O is for Owlbears; W is for Warlocks
The tiring swim back to shore all but drained the heroes of their strength. Tired and ready for a much-needed rest, most of the group heads to The Drowned Lady to find a room for the night.
As Odarod, Angus, and Darlynn somberly made their way through the streets, Uruk skulked off on his own to spend the night in the wilderness.
He had always felt more comfortable alone in the great outdoors rather than surrounded by others in a crowded pub or inn.
Angus and Odarod wished him well as he parted, while Darlynn trudged on without a word. They would see him again soon enough.
Despite the late hour and the midnight blue sky dotted with stars, Montley was alive and well. Many people had made themselves comfortable in the bars dotting the docks.
Lively cheers, songs, and comradery flowed out into the streets, and The Drowned Lady was no different. The crowd was full of life, and that warmth began to settle in the hearts of the weary.
While they had lost a friend, they had lived to see another day.
Odarod went to pay for some rooms and a meal for the famished. As he conversed with the barkeep, Angus made his way through the crowd.
A lady goliath had caught his attention; she was playing the harp on the stage. The harp was not traditional in any sense of the word, it was more attuned to his own style.
With a quick look around to assess the atmosphere, he jumped on stage with her.
The two played back and forth, accompanying each other to bring an even stronger sense of life to the already rowdy bar. As he enjoyed his time on stage, Odarod left for the rooms to turn in.
He had had his fill for the day. Darlynn, on the other hand, waited by the bar, eyes fixed on the fiery, red tiefling who had made his way on stage.
A spark of life quickly snuffed out by a tinge of fear and an ever-growing sense of dread.
No. Don't worry about it, she thought to herself as she turned to face the bartender. "Three bottles of mead.
" Alcohol a terrible coping mechanism - a growing crutch - was what she needed (at least that's what she believed).
Angus, on the other side of the room, had finished playing. As he hopped off the stage he ran into the Piano Man from before - now in a drunken stupor.
Angus inquired about the fascinating instrument the Piano Man had shown him earlier that day.
With tears in his eyes, the Piano Man mumbled, "The lady on stage broke it. Said she didn't like my music."
"Wait, so she broke your accordion because she didn't like what you were playing," Angus inquired.
The man shrugged before averting his eyes. "Well, she was kind of aiming for my face, not the accordion. I just tried to dodge, and well." His eyes moved to the mangled instrument.
It had a hole in it and was obviously in disrepair.
Angus inquired if it could be fixed. The man wasn't certain if it could be. "Might have to start over from scratch," he grunted before picking his drink back up.
With that, Angus bid the Piano Man a farewell and looked for his traveling companions. With Odarod asleep in his room, only Darlynn remained, now with three bottles in hand. A worrying sign.
How could someone her size drink that much on her own? It wasn't as if he hadn't seen her do something like that before, but still.
"Would you like to be my drinking partner for the night," Darlynn murmured with a sullen smile.
Nervously, Angus asked, "What about Odarod? Is he going to drink with us too or?"
Darlynn shook her head as the two made way for the stairs. "No, I'm sure he's too tired. Plus, he doesn't drink."
The noise of the boisterous crowd quieted as they reached the second floor, but it was still easily heard.
As Darlynn and Angus opened one of the rooms they had rented, they found Odarod asleep on one of two beds in the room.
An inward sigh and a flash of annoyance crossed her face before she and Angus made their way to the other room. A single bed, but this room also had a table with two chairs.
As Angus took a seat, Darlynn whipped two silver cups from her bag and poured the two some drinks.
Angus questioned Darlynn as to her reason for drinking this night as he eyed the three bottles she had set down on the table.
Was it to mourn a friend, to celebrate that they escaped the night alive, or was it her quick brush with death? So much had happened in the last few hours. Much too much had happened.
"Take your pick," she laughed coldly before pressing the cup to her lips.
As she began to drink, Angus tried to keep pace with her. For someone so small, she could really knock them back.
Mindless chatter filled the room until the two had opened up the second bottle of mead-wine.
Darlynn paused and set her cup down and eyed Angus before speaking. "Actually, I wanted to talk to you about what happened on the beach," she paused again before continuing.
She confessed to him about the hollowness she felt in those moments. Empty and cold; she was but a shell during those few moments before her soul had returned to her.
She also confessed that she believed it had little to do with the sirens' call or their influence.
For many nights before, she had fallen asleep to the whispers of Bastion. "Give up your heart," he'd whisper to her as she entered the world of dreams. "Knowledge is all you need.
Emotions, feelings, they'll only get in your way."
Darlynn told Angus all of this, and he grew concerned as well. He recalled her on that beach. She was far from the woman he admired in those moments.
He too recognized how empty she was, but still, he feared returning her soul in those moments. The vicious dark cloud that swirled with hers.
What could it be? Luckily, returning her soul hadn't caused any additional problems. Rather, it had fixed what had been broken. But would it last?
"I just want you to be happy," Angus smiled. "Be it knowledge or power, I'll help you get it. If you have someone you want to protect or to fight, I'll be there by your side."
Darlynn couldn't help but smile back. It was his warmth that drew her to him. His endless fount of kindness. "You're too sweet.
" After another sip of her mead, the conversation returned to meaningless and less sobering topics.
With only half a bottle remaining, Darlynn and Angus turned in for the night. Darlynn crawled into bed and buried herself beneath the covers. Angus's cloak was still wrapped around her.
It made her feel safe, and it reminded her of him.
While she was quickly claimed by sleep - the whispers of Bastion dulled by her drunken state - Angus quickly returned to where Odarod slept soundly. He too laid himself to rest.
Their adventures were far from over. They still had yet another quest to complete.