well?” Seoni asked.

“Of course.”

“Then perhaps you can help me in my search. With how dangerous it’s been around here, I’d feel safer with some company as well.”

Seoni saw the brief flash of relief in the standard bearer’s eyes as she agreed to help.

She probably hadn’t expected to be of help quite so soon. With a mercenary suddenly bearing down on them, Seoni had very few choices. She grabbed the woman’s arm and used her energy to send a blast of magic at their attacker. It wasn’t as focused as when Seoni used her journal, but it was enough. The mercenary crumpled lifelessly to the ground.

Seoni looked down at the unconscious young woman. “I apologize for that, but perhaps we can stash you away someplace safe, and you won’t have to worry about fighting.”

She surveyed the bridge. It wouldn’t surprise her if crossing it turned out to be trickier than it looked. She pulled out her packet of thieves’ tools just in case.

Seelah’s eyes lit up when she spotted the Luckstone. She’d heard about them, but had never been able to get one. The magical stone assessed the wisdom of one who held it, and if you were found wanting, the Luckstone would vanish.

Feeling she had certainly gained some wisdom since her last encounter with a stone, she picked it up. The Luckstone flickered, but then solidified.

Seelah smiled, her grip on the Luckstone tightening as though to make sure it was really still there.  Then, realizing she hadn’t put it away yet, tucked the defensive spell scroll into her pack. She kept the Luckstone in her hand, reveling in her success.

“You know how to use those?” a gruff voice asked.

Seoni turned, keeping her movements casual but her mind alert. “Do you?” she asked back.

The man smiled knowingly. “You could say I make it my business to know.”

Seoni was surprised at this. She would expect a burglar to be more circumspect. “Perhaps you could teach me then,” she replied with her own smile.

“For a pretty lady like you, I would be happy to make the time.”

“I’m meeting a friend soon, but perhaps we could meet later?”

They agreed on a time and place, and the burglar gave her a wink and a smile as he wandered off.

“I hate rats,” Starla said, backing up from the swarming mass before them.

Seelah hefted her mace. “I’ll take care of it.”

Despite her easy tone, she took a moment to ask the gods for help. Then she dove at the rat swarm. It took a few swings, but thankfully her weapon was enough to do the job.

She turned to Starla with a smile. “Easy.”

Seoni considered her options. Taking her back to town wasn’t a possibility, but Seoni was responsible for her condition. She could try to hide the standard bearer and hope she remained safe until she regained consciousness.

“You’re a sorcerer, aren’t you?” a voice behind her said.

Seoni whirled around. She hadn’t heard anyone approaching and cursed herself for being careless. Then she noticed the acolyte garb the woman was wearing.

“I am.”

The acolyte’s eyes lit up. “I’m studying the arcane arts.”

Seoni smiled at the attempt at subtlety. “I happen to practice such arts. Would you like to travel with me for a time?”

“Yes, please!”

With a silent thanks to the gods for their blessing, Seoni motioned for the acolyte to follow her. Just before she stepped onto the bridge, Seoni noticed something shiny in the tall grass. She bent down to examine it more closely and discovered chain mail. Though she had no use for armor herself, she thought Seelah might be interested, and shoved it into her pack.

Seelah motioned for a stop, and peered through the trees ahead. Based on the description she’d been given, that had to be Jubrayl Vhiski up ahead. Nile hadn’t returned, and Seelah worried about Starla in this sort of fight. She tucked the Luckstone into a pouch, which would let the standard bearer carried it, and pressed the pouch into the young woman’s hand.

“Take this, but don’t open the bag unless you encounter trouble. I want you to go find Nile, and tell him I found Vhiski.”

Starla didn’t argue. She simply nodded and retreated.

Seelah drew her spare longsword and asked for the gods to bless her, and went to confront Vhiski.

“Jubrayl Vhiski,” Seelah said, but didn’t get much further when he attacked.

Their combat didn’t last long. Seelah let Vhiski think he had the upper hand, letting him disarm her, but when she immediately countered with a blow to his stomach, he retreated. She expected him to come at her again, but he ran off instead.

Seelah followed and saw him disappear inside a nearby farm house.

Just as Seoni was explaining to her acolyte the basics of how they could block the bridge, they were attacked by another bandit.

Seoni tossed her thieves’ tools back into her bag. She glanced at the acolyte, but she really didn’t want another unconscious person on her hands (though the barrier she intended to put in place at the bridge would protect the two just as well as one). Instead she drew the stored energy from the defensive spell she had on hand. Thankfully she had enough time to pull out her journal to focus her power. The blast hit the bandit full force, and he fell lifeless to the ground.

