Adventure Date: June 28, 2008
Last Updated: November 4, 2008
As the Seekers of Faerun entered town, accompanied by Jarrod Rold and his Riders - prisoners and recovered goods in tow - Gideon's mind raced as he considered the infinite possibilities for how he would spend his portion of the treasures they had recovered. The other Seekers appeared similarly engrossed in their thoughts as the horses plodded through the cobbled lanes, the curious stares of townfolk lost on the heroes.
Everyone's reverie was disturbed by the cursing of one of the drow captives - apparently he had not enjoyed his "repose" in the mid day sun - but the drow was abruptly silenced by the introduction of Jarrod's boot to his sun burnt sternum.
Jarrod and his Riders veered off towards the stockades as the group approached the main town square. Jarrod called out that he would meet up with the Seekers later in the day to hand over the well deserved reward for the capture and return of live raider and drow prisoners. As Jarrod rode off, Neon's contemptuous glare was not lost on any of his companions and all hoped their river traveling friend would not do anything foolish that they would all later regret. However, that afternoon, all seemed forgotten as Neon was enveloped in the sensuous embrace of the very giving Aleena. Neon would end up regaling his companions of his "explorations" over the course of a fortnight - to the glee of all except the prudish, or perhaps jealous, Swan.
The merchants who had been victimized by the raiders were grateful for the return of their pilfered goods and the size of the reward reflected their gratitude.
Once all of the rewards had been received and divided up amongst the Seekers, Gideon went into the forest for what he described as "quiet contemplation and prayer", but when Gideon met up with his companions later that evening, Neon recognized an all too familiar look of satiation in Gideon's eyes.
That very evening, to the wonderment of his companions, Gideon arranged for 257 gold pieces worth of Arlho's "Ashaben Ale", "Black Boot Stout" and silky-smooth "Pearls of the Moon" green grape wine and a mule, and returned to the forest with this liquid treasure in tow. He could be heard muttering to himself as he left something about a damn satyr. The next day, Gideon emerged from the forest with only the mule and a new darkwood shield which Okul and Risca examined with some admiration.
The next day, Kilzadi, their mysterious magic wielding companion, looked on with disbelief as Gideon donned his recently commissioned masterwork suit of half plate armor.
"Brother Gideon", an exasperated Kilzadi argued, "Such a suit of armor will only slow you and the Seekers down. We need to be an agile and fast moving group if we are to confront and defeat the oncoming horde of darkness."
"During my contemplations and prayers to the all mighty Kossuth, a vision came to me - actually a distant memory of an encounter I had during my first few months at the Righteous Vengeance Monastery. When I had expressed my desire to become an acolyte of Kossuth and to spread his gospel to the people, Brother Raed brought me to the home of an eldery cleric of Heronious so that I might learn about the hardships of the road. His name I believe was Aggona or something to that effect - though that is not what is important. I will never forget his parting words to me - 'Armor is a cleric's best friend' - and he had the scars to prove his point", Gideon replied pointedly. Kilzadi sighed and just shook his head in response - realizing there was not point in continuing to argue he helped his companion into the armor.
At midday, in the open air courtyard of the inn, the dark blade of the broadsword thrummed through the air - deftly changing directions in a blink of an eye in the skilled hands of Risca. Risca's forearms bulged with the exertion and as he looked across at Okul, a savage grin broke across his face.
At the other end of the courtyard, Okul's great spear had been a twirling blur of steel and wood - leaving no doubt that death awaited anyone foolish enough to enter the swirling arc of the great spear - but at that moment, Okul was just glowering at the wicker straw target now impaled on his spear. "We need better training equipment", growled Okul and then he noted Risca's amusement at his predicament. "Or at least something more sturdy - hey Risca, could you come over here for a minute?"
Risca just grunted in response and stopped his exercises. "Perhaps we could have a wager as to who will be responsible for more kills when we cross over to the fortress. Say 100 gp to the winner? Or are you now unsure of your prowess?"
An equally savage grin crept across Okul's face and he grunted "Done" in response and then both warriors continued their training.
Neon, who had been looking on and had overheard the exchange between Risca and Okul, just shook his head and wondered aloud "Why are they so eager to cross over to the fortress? What is the point of all of this - haven't we been all dreaming about drow?"
"Because without light, darkness will prevail - and darkness can take on many forms - such as the raiders. Worry not Neon, the blood of drow will soon enough anoint our weapons", replied the approaching Gideon.
Kilzadi who was following closely after, laughed "And besides Neon, imagine how much treasure must be in that fortress! Now, Gideon and I were wondering how adept of an artist you were. I have an idea and you seem to be the right person for this job."
An hour later, both Kilzadi and Gideon were sporting on their hands likenesses of the tattoos that the raiders had on their hands - though Gideon's appeared to be more "blotchy" and resembled more a wine stain than the tattoo.
The morning of the day that the companions were leaving for the magical portal, Gideon prayed for forgiveness from Kossuth as he would be donning the symbol of vile Bane as part of his disguise. As the light of the morning sun crested over the inn, Gideon felt the blessings of Kossuth and knew that this would be a glorious day of battle.