A Spellplagued Land
Katreena wakes shortly before daybreak. She sits up, drawing her knees to her chest and shivering slightly. The night was cold and restless for her, and she is reluctant to begin the day. She glances around her room, wishing that it contained a stove or heater. Katreena turns her attention to the sole window, watching the sun crest over the horizon. The breathtaking sight causes her to reflect on the past two days.
Katreena is suspicious of the cloaked figures. They openly lied to her; however, their quarry, her quarry, is a rogue who deserves Torm’s justice. Her new companions are more difficult to read. Liam is kind and appears genuine. His faith strengthens his resolve and he could prove to be a valuable ally and friend. Panitari and Tyrick seem neutral. Panitari provides another female perspective, yet the source of her power is troubling. Tyrick’s martial prowess is a boon, but his drive is lacking. His baboon companion is useful enough. Arben is the cause of much concern. He opposes the teachings of Torm, and thinks only of himself. Katreena secretly suspects that Arben may be plotting against her, and he may attempt to turn others against her as well.
A ray of sunlight catches the holy symbol draped around Katreena’s neck, pulling her from her reverie. Again, she surveys her room, resolving to warm her body and soul with prayer.
Katreena carefully removes her holy symbol and gently places the silver totem amidst the other sanctified items arranged on her nightstand. She removes three votive candles from her backpack and situates them on the edges of the altar. Katreena finds her flint and steel, lighting the candles as she begins to intone the litanies of Torm. The warm, orange glow of the candles is slowly overwhelmed by the radiance of Katreena’s blazing holy symbol. Even before she feels a direct connection with Torm, his shining presence warms her cold room.
After the litanies are completed, Katreena unsheathes her longsword, kneeling before the altar. She seizes a shock of her golden hair, pulling it away from her scalp. She utters a whispered prayer as her sword slices through the blonde locks. Katreena raises her hand above her holy symbol. She opens her fingers and watches the fibers glide down around the gleaming Gauntlet of Torm.
Setting her longsword in front of her, Katreena begins to commune with Torm. She asks for guidance in locating Jarek and protection for her and her companions. She muses on the cloaked figures, hoping that Torm can offer some insight. Lastly, Katreena inquires about Arben, stating that she wishes him no enmity, only to see him become a better person. Torm’s connection to Daggerford is weak, and his reply is enigmatic.
Katreena gathers her possessions and slowly makes her way downstairs to the dining room. She orders eggs, with a side of ham, and a glass of milk. After her discussion with Jamine, Katreena eats her meal absent-mindedly. She is deeply focused on the cryptic words of her patron and the advice of the barkeep.
Janine Evermore smiles as Katreena places her order. “It’s nice to see another strong woman around here,” she states plainly as she turns and disappears into the kitchen to prepare the meal. Janine returns a short time later with the meal on a tray. “Enjoy your breakfast,” Janine says as she moves away and back behind the bar.
As Jamine speaks, Katreena studies her face. Jamine’s soft features have been weathered by time and travel, but her eyes retain a certain kindness. Katreena smiles and nods her head knowingly. She surveys the dining room, noticing Arben occupying one of the tables. Katreena approaches cautiously, asking Arben about his room. She makes small talk with the psion, unwilling to discuss any serious matters. When her food arrives, she moves back to the bar. Katreena poses several questions to Jamine about The Dancing Elf and Daggerford, eventually inquiring about Jarek.
Arben sips his cider as Katreena approaches, an unreadably passive look on his face. He carries on the conversation, although does not make effort to expand on anything they talk about.
Janine gladly answers questions about The Dancing Elf and Daggerford, telling the story of how she came to be in possession of the inn, and why she was in town. It is very obvious that prior to Daggerford Janine traveled a hard road. She seems to avoid anything except general questions about the town. Janine begins to whisper when asked about Jarek. “I do not know if the person you are after is here. I don’t like people like that in my establishment. I know there are some travelers in this town I don’t care for. They are dark figures that move about at night. We have not had reports of thefts or any trouble like that, which is keeping the town council from reporting them as a problem to Waterdeep. They have also brought a lot of coin in. They are intimidating to the common people of this town, and I have considered going after them myself on several occasions, although I know that would certainly lead to my death. I can handle myself with a blade, don’t you doubt, but I have the feeling all of these figures are quite familiar with combat, and there are a lot more of them than me. I don’t know if your Jarek is one of this band, but they would be the group to check in Daggerford.” With that Janine smiles and moves away, obviously scanning the area to see if anyone was watching the discussion. She moves back behind the bar and begins cleaning.
Before Jamine can hurry away, Katreena snatches her arm. She pulls Jamine closer and whispers in her ear. “Those that have the ability to fight injustice are morally obligated to do so.” Jamine gives her an understanding look as she walks away. Katreena returns to her meal, chewing thoughtfully as she considers Jamine’s words.