Letters To My Father 12
My sweet angel…
I can only imagine what we looked like standing outside the inn formulating our plan… wait… what plan??
Once inside everyone was suspect. Okay… they were not doing anything specifically suspect… but thanks to Drake having a last minute vision of bats and blood standing outside the inn… they quickly became so. Not to mention this is the place where the Bard exploded in the bathroom and our Gnome almost burned it to the ground. I am very surprised the innkeeper still lets us in at all. I would not… but I guess coin talks.
The only other suspect before we entered the bar presented itself in the form of a very, very mammoth woman with a bad attitude, violent tendencies, and an axe as big as her… well… I will just say she has a big fat axe. Hahaha…
But in all seriousness it was the same woman present at the exploded Bard who gave our Gnome a run for his money and almost caused him to burn down the inn! Oddly enough I do not think I have seen the Gnome as scared as he was seeing her stretching outside the inn. Heck he has faced down death… or been dead for a few seconds at least before and bounced back quicker! But something about seeing this woman must have struck him to his little core; he actually blew an invisibility to hide from her! That is a fairly high tier spell.
Strangely though she did not remember our little Gnome putting up a fight or even attempting to blast her to ashes, it stands to reason that type of woman would want revenge. Alas she did not claiming she never met him before nor had any beef with him… so either she is lying (which I endorse) or she is just putting on a show because he was not alone (which I believe as well) biding her time. I also believe she was trying to worm her way into our ranks. Pushing aside Caelus’ willingness to talk to her in favor of a flirtation with Virgil! The nerve of that gigantic land ship of a woman!
This gargantuan woman was also suspect due to her enjoyment of the night life and the fact she kept itching the side of her throat. Her overly groggy physicality I suppose could be because of her colossal size, or perhaps she was a member of the undead squad.
Another thing that bothers me about her is how much she resembles our dear Mila. While I believe this massive humanoid to be larger than Mila, the similarities are present. There is also the matter of her name being similar too; Melissa. This woman bears watching; which will not be that difficult given her size. Hahaha…
Anyhow… back to the inn…
Our need of a new viable suspect brought Virgil the great idea of cutting himself on a busted glass in the hopes that it would cause the beast to present itself. Not a bad idea… just not a very good one either. Putting yourself in harm’s way is not the answer… but looking back on it I suppose there was not a choice.
I also have to admit that this kind of worked with a limited success. It was here we came across our next suspect; The Winemaker. (Giving him a title like that makes him seem evil and for all we knew he was.) He stopped drinking to step outside shortly after Virgil “oops cut my arm now it is bleeding everywhere, anybody got a rag? Silly old me.”
The Winemaker is a small folk; a Halfling. He owns and operates the winery and bee farm outside of town and supplies the town and church with all kinds of “spirits.” To me he had the perfect place to cautiously spread his contagion in his ultimate plan to take over Greenfield. Easily enough he could slip into the wines and ales whatever it would take to turn the town into a legion of vampires under his control!! From there he could move his army in the shadow of night to the neighboring towns and eventually the world!!
Unfortunately that turned out not to be the case, okay maybe not ‘unfortunately’, but it certainly took all the excitement out of it when we figured out he was not the ancient evil undead overlord. Though to be fair he did not make that very easy.
It would seem that the affluent men in Greenfield all enjoy the night life and their shade. The Winemaker was no exception. The man was out drinking late when Caelus followed his quick retreat out of the bar looking strange after Virgil cut his arm. Now the man at the time claimed that he just had a weak stomach… but his cut and run was rather hasty and suspect. After which Caelus got us invited out to see the vineyards and see the “spirit” making process. Okay to be fair it was not ‘us’ he invited rather just Caelus… but oh well we are sold as a package deal. Needless to say the little man was surprised when our team showed up instead of just the good priest.
Now as I said above the affluent men of this town enjoy their night life and their shade. I cannot say with certainty whether or not this is due to their love of potent potables and the subsequent ache they cause due to over indulgence or for some other reason.
The Winemaker is no exception. We arrived to find him holed up inside his grand home with the heavy shades drawn. He gave the tour of the inside first and then only after he was completely covered head to toe with a beekeepers suit did he take us outside. This made it very difficult for us to discover whether or not he was the creature we sought.
We took his tour and we quietly observed his employees and everything he showed us. We found very little to support his un-life. It would not be until he took us outside to see the bees that we would find something suspect!
Thanks to Caelus and his ability to detect the presence of the dead he found something in the dirt below the bee hives. That is when Caelus and Virgil offered up their assistance to deal with the issue… this is also when things got a little intense! I could not let it go as easily as the two of them did. I guess I have a thing about when innocent people stand to be gifted with something that they would never want and would never ask for. I cannot make myself be okay with the possibility that these townsfolk would enjoy an un-lifetime slaking their thirst on the blood of their neighbor, pets, or on the random visitor to the village.
Perhaps it has something to do with my… never mind…
When the tour was over and the lot of us were supposed to head back up to the front to purchase more wine, ales, and honey… I stayed behind and took out my poo trowel and began to dig where Caelus had pointed.