Without bothering to discuss the encounter, Seoni focused on closing down the bridge.

She asked for the gods to bless her endeavor, and somehow felt Seelah do the same. The paladin had to be close by.

Just as she finished the barrier at the bridge, her acolyte informed her they had company. At first Seoni was irritated. She was getting tired of surprises, but this one wasn’t all bad. The guard that had abandoned her in the alley had returned.

He looked sheepish. “About earlier…”

She waved his excuse off. “Let’s focus on the current situation.”

He nodded. “Vhiski’s been spotted at that farm house,” he said, pointing.

Seoni slipped a potion into a pouch at her belt. “Shall we?”

Seelah slowly approached the farm house, and doubted she’d catch Vhiski by surprise. What she didn’t expect was the moaning lumbering form coming through the doorway.

She raised her mace, said a prayer to the gods, and aimed for the zombie’s head. There was a sickening squishy sound, and that was the end of the zombie.

“Nice work.”

Seelah turned and smiled at Seoni. “Where have you been?”

“Oh, just taking care of Vhiski’s underlings.”

Seelah noticed Seoni was looking a bit ragged. “I’m sorry I missed it. Let me make it up to you.”

The paladin didn’t have near the magical prowess as the sorcerer, but she could cast a simple healing spell. Thankfully Seoni wasn’t that bad off, though she looked much better once Seelah was done, and Seelah was able to recharge her spell in case they needed it later.

They continued their approach to the farm house.

“Wait,” Seoni said. “There’s something wedged between those boards.”

Anticipating a trap, Seelah readied her weapon.

“It’s some kind of pouch.” Seoni gestured Seelah forward. “Give me a hand.”

They managed to free the parcel and discovered a masterful set of tools.

Seoni was practically petting them. “They’re so pretty,” she murmured.

“Then you should keep them,” Seelah said as she spotted something shiny.

Upon closer inspection it turned out to be a dagger which Seelah had no interest in. She left it where it was, and was about to suggest a strategy for their attack when her standard bearer returned.

Before she could ask Starla about Nile, Seoni said, “Look another one of these pouches. It must be another set of tools. Do you want it?”

Seelah shrugged. “It’s not really my style.”

Seoni tried to pry them loose anyway, but it looked like they’d have to dismantle the porch to get them. Seelah assured Seoni that it was all right then once again spotted something shiny.

Seoni sucked in a breath. “Is that a crown?”

“Looks like it, doesn’t it?” Seelah craned her neck in an attempt to get a better view. “I might be able to reach it.”

Despite those words, Seelah couldn’t quite get to the crown, so they left it behind, and finally entered the house.

“Enough time to look for loot after we’ve got Vhiski,” Seoni said.

Seelah started to reply but a rumble cut her off.

“The ceiling’s coming down!” Starlet cried.

They only had moments to decide what to do. Seoni tried the door on their left, but it was locked. She pulled out her new tools and had the door open in enough time for them all to duck through. The doorway was now blocked with rubble, and as the dust cleared, they were aware of an addition to their group. They prepared for an attack, but Seoni held up a hand when she recognized their guest. She wasn’t sure if it was Gilsa or her sister.

“That was exciting,” the guide said, then addressed Seoni. “My sister is still recovering, but I thought you could use another hand. Looks like I got here just in time.”

Seoni nodded. “It doesn’t look like anyone will be coming in that way for a while.”

Luckily the room had another exit, and they hoped they weren’t headed into another trap.

“You are a persistent woman,” Vhiski said as Seelah lead the others into the next room.

Starla pressed the pouch with the Luckstone back into Seelah’s hand. “Nile should be here soon,” she said quietly. “I’ll see if I can get out the window and get him here.”

Seelah nodded, and covered her standard bearer as she once more retreated.

“Not much loyalty there,” Vhiski remarked, while Seelah didn’t rise to the bait, she did murmur a couple prayers.

Before Seoni could offer any help, Seelah dropped everything but her mace and charged Vhiski. He dodged her first swing, but then she took a chance and hurled her weapon at him. Incredibly, it hit the mark, and Vhiski went down.

Seoni checked to make sure he was down for good. She looked up at Seelah. “Is this what you needed my help with?” she asked.

Seelah shrugged. “A little backup never hurt.”

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] is the play-by-play version of the previously posted story mode. […]

  2. […] wasn’t surprising that the defeat of Vhiski led to uncovering another Sandpoint menace: Aliver “Pillbug” Podiker. Seelah and Seoni […]

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