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Turn 105 The Temple of Callus

You break camp in the morning after a mostly uneventful night and head for Heron. Apparently Wulfgar has been away from home for while, because rather than noontime, it's closer to supper time before you arrive. The sun is setting as you travel a dry dreary road, surrounded by bleak landscape. Rocky terrain dotted by a few bare trees stretches to the horizon. In the distance, perched on a rocky cliff, is a crumbling stone structure surrounded by a high gray wall. Only the spires of a church rise above the wall. Wulfgar says this is the temple of Callus. You are 300 feet from the temple gate when you spy a lonely grave on the side of the road. It looks fresh. The marker is nothing more than a plank with some lettering on it, though you cant read the lettering from the road.

Keldar readies his hand to draw the sword on his back. And looks around. Keldar dismounts and moves to hide behind a rock or some obstical, trying to put something between him and the cities walls.
"Careful guys. Got a bad feeling about this. Are we going to scout ahead? If so, I say a small stealthy group try it, and the others get ready to cover them."

"What is this?" Jahl questions no one in particular. Riding his horse towards the grave, Jahl hops down before approaching too near. Leading his horse, Jahl slowly walks up to the grave and reads the board aloud. "Brother Randos...Beloved of Callus"

Wulfgar turns to look at Jahl as he reads out the inscription, a look of disbelief on his face. "NO! you must be mistaken!" He leaps from his horse and lands on the run stumbling to the grave pushing Jahl out of the way to read the inscription for himself. He kneels at the side of the grave head hung low. He mutters to himself almost incoherently.
Wulfgar rises from his knees a confused look on his face "He draws an arrow out of his sheath and runs back to his horse almost seeming to jump into the saddle he pulls his bow from his shoulder "Come let us ride on!" He quickly kicks his mount forward into a gallop heading for the Temple.

Kay remains on her horse, "Bad feeling about what? It's just a simple roadway memorial to someone who died here. I've seen those before, they're sometimes used to warn others of dangerous areas, so don't be so jumpy."

"Argh.... Wait'up!!!!" Keldar runs to get back on his horse.

Arilyn watches Wulfgar and quickly draws her bow and arrow...kicking the flanks of her horse into a gallop. Her hair trails behind her in flowing waves of gold..the sparkle of adventure shining in her eyes.

"Wha...," Jahl starts as Wulfgar pushes by. "What's wrong? Who is it?" Jahl's questions falls on deaf ears. Jahl hurries back to his riding beast in order to stay up with his friend. "What's going on?" Jahl asks anyone who will answer.

"Got me" Vincas shrugs "Maybe they knew that guy. Either that or he's clawing his way up through the soil. Let's ride." He then urges his horse on in pursuit of the others

Until now Cole was debating on weather or not a closer examination of this lone grave site was needed.
As Vincas' comment is uttered Cole looks nervously at the grave and urges his horse to a higher speed he looks back at the grave as if the grave were his own. Riding after Wulfgar and those who went after him, Cole doesn't stop until he gets to where Wulfgar is.

"Quickly; follow. Wulfgar may rush into more than he can handle, though I expect this is a case of grief and shock than immediate danger." The knight waves his left arm in a circle indicating the group, then chops forward, obviously lost in habit of cavalry command. The mighty chestnut mare quickly decreases the distance between the solitary Wulfgar and the party.

Wulfgar rides right up to the gate of the Temple stopping short by about ten feet to check for any obvious dangers before continuing. As the others catch up he speaks "Randos was my mentor and teacher in the ways of Callus, I feel and know that something is wrong as I tried to contact Callus only to feel that blackness again! She was trying to reach me I could feel that but something has happened the answer could be within!" He signals towards the Temple with his arm.

Kay manages to catch up to Arilyn's steed, "What the fudge is going on here?" Who is this Brother Randos that you're getting so worked up about? I would really like not be completely in the dark this time , so don't go all silent on me." she shouts while keeping an eye on the road. "Do you guys even know where you're going?"

You continue down the road toward the temple. Two immense oak doors stand wide open, allowing you to enter. High above you looms an iron portcullis, covered with layers of rust. Upon entering the temple grounds, you see several buildings to your left, an orchard to your right, and a statue of a beautiful woman in front of you. The largest buildings are before you. To your right, is a large church, its spires straining as if to touch the overcast sky. Surrounding the church is a large almost empty graveyard. As you look about, you are approached by a priest. "Greetings brothers and sisters" says the heavy set priest carrying a pail "I am brother Horatio. Welcome to the Temple of Callus. How may I be of assistance?"

