The Chronicles of Tasrin Tolbrohr: Session 2

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series The Chronicles of Tasrin Tolbrohr

I… cannot believe how badly I rolled during this session. It was phenomenal. And really frustrating. With this system, it can be hard to get anything done if you’re rolling badly. Every ability check… fail. Every question… no or maybe. The only thing I can say in its favor was that rolling badly at least meant that you got encounters when you rolled for random encounters. I rolled for two random encounters with percentile dice. I hit under 25 both times. Even with DC 10 ability checks, I didn’t manage to succeed once all day. I’m seriously thinking of changing up my dice for next time…

As I finish my meal, I try to decide what to do next.  I didn’t exactly leave the city with a plan in mind.  

Next to me, the two men are still talking, trying to outdo each other with their fanciful tales of a village that really doesn’t have any stories to tell.  

“Did you hear what happened with Lona the other day?” the orc says.

“No, what happened?”

“She lost her horse,” he says, braying with laughter.  “The thing… the thing just went running off into the hills.”  He was really having trouble speaking through his laughter, his arm waving back and forth in front of him wildly.  “You should have seen her. Armor clinking as she’s running up this hill after this galloping horse, screaming, ‘Get back here, Snowbolt!’”

“Did she get it back?”

The orc waves his hand dismissively.  “Yeah, it came back the next day, prancing into the village like it hadn’t just caused such a fuss the day before.”  He laughs again as I scrape the bottom of my bowl.

The two men getting increasingly rambunctious, I decide to head back up to my room.  Once there, I again revisit the idea of what I should do next.  I walk to my things and inspect them.  The weapons and armor I took from those bandits are the first things I notice.  I could certainly sell them, maybe get a feel for the layout of the village at the same time.  I have no idea what this place has to offer.  All I know if that I feel suddenly naked and vulnerable without books surrounding me.  

The bright light coming in through the window is hardly comforting.  It’s just after midday and I’m not used to being surrounded by this much daylight.  Usually, I’m either in the reinforced laboratories practicing my magic or in the library proper, where heavy drapes prevent light from entering and damaging the fragile books in the collection.  It leaves me feeling out of my element and uncertain.  

I set the weapons and charred leather armor on the bed, then scan through my bag.  I frown as I realize I brought ink, but no parchment.  

“That won’t do,” I say.  Just seeing the bottle of ink, I’m tempted to write a letter to Lura, but I also laugh at myself.  After all, I chided myself for not started a letter to my friend on the road, but I had nothing to write on.  I couldn’t have started the letter anyway.

A plan forming in my mind, I collect my things, and head out through the tavern.  There are only a few people wandering the street right now, and I look up and down the road, looking at the signs.  I’m honestly surprised by what I see.  Of course, the signs are often symbolic, not everyone can read, but I clearly make out something about shipping, a tailor, books, spells, a blacksmith, vehicles or transportation or something, a carpenter, a healer, and a weapons shop.  There’s another that I’m having a hard time interpreting.  I’m intrigued by the books and spells, but I know full well I don’t have the money to afford them.  Being a librarian wasn’t the worst profession, but it didn’t exactly lend toward the development of a great deal of wealth either.

I head toward the weapons shop first, hoping I can sell these weapons I don’t need.  It’s at the far end of the road and on the same side.  As I walk down the road, my attention focused on that sign emblazoned with a weapon up ahead, a couple of rats run out in front of me, rushing at me to attack.  I immediately lift my staff, ready to defend myself.

One of the rats rushes at my ankles, but I easily step around him.  I throw a bolt of fire at the little beasty.  It screams as its fur catches fire, thrashing about until it goes silent.  Then the other one rushes forward as well, teeth at the ready.  The little bastard’s teeth dig in and I yelp, pulling back, my leg now bleeding.

“Now you’ve done it,” I say, and throw some fire his way as well.  “Fuck!” I say as the little bastard scurries out of the way.  “Where’d you go, you little sneak?”

He goes at me again from behind, but I spot him just in time.  I throw more fire at him. This one hits head on, and he’s a an overcooked rat in the blink of an eye.  “Little bastards,” I mutter to myself, now in a foul mood once more.  I had started to think this was a nice quiet place.

I continue on, finally reaching the weapon’s shop.  When I open the door, a human male turns around, but doesn’t immediately greet me.  There’s something odd about him, something I can’t quiet put my finger on.  Then again, I’ve never been good at reading faces without beards.

“I was wondering if you might be interested in buying some extra weapons I have here.”

He swallows audibly, then nods and approaches a counter near the back of the room.  He stands behind it and pats its surface with his palm.  “Let’s see what you got.”

As I approach, he grows more and more tense.  I look down at myself, but I don’t think I look scary.  I’m just a wizard, and a pretty amateur one at that.  I mean, look how long it took me to take out those two rats.  Embarrassing, really.

I pull out the weapons I took from those two bandits and lay them on the counter.

He leans over and looks at them, but I notice he doesn’t stop staring at me, like he half expects me to reach out and strike him.

“Is everything alright?” I ask, suddenly curious.

He jerks and stands up right.  “Yes, yes, of course,” he hurries to say.

“Okay,” I say quietly, though I’m increasingly not believing it.  Even a sheltered dwarf like myself can detect fear when it’s telegraphed that obviously.

He looks at the weapons, running his hands over them, testing the string on the bows, and such for a while before standing upright once more and seeming to fall into his element for a spell.  “Well, this crossbow is going to need a little work.  There’s charring on this edge.  I’ll need to talk to Graylar about getting this finish fixed.  This sword here needs the leather grips replaced.  It’s not too big a deal.  I can give you… 34 gold for this.”

“Really?” I say, honestly surprised, though I suppose I shouldn’t be.  My weapons and armor were given to me by my family.  I have no idea, really, what they’re worth, but now I’m glad I pick those things up.  “I accept.  Thank you.”

The look of fear returns, now more obvious to me with exposure, and I’m tempted to ask him again what’s wrong.  Maybe there’s something I could do to help.

But after he drops the gold coins on the rough wooden surface, he graps up the weapons and brings them to a room at the back of the shop, eliminating the opportunity for conversation.

I shrug, take my coin, and leave his shop.

What now?

Well, I still have a couple pieces of armor in my bag, and I need to purchase some parchment to write a letter, but now as I look at the shop fronts, I wonder if there will be any way to send such a letter.

I start walking back to the other side of the village, wondering if the spell shop or the book shop would be a better choice to find parchment.  As I’m halfway there, a distraught human mother rushes out from one of the shops and, spotting me, practically rushes into my arms.  “Have you seen her?” she says, clearly devastated.

“Seen who, ma’am?”

“My daughter.”  Her voice quavers, and I’m immediately touched by her predicament.  She shakes her head.  “I can’t find her anywhere.  I think she’s been kidnapped.”

“Easy,” I say, helping her to stand upright once more.  “Tell me what happened.”

“She was playing.  I wasn’t there.  I was busy.  I was working.”  She is speechless for a moment, nearly breaking down in tears.  “This is our normal routine.  I don’t understand.”

“Okay.  Was there anyone with her?”

She shook her head.  “I don’t know.”

“Okay.  I know this is delicate, but are there problems at home?”

The woman doesn’t answer, hedging, then begging her, “Please find my girl.  Please.”

“Easy,” I say again.  “Do you know where she was playing?  Was it in the village or out?”

Having calmed down a little, she shook her head.  “I don’t know.  I’m a terrible mother.  What have I done?”

“Easy.  You’re not a terrible mother.”  I look around, feeling increasingly out of my depths in this conversation, then look back at her, seeing no rescue in sight for me.  “Do you know of anyone who might hurt or take her?  You said you thought she was kidnapped.”

“Yes.”  Tears wells in her eyes.

“Tell me who.  Where do I start?”

She sniffed twice.  “I… My father.  He’s made threats.  Also…”  She trails off, not finishing that sentence.

“Okay.  Where can I find him?”

“On the outskirts of town, on the south side.  It’s a large manor house on a farm.”

“Okay, and tell me about your daughter.  What does she look like?  What’s her name?  And how can I find you?”

The woman sighs in relief.  “She’s six, about this tall, brown hair, big eyes, a huge smile.  She was wearing a cotton dress that’s a little too short for her.  Unfortunately, being a seamstress doesn’t always mean being able to keep up with your own family’s clothes needs.  I work at the tailor’s, over there.  And her name is Feli.”

