The next morning the team arose and began exploring their new surroundings. Several hours were spent attempting to find a way up to the mysterious third floor, to no avail. The second floor workshop, library, and gallery were searched thoroughly for hidden entrances with zero success. An expedition on to the roof was abandoned as too dangerous.
Mr. McQuesten’s professional eye spotted the fact that the castle seemed to have been cleaned from top to bottom overnight; a job well beyond that of anything other than a large team of workers. Even the fireplaces had been swept and dry wood had been stacked, ready for lighting. Additionally, the pantry seemed to have be cleared of its old and rotten foodstuffs and restocked with fresh. Mr. Emile’s assertion that brownies were responsible went largely ignored by the rest of the team.
As noon approached, the team decided it was time to visit the festival on the lake shore that could still be seen in full swing. A pair of large row boats were conveniently found beached on the shore. Taking one of them, the group approached the distant shore, observing the party-goers as they neared. Several times, people broke away from the festivities and pointed and waved at them. The songs and shouts were incomprehensible. The speech sounded similar to eastern European languages, but all the words were unfamiliar even to those knowledgeable in several such languages.
Upon arrival, eager hands pulled the boat ashore and helped them out. Each member was immediately swept into a dance. The natives appeared genuinely excited to greet their visitors. After a few minutes of revelry, each member was led gently by a young lady toward an old woman sitting under a nearby tree. After a brief scrutiny, a necklace of polished stone was given. When worn, each member found they could understand the native language. Removing the necklace ceased the effect.
With the language barrier down, the team began finding out more about where they were. The people were generally happy to talk and took no offense at any questions asked.
A few notable persons that were interviewed:
- Onyx: a stoneborn tavern keeper.
- Gam: the old woman who gave them the necklaces.
- Leni: a young girl, Gam’s great-grand-daughter.
LTC Markus questioned Gam about the Stargate.
Mr. McQuestern tried to hide from the dance while enjoying the food.
Mr. Emile was adopted by the windborn.
TSgt Frederickson generated several hypotheses for the situation, including holodecks, the Truman Show, and brains-in-a-jar.
Ms. Morrison decided to tour the town and found the Red Knight Tavern.
The following items were noted during the information gathering:
- Visitors often arrive at the town and then leave. Festivals are held to celebrate these occasions.
- The town, lake, and castle apparently have no name. The castle is not claimed by anyone in particular and the townsfolk have no objection to their visitors staying there.
- The people here are divided into stoneborn, windborn, greenborn and fireborn. Mr. Emile has posited that the stoneborn are dwarves, and the windborn are gnomes, while the human-like folk are fireborn.
- The townsfolk are led by a greenborn known as Zed. The group has been told they can talk to him when he is ready to to talk to them.
- Gam claims to not know of the Stargate or Jaffa, but upon hearing the name, Leni asked if they meant the “star metal” that falls from the sky.
- Leni, seems to think there is a old man who lives in the mountains that could help the team. Gam claims the old man is a legend.
- The town is a small hamlet of artisan stalls, shops, and homes. The largest and oldest building is the Red Knight Tavern.
As the day wore on, Gam seemed to come to the conclusion that the team would not be satisfied until all their questions were answered. She invited the group to enjoy the festivities until that evening when she would meet them at the tavern to do just that.
“Ninjanitors… The legends are true!”
“My hand is starting to hurt. Stop warrenting this!”
“Suddenly I feel like I’m paying more attention.”
Experience gained: 300