Wulfgar slips from the saddle putting away his bow and arrow. "So Brother Horatio! Tell me more of this God Callus? How long have you served here?" He let's his hand slip down to the hilt of his sword and rest there. "Wow what a beautiful statue! Where did you get such a piece?"

The knight's brows furrow for an instant in a "Want to run that by me again" expression before comprehension blands his features and his customary smile re-emerges.

Kay remains on her horse, "Sorry folks, this is far as I'm going with you. As much as I enjoy wandering the planet blindly and all, there are some things that I need to do, and this isn't one of them. Good luck with whatever you are doing.." She takes off towards Heron.

Gareth turns Emperor to catch and head off the swordmistress' mount. "Kay, we are a company of fellows heavily influenced by the gods, even more directly than every other person on this world of ours. We would not disown or abandon you if you were to visit a swordsmith's place; respect that Wulfgar has need to visit the place of his strength, also; this temple, being so close to Heron, must be the one in which he learned the path to his diety, and to lose a mentor... Wulfgar needs less our itchy feet and more our strength and compassion. We are a group on mission for our King Arion, Kay, and do not randomly wander the world; we have a duty, as a group, to perform. Our travels have purpose, fear not, little one."

Kay maneuvers Angel around Gareth,"A noble quest indeed, but I must follow my own path.". She slowly moves away from the Temple, "Good luck!", and is gone in a quick gallop.

Upon Gareth's return, Cole mutters "Callus...Callus...I've read about this Callus I don't know why I haven't thought of it before."

Concentrating on Wulfgar and waiting for him to complete his subtle interrogation, the paladin distractedly questions Cole, "What about Callus had you not thought of before?"

"Oh it's probably nothing....but when the magic started backfiring I never considered that one of the gods may be responsible. And the only two I can think of that would do such a thing would be Balin and Callus and I have consulted Balin on many occasions with no luck. Perhaps it is Callus who has caused this situation or knows who did."

Wulfgar walks beside the Priest for a few minutes listening to his words to see if he does in fact know what he talks about. "I see would it be alright for me to came and pray to Callus here in the Temple?" He looks at the priest for a response before turning to return to his horse. Suddenly he stops and asks "What happened to Randos?"

The paladin nods in agreement. "For something to affect the power of the gods, it would take either one or more of the gods in collusion, or a presence of another entity or natural order disturbance of collosal might."

" I'm not blaming any of the Gods for this situation but I do feel we should ask Wulfgar to consult with Callus while we are at her temple, perhaps some insight into our problems can be gained."

Vincas watches Kay explain her motivations to Gareth and leave. He removes his yellow cap and scratches his head "What's with her? I thought we were doing just fine."
He shrugs and replaces his cap, his smile quickly returining "Oh well, our paths may cross again soon, I've seen stranger things happen. I'll be happy to attend the mounts while those of you with more sincere religous beliefs visit with the priests and explore the temple. All I ask is that you grant me the same respite when we arrive at the next well provisioned inn."

Caoimhin looks around the temple, his left eye squinting and blinking. He pulls up alongside the paladin. "Gareth, I would appreciate it if you could have another look at my eye. I still can't see in it, and it's been long enough that I'm concerned that it's not just flash-blindness. If you can't do anything, we might need to ask the clergy here what healing abilities they have...though I know not how much the party has to pay them. Myself, I carry only a few coins, should need arise, and likely not enough for hired healing." He smiles. "And it seems in the best interests of the party to have neither lame horses nor half-blind companions."

Wulfgar walks beside the Priest for a few minutes listening to his words to see if he does in fact know what he talks about. "I see would it be alright for me to came and pray to Callus here in the Temple?" He looks at the priest for a response before turning to return to his horse. Suddenly he stops and asks "What happened to Randos?"
"Why of course brother. All are welcome to pray to the Lady Callus.Will you and your friends require rooms for the night?" Appearing a bit startled at the mention of Randos a great sadness descends upon his features. "Brother Randos was a wonderful man, he was the head of the temple here in Heron. Sadly, he took his own life but a mere 3 days ago. His loss to Callus' is a great blow to her followers" Tears appear in his eyes, and he obviously struggles not to let them fall.

Arilyn looks on...her attention focused on the priest. This place fills her with awe...her arms shake slightly in a shiver and she folds her arms over her breasts...hiding the two small points showing at her shirt. "Dear Sir. I am sorry for the lose of Brother Randos. Do you have any idea why he took his own life?"

