FreeHolds Adventure, Cycle 3 Part 5b

FreeHolds Adventure, Cycle 3 Part 5b

Previous Next


Adwin waved Mokha over, keeping an eye on the goat. Whyse, bare arsed and obviously flustered had grabbed one corner of the cape she had borrowed, while the goat firmly chomped on the other end, trying to eat the expensive garment. They were engaged in a tug of war that the goat appeared to be winning.

Mokha came up beside him and stuck his head up over the edge of the compost pile, “Oh, no. My cape.”

Adwin started to get up with the intent of going to help Whyse. Just then then, back door to TownHall opened. Both he and his friend ducked back down. They heard the door bang shut and an exclamation from the lad who exited the tavern.

Whyse, sounding hesitant, said, “Hello. Is this your goat?”

“Er, yeah. What are you doing out here?” The voice sounded familiar.

“Tying to stop this goat from eating my clothing.”

Something heavy and metal sounding was set on the stone step, Adwin started to raise up to get a look but Mokha pulled him back down.

“Let go, you old cranky bitch. Have some respect.” Adwin heard the sounds of a tussle, then the lad said, “Pull!”

“Oh grouse!” Whyse exclaimed.

“Sorry about that miss. Hey, this is a cape? I thought it was a skirt.”

“I borrowed it from a friend.”

“Well, I’ll help you clean it. Sorry about that. She’s the oddest goat we’ve ever had. Sometimes she disappears for a fortnight, then just wanders back. I’ve no idea where she even goes.”

“Well, that does sound a bit odd. She’s a mean looking goat, to be sure.”

“Er, what are you doing out here? I don’t recognize you.”

“Um, at this point I’m not sure.”

“You’re from Maldorn by the sound of it.”

“Do you think maybe we could clean this?”

“Oh, sorry. Where’s my head? Just let me dump this slop.” Metal scraped on stone and the lad approached the compost pile.

Whyse spoke up rather abruptly, “Is there any work?”

“Work? For pay?”

“Food would be nice.”

The fellow stopped a couple paces from the pile, “Are you in some sort of trouble?”

“No. What makes you ask that?”

Adwin peeked over the edge, he recognized the lad from last year, though he had filled out a bit. Cind was the son of the tavern owner. With a gulp he ducked back down when he noticed Nan staring at him.

“Ah, the situation seems a bit odd.”

“Odd, how so?”

“Well,” Cind said as he turned and sloshed the contents of the metal bucket onto the pile, which of course splashed Adwin and Mokha. “Aside from the fact you’re mostly naked fighting with a goat? The clothing you have is expensive.”

Mokha gave a hiss as he looked at the goop that had splattered him. The lad turned, “What was that? Who’s there?”

Adwin stood, “Hi Cind? Remember me.”

Startled, the young man backed up, “What!”

Whyse rushed up from behind and gave him a hard shove. Adwin stepped out of the way, Mokha slid further down the slope, away from the pile. Cind did not go down but stumbled onto the pile. “Why’d you do that? Who’s that? What are you people doing?”

Adwin considered thwacking him with his staff. Nan bleated. Cind moved to the other side of the compost pile, very confused, holding the pot up as a shield. Mokha muttered curses below them. Adwin held up an open hand, “Look, we’re here to help.”

“Help? With what?”

Adwin sighed, “The witch.”

“Which witch?”

Mokha gave a dismayed groan, “That’s disgusting.”

“The witch that’s been messing with everyone’s head.”

Cind looked confused.

Whyse, sounded cross, “You stay away from me.” She scooted over to Adwin, Nan stopped and looked at the two of them.

“A little woman. Showed up nearly a year ago.”

“Oh. Do you mean Lady Kerine?” He laughed, “She’s not a witch.”

“No, I don’t suppose she is.” Adwin took his staff in both hands.

“Would you like to meet her? She’s always interested when new people show up.”

Adwin relaxed a bit, “I bet she is.”

There was a splash below. The three of them looked down to see that Mokha had thrown himself into the brook.

“Is your friend alright?”

“He’ll get over it. I would be interested in meeting with Lady Kerine.”

“Oh, alright then. I should probably take all of you in to meet her.”

Adwin looked down to the brook, Mokha had shed his shirt and was scrubbing it furiously. Whyse said, “I think I’ll get my clothes.”

Cind looked very confused by all that was happening. Adwin asked, “So has there been anything of interest going on?”

“No, not really.”


“Well, last autumn, we were raided by Lekas. That’s never happened before.”

“Raided, you say.”

“Yes, a number of people were killed. I can’t really remember who, but… well, they’re gone now.”

“How do you know it was Lekas that raided you?”

“Ha, we captured a few of them. They’re in the root cellar, in case there’s further problems from that direction. Can’t have enough leverage against those sorts.”

“What sorts do you mean?”

“Andisal and her evil priestess.”

“Um, have you met Del?”

Again, there was a look of confusion on his fair featured face, “Yeah…”

Mokha slogged up to them, dripping wet and looking displeased. Adwin asked him, “You alright?”

“I think my shirt is ruined. It was my favourite.”

