Day 4, 26 days remaining.
We knocked on the door.
"Ah yes?" a raspy but high pitched voice answered.
"Mama Giuseppe, we are volunteers, we want to help you in anyway for the big day at Balentyne tomorrow. The troops mean a lot to us and this town!" Drae bluffed.
|Mama Giuseppe's home|
Stixx and Drae smirked and entered the the tiny home. It stunk of old woman and spices. The large cauldron was sitting over a stone fire pit boiling over hot coals. The smell was unbelievably delicious and enticing. The old woman had actually went back to stirring the pot humming merrily."Oh can you hand me that bowl of vegetables." Stixx shrugged helplessly as he couldn't reach it and Drae helped the old woman.
"How much allowance are you getting for being here little boy." Mama Giuseppe inquired about Stixx, but didn't look back to meet his gaze. "I'm sure you are a helpful boy."
Drae motioned to Stixx to get her to turn away and pointed at the four large containers of poison shoved in sacks. Stixx then reached for a spice knowing he couldn't reach it and as a result it was knocked off and crashed with clatter of broken class and a small plume of dill weed powder. She smiled warmly.
"Don't worry your pretty little head dear, I'll get it." Mama Giuseppe comforted.
As she bent over to clean up the clever mess, Drae dumped the poison into the cauldron, it bubbled with reaction but was over quickly and began stirring. The smell didn't change much at all. She stood up, winced at her back pain and saw Drae stirring the stew. She had hobbled over to the cauldron, took a wooden spoon from her table and spooned up a sip. Then another, and another. "Taste perfect! You boys have helped me so much!" she rejoiced.
"So how do you get this up to the fortress Mana?" Stixx asked.
"Oh the soldiers come and wheel it up there for me." Mana Giuseppe replied. "But right now I feel tired, this just needs to simmer over night."
Stixx and Drae helped her to bed and left the house to report back to the rest of the group about what had happened.
8:45 P.M - Day 115, Rova 15, 3042 AP (After Peace)
Back at The Dalliance
We gathered in the biggest of the rooms in The Dalliance. After today's craziness most of the drunkards that appeared at this time of night had decided to stay in doors in case of another ogre attack. Drae and Stixx came up to the room and rapped on the door.
"We got the stew all ready to go guys." Drae said. "But there was a just a minor set back." he warned.
|Maldrake and Kallista with a map of the area.|
"The old hag tried some of the poisoned batch. Three wooden spoonfuls." Drae explained.
Stixx chimed in, "It may not be enough to kill a normal person, but she is very old. I'd say she is around 80."
"Just in case, you should go check on her in a few Drae." Maldrake suggested. "We wouldn't want her to die on us."
"And you care if she does?" Drae replied surprised.
Scoffing at such a suggestion, Maldrake replied, "Of course not. But we have to plan for it."
"Even if she does, can't we just look like her anyway?" Urgeon said. "I mean, let Drae go baby sit the wrinkly bitch and if she dies, who cares? That off the clock drunkard Bellam might try to go down to the basement again and I want to be waiting for him."
Drae nodded in agreement. "I will head back over there. Go ahead and head down I can take care of any problems that arise. You aren't going to traverse the tunnel tonight though are you?"
Kallista replied, "Doubt it. We still don't know enough yet, the poison stew will help us dwindle down some of the troops, and we should bring all the numbers we can. That means you as well."
Urgeon, Grumblejack in a gnome form, and Kiliketz made their way to the basement after they heard Bellam head to bed. Urgeon had given his circlet to Drae in case things went south at the old woman's place. At first Urgeon almost got caught but passed it off as being drunk and went back to his room. A second attempt was good enough to make it to the basement. Maldrake's familiar was positioned perfectly to warn Urgeon when Bellam was coming down and to be ready.
9:15 P.M - Day 115, Rova 15, 3042 AP (After Peace)
Drae returns to Mama's house.
It was dusk. Drae arrived at the old woman's home. He knocked gently. He heard a faint moan. He opened the door and closed it very quietly. Drae made his way to the old woman's bedroom and found her laying down convulsing lightly with spatters of blood dripping down from her ears and thick mucus coming from her nose. The cauldron simmered calmly. Drae looked down at the old woman who was struggling in her sleep and shrugged.
|Mama Guiseppe's final moments.|
He said to himself in the lonely home, "Just great. Whelp, better take care of this." He picked up a pillow and pressed it over her head. She struggled only lightly, lets out a bit of gas, and just stopped. Drae decided he would just stay in the old woman's home and wait till morning. He pulled up the floorboards in her old rickety home and stuffed her down there and got some light rest.