Chapter One

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Re: Chapter One

Post  Shorjahl on Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:53 pm

Shorjahl smiles at retrieving the silver, then seems slightly hurt at the moniker of "human." The flash of remorse in his eyes quickly fades. "Good doing business with you. Name's Shorjahl. I'm just staying here temporarily while I sort out some business, but I don't particularly live anywhere."

He walks for a moment, pocketing the silver away in his robes. "And you? You're a hin, like those of Gaoler's Bend, no?"
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Custer Thickett on Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:08 pm

"Ah, Shorjahl. Good name." Custer pauses, "Aye, like those here, but like you, 'I don't particularly live anywhere.' The name's Cuss, but you can just call me wet, hungry, thirsty, or tired."

Custer takes a few more steps, and adjust the grain sack over his shoulder, then begins to spew words so fast one may wonder how he can take a breath between sentences. "You sure did make a show of it out there. How many did you take down? Six? Oiy, you must be proud, or is this just another day 'round here? We should have let one get away, ya know, to chitter to his pals to stay away from here. So, being so powerful you must be smart, too, huh? What do you think of that blue human? Is he curseborn? I wonder if his mother or father was the Drow in the relationship that spat him out, what do you think? This grain is heavy."
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Shorjahl on Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:17 pm

"Pleasure to meet you Cuss." Shorjahl extends a hand with a lopsided, self conscious smile. "I've been all those things, half of them at the same time!"

As Custer starts to spew out words rapidly, Shorjahl opens his mouth as if to speak multiple times, but simply stops as the halfling never abates. He walks quietly beside him until they arrive outside the Mayor's Manor. "Well, I guess we'll find out." Shorjahl lets Cuss in ahead of him, nodding and smiling at anyone who makes eye contact.

He steps into the manor's foyer, his leather and wool robes and trousers dripping wet. After a moment of concentration, they appear completely dry, even his dark hair looks clean and unsullied (prestidigitation to remove mud and water from myself.) To those paying close enough attention, they would have heard a very slight buzzing and faint high pitched chime emanating from Shorjahl's bracer as he does this, followed by a crackling of knuckles and a flex of his fist.

He's cordial to any of the orderlies or administrators, as well as smiles reservedly at those already seated and eating. "Care to eat, Cuss? We can at least scratch one of those states of being off of your list." He seems in a bit of a haze, staring at things for a half moment too long, standing still as if a bit in shock here and there.

The sight and smell of steaming meat suddenly makes him feel quite ill. Shorjahl's face pales, his eyes water, and he mumbles something as he excuses himself from the room overladen with food. The images of those kobolds' bodies bursting forth, their hearts and brains and ribs splattering and disintegrating into the night mud. He felt ill, and tried to hold his light lunch of bread and water down. (Con Save: 9)

Shorjahl steps to the nearest receptacle he can find (a chamber pot, sink, outside, just something that isn't a terrible travesty to throw up on) and retches violently. He holds his hand against his mouth, spewing the small amount of food he did eat today into his palm, bits of liquid flowing between his fingers. He's mortified, and if he didn't feel so faint he would have ran out in embarrassment.

-------

Rolling: 7 + 2(Con) = 9


Last edited by Shorjahl on Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Chapter One

Post  DiceMaster on Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:17 pm

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Re: Chapter One

Post  Custer Thickett on Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:32 pm

Custer slumps the grain sack against the wall after stepping inside, then looks to Challah and Owen to see if they need more help getting in the grain and wool. Before he speaks, he hears a buzzing noise behind him, and turns to look at Shorjahl with a puzzled stare. Seeing the water slough off, Custer's jaw drops open.

Custer nods and follows Shorjahl into the room full of food, mouth never closing, and a trail of drip water following him. Custer sucks in air and wets his lips with his tongue, then takes in a long deep smell. Custer lets out a sigh, and replies, "Aye, with any luck, we'll get'em all." Custer looks up at Shorjahl, "Whoa there, fella, you don't look so good. You are injured, aren't you? Hey, where are you going?"

Custer does not follow, and instead, turns his attention to the room. He looks up and down the table, smiling at any that will meet his gaze. Hearing the Dwarfs question to the mayor, Cuss waits for the reply before taking a seat, creating a small puddle of drip water around him.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Osvald Hale on Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:17 pm

Having gratefully accepted the mans extended hand and thanking him quietly for the kindness, Osvald took a moment to steady himself against the wall, coughing up flecks of mud.
"Always making a good impression..." He grumbled under his breath.
The halflings and others made quick work of organizing the chaos beyond the gate. Osvald, now glad for the rain cleaning his filthy garb, moved to examine the kobold ensnared within the magical vines.

"Curious, unnatural, and honestly pretty damn effective." He noted to himself. The Druids spell had conjured a plant that seemed familiar yet totally alien to him. His thoughts drifted for a moment to an old elf he once knew...

Muttering a curse he turned back toward the tiny hamlet, and walked with some semblance of grace toward the mayors manor.
Bowing low to enter the vaulted entry way, Osvald takes a single step inside, the mud and filth dripping from him in mighty streams upon the manor floor.

With a bashful glance at the patrons within and an envious one at the feast laid out upon the table he steps back apologetically...

"Maybe I'll ahh.... I should wait outside."
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Ao on Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:15 pm

The roar of the rain is cut off as Cherous Elester returns to the front door to close it. He sees Osvald, being blown about with the vigor of the storm, and shakes his head.

"No no no, come inside sir. I can scarcely imagine that you'll manage your way back to the inn in this weather. Go, warm yourself by the hearth."

With that, he shuts the door.

The great hall is a cozy space, with high vaulted ceilings uncommon among halfling burroughs. A roaring hearth is set against the northmost wall, and an impressive great table gives way to a small sitting area in front of the fire.

Despite the hour and the weather, the room is lively with guests. A generous table brimming with breads, meats and wine is set out for their enjoyment, and a quick count would place the crowd at over twenty.

The small halfling from the wagon, Challah, bumps into Shorjahl, blowing the hair out of her face and smiling broadly.

“Oh, sorry sir! Ah…thank you for your help sir. You and the others.”

With that, she hurries off out of the greatroom, blowing past her uncle Cherous.

The tall halfling looks after her for a moment, and then picks a glass up off the table, raising a fork to it.

The clink sets the crowd into silence.

‘Thank you, friends, for being with me on this evening for our high harvest night feast. Waukeen has blessed us this evening, delivering my niece Challah from a troupe of kobolds that beset her and my groundskeeper Owen. We’ve kind folk who have joined us at our table, responsible for dispatching the beasts.”

The group gives a polite clap for the newcomers. An elderly halfling smiles nervously at Anna, who has taken his second glass of wine and is draining it down her throat.

