September 17 2015

A Not so Random Encounter, Chapter 3 – by Blake Blackstone – narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a further chapter of this wonderful story from Lord Blake Blackstone, entitled

A Not so Random Encounter

Background music “Caring”, by Smartsound

Chapter Three
Although he would never admit it, Thoren was enjoying the simple and slow paced life at Wizards Rest. He and Sugesh had been on the road for quite some time and probably needed to slow down before ever leaving Ardoris on this crazy adventure.

Sugesh seemed happy for the first time in a long time, just tinkering with his bow and tracking some wolves, learning to ice fish under Baldrith’s direction, or simply sitting, watching, and charting the movements of Daedalus.

Lord Baldrith was an extremely interesting being in his own right. Mostly it was just his family that made up the settlement of Wizards Rest but there were all sorts of odd folk that would pass through on occasion. One memorable evening, an entire troupe of actors filed through on a moment’s notice, turning what seemed to be a quiet ice fishing hamlet into a bustling festival of feast and fornication! A much needed relief to Thoren, who was still not able to travel long distances, but could find a little warmth in the chilly mountains with one of the actresses. Of course, the most beautiful of all the ladies found their way into Sugesh’s tent, but this was par for the course. Baldrith’s stories from around the fire put Daedalus to sleep, welcomed in the new dawn, and for a time, made everyone forget the cataclysm that they now lived under.

Baldrith was always somewhat reserved, no matter the task, but on the other hand seemed to simply enjoy the celebration of life. Whether it was casting a line, hosting a feast, watching the fairer sex dance around a bonfire, or nursing a hard-headed warrior back to life; he had mastered what a lot were searching for- “to be”. Nothing more, nothing less, simply “to be”.

Weeks, possibly months had passed, and even Sugesh was ready for a change of scenery. While sharpening arrowheads by the fire, Sugesh asked “Do you feel strong enough to ride?”

Thoren answered, “Yes.” Even though it still hurt to walk.

Sugesh monitored the progress of his “brother” but would not have even asked if he didn’t think that Thoren’s pride wouldn’t carry him through. “Then we should leave at daybreak tomorrow.”

“Sounds like a plan, we’ve lost too much time already.” Thoren was happy to get moving again but had grown fond of the old mage that had chanted him back to life.

“Maybe someday we can make our way back here for a visit that doesn’t include any broken ribs. I’m sure Lord Baldrith might take us in again?”

“Doubtful….At least not the likes of you two!” Baldrith’s laugh echoed and filled the valley. “Next time it’ll cost you some fine gold pieces to harass those poor girls of the theater troupe…. You think they travel around for free?”

“Of course not sir! Somehow they ended up with all our gold except for two pieces I stashed in my socks!”, Thoren bellowed.

Sugesh shook his head in disgust, “They didn’t charge me a thing for their private performances.”

The quick-witted banter trailed off into the night; the three men realizing that their paths may never cross again, but a lifelong friendship had been born.

Album with EQ - B&A - Stile T as SM

September 17 2015

Zoe’s Travels: Braemar – by enderandrew – narrated by Margaritte

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius. Today I am delighted to welcome Margaritte to the microphone; she will be bringing us another wonderful story from enderandrew, about the continuing travels of Zoe Marie the Bard.

Background music “Revisiting” by Smartsound

Zoe’s Travels: Braemar
By Zoe Marie the Bard

Pete told me I should visit Owl’s Head. It was the largest city in the Vale and was home to the Fire Lotus tavern. I intended to take his advice in due time, but I also like to wander off the beaten path from time to time to discover the unexpected. So instead I took the Kingsroad south to see where it would take me.

A few times on the road I heard hungry wolves howling and began to question taking the less travelled road, but as the sounds were behind me I pressed forward with haste. Eventually I came across Braemar. I was quite grateful to see the lights and fence that represented civilization.

A rather curt guard named Halmar quickly asked where I was from. He wanted to know if I was an outlander or had recently travelled through a portal to the south. I assured him I had not. Then he asked if had seen others who had. I informed him again I had not. I could tell by his demeanor and scars that he was a seasoned Knight from Norgard. How did he come to this quiet corner of the Vale?

I learned that he alone protected the once sleepy village, but no one had been sleeping as of late. Nightmares and attacks had become the norm. People spoke of an aggressive and organized group of cutthroats calling themselves the Red Sash Bandits. As if that weren’t enough, people had been attacked not only by wolves but also the walking dead.

They had but one farmer who fed Braemar, Seamus Olgard, and now he was scared to work his fields. Their hunter, Bodan Koren, did not seem optimistic that he alone could keep the wolf threat at bay.

Flynn Gibson was all too quick to agree to give me lodging in exchange for a performance. He was trying to provide an escape from the pervasive fear in his tavern. But he confided his stock was running low. He asked me to carry word in my travels to other towns to see if anyone had ale to spare.

I knew most ships had stopped sailing into Kingsport and I suspected that was the cause, but I could not reveal that bit of information without betraying the trust of the smugglers who arranged my transport to the Vale.

As the night wound down and the patrons filed out, I went upstairs to try and get some sleep. I was tired from traveling so fast. But as I closed my eyes, all I could dream of were the howls of wolves.

Album with EQ - B&A - Stile T as SM