“Ah, sorry to hear that. Cind here says he’ll take us to Lady Kerine.”

“Oh… Can I have a word with you?” He walked a few paces away, waved a hand at Nan, the goat made a rude noise and ran off, “Over here.”

Adwin looked to Cind, “Excuse us a moment.”

“I can wait.”

Adwin joined Mokha and noted that his friend looked worried. Mokha looked over to Cind, then quietly said, “I’m not sure we’re ready for this yet. We haven’t seen a fire to the north, so we can assume Chance and their team have been delayed.”

“The grass is pretty wet, they might not have been able to get it lit.”

Mokha continued, “Gweth and the twins are likely still heading north. That means our best archers are not around and the folks they were looking to recruit don’t even know we’re here yet. Are you sure you want to do this now?”

“We might be able to delay him a bit, but that aside, he’s willing to take us right to her. If we take her out then these people will be free of her. They can get back to their own lives.”

“Sure, maybe… We’ve no idea if the death of the sorceress will be an end of things, she may have left instructions in the event of her death. Also, I think many of these people will be… less able to just return to the way things were than you think.”

Adwin sighed, “They are acting weird. So… what do we do then?”

“Good question. But Nan has seen us. Even if the witch isn’t already aware of us, she likely will be in short order.”

“Even more reason to take advantage of the situation then. Though no one seemed to care about all the screaming.”

Mokha shrugged, “Alright. Once we’re inside I’ll need a few moments to raise the protections.”


Whyse had come up from the brook, she and Cind were engaged in an awkward looking conversation. Adwin approached, “Alright Cind, you can take us to Lady Kerine now.”

Whyse seemed hesitant about that suggestion.

“Oh, sure. I think she’s going to be happy to met you guys. She’s very nice.” The young man picked up his bucket and led them to the back door, “I’ve some food on the go, I’ll need to see to that first.”

“That’s alright. It’ll give my friend here a chance to dry off a bit.”

They headed to the door, Cind asked Adwin, “What happened to your face?”

“I was in a bit of a scuffle.”

“I’d hate to see the other guy.”

Adwin said nothing as they filed into the kitchen. Cind cursed and rushed to the stove, one of the pots was putting up a bit of smoke. As he pulled the food off the stove the other three looked around. Mokha headed over to where a number of pots and pans hung along the wall. Whyse casually went to the other door and looked into the main room of the tavern. Adwin noted a trap door in one corner, he could seen new iron brackets had been recently installed, two sets with short rods slid into them, clearly meant to stop people below from opening it.

“Nice pans.” Mokha commented as he struck one with the flick of a finger.

“I burned the mash. Give me a moment.”

Adwin said, “That’s alright.” He positioned himself near the trap door.

Mokha picked up a wooden spoon and tapped a couple of the pots and pans, making a harmonious tune.

Whyse took a moment to tighten the straps of her armour.

Adwin placed a foot by one of the short, bracketed rods and gave a gentle push. The rod slid a bit. Mokha continued making music with the pans and waved a hand around, making some odd gestures. Adwin slid the rod from the brackets.

Cind had transferred most of the grains from the first pot to another. Mokha continued his casting, muttering under his breath. Whyse adjusted her sabre and leaned against the door frame. Adwin changed his position, to be closer to the second set of brackets.

“You’re pretty good with those pots. You could be a minstrel.”

Mokha gave a nod and kept playing. Whyse asked Cind, “Do you need a hand?”

“No, no. I saved most of the grains. I’ll just need a moment with the soup.”


Adwin slowly slid the second rod from that set of brackets. Mokha finished what he was doing, he stopped banging on the pots. Whyse had moved over to where Cind was, Adwin noted that she had a hand on the hilt of her sword and waved her off. She shrugged. Cind finished stirring the soup, replaced the lid and turned around, “Alright then, let’s go see if Lady Kerine is awake.”

They followed him into the main room of the tavern. Adwin was surprised by the change in the place. There were not many of the ornaments or artifacts left along the walls, the tables had been pushed back from the centre of the room, the previously well polished hardwood floor had been marred. He also saw a number of stains on the floor where the wood had soaked up blood.

They went upstairs, along a hall then came to a small sitting area where they found Dresmend in a chair, sound asleep.

Cind made a shushing gesture, “He doesn’t get much sleep.”

Just past the alcove with the chairs Cind stopped at a door and knocked, after a moment a tired voice said, “Come in.”

He opened the door and stuck his head in, “There are new guests.”

“Oh, bring them in.”

Cind pushed the door open and they followed him in to a nicely appointed room. Adwin saw the witch sitting up in bed, to either side of her was a young woman, they appeared to be asleep. The three of them were naked. Adwin pushed Cind aside, advanced, swung his staff in a wide arc and struck the sorceress as hard as he could in the head. There was a loud crack. The woman’s body was wracked by a spasm and she leaned over to one side, a line a blood formed on her head where the flesh had split. The two women startled awake, one calling out in shocked dismay.

Whyse drew her sabre and threatened the women. Cind gasped in shock, “What did you do that for?”


Previous Next

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *