Thorfinn, Eliza, Petal, Arjanir, and Grigor return south to Anitus, passing by the trading pavilions after Lotheric, Tiberious and A__ followed Atala who insisted on freeing the captive elves in the slave caravan heading north.
Our party wanders into the Rock Pub near the south end of the cairn trading pavilion. The half orc bouncers at the door are not impressed with the clean and legal look of our party. At the bar are a cloaked mage, a wiry ranger and a steer sized half orc. The other patrons are mostly humans with service aprons on, tossing coppers on the floor to bet on arm wrestling matches. The wiry ranger teases Grigor about not being able to beat Knuckles (half orc) in an arm wrestling match.
Grigor is so nervous being in this entirely evil place that he jumps the gun on the first match and pins the half orc’s arm in a quick moment. The next round, Knuckles squeezed Grigors hand into a sausage and won. The pressed on with one more round and Knuckles won in a more matched challenge.
Eliza was challenged next by the ranger. Eliza introduced herself and likewise the ranger introduced himself as Daturan. The high-elf and the half-drow were equally matched. Ever the advantage seeker, Daturan surprised Eliza with a leg sweep and Eliza lost her footing off the top of the big wrestling stone—but recovered by spinning and landing on her opposite leg. The crowd cheered and threw more coin on the floor. Eliza dodged a shove, and then did a kick at Daturan’s knee. Daturan swung away from the strick but over-extended, and Eliza threw her off the wrestling rock.
With the winnings, Eliza bought the part another round of hard cider. It tasted like fermented goat piss, which was probably pretty good—by orc standards. Conversation was rather strained between the two parties. The skinny hooded half-orc next to them chipped in with bitter jokes and private out-loud laughs. Thorfinn would ask where to get some good jobs, and Daturan would respond with an evasive answer that showed kind of a patronizing distrust of the party. Knuckles would joke about how Thorfinn and Grigor seemed too clean and smelled like pine cones. Maybe they liked elves?
Time to go, decided Thorfinn. As they walked to the door, the half-orc bouncers were joking about easy marks. Thorfinn, sensing a trap preemptively twisted out of the way when passing the bouncer on the left, but Grigor got struck in the ankle by the opposite bouncer. They fought—but Thorfinn, Eliza and Grigor were subduing the half orcs but really not hitting them effectively. Petal flew out of Eliza’s hair, and started entangling the fight with ground vines and a sleep spell on Knuckles who rushed out to the melee rather late.
Thorfinn and Eliza wrestled free of the vines and finished subduing the half orcs. Daturan and the hooded figure, Allda, started golf-clapping–”Not bad, forest lovers. Grab a hold and let’s sell these suckers to Trader Sam’s”. Grigor, Arjitan, and Eliza agreed that people should not be sold into slavery, even if they were evil half-orcs, and said to meet up with them north of the cairn. Daturan continued to loot the bodies and placed 8 gold pieces into Thorfinn’s hand, saying “I’ll get more from selling these chumps then I’m handing you. Let’s go!” Thorfinn silently but grudgingly agreed—mostly to see the process this place considered normal—and helped Daturan drag the half orc around to an adjacent tent with an orc banner hanging over the entrance. With a few more gold in their purses, they left north.
At Daturan’s camp, the group discussed what they thought the plan was. The evil in the land is the power of a network of curses on a group of cairns around Galentaspar. The whole region is unhallowed. Additionally, each cairn is a desecrated area. The most powerful people in the region are necromancers and unholy clerics. The drow really only admit trade with peoples obeisant to Lolth.
Daturan hates the mayor of Anitus. Not really a yaor—more like a charismatic evangelist. Such a clever talker, Fray Underhof tricked Daturan out of a caravan full of slaves by selling Daturan right to another slaver an opposite route. Daturan has tried to assassinate Fray many times, but had failed repeatedly Fray has only increased his influence and has his own cadre of cairn keepers and henchmen. Fray lives in a tiny gap between the rocks at the base of cairn. According to Daturan, only pawns can now get close enough to Fray to be effective—and Daturan is too well known to get close.
Eliza says it is probably important enough to buy a hawk as soon as possible to let Feltor know what he’s up against. Where would they find a hawk? Should they rather go back to the rock wall? Or should they just continue to infiltrate Fray’s organization and complete Daturan’s revenge?