Chapter Four

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Chapter Four

Post  Ao on Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:46 pm

The sun rises through a hazy mist, as the fellowship emerges, their boots sodden and their clothes slick with mud, out of the Cloak Wood.

Hours ago, Dwan had transformed back into his stout, hairy self. And so now Cecil limped beside them, holding up his half-conscious brother Thorold as they emerged from the canopy.

Cecil collapses on the ground next to the burbling stream, his brother’s eyes closed. The young man is crumpled in a pile, in only his small clothes - purple and black with injury.

Soren is silent.

The lycanthrope kneels, naked, with the rope still tight around his neck. He casts a dark glance back at Artimus, but does not speak.

[…]

The night had been a mess. A wayward, winding effort through the woods. They had been dogged by undead, groaning and meandering about the wood like carrion flies. Once they had scented the group, on they came…shambling with that hunger in their dead eyes.

And they had only narrowly escaped a dire fate, half a dozen times. Had it not been for Osvald’s navigation, and Artimus’ corralling of the prisoner. Or Kellar and Orbaugh’s eyes, with Custer covering their tracks. Or Dwan’s swift form, carrying Thorold to safety time and time again.

At last they had found the stream. Where they crossed, it was choked with reeds and thick floating clumps of the red fungus.

Carefully they had crossed, leaping upon the other side as a dozen walking abominations crashed into the water behind them.

They had made their escape.

[…]

Sitting upon a log, gazing out into the tall grassy lowlands, a dull tiredness aches into your limbs, clouding your brain.

Custer cradles the urn beneath his cloak, keeping a watchful eye on the lycanthrope.

Overhead, the morning sun peeks through low-set clouds, a small respite before an inevitable drizzle. A fox darts out ahead of you, pausing for a moment to consider your makeshift camp, before disappearing into the grass.

Dwan sits, exhausted. A dull throbbing in his neck, where the wound has become a bright, crimson red…

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

Ok guys, here we begin a new chapter.

If you’re heading back to Baldur’s gate, let me know how you’d like to prepare your travel plans. Take a moment to rest, if you’d like. This will largely be an RP moment.

You can also take some liberties with your route home. Feel free to flesh out this part of the Gold Road, with whatever you’d like within reason

Welcome back boys! Season 4, here we go.

EXP: +20
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Kellar on Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:55 pm

Kellar inhaled deeply and sat down on the log. Hunts were never this exhausting. Orbaugh slowly climbed down Kellar's arm and shivered in the cool morning. He curled up under his Master's legs and fell asleep. Kellar removed his armor and sat it aside. He checked the damage to it and himself thoroughly. "Going to need some repairs. And a new lance," he said with a sigh. He thumbed the cradle on the back of his armor that used to hold his lance blessed by Meleil. He exhaled and shook his head slightly and looked at his wounds. The blue color had mixed with color of the potion that was poured down his throat last night.

Kellar removed another potion from his pack and looked at it. It would seem that death wasn't for me. The dragon called for me. He looked at Artimus and Osvald, studying their body language. They looked exhausted. "I feel like I should thank you, and yet saving me did cost us. Shorjahl is gone. You should have kept him from being his stupid self. Just one time," he said as he felt the guilt form in his eyes. "And for what? A cup that may or may not be worth what it's casted in," he said.

He shook his head again and shook with anger. He drank the potion and felt it coat his stomach. He watched the color mix with the blue color in his wounds, it going from dark blue to a milky blue. He felt the wounds closing in, the aches and pains of flesh stitching itself back together. Potion Roll= 7+2= 9

Kellar looked to the morning sky. "It's a new day, I suppose. What do we want to do? Rest here for part of the day and then travel? I'm partial to moving out now while we have daylight," he said.

Actions:
If the group wants to rest, Kellar will go along with that plan and take first watch while people get some sleep. Perception Roll= 15+3= 18
If the group wants to head out, Kellar will walk behind the group while someone else takes point. Stealth Roll= 17+5= 22
If there are words to be had after Kellar's outburst, he'll have words.


Last edited by Kellar on Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:56 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Rollz n Actionz)
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  DiceMaster on Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:55 pm

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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Osvald Hale on Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:59 am

Osvald sits heavily on the log, cradling his forehead in his hands.

