Tallavanor’s Tales: Casualties on the Count’s Road

Last Time On Tallavanor’s Tales: We’d delivered a message to Count Usher, and he had not been happy about the contents. Then we learned we’d have to kill the count if he didn’t comply. Naturally, Watch Officer Tallavanor did not like that idea. Read on to see what happened next!

The contents of the second letter ensured that my sleep was anything but restful. When I awoke, the town was already at work, the citizenry moving here and there. I awaited my companions in the common room. We talked about what we should do as we awaited word from the count. It made the most sense to return to the temple of Paylor, as the priest was the only person who saw the count other than his servant. With few leads, we grasped at this single straw.

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The priest once again tried to avoid us, and his evasive answers only proved to build our interest. With the arrival of the temple acolyte, he abruptly left us and returned to his quarters. The acolyte stared us down, the local barely disusing his distrust of us. With no choice, we left the temple, discussing things over in the courtyard.

Gregario noticed that the priest and acolyte had left by a back door. he suggested we try to stealthily follow them. I readily agreed – we were getting nowhere and needed more clues. While we followed them, our footsteps and forms unseen, all we overheard was the acolyte deriding the priest for talking to us again. Bullying, unfortunately, wasn’t against the law, but we were left once again with more questions than answers.

The rest of the day passed uneventfully until the evening, when our driver, a man from another town, arrived at the inn door. With Claudia mid performance to a packed common room, he gestured to us to come outside. I gathered my things, knowing we should be prepared, while Gregario disappeared upstairs, only to appear a few minutes later clad in black – some type of stealth suit – I’d seen the like on criminals back in Tres-Abellies, and knew that someone of that nature could be useful, especially as a tool in these sneaky situations.

Thus armed and prepared, we got into the carriage. The ever increasing shadows added a sense of foreboding which was soon proved true. Shadows in the woods unnerved me, and I cocked my pistol and loosened by rapier.

The rapid thunk-thunk of crossbow bolts pinged into our carriage. Our driver took the worst of it, taking two crossbow bolts and falling off the carriage. Having been prepared, I fired back at the nearest shadowy figure, succeeding in downing him with a well aimed, and truly lucky, head shot. Gregario and Vimx piled out of the right side of the carriage while Claudia and I stayed in cover, firing back. The shelter of our ride proved to be of little support when Claudia took one, then two crossbow bolts, one through the carriage walls as she tried to save the driver. I continued to fire back, eventually knocking out another of our enemies.

From the sound of the melee on the other side of the carriage, I could only hope that our allies were making quick work of our ambushers. With a grunt, Claudia waved her hands and muttered something under her breath. Sounds of raucous laughter filled the woods. After keeping my head down for a moment to reload my weapon, I clambered up to the driver’s seat and managed to stop the horses from running wild. Our allies soon appeared, dragging an unconscious man behind them. Vimx’s long dagger-like fingers retracted into his hand’s the construct looked mighty pleased with himself. I went off into the woods, following the sounds of laughter until I found the blacksmith, laughing uncontrollably. I placed him under arrest and manacled his hands behind his back.

Now was time for some interrogation.

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Author: Daniel Ottalini

Author of the Award-Winning Steam Empire Chronicles Series

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