Arwin and the Iron Coin

Our party of adventurers parted from Francios Marchant, and went back to the nearby tavern.  The only tavern in the small town of Toulon.  It was named the Trois Fluers, and a wooden sign out front featured a rough painting of three different colored flowers springing up from the same green leaves.

They secured several rooms, and set about following the advice of the Priest of Kempin.  Eat, drink, and rest.  And each did so in their own unique way.

Arwin, for his part, was looking for a bit of action.  A way to make some easy coin, without drawing attention to himself or the party.  He sat in various places in the tavern, eavesdropping.  The fourth place he sat within the hour, was a dark corner furthest from the fire.  Two men were sitting at a nearby table, and Arwin heard them speaking in what sounded like thieves cant.

"Thinking like shiny, that one.  But bracelets and bars, or randy virgin? I'm wise on this."  (Sounds like a money-making job.  But, are we likely to get caught...or is it a sure thing?  I'm just trying to be cautious.)

"Certifiably randy.  I read the book.  Man married in.  We're flush."  (No, I promise it is a sure thing.  I've planned it out.  And we have an inside man.)

"Rukeday portions?"  (Does everyone get an even cut of the profits?)

"Yuh.  Rukeday portions, but the priest gets his tithing."  (Yes.  Even split, after I get 10% off the top for planning the job.)

Arwin was about to approach the two men, and introduce himself.  See if he couldn't get in on the job.  Maybe they could use a little more manpower.  And then he heard it.  It was a whisper in his mind...the hoarse voice of the horrible witch woman in the woods.  "No harm, no foul.  I don't hold you responsible for all that mayhem.  I want to make a deal with you."

Arwin winced.  He whispered quietly enough that no one could hear him.  "I want nothing to do with you."

"Ah...too late for that.  I slipped you my iron coin.  You're going to bring me back...and in return...I'll reward you much more handsomely than any little heist or robbery is going pay."

Arwin scoffed.  "You didn't slip me an iron coin.  I don't know what you are even talking about."

"Reach in your pocket...check your purse."

Arwin slipped his hand into his coin purse, and pulled out his coins, careful to not make it obvious to anyone else in the tavern.  He cupped them in his hand and looked over them, flipping them over with a finger.  "You crazy old crone, I don't...."  And then he saw it.

Among the gold and silver coins, a single iron one, ornately cast with arcane symbols.  It was both beautiful and ugly at the same time, and just the sight of it made Arwin feel sick to his stomach.   Why hadn't he noticed this work of iron before?  He mumbled to himself, "What the hell."

(Written by Josh Stinson)


Almost the instant that he made the statement the witches voice started up almost like she was watching him. “You Foolish boy, you really thought you could get rid of me that easily. Now back to the goal at hand, your empty purse.”


Arwin with some interest inquiries, “How much gold are we talking about.” With some surprise Arwin feels the coin start shaking as he hears the witch’s ear piercing cackle.


“I have some cashes hidden around somewhere around here from when I was just a young beautiful witch,” the witch announces proudly. “I’ll provide the information for you to ‘stumble’ on one of them if you just fetch me an item”


Arwin now hunched over, staring at the coin now noticing everyone looking at him he straightens up and walks out of the back door of the tavern. Once he heard the clashing of wood from the door and when his foot hit the loose dirt he started to speak again, “What is this item you need so much and why is it so important to a witch living in a coin”.


“That’s the problem” the witch says “ I am stuck in this coin...split between three coins in fact...until you get this item, and unfortunately the cash that I am offering is stuck hidden till you get me my first born’s blood.” 


Arwin with some interest starts, “That’s impossible, you have to be 100's of years old. I’ll never be able to track down your first born!” 


“On the contrary,” the witch lowers her voice, “You won’t have to find my first born, you’ll just have to steal his blood from the church.” The witch continues, “I have many children but I kept track of the first 10. When I left him he was put into an orphanage runned by the very church that your little priest friend worships at.”


“And how is that supposed to help me he is probably dead by now,” Arwin argues.