Cherous continues,

“The storm is harsh tonight, and high harvest is a time for sharing abundance. My guests have claimed all of my staterooms, sadly, but all are welcome to a fresh berth in the stables. I know it is a humble bed, but I confess to have spent a night or two in its warm embrace. After a Tethyrian wine or two…”

A raucous chorus of laughter ensues, and then the guests go back to dining and chatting among one another.

[…]

Cherous turns to Kilik as he poses his question on the Kobolds.

“Yes, it’s very curious.” he muses, puffing on his pipe.

“Kobolds can be vicious creatures, but one does not often see them out of the caves or the tunnels in which they dwell. They cannot see in the light, you know. In my years as Lord Mayor, I’ve never had trouble with them. The roads are well patrolled by my militia, you understand. But it troubles me… this is the second group we’ve stumbled upon in a week. I’ve advised the townsfolk to tend pastures and flocks closer to the city walls, but I’m afraid I’ll have need of breaking my own good advice on the morrow.”

He stares out through a great, tall window that overlooks the stable. A flash of lightning can be seen, illuminating thousands of individual raindrops pouring from the heavens

“I’ve a very sick horse. Not an ordinary animal. Beautiful coat - long, grey hair. And the most exquisite star on its forehead. She wandered into our field six years ago, and I’ve become very attached to her. But she’s taken ill. Severely ill. Cannot even raise her head to drink. I’ll be headed out tomorrow, first thing, to find some Nipweed. Very strong antibiotic for animals… it grows about a half day’s ride south of here, in the ‘Browns.”

Anna overhears this conversation. As a druid, she is familiar with the herb that Cherous is talking about. In fact, she has some in her pouch…

Just then, the half-elven bard pushes her way through the crowd, rubbing shoulders with Cherous. She turns to look over her shoulder, her voice beautiful and melodic amidst the din.

“She’s a unicorn Cherous. I’ve told you. The curse that afflicts her, it will take her life when Esrelembar begins. Spend your sweet time with her. She is not long for this world, unless the curse is broken.”

Then, the bard leaves in the same direction that Challah had. Up a grand staircase, to her stateroom.

Cherous exhales sadly, rubbing his temples.

“Bards. Making life into a grand story. Would that she was a unicorn, perhaps she could cure this fever that has overcome her. No, I fear that only Nipweed will do the trick. And I’ll get it for her. Yes, I will.”

With that, Cherous walks over to the table and pours himself a deep drink.

====================

Ok fellows. There is plenty of company to chat with, should you wish to become more familiar with Gaoler’s Bend and the surrounding area. Roll social checks, should that be your motive, for the next rotation.

Otherwise, Cherous has offered you a free stay in his stables for the night. Should you wish to turn in early.

Of course, feel free to meet one another, as well. You’ve done such a great job of RP the past day, that I’m awarding a +10 XP roleplaying bonus to each of you.

EXP: +30 to the whole party

-Ao


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Re: Chapter One

Post  AnnaMaul on Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:33 pm

Anna takes a moment to eat and drink more of the food in front of her. She had heard the Halfling say he needed to go out tomorrow and look for Nipweed which it just so happened she had. The thought of watching him hunt around out there was quite appealing if only for comedy's sake, but she knew the right thing to do in this case would be to share what little she could. Considering how much of his food she had already eaten, and had plans to eat more of.

She gets to her feet and makes her way to Cherous and taps him on the shoulder. His startled jump when he turns around brings an amused smile to her face as she reaches into her pack and pulls out a bundle of nipweed.

You said you had plans to get some of this. I happen to have a bit of it on me. Consider it a favor for the food and drink.

He thanks her a bit timidly which is understandable considering the circumstances and she nods her head in return before making her way back to the table. She takes her seat and drinks from her cup again and turns to Kellar. For the first time she realizes that his skin really is that strange shade of blue. Admittedly this was the first human she'd seen with skin that color, but it's not like she was a well-traveled person. Perhaps she just hadn't met anyone from his tribe before.

So where are you from?
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Kellar on Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:14 am

Kellar met the curious eyes of Anna when she returned to the table.

She's staring at my skin. Yup.

I'm originally from a small village outside of Sundabar, it's part of the Silver Marches. I didn't like it much, it had cruddy winters, worse spring weather. I think the real question you're considering while I babble on about Sundabar is, why do I have blue skin, Kellar said nervously.

This happened to me a while ago, I'm a Dragoon, well, was, I suppose... >sigh< still am. We were hunting and found a spire with a frost dragon. I was the last one to make it out. It killed my companions and gave me this... continued Kellar, showing the scar on his right arm to Anna.

I hope I'm not sounding too crazy.

The dragon's claw entered here, just below my shoulder, and exited through the back. It was a pretty clean wound. At first it was just my arm that was blue, but as time went on, it started spreading. I used to wear a hood and full armor wherever I went, to hide my skin because people thought I was cursed. But I don't feel cursed. My skin was such a dark blue, but now it's actually a lot lighter than it was before, rambled Kellar. Recognizing that he had been rambling on, obviously insecure about the whole situation,

Argh. She just asked where I was from. Why did I blurt the rest of that out?

Kellar hurriedly grabs his drink and gulps and looks down the cup toward Anna. >cough, cough< So where are you from originally, asked Kellar while talking into his cup sheepishly.


Last edited by Kellar on Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:15 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammarz.)
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Re: Chapter One

Post  AnnaMaul on Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:01 am

So its NOT natural. Interesting.

As for your skin, I'll admit a passing interest. Although people with skin colors outside the normal pink isn't too far fetched.

She raises an arm to show the greenish hue of her own skin before lowering it back down to the plate and grabbing the next piece of meat.

Where I'm from... That's a bit harder to nail down. I was a part of a... Nomadic tribe made of Orcs and humans. After some differences I left and fled into the wilds. I spent a few years mostly alone in the forests, making them my home and learning about the magics you mentioned earlier.

She eats some more before moving on to the obvious next question.

So, dragonslayer, what would encourage one with your particular talents to venture off into this part of the world? I'm sure with your skill set you'd be able to find work just about anywhere. Especially with such blatant proof of your survival of a close encounter with one of the beasts.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Kellar on Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:42 am

I've been looking for the beast that did this to me. I've aided villages, castles, major cities among other things in hopes of finding a clue it's whereabouts. Once I find a lead or hint at a dragon I seek it out, said Kellar and pauses for a moment.

It's been so long since that day.

Kellar takes another drink and continues, So, that brings me through this area. Just following a lead. Could be something, but most likely nothing. I'll ask around in the morning. Normally if I happen upon kobolds, they tend to worship dragons or larger lizard type creatures.

That's why I happen to be here. It was dumb luck to run into a pack of kobolds, let alone other people with skills such as yours, said Kellar.

Perhaps we could form an agreement? I can't hunt and kill a dragon by myself, but I could ask your favor in my quest. In return, whatever spoils the dragon may be coveting you can have first pick, my share of the gold and I shall help you in any way I can. Whatever pressing matters you happen to have we can address first.  Consider it a gesture of good will, offered Kellar.

