Moonfest in Shadowdale - Part 2
"Rowina is just here to collect Elminster and Storm for a meeting
with Khelban Blackstaff in Waterdeep so she is likely already gone
with them. If you're having a festival though, by all means I'll
stay a bit."
The tension in the innkeeper's shoulders loosened a bit at the news
and Star's thoughts were confirmed, something was bothering Jhaele.
Star had little doubt that Jhaele had already known the Old Sage and
the Bard would be gone away for a week or more, why this would cause
the innkeeper any distress was a mystery. Jhaele smiled and nodded
telling her warmly;
"Good, good, head into the dining room and I will have some food
brought out to you straight away Star, welcome back."
Star nodded asking no more questions and turned towards the dining
room finding a comfortable place to sit against the wall to watch
the room. The usual crew filled the dining room, an old man who
spent more time fishing than he did farming, a young journeyman
wizard who for a small price offered some spells of protection to
the passing adventurers and Durman Hilesta a local carpenter who
worked for Jhaele on the side watching her dining room and keeping
the peace. A few caravan guards wandered in talking as Dora Leen
the barmaid came out of the kitchen carrying a plate piled high
with a thick cut of roast, potatoes and carrots. As Dora made her
way between the tables one of the guards reached out to grab at the
barmaid's bottom but before his hand reached its target a loud thud
echoed over the sound of the dining room as Durman dropped an
extremely large club on his table and eyed the guard coldly.
Dora made it to Star's table unmolested and set the plate down in
front of the strider with a smile.
"Will that be all lady Star? Perhaps a refill on your mug?"
Star nodded and handed the mostly empty mug of ale to the barmaid
and began to dig into her meal. The food at the Old Skull was
plentiful and well made and the strider dug in happily, having been
raised mostly by Rowina, she appreciated a well made meal as the
sorceress was not renowned for her cooking skills.
"Im telling ya boy, this will be another Nightmare Moonfest you
mark my words!"
The old fisherman's words drew Star's attention to the other table
as the fisherman continued.
"Thirty years it's been since that night, a dark night it was too,
things had been happening for days before, odd things, dark things
but it was the night of the Moonfest when the demons rose and hell
itself walked in the fields."
The young mage only shook his head and snickered asking the old man.
"Is this another Big Tom story old man? Most of your stories are
nothing but hot air and wind."
Star had heard these two arguing before but this time the old man's
voice had a different tone to it, a deeper, harder, more serious
tone than the one usually used to tell his tall fishing tales.
The old man slapped the table and gave the young wizard a stern
"You mark my words boy, when the demon rises in the fields and
possesses everything around him you'll be singing a different
Star took notice when Durman turned his attention towards the old
man, was this perhaps what was making Jhaele nervous as well?
Star's steady headway into her meal slowed as she listened to the
old man tell his tale of terror.