“That’s an adorable name.  And what’s yours?”


“Nice to meet you, Urte.  I’ll see what I can do.”

Urte nods, then heads back to the tailor’s shop, her shoulders sagging with the weight of her problems.

I feel bad for her and bypass my original plans, deciding to head out to the manor house in question.

I glance longingly at the bookshop, realizing they also have maps as I pass by.  I decide that will be where I go looking for parchment when I return.  

The walk out to the manor house is fairly short, and I find myself with fields of grain reaching out into the distance to my right, the plants reaching well above my short, dwarven head.  I pick up my pace, and finally spot the manor house above the rows of crop.  There is a path that leads directly to the front door, and I take it when I spot it.  I knock on the door three times.

“What do you want?” he barks through the door.

“Hi,” I say uncertainly.  “My name is Tasrin Tolbrohr, and I was hoping I could ask you a few questions.”

The door is yanked open, and I’m confronted with a man who is clearly related to Urte, though much older.  Time has not been kind.  His skin is leathery and his hair is almost uniformly gray.  “And why should I answer any of your questions?”

I stare at him for a moment, trying to read him, but I get nothing.  There’s something very reserved about him, and I’m really bad at reading people without beards.  “Well, you see,” I clear my throat, “your daughter, Urte, is quite distressed.  Feli’s missing.”

He scoffs.  “I should have known.  My daughter’s useless.  She couldn’t take care of that child if she tried.”

“Oh?  What do you mean?”

“Well, you know why the girl’s missing, don’t you?  She doesn’t watch her!  She just lets her run wild.  What did she say to you?  Did she say the girl was kidnapped?”  She scoffs again, then throws up his hands.  “More like she ran off playing.  Feli’s constantly in her head, always coming up with these daft schemes that only make sense to a child.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the girl, but her mother’s gonna get her killed.  I’ve tried to get the magistrate to put her in my care, but so far I’ve had no luck.  I can give Feli everything she needs, but she’s stuck living in poverty because my idiot daughter decided she just had to marry that layabout useless bastard.”  

“That must have been painful.”

For the first time since the conversation started, she can actually read something on his face other than irritability.  He looks vulnerable and far older than he probably is.  “It… was.”  He leans into the doorframe.  “Every father wants the best for their child.  In a village like this, there aren’t a lot of good options.  We’re lucky that we’re on a trade route and the river goes out to the sea, so we get a lot of trade here.  There’s also that land development thing going on, though I don’t know what to think there.”  He looks out into the distance.  “I’ve been lucky.  Good crops, not a lot of droughts here, and I can usually sell when the prices are good.  I’ve managed to make myself a fairly well off man.  I wanted to give Urte the world once upon a time.  Now, I just hope I can give Feli that, not that Urte tends to let me.”

I’m confused by this whole situation.  Why does Urte suspect him?  He seems kind enough when he’s vulnerable and he seems to care about his family well enough.  There’s clearly strife there, but I can’t tell if he holds any ill will towards his daughter.

“Do you have any suggestions on where I can look for her?  Feli, that is.”

He looks over at me, looking a little confused.  “Right, right.  Uh, well, I would maybe ask around and see if anyone’s seen her.  She may have just wandered off.  If so, hopefully someone has seen her.”

“Thank you for your time.”

He nods and closes the door.

I’m tempted for a moment to sneak around and see if I can find any clues, but I resist the impulse.  First, because it would probably be a lot more likely that he would notice me when he knows I’m here.  Second, because I’m not exactly a rogue.

I turn around and look out at the farm.  

Who should I talk to first?

I look around myself, seeing if there’s anyone within sight.  I see what could be a person in the field and decide to investigate.  I push through the first row of plants.  It’s close to harvest, so they’re quite scratchy against bare patches of skin.  I pass through another row and discover a scarecrow.

“Well, that was a waste.”  I look around, feeling a bit silly, then turn around and head back to the village, keeping an eye out for people.

The first thing I encounter is the weapons shop on my left.  I contemplate going in and asking him about Feli, but something tells me he probably doesn’t know anything.  Unfortunately, there’s still no one on the road, which is starting to make me curious.  Surely, there should be someone.  Why would nobody be out?  I look up to judge the time of day, and it’s not yet dinner time, so maybe people are still hard at work, but wouldn’t someone be out?

I set aside that curiosity for the task at hand and decide to go to the healer’s across the street.  The sign is marked by a cross, and I step inside.  The room is well lit and filled with various herbs.  “Hello?” I say, not seeing anyone.

“I’ll be right with you,” a female voice says from deep within the building.  A few moments later, a woman steps out, and there’s something about her that stands out.  Being a bit sheltered, I can’t quite put my finger on it.  There’s a harried feel to her though, like she’s frustrated without something, but I don’t dare ask what.

“Hi,” I say with a hesitant smile.  “I’m Tasrin Tolbrohr, and Urte asked me to look for her daughter, Feli.  She doesn’t know where she is and is quite worried.”

“Hm,” the woman says, nodding her head knowingly.  “Can’t say I’m surprised.  That Feli’s a little wild one, not that I can blame her.  Poor woman works herself to the bone, and the gods know both that no good husband of hers and her father are no help.  It just galls me the fact that he can on the one breath denounce his daughter into poverty, and with the other, try to steal her daughter out from underneath her.”

“What do you mean?”

“Oh, he’s been petitioning the magistrate to allow him custody.  Of course, the magistrate has other, far more important things on his plate, so he’s been mostly ignoring that feud, thank the gods.”

“I see.  So do you think she’s just wandered off or should we be worried?”

The woman scratches the side of her jaw.  “Well, I mean, it’s always possible that she just wandered off, but the world isn’t exactly the safest place, either.  Anything could happen.”  She looks around at her shop.  “I wouldn’t be here if the world was safe.”

“No, you wouldn’t.”

She sighs.  “You should probably check the pond out behind Corin’s shop.  She likes to play out there when her momma’s working.”


“Oh, of course.  You’re not from around here.  Corin’s the tailor, down at the end.”

“Thanks.”  I bow slightly and step out of her shop.

I continue down to the other end of the village, taking the little alley between the Tailor and bookshop.  There’s a bit of a chill as the buildings shade me, reminding me that winter will soon arrive.

After a short distance, I step out into sunlight once more.  To my left, there is fabric hanging to dry.  Up and to my right, there’s a balcony, and I wonder how far the residents can see from there.  Could they have seen her?  Seen what happened to her?  Maybe that’s where I’ll check next.  I look at the other businesses and notice that the tailor and blacksmith both have second floor balconies as well.  They may also be good choices to ask.

Ahead, I can’t see much through the trees, but there’s a well worn path leading in.  I follow it.  Along the path, I notice a footprint that can’t possibly belong to a six year old human.  It’s too big.  I can’t tell much more than that, though.  The person was wearing shoes, but I’m not much of a tracker, so I can’t tell much more than that.  Though, now that I think about it, it definitely rained yesterday, so this footprint probably happened today.

A chill runs down my spine, and I stand up, pushing myself erect with my staff.

After a few more minutes, I arrive at the pond.  It’s a decent enough size, the surface still and smooth as glass.  I spot someone in the distance fishing and move toward them.  From so far away, I can’t tell if they’re suspicious or not, but hopefully, they saw something.

As I grow closer, I can tell that it is a human woman wearing clothing that has holes in it.  Her sleeves are rolled up, and I can see burn scars spattered up and down them.  “Excuse me,” I call out as I approach.

The woman jerks, spinning around, then laughing and shaking her head.  “Sorry, I wasn’t expecting company,” she says with amusement in her voice.

“That’s quite alright.  I think it’s reasonable to startle when you’re not expecting company.”

She leaned over and stabbed her fishing rod into the dirt to hold it in place.  “I haven’t seen you in these parts.  New?”

“I’m letting a room at the inn.”

“Ah, Service treating you well.”

“So far.  Honestly, I haven’t even spent the night yet.”

“Ah, then you’re really new,” she says with a smile.

“That I am.  Um, you wouldn’t have happened to have seen Feli today, have you?  Her mother is growing worried.”

She sighs.  “That child is pure sunshine.”