This did not go over well with The Winemaker. He was like seven shades of miffed! I honestly had no idea he would be so agitated! However I did not back down and even tried to reason with the little squirt. But when that did not work I had to resort to trying to throw my badge around… which did not work very well either. I was however able to gather a bit of the “grave dirt” from the site and I put it in a jar for Virgil. I made all manner of threats to cut off his money supply and really tried to scare him or put some thumbscrews to him… it worked but I was honestly terrified. I am not that confrontational… usually… …
However this turn of events did lead to the lot of us coming up with a plan… like an actual real plan. We decided that this evening we would set a trap for the unwitting vampire. Baits would be, well the bait, and the Gnome would hide under the bed… well he drank too much, so it was me instead.
We also did not want to go into this unprepared, so between the Gnome and I we found in our alchemical recipes something that would poison an undead. Sadly there were a couple problems with it… one neither Gnome or I are divine casters. Two Lady Grace is always busy, but I am certain she would have helped out. Three… time, we just did not have enough. We found all this to be truth while Caelus and Virgil swept through the other neighboring farms.
It would have been great! But now we will just have to wing it.
I did not run to the magistrate nor did I run to Lady Grace. I instead just wanted to ruffle his feathers into action and we found out just this evening that it worked… well to some degree. We cannot rightly say that he had nothing to do with the undead that was present out there at the vineyard, but one thing is certain that particular vampire is not going to be hurting anyone else.
I say anyone else because the desiccated vampire man that was found out at the vineyard had made a meal of our current vampire; The Bard. (Another title)
Let me explain:
What happened was we did set our trap and he did come for the “Baits” (hahaha…). He misted right into the room from under the door! Soon the room was filled with the stuff. It honestly must feel quite weird to be a room full of mist… perhaps I will ask him about that. We sprung into action and I tried to coax him out of his ‘mist form’ (I guess…) but he was not having it.
I sadly did not get much time to try much of anything else with the distraction of that… large axe wielding woman being annoying. We all tried to get her to go away; but when she did she still got in our way by throwing a flaming rock at our window and letting the mist get away!! Oh my Gods the nerve of that beast!
Ahem… you do not need to hear of such inappropriate language so moving on.
Thankfully Caelus and Virgil were fast enough to get outside and follow said mist. While Baits jumped out the window practically naked… I admire the authentic “I am in bed” approach… but it was a stakeout not actual bedtime. (We will talk about that.) I threw the rock back at “that woman” and climbed out the window myself. Needless to say things got very heated between it and I.
Anyway as I said; Virgil and Caelus were able to follow the mist and get the vampire to reveal itself through good old fashioned talking. That is were we found out the identity of the vampire, who sired him, and why / how.
Now you understand who it is when I say the vampire is The Bard… and yes he is the same one our Gnome found exploded in the bathroom of the inn. We are not certain the entire circumstances on that but it would seem we are going to get the time to figure it all out.
This was the confusion at the inn that morning when our Gnome almost burned it down. It would seem that beast of a woman was angry and being used to help our Bard make an escape. I suppose having people think you are dead is easier than answering why the bathroom was covered in blood… real or not I was not there.
It would also seem that our un-talented bardic want-to-be has been dealt a hand he cannot fold. Heck he is just currently holding a crappy hand is afraid to even have the dealer hit him… I suppose I would be too surrounded by patrons of the Sun God. They do not ask they just smite.
It seems that our poor talent-less associate has been limping along on the kindness of strangers that had wandered into town. However with the visitors dwindling he had to seek out other means of sustenance. This had ranged to the livestock from the nearby farms… but when those got stolen his food source was dangerously low. Unfortunately for him he reached out in the wrong direction by deciding to take a nibble from the immense angry newcomer with the violent attitude and an attraction to Half-Orcs.
In any case those neighboring farms I told you about, well Virgil and Caelus found something which is what lead us to suspect the Bard to begin with. There was a little girl who had a couple sick days and two little holes in her neck. Our Bard left her alive, which I think takes skill in someone so small, but Caelus was not convinced. He believes that for whatever reason this Bard caused harm to this child and because of that needs punished.
I suppose on some level this is true, but I also believe that Mr. Bard will not find proper justice here in the court of the Sun God. They do not care if you are trying to be good or if you were gifted this un-life you are unnatural and should want to die… no need to die. They do not care about your conscience or circumstance. I just think Mr. Bard should get a fair trial or at least someone to see what happened to him as an injustice so he can be righted; that is what is right.
So I put forth the option to take him with us to the big city. At least there we have a buffet of religions and hopefully someone can get him the help he needs or the justice Caelus thinks he deserves.
By any account it is a touchy subject. I would not want to be at the center of the ethic mess that is going to be. Heck maybe it will be as easy as a slap on the wrist and a resurrection. I am going to hope for the best for our new found friend… but I am fully expecting the worst.
That seems to be the normal lately. I do not know… maybe it has something to do with my inability to sleep without night terrors… but then we have seen some stuff and that has to leave a mark on someone; it cannot just be me… can it?
Perhaps I will speak to the others about it… or maybe I will not. I do not want them worry about me or my ability… especially Virgil. He worries too much as it is.
Today I am going to ride on the wagon and maybe grab a few Z’s in the sun perhaps that will help. If not there is always a good bottle of something… or six.
Okay kiddo I miss you and love you! Thinking of you every day!