Meanwhile back in Great Gaunt and surrounds. Hallie has been heard asking if anyone has heard of one Skeeter Pickens or Perkins, hard to make out his last name clearly on the note she retrieved from the river. One person vaguely remembered there being a wanted poster for him pinned up in the Red Raven building in the Gaunt, but this was quite some time ago.
A new notice is posted outside the Courthouse of Suzail. Copies of the same notice are circulated to standing Purple Dragon barracks throughout the realm. Finally, a copy is tacked up on the board above Pett's desk in the Red Raven's Outpost of Greatgaunt, just to the right of the Wanted Poster for Skeeter Pickens.
He gives Hallie one of Skeeter's wanted poster that he copied when he runs into her in the Gaunt.
Greatgaunt ...where the cool...and not so cool...and plain will never be cool ... adventurers hang out-
Sitting against a tree outside the beaver pond, a large collection of herbs on the grass next to her, Hallie sighs as she goes over in her mind the conversations of the last few days and makes notes in her journal.
- Tenna and Norah think it likely that the bottle retrieved from the river may well have come from within an alligator which attacked from the river a little earlier.
- Jobin suggested maybe he was a follower of Sebek an evil nature god.. *she writes a few notes in her journal:*
- Library trip? - Anything on the god. He's a criminal do they even worship gods??
*she mutters to herself* How many marshes were there around the place?. Too many .. *she takes a deep breath and makes some more notes in her journal:*
- marshes in Mistwood - beyond Bramblewood - beyond a smaller wood called Darkwood - Tunlands *she puts an asterix next to this name* Alligators?
She then notes another conversation.
- Elon! Suggests finding mage to use the map found in the bottle to scry which marsh he might be in. *she scribbles* Who?? Coops, Kit maybe
Pacing back and forth he looked at the crystal ball and the bowl of water in the silver bowl. Two options he thought could be used for scrying frowning he knew there were many more, but these were most suited for what they needed.
The crystal ball was common to use, but had to be attuned, he had already cleaned it and poured magic into it to try and see what he could, perhaps with help from the map or an item of this Skeeter Pickens fellow he could help Hallie, Yun and the others find him?
The water and bowl he thought might work more efficiently, he seemed to have an affinity with liquids ever since seeing the lizards in the cauldron of blood in the keep. Staring at the water he figured he could also use water from the location they were in which may help find him quicker… or give a hint at least.
The wizards academy had plenty of books on scrying some so old the pages were like paper the edges worn thin from years worth of hands turning the pages.
Calling forth magic into his body with no true focus other than to tap into the weave, Cooper stared at the water and blinked as it fogged and rippled slightly, though he couldn’t see an image it seemed something was trying to show itself to him. With the others to help, he knew they would find something. Hopefully the Grinsmalls could make it, after all he smiled, like he always said, nothing ever goes wrong with a Grinsmall around.
With preparations made and equipment stowed the band of hardy adventurers set off to find the mysterious Skeeter Pickens. The Grinsmalls, Tundor, Skullcrusher, Brunhilda brought a friend Bjorn along providing lots of banter along the way and a wall of steel to protect Cooper when needed. Yun was there too with the group leader Hallie .
The crystal ball was carefully stowed along with the message in a bottle to help focus on this Pickens fella. Nodding to the others they set off north, to the swamps, the last place they could figure out he could be.
When they finally got there after a harrowing journey filled with all kind of swamp creatures that seemed hell bent on slowing or stopping their progress, they finally found a place to set up the crystal ball and start scrying. At first there was nothing, then some clouds appeared and eventually with Cooper straining to concentrate amongst the cacophany of fighting and "frog like" sounds and emissions coming from the Dwarfs, a face appeared, non descript with a marvelous mullet. He was close they could sense it. Cooper was drained at this point and concentrating further did nothing. It was time to search!
