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Turn 97 After the fire

Keldar looks after Reggie/Duck. Gareth, Wulfgar, and Catherine have a spat and the rest of the party aid in putting out the fire. Several villagers make comments once the fire is out. "knight of Pikahl?" "Hmph" "He sure didn't help here" "afraid to get his hands dirty" "but he got his friends to help" and so on and so forth. Arilyn runs over and throws a pail of water onto Wulfgar and Catherine to calm them down. Returning to aid the fire fighters, she discovers the fire is quickly out. Comments float about the purple duck being demon magic, about how someone used magic to put the fire out, and about the knight who didnt help. Suddenly, Wulfgar begins to laugh heartily as Arilyn realizes he returned the favor and dumped a full pail of icy cold water over her head. So Wulfgar, Arilyn, and Catherine are all soaked. Lord Reynold and his sons are nowhere to be seen. People are returning to the unaffected parts of the keep presumedly to resume their lives, guards invite you to accompany them to retrieve any of your belongings that got left behind as they go to insure the fire is completely out. Vincas changes his shirt, feeling much better, as some of you decide whether to return to the tower. Barbaxle declines emphatically, and the rest of you consider it.

Caoimhin watches the smoldering remains of the fire for a while, then gets another pail and cups some water in his hands. He splashes his face, wiping off most of the soot and sweat, then turns to Jahl. "I find it strange that neither Reynold nor his kin are here to oversee the operation; how incurious they must be." He looks over at the freshly minted duck and smiles. "That's a less conspicuous bird than others I've seen." He turns now toward the party. "Now what? It seems our quarters are no longer suitable. I say we leave this place as soon as possible, waiting only to have an audience with Reynold so that we won't be accused of starting a fire and sneaking off in the night." He looks at the crowd of villagers. "The sooner we get the dust of this place off our feet, the happier I'll be."

Wulfgar smiles at Arilyn "okay I think a couple of us should go in and see if there is anything salvageable from this the rest should perhaps go to the kitchen and we can meet up there. Who will come with me?"

Catherine hooks her arms in those of Wulfgar and Arilyn. "I agree with both Caoimhin and Jahl, however I find it _very_ odd that the Lord does not even show his face once when his home is burning down around his ears...unless of course he died in the fire and that would explain much..." sheepish smile. "I will go with you and I think _raiding_ the kitchen is order as well since I suspect we will be on the road for a some, does anyone have an extra horse?"
"And someone explain the bloody duck."

As Gareth passes the group to speak with the guardsmen, he responds, "Several... within the stables, and sufficient in number to convey us.

Keldar turns, looking Catherine straight in the eyes, then holds the duck up between them. Keldar then changes his voice and starts to wave the duck as he speaks. "I am the great mage Reggie. My magic had put out the fire, but now I am a duck for a while."
Keldar lowers the duck. "Can we go to the kitchen. Reggie needs his reward for saving everyone."

Keldar holds the duck/Reggie to his ear after Catherine's speech. "Duck wants ta go to the kitchen." The gnome then swings this cloak full of food over his shoulder, tucks the duck under his left are, then starts singing a child's nursery rhyme about farm animals.

Gareth ignores the slurs and questions and takes off his gloves, securing them beneath his belt. Moving from person to person, commmoner to guardsman, the knight checks each person's health. The many minor injuries he bandages with pieces of cloth torn from his spare tunics within his pack, and suggests a combination of various herbs to apply in form of poultice that will speed healing. No attempts are made to deny or justify, as if responding would lend credence to such obviously erroneous suggestions, so the knight shows not a sign of acknoledgement of the derogatives, bearing them stoically and accepting muted thanks with a simple politeness. Two clear saline bands from eye to chin, however, exaggerate the sootiness of his features from the smokey escape. After the people remaining in the square have been looked after, the knight straightens stiffly and paces measuredly towards a relatively unsullied water bucket, in which he plunges his head underwater for several heartbeats. Gareth removes his head, squeezes handfuls of hair to remove the water, and replaces the leather hairband that normally adorns his well-kept mane. Spying the guard that alerted the party, the paladin briskly crosses the intervening distance and addresses him with an arm-claspe. "My thanks guardsman...[waiting for name here :)]. Had it not been for thy timely warning, quite likely the King's party would have been dangerously imperiled, if not killed. Pikahl was watching over us with thy aid. My thanks again. I would liketh to lend mine aid in ensuring the fire beith out whilst mine - pardon... I would like to help check the fire while my companions check on gear and tend our "befowled" friend. Afterwards, we will seek an audience with lord Reynold and and his son and inform them of thy-your bravery and quick-thinking. Risking your life to save others' is something I take quite seriously. Let me extend the thanks from all of us to you. Pikahl watch you and ward you."