It'll take more than us two, if she agrees...

Kellar eagerly awaited Anna's answer.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Shorjahl on Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:03 pm

Shorjahl recovers himself, making quick work of the mess he made with some more of his cleansing magic. It seemed the strain of exerting himself during the battle caused him to become nauseous, and he couldn't help but be sickened at the sight and smell of the meat. He did his best to steel himself, stood up straight, and walks somewhat self consciously into the room. Despite being one of the tallest in here (nearly twice as tall as most of the hin), his posture and demeanor showed his wearied mind and lack of confidence.

Wiping a bit more of the spittle from his beard, he stepped into the banquet room again, surveying over the scene. The twenty-some guests here, including several of the adventurers who assisted with the kobold attack, had made their way around the table, enjoying wine and meat and hearty bread. His empty stomach gurgled, and his earlier revulsion was overwhelmed by hunger.

Cuss, the halfling he spoke with earlier, and the mud-drenched man he'd helped up earlier, were both making their way around the table to eat. He saw a warrior, blue of skin and strong of form, obviously a man-at-arms by his cadence and posture. The blue man sat across from the wild woman, which now in the light of the lanterns Shorjahl could see was perhaps of mixed human blood and something else... maybe orc? Shorjahl was not one to judge, and her earlier prowess in the battle certainly saved lives.

An image of the kobold's brain splattering against the wagon's axle flashed in his mind's eye. He grimaced subtly, pinched the bridge of his nose, and attempted to clear his mind of the disturbing images. He remembered learning from some of the arcanists at the Sanctum outside Waterdeep, that the first time one kills with magic takes a heavy toll. He flexes his shoulders, stands up straight, and tries to mask his thoughts with an outward display of strength.

He nods and smiles to several of the guests, noticing the two halflings that were stranded atop the wagon. As he walks by the table, he grabs a warm roll of bread, eating it ravenously on his way to the two kind folk. Despite being from here, they seemed somewhat out of place in this stately place.

Shorjahl shared a few kind words with both of them, ensuring that they were well and settled. Their praise and thanks, and expressions of genuine appreciation, were enough to remove any lingering doubts in Shorjahl's mind. These people didn't fear him or his magic, in fact they admired him. He felt a swell of confidence, even laughing aloud several times at the jovial conversation.

His stomach had settled somewhat from the delicious and hearty bread, and he saw the few other adventurers engaged deeply in conversation and feasting. The muddy man stood there somewhat out of place across the room, and Shorjahl raised the last crust of his bread in a friendly acknowledgement. Shorjahl made his way across the room and sat at the table beside Cuss and a gruff dwarf he hadn't yet noticed. He smiles conservatively, making himself a place of roots, vegetables, and more bread. The meat didn't interest him.

Shorjahl listened to the Mayor's short speech, pondering as to what would make the kobolds so bold, especially against an armed and defensible hamlet. After he and the dwarf spoke for a moment, and the green woman offered Cherous the weed he was after, Shorjahl began to wonder about the source of this issue. His natural tendency to help others started to shove its way forward, past his desire to live a quiet and safe life.

He heard the word dragon from nearby, between the warrior and the green woman. Over the bustle of the banquet, he couldn't quite make out what they were saying, but it seemed the warrior had just asked her a rather serious question. Dragons... (Arcana check: 10, to determine any association with the blue-skinned man, dragons, and kobolds. Bit of a stretch, but I'm trying.)

----

Arcana Roll 5+5 = 10


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Re: Chapter One

Post  DiceMaster on Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:03 pm

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Re: Chapter One

Post  AnnaMaul on Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:23 pm

Kill a dragon you say?

[i]That would have earned me a name of my own not too long ago. But the past is the past.[/b]

A brief smile flashes across her face before she shakes it away. Whether or not it would have given her a name was irrelevant anymore. But the prospect of joining in on a hunt of that nature was something her instincts couldn't just abandon.

You have my attention dragonslayer. A unique... I hesitate to use the word prey for such a beast but... A unique target of this nature is something I'd never thought to attempt before. On top of first pick of its hoard I honestly can't pass it up. I will join you, at least so far as to kill the dragon. As for other matters...

Anna takes finishes the meat in front of her and turns in her seat to face the man who appeared to be listening in on the conversation. Noticing for obvious reasons that he wasn't a halfling like most of the guests in the room, she made a bold jump in logic.

You. How many of the kobolds did you manage to slay out there?

-----

(She's addressing Shorjahl)
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Shorjahl on Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:26 pm

Shorjahl's eyes widen as he realizes the woman is sternly addressing him. He looks a bit nauseous with a half-chewed potato in his mouth. He gulps and smooths the blanket on his lap nervously.

"I think, five or six. I'm-I'm not sure... there was a lot of movement... the rain.." he trails off as he looks to be feeling somewhat ill. He takes a steadying breath, eyes closed. He opens them, and his countenance has hardened.

"Six. I killed six."
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Re: Chapter One

Post  AnnaMaul on Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:49 pm

Six? So the other magics out there were your doing? I must admit I was taken aback at first. But I can't argue with results. It was an impressive night for you, and as such this is yours.

Anna grabs a large hunk of meat off the main plate and drops it in front of him, as well as fills his cup to the brim with wine.

Eat, you earned it more than even I did tonight.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Shorjahl on Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:55 pm

Shorjahl's eyes bulge, his mouth turns down in a sickened grimace. He gingerly pushes the plate away as he looks away. "Sorry, I'm not feeling up to eating any meat tonight. Thank you for the praise though." He drinks from the flagon of wine.

"And those roots and thunder magic, your doing?"
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Re: Chapter One

Post  AnnaMaul on Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:40 pm

Her face contorts into an expression of confusion. Not up to eating meat? Is that really a thing? Do humans have to be in a certain mood in order to eat meat? She shrugs.

Thankfully I didn't get that particular feature from my mother.

For a moment Anna considers taking the meat for herself, but decides that would be rude in case he gained a desire to eat the meat himself in the near future.

Roots and thunder, yes those were mine. Just a small thing to try and stop those creatures from making off with anything that wasn't theirs. I'm no stranger to a raid, but I'm no stranger to my targets having assistance on occasion either. If you aren't strong enough to take what you want, you either forfeit the prize or your life. In this case, they chose wrong.

She drinks from her wine, beginning to feel some of the dizzying effects now after a few glasses. It'd been too long since she'd had any, she would have to slow down before she lost control of herself.

My name is Anna, by the way. Sir Kellar here- She gestures towards him -was just asking me to join him on a hunt for a dangerous prey. He could give you more details than I on the subject, I've never seen one of the beasts up close in my life but from the sounds of it he has much experience in the matter.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Shorjahl on Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:52 pm

He nods in self-assurance as Anna confirms his thoughts on her magic. When she mentions Kellar, he stands briefly from his seat and reaches out his right, non-bracered, hand. "Shorjahl, pleased."

"Dangerous beasts you say? I'm no hunter, more of an explorer really," he thinks for a moment, knitting his brows together. "Tell me Sir, what's the nature of your quarry?"
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Kellar on Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:39 pm

Kellar stands to meet Shorjahl at eye level and extends his hand to meet his.

Kellar, the quick. Pleasure is all mine. Impressive display you put on earlier, Shorjahl. Six is a fairly high number in such a short amount of time during a skirmish. Your powers are considerable, nodded Kellar.

Anna and I here were discussing an arrangement of sorts. The dangerous beasts you ask of, they go by many names: Wyrm, Serpent, but are more commonly known as Dragon. I'm what is known as a Dragoon, or Dragon Hunter in other regions. I am only one Dragoon, it is a considerable task for several Dragoons, let alone one. What I have offered to Anna, I shall offer to you, a chance at treasure and exploration. In exchange, I will offer my services as a Dragoon and assist you in any matters that you may have, offered Kellar.

This may not go over well, but if he seeks exploration, we'll be doing that, certainly.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Custer Thickett on Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:12 pm

Custer patiently listens to the Lord Mayor's speech and comments about the Kobolds.  Upon announcement of the invitation to stay in the stables, Cuss lets out a barely audible sigh, and thinks The Stables, perfect.  Thanks you..  He was nervous about staying under the roof of a man so scorned by his family, but the thought of sleeping in his stables felt safer.  He nods his gaze to the floor.  Perhaps he would be able to get some rest after all.

Custer then takes notice of the mess he is leaving in the immediate space around him, still dripping from his pack and cloak.  He was trying to look a bit more uncultured and scruff than a Thickett, but this may be a bit excessive.  Why didn't you tell me I was making such a mess?

Custer approaches the first nearby Halfling he notices to be serving the table, and ask them where he may find a washroom and privy.  Once he is directed, he excuses himself.  He makes quick work of cleaning up, removing his pack, cloak, and leather armor before cleaning his hands, face, and furry feet.  He digs through his pack for a clean, mostly dry, set of plain clothes.  He then takes out a brush, and tries to get most of the water out of his curly dark hair.  After relieving himself in the privy, Custer looks for his cosmetics, and small mirror.  He attempts to apply some light shadowing to his facial features and eyes, to change the apparent shape just enough that he hopes doesn't resemble his family name.  [disguise check 11]

Custer then gathers his wet gear, and makes way back into the main hall, and approaches the fire.  He arrays his pack, armor, and cloak so that it may be dried by the fire.  He then turns his attention back to table and it's guest.  He sees the blue man and greenish woman chatting at one end, and somewhat farther away, he notices a couple spots near the red-haired Dwarf.  That'll do, he thinks as he approaches, I sure hope he is friendly.  Hi, he says, taking a seat, then begins to ramble, I'm Cuss.  If ya plan to be sticking around to find out more about these lizard-folk, I'd like to help.  I know the area a bit.  Oh, and I noticed something as we were cleaning up the corpses with the grain and wool.  One had a necklace of sorts.  I'm not sure where it is now, though.  Perhaps in one of the sacks or with Challah.

Cuss catches a quick breath and helps himself to some nearby grub, and waving to have some succulent fowl passed his way.  He ask for wine, listening to and making small talk with the Dwarf.  When he notices Shorjahl taking a seat nearby.  Cuss smiles a mouthful of fowl and bread, losing some small flecks of it as he says, "Hey, welcome back, slayer!  Feeling better?"

Cuss lets out as hardy a laugh as he can when he sees the look on Shorjahl's face when the greenish woman drops the hunk of meat in front of him.  He smiles and pays close attention to the conversations.  He looks about at the other Halflings listening to the talk of dragons, and noticing some unease, he raises his voice to the group, Ha!  Dragons?  I doubt such a beast would be sending a couple of Kobold minons after grain and wool.  I wouldn't be worrying about some huge beast coming around for revenge.  If those fellas had some powerful pet, my coin would be on nothing larger than the Wyvern sometimes seen in The Small Teeth to the west.  Custer then takes a long pull of his wine, darting his eyes left and right, hoping to see the Halflings put at some ease.  [persuasion check 26]

He then leans closer to Shorjahl and the greenish woman and whispers, But no kidding, did you see that necklace?

-------

roll 1 disguise check +2 prof with tools 9+2=11

roll 2 persuasion check +6 expert 20+6=26


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Re: Chapter One

Post  Custer Thickett on Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:13 pm

Roll!
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Re: Chapter One

Post  DiceMaster on Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:13 pm

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Re: Chapter One

Post  Shorjahl on Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:23 pm

Shorjahl makes eye contact with Kellar and shakes his hand firmly. Kellar notices that his skin feels hot to the touch, almost unbelievably hot. Shorjahl releases the grip quickly, and sits back down.

"I know not much of dragons, and I'm uncertain if I'd be able to help slay such a terrifying and powerful creature, but I'd be willing to travel with you and do my best to assist. The promise of potential treasure and exploring a new region are more than enticing enough for me, my friend."

As Cuss interjects, Shorjahl can't help but feel the little one's words ring true- while the connection between kobolds and dragons is well known, it is unlikely one is involved in these local attacks. That firmly centers Shorjahl's focus on the here and now- with a flash of Taneesa's smiling face before his eyes. He banished the painful memory.

"I saw no such necklace, but I didn't get in any proximity to the...bodies." he swallows.

"Do you think it is some sort of, clan affiliation? Status symbol? And what of these kobolds in this region, certainly for them to attack so aggressively, and in such large numbers, must indicate a larger force of them is nearby, no? Before today I'd never faced them in battle, but they seemed," he hesitates, eyes flicking into space as he searches for the right words, "easy enough to dispose of. I'd feel better knowing if I helped the kind people here who have sheltered me these past few nights."
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Re: Chapter One

Post  AnnaMaul on Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:40 pm

Anna stifles a laugh.

Easy enough to kill? Its harder to keep one alive long enough to cut information out of than to kill one. The defenses around here are far from battle-standard though. And if they are willing to keep the drink flowing, I'm willing to keep lizard blood doing the same. Besides, as easy to kill as they are, they know it. So if they're attacking a village then either they're drunk or someone is scaring them more than the potential death at the hands of angry villagers or passersby.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Custer Thickett on Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:33 pm

Custer holds his cup out for a refill when somebody comes by with a flagon of wine.  He laughs and makes small talk and jokes with the other Halflings.  "Oiy, I wonder if Kobold skin makes for good work gloves?  We could all use some new gloves.  Shorjahl, should skin em with those tricks of yours for us.  Hey, do you know how many Kobolds it takes to shingle a roof?  It depends on how thin you slice them!"  Custer laughs hard, holding his belly.

Custer again catches his breathe, and looks about the faces, smiling at those that meet his drifting gaze.  Custer pitches his head back a little for a better throw on his voice, "Oiy, all this talk of reminds me of a poem.  Let me see if I can remember the words:

A Nightingale flower fell on my leather.  
Smell the pedal and your foots a feather.
Fancy a whiff, let go half a goose.
Take a sip, you tie your own noose."


(Thieves Cant: Translation, "I have some Dream-mist tea, a sniff will get you very high and cost ya 5 silver, but drink and it will kill you.")

Custer laughs, "Oiy, I butchered it.  My mother always said I'd make a poor poet."  He smiles and darts his gaze up and down the table, looking for laughter, puzzlement, but most importantly, nods and winks of understanding.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Shorjahl on Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:54 pm

Shorjahl's eyes settle on Anna, "I don't seek to spill blood, but I also don't want these hin to be left to some warren of vile creatures. And as you said, they must have something compelling them to be so bold. It warrants investigation."

As Cuss starts blabbering and speaking in a foreign language, Shorjahl looks bemused and does his best to ignore him. It seems as though the drink has taken the little one's mind for the night. Shorjahl continues to chew on bread, contemplating the connections of this place. He'd have to go and speak with Fosulbrelt, the hin who was paying for his services. He knew the area well and had come across a few good pieces in his travels that needed identification, classification, and proper appraisal, something Shorjahl was proud to admit he was quite good at.

----

OOC just as a reminder to AO, Shorjahl was already staying in Gaoler's Bend with Fosulbrelt to catalog all of his magical knick knacks in exchange for room and board and food. Half of his stuff is still at the little place toward the front of town.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Forgeless Kilik on Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:11 pm

"--haps in one of the sacks or with Challah."

The little halfling smiling expectantly at him pulled Kilik up out of his thoughts with a start. Social graces never came naturally, especially in the common tongue.

Ha, ha, yes -- I suppose you could say that. he began, trying to cover the awkwardness. 'Kilik', I be called, volamtar of holy Marthammor Duin. Kilik's bushy eyebrows knitted together as the little man began to spout some nonsense about birds. The poor lad is touched by the spirits, no doubt...

He turned to the others who fought at the gate. That was some fine bit of spellcraft yer put on out there, he laughed sheepishly, I'm afraid my aim was a touch rough -- a long day on the road and the blasted storm will do that.

An what was all that gab about a unicorn? he eyed Anna in particular, that jus the waggin tongues of small town folk, or could there be somethin to it, you think?

Catching himself, he put one hand to his still-damp chest and said, Kilik, at your service. I'm glad to say we met as we did, foranif my legs were longer and yours a bit shorter, I'da got my fill of kobold iron this evening.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Shorjahl on Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:16 pm

Shorjahl smiles warmly at the dwarf, stands, and reaches out his hand "Shorjahl," humbly. He sits again, picking over what vegetables are left on the table. "You're a volum-vowelen-v-*sighs* I'm sorry, what was it? I'm not familiar with this practice." He listens again, trying to remember what he knows of the dwarf's magical tradition (Arcana check: 13).

"You seem capable, I seriously doubt you'd be outmatched by the kobolds." Shorjahl's one eye squints ever so slightly, his gaze lingering on Killik, searching his face for some recognition or sign, it seems. He seems so familiar to Shorjahl, he'd almost swear he'd met the dwarf before.

------

Arcana Roll 8 + 5 = 13


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Re: Chapter One

Post  DiceMaster on Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:16 pm

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Re: Chapter One

Post  Osvald Hale on Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:51 pm

Having quietly helped himself to a generous portion of a thick brown stew from a blackened pot in the hearth, Osvald turns again towards the long table and saddles up on an unoccupied section of bench, apologizing as he slides into place near the grounds keeper, Owen.

Waiting for a brief pause in the halfling folks conversation, he takes an opportunity to address to the Groundskeeper;

"From whereabouts were you and the lass Challah returning from this eve? Hell of a night to travel, I'd not expect a storm this bad so early in the year. Must've be treacherous work out there on the road."

Down the table Osvalds hears talk of treasure, gold, dragons, and nearly chokes on his mouthful of stew, coughing hoarsely and wiping his beard on his still-sodden sleeve with apologetic glances to the obviously somewhat off-put townspeople around him.

Fearing he may have chosen a rather lack-luster conversation partner for this evenings meal, Osvald turns back to face Owen, and smiles broadly,

"Apologies friend, I fear I may have a been a bit... ah... over zealous in my consumption of our gracious hosts fine meal... Please, continue."

Facing the halfling, Osvald attempts to listen in on the conversation between the others down the table...

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Re: Chapter One

Post  Forgeless Kilik on Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:07 pm

Kilik smiles indulgently. "Volamtar" in my tongue would be something like "blazer of fresh trails" in yours.  Marthammor Duin calls his clergy to come out from their moutain fortresses and walk the world as guides and travellers. He frown theatrically, with a twinkle under his bushy brow. It all makes more sense when the sun is shining...

What brings yer here?
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Shorjahl on Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:20 pm

"Ah, forgive me, my dwarven is terrible," sheepish.

"My tale is much less significant than your own- no blessings of the Gods for me. No, I'm a simple wanderer trying to learn as much about the realms as I can. I was traveling through here with no particular destination, and seemed like a pleasant place to recuperate from a hard road. I'm glad I did." He nods, gazing into his flagon before taking a sip.

"Have you, by chance, traveled through Waterdeep? I don't mean to pry, but something about you seems rather familiar," Shorjahl looks to Killik's face, examining his features politely.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Ao on Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:33 pm

[Separate roll results, during the conversation:]

[Cuss’ Disguise attempt: Noted, and compared to Cherous’ passive perception. He doesn’t seem suspicious of you.]

[Shorjahl’s Arcana check, to do with dragons/kellar/kobolds: Not any affiliation, that you know. Although, you do recall mention of exceptionally powerful magics of any kind sometimes deforming, colorizing, or otherwise changing those that they touch.]

[Shorjahl’s Arcana check, regarding dwarves magical traditions: These elements are divine in nature, and aside from a passing acceptance of divine magic, Shorjahl’s Arcanic background is wholly unconcerned with it. However, he once heard of a cleric, of the aforementioned Marthammor Duin, who offered protection to travellers up and down the sword coast. A scholar at Candlekeep that he once knew had made use of his company, and had spent months with the cleric in exchange for a very modest donation to the temple in Baldur’s Gate.

==========================|

As Anna places the herb pouch in Cherous’ hands, the tall halfling’s expression alights instantly.

“Truly! You are a great service to me tonight!”

He seems scarcely able to contain his thanks, although his attempted embrace seems stifled by Anna’s nonchalance.

He leaves quickly, dashing out into the rain. His guests are too occupied with food and drink to much notice.

[Cuss’ Persuasion check results]
Custer’s boisterous expressions about dragons and wyverns become the centre of attention for a moment, as half a dozen neatly drunken halflings reflect fondly on his sentiments of adventure, and relative safety. They clap afterward, as if he’s told a grand story. And then gradually, settle back into their own conversations.

As the night wanes on, guests of the evening pass in and out of the conversation that the adventurers are having. They don’t pay them much heed.

One burly halfling, who might be a woodsman, grumbles his agreement for a few moments before returning to his ale. He adds very helpfully, that “Kobolds ain’t the stinkin’ problem. Where there’s trouble, there’s orcs. A whole mess of ‘em, down in the small teeth.”

And then, as quickly as he came, he returns to the cheeseboard.

Osvald quickly discovers that Owen is, in fact, a mute. But the rousing conversion around dragons and treasure sings softly in his ale-addled ears. And the groundskeeper (who is a bit simple, it turns out) is content to sit next to Osvald, eating a loaf of bread by carefully sectioning it into tiny equal pieces and buttering each slice fourty-seven times.

[…]

The fire has burned down to the coals, and most of the guests have departed. Cherous sits idly in front of the fireplace, having returned from the stable.

The half-elf bard has returned from her chambers, and she sidles up to him, placing her hand on his shoulder.

“The Nipweed. No effect, I trust.” she says softly. Not in a mocking tone. But frankly.

He nods solemnly, eyes cast into the fire. He puffs on his pipe in obvious melancholy.

The bard withdraws her lute, and begins to strum, to no one in particular. Her beautiful sing-song voice echoing into the hearth.

“Oh of love, so fickle.
There once was, a flame.
Three hundred years ago.

In the mountains to the south. The small teeth. Home of,
Ferocious men and monsters.

The valiant Clan of Hale, and its master Ausen.
Warriors of the golden lands,
Protectors of the mountains.
Slayers of orc and ogre.
They tamed the land to their liking, and took what they would in honourable battle.

And yet, the Seluneruan elves of the Soulwoods,
did denounce their just and merciless crusade.
Their lord Baroei,
Unfamiliar and rent with hatred for the race of man.

But, his prized and cherished daughter.
Elorai,
Watched as orc and beast waned from her homeland.
And her heart fell to Ausen Hale
as did the hordes of the mountains.

But Baroei was enraged, and would not allow their union.
Sweet as it was.

And so, Elorai drowned in her affections, and her broken heart.
For the will of her people is strong.
Until a guardian of her grove,
The unicorn Maleil,
Blessed her with a gift.

Her horn.

For on the horn of a unicorn can be sworn an oath,
whereupon its fulfillment,
no elf can deny its prophecy.
No elf.
Not Baroei.

And so, Elorai crafted a spear.
Of unparalleled beauty, and strength.
With the horn as its wicked and righteous tip.

And swore that as Ausen struck down Urukath Than,
Chief of the Blackbriar Orc Clan,
Elorai would be his prize.

The man was fit for the deed, and he set upon Urukath in the dead of night.

The spear rang true, and pierced the heart of the chieftain.
Blood ran from the orc, and it did die upon the horn.
And so, the prophecy was true.

But Baroei, the cunning. The deviant. The vile.
Did despise the man of Hale so thoroughly.

He sang a song of Ausen’s plans into the ear of the Blackbriar,
who arrived to witness the death of their master.

And now, the crushing strength of one hundred orcs descended upon Lord Hale.
And Ausen was no more.

Elorai, so wretched with sadness, surrendered her elven right to boundless life.
And threw herself from the peaks.
And the Soulwood wept so deeply for the blood of its lady,
and the betrayal of its master,
that it dried and cracked and decayed into the desolate brown lands.

And Maleil, without a horn, was cursed.

The body of a simple horse. To live for another 300 years.

And if not reunited with its precious horn, to die as Elorai did. On the eve the Soulwood died. The Esrelembar.”

[…]

Cherous looks up at the half-elf, a scowl on his face. He is a temperate man, but his frustration now cannot be masked.

“Your stories are beautiful, Selai. But I am in no mood for them this evening.”

==========================

Ok guys, I have to get some sleep. Long day for me. Looking forward to your posts for Sunday night Smile

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Re: Chapter One

Post  Osvald Hale on Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:58 am

Osvald rises slowly at the maidens song...

As her soft voice fills the meger hall, his eyes deepen and soften, and he recoils visibly inward with every verse...

Osvald swallows once dryly... Barely... And almost soundlessly speaks:

"Wh... Who... ...that song." His voice cracks feebly, but his gaze remains unbroken upon the lady bard. "Where did you learn that song?"

All the wine on the sword coast couldn't make his head swim like this.

(Sorry for the somewhat brief post, will edit further this weekend if needed.)
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Custer Thickett on Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:36 am

While Selai plays her flute, Custer moves closer to the fire, just out of Cherous's peripheral.  Custer slowly sways with the notes of the tune.  It's beautiful, my love.  When Selai finishes the verse about Elorai casting herself from the peak, Custer's sway stops, he bows his head, wiping a tear from his eye.    

When Cherous says he is in no mood, Custer steps forward to the fire.  He grabs the fire iron and uses it to stir the coals into flame, and speaks in Halfling to Cherous, "Me Lord Mayor, I can see your mood is solemn.  It weighs heavy on me.  I know I am young, and yet know little of this world.  There are some things I know, though, Me Lord.  I know Waukeen is with us.  When those kobolds attacked Challah today, a unique group of experts quickly came to her aide.  These experts were not together, indeed not a single one traveling together or to the same destination, but they were all there at the moment they needed to be so as to see her safely to you.  This is no simple occurrence of events.  Nor is it so that they all are with you now, in your manor, full from your table, and warmed by your fire.  If you see it a wise course of action, allow us to gather around this fire with you and discuss her troubles.  Mayhaps we can help, Me Lord."
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Forgeless Kilik on Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:58 pm

Kilik's feature's darkened at Shorjal's mention of Waterdeep. Aye, there was a time when I kept a little smithy there, though it's been some years now.

He was grateful for the interruption when the bard began to sing, but wept openly as the story she wove plunged him deep into memories of another time. There was no shame in it, only sorrow.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  AnnaMaul on Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:04 pm

Anna's ears catch sound from the gruff halfling talking about Orcs being the likely culprits behind the Kobold attacks. She had heard of other tribes using kobolds to do lesser attacks or to... No. That couldn't be the case here, could it? A series of attacks in a short period of time... She gets to her feet and shuffles back to her host who seemed to be mid-conversation with the halfling that had been in conversation with the group a short time ago.

I have a question about the kobold attacks that have taken place recently. Were they all concentrated to one area, or have they been spread out in different areas of your defenses? If the kobolds truly are under order from someone else, I worry that they've been testing your defenses, looking for where your people took longest to respond. That would be the place they place the majority of their force, after sending smaller groups to further areas away from their true target to make it even more difficult for you to defend yourselves. If that is the case, it is imperative that we do something within the next few days, before their leaders can organize a proper attack force.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Ao on Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:47 pm

Selai opens her eyes slowly as the tale concludes, sliding the strap of her lute over her head and leaning it against the armchair.

With one swift motion, she pulls the pipe from Cherous’ hands and takes a long drag.

“You know better than anyone, Cherous. Stories are truth, my love.” she says breathily, smoke billowing out of her nostrils.

Selai looks at Oswald, flames in the hearth flickering across her face. She is intrigued by his reaction.

“Not many bards sing that song, traveller. It is known only to a few, who tread paths near the Small Teeth for one reason or another. The Seluneruan elves are long gone, and the men of Hale are all dead. I stood upon the grave of the last, not a year ago.”

She pauses placing the pipe back in Cherous’ palm.

“Even the Blackbriar Orc Clan died that day, when Urukath fell. His tribe splintered across the mountains, their numbers thriving in the caves and crags of that dark place. A burial tomb was built for Urukath, but none except the orcs know its place. Urukath lies beneath the earth, sealed away with the horn that pierced his chest. And now, Maleil will die in three nights. His last revenge.”

Selai stares off into the flames, and then smiles as she notices the tears on the dwarf’s face. She nods graciously.

Cherous clears his throat, listening as Custer speaks.

“I…I am at a loss, friend. Your help is most blessed, and I am in your debt for your service to my niece. But it seems that my beautiful horse, Treetrot, is breathing her last breaths. Selai, the legend is wondrous. But far be it for reasonable folk to pursue a unicorn’s horn, buried within a lost tomb in the heart of orc country, for the service of a legend.”

He sighs, clearly distraught. Selai shakes her head, placing her lute back in its case.

“And as for the Kobolds,” now, he addresses Anna.

“There have been one or two other incidents. Mostly in the farms, south of Gaoler’s Bend, near the brown lands. I’ve no reason to suspect any imminent danger to our town. Our militia is fifty in number, and Gaoler’s Bend has stood since the Duchy of Cortryn enslaved our people, a thousand years past. I deeply appreciate your concern, but we’re two days ride from the Small Teeth, and there’s more than enough quarreling for Kobolds and Orcs to participate in there.”

=======================

Ok guys, it’s becoming late and Cherous is likely to be off to bed shortly. All of the other guests have packed it in and the storm is still raging outside. Cherous’ servants have cleared the great hall, and only the barest flickers of flame remain in the hearth.

There are a few minutes to make any requests or decisions. Otherwise, you can look forward to a warm night in the stable, and be off on whatever journey you desire to be in the morning.

EXP: Anna, Osvald, Kilik and Custer +20 XP
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Shorjahl on Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:03 pm

Shorjahl thinks for a moment at the conclusion of the conversation. He stands, looking at the varied group before him.

"It seems as though we have multiple solutions and skillsets aligned. If what we think is true, the kobolds are being pushed toward the Bend by orcs or other monstrous creatures. They hail from the Small Teeth, and know the location of the horn, if it were to exist. I'm not a warrior, or hero, but I am always eager to seek out heralded artifacts and ensure powerful creatures live. If I were to examine Treetrot, perhaps with Anna's assistance," he meets the half-orc's eyes, "Then we could be certain of its kind, and the veracity of this legend." He steps out and away from the table, approaching more closely to the center of the room and so he can address everyone more easily.

"I say we ride to the small teeth, root out this issue of the kobolds, and discover the missing horn. I see no more efficient alternative. The people of the Bend have been kind to me, and now they need my help. I hope chance has delivered in me some valorous companions." His hooded, dark brow hangs low over his azure eyes, and the air palpably tingles and hums around him. He has never seemed more confident or eloquent.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Custer Thickett on Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:10 am

Hearing Cherous speak of Cortryn enticed a shallow smile from Custer.  Staring into the fire he thought, Ha, 'Meiritin will rise again.'  Custer's father would go on about how if Meiritin weren't so weak as to fall to Cortryn, then he wouldn't have to deal with Amn.  It was part of his fantasy regarding keeping the coin cut to human Lords, constables, and the like.  Cherous's choice of the word 'enslaved' made Custer muse to himself that mayhaps Cherous enjoyed a few conversations with Custer's father on that topic once not so long ago.

Continuing to stare into the fire, Custer once again took up the poker and stoked it as he listened to Shorjahl.  In Halfling, Custer said to Cherous, "There you have it, me Lord."  Then, rambling in Common, "I'm with you, Shorjahl, but this adventure may be rather complicated.  The lady Selai believes the horse may die in three nights, and if I heard the Lord Mayor correctly, the Small Teeth are a two days ride.  The horse will need to come with us, and as it is ill, it will need to ride in a wagon.  I myself have no wagon, nor any way to convince a horse to ride in one.  Even if those things can be arranged, and we were to make the teeth in two days or better, we have no idea where the horn is.  If we did, it may be a hard days climb." Never pausing, Custer places the fire poker in its rack, and grabs the ash shovel,  "On top of that mountain, we may have to dig up a grave.  Even then, who knows what to do with the horn when we get it?  Oh, and does anybody happen to speak Orc or know one nearby we can ask for directions?"

Custer turns to Shorjahl, and holds out the ash shovel expecting him to take it, "Well? Do you?"
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Re: Chapter One

Post  AnnaMaul on Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:33 am

Anna looks at Cuss.

You happen to have with you someone that has lived among orcs for the majority of her life. In any case, you are right about being on a deadline. We may be forced to ride out ahead of the people here in the village in order to make it to, what did you call it, the Small Teeth? This way those of us who will likely be fighting can take care of any challenges along the way so the beast may travel in relative safety. With luck we can get the horn and be on the way back and meet the second party on the return.

She yawns, her sharp teeth showing broadly to everyone in the room. She rubs her neck and considers the time.

Regardless of whether we take my suggestion or not, I plan to follow the mage. As the one who has the highest number of kills among us today he has proven worthy of my respect. Whatever plan he agrees with I trust it to be sufficient. With that said I intend to turn in. Should anyone have questions for me feel free to approach me in the stables.

Anna heads back to the table and finishes her wine and grabs a few more morsels of the mutton before heading to the stables.

-----

So yeah.  Anna is a light sleeper, so any attempts at conversation will wake her.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Kellar on Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:24 am

Kellar listens to the conversation after the bard finished their song.

The dragon will have to wait, if I am to procure help from these people, I should assist as best I can.

Anna, if this is your charge, I will assist in any way I can. It is a good idea to blaze a trail toward the Small Teeth and have the horse brought up after, Kellar said agreeably.

The halfling here does make a point that time is of the essence, Kellar continued.

I'll be drying the rest of my gear and then head off to get some sleep. If it is agreed, we'll leave at first light, good night. Kellar finished, with a slight yawn.

I'm getting closer to the end, maybe where we'll going will have more clues for me. What's the worst that can happen when we recover a dumb horn?
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Shorjahl on Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:02 pm

Shorjahl clenches his jaw in an affirmative smile to Anna. Then again to Kellar, each agreeing to go along with him.

"Cuss, you bring up a valid point. But as Anna and Kellar suggested, certainly we could hire some towns folk to caravan behind us a ways. What say you, Cherous?"

With every word, it seems as though Shorjahl's voice becomes louder and more self-assured.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Forgeless Kilik on Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:12 pm

Kilik rises slowly to his feet, regarding each of the others in turn.

I know little o' unicorns and less of their horns, but it looks as there's a path to be cut and a skull or three to be dented, and I can't say as I have any objection there. The Finder-of-Trails will guide our steps, and it will be good to be back on the road with a purpose.

But that's for the mornin'. For tonight, he yawns, I can tell you that those of you as never heard a dwarf snore are in for a rare treat.

He heads off toward the stables.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Shorjahl on Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:14 pm

Shorjahl nods and smiles appreciatively at the dwarf, his thin frame leaning against the table. His crackling gaze now settles on the remaining travelers who have yet to accept, occasionally glancing to Cherous for a response.
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Custer Thickett on Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:39 pm

Still holding the shovel out to Shorjahl, Custer turns his attention to Anna as she speaks.  He nods several times, and when she finishes and yawns, he thinks, Orcs?  Pointed teeth?  Greenish skin?  OOOHHHHH.  Custer then hears Agata laugh, Silly, I figured that out hours ago.

Custer then looks and listens to the blue man, the dwarf, and Shorjahl in turn, nodding at each commitment to the quest.  He struggles to keep quiet, choosing rather to await the Lord Mayors blessing before proceeding to push for further planning or to leave as soon as the storm clears.  Though Custer were very tired and a light shade of drunk, he was anxious to see progress.  Ever since the day he walked away from an Orc axe embedded in the side of a wagon in the middle of a massacre, Custer has sought a path to redeem his family name in eyes of Waukeen's faithful.  This adventure very well could be the first steps on that long path, and he wanted to get started right away.

Custer lightly pokes Shorjahl with the handle of the shovel, and when Shorjahl looks down at him, Custer smiles and says, "Thank you for being so eager to help Halfings and a horse.  More humans should be like you."


Last edited by Custer Thickett on Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Shorjahl on Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:44 pm

Shorjahl starts at the poke, then smiles down at Cuss. "Uh- of course." Shorjahl isn't sure if Cuss is insulting him or not, but he won't let the potential to dampen his new found confidence and positive mood.

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Re: Chapter One

Post  Ao on Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:21 pm

Cherous stares into the fire, poking at the coals and smoking his pipe as the adventurers gather round him.

“This legend is mad, fellows. This old halfling has a dying mare that he’s too heartsick to let go of, and you’re ready to venture into the small teeth on the recommendation of a bard’s tale.”

He stands up quickly, and then pauses.

“But I confess that I am compelled by this…story. And my soft, naive heart will not permit me to refuse your offer.”

Stiffening himself up, he brushes off his coat and paces toward the table.

“The Kobold attacks are troubling. You will be hired by the town of Gaoler’s Bend as rangers, to discover the cause of their venturing into our farmsteads and up to our gates. You’ll be well compensated for your efforts.”

He clears his throat.

“I will bring Treetrot to Hoat’s Pasture behind you. A hunting settlement, on the edge of the brown lands. Owen will rig me up the wagon we use for sickly plough horses. I’ll be there by dusk. You, on the other hand, will have fresh mounts. If you leave at first light, you can be to Hoat’s Pasture by noon, and the mountain by the next morning. The brown lands are too treacherous to ride through - you’ll have to go them on foot.”

Now, he stares right into Custer’s eyes, looking around the room at each adventurer.

“You’ll tell not a soul of this flight of fancy. If you can discover the cause of the Kobold disturbances, so much the better. But if the legend proves true, and Treetrot is a fabled beast of an ancient wood…

Then we shall have a brandy.”

With that, he heads to bed.

[…]

The stables are warmed by a roaring wood stove, and there are ample berths to lay in. Nine beautiful horses rest peacefully, well groomed and cared for.

Treetrot lays in the middle of the stable. She is a well-muscled, grey-maned mare. The white star on her forehead is striking.

Her breathing is laboured, and she shivers underneath a hand-woven blanket - clearly a valuable, cherished fabric.

=========================

Ok fellows. You fall to sleep easily, should that be your motive. I’ll allow one post rotation to prepare for the journey (assume a small hamlet with simple shops and supplies available to you).

+Inn (The Dark Wheel)
+Tack & Supply Store (Errol’s Supply)
+Weaponry (Gaoler’s Smith - Basic martial weapons only)

EXP: Shorjahl, Custer, Kilik, Kellar, Anna +20XP
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Re: Chapter One

Post  Osvald Hale on Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:22 am

It seemed a lifetime that Osvald was lost in the black seas of his memory at the lady's song... But her words to him now broke him from this spell and he stood transfixed in her gaze, bathed by the flickering light.

"...All dead."His words barely audible above the crackling in the hearth

His brothers... His father... All gone. He knew they'd held little love for him since he left... But still... They were his kin. His blood. He wavered, steadied himself on the mantle. His heart sank, and he collapsed inwardly forever...

Only as the others had made their plan and stood to leave was he able to compose himself to speak. With a hand over his heart he mouthed a silent prayer to the unknowable gods of the earth, mountain and forests, and turned to face the departing guests.

"I..." He cleared his throat, as some paused and turned back to him, "I... My lords... I am Osvald Hale of the Small Teeth."
Stepping once toward them he straightens, and meets each of their gazes in turn, stopping at Selai. "M'lady, I have known your song since I was a boy, sung in times of loss and great sorrow. The man you sing of, Ausen Hale, was my ancestor--some twelve generations past. My father, Erlend, and my brother Cuyler were said to have had his skill at arms. My brother Halstien his noble heart. ...My brother Ausen even takes his namesake."
He swallows once before continuing, blinking back a tear.
"I cannot say for certain if this horse is the beast of legend, but my own beating heart is proof there is at least some truth in the tale. M'lords, though I have ranged far and been gone long, enough of my families blood has been spilt into those mountains that they are as close a kin to me as my own mother. You will find no better guide in all the world. And..."
He lowers his head, bows slightly, "...and, if what the lady speaks is true, and I am the last of my line... A son of Hale must walk upon the Teeth again, and restore what little honor that name may still hold."
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Re: Chapter One

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