Apples and Ivy
The Owner of Moonscuttle's Mystical Menagerie
“Little lass of fire and past
why do you cry so dear?
Your son is dead, your water red
But oh, your daughter’s here!”
Moonscuttle is often seen sitting in the driver’s place of his entirely singular wagon. The wooden boards are dyed a deep purple, while the hand carved roof blazes a brilliant crimson. There are countless drums laid into the top of the wagon, and metal spheres (magically suspended) rise and fall upon them in an endless rhythm. The music can be heard from quite far away. Often his lilting voice carries over the cacophony. At times a song. In dire days a war cry. A dark horse pulls the wagon, his black fur painted with sharp blue runes and tribal lines.
Moonscuttle himself wears a white beard which drops to mid-chest, and long white hair which pulls back over his skull. His eyes are unsettling, wide, constantly flitting from one subject to the next. His robe is a very simple piece. Dark canvas draped loosely over a hunched figure. Those who know what to look for, however, will note that his hunch is… steady. Deliberate. His smile is a bit too confident, his movements too sure for him to be as frail as he would clearly like people to think.
“Close your eyes, oh please oh please
with dirty hands and dirty knees
the night has come to steal the sun and where, or when, with two or one.”
Little if anything is known of Moonscuttle’s story, save for what could be determined by the party’s one and only encounter with the odd man.
The inside of Moonscuttle’s oddly musical wagon was covered from floor to ceiling with cages containing inhabitants who chose to remain completely still. White mice. They stood as statues. Moonscuttle began to ply his wares to the adventurers but they were far more interested in the stoic mice. It was soon discovered that the mice were previously soldiers under the command of Piarro who bore the Apples and Ivy broach. The quick-talking merchant had changed them from man to beast… and kept them entirely under his control. All with a smile. After an unnerving conversation in which Moonscuttle was very nearly moved to aggression (by the antics of one Sclabhai and her Mage Hand), he departed rather quickly. Soon after his departure there was the sound of celebration from down the road which Moonscuttle was seen travelling upon.
The group soon discovered why. Moonscuttle had laid a trap for the curious Tiefling and her companions in the form of a de-boned dragon and a mouse in a cage. The bait was taken. The bones of the dead lizard rose up in a gruesome form which was quickly struck down by the heroes.
Moonscuttle has not been heard from since. Though his wagon was seemingly sighted to the west of Elturel. Drums pounding, horns blaring, smile wide and cages empty.