As if on cue the swamp grew thunderously quiet then a gods awful bellow that turned into a cacophony of screams was heard nearby. Rushing with forward the party slowed and stopped agog at the sight of an alligator the size of a house ! Possibly the one Skeeter had control over? It's gaping maw was munching down the remains of the screaming beast, a cave giant no less... loin cloth and all ! Without warning, those reptilian eyes focused, the head snapped over and the gator rushed the band of heroes !
Fortune favoured the brave and fortune favoured Cooper as the others took on the might of the thrashing beast all armoured skin and a picket fence worth of tooth and claws !
Eventually they bested the leviathan of the swamps, their trail growing dry. It was at this moment Cooper realised the beast had a connection to Pickens, who he was sure would seek revenge somehow. Unable to scry any more that day, he cut off a claw of the massive beast in the hope it would help him in the future....
In the distance, the dark smudge of the swamp could be seen, the countless myriad of biting insects and slithering reptiles, too small to see from where Cooper stood, but no doubt moving amongst the lush growth.
Setting up his tent, not far enough from the ominous trees by the roadside for comfort. The mage opened a bag, and pulled out some dry bread and cheese. Normally he would have hunted something and had fresh meat, but oddly there was nothing to be found, again he wondered if this was Pickens and his power?
Sitting at a makeshift fire Cooper scanned the brooding darkness of the swamp in the distance and the shadowed woods nearby. It was disturbing how the shadows seemed to shift as he stared at them, not just a trick of the light he thought.
Calling forth a summons to watch over him he pulled a massive claw from a pack.
He thought it was time they tried to find Skeeter or a clue as to where he was. Placing the giant scaled claw into a bowl of water he had poured magical energy into. he concentrated, trying to scry for a clue to the whereabouts of the man with the majestic mullet.
Time passed as it was apt to do and the claw eventually moved to point to wards the swamp making Coopers eyes widen. Taking it out of the water and placing it in a pack to keep it from going foul. The mage looked into the distance, turning to say to Red, his companion Slaad, "Well we seem to be on the right track eh?"
Red stared blankly into the distance unconcernedly, occasionally licking his eyeballs as he was apt to do.
it was time to gather the others and continue the search, but for now, sleep called him to his tent on this strange path by the dark woods.
Post by DM Private P on Apr 17, 2021 9:12:21 GMT -5
The hag stood up straight after being hunched over a magical pool of swamp water and held out a small vial filled with a shimmery substance. “Ere we go Skeeta Pickens. I gots wut be needed. BUT firs you gotta do yer deed fer me for I gives you wut you be wantin so bad,” the shriveled old woman said with a sickly smile.
The hag’s smile made Skeeter shiver a bit and even the glorious mullet went still for a moment. Skeeter drawled out, “Doan ‘chu be worrying. I be getting yer firs payment soon. Real soon.”
Cooper poured the hot water from the pail over himself to wash the blood from his hair. His clothes were soaking in a bucket to the side with herbs to remove the smell of the blood from the cauldron. Even as he closed his eyes he could remember how hard it was to breathe with the gators head formed from blood over his head and shoulders.
his ability to scry had come as a shock. Cooper pondered if it was due to the Slaad, they were chaotic after all, but this was clearly the work of Pickens, the Gators face was the one they had dispatched in the swamps. Of that he was sure, even more so as he had hacked off a claw and kept it.
"You tried to find me, but I found YOU" he mouthed the words he had seen in the bubbling cauldron before being dragged under and pulled out partly by his luck, and mostly by Hallies muscles. The stupid golem standing motionless as his mouth and lungs filled with gator blood.
Tugging a chunk of something from his hair and dry retching as he did, the mage walked over to the tub that was resting over hot coals and slid into the water trying to relax. It seemed Hallie had better step up the hunt for Pickens or they were all in trouble.
Henrik and Siph had said they would help with the cursed Tundor doll which was good as he had warded it as best as he could but needed there help.
Shelly was no where to be found so Cooper was sure, Shelly from Shally was actually a goblin in disguise who had duped him, or something like that, maybe the damned Nemesis was linked to Pickens? He hoped if they got one, it would weaken the other perhaps draw them out.
Drifting off he snoozed a little as Julia kept watch, concern and chocolate on her face.