Wulfgar walks to stand beside Brother Horatio "I can feel your pain Brother I also have to admit I have not told you the whole truth although I have not lied. I am Wulfgar, I am the one who donated the statue, Callus has been in touch with me recently but just now there is just a blackness. Why would Randos take his own life? It does not sound like him! and I knew him well. Pray tell me how is my father?" He tries to divert the topic of conversation away from Randos.
He turns to the group, "You will find an Ale house at the end of the village! If you wish to get refreshments or to get cleaned up from the dust of the road go there I will join you shortly once I take care of something I have to do!" He points towards the Ale house as he tells you about it before pointing towards the Temple when he mentions he has something to do.
"Tell them in the Ale house that you are friends of Wulfgar and that I have returned."
He turns back to Brother Horatio.

Turning to Caoimhin, Arilyn looks with a frown. "Caoimhin..the best interests of this party have nothing to do with your sight. I have some money..and I will give it to you if need be. Not because you are a member of this party but because you are a person in need whom I can help."

Wulfgar turns back "Caoimhin if you are still having bother with your eye, I am sure that Brother Horatio will have a look for you and Arilyn do not worry about the money, if there is a payment then I will take care of it."

Arilyn just kinda laughs at Wulfgar..."one minute it is stay together...the next minute you want to cloak yourself in secrecy. Well, I am in need of a glass of wine...a bit of cheese and a long warm bath with a lovely maiden washing my back...and my front as well." Her eyes sparkle with Elvin mischief. "After that I will order a bottle of wine and a grand dinner...and rest assured, Wulfgar, it will all be on your tab." She nods to Brother Horatio...spins around, walks away and thinks of the pleasures ahead.
"Wulfgar..my friend," she smiles. "Your pockets must be very deep...for I am very hungry...very thirsty and am in need of much pleasure. You may have little left once I have used your tab." She laughs heartily. "Did I ever tell you how I love being a 'kept' lady?"

Wulfgar turns back to Arilyn and gives her a curious look! "What? I meant to tell them that you know me not to put things on my tab! I will help Caoimhin if I need to I have my spells as well." He turns away with a smile.

You can almost hear the rush of air as Vincas turns and heads toward the ale house. As he rides away he looks back over his shoulder "Reggie, Keldar...anyone else interested in washing away the road dust with an ale and a bath?"

Cole is slow to follow but trails behind Vincas to the ale house. He studies the archetecture of the temple and the statue as well.

"Wulfgar, I am sure the townsfolk know of your generosity and will be more than willing to put whatever I need on your tab." She skips out the door and heads directly to the ale house...she thinks..please...please have a bottle of elven wine...it has been such a long time.

Wulfgar ignores Arilyn and continues to speak to Brother Horatio. "So tell me about my father is he still alive? Has there been any word from my sister, surely Randos would have mentioned it to you?" He walks with Horatio into the Temple stopping before the statue for a few seconds to gaze with awe at the beauty of Callus. "That craftsman certainly knew what he was doing" He mutters before continuing into the Temple.

"I believe a long rest at the ale house would be very welcome to me. Wulfgar, I hope to see you there shortly." Jahl begins leading his mount down the road as Vincas flashes by with a cloud of dust in his wake.
Jahl's head snaps towards the arilyn, his eyes wide and brows arched high. After a short moment the hint of understanding simmers into his eyes. With a half-grin Jahl looks back at the road ahead of him and continues towards the ale house intent on a large mug.

A large, silly frin spreads over Keldar's face. "You priestly folk can best do the work here.... someone's gotta go watch Vincas".
He turns, runs after VIncas, then stops dead in his tracks, then fishes the tome that had been the topic of the recent trail-stop. "Here, someone else can consult the priest on this one..."
He then charges off after Vincas.

The paladin's gauntlets snatch the sacked book out of the air, a flash of startlement playing his features. "Wulfgar, perhaps we can find a place within this temple in which this evil tome may be stored until its evil can be forced out?"

Looking up at Gareth as he hands over the Tome Wulfgar turns back to Brother Horatio "Is there somewhere we can put this evil Tome until it can be dealt with?" He turns and walks with Horatio waiting answer to all his questions.
Taking hold of Cao as he walks past "I think you should come with us and let the head priest have a look at that eye of yours. I feel it may be beyond my capabilities."

"Mayhaps brother Anselm will know of a safe place." Brother Horatio replies thoughtfully to Gareth and Wulfgar. "What is it?" He looks at it with passive curiousity.
The paladin replies, "An item of evil that must be contained and guarded, lest it be stolen. If your ranking brother could be contacted, Wulfgar and I would like to speak with him after the supper hour."


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