Not in any rush to begin their service for Mayor Miria the party decided to first shop around town for some supplies. Their first stop was a small, somewhat shabby, tailor shop by the name of Fedorric's Fashions in which Harold purchased a dark blue cloak. He was able to haggle the price of the cloak down quite a bit by agreeing to wear a button advertising the tailor shop around town. Kalise attempted to ask some of the locals where she could find some sort of jewelry and accessory store but had no luck with the wizened old person she found herself in conversation with—she decided to try asking someone a little more aware of the world around them.
Ardeth and Sylthana had more luck in their mercantile adventures, finding a stall selling herbs in the town square. Ardeth purchased a satchel of various Calladaian spices, and he was so pleased with this find that he did not even attempt to haggle with the owner of the stall. Sylthana, on the other hand, purchased some ingredients that, with a bit of skill, could be brewed into three or four healing potions.
Roy had some luck as well, finding a large pottery shop with a large number of apprentices being overseen by a stern master. Roy approached the master, intending to purchase enough clay to produce a decently-large—approximately three foot tall—golem. The master, however, revealed that he had a distaste for golemancers and cared far more about selling to those who would produce vases, pots, and other items of that nature. Sensing this, Roy spun a tale about how his companion Harold was looking to become a potter of this sort, and was able to purchase the clay for a good price. Roy told Harold about this tale, and asked him to remember it in case they ever encountered the master again, but Harold didn't seem entirely sold on the tale.
While traversing the town in the general direction of the richer quarter the party found themselves sharing the street with a young bard busking rather poorly. Most of the party ignored this young man and continued along the street, but Kalise, taking pity on the man, tossed a single sharp into the lute case laid on the ground. This sent the bard into a fit of tearful gratitude, as he sputtered words of thanks and affection to Kalise. He revealed that his name was Fiddi and that he was busking here because his uncle—the owner of a rather large jewelry store several blocks away—had driven him away thanks to his poor playing. Offering some final words of encouragement to the young bard Kalise rejoined the party as they continued down the street, towards the shop owned by Fiddi's uncle.
The shop the party found themselves in could better be described as an emporium for the great many fine pieces of jewelry and other expensive items contained within. Almost immediately after entering the party was set upon by the owner, Fiddi's uncle Iridon. Ardeth started conversing with the rotund Iridon first, looking to sell the heirloom he had convinced Hada to part with as payment several days earlier. The initial offers from Iridon were insultingly low, and after a few traditional back-and-forth offers Ardeth grew impatient and decided to try scaring the shopkeeper into offering a more fair price. The price eventually settled on was more than fair, including all of the sharps that Iridon currently had on his person, and a much less expensive iron ring he wore on his finger. He would have given more, had he not been more frightened of what his wife might think than he was of Ardeth's veiled threats of violence. Not wanting to break the man any more than Ardeth already had, Kalise bought a simple, but finely made, silverwood barrette at asking price. The party then left the shop, but not before Kalise asked the man to reconsider letting his nephew play in front of the store again.
Evening was settling over Valehallow so the party decided now would be a good time to check in with Ali, and make that soup recipe she had been so interested in. The party purchased the necessary ingredients on their way and it wasn't long before they found themselves in the middle of the goblin quarter by the river. Ali's home was a small, but comfortable, home beside a large headless statue of what is presumably a goblin man. The party knocked on the front door for several minutes with no answer and, fearing the worst, they opened the door. Their fears seemed to be realized when upon opening the door they were confronted with a dark red stain in the center of the floor.
Before the party could panic overmuch, however, Ali appeared on the stairs, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. She explained that she had been painting earlier and had accidentally spilled some on the floor. Her mother was currently out in the market fetching some cleaning supplies and Ali had decided to take a nap while she waited. Ali ushered the party in without much hesitation, quickly presenting the party with the results of her earlier efforts. She had painted a group portrait of the party—including both Ali and Eskaer—entirely in red paint. The party's collective heart grew three sizes that day so they asked Ali to show them into the kitchen so they could prepare the meal. There was already bread set to rise in the kitchen so the party only had to focus on the soup itself. Ardeth took charge for this task, making sure that the party correctly peeled the potatoes among other tasks. Roy, against Sylthana's wishes, allowed Ali to peel a single potato, which she did rather poorly but with all fingers intact. At this point Ali grew bored with the preparations and asked the party if they wanted to play outside, which the majority of the party agreed to, leaving Ardeth to cook the soup alone—as was his preference.
The party played with Ali for the better part of an hour before her mother arrived home, cleaning supplies in tow. She introduced herself as Daraya and thanked the party for saving her daughter's life. She was so pleased with them that even learning that they had allowed Ali to handle a knife only concerned her for a moment. When Ali was out of earshot, however, she asked the party if they had spotted her son Rogin while they were below. Upon hearing that they had not spotted him she appeared to the party to be both relieved and disappointed, but she left things at that.
Eventually Ardeth had finished his work in the kitchen and called to everyone that it was time to eat. The party then shared a rather enjoyable meal with Ali and her mother, talking about nothing in particular until Daraya eventually retired to do something about that red paint in the hallway, which Roy followed to assist with. With her mother out of earshot Ali began to request that the party take her with them when they left town the next day, rationalizing that she was much smaller than her brother so her parents would not miss her as much. The party, agreeing wholeheartedly on something for perhaps the first time ever, told her that she absolutely could not come with them. They did, however, agree to come visit when they could, perhaps with souvenirs.
With the disaster of the hallway dealt with Daraya returned to the kitchen and began making preparations for settling down for the night. While the home didn't have a whole lot of space she did bring down a large number of blankets and pillows for the party to use in the large hallway. The party finished cleaning up from dinner and prepared themselves for sleep, as ready as they could be for the next stage of their adventure.
—END OF SESSION FOUR—
—TO BE CONTINUED—