Catherine, and anyone else who wishes to come, will head for the kitchen. She's pretty honked off at the people's treatment of Gareth, but won't display any hostility over it and I doubt she'd say anything to Gareth about it either. Once in the kitchen she will make sure to grab as much preserved foods as possible.

"I'm glad that was all that happened, it could have made the fire even worse. (As Barbaxle points to the duck) I think we need to have a little talk after you change back. You guys, go inside and check to see if we left anything. I don't want anything to do with that place anymore, I just think that we should get out of here. There are some people that want us killed and we don't even know who they are....I just n-need to see some open forest for a while. Everything is just to close together right now for me. I think that I will go check on my horse and everyone else's, does anyone want to join me??"

Vincas steps forward and says "Umm, you feel alright? You certainly are acting a bit strange." To the group he says "I think that spell may have had an effect on more than just Reggie. Anyone else notice anything else suddenly different? Keldar seems unusually....well, unusual! Come on Keldar, I'll go with you to the kitchen." With that Vincas steps over near the gnome, and puts a hand on his shoulder. "Let's get some food old friend." He looks back to the group with a look of befuddled concern, and shrugs his shoulders.

Wulfgar takes a step towards the burnt building, "Okay you lot go to the kitchen and see if you can stock up some food, Gareth, check the horses and make sure they are okay, Barbaxle stay here and guard the doors. I'll go in and see if we left any gear and if it is salvageable. Turning he heads for the doorway a steady stride covering the ground quickly.

As Keldar begins lowering Reggie, there is a flash of light and the duck turns back into Reggie before your eyes.
Reggie looks around muttering "Fire, Smoke ....."
He then seems to snap back to his normal self. "I'm hungry, is there any food around here?" He then notices everyone looking at him. "What? Have I grown a second head or something?? Or is there something behind me I don't want to know about" and with that he leaps forwards, screams and rolls on the floor so he is now facing in the opposite direction. "Phew, There's nothing there" he sighs. "Now, about that food..."

Keldar is thrown off balance by the sudden increase in weigh by the duck, and ends up face down on the ground.

"Everythings happy. Really happy. Nothings at all is wrong, right Reggie. Vincas, do you wanna go play at Nick and Miette's house. Back was going over there this morning". Keldar looks up at you with the clear-eyed expression of a happy child - a very young, happy child.

Vincas addresses the group, with a half-smile "It seems our friend Keldar has been transported back to the time of our childhood. The people he speaks of are our childhood friends." He starts laughing and claps the gnome on the shoulder

Walking steadily towards the door to the wing where they just escaped the fire Wulfgar will pick up a full bucket of water and step inside. (Just in case he finds some non-extinguished fires) Then he will look around to see how much damage there has been to the structure of the building before going up to the level that the group was on.

Everyone goes about their business (see private emails for confirmation of your actions) and after gathering food, checking horses and discovering no way to the third floor you meet back in the courtyard. Gareth motions to Reggie. "Glad to see the magical backlash has worn off. It does seem that the aberrations are relatively short-lived... when they are not immediately lethal. You did well, Reggie; your risk saved much of the keep - again, well done." Observing the bulk of the party fed and cleaned from the sooty ordeal, the knight crisply snaps his tabard down to remove an invasive crease. "Barbaxle, if you would not mind, please ready our mounts and find out how they are feeling - except Emperor, though; I will see to him when we return from our discussion with Reynold."

Everyone splits up to go about their respective plans.

Turn 98