We had reached what seemed to be a ghost town. The wind was the only clamor about this place, which O’naril had informed us that it was once a town full of constant commerce due to its wonderful hotsprings. In the center of the silence, an older man was relaxing in the wading waters with a smirk that was all too suspicious plastered on his face. He introduced himself as Orfus, a wandering doctor looking to cure the plague that was running feverishly through the coastline. I cared little for the man, though. My thoughts were preoccupied with O’naril’s extreme interest in the elf ranger. I was so caught up in what inner turmoil I had, I had missed most of the conversation O’naril held with the doctor. Sometime after that, we had already found ourselves being situated at the inn. (As a side note, I had noticed Raven took a liking to our towering dragonborn friend as they remained downstairs while the rest of us made our way to our rooms.)
I’d rather not write what went on in the room with O’naril. I had originally planned on sleeping on the floor but I had found myself in the bed before the night was over. I did not give in to his charms though. We just reconciled our differences, is all.
Waking up was probably the worst thing about today. O’naril was fairly warm and I wasn’t really ready to get out of bed. I summoned every ounce of willpower I had in the tendrils of my body to lull myself to my feet. Finally steadying myself after a few minutes of wrestling with my body, I noticed O’naril shared the similar feeling of reluctance to rise from his sleep. I attempted to wake him by shaking his arm. I had received a moan of pleasure in response as he smirked at me. I suppose me rubbing his arm made him feel even more comfortable—but I’ll be damned if I have to get up and he doesn’t. I attempted to pull him off the bed twice, both ending in failures. I coaxed him to his feet with a sultry voice, hoping that using his weakness of women against him would surely help him make up his mind favorably. It failed. The bed suddenly creaked and threw him off as it gave way beneath him. I laughed as he hit the ground and found that same laughter dying in my throat when I had noticed the rhythmic breathing, almost snores, being emitted from him. I growled in frustration and sat on top of him, in hopes I’d wake him that way. He grunted in response and the response I was looking for never came. I received a smirk from him, only to find myself leaning closer and we had—well—began kissing I suppose. It seems silly to you, I’m sure, but you don’t know this man. You’ve never met him and had to live with his charm.
I’m not sure when, but I heard a faint creak when I turned to my left only to Orfus in my face with a wide smile plastered on questioning why we were not downstairs with the rest of our party. In shock, I flailed my arms and fell backwards. I covered myself with the robe I had on quickly and glared daggers at him, in hopes that maybe he’d catch on fire. O’naril seemed to share the dislike for the man that I had. It’s rare that we feel similar for people, him being friendly and compassionate to most, and I… well… let’s just say that I’m quite the opposite. After leaving the inn, we had met up with Torindel, Raven, Ignatius, and Orfus outside of the inn. The town was still. No other life brimmed from any crevice of the place. I’d be glad to be rid of this place soon, I suppose.
We arrived at Nautica sometime later; only after finding out that both our elvish monk ally and our large dragonborn friend had become infected with the very disease that was spreading like wildfires through this place. We all agreed to have them hide it from the guardsmen of Nautica to seem less suspicious. After giving the guardsman at the door the best straight face I could, I convinced him that Ignatius’ wound was only from a wolf bite. We all registered our names at the Guards’ Hall and formed outside. We agreed to split apart but I wasn’t about to let that doctor run off by himself. (I had seen him give a large bag to one of the guards… perhaps a bribe?) They split themselves up in groups of two: Ignatius and Raven, Orfus and Torindel, leaving O’naril and I to be teammates. (What presumptuous little bastards they are.) Torindel and Orfus left for the tavern, Ignatius and Raven travelled to the inn, and O’naril and I travelled to the docks to question the dock master and any other sailors we could. After a fruitless conversation with a sailor, we made our way to the dock house, where the ringleader of the harbor resided. As we entered, I snapped my vision to the bald man speaking with the dock master. His left forearm bared the tattoo that we had just seen on the cultists (I’m guessing) that we had fought in the ruins. I narrowed my eyes as he quickly made his way out of the room into the back. O’naril had bribed the dock master into speaking. He agreed after a second bribe, due to being untruthful, and herded us to the back door. I whispered to O’naril about the man I had seen earlier. Of course, O’naril had no visible reaction, his ever present smirk lighting up his face.
Outside, I fought the urge to throttle the man that had blatantly lied to us not moments ago. He was shifty and I’d get to the bottom of it. We suddenly were surrounded by the same bald man earlier and another lackey. I grinned wildly and swung my axe to rest on my shoulder. O’naril had attempted to get the man to stop but to no avail. He raised his sword to eye level and smiled as well. This man had no idea what he was getting himself into.
I had beaten the dock master viciously into unconsciousness. The bald man had almost been beaten down by me, but he swallowed a pill and began to shake violently. He collapsed in a pool of his own frothy saliva and twitched for several seconds more, until his chest ceased to rise and fall. The other man had fled for his life.
O’naril bound the man up in lute wire and began to question the man viciously. He suddenly ripped the dagger from the ground and sliced his arm open. He cried out and I found myself staring at O’naril in shock; it was a gesture I would have seen myself doing… not him. The usually kind, compassionate, and charming bard had made a personality shift in front of me. We forced the man back into the dock house and O’naril glared at me, green eyes almost on fire, and commanded me to round up the others and bring them here. This dock master was bribed into working for the men with the ooze. They allowed ships from Gaelith to bring the cargo over in a small cove underneath Nautica. I had begun to argue with O’naril for a moment, not thinking if more came for him he could be killed, but my worry was replaced with relief when I had seen him smile at me and ask me politely to go, that I was quicker.
I rounded up our allies at the inn, not caring to ask what they had found. We all rushed back to O’naril and the story was explained. There still was a lackey lose, as we were unable to subdue him before he ran. We all readied ourselves for the climb through the trap door. Glancing to O’naril, I reached out and squeezed his hand reassuringly, and he turned to me, a smile on his face and we steeled ourselves for the impending fight ahead of us.