Guilds and Motleys, Aislings and Mundanes: Temuair is interlocked

A Coin of Hope

<< by Sybil of Cashel Rock >>

The sun was high as the small child walked through the streets of Loures. Dressed in rags the little urchin begged for coins, as a couple passed along the cobblestone street. A coin was tossed through the air, from an old wagon headed towards the bridge. Daniel watched curiously, as he noticed a few other children sitting in the back of the wagon. He watched them laugh and play, and turned to stare sadly at the coin he had caught. Walking slowly, he followed the wagon.

The marketplace at Milleth was crowded, and Katrina was pushed and shoved as she held unto her mother’s hand. Her class at school had been canceled. And now they were caught in the mornings scuffle as the shouts of the vendors rang out offering their wares. Suddenly a flower cart was pushed over, blocking their path. Katrina was pushed aside, falling with the betony and vanilla flowers. A pair of strong arms reached for her, as she looked up dazed.

It was dark, the streets were deserted as where the docks. Just moonlight glowed over the sea. On a nearby wharf, a cargo ship bustled with activity. Wagons arrived with live stalk, others with food. In the center of the vessel, under the tarpaulins, stood tied up a half a dozen children. The ship was bound for Undine. A few days later, it landed in Undine where once more children were brought in. Once again, the ship departed into the waters headed for Astrid.

Meanwhile not too far…

Sybil had wandered into the tavern at Undine. Expecting the normal boisterous crowd she was shocked as a dead silence met her. The tavern keeper and a village girl were in tears. She learned of the mysterious abduction of the children of Undine and nearby. Vowing to help, she turned to leave when a priestess walked in, and pledged to help. Then a monk and another rogue walked in. Soon they had formed a rescue party and quickly took leave.

Through the green countryside they walked looking for traces of children. And so it was that they headed for Astrid. There they found a lone path hidden through the bushes. Every few steps a goblin or wolf appeared distracting them from their path. And the further deeper they went the fiercer they attacked. Many times she went ahead laying her traps, while hiding in the undergrowth. Other times they were ambushed, had they not been prepared they would have met Sgrios in another realm.

Suddenly, they took a sharp turn, and the wind seemed to wail.

“Shh, look,” whispered the priestess. Up ahead was an altar, with a strange hexagram symbol. As Sybil turned to see, she turned pale, ‘could this really be’? She asked herself. This looked all too familiar.

The wind howled and leaves and branches shook. Dust and debris clouded their eyes and the wailing of children reached their ears. Both watched in horror as a couple of children were taken to the center of the altar and Carroun appeared. For a split second one lad turned as if knowing where Sybil hid, and looked straight at her, tossing a coin in the air. Then the children’s wails got louder, then deadly silence for they were no more. Sybil closed her eyes, trying to block the horrible images from her mind.

Taking a step towards the coin that glimmered in the bloodshed, she heard a whimper. She bade to the priestess to follow her, as she put one finger to her lips, signaling to walk quietly. Up ahead lay a makeshift pen, stealthily she hid and set her traps, then ran towards the pen. The Kobolds ran after her and used their magick, while Delaine the priestess tried to counterattack their magick. Finally, Sybil reached one corner where she saw a small girl, with dried betony flowers caught in her hair. The child looked up dazed as she felt two strong hands reach for her.

Several days later in Abel, Sybil sat alone drinking. She shouted at the barkeep for more rum. She fingered a coin in her satchel, pulled out the shiny coin and was about to toss it when she remembered the lad. She was sure he had seen her and a lone solitary tear trickled down her cheek. She would go back, again.

Abel Tavern Tales


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