“Well, she always comes out here while her mom’s working, and let me tell you, that girl has an imagination that will take her places.”

“Um, but have you seen her?”

“She was playing out here earlier.”

I lean forward.  “She was?”

The woman nods.  “Yup.  Over there, by the path.  I usually try to keep an eye out for her if I’m out here fishing.  Takes a village after all, right?”

“Indeed.  Did you see where she went?”

“Yeah, sure I did.”

“Was she alone?  Which direction did she go?  Was she under duress?” 

The woman bit her lip, the amusement leaving her face for the first time.  “Not sure.  She went off to the north, that way, and her back was facing, so I couldn’t tell if she was under duress.”

“You’re not sure?  You’re not sure if she was alone?”

“I mean, I certainly thought it was a little weird she was heading north.  North heads out of the village.  There’s not much of anything up that direction for another two day’s walk.  Certainly, I’ve never seen her go that way before.”

“But how do you not know if she was alone?”

She points toward the trees to the north.  “I looked up and I saw her walking into the trees.  That time of day and from this angle, I couldn’t see anything, though.  Too much shadow.”

I look over to where she points.  Even now, I can’t see far into the trees.  I could very much believe that she wouldn’t know if there was someone else there.  I turn back to her.  “I’ll take a look.  Thanks for your help.”

“No problem.  And I’m Alda, by the way.  I run the blacksmith shop.”

“Nice to meet you, Alda.”  I reach out and shake her hand. 

“I wish you luck with your search.”

“And I wish you luck with your fishing.”

Alda laughs.  “I don’t need luck.  I’m that good.”

“Very well.  Until next time.”

I walk in the direction that Alda pointed, looking for clues.  Before I reach the tree line, I notice the broken blade of a sword.  I reach down and touch it, wondering why it’s here.  Is it significant?  I pick it up, examining it.  From the weight and curvature, it looks to be from a shortsword.  On the edge, I notice a small amount of fresh blood on the blade.  “Now, I’m worried.”  A few questions pop into my mind.  What broke this weapon?  Whose blood is this?  Are you okay?  Is Feli?  I put broken sword in my bag in case it’s useful later.

I stand up and continue into the woods.  After about ten minutes, I enter a large clearing.  Until now it has been nothing but trees and more trees.  I search the clearing for clues, hoping to find more information.  Upon initial inspection, there is no obvious signs of a struggle here.  

After another ten minutes, there is a large wooded gully.  I stop and wonder if I should change directions.  Maybe I should be smarter about this.  I don’t know much about the area.  What I do know is one, there’s a road leading to the north out of town.  I took that to get here.  Two, there’s a river on the west side of town.  Those are probably the two best ways to get away quickly.

Right now, I’m in the woods on the eastern side of the road, and I haven’t seen a single clue since that shortsword.  I could go to the river, check and see if anyone has been spotted there.  Or I could also go back with that shortsword and see Alda recognizes it.

I like that idea, I liked Alda, and quickly make my way back.  When I reenter the clearing with the pond, Alda is still standing on the opposite bank with a fishing pole in her hands.  I approach, calling out to her jokingly, “Don’t you ever work?”

“Ha!” She laughs.  “Of course, I work.  It’s still a bit too hot, though, to be working the forge.  I prefer waiting until the temperature drops.  Until then, I nap and I fish.”

“Don’t you have a shop to run?”

She waves a hand in dismissal.  “Someone will let me know if I have a customer.  Everyone knows where I am this time of day.”

I nod and pull the broken shortsword carefully out of my bag.  “Do you recognize this?”

Alda once again lodges her fishing pole in the ground and reaches out for the broken blade.  “Well, I can tell you this much, it’s not mine.  I don’t make anything this shitty.”  She lifts it out of my hand.  “Could have been made by that hack, Osan, but I doubt he would recognize it, either.  I doubt that man knows what day it is, let alone his own work.”

“There’s blood on the blade.”

“Yep, I see that.”  She flicks her finger over the blade.  “Surprised it even did that.  Blade’s dull as all get out.”  She looks up at me, handing me back the blade.  “I would say whoever owns this doesn’t know their way around swords.  It’s not sharpened.  Probably hasn’t been sharpened since they bought it.  And there’s nicks in the blade.  See here and here.”

