A Serious Problem In CirrusTweet to @Brainlessmunkey
Having found his way back to Dorek’s tavern, Sif spends his last few copper refilling his flask. Dorek asks him about the rumors of gang activity, but Sif believes the goblins were too disorganized to be acting in a group. He does his best to calm the bartender’s fears, in the not-too-subtle expectation of a free drink. After caving, Dorek mumbles to himself about the lack of “good coin” in Longview. Sif agrees, and takes a long sip. They stand in silence for a minute before Dorek decides it is time to clean up some dishes. Sif begins looking over the maps he got from Aelith.
While looking over the mainland, Sif is immediately drawn to two locales: Blackrock Heights and the Silvermoon Forest. Silvermoon Forest draws his attention as the home of his god Odo, the great white elk. Blackrock Heights, home of Almawt, god of death, piques his interest as something that “sounds cool.” With this in mind, he commits to traveling to the mainland in search of work and exploration, but not before cracking open his bottle of wine.
After sleeping beneath the stars for another night, Sif, moderately hungover, seeks out Jac. In exchange for help loading the Southern Star with crops for sale, Jac will ferry Sif to the nearest city on Ivalion’s mainland, Cirrus. Both the labor and the journey are perilous for the hungover cleric with a deathly fear of the open water, but he manages to survive with his sanity intact.
Upon arriving in Cirrus, a seemingly quiet and peaceful town along the coast, Sif is immediately directed to check in with Captain Orrinstander. To the best of Sif’s knowledge, Cirrus would fall within the borders of the Kingdom of the Red Lion; however, it should be far enough from the fronts to have a military presence. Confused, he decides to investigate further.
The captain, a dwarven man in full ornamental uniform, greets Sif with a strong sense of suspicion. The captain believes he is being unduly investigated and improperly supported. Sif decides to play ignorant, and explains that he is vaguely interested in joining the army. Orrinstander is impressed with Sif enough to let him stick around town, but only if he contributes to the militia’s defense fund. Completely broke, Sif is temporarily banished from town.
While being escorted out, Sif notices some of Orrinstander’s soldiers shaking down the locale populace. A young man and his son are also unable to pay into the defense fund, and a gold locket is taken as collateral. Sif manages to overhear the locket will be kept for “safekeeping” in a small encampment in the forest to the south. At this moment, Sif quits resisting his banishment and leaves town quickly.
After a few hours on the road, Sif finds a worn-down path into the forest. He decides follow the trail from a distance, and sneaks further in. He eventually finds a wooden palisade encircling a small military camp at the foot of a hill. The camp consists of 3-4 tents, a guard tower, and a mining path cut into the hill. For the next few hours, a total of 5 soldiers come and go, each bringing sacks of coin or other valuables. From his observations, Sif assumes the soldiers are running a racketeering ring.
That night, while formulating his next move, Sif hears a twig snap. He bolts up, and sees a bald gnome dressed in all black hightailing it from the edge of the fort. There appears to be a commotion and several soldiers running out, so Sif darts off too. The two eventually run into each other, and, due to a series of quick and incorrect assumptions by both parties, Sif ends up knocking the gnome out with his mace Estelle.
Panicked, Sif stabilizes the gnome with Spare the Dying and hides him in a ditch. While moving him, Sif notices an ornate obsidian dagger with a glowing rune, and assumes that it used to belong to the soldiers, and, by extension, the villagers. He takes it to return, and eventually finds a quiet place to sleep for the night.
The next morning, Sif dons a disguise and sneaks into the back of a local tavern, the Red Rooster Inn. The Innkeeper, an old human named Kip, is disgruntled by the outsider with no money to spend. Sif explains that he is trying to help the town, but Kip believes all hope is lost. The soldiers have been stationed in the village for almost a year, and the last time someone tried to get involved, they were beaten half to death. Dismayed, Sif asks if he could at least help out to earn a room to stay in for the night. The innkeeper directs him to the direst and pressing work in town: clearing his basement of rats.