He is filthy with the stains of travel and combat, gouges carved by tooth and claw criss-cross his armour. His face was badly bruised and scraped from the hand of the massive undead who had nearly taken his life.

The rangers eyes are downcast, weary from piercing the shadows for a thousand imagined threats in the dark on their long journey from the tower. The night had been cold, but this morning was colder. The first rays of sunlight cracking through the boughs only illuminating the exhaustion the huntsman felt--as he was sure they all felt...

All of this... the Harpers, the voyage north, the damned Urn... Osvald missed his mountain. He missed the simpler life, the necessities of survival outweighing the capacity for anguish. Dragons, Gods, Magic? What could a man do in the face of such things? He'd seen a monster of ancient legend but open it's mouth and extinguish a city. He'd seen a demon--a devil--fly off into the black on leathery wings. Just this night he'd seen a wolf burst from a mans skin and the dead shamble forward, aflame and uncaring. ...What could a man do?

He looked at his hands, his clothes. The blood on them. Some of it his. His trusty dagger, gore soaked and sticky in its sheath. Shooting a glance to their prisoner he thinks about plunging that dagger into his neck. Osvald imagines himself smiling wide and cutting that smug look right off the skin changers face--to take back all the woe, all the anguish that's been dealt to them. He even starts to reach for his blade--and barely restrains himself. Looking back down to his hand, to find it now shaking. Trembling.

A vision of a friend wreathed in flame cuts into his mind, and that burning begins to singe Osvalds very soul. Rage bubbles up in him like magma, and he grits his teeth, ready to succumb.

'Is that what you'd become? A servant of wrath?' A voice. Maybe his fathers, his brothers, his own. He couldn't tell. It had been so long since he'd heard any of his kin speak he could hardly remember the sound... but... But he could remember their words. The teachings of honour. The long talks of justice. They were wardens once. Stewards of the common folk. Before... before the world overwhelmed that purpose. Before the right path became the easy one. He clenches his hand tight into a fist. A bulwark against the tide.

Osvald steels his soul against the trials behind, and ahead. The aegis of his spirit renewing him with purpose. The ever burning well-spark of his will flickers brightly in the chambers of his heart, which still beat--and strongly. Too long he'd drowned his fears in drink and tried to leave them behind him with the echoes of his broken vows floating in the warm winds of the south.

A change was upon Osvald. The path ahead would be hard, and grow harder. His gods would offer no guidance; For his gods did not speak, Nor would he ask. The way before them would shift like sand, tumble away like mountain snow... But this has always been the way of the ranger. To go out first into the dark. To find a path that others may tread safely. Whether in the wild places of the wide world, or the wilderness of the heart, that is the way.

What could a man do? What could any of them do? The men of Hale knew, once. Their last son would know again.

...
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Custer Thickett on Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:09 pm

Custer shuffled out from the underbrush, the last to make it to the log and clearing that Osvald had found fitting for rest.  Cuss stood up straight, letting the weight of his worn gear stretch at his back until it popped three times, sending shivers down his legs.  Carefully, he removed the straps of his pack.  He felt the moist skin of his shoulders beneath the leather armor crack and peel, blistered by the shifting weight of long strides and leaps.  He sighed as he lowered the pack to the ground where it could lean against a tree.  He heard splintered glass jingle as it came to a rest, and so it seemed that his fall from the line was not without some casualty.

Cuss grasped at a tender spot on his back as he looked at each of his friends.  It felt like a bruise spread across his entire width and half his height, but it didn't feel near as bad as a few of his fellows looked.  Aside from Thorold, by appearance alone Kellar and Osvald seemed to be the worst off in the bunch.  Kellar was weeping blood from several wounds.  Bites and scratches.  Some that had slashed and dented his heavy steel armor.  All of the like that would have ended Custer's own life, he was sure.  Still, there the blue man sat, babbling on about a new day and that the group should keep moving.  Cuss thought sound he made in response was a short, smirking laugh, but the others heard a frustrated, tired snort the like of a old dog that didn't want to move out of the shade on a hot day.  

He looked at Osvald sitting on the log starring at his trembling hands.  To Dwan, rubbing his neck and grimacing in pain.  To Artimus, Cecil, Thorold, and finally Sorren.  There would be no easy rest had here in such company.