“That’s the thing, he is dead...he’s been dead for 100s of years, but he also was quite the saint.” The witch cackles at her pun. “He was buried under the church with a vile of his blood, and also he was buried with an item that might help your thick skulled friends”


Arwin, surprised by such a coincidence, starts to think up a plan when the witch starts up again. “While you twist your mind around a plan I’ll be here when you get me that vile. Don’t disturb me till then. And if you try to lose my coin, by my magic it will just appear on your person again. And if you try to destroy the coin, remember...I inhabit three coins in total. I will be quite cross if you destroy one of them, and will make sure you pay.” On queue the coin starts to shake and heat up till Arwin was forced to put it back into his purse.


(Written by Mark Stinson)


Arwin attempted to wrap his head around what he'd been told. The coin he possessed was but one of three coins in total. Where were the other two coins? And this hag...this vile crone...was promising treasure and perhaps magic, should he do her bidding. Could he trust her? Could he afford not to trust her? A purse full of gold certainly would feel good weighing down his belt.


This first born of hers...buried under the church. Must have been buried there before that Zuc-Swaine character brought the Three Kingdoms over from the World of Kempin. If the crone was telling the truth, there would be a grave, a tomb, or catacombs beneath the Temple of Kempin. Arwin turned toward the temple, and in the light of dusk he looked upon his target. He thought to himself. "Well, there is no time like the present."


Arwin walked through the town, keeping mostly to himself, but giving an occasional nod or wave to a townsperson or visiting farmer. He walked up to the doors of the Temple, and gave them a light push. The door swung open, and Arwin had to step aside as a fat merchant's wife nearly plowed into him leaving the Temple. Arwin walked in and closed the door behind him. The Temple was a public place, and members of the public were certainly there this night. There were around seven townspeople sitting in the stone pews, facing the God Stone. A priest that Arwin has not seen before stood by the stone, his head bowed.


Arwin figured the best way to be unnoticed, was to follow along with tradition and practice, so he took a seat in the pews near the back of the room.


There was the God Stone at the front of the room.  The door to its right that led to the Temple's living quarters and offices.  But, Arwin's attention was drawn to a small door in the middle of the wall to his left.  It was an old wooden door, with an open space in its middle filled with iron bars running up and down.  It had a handle and a lock mounted in its frame.  The space beyond the iron bars was complete darkness.


There were too many people here.  To many eyes to witness whatever he might do.  Arwin noticed the man in front of him was dressed pretty shabby, and smelled as though he was a stranger to baths, but no stranger to ale.  He tapped the man on the shoulder lightly, and whispered.  "I'll pay you 3 coppers right now, if you cause a distraction at the back of the Temple.  Three more coppers to be paid at the Three Flowers tavern later, if you do this without causing me any issues."


The man nodded and answered quietly, "Thank you."  Arwin slipped him the  3 coppers, and the man waited about 30 seconds, and then stood and went to the back of the Temple chamber.  The smelly man promptly clutched his chest, and gurgled out, "My chest...oh the chest."


Arwin was impressed by the smelly man's acting.  Arwin was in on the ruse, and he still felt drawn to go to the man and help him.  Obviously, everyone in the Temple, priest and worshippers alike, rushed to the man's aid.


Arwin slipped over to the door on the left with the iron bars, and tried the handle.  The door was unlocked, came unlatched, and swung open an inch.  Arwin had a decision to make.  He was in the clear.  He had every chance of entering the darkness beyond without being seen.  But, he would be by himself.  Should he go for it, or seek the help of one or more of his new friends?


(Written by Mark Stinson)


Arwin reached in his pouch and pulled out the iron coin.  He ran his finger over its ornate surface.  No.  There were too many questions still to be answered.  The hag had referred to three coins.  Where where the other two?  Who had them?  And was the hag's deal on the up-and-up?  Arwin decided that entering the crypts could wait.  He would mull over it, and perhaps ask one or more of his new friends about it.  There was no reason to be hasty.


Arwin walked out of the Temple, as the fake health crisis was still playing out near the doors, and headed to the Three Flowers so that he could pay off his anonymous accomplice as promised.