“Do you know anyone in town who might own a blade like this?”

She chewed her lip and sighed.  “Not many people in town would own shortswords.  You got the handful of guard members in the village, just enough to keep bandits and ne’er-do-wells away, but most of them don’t use shortswords.  They tend to be big on armor and big on heavy weapons.  They’re a decent chunk of my business, and all of my local business, really.  Most people in town can’t afford something as expensive as a sword.”

“Of course,” I say, even as I look down at my own battleaxe and wonder how much that cost.

“The only other person in town that has weapons of any value is the magistrate’s assistant.  He’s some down on his luck lordling or something, I think.  Showed up in town one day, everything about him screaming wealth.  Had some sort of letter of introduction and told everyone who would listen that he must be taken immediately to the magistrate.  He just makes me contemplate violence, if I’m being honest with myself.  He has a very slappable face.”

I chuckle.  “But if this guy has the background you say he has, wouldn’t he have a nicer sword.”

“No, not really.  Rumor is that his father cut him off, so I could see him buying a cheap sword, if it was for appearances.  I mean, this is far enough from the city that even a crappy sword could be impressive to most people, especially if he never uses it.”

“I see.”  I look down at the blade, then back at the spot where I found it.  “Did you hear anything that could have been this sword breaking while you were out here?”

“Now that you mention it, yeah.  That was what caused me to look up and see Feli walking off.”

I freeze, now excited.  “Okay, if the person who owned this sword went off in that direction, possibly with Feli, do you know anywhere they might have gone in that direction?  This was the only clue I found.”

“Well, not specifically.  I don’t really know a lot about stuff in that direction.  I mostly know my way between here, my shop, and the tavern.  Still, I’m intrigued.  I tell you what.  I’ll ask around.  Let you know in the morning?”

“There’s a girl out there somewhere.  She could be in danger.”

Alda sobered up.  “I know.  I love that little girl.”  She reaches out and clasps my shoulder, making it that much more obvious that she’s taller than me.  Her arm reaches down to touch my shoulder, and at this distance, I have to crane my neck to see her face.

Moradin’s Beard, she must be two feet taller than me.

“I’m going start looking.  I hope you continue as well.  The more people who are looking, the faster we’ll find her.”

“Thank you.”

Alda nods, grabs her fishing rods, and starts reading to leave the pond.  I make my way back to the main road and decide to stop in and check on Urte.  Not wanting to be a creep, I take the alley between buildings again and walk in through the front door.  “Urte?  Are you here?”

The building smells strongly of laundering and there are piles of cloth and leather everywhere.  Several clothing forms are set up, one unadorned and another with the beginnings of a dress on it.

Urte rushes out from the back.  “Have you found her?” she asks as she grasps me by the forearms.

“No, not yet.  But I’ve got Alda looking now, too.”

She deflates before my eyes.

“We’re going to find her,” I say, though I’m not sure how confident I sound.

“You’re just saying that to try to cheer me up.  I’m never going to see her again, am I?”  Tears form in her eyes, and I reach out and hug her.  She’s definitely shorter than Alda, but my head is currently in line with her breasts as I slowly pat her back in comfort.

I don’t know what to say, so for several long moments, I say nothing, waiting for her to get a hold of herself.

Eventually, she pulls away, her breaths a little shaky.  “I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have put that on you.  This is all just very hard.”

“Well, it hasn’t even been a day.”  And now I can’t bring myself to mention the sword.  She’s too fragile.  It would probably break her.  “I just wanted to give you an update.  Alda saw her earlier today at the pond.  Saw her head north into the trees.  We don’t know yet if there was anyone there with her.” Though I damned well think so.  “Alda and I are going to ask around, see if anyone’s seen her.  And I’m sure if she’s not back home by tonight, we’ll have the entire village out looking for her tomorrow.”

“But what if it’s cold?”

“Well, I was out in this the last few nights.  It was raining last night and it wasn’t too bad.  I’m sure she’ll be fine.”

“Okay.  Thank you.  Good luck.”

I nod to her, and then leave.

Series Navigation<< The Chronicles of Tasrin Tolbrohr: Session 1The Chronicles of Tasrin Tolbrohr: Session 3 >>

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