Custer pulled a crossbow bolt from his case and reached in his pack for his wrought iron pliers.  With the tools in hand, he walks over to where Sorren knelt beside Artimus.  The former Harper snarled at him, but Cuss was sure if was only a bluff.  He held the bolt up, and said "Raise ya arm."

Sorren did not move, so Cuss looked to Artimus, an eyebrow raised.

After some persuasion from the Captain, Cuss was soon holding the bolt flush against Sorrens flank, measuring its length against the one that was embedded in the man's belly. "Damn, we going to have to push it the rest of the way through, yeah?  That, or we leave it in.  Me thinks either way it might kill em, no?"

When Dwan comes closer to look, Cuss sees the Dwarf's neck, and whistles low.  "Oiy, Dwan.  Looks like a spider got ya on the back of the neck.  Might be ya need to see this."

Custer knelt by the log, laid his pliers atop it, and starting pulled several items out of his pack to sit beside them.  He found his extra waterskin broken, the bottom blown out and the contents spilled and stirred with the what was a yellow powder in a glass beaker.  He found mixed nuts and dried fruit in a small hemp pouch, full of mire's mud as well as the yellow paste.  At last, he found a leather toolkit that shed water as he unrolled it.  Among the assorted tools inside were two small mirrors on handles.  One he had used for years, and the other he had only recently acquired from the assortment of tools he found on a fallen foe.  Playing with them previously, he had learned a trick that would be finally be useful.

Cuss held them up in front of Dwan.  "Here ya go.  Ya going to need to use both to see it, like this, yeah?"  Cuss held one mirror behind his neck, the other in front of him, and began to angle them to see the back of his head.  Gods it was filthy.  

===========

Might post more with a roll later, bumped up against work...
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:09 pm

The burning on the back of his neck aches again, now that he has had time to rest from the endeavor from last night.

I think we should continue on the road for a few more hours before making camp. The more distance between that tower and us the better.

Dwan takes a hold of the mirror that Custer offers up and angles it with the other mirror behind. A crimson red flash passes the glass and he steadies his hand to get a better look at what is on his neck.

Just like those monsters. Dammit! I have tried to discern what this is and have tried some healing on this but it doesn't seem to be getting better. We need the rest but the sooner we are back at Baulder's gate the sooner we can consult with a healer, or even the Red Wizard.

================================
Sorry for the short post > work
I will try to fill in more when I can
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Osvald Hale on Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:54 pm

Osvald stands, nodding at Kellars words.

"Aye, Kell. You should be thanking someone, but not us. He's back in that tower." Sorrow cuts into the rangers voice, "He bought us time. Traded our lives for his own. Now it's up to us to make good on that bargain. No thing, no Urn, no crown or otherwise is worth the life of a good man--a good friend--to me. But he's trusted us to make things right, and put an end to this havoc." The ranger crosses  over to Kellar, rests a hand on the sinewy shoulder of the warrior. "He... Shorjahl... wouldn't want us squabbling. We've come so far. We have to finish this."

...

Osvald sucks his tooth and spits as he watches Cuss fuss over the arrow embedded into Soren.

"Me thinks either way it might kill em, no?"

"I agree Cuss." The ranger meets eyes with Soren; "You wolves live and die at the behest of the moon, no? Well, she's your wardens God, dog. Perhaps don't upset him?"

=====

Osvald is in agreement with the others, better to keep moving now while it's light.

Can Soren be coerced by someone who's intimidated him into revealing any secret paths or hideaways in the area? Arty, Kell?

Rolling Nature, Perception and Stealth on the voyage.

Nature: 3 + 4 = 7, Perception 18 + 4 = 22, Stealth 3 + 6 = 9

Osvald will be looking for a suitable camp by the afternoon, preferably one they can remain in for the rest of the day and throughout the night to gain some strength back.


Last edited by Osvald Hale on Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  DiceMaster on Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:54 pm

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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Ao on Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:24 am

The fellowship rests for a time, until the sun breaks above the treecover and the grass sways with the midmorning gust.

On the air, the smell of salt bites your noses. From the west, the sea of swords washes that familiar warm breeze inland through the cloak wood.

After a time, you find yourselves back along the gold road, headed north....

[osvald checks:]

A jagged ridge of cliffs overlook the long, sandy pastures that stretch for miles out to the sea. Atop, a worn caravan spot comes into view.

Logs and stones are piled around a charcoal fire pit, and you can tell that merchants have left here perhaps six hours ago.

