Even the most rowdy members of the group stood quietly, as they watched the magical woman mourn for Lamatar Bayden. Time passed, and Anna, who moved forward a little, heard Myriana finish some kind of incantation. The party was stunned as they watched the woman, with one last kiss, disappear, as Lamatar began to gasp for breath.
The swamp seemed to glisten slightly. Lamatar and Myriana had been together, just for a fraction of a moment they had been side by side, and though Lamatar was now filled with sadness for his love, a sense of joy seemed to spread through the swamp. Her moment of love and happiness had brought a kind of light back to the forsaken and dead place, and it was once again alive, wounded, but alive.
Several days of tense and worried anticipation had left the party somewhat drained. Anna tiredly snapped her journal closed. She, the historian, had recorded the events surrounding Lamatar and the mysterious woman with great care. It was an endearing, if sad, story, and Anna felt some kind of importance behind the issue. She didn’t want their story to be forgotten and she didn’t want to forget why she was fighting this enemy. She moved out of the cabin, to the deck of the ferry, they would be arriving in Magnimar early tomorrow morning, and she wanted to divide the loot up to sell between trusted members of the party, so that they could move on to Sandpoint faster.
There were still so many questions they had, like why were the ogres destroying the dam or why were these snake people “harvesting greed”. Loudly in the ears of Bleddyn, Calmar Arundel and Anna Sabel, was resounding their promise to Vachedi, to find his sons’ remains, and they had meant to, but everything had been so hectic. Forts to take, ogres to attack, weird fairies to follow, they just hadn’t had the time yet. And now Sandpoint was about to be attacked, and they had to return quickly to defend it, with no news of the jailer’s son. So they had approached Lamatar to request that he keep an ear open among the woodland creatures for anything connected to a child who fell of off a slaver’s wagon. Anna shook her head, filled with guilt. Bleddyn especially had been determined to find the child, unusually optimistic. Perhaps the strange shoanti/bear man felt some kind of guilt for being so antagonistic to the jailer.
Anna turned as she heard a sniff behind her. The jolly halfling she had seen around on the ferry, was looking at the elven members of the party with some form of disgust.
He turned to Anna “I dislike elves.” he confessed.
“I’m not too fond of them myself.” Anna responded, thinking back fondly of the aggravating Vriska Serket. “I think it’s the way they keep their noses in the air.” and her hands in your coin purse, Anna mentally finished.
“No, no, it’s the smell, so strange.” the halfling assured her.
Anna smiled cheerfully, she was enjoying having a normal conversation, with no snake ladies, ogres, dragons, vanishing boats or the like. It was very relaxing, helping to calm her from the fears and anxiety she’d been feeling since they left Turtleback.
“You are a minstrel, I’ve heard.” Anna prompted.
The bard glowed, “Yes, I’m traveling to Sandpoint to meet the Heroes that killed the Sandpoint Devil, and saved them from the goblin attack.”
The bard smiled “You wouldn’t happen to have seen them before, would you?”
“I..I met a couple when I was in Sandpoint last. A swordsman named Bad Bartigan.”
“That’s a great name.” The bard replied, writing it done quickly,
“There was also Brion Baeli,” Sonya commented from nearby. “He was a fine monk.”
“You mustn’t forget Jaigo Mongongwa, either.” from behind them, Bleddyn sighed sadly.
“Why are you looking for them?” Anna asked, nervously.
“Why to write their story in glorious song, of course.”
Anna hissed in pain, and the bard paused to stare at her.
“A bip ma tongue” she tried to explain, wincing at the stinging feeling.
This attracted the attention of Calmar and Argus, who had been looking at some of the magical items in their loot. After learning the halfling was a musician, they asked him to appraise a strange piece of music they had found. The halfling pinched his nose and said he would be happy to. Then he began to peruse the sheets of paper. It was very entertaining for the party.
After expressions of awe, wonder, and excitment had run across his face several times each, the halfling turned back to the group. “I’ll give you 2,000 gp for this.”
Bleddyn glowered with distrust “2,000 you say? This is obviously worth more.” he bluffed, hoping he was right.
The bard squirmed uncomfortably in front of the shoanti. “2,000 is all I have. You don’t understand. I need to play this. This is…is…otherworldly.”
Several members of the party, reflecting on where they had found it, were not surprised.
“We’ll need to get it appraised when we are in Magnimar.” Bleddyn held firm.
“You don’t understand,” The halfling persisted, as Bleddyn took the music back “this will be the greatest battle ballad this world has ever seen. You must let me play it.”
Anna patted him on the shoulder “We are headed to Sandpoint after our stop in Magnimar, so we will see you again. Perhaps I may be able to change his mind.”
The halfling looked hopeful. “I’m counting on you.” He paused “Where did you get it, anyway?”
“Oh, we just found it.” The brilliant scholar replied. She still hasn’t learned how to lie.
“Just found it?” The halfling was puzzled. “I see. I’ve noticed you are very well armed.” he raised an eyebrow curiously.
“Um, well you know, it can get rather dangerous traveling around, so it’s best to be prepared.” Anna responded hesitantly.
“I….see” The bard looked thoughtful, as he watched several of the party members pass around bags of loot. One happened to be open, and inside were a few ogre hooks.
As Anna left, he tried to recall what he had heard of the Sandpoint heroes. He looked back at Sonya sitting in a giant tree. Then he grinned excitedly.
The party’s stop in Magnimar was brief and less than legal. The least ethical members took the ogre hooks and large armor, in hopes of finding a similarly unethical buyer. The others split the rest of the gear, and went to sell it openly and honestly, finally meeting at a designated music shop. The menacing bear-man demanded an appraisal, and, grumbling, agreed to the fee.
The shopkeeper was less entertaining and more greedy-looking in his examination of the musical score. He turned to eye the warrior in front of him. “…500 gp, you won’t find anyone willing to buy it for more.” The party was surprised and suspicious.
“Tell us the truth, or you’ll regret it plenty fast.” Bleddyn cracked his fingers.
The shopkeeper tried to keep a brave front, but it didn’t look like any of the rest of the party would come to his aid. “Ok, look, I can’t tell, I’d need more time.”
Anna opened her mouth to demand their money back, but Bleddyn broke in first “How much time would you need?”
The shopkeeper kept a straight face, as he told them his estimate, but none of the party trusted him. To leave the music in his hands for however long they would be gone this time…the more polite ones thanked the shopkeeper for his time, as the group left, with their magic music.
Some last minute shopping, and it became clear they would need wait to depart to Sandpoint till the morning. They found an inn that would accept them, and began to discuss the situation over dinner.
“Let’s send a message to Sandpoint. We need to get them word as soon as possible.” Thorok insisted.
The rest of the party paused, why hadn’t they thought of that before. They agreed to send it to Belor Hemlock, the local sheriff, and quickly finished their dinner.
They finished saddling the horses as a feint glow began to spread in the east. They were well out of Magnimar when the sun rose. On the road to Sandpoint, eight worried adventurers rode into the sunrise.