Finding herself in the small village of Ralthan, Ashalla was not given much of a warm welcome. Between the sneers, grumbles, and upturned noses, Asha did meet a young boy; he warned her about a group of bandits who had been raiding the town’s roads. Thanking the boy, she decided against her usual nature of sleeping beneath the stars.
Eager to find more expedient travel, she came across a merchant with a horse-drawn cart. He was carrying goods to Denerim, and Asha persuaded him to make room on the cart. He simply asked for an elvish remedy for the rash on his bum.
Asha found a small inn to take up for the night. The chatty men in the tiny tavern on the first floor spoke of bandits killing a family of toy-makers on the road; apparently, the bandits had become bold and dangerous. Being cautious, Asha settled into her inn room and prepared the room to protect against ambush. While setting up her defenses (a chamber pot in the window and a chair against the door), she noticed a number of armed humans entering the inn. Putting out any lights of her own, she took to the shadows of her small room; her suspicions paid off when she heard the heavy leather boots and chuckling of a trio of humans approaching her door. Two muscular men spoke to a smaller human about taking out the bandits that matched the description provided by the smaller man; they seemed to think she was one of the bandits.
Her defenses paid off, and Asha was able to fend for herself as she moved into the hall to meet a confused apostate named Pryft. Pryft, in between infatuated stammering, claimed that these men intended to clean out the bandits, but he was quite sure than the dozen or so bandits were not just one elf woman in elaborate disguise. They pacified the assailants, and Pryft explained that he took the child of the family of toy-makers to the innkeeper downstairs; the man had promised that he could help get rid of the bandits.
The treachery laid bare, Ashalla and Pryft confronted the innkeeper. The innkeeper had the small boy with him, who had gone mute from the trauma of this entire ordeal. Pryft and Asha coerced the innkeeper to release the boy and killed the man to keep their statuses as apostates a secret.
Moments later, the door of the inn burst open, and a group of guards entered the inn. The man in front, Captain Braedon, asked what had happened. Thinking quickly, Asha and Pryft simply told him that a group of bandits assaulted them in the inn and that the innkeeper was in league with them; they managed to save a child and defeated the bandits themselves.
Luckily, none of the spells they cast left obvious markings.
Pryft decided to continue his travels before more bad luck came his way. He and Asha exchanged a private wish of luck; the Templars would love to know of their existence, but Pryft had no intention of that happening.
Braedon offered to take the child back to Denerim, where he could leave him in the capable hands of one of Nicola Baranti’s orphanages. Asha agreed and planned to meet up with them in Denerim. Mustering what little strength he had, the boy mispronounced “mama”, mistakenly using the elven word “mamae”.
Asha slept in her inn room and rode with the merchant’s cart towards Denerim the following morning.