Standing, watching the seabirds in the distance, a sense of relief washes over you. And, up the coast in the clear of day - you can faintly see Baldurs Gate kissing the horizon. A days ride, perhaps.

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

Exp: +400 to each for defeating the lycanthropes. +100 to each for custers daring infiltration. +100 to each for the tense scene of Kellars fall and shorjahls death, and associated heroics. +1000 for a quest well completed, eachz

Also, a special +50 points to all of you for the awesome round of RP we just had

Total: +1650 each

Ok guys, the road is open for you. Please, take some liberties with interesting encounters, sights, views and perhaps even a dilemma or two.

RP points will be given.
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Custer Thickett on Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:40 am

Cuss stood, hunched and exhausted, between Kellar and Osvald as they took in the view of the sea and Bauldur's Gate beyond. He said, "Fellas, I'm not much of a reading kind of fellow, but me father taught me that every bad experience is an opportunity for learning, uh lesson. Kell, Lord Kellar, ya said the horses would slow us down, yeah? Me thinks it be abundantly clear that ya's right on that point, but might be we need have a talk about the decision to cut them loose, no?"

Custer sighs.
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Custer Thickett on Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:25 pm

Custer sets up his spot in the camp, and waits for Cecil to see his brother comfortable before approaching the two of them.  He crouches low beside Thorold, checking the boy's wounds and health.  He meets Cecil's eyes with his own and tilts his head to suggest that Cecil lean in closer.  Then, Cuss whispers, "What should we be expecting from your Broken Arrows when we be getting back to town?"

Before anybody falls asleep, he ask his friends, "Sleeping the day next this road we still going to need a watch, and with that one," Cuss nods to Sorren, "Might be we need to be two sleep and two wake, yeah?  Me thinks staying awake for first watch impossible."

Later in the afternoon, Cuss sits atop a log, looking out over the cliffs at the sea and city beyond.  The sight was not unlike a familiar view over Lake Esmel, but the shape of the city and the trees along the coast were much taller and more jagged, almost foreboding.  Custer turns to glance up and down the road, marking the movement of the caravans and mounted travelers that he had spotted before.  He remarks to his watch companion, "We need be telling the City about the pink undead, yeah?  Mayhaps Kellar's friends will help us set a meeting with em after the gift.  Seems the whole world has a fight coming, no?"

Before breaking camp, Custer will eat trail rations he cleaned with his refilled water skin, and mix a vial of poison from whats left in the supplies of his kit.  He'd need to restock some items that broke before they left town.  Cuss will gather Dwan, Artimus, and Kellar for a low conversation before moving out.  He keeps a freshly cleaned and polished hand crossbow armed and loaded at the ready should Sorren make a move while they speak.  "We going to be getting back morning like, yeah?  We going to need to stay up all day to be getting done what we need.  Oiy, I hopes we end up with a nice, comfortable, safe bed by tomorrow night.  Me thinks we might need split up when we get back.  We need to get Cecil and Thorold back to Woodrech.  We need be getting Sorren to, uh,"  Cuss peaks between his friends to make sure Sorren can't hear, then considers the hearing of dogs and says, "Where he need be going, an Dwan's spider bite looks pretty bad, yeah?"
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Kellar on Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:50 pm

Custer Thickett wrote:  Kell, Lord Kellar, ya said the horses would slow us down, yeah?  Me thinks it be abundantly clear that ya's right on that point, but might be we need have a talk about the decision to cut them loose, no?"
Custer sighs.

Kellar's head lifted and he looked at the Hin. "The red fungus squad wasn't taken into consideration when letting them loose. I'm glad that we did though, they would have ended up in the bellies of those red devils," he said. "Maybe it was brash on my part to free them. We may not have found them again in the darkness, let alone fight through that horde just to find them eaten or infected as well." Kellar eyed Dwan as he mentioned "infected." He undid the straps to his gauntlets and he set them beside Orbaugh on the ground. His hands shook slightly, his forearms quivered from exhaustion.

Custer Thickett wrote:"Sleeping the day next this road we still going to need a watch, and with that one," Cuss nods to Sorren, "Might be we need to be two sleep and two wake, yeah?  Me thinks staying awake for first watch impossible."

"I can take first watch. I might not wake up if I fall asleep," he said. Truth is, if I fall asleep Ulhar might be waiting for me. