Chapter Three

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Chapter Three

Post  Ao on Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:37 pm

Dawn breaks early, the morning sunshine painted purple and pink glimmering through the window of your inn room. The aches and pains of the days previous linger in your bones, but your mind finds clarity in the warmth of a bed and uninterrupted sleep.

The floorboards of Halfhand's Hideout's rooms are old and thin, and a din from the kitchen below echoes up through the worn oak into your ears. Someone is putting last nights lamb to the fire, undoubtedly conjuring a grease licked soup pot of end pieces for those too ale-kissed to seek their morning meal elsewhere.

[...]

Custers thoughts are interrupted as a slurry of shit cascades down his windowpane, blocking out the morning sun. In a regrettable state of morning after, some poor wretch has emptied his chamber pot with the finesse of an invalid.

But the halfling's mind is still turning with questions. Questions of his father - and his sister.

Thickett manor had been empty when he returned last night. Pelegar had been gracious enough to post a guardsman at the gates; a gesture in return for their heroics.

From the front yard, a panoramic view of the city spread out before him, and in the twilight hours he could just barely see the devastated ruins of western Esmeltaran stretching out on the horizon.

The bloodstains and boot-mud from two nights previous still adorned the vestibule, where it could be argued that a fresh doppelgänger of Kellar could be summoned from his bloodshed - if one were inclined to such dark magics.

But, though unmolested, the remainder of the mansion remained hauntingly deficient in any clues as to the disappearance of the Thickett patriarch. Custer found himself haunting the study, discovering mementos and business ledgers but not much more. Clearly, Lincoln Thickett left record of his darker dealings in other places unknown.

And so, the halfling left the mansion with naught but a heavy heart, and a gnawing sense of loss...

[...]

The Inn's common room is ample and empty in the early morning, and you find yourselves gathered around the same table you patronized the night before.

A comely young serving maid, with enormous blue eyes and a set of blond braids, bounces over to the table with steaming plates of - what can only be described as - breakfast gruel.

As your nose suspected, the lamb makes a second appearance on your plate, fighting for territory with three bulbous eggs and several pools of greyish grease.

But it tastes alright, just the same. Doubly so, with a flagon of mead.

The maid flirts with Osvald, batting a wink at the grizzled ranger, and departing with a practised swaying of the hips.

Custer wonders to himself if she once boasted tenure at Esmeldas.

[...]

The door opens, letting the crisp air blow through the poorly insulated common room. The innkeeper, a portly fellow named Dunn, scowls at the entrants as the modest embers in the hearth extinguish.

A gnome walks purposefully towards the table, followed by the towering figure of Andrianna. Geld smiles at you warmly, while the swords woman takes a wearied seat beside Kellar.

"It seems you've found heroism once again, fellowship." Says Geld cheerfully, nipping a chunk of meat that had been pushed to the side of Shorjahls plate.

Andriannas eyes droop, and it looks as if she hasn't slept all night. Her hair is drawn back into a tight tail, and she declines the young barmaids offer of breakfast, receiving an evil eye in return.

A Tethyrian trader, whom you met briefly last night, stumbles down the stairs from the state rooms above. His whitish pallor betrays the awful hangover he is nursing, and the poor man wavers, and relieves the contents of his stomach onto the bottom step.

"Gods curse you, you filthy drunk!" Screams Dunn, marching over to the blushing merchant with a bucket and a mop.

Andrianna and Geld look to Artimus, and then to the rest of you. In her customary way, Andrianna is silent as the gnome speaks quickly.

"So, captain. You made mention of setting sail to Baldurs Gate. We have a mind to join you, if you'll have us, and can pay 100 gold apiece for passage. Heroes - this business of the vault and our fallen Harper - it is high time we spoke about it in length. In truth, I feel you have upheld your end of the bargain. And, you will be compensated, certainly, as soon as we make contact with the High Harper. However...I fear we cannot put this matter to rest without you. Will you join us once more, in Baldurs gate?"

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

Ok Lads, time to make preparations to set sail. I know you're planning on leaving for baldurs, but please make certain you stock up on anything you need.

Artimus, you'll have 8 passengers + your crewmen. The journey to Baldurs gate will take at least five days, but possibly up to ten depending on the weather.

Make sure you're well stocked for the trip.

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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Custer Thickett on Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:00 pm

Custer looks up from his plate of muck, his look of discontent unfading as he spots Geld and Andrianna approaching.  He nods, thinking Oiy, she looks like I feel.  Though he had rested well, his rousing had thus far been marked by loud noise, the sight of slurry, vomit, and last night's lamb reheated and served beside a slopping of grease that Cuss thought resembled both of the latter very accurately.  

As Geld asks for the fellowship to journey with them to Baulder's Gate, Custer pushes from the table, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms.  "The City still smothers, half of it burned down.  The docks are rubble and the warehouses pillaged barren.  Even if we managed to supply his ship for the journey, it'll take more than a day to gather what is needed, and Artimus here will spend three times standard coin for it, no?  An good luck finding trade good to ferry for a profit, yeah?"

Custer reached up and scratched his chin, "Might be a way, though."  He looks to Artimus, "What'd ya need for twelve to Baulder's gate?  Couple jars of pickled kraut and succotash, couple boxes of citrus, barrel or two of salted dry jerk meat, eight barrels of drinking water?  The Galleon might have some of it, yeah?  Won't be needing it anytime soon, anyhow.  Would need the citrus fresh, though."

After supplies are discussed and a couple others have their say, Cuss cuts in again, "Seems some think Baulder's Gate is an answer to fighting this Cyricist army.  Others think we need to face em now.  The way I see it, the time to get to Baulder's Gate and back isn't time that can be afforded while they rally their numbers.  Might be they'd hit the City again while it is weakened, no?  Might be they'd march on Purskul."  Cuss pauses to breathe,  "Mayhaps we should make a few stops along the way, there, and in Athkatla.  To warn them of the threat and rally some support to reinforce Esmeltaran, yeah?  Ya have a High Harper in Athkatla, no?  Mayhap they can help ya get us help from the Six.  If the Harper's in Athkatla and Baulder's Gate will rally some assistance to Esmeltaran, then even if we can't find these 'Dark Lamps,' as Soren calls his cadre, then at least we do some good for here, yeah?"  Cuss places his hand on the edge of the table and lowers his chair back level.  "I just gonna need ya word that ya'll help us find Kesian, and kill em, when the time comes, yeah?"

===========

Cuss is in, but he wants to get the Harpers to help him rally support in Amn for Esmeltaran, and from Baulder's Gate, if possible.  Cuss figures he can ask on Trader's Glory along the way at those stops as well.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Shorjahl on Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:31 pm

The mage quietly sits and contemplates his stew, looking to the others as they discuss the topic at hand. He seems to contemplatively nod at any suggestion, without offering much of his own logic or reasoning. Despite having much of the color restored to his face, and the blood cleaned up from his self-inflicted injuries, he seemed both exhausted and frenetic, his thoughts focused elsewhere.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Kellar on Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:11 pm

Kellar awoke in the morning, his muscles ached from so much combat and running around on a ship, being stir crazy. His thoughts went to the trudging through sewers, collecting teeth, hopping on a ship to chase down another one, the chaos of battling for control of another ship, and its return, intact. Hell, that was a great deal of coordination, how did we pull that off? He looked to Orbaugh, who had just yawned a big a yawn, he figured that was considerable for a creature so small. You up for a short walk to collect our new weapon? He asked Orbaugh, who stood up on all fours and stretched like a could would. I ready. Orbaugh said, as he shook the shivers from his hide and wandered toward the door.

Kellar put his gear on and checked them over again, fastening things down and then headed for the door. He and Orbaugh traveled to Ansley's to collect his weapon. Good morning Kellar, said Ansley. Avey and I are just finishing up the work on your new crossbow, she said. Avey approached Kellar and Ansley with the crossbow in his hands. It's a remarkable weapon, Master Kellar. We made it workable in most combat situations. The limbs do collapse, according to your specification. We also included a quiver on each side of the crossbow to support up to six bolts at a time, otherwise you'll have to draw them from a quiver on your side, he said.

He handed the weapon to Kellar and said, As you can see, it's slightly heavier than when you first found it, that should help with recoil and make your hand a bit steadier upon release of the bolt toward the target. Also, Ansley added a caribiner point on the stock of the crossbow, I took the liberty of adding a larger caribiner for this sole purpose. On the outside of the caribiner point, the ratchet to re-arm the cradle is there for ease of use. Ansley watched for Kellar's approval as he looked over the weapon, and grinned as he looked at the stirrup at the front of the crossbow.

Kellar, the stirrup on the front has been forged to withstand great pressure. While I don't recommend it, you could also use that as an anchor point in an emergency. You'll notice that the pattern of dragon scales has been etched into the surface, for aesthetic purposes of course, she concluded. Kellar looked over his shoulder and found the anchor point, he linked the caribiner to it and the crossbow and then did the same to his belt, it fit together pretty well with little movement. Excellent. How much do I owe for this work? I'm afraid this will be my last commission for a while, I'm headed to Baldur's Gate later this morning, he said. Ansley and Avey looked at one another and shrugged. For you, 115 gold pieces should cover it, the replaced inlays, added functionality and turnaround time, Ansley said.

Kellar took his coin pouch from his pack and removed 150 gold pieces and handed it to Ansley. I'll return with some future work, to be sure. You might want to track down Al Capella, I'll be bringing a dragon hide and a skull back, he said with a smirk. The crafters both shook Kellar's hand and bid him farewell.

...

Kellar returned to the Inn and settled in for breakfast with the others,not mentioning his new addition to his arsenal. Geld and Andrianna approached the table, more notably, that Andrianna sat herself next to himself. Good morning Adrianna, none worse for the wear I see, he said to her. She nodded lightly, she looked exhausted. Must not have slept much, if at all. He raised his hand to the maiden who offered Andrianna breakfast, and showed her two fingers, signaling two drinks. Water if you please, he said to her.

"It seems you've found heroism once again, fellowship."

Kellar gives Geld a sideways glance and replied coldly, We didn't find heroism, we found thieves stealing from a crippled city. The maiden returned to the table with two waters, which she handed both of them to Kellar and squinted her eyes at Andrianna. Here, he said to Andrianna. Thanks, she muttered.

After listening to the others, Kellar decided to gather supplies for himself and Orbaugh from a local vendor.

Actions:
Kellar purchased rations enough for 10 days, and few salted fish for Orbaugh.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Osvald Hale on Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:55 pm

Osvald quickly gulps down the grey paste breakfast with a few large cups of water. Though a throughly well-versed drinker, his tolerance had diminished since embarking on their quest, and he now nursed a dreadful hangover.

Even the smiles from the serving girl only managed to bring the slightest of a grin to the rangers face.

"Ugh, I feel like that dragon danced on my skull all night." He moans to Cuss and Shorjahl, and stumbles outside, shielding his eyes against the bright sun with a hand.

Outside the tavern, he limps over to the horses trough and dunks his head right into the cool water. A few bubbles gurgle to the surface of the sooty water, and the ranger remains like this for nearly a full minute, subject of many queer glances from passersby.

Eventually, he draw his head out of the trough, but still leans upon it uneasily for a few moments. He walks heavily back into the tavern and returns to the table, exhaling heavily, and sits with his eyes shut, dripping wet.

...

Later, with a clearer head, Osvald finds his way to Pelegar at the makeshift command post of the City Guard, where the majority of the returned supplies were being kept under guard.

Pelegar is obliged to offer up arrows to fill his quiver, and puts a fresh edge on Osvalds blades. The ranger asks after Ara, but Pelegar informs him the urchin has now been pressed into service distributing supplies in another district of the city.

The remaining supplies offer little selection in way of hardy rations, but the ranger manages to get two weeks worth of salt fish, smoke pork, and hard cheese along with a few loaves of very stale yet passably edible bread.

Heading back along the winding streets, Osvald thinks on how quiet and serene the city feels now, with so many gone.

Passing a miraculously un-molested little trinket shop, the ranger ducks in and browses the wares. He buys a new buckle for one rusted badly on one of his belts. Osvald catches his reflection for the first time in many months in a small silvered mirror, and frowns at the myriad of scars crawling up his jaw and the stains of travel and blood on his clothes.

Vainly, the shabby ranger purchases a thick woven tunic to replace his threadbare and travel-worn jerkin along with the buckle, and--in the spur of the moment--an uncharacteristically flashy silver cloak pin shaped like a clutching eagles talon, though upon exiting the shop he has no idea why, and feels silly adorned thusly.

"...Wearing jewellery like some soft-bellied southern spice merchant... what have ye become Osvald? Soon you'll be dressing as pomp as De Londe. Ugh." He grumbles to himself as he walks.

=====

Grabbing supplies and heading back to the others. I'll let you guys take the lead on travel plans from here.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:02 pm

Dwan roll wakes up and sits on the edge of his bed and combs his beard with his fingers. He reflects on his actions for the last couple of days. I never thought I would have days that would make the Golden Army look dull. Dwan grins at the thought of nostalgia.

==========

Dwan makes his way down to the common room and sits at the table with the group. Dwan grabs one of the plates of lamb, closes his eyes, and folds his hands above the plate. Thank you for your sacrifice! Dwan smiles and starts scarfing down the meal. He hardly hears the the gnome and woman appear. He looks up, yolk stuck in his beard, and grumbles a quick hello before returning to his meal.. Dwan listens in on the exchange but doesn't give much input of his own.

Once the travel arrangements have been set Dwan leaves the in and heads towards with Osvald. So who were those two at the inn? Dwan asks. Dwan doesn't press Osvald too hard he does not want to disclose too much information.

As they reach the market Dwan picks out a selection of dried meats, grain, and a few vegetables to carry with him for the next two weeks.

As Dwan finishes gathering the last his supplies he looks up to see Osvald eyeing some jewelry. I'll be heading out. I'll meet you back at the hideaway. Dwan stops by a nursery and finds a small oak sapling, Dwan will purchase the tree and make his way towards the center of the decimated part of town and finds an abandoned square, most of the buildings around have collapsed. Dwan pushes away a mound of rubble to reveal the earth beneath. He digs a hole and plants the sapling, once the dirt has filled the hole Dwan will soak the dirt with water and cast Druidcraft to start the growth of the plant. Dwan takes a few minutes to meditate.

Dwan then makes his way back to the inn.

=====================
Dwan gathers 10 days worth of rations and a tree.
Dwan will plant the tree and then meditate to change his spell layout (will update once i get home)
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Custer Thickett on Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:22 am

[OOC I'll write it in tomorrow morning, but Cuss is going to want to gather some clothes and stuff from the manor, them go to Amstel Avenue to get his armor repaired and make adjustments to his bracers, as well as procure a handful of things to replenish his kits and tools.]

Back at the manor, Custer thanked the guard that he found leaned against the stone wall next to the front gate.  The man had nearly jumped out of his armor when Cuss walked up to him, possibly because he was sleeping standing up, or because Cuss was so quiet on his approach.  He took no offense to the man's dereliction of duty.  If he had seen or done half the things over the past two days that Cuss had...

Inside, Cuss rolled a small cart to the bottom door, using its weight to hold it open.  He then gathered two small trunks to fit on the cart, and began filling them.  He laid his backpack open on the floor, and emptied the contents spread across a table, stacking and reorganizing tools and containers.  Once it was empty, Cuss stretched to the ceiling to pop his back, then made a mental list of what he'd need to replace used vials of toxin, bandages, clay skin stain, moldy clothing, and lost hammers.  

It took some time to round up replacements inside the house and later on Amstel avenue, but Cuss was able to restock all of his bundles; disguise kit, thieves tools, dungeoneers kit, poisoners kit, lockpicking toolkit, and healer's kit.  He had also placed several changes of clothes, some common and others fine, inside one of the trunks.  Cuss also had the gash in the front of his new leather armor repaired, hooks added to the tops of his bracers which he would use to pull the cords of his bows back without having to set them down.  He'd only wished that he had the time to get the work done on K'Tesh's cloak he'd retrieved from Artimus, but he thought it best to save that job for another place where one might not recognize it, or his hair.  

Cuss would never soon forget the look Artimus gave him when he rolled the cart and chests up the jetty to Trois Pistoles, well after he had wanted to push off.


Last edited by Custer Thickett on Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:49 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Ao on Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:25 am

[...]

The ever-present smell of sea air clears your nose, and a wicked wind whips through your hair as you stare out over the bow of Trois Pistoles.

Dawn broke an hour ago, and now the bold sun glistens across the tips of rough-cut and ragged whitecaps that rake at the hull.

Overhead, a half-dozen seabirds circle your ship, perhaps sensing the weariness in your bones, or the restlessness in your minds.

It has been half a month at Sea.

You can hear Savoy whistling from the helm, where he breaks his fast on a saltfish ration and a chaser of that fine sembian wine. He keeps an eye out for Artimus, who has lain into him more than once over the course of the journey, for "enjoying the merchandise".

Andrianna rests alongside Geld near the transom, watching the rippling wake behind, looking strangely feminine without her armor and sword. A look that wouldn't last long, for certain, if she had anything to do with it.

At the very least, you're all grateful for the abundant winds, after finding yourselves becalmed for the better part of a week.

It had been an expedient trip to Lazar's Bunkport, the modest harbour on the northern shorts of the river Esmel, several miles south of Purskul.

There, the sailors had told of messengers from Esmeltaran that warned of an army of orcs and dragons. Some believed the missive, others insisted it could not be so, as so many common folk are want to do.

Still, the fish was good and the ale ran plentiful, and so they set sail at a later hour than planned the day after.

Geld stands suddenly, stretching his arms.

"Gods, it seems like an age since we ate anything without salt. Ten days, since Athkatla?" He questions, rubbing at his wind-chapped lips, to no one in particular.

Indeed, it has been ten days since they arrived at the Jewel of Amn - however briefly.

The shining towers and soaring steeples of the enormous city were nearly overshadowed by the pomp and circumstance of its harbour, and the colossal golden statues that dwarfed Trois Pistoles as it sailed through amidst myriad other trading vessels.

For hours, they had sat in the harbour line under anchor, waiting for their turn to berth.

And then several hours turned into a full day, waiting behind countless Galleons from all over the Sword Coast.

When at last the Customs & Excise vessel came to their port side, demanding a ledger of their cargo, the situation took a turn for the worst...

When all was said and done, Trois Pistoles found itself sailing out of the harbour mouth, leaving the extravagant horizon of the city to the rear.

Andrianna had laughed like a mad-woman at the turn of events, though Geld had seemed somewhat disapproving of the situation.

Still, he had conjured a familiar out of a seabird, and sent an encrypted warning missive to the High Harper. So they had done what they came for.

Though, still troubling to Custer - none of the labourers or fishermen at Lazar's, nor the traders they had called to in the Golden Harbour, had seen sight or sail of Trader's Glory...

[...]

And now, at the forestay of the ship, a small blond boy laughs rigorously, as he points to the horizon.

The laughter wakes Osvald from his half slumber in the crows nest, where the Ranger catches a familiar glimpse of sweeping, blackstone walls to the northeast.

Baldurs Gate. At last.

Ara laughs again, shouting back at the crew and the Harpers to come and see. He was excitable, the extended journey doing nothing to dampen his spirits as he devoured the sights and sounds and spirit of travelling abroad.

When he emerged from one of Artimus' secret compartments a full day into the voyage, he had nearly given Geld a heart attack.

The gnome was horrified that a young boy would stowaway on a boat filled with aspirants of adventure and chaos. But Andrianna took a liking to him, and she shouted down his protestations that they make an about-face and return him to Esmeltaran.

Ara had looked at her through tear-stained eyes, smiling as he sensed an ally.

And now, that same smile cascades across his face, as he whoops and shouts, invigorated at the prospect of another port.

Though for the rest of you, the grim portents of the arrival nag at the edges of your soul.

And as for Shorjahl, the same cold sweat that had coated his forehead for days was sending fever chills down his spine.

As the book whispered from within his pack, nibbling at the edges of his sanity.

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

Ok guys, welcome to the screen wipe!

It's been a long 16 days at sea, due to delays in Athkatla harbour and a 5-day becalming that had you sitting like cold porridge on a table.

This is your opportunity to fill in the blanks about the voyage guys. Take some artistic license!

*ara stowed away
*there was a 'mishap' in the Athkatla harbour that saw you ejected
*there was a 5-day becalming

Now, you're approaching Baldurs Gate harbour.

Osvald, Artimus and Shorjahl - you've all been to the city. Take some time and 'create' the harbour and your approach, alongside a destination or two you're familiar with.

Those of you who have not ( custer and Dwan ), feel free to ruminate or ask questions of the others.

Kellar... Have you been to Baldurs?

Pull out all the stops guys. There'll be a 100 xp bonus if yall kick the shit out of this. Which obviously you will

I'll have another post up around 4 today. Sorry for the tardiness today (if you guys are late, no biggie. I can do one tonight or sat morning)

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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Shorjahl on Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:24 pm

Shorjahl heard Ara's laughs, and the sudden stirring of the Trois Pistoles' crew. He could sense that they had finally arrived at their destination, and the young, once bright-eyed arcanist had soured into a sinewy, ruddy, gloomy mage. He looked in a basin of water, slightly sloshing from the motion of the sea, and saw his gaunt expression. What he lacked in strength, he had made up for in hardiness - as had always been the case - but the weeks of hard fighting and travel had made the already lithe man downright devoid of the faintest glimmer of fat. Every vein and muscle stood out in harsh relief on his splotchy skin - marked with white, gray, tan, and red splotches.

The discoloration had been gradual, but became truly noticeable over the weeks at sea. Without clear purpose, and left to ponder on his master's destiny - and the whispers of the book - his degradation had accelerated. A puff of arcane energy splashed at the water as Shorjahl chuckled bitterly to himself. He dipped his hands into the basin, noting that several of his fingernails had permanently split and healed since the battle against the galleon, deforming his fingertips slightly.

He clenched his hand into a fist, heating the residual water and moisture in the creases of his gaunt, vein-riddled hand, causing it to boil and evaporate away as steam in the underbelly of the ship. The bracer chimed quietly - but its tone had grown more discordant, unnerving, and fittingly dangerous. He wondered if somehow he had damaged it, or if it was simply attuning to his now, considerably darker, thoughts.

Pulling his cleanest clothes from his pack, Shorjahl dressed quickly in a loose linen tunic, rugged and thick trousers, relaced and repaired boots (which he had seen to over the journey, without the aid of magic - to his fingertip's chagrin) and finally the knee-length leather jerkin over it all, cinched at the waist with his ancient belt, largely rotten and falling apart. Where once his chest and back seemed to fit snugly in the tunic, now he could feel the cold sea air swirl around in the empty space. In contrast, his trousers felt tight and almost uncomfortable on his calves, which had grown remarkably in size and definition in the trailing weeks.

What a strange, sorry state he had let himself into. What good was power if his body was to fall apart? What good was anythi--

The mage caught himself. He glared wrathfully at his pack laying on the cot, the book heavily wrapped so as to silence its incessant whispers. He clenched his jaw, adorned now with an untrimmed beard nearly brushing his highly exposed clavicles, and cracked his knuckles into a fist. He had half a mind to throw the damnable thing into the harbor, strapped to one of the Pistole's cannon. It was cursed, but he felt compelled to see its stewardship through.

[...]

The mage did his best to conceal his pain and dour thoughts, putting on a quaint smile and straightening his posture, ensuring his hands weren't gripped into fists and his step moved with some measure of alacrity and jaunt. He knew and loved these men. He felt a strong sense of connection and camaraderie with them, more so even than his childish and youthful adorations at Waterdeep. This was a bond forged in the fires of adversity and battle, and he would allow any personal pain to see them protected and well taken care of.

As he arrived at the bow of the ship, he looked upon the sprawling, familiar harbor with new eyes. Where once they had seen the excitement of adventure and possibility, now he sensed only the foreboding beat of dread. He knew not whom to speak to regarding the book, or his master's location, but had dealt with several who belonged to the Merchant's League in the past. While they couldn't typically be trusted, they also were well esteemed for their neutrality, and interest only in coin. While that was despicable in its own right, it was also less troubling than the darker intentions of whomever was rallying these evil forces.

One woman in particular - a dwarf artificer by the name of Thrinan - he respected more than most. She put his own abilities at the handling of magical items, tomes, and reading ancient scriptural languages to shame. She had always had a distaste for Barjerohn, and in later years the hints she had delivered to him of her master's peculiar interests became clear. He searched the harbor's horizon, seeing several of the familiar sights - the massive Watchtower connected to the western shore by a well defended bridge, the harbor master's establishments, and the Merchant League's markets where the daily goods were immediately auctioned off - but searching in vain for the small, sequestered structure he thought Thrinan had purchased years past.

He squinted his blue gray eyes, the cracks and wrinkles and sunbeaten scars well pronounced around them now, and spotted it - there. A four story wood and stone and lime framed structure, only five or six paces wide, wedged between several other Guild Halls and tenements. Above the door was marked the arcane, dwarvish sigil for the Artificer - a complex geometric pattern which Shorjahl knew to be a two-dimensional shorthand for the much more complex spellform for Identify. He mentally catalogued the location and its perspective angle from the ship, and returned his attention to the others...
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Custer Thickett on Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:23 pm

Cuss spent most of the early journey top deck, helping as best he could wherever the crew needed him.  He loved working on the trim of the stay sails.  It was in truth, the only part he was good at.  His experience with sails were entirely working with the lateen sails of Trader's Glory.  His family had investments in several trade barges, but Cuss had never worked with their crews when he rarely found himself aboard one.  Thus, he was far more clumsy working with the main sail.  The though of it bored him, in truth.  Cutting into the wind was far more exhilarating than letting it simply push you along.  When he worked with the lateens, he was focused on the shape of the sail and how it bended into the wind.  When he stared into a full square sail, he soon found himself thinking of Agata's curves, one thought leading into another, until someone yelled him out of it.  

At Purskul, Cuss began to worry on Trader's Glory.  If it had made for the coast, it would have traveled the River Esmel and have surely been seen by those here.  As a four masted pleasure schooner, few would forget its passing by, yet none he asked could remember having seen her.  This left Cuss standing astern, staring back up the river towards home, wondering if the current was carrying him the wrong way.  Will they say I ran as so many others?

At Athkatla, Custer boiled with rage.  He paced up and down the deck, stopping only to take inventory of the ships in the harbor every ten minutes.  Never had his family name been turned away with such disregard.  He wondered if the Cartel had recently fallen out of the favor of the harbormasters to the Jewel of Amn.  He also struggled with the thought that the complacent Council of Six may be indifferent to struggles of Esmeltaran.  Mostly, he tried to mentally blame Andrianna or Artimus.  Why would customs turn away an Exchequer?  These blasted Harper's are liars.  No, it's that Cormyrian bastard.  I knew he was a pirate.  They know the ship, they have to.

During the calm, Cuss tried to occupy his mind with distractions.  He drank Sembian wine, smoked Halfling's Leaf out of Elderro's ornate pipe, rolled his bone dice against the bulkhead below deck, and squeaked sounds out of K'Tesh's jeweled lute above deck to the prompt protest of all on board.  After five days he was still no bard, but the others had stopped vocally complaining, and had reserved their discontent to painful moans.  

One day, while watching Roland climb the shroud to the nest, Custer smirked a laugh and was inspired to think on lyrics to a song.  Mayhaps he'd someday figure out a way to play it on the lute:

I'm a sailor peg
And I've lost my leg
Climbing up the top sails
I lost my leg!

I'm shipping up to Bauldur's, whoa
I'm shipping up to Bauldur's whoa
I'm shipping up to Bauldur's whoa
I'm shipping off...to find my wooden leg


Last edited by Custer Thickett on Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:40 pm

Artimus grumbled as the Trois Pistoles sailed out of the Athkatla's harbour.

"Zhat damn warfmazter Bratcuz haz it in for me! it'z a travezty, 'unzafe Mooring tie downz!?' what would he pozzibly have againzt zhiz fine zhip."'

Bertrand chimed in, not giving up a chance to carpetbag his wartime compatriot.

"Well you did run the trade blockade two seasons ago.... Oh and we smuggled that Luskan political prisoner out of the harbour last fall, what was his name... Turbind, Traybin.... Traybor, yeah that's it…and I do believe Bratcus is familiar with that hand gesture you kept presenting to …him."

"Zhank you Bertrand"


Last edited by Artimus DeLonde on Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:40 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : frenched it up)
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Osvald Hale on Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:13 pm

Osvald rubs sleep from his eyes and yawns, stretching lazily and looking to the looming structures of the city ahead.

The ranger had spent some time is Baldurs Gate on his wander northward, and seeing crescent curve of the city around its harbor was a strangely welcome sight after the lengthy voyage at sea.

Osvald had mutually beneficial dealings in the past with a few merchants, characters, and ner'do'wells in Baldurs gate, and he hoped a few old friends might yet remain to help them on their quest.

Firstly he means to seek out Shandy Rousse, former Master of Horse to various Guilds over his long life, now the quiet proprietor of small independent stable and riding school near the City's Southern-Most gate. He was an irascible and cantankerous man, but he retained many connections in the city with the guilds and guard alike--his reputation at his craft kept him sought after and thusly well informed of various goings-on in the city both above board and borderline illicit. Luckily him and Osvald shared a similar taste in ale, and the two had become fast friends many summers ago over a string of increasingly drunken conversations.
After a series of calamitous events at the tavern involving a distinct lack of coin on the woodsmans  part, he'd even allowed the ranger to hide away in the loft of his stable for a week until Osvald could flee the city.

Osvald had no doubt that for a few coins and perhaps a bottle or two of that Sembian Wine, Shandy could be persuaded to give them some supplies, some information, and if need be a safe place to hide away from any searching eyes.

Secondly Osvald would recommend the party search out 'Last Chance' Chancey Tate. A notorious bar-fly and infamous womanizer, the half-elf, Chancey had been expelled from the upper levels of the City Guard of Baulders Gate three decades ago after a multiple-year investigation into some high-ranking officials aiding and abetting in a series of highly illegal (and highly profitable) import/export rackets. How he dodged the hang-mans noose so many times was a subject of much debate amongst the city folk, and Osvald had his own assumptions in the matter.
The half-elf offered various 'services' from his posh offices in the market quarter, Everything from hired muscle to stolen keys, forged documents and fake uniforms were within Chanceys repertoire, and though extremely discrete and reliable, they were universally prohibitively expensive.

As the ship sailed closer into port, the Rangers eyes fell upon a run down lower area of the city, and his thoughts drifted from the task ahead to Lowell Darragh the leatherworker and his daughter Elidia. Osvald had sold the family his hunted hides on a few occasions and Lowell had taken a strong liking to him. Even owed the ranger a favor... But after that business with Osvald and his daughter, well... The man was just as likely to chase Osvald out of Baldurs Gate at knife point as help him.
Besides, Lowell and Elidia were good, simple folk and Osvald couldn't imagine how they may help... Probably best he just avoid the lower quarter entirely for the duration of their stay in Baulders gate.

Osvald tells Ara to go help ready the ship to dock and the boy springs to action, he'd taken to the ship work quickly, and he was a never ending source of enthusiam.

Osvald found the boys exuberance exhausting to be honest, but it was good to see the lad enjoying himself. He only hoped this quest they'd embarked on wouldn't see the boy maimed or killed...
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Kellar on Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:06 pm

During the voyage, Kellar was preoccupied with his new crossbow and had compared his to that of Custer's. It seems like a sturdy weapon and much larger than yours, of course I think yours are to scale, as mine is, he chuckled. Look at these bolts, it's the size of one of your legs, he continued with a smirk. Anyway, you've more practice than I do with these things, what can you share with me that would improve my accuracy with it? I normally throw javelins, but their distance is severely lacking outside of 60 feet or so.

Kellar moved onto assisting with the ship and doing daily things that were found to be useful by Artimus. He didn't much like it, but it passed the time. Orbaugh had free run of the ship, crawling up by Osvald in the crow's nest, looking out at the sea, he'd even run along the sails out to the ends and then come back down by Kellar. When Ara was discovered, Orbaugh had fun with the little boy and would play hide and seek from time to time among other games that tired them both out.

While Orbaugh played with Ara, Kellar climbed up to the crow's nest by Lord Hale. Good afternoon, Osvald, he said. As Kellar looked out at the sea, he said, For as long as I've traveled and roamed the land, this'll be the first time I set foot in Baldur's Gate. What can you tell me of it? he asked. Those arrows came in handy during our incursion of the Galleon, I'm glad your arrows struck true, he said. Speaking of arrows and pointed stuff, do you know of a woodworker within Baldur's Gate? It seems that the crew members under Artimus aren't clear about what's available here for me to use, he said to Osvald.

...

Baldur's Gate came into view. That is a large city... he thought to himself as he shook the chill from his body. I still need a horse, Kellar muttered to himself as he stared at the city.


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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Custer Thickett on Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:41 pm

Custer stood proud holding his father's crossbow abreast Kellar and his new heavy military crossbow.  He laughed, "Aye, me doubts I could even hoist that one level.  I'll show ya a thing or two, yeah.  I've had a mind to ask you about some things as well, mayhaps we can teach other some of our tricks, yeah?"  Custer stepped sideways, "Show me how ya'd hold it to fire, yeah?"  He was soon shaking his head, "No, no.  See your thumb here?  The cord'll take it right off, most like.  Ya gotta keep your whole hand under the barrel, like this,"  Cuss leveled his father's bow to demonstrate how to properly cradle the bow.  "Ya gotta hold it low, but with a firm grip.  This hand is what ya aim with, yeah?  The bolt will follow the groove once it straightens out, so ya point it with this hand while you release with the other.  If ya can keep ya hands, then shooting it is the easy part.  Knowing how the quarrel will fly over a distance and reloading are the hard parts.  Those ya can only really learn with some practice."  Cuss lowers his father's bow so he could hook a foot through the stirrup.  "Most load em like this.  Use the stirrup for a foot, and pull the string back into the latch like this, yeah?"  Custer leaves the latched bow leaned against his leg, and pulls one of his hand crossbows free.  "The pull on these is really light, so they doan shoot all that far, but in the right hands with a little practice..."  Cuss's hands move so fast they almost blur.  He cocks the legs on the riser by pulling the stirrup, then hooks the string with the new addition to one of his bracers, pulling it back into the latch.  He then flips over his arm to snap a bolt from the bottom of his bracer into the flight groove.  Quickly loaded, he now points the bow at Kellar, then pivots and fires it into an empty crate across the deck.  When Kellar looks at the crate then back to Custer, he finds Cuss holding up one of his carabiners snatched from his belt.  Cuss smiles and hands it back to him. "Like I said, in the right hands, yeah?"
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Osvald Hale on Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:03 pm

"Ah, well met Kellar." Osvald was surprised to see the blue warrior climb into the nest beside him. They stared at the city for a moment.

"Baldurs gate, well. It's a merchant city, lots of trade moving through these parts. And that means lots of coin. Where there's lots of coin there's lots of crime in my experience and Baldurs gate is no different. The city is home to a few large guilds and powerful mercenary companies, so there's little to fear but the other citizens within her walls. I've only passed through these parts a handful of times, and my last visit ended rather... Abruptly. Shorjahl is from this area, he'd have more specific answers for you I'm sure." The ranger takes a drink from his waterskin.

"I don't know any carpenters personally, no. But, we go see my old friend Shandy, and he'll sort us out with fresh provisions and a point in the right direction." he pauses, "What're ye hoping to build? More modifications to your gear?"
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Kellar on Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:49 pm

When Kellar looks at the crate then back to Custer, he finds Cuss holding up one of his carabiners snatched from his belt. Cuss smiles and hands it back to him. "Like I said, in the right hands, yeah?"

Kellar sees the caribiner in Little One's hands and replies, Slippery little skite aren't you! He took the caribiner back and latched it onto his harness and took his crossbow and fired a bolt at the same crate... and missed. I guess I'll try it again, he said as he removed the ratchet from the stock and dropped the front of the crossbow down onto the deck so his foot could hold the stirrup in place. In one smooth motion he clicked the line back into the latch and loaded another bolt. He replaced the ratchet and took aim again. Just a bit lower, he muttered as Custer looked on. TWOK! The bolt flew from the crossbow toward the crate again... and missed wide to the left, sticking into the wall beside it. He looked down at Custer over the stock of the crossbow and heard him chuckling to himself. You'll get it Kellar, you'll get it, he said to the blue man.

"I don't know any carpenters personally, no. But, we go see my old friend Shandy, and he'll sort us out with fresh provisions and a point in the right direction." he pauses, "What're ye hoping to build? More modifications to your gear?"

Kellar looks at Lord Hale with a sideways glance and replied, I'm looking at building a giant pike. I collected Old Joe's teeth. They're rigid enough to rend flesh, I'd reckon they'd still have some sickness to them if they pierced skin. From what I count, I have twenty of his teeth, all different lengths and tensile strength. He pauses a moment and shows Osvald the teeth he collected. So having a giant pike with these teeth mounted on it, have only one target, that blue dragon that razed Esmeltaran. The pike only needs to break the soft underbelly near the heart and if it escapes us or we die, the festering wound from Joe's teeth will finish the job, he said.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:04 am

Dwan makes his way up to the deck upon hearing Ara cry out. His pack hangs loosely on his back, most of his rations long gone from the extended journey. Thankfully the nature answered and provided fish just as when tensions were rising on the ship. Of course I cheated a little bit Dwan recalls as he thinks about how he used magic to lure the fish into his net.

Thank the gods that we are finally at port. The trip was pretty trying at times. The tension between Custer and Dwan took some time to die down. Custer did not wait long after letting his distrust of Dwan show, commenting once again about how Dwan has forced his way into the group's business. Of course the halfling wasn't shy about using a bit more colorful language.

The two butted heads the next day when arguing on what they should do with Ara. Dwan had wanted to turn the ship around and return him home but Custer would not bend on proceeding to Balder's gate. When the group had decided that Ara will continue traveling with them Dwan dropped the subject. He is determined to reach his destination, I'll give him that. What could be so dire that he runs us all live a slave driver?

Of course Dwan wasn't completely gracious in defeat, he spent the next couple of days using his Druidcraft to summon the faint odor skunk at Custer's location whenever he had sat down to eat. The small pleasure of that faded over the next two days and Dwan focused his energy elsewhere.

Most everyone else was better receptive of the Dwarf, though Artimus was much more reluctant about giving Dwan the helm. No need, mon amie was always his response, no matter how ragged he looked behind the wheel.

Dwan took the most liking to Kellar, often coming time to exchange words and war stories of his time in the Golden Army, of course Dwan made sure to bring some fresh fish for Orbaugh.

Dwan's biggest concern throughout the trip was Shorjahl's health. He seemed distant and sickly for most of the trip. Silent as well, but Dwan wasn't sure if that was his personality or part of the same ailment. Whenever he asked Shorjahl about it he received deflections.

----------------------------------

Dwan watches in wonderment as the city grows with the Pistoles approach.

Everything is packed together in such a small space, its not right.
Dwan turns towards Osvald and sees the familiarity in his eyes. Have you been here before? A place like this would be easy to get lost in. Do you know where we might be able to go to regroup and decide our next course of action?

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

Some color in the trip, Asking Osvald for directions and info about Baldur's gate
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Kellar on Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:36 pm

During the trip to Baldur's Gate...

Kellar observed the dwarf approach him while he was looking out at the sea watching the waves. Good morning Master Dwarf, Kellar said as he approached. He watched Dwan remove a couple fish from his stringer and hand them one at a time to Orbaugh, who was quite thankful. Fish! Fresh Fish! Bow low to the Master Dwarf as thanks, he said to Orbaugh. Orbaugh looked from Kellar to the Dwarf and the bowed low, resting his little head on the deck. A moment later Orbaugh was at the fish chewing and tearing at the fish, smacking his tiny lips loudly.

Good morning Kellar, Dwan replied. I wanted to exchange war stories, I was in the Golden Army, he continued. Kellar raised an eyebrow at the Dwarf and offered his own story first. The Gold Army, I've heard of this. I wasn't part of anything so renowned, sadly. I left my village after a dragon attack that took the lives of many. I couldn't save any of the ones that perished, my family was safe, but that was little consolation, he said. I joined up with a clan of dragonhunters, I took a liking to spears, javelins, halberds. Essentially anything that can close the distance between me and the enemy. I also had this made before we departed, he said as he hefted his new crossbow and handed it to Dwan. Nice isn't it?

Anyway, I've been wandering the land looking for odd jobs and finding clues to the whereabouts of a dragon that left me alive. It's why I have this blue tint to my skin, it goes darker near where I have wounds. It's a strange affliction, it doesn't seem to affect me at all, maybe it's a marking? he said to Dwan. My favorite time as a hunter had to be when the lot of us had come across a tribe of bullywugs. If you don't know what those are, they're little frogs, about the size of a halfling that are shifty in nature, he said. Now imagine walking to a known lair of a dragon, and coming across this tribe in a swamp. It's a little off-putting, when these giant frogs stand upright and say, Dragon Eat Us, You Kill Draaagun >ribbit< We Don Kill Yoou (he imitates the Bullywug as best he can). We agreed and continued forward into the lair. Have you had a thousand beady little eyes all shifting and watching you as you walk through their domain? Creepy, he said.

We went into the cave, found the dragon, it was actually a juvenile so it was quite small yet. We set our traps and hurled a goat carcass near the trap and it was sprung. We put it out of it's misery and collected what small trinkets and baubles it had amassed in its short life. Now here's my favorite part, Kellar said to Dwan with a grin. One of the guys had decided that he wanted to keep the head of the juvenile, so he removed the head and dropped the innards out and wore it like a hat (I know, gross). He said, "Hey, watch this!" and took off running back toward where the bullywugs were! The rest of the group caught up with him as he's shouting, "BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA!. All you could see is the scattering of bullywugs and incredibly loud chirping as some of the bullywugs scooped up the young ones and dashed into the swamp! Needless to say, we all dashed out of there laughing like madmen the whole way, he concluded.

Kellar eagerly anticipated a story from Dwan, it seemed to help pass the time in between practicing with his crossbow and watching Ara and Orbaugh play throughout the ship.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Ao on Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:54 pm

Trois Pistoles catches the wind, tacking into the wide mouth of Baldur’s Gate harbour. In the light of dawn, from a mile out, you can see the docks are already bustling with activity as trade craft and fishing craft alike buzz in and out of the large port.

The soaring Sea Tower of Balduran watches over you as you pass by slowly, under one sail. High above, well armed guardsmen stare down at you, and you can see them shifting against the backdrop of the brilliant sun.

You pass by sloops and galleons, rowboats and schooners. A dinghy trawls by helmed by two half-orcs with more fish than their boat had any right to hold. A trio of cutters gibe in front of you - pleasure craft for the rich aristocrats.

Artimus reefs up the sail, slowing to allow an enormous tall ship passage before you. On its main mast flies two flags - the wooden three-master against an indigo backdrop; the proud crest of Baldur’s Gate - and the silver wheel against a violet lily; the escutcheon of the vast Merchant’s League.

In its wake, the mariner cuts through towards the western half of the harbour. Trois Pistoles takes its berth in the vast and teeming port…

[…]

“Artiiimooouuzzzzeee!”

The voice of a fat, moustachioed man rumbles in your ears as you tie Trois Pistoles to the dock. From out of the crowd he emerges, laughing with a lazy Cormyrian drawl that immediately stinks of arrogance.

He walks over slowly, extending his hand to the captain.

Artimus recognizes him as Raoule Verdain, a lackey of the harbourmaster, and the greasiest of customs & excise officers to ever accept a bribe.

“What are you bringing me today, my friend!” he laughs, holding his hand out and covering his eyes with his palm, in mockery.  

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

Ok guys, welcome to Baldur’s Gate.

You find yourselves in an incredibly busy port, where fishmongers and clam-sellers walk up and down the boardwalk alongside merchants of curious wares and dubious intents. Shouts and cries and sales pitches sail over your heads, and it is difficult to walk ten paces due to the distracted crowd - a mishmash of meandering sailors and quick-footed dockhands.

Raoule is extending his hand, looking for a bribe. 200 gold pieces is the customary payment, Artimus. If you pay less than that, there’s a good chance you’ll have several customs officers on the boat in no time, and find yourself in manacles for that smuggled wine. Plus, loathe as you are to call him a countryman, Raoule is a useful man, engendered to the Kraken’s Fist, and he doesn’t often ask questions as long as coin greases his palm.

Shorjahl, you can see (about 500 feet away) the building that you identified as Thrinan’s artificing shop.

Osvald, you know that Shandy’s Stables are about a 20 minute walk (or 10 minute carriage ride) through the crowded streets.

Let’s recap here:

LEADS:

*Sorel, leader of the ‘Dark Lanterns’, and an ex-harper, broke into the vault in Athkatla in an attempt to steal the Urn of The Flamelord. Elderro also related that he inquired about passage to Baldur’s Gate.

*Shorjahl’s old master, Barjerohn, sent him a letter that said "“Shorjahl. I need you. The Red Hand. You’ll know. Baldur’s Gate.””

*That black book from Keisan, written in Shadowcant, is known to Barjerohn.

EXP: +30 to all for total party post


Last edited by Ao on Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Ao on Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:21 pm

[+100 xp each for an awesome round of posts! ]
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:46 pm

Dwan laughed heartily at Kellar's story. Wiping a tear from his eye, he removes one more fish from his stringer and places it in front of Orbaugh. I wish I could have seen the look on those frog's faces.

The Army of Gold has been fighting for far too long. Years and years of battles and fighting, its almost tiring. Do you know I come from a family that is known for their military leadership? Bolduums are not known for honest labor like forging or mining, we're known for killing,
Dwan raises and clenches a fist and makes an overly macho face. that's all the history books will remember us for, he says as his face returns to normal.

Don't let the difference in the size of our forces deter you, I can tell you've seen your fair share of battle and blood. There is no renown that the Army has that your clan has not earned. We fight for a home so old that even the elders do not recall seeing the halls, but I envy you dragon hunters, your deeds keep the people safe.

I was a lieutenant in the Army, more granted through right of birth than through my deeds. There were about two dozen of us in my squad, some I have known since childhood, they were like family. Anyway, we had been assigned a rescue mission, one of our head tacticians had been captured in a battle previous and we were one of several groups that were to get him back from the duegar before they could torture any information out of him. So we were able to find a few abandoned tunnel entrances above ground and we made a round about trip to the duergar camp. We were able to take out the guards and get a small team to infiltrate the camp, my friend Galus and I were able to locate our man, the two of us took down the six duergar assigned to guard him and we were able to hand him off to one of the other groups in our squad. It was up to Galus and I to make a distraction.

Galus had brought a few explosives and we had wired their stash of rum. The explosion was much larger than we thought. Makes our stunt with the Pistoles look like a tinker's trick.
Dwan laughs It had singed our beards and knocked us both straight on our asses, and gave the rest of the group time to escape. We both woke covered in mud, and ash near a campfire on the outskirts of camp. A pair of duegar had taken us in and bandaged our wounds, looking at Galus I could see the confusion, covered in black we looked just like them. A big grin formed on Dwan's face. We were scared shitless! Galus and I were in no way shape or form actors we just froze up and acted like asses. It took two weeks before one of the idiots caught on and tried to gut us in our sleep. The other though, Drugel I think his name was, he saved us. Shot the bastard as he snuck over to our bedrolls. Drugel then led us out of camp and back up to the light of day. We parted ways on the surface and when we asked him why he did it, he said he needed some fresh air. The son of a bitch said he had never run into Dwarves that had smelled as bad as us. Dwan's laughter cut across the ship. He was right though, we didn't bathe once while we were with the duergar.

-----------------------------------------------

Dwan steps off the gangway on to the dock and gathers with the group as Artimus is taking care of "customs."  Dwan faces the group, I think we should be trying to find a way to separate Shorjahl with that tome. I can't say for certain how he was before we crossed paths but even in the past two weeks I can see how the strain of the object is weighing on him. I won't be letting comrades die when there is something that can be done about it.

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

Dwan will proceed with the party once the customs have been paid off. If the party splits he will join Shorjahl unless expressly told not to by the wizard.


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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Shorjahl on Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:21 pm

The arcanist will look at his comrades, beckoning them to come close to him before they reach landing and exit to speak with the custom's master. "You know of the tome, we acquired from the orcish caves?" He raises a dark eyebrow ominously, looking to each of his more tenured comrades for confirmation. Once each nods or replies, he clenches his jaw and nods firmly again. "I believe I have a contact that can, assist us, regarding how best to handle it - and what it means."

He looks pained to even speak of it, and the others can tell that Shorjahl is struggling mightily to maintain his astute composure. "There is an artificer, she once worked for the Merchant League, whom I trust is a neutral party in all of this. She cares only about the academia of artifice, and the coin it provides in a city like Baldur's Gate." He nods absently toward the city, his blue eyes flicking toward the arcane sigil above Thirnan's door.

"I think it might be... fitting, if we speak to her. Her office is nearby. If she can't be helpful, then I must look for someone who I haven't spoken to in a long time..." he trails off, his eyes swirling into dark orbs of dangerous thoughts. He blinks several times, then looks back to his comrades, feigning a weak smile.

-------------------------

If people agree, Shorjahl will go to Thirnan's place. He appreciates Dwan's offer greatly.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Custer Thickett on Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:49 pm

When it is known that the ship is approaching Bauldur's Gate, Custer excuses himself below deck to prepare.  He'd never been to a city outside Amn, and though he was not nervous, he was not sure what courtesies to expect.  He wanted to be sure his presentation in attire was suitable to suggest due respect upon close inspection, but not so flashy as to attract unwarranted attention from those that find easy marks among the occasional wealthy merchants that visit the docks when foreign ships make berth.  Surely those around the harbor here aren't much different than those in Athkatla.  

Cuss fetched his soap and dipped water from the shallow basin into a bowl.  He did his best to wash his skin clean, often sniffing various parts of his body to make sure the musky odor that has plagued his travel was gone.  Satisfied it was for now, he chose his nicest clean hemp shirt and pants, both dyed black, and then laced up his armor over top of them.  From a trunk he retrieved a long fitted sleeveless black leather surcoat fastened with silver clasps and the arms of his house embroidered across the chest with silver and gold thread.  He used his worn travel belt across the midsection of the coat rather than  the black leather one that is matched to it.  He'd much prefer to keep his pouches, bolt case, and crossbow holsters.  He did not wear his rapier, cloak, scarf, or pack, but he did wear nice polished black leather, pointed tip boots.  He decided to carry his father's crossbow slung across his back, and all of his coin bundled and tied tight inside a sack buried in his belt pouch so as to not jingle when he walks.  At last, he tucks his necklace of charms inside the Surcoat, and climbs back top deck as Trois Pistoles is tied off and a fat mustached man pushes himself along the docks calling out the captain's  name.

Cuss stands with the others while Shorjahl and Dwan speak, his head swiveling to take in a panoramic view of the city.  He does not weigh in one way or another, assuming to follow the lead of others.  When his attention is focused back on the group, his gaze travels between the mustached man speaking with Artimus, and the Harpers.

======

Custer's just looking nice for his first visit to Baldur's Gate.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:47 pm

The week and a few of days on open water had refreshed the spirit of the Mariner. There was something so invigorating about the air that whipped about the deck, dancing bout the sails cooling his form and urged the vessel on. The gentle lapping of the waves caressed the hull of the ship. Artimus could hear of the whispers of the ancient waters. The place where the lake met the sea was a seat of power. These water ran everywhere, and where it flowed it flowed deeply. It soaked into earth, and tree, and soil, and man. Everyplace it teemed, it knew. It was persistent contradiction. It was at same time somber and flighty.  Everlasting and fleeting.  Frivolous and devoted. It was many things to many men.
To Artimus DeLonde, It was the sea, it was home.

Between ducking into harbors down the straight of Esmel, the Pistole was alive with the doing of its crew, and travelers.

Dwan had plucked from the sea a school of fish or a least a class. He drew them forth with the ease of a orchard hand. Picking apples from a bountiful tree heavy with the sweet red orbs.

Abundance seemed to follow the modest dwarf.

"Itz a fine zhing having a angler zuch az yourzelf onboard mazter dwarf, What iz it you promize zheze fizh zhat zhey come to zo willingly?  What do you promize zhem, Love? Fame? Ozher zmaller fizhez?"

"Regardlezz, you’re welcome here mon amie." Artimus Finished with a honest smile.


"Oh, and let uz make zure Zhorjahl haz a meazure of zhiz fizh, I worry about hiz healzh, he doezn't zeem to take well to zhe ocean"

=========

Artimus looked on at a point in their voyage on Kellar and Custer we're comparing crossbow's. The Dragoon's newly found, refurbished implement was more ballista than bow. If Kellar missed his mark he could do in his prey by feeding the device to the dragon. An impressive implement built to hunt an equally formidable beast.

As Custer's showed his talent with his own custom build bolt throwers. While Custer’s hand's moved with the lethal exactitude of a surgeon, Artimus approached the two with a wide stride.

“I've head of men at Zea comparing zheir bowz, But it'z uzually done below deckz out of zight of zhe birdz and zhe God.” The Comyrian quipped through a knowing smile. [/font][/color][/size]

"Mon Dragoon," Artimus said Addressing Kellar "Doez zhat zhing fire boltz, or entire treez,  or perhapz it loozez, ozher zmaller dragonz? I zee zhat zhe two of you have a tazte for zhe implementz of warfare. If we were to craft a braced fitting for zhiz giant of a weapon to zhe front of zhe Piztolez would zhat azzizt in zhe firing of zhat monzter? Zavoy can zhow you zhe zhipz dezign if you had any ozher zuggeztionz"

Artimus turned to Custer, his tone losing some of the jaunty delivsh disregard.

“Zo far none I've azked have zeen zhe Traderz Glory. Perhapz zhey zailed furzher inland,  If zhey'd come zhiz way zhey've been zpotted.”

Artimus paused, considering his next words. He knew some of what Custer was experiencing. The not knowing... that is the hardest part I expect.

“My own fazher,  Mondante waz marked a trader when I waz only a boy. I waz too young to underztand zhat it waz our own goverment zhat had betrayed zhe poeple, not my fazher. Bezidez, It iz not our fazherz zhat make our namez. We do.”

Chacun le sien - Every man his own.

==========

As the Sea Tower of Balduran quietly emerged over the horizon Artimus moved to gather his his trappings, papers and supplies. The cool touch of his chain shirt caused him to shiver as it cold metal linkages stole the heat from his skin, He dawned a long grey cloak, made of thick wolves hair which held in the heat and kept out the invading eyes of the city. He collected an ample coin purse and measures out 1000 gold separating the sum into several pouches. He returned the chest hidden and locked. Finally he gathered a mess of papers, Missives he'd prepared for contacts on in the city.

Some spoke of the trade opportunities that arouse from the dire need in Esmelateran.

Another was a forged waybill of the good he had carried very legally to Esmelteran, and left without receiving payment. It explained his mostly empty Hold and would cost him nothing in tax.

Another of the papers was instructions to Savoy to secure proper resupply of water, dried meets, apples, cheese, and emergency hard tack .  Finally to see to the repair of the hull the cost to be taken against current holding.

On His way to disembark Artimus touched in with Osvald.

"I have to deal wizh zhiz Oaf, whom I loazh to call a countryman.  A necezzary ally I'm afraid.  After which I have to take a circuit around zhe city, I could uze an ally to watch my back, we can zee to whatever buzinezz you need to attend to. If zhiz zuitz you meet me by zhe harbormazterz’ office when you're ready. If not we zhould convene over an ale or ten Non? Do you have a favoured Tavern?"


=======
On the Warf

“Artiiimooouuzzzzeee!”

Artimus recognized him as Raoule Verdain by his bushy and unkempt mustouche. It bounded on his face left and right in opposite cadence to his lumbering stride. Raoule! Artimus responded Extending his hand to the burly, sweaty gentlemen, forcing a smile over his face. Raoule deftly countered pulling Artimus in for a distinctly moist embrace.  Artimus failed to riposte, stumbling over his own tongue in shocked disgust... "non non non, Raoule! oui oui zhat’z enough."

The salt stains would be setting in on his clothing in minutes.

“What are you bringing me today, my friend!"

"I apologize for zhe ruzh, I am in a hurry, pleaze enjoy wizh Fine Zambian Wine, and zheze zalted fizh to go wizh, zhere'z nearly 200 zwimming around in zhere.

Artimus said plainly handing Raoule a bottle and a sack of 200 coins.

Artimus flashed the forge waybill.

“We're quite light today, zo I'm zure we can forgo the formalitiez.”
============================


Formatting and frenching it up later tonight.  Sorry for the absence guys. Love the posts.[/font][/color][/size]


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Re: Chapter Three

Post  DiceMaster on Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:47 pm

The member 'Artimus DeLonde' has done the following action : Dice Roller

'D20' : 3

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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Kellar on Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:38 pm

Kellar listened to Artimus go on about shooting smaller dragons out of his new weapon and shook his head. Y'know, when this thing launches saplings, you'll be thankful enough, he said. As for designs, a Ballista affixed to the front of the Pistol would be mighty handy. I know you have cannons, but a Ballista with harpoons and tow rope would help keep larger enemies and ships within close range. What do you think, he asked Artimus.

...

Kellar listened to Shorjahl and came closer and listened to what he had to say. I know not of this city, I'm fine with discovering the meaning of the book you carry. It's strange that words in a book can be so powerful. Let's see the, what was it, Artifactor? Kellar questioned. He turned to Andrianna and Geld and asked, What of you two? Will you be tracking down your own leads and then meeting back with afterward? Adrianna, I'll save you a drink at the table when we meet up again, he said as he nodded to her slightly.

...

Dwan, I haven't paid close attention to Shorjahl, I suppose you'd know more than I would about magic users. I assumed he was ragged and rundown like the lot of us have been over the last couple weeks at sea. The amount of power he has I figured every wizard could do that, perhaps I am wrong, he said thoughtfully. In this instance, I'll try to keep an eye on him while we're moving about the city, Kellar concluded.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Ao on Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:07 pm

A seabird swoops down, grabbing at a bag of fallen clams and fighting with another that caught sight. The stink of fish being offloaded from a vessel next door blends with the other smells of exotic cargo from around the dock, as throngs of labourers toil in the shadows of the trade wharf.

Raoule smiles broadly at Artimus, cracking the cork and departing with a warm half-bow that looks more and more ridiculous as he straightens up.

And, with that, he disappears into the crowd as Geld and Adrianna descend the gangplank.

"Alright, heroes." Says Geld matter of factly. "We've a need to check in with the high Harper and keep him abreast of the developments. Waukeen only knows what this urn of the firelord is... Perhaps he can lend some insight. There's also the matter of your payment, which we will sort this evening, at the Three Kegs. Meet us around sundown."

Andrianna smiles the smallest of smiles at Kellar, nodding to him, and then seemingly catching herself and turning her grin into an awkward snort.

Then, the harpers descend the gangplank and fade into the crowd.

[...]

A merchant calls out loudly over a group of fishmongers, rattling off prices for red-bearded skrelly and wigglesnell eels. He holds a writhing sea snake over his head, identifying a willing buyer and hacking the beasts head off in-midair, throwing the carcass into a waiting net.

You turn your back to the spectacle, as Shorjahl knocks on the front door of the artificer. The blue door is worn and paint-cracked, but seems to emanate an effervescent orange glow.

Suddenly it creaks open, and a stout dwarves woman with braided blond hair down to her ankles, and enormous heaving breasts answers.

"Shuffles!" she screams, emerging from the doorway like a boulder and throwing her arms around the lanky mage.

"By Gonds hammer, what're ye do'een back in Baldurs! Gods alive, you're all skeen and bone."

She straightens up, giving Shorjahl just enough time to be reminded of her affectionate name for him. Shuffles, he would always be in her eyes.

"An who are yer friends? Come! Come into Thrinans. I'll fix yer up with a spot o black thistle tea. Get the salt out of yer bones."

[...]

The dwarf woman escorts you into her shop, where three or four armchairs are littered under mountains of whirring objects, gently gyrating spheres, and floating crystals.

A small disc floats in the corner, with a small pillar of flame that casts a cozy glow over a workbench, where a dozen or so metal implements sit alongside an ornate iron kettle.

Thrinan crosses the tattered carpet, looking hastily over her shoulder and noticing the six of you. She frowns, snapping her fingers - and three tiny footstools march over to you, placing themselves squarely under your bottoms.

The tea is served, a steaming, heady brew that smells more like a stout than a tea. Still, it is tasty and filled with the nutty notes of protein and herb.

"So," she begins, pouring herself a cup. "What can Thrinan do for ye, Shuffles?"

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

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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Osvald Hale on Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:32 pm

(OOC: Had some issues copying text into the post window onto the site on my phone, so this is a little late.)

Osvalds voice echoes up sternly from below deck as he gathers his few belongings.

"...I've told you a hundred times, Ara. You're not coming into the city. You'll remain here and guard the Ship with the rest of the crew. No. I won't hear it... Damn it Ara, no. If I hear you've snuck off, I'll search every hold and hide-away on this blasted ship to make sure you're not onboard and I'll leave you here in Baulders Gate." His words carry up through the deck, followed a moment afterward by the ranger himself, his face cross, cursing up a storm under his breath.

Spitting over board the ranger pulls back his lengthening hair and sighs. Sensing Cuss stride to the rail nearby, Osvald sighs heavily.

"Gods, I hate kids. They--" he abruptly stops when he turns to see Cuss adorned in his sharp attire.

"Heh, Hoping to meet some fair, foreign princess, Cuss?" he asks, grin return to his face.

...

Osvald stops at the artificers door, peering inside quizzically for a moment before turning back to Artimus.

"Seems Shorjahl knows this dwavern lady well enough--should we attend to your business now while they talk? These weird magics always give me an uneasy feelin'..."

The ranger looks anxious, hoping to head toward Shandys Stable before the light fails...

=====

If no one protests, Osvald will want to depart into the city with Artimus to take care of his business, and then pay a visit to Shandy as soon as possible. Thoughts?
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Ao on Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:56 pm

[im open to you guys investigating multiple places, but be aware that it's going to be shorter response posts. Also, only go to 1 place before regrouping. I Just don't want to split he party for two weeks of posting...lol]
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Custer Thickett on Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:15 pm

Cuss looks up at Osvald after striking a pose, using one hand to pull the surcoat taught.  "Mayhaps, but I'm afraid she find me an empty shell past the fancy coat.  Truth is I've never been here but I suspect this 'High Harper' person would prefer audience with those that show respect in their presentation."

....

When Andrianna and Geld descend the gangplank, Custer follows them.  For a moment he considers sliding into the crowd below to be discreet, but before he can weigh his choices, the big woman turns to look back at Kellar, and quickly spots Custer's intent to follow them.  As she speaks, Custer tries to talk over her, "Ya didn't say nothing about asking the Harper to help the city.  If there is anything they can do, I want to be sure they hear the plea, an I want to be there to see em hear it!"  

....

"Shuffles?"  Custer almost smiles, but the fitting nature of the silly nickname hardly improved on his mood.  He stands with his arms crossed, pouting that the Harper's left and he wasn't going to be meeting the High Harper they keep talking about.  Bastards are lying to us, I know it.  There's no High Harper.  Probably saddling up horses to leave town before we notice they've gone.  He snorts and turns to look back at the boat, hoping to catch a glimpse of Geld trying to sneak back on board.  When he turns back to the shop, everybody has entered and he has to leap to catch the door open.  Son of a wh...
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Shorjahl on Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:27 pm

Shorjahl squirms uncomfortably, but true light and joy is brought to his eyes as he hugs the dwarven madam, and speaks with her cordially - though quietly - for some time. Any question too direct or personal, especially anything regarding the company of comrades with him, he diverts politely to a more mundane topic. Finally, after enjoying his share of tea and allowing the conversation and catch-up to dwindle naturally, he broaches the subject.

"I may... need your help, Thrirnan." He broods over his teacup, and looks up through his brows. "It is almost certainly dangerous..."

If she complies, and urges him to continue, he will carefully remove the book, kept tightly in its wrappings, and place it upon a safe workbench, out of reach of any other magical artifice or implement. He stares at it glumly, fear and desperate need clashing across his haunted features briefly. He blinks and looks away, careful not to make too hard of eye contact on the book as he speaks to the dwarf. "My fellows and I, retrieved, the tome from a dark priest of Cyric." He swallows. "I only briefly examined it - but it is in Shadowcant. To be honest, I'm eager to be rid of it, but I've taken the responsibility of holding it until we can figure out the book's meaning, and importance." He looks back to Thrirnan, no small amount of desperation clear on his bearded, pained face.

--------------------------------

If Thrirnan doesn't want to get involved, Shorjahl will simply ask her if she knows anything about Barjerohn, the Red Hand, the Shadow Thieves, all of that nonsense. Basically pick her brain and dance around the subject if she's less willing, but he's kind of willing to press her a little bit for information, even if it strains their relationship.

He's also willing to offer up the Fey Staff in trade for her, but if she doesn't need that, he'd like to have it identified.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Kellar on Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:28 pm

Kellar and the group approach the Artificer's shop and Shorjahl knocks and a Dwarven female answers. Shuffles? Maybe Shorjahl isn't even his name?!? No, a pet name. Like Orbaugh? Orbaugh you're not a pet, you're my companion, there's a different.

Shorjahl enters the shop, followed by Kellar, who holds the door open at the last moment for Custer, who'd been standing there watching the Harpers. As they enter the shop he turns to Custer, You okay there Little One? I have my eyes on the Harpers as well, well, one in particular, he said with a wink. He ruffles the halfling's hair and finds a seat and listens to Shorjahl talk with Thrirnan. He receives the tea and draws from it, observing Shorjahl's movements with the book. How could I not notice how heavily that object weighs on him?


...Earlier.

Osvald, you're headed to the stables? Can you check on the cost of a sturdy warhorse for me, he asked him. Artimus, if you can haggle a good price I'd be in debt to you until we enter combat together, then I'll repay you for the favor, he said.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Custer Thickett on Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:58 pm

Custer slaps at Kellar's hand in his hair, "No!" Cuss surprises himself at the volume of his retort. He covers his mouth and stands on his tiptoes trying to whisper up to Kellar, "I'm just a wonderin if they even Harpers. At Athkatla they send a bird to their High Harper because we can't berth, and now they want to sneak off to see this one alone? I don't think there are any of these High Harper. It's a trick. Mayhaps she's still a Shadow."
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:43 am

The wharf and jetty was a-bustle the thriving commerce of Baldur's gate pumping the citizenry about the city like a beating heart.. It flowed with myriad of sailors, merchant hands, the shipwright league eyed the blast mark on the side of the Trois |Pistoles. Ships from every port on the sword coast docked here, and skiffs from island carrying every manner of goods. Baldur's Gate. was a place where a man could find anything he could think of, to his credit or his demise.


"...I've told you a hundred times, Ara. You're not coming into the city.... (Osvald)

Artimus stood, arms crossed as Osvald Matronly instructed Ara that his fate was to stay on the Pistole.

A grin crept across the Mariner's face.

"Now, now, your Mother iz right Mon Gaillard (Strapping Lad), Ztay on the zhip where it'z zafe.  Uncle Roland, Uncle Savoy and hmmm zecond couzin Bertrand will take care of you. If you're a good boy and help around the zhip I'll teach you zomething deadly when I come back.
Artimus said motioning about wildly mocking a closely matched swordfight with an invisible opponent.
Would you like learn zomething deadly?
The Cormyrian began to lose the fight, now pinned by his opponent to the riggings.
OF COURZE YOU WOULD!
He shouted, mocking a vicious knee to the balls to his now downed opponent.
Osvald's impending response to the Mariner's banter was interrupted by Custer's emergence from below deck, looking as fresh as freshly minted Tricrown peice.

Osvald's playful jibe beat Atrimus' to the punch. The Mariner shifted his weight and returned.

"Well, you zertainly look the part mon amie, juzt remember not to zpit on the High Harper'z nice floorz, He hatez it."

Artimus to the fellowship just before they all disembarked the ship, announcing.

It waz a fine voyage gentlemen, and Lady. No a zoul overboard.  No one ztarved AND mozt importantly. We ztill have wine.

My thankz to each of you for doing your part to make that happen. The Trois Pistoles will be well ztocked next we zet zail. Till then feel free to come and go from the zhip as you please.  Consider it a zecond home and zhe will treat you well.

Artimus to Kellar:

"Aye mon Cavalier  My zhoughtz are zhe zame, I zhink preparation iz zhe better part of valour zhall be preparation. I find myzelf zurrounded by men who know war, and it'z implementz. I would be wize to make uze of zhiz knowledge. A captain'z firzt job iz to know how to make uze of a man. Each of our heartz iz built ready to roar. Whizpering a dezire, zomezhing we long to do, zomezhing we were made for... Zomezhing Great. I zearch for zuch men.

It iz clear to moi you have found yourz Mon Dragoon."

It iz zhiz whizper I lizten for Mon Amie.


"...Osvald stops at the artificer’s door, peering inside quizzically for a moment before turning back to Artimus."

"Alaz Mon amie I have buzinezz in here, and I wizh I did not”

Artimus said motioning to his chest.

“I'm not zure how long I'll be. Will you come in or zhall I catch up?. "

He offered, Motioning to the pale blue door.


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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Osvald Hale on Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:35 am

Osvald shrugs his shoulders, and grumbles submissively.

"If this is where we're going I guess we're already here." he says, ducking his large frame through the entry way.

The woodsman eyeballs the whirring fantastical devices that seem to adorn every crevice of the the building, careful to keep his clumsy elbows tight against his chest, lest he detonate the whole harbor. Finding a relatively safe looking place to sit, the Ranger does so quietly while letting those better versed in the unknowable do the talking.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:41 am

Shuffles!  

Dwan chuckles not so softly. I'll have to save that one for later, when matters are less pressing.

An who are yer friends? Come! Come into Thrinans. I'll fix yer up with a spot o black thistle tea. Get the salt out of yer bones.  

Ah, I haven't had a cup of tea in years. Thank you miss... when Thrinan introduces herself, Dwan will reply in turn, Thrinan, a name to match your beauty. Dwan Bolduum, at your service. Dwan gives a small bow. You have a fine establishment here, the best I've seen since leaving Earthart.

Dwan's smile fades a bit as he notices that the rest of the group in the room looking towards him.  Er, Umm... Well there's more pressing matters to deal with.  Umm... thanks for the tea. Dwan walks idly about the shop looking at Thrinan's work, he stops to inspect the flaming disk and her workbench, but Dwan is careful not to touch anything.

My fellows and I, retrieved, the tome from a dark priest of Cyric.

Dwan looks towards the tome that the wizard revealed. It seemed nearly a plain tome, nothing ominous or out of place, yet something about the ebony seemed off. When focused on the booked nothing seemed aloof but in the periphery the ebony appeared to be drinking the light around it, darker than anything should be. At that moment Dwan understood, the tome was the most dangerous item in Thrinan's shop. He grabbed a stool and sat nearby and listened in to the exchange between Shorjahl and Thrinan.


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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Ao on Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:16 am

Thrinans eyes grow wide as she stares down at the book. The ebony black leather cover and the ornate iron buckle seem untarnished, despite their home in the oily rags that Shorjahl had wrapped it in.

As you gaze across the room, holding your teacup in your hand, your appetite and thirst evaporate, giving way to a queasy feeling in your gut when you look upon the book.

There is a high pitched whine in the room, displacing the previously warm atmosphere.

The dwarf woman scowls at it, and then looks at Shorjahl worriedly;

"What... What is this, Shorjahl?" The affectionate nickname melting away in the seriousness of the moment.

"What is this dark tome? It stinks of bad magic, and lies, and murder? A priest of Cyric gave it to you? What have you gotten yourself into..."

She looks now, almost worriedly at Shorjahl and the group. As he explains the origins of the book, she relaxes slightly. But the scowl on her face does not disappear, when she looks upon the black tome.

Thrinan looks it over again, deigning to flip over the book. She pulls an implement from her belt, and then a softly glowing magnifyig glass from shelf.

Peering through it, she frowns again.

"This is an ancient tome, Shorjahl. It is no replication. This is an original book from the days when gods walked Toril. And it is in deep Shadowcant, the first variation of the language."

She puts down the magnifying glass, running her hands through her hair.

"Shadowcant is written in a shorthand of lies and filthy, murderous intentions. To read it is to go mad. Perhaps why a follower of the mad god would have this in his possession."

Thrinan closes the book, handing it to the mage.

"I cannot read Shadowcant, Shorjahl. You know this. Only... Only Bargerojh can. You remember the day you left, Shuffles? You remember why? I've no idea your intent here, my son. But if I were you, I would sail out twenty leagues into the sea, and drop this overboard with a chain and a cannonball."

[...]

The rest of the visit goes by quickly and quietly. Thrinan offers polite conversation about the group, and Shorjahls travels, but it is clear that she is worried for the Mage.

When he asks of the shadows, she shrugs her shoulders.

"There are plenty o' filthy organizations in Baldurs. The Shadow Thieves among them, for certain. But not like Amn, I don't think."

When he mentions The Red Hand, she looks at him quizzically.

"Mazolath? He is a wizard, lives in the northern part of Serpe street, by the Burroughs. Lives in a stone tower, never see any lights in the windows. I've identified an item or two for him in the past. Delivered an implement to his door once... He opened it up, dropped a satchel of coin into my hands, and then retreated into that fortress of his."

She takes another sip of her tea.

"Some say he's a madman. Most wizards are of course..." She looks at Shorjahl with a cheeky grin.

"They say you can hear screams from that tower at night. Like some tormented soul haunts the halls of that tower. Haven't heard them myself, but I prefer to stay away from such folk."

[...]

Thrinan looks over the rod that Shorjahl passes to her, and identifies it's magical properties before handing it back.

"I haven't heard, nor seen Barjerohn, Shorjahl. Not for years. The man has disappeared. He loved you though, boy. I knew that to be true, once. Perhaps you should let him fade away. Get rid of that book, and settle down. Gond's great forge...! We need to find you a woman!"

She spends the next few minutes listing off maidens in Baldurs Gate that might be suitable, and then implores Shorjahl to abandon his missions and come to work for her.

==========•••••••=•

Ok guys, some points from Thrinan here. You can press any of those points, or ask any remaining questions you might have.

I'll ask that you also provide some clear directions on where you want to go next, so that we can keep things moving

Exp:+30 for a full party post
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Shorjahl on Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:17 pm

Shorjahl politely breaks away from the artificer's suggestions, reassuring her that he'll settle down someday. After a few more awkward moments and long silences, the young arcanist stands and begins fidgeting to leave the dwarf's shop. He thanks her for her time, and silently urges his comrades to move with him. Careful not to directly touch it, Shorjahl wraps up the book again, and seals it deep within his compact pack. Immediately, the burden is clear on his face once again.

Once outside, Shorjahl turns to the rest of the group. "Thank you for indulging me. I feel I can't ask any more of you all, but I must go and speak with this Wizard in his tower. I'm happy to travel with you all, and see our current assignment through - but should we have any time to spare, I will make my way through the city." He swallows, eyes blank and staring into the distance.

------------------------

Quick OOC clarification: I want to go to the Wizard, but I don't want to steer the narrative too much. Shorjahl is basically saying that he'll follow along wherever the group wants to go, but he needs to see the wizard sooner rather than later, like today. So, if it becomes a time when everybody's like "let's go hang out at the inn!" then Shorjahl will leave the group and go there. If people volunteer to come with, then he'll go.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Kellar on Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:07 pm

Kellar sees how uneasy Shorjahl is as he wraps the book up in the cloth and stows it away. He nods politely to the artificer and heads out the door after Shorjahl. I believe we have time to visit with the wizard, I don't mind accompanying you there. I do need to locate a vendor that sells oil or grease in flasks, he said. So it'll be a purpose to me in that regard, and I can keep an eye out for trouble along the way, he concluded. Even if that source of trouble is you, or that book...

Actions:

Kellar will travel with Shorjahl to pay the wizard a visit.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Ao on Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:17 pm

The morning sun bares down upon the docks of Baldurs Gate, as you emerge from Thrinans shop.

The dwarf looks after Shorjahl, standing in the doorway with a hand on her hip. Her lips are pursed tightly with worry, but she manages a cheerful wave.

A group of seven boys push past you, running down the boardwalk with wooden sticks in their hands. They fight a mock battle, jumping over the salt-caked roperails and kicking fallen fish at one another.

A whitegull swoops down from the sky, landing steps away from Dwan. It looks up at him quizzically, as if to say "what are you doing here, Dwan Bolduum?". But then, it takes off in flight, leaving behind a shroud of purpose and duty around the young dwarf.

[...]

The fellowship walks along the boardwalk, discussing their plans.

With the Harpers gone, and this new, wide, bustling city beckoning, the purpose of their mission seemed elusive and small.

Yet - still.

The winds of fate had brought them here, after a mysterious criminal and the pursuit of an artifact - this 'urn of the flame lord' - of which they knew nothing.

The sweet smell of baking reaches your noses, wafting from a bread makers shop located above a general store. The fat, half-Orc proprietor looks down at you, catching your eye and smiling. "Come in for a loaf!" He cries, opening his windows wide. But the smell of hot, crusty bread falls fallow on th mage's nostrils. Only an acrid stench - a metallic sulphuric note - pervades his senses.

The dark book beckons at the bottom of Shorjahls pack.

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

Ok guys. You have a lead on his wizard. Are you guys headed there now? Are you doing some additional prep or info gathering first? Are you shifting your attentions to the urn, and the criminal? Or perhaps... Perhaps you're looking for something else?

+20 xp to Shorjahl and Kellar for posting.

Feel free to purchase, and assume available, any basic mundane items in or around the dock ward.

Give yourselves +10 xp this rotation, if you include a short encounter or 'moment' (nothing too insane, but ambient and perhaps story hook worthy!) this post rotation.

Make sure though, that you tell me where you're going next
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Custer Thickett on Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:54 pm

Once outside the shop, Custer approaches Shorjahl and pulls at his robe to get his attention. "I'll go with you to this wizard. Seems I've little else to do except to maybe spend some coin to smoke a pipe and drink stout ale on solid ground, yeah? Do you expect any trouble? I'm not carrying me tools or anything."

After Shorjahl answers, Custer will ask the entire group. "Does anybody expect any trouble that would be best met together and with our gear? I've not been here, but if you know who has people here might be that I should try and find out who they are, no?"

After the Orc offers his bread, Custer turns and points at Dwan. "Down boy! Ha, I'll get us some." He laughs and then approaches the Orc while digging in his belt pouch for a fist full of copper. "Let me grab a big loaf for the walk, ya? Two, large enough for us to tear apart and snack on while we walk."

=========

Custer ask the group if they expect trouble that would require him to carry any tools or gear over just some coin, his smoking pipe, bolt case, and crossbows.

Custer buys two large loafs and tears them throwing hunks to everybody, Dawn first, saying, "Good boy! Ha. Not quite enough to make up for the fish, but it's a start, yeah?"
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Shorjahl on Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:09 pm

Shorjahl bids Thrirnan farewell, then walks forlornly away - his stride urgent.

"I don't know what to expect my friend," he says quietly to Cuss. He nods thankfully to each who agree to travel with him. "I'd rather not waste any time, but, if you each want to gather some things in case we do have an issue, I'm happy to wait."

-------------------

Shorjie will go straight to this Wizard's tower, post-haste! As long as one other person goes there and people aren't like "hey don't go" then yeah he's going straight there.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Osvald Hale on Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:10 pm

Osvald eyes the city uneasily as the party moves through the crowd and wheels toward the mages abode.

He was very much of a mind that a mysterious, shut in, Mage with the title "the red hand" may not be the best candidate for a cold call from a party of eager do-gooders, but if was going to be dangerous, he wasn't about to let his friends go alone.

And besides, as much as he wanted to head down to Shandys Stable to ask about information on the state of affairs in Baldurs Gate, a large part of him admittedly wanted to just buy a pint or ten with an old friend and relax for the evening. After the long, boring voyage north onboard the Trois Pistoles, he still felt a little sluggish, his usually keen reflexes not fully warmed up quite yet.

He simple had to think back on the carnage wrought in Esmelteran to remind himself of the dire task at hand.

Sighing, he pipes up:

"Call me a prude, but aye, Cuss... I think if we're to be walking blind straight for the dark mages secretive tower that eminates otherworldly screams in the night, I think we'd best head back to the Trois Pistoles and get geared up--smashing as you do look." he says with a grin and a wink.

=====

Still want to get intel before we kick in too many doors, but Osvald will go along for now to help in case things get sticky.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Custer Thickett on Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:05 pm

Cuss reaches in his belt pouch for more copper, and turns back to the bakery. "Best get one for the boys on board then. I want to stop by a tailor while we are here." While paying the Orc, he ask about tailors in town.

===

Cuss will get another loaf for savoy, roland, bertrand, and ara to share.

On the boat, Cuss gathers his pack and puts his rolled toolsets inside. He leaves behind most of the heavy gear, such as clothes in the disguise kit and the ceramic jars and glass vials in the poisoners kits, ect. He stuffs K'Tesh's cloak and bundle of hair in the bag, intent to get it to a tailor while in town.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:20 pm

As the group gathers outside of Thrirnan's shop Dwan's shuffles to the side of the street so as not to be in the way of the hustle and bustle of the docks. As he and thinks about the events inside of the shop a seagull swoops in past all of the peddlers and shopkeepers and lands a few feet away from Dwan and look directly at him. Peculiar for this gull to come so close, normally they are skittish creatures. The gull takes off and flies towards the boardwalk.

----------------------------

The party strolls down the boardwalk, Custer and the rest of the group talking about preparations and meeting with the red wizard. I've never been this far north in my life, I doubt we'll run into anyone up here on my behalf. That being said, I don't think that you should be going to meet with a wizard unprepared they are cunning and dangerous.  No offence, Shorjahl, I just have met a few...  

Dwan cuts off as the party approaches a bakery, Gull's Gullet its called. Perched on the top of the sign, and staring at the party, is the same seagull that approached Dwan earlier.   The window opens up and Dwan makes eye contact with the owner.  Come in for a loaf!

Dwan stands up straight and turns his body towards the bakery. He paces evenly towards the door as if a stranger in his own body. Dwan approaches the counter and steps between Custer and the baker, interrupting their conversation. In an entranced voice he says, I shall take a quarter of the sourdough and a loaf of blackbead. The scholars of Deneir must nigh work on an empty stomach.   The shopkeeper gives Dwan a wry grin, and hands a single elongated loaf of bread and throws it towards the Dwarf.  The fruits of Gond's oven shall guide your work. he replies in code before returning to his conversation with Custer.

Dwan snaps back into his body as the heavy loaf hits him, he has full control again. He looks around at the mess he has made and solemnly walks towards the rest of the party. I'm sorry I don't know what came over me. He says as he approaches his friends. It was as if someone else had taken control.  Dwan holds out the loaf in his hand. But it wanted me to have this.  

Dwan strains as he tries to break the loaf in half, it will not budge.  He takes his fingers and digs them into the tough crust and finds resistance about a half an inch down. He tears at the loaf to reveal a small scroll case. Dwan urges the party to gather at the next empty alleyway. He pulls at the edge to reveal a short message scribbled on the parchment.

Help me, Shorjahl. There isn't much time -B Dwan reads aloud.  He hands the scroll over to the concerned wizard.  See, my friends, dangerous.  I think something needs to be done about this Dwan points at the scroll in Shorjahl's hands.  Who's to say that the next time one of us won't be compelled to use force.

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

Dwan is pretty shaken up by the compulsion.  He urges the party to find Shorjahl's tutor but as he doesn't have any idea where he could be Dwan will follow the party to the red wizard if that is what they all decide.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Ao on Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:25 pm

Dwan’s face is sallow and pale, as he seeks to shake away the last vestiges of the trance that came over him.

It was a strange moment, orchestrated by an unseen hand. And now, Shorjahl could see what was plainly a missive from Barjerohn, baked into a loaf of bread.

Despite the bustling crowd alongside them, and the sun shining bright overhead, the strangeness of these circumstances seemed most dark indeed…

[…]

The fellowship maneuvers its way out of the dock ward, walking up the sloped cobblestones as Dwan and Custer leave a breadcrumb trail behind them.

The market stalls and affluent storefronts give way to lush gardens, as you move into the opulent Bloomridge - a haven for Baldur’s Gate’s aristocracy.

The wide open pathways lead past tall, iron gate works. Peeking from atop dense, manicured shrubbery, you can see the rooftops of manses and manors, castles and towers.

Wagons trundle by as you continue on, the street-hawkers of the dock ward replaced by house guards and wealthy merchants, on business for their respective agencies.

Rounding a corner, you can see a group of three city guards, clad in full plate armor. They glisten in the sunlight, armed with enormous halberds and ornamented longswords that hang at their hips. They eye you cautiously, nodding to Custer in his opulent garb as they walk past. Ornamental flames decorate their pauldrons, and a plume of red hangs from the captain’s steelcone helmet.

Those of you from Baldur’s Gate know these men as the Flaming Fists, the elite guardsmen of Baldur’s Gate, and the iron ranks of Duke Eltan, one of the Four Dukes of the city.

[…]

Bloomridge is bright and resplendent, standards flying from rooftops and well-groomed horses escorting you through the affluent district.

Soon, you pass over a series of aqueducts, and the buildings become more crowded. Ornate glass and brassery still adorns the windows, but the brick and woodwork is tired and stressed. A butcher stands in an alleyway, watching as citizens walk past and waving to his regulars with a wide grin.

Custer espies a footpad making quick work of a nobleman’s purse, skittering off into the shadows as a bard stands near a fountain, singing the popular tunes of the day.

[…]

After a quarter hour, you find yourselves out of this market square, and in The Wide; the outskirts of the city that runs along the northern wall. A wagon, with an eye painted on it, trundles past you…and suddenly, the acrid smell of exotic spices reaches your nose.

The alleyways become tighter, and though there are still large houses, they are pressed tightly against one another. And, as the streets spiral around monuments and fountains and seemingly random merchant stalls, you see an assortment of dwellings from two-storey apartments to large tent-like structures.

It takes you awhile to locate the Burroughs - a tight nest of wooden single-storey homes wound around a burbling brook and a small natural park. On the north side, amidst a stern row of oak trees that seem to grow out of the great wall of Baldur’s Gate, there is a shaded pathway with an aged road marker.

‘Serpe Street’, it denotes.

The dirt path has deep wagon ruts burrowed into it, and you walk along it for a few moments. All of its estates are widely spaced, with generous groves of fragrant trees in between. Birds chirp furtively in the branches above - the cheerful tune of songbirds. But as one flies out from its nest, casting leaves about your head, you can see that its feathers are pitch black.

The tower of the Red Hand is impossible to miss. It rises out of the heavy forestry, and you can see the top floor nearly kisses the parapets of the wall alongside it. A cobblestone wall surrounds the property, and there is no other dwelling for 300 paces.

A modest gate breaks the waist-high wall, with an ornate inscription;

“The Red Hand”, in perfect script. It seems to shimmer in the daylight.

You notice that the songbirds have gone eerily silent. Looking around, only the silhouettes of distant houses can be seen, against the backdrop of the great Blackstone Wall.

Ahead 100 feet, the tower hides behind a canopy of tree cover, shadows playing tricks on your eyes across the ancient masonry. Two gargoyles stand sentinel in the yard, nestled among an enormous rosebush that stands almost as a bulwark in the face of the road. One of the grisly creatures plays a harp - the other holds a harpoon.

And suddenly, from beyond, in the tower, you hear a muffled scream. And not one of surprise - one of desperation. And madness. And fear.

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

Fence is right in front of you. Small wooden gate. 50 feet to the rosebush copse and the gargoyles. Another 50 feet to the shaded tower, and its wooden front door. You can approach through tree cover if you decide to flank/sneak around the tower. Or you can walk directly down the dirt path to the front door.

EXP: +20


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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Kellar on Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:23 pm

Kellar arrived with the others at the gate to the tower. Well what do you think? Might as well go straight to the front door, no sense skulking about. He moved toward the gate and unlatched it and moved forward. What do you think Shorjahl, anything we should be on the look out for? he questioned.

Actions:
If there's no objection, Kellar will move forward and take point as the group approaches the door to the tower.
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Shorjahl on Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:38 pm

The mage swallows anxiously. "While my intuition urges my feet to run back to the city, I feel it would be best to proceed forward. Perhaps it is a minor trick or illusion to keep solicitors at bay." Shorjahl's not sure who he's trying to convince, but his friends have all stayed with him this far, and mean to press onward. If Barjerohn had smuggled a message to be delivered by trance to one of his comrades - he knew he couldn't stop here. Whatever misgivings he had about his master, he was compelled to continue.

"If the wizard shows any hostility - we must not delay in..." he looks darkly at his friends, "incapacitating him. There is no telling how powerful an arcanist this Red Hand is, but..." he trails off, glaring suspiciously at the tower. If Shorjahl - who destroyed ships and rent armies with his magics - feared the place, the others pondered what dark place they had ventured into.

With a steadying sigh, he steps forward, and cautiously, gingerly, touches the gate to open it, and step inside of the grove beyond.

-------------------

I will approach the tower in full vision, without the faintest note of hostility (although a good measure of fear, to Shorjahl's embarrassment.)


Last edited by Shorjahl on Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:44 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Shorjahl
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  Osvald Hale on Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:44 pm

Osvald eyes the looming tower cautiously, drawing his cloak back to free up his arms and his blades.

He notes the close proximity of the tower to the outer wall... "Cuss, look. If we can't breech the lower level, I think we might have a chance at sneaking in through an upper floor... You brought your climbing gear, right?"

As Kellar strides bravey towards the front gate, Osvald un-slings his bow from his shoulder, and watches the grounds beyond the gate for any movement or unusual sounds. The muffled screams from within call out occasionally...His grip tightens as Shorjahl enters as well, but following the mages lead, he draws no arrow and makes no hostile action.

Cursing under his breath, he moves into place behind Shorjahl and Kellar. As they walk slowly, dead leaves crunching beneath their boots the Rangers head scans the area:

He looks at the path leading to the house, his practiced eye looking for any signs of recent passing to or from the tower...

=====

Perception check on the area, looking for movement, tracks, hints of traps, unnatural forms.
16 + 4 = 20

Nature check to see if Osvald can spot anything else out of place regarding the tower and surrounding area.
10 + 4 = 14

Also, Ao, how many hours of daylight remain?


Last edited by Osvald Hale on Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Chapter Three

Post  DiceMaster on Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:44 pm

The member 'Osvald Hale' has done the following action : Dice Roller

#1 'D20' : 16

--------------------------------

#2 'D20' : 10

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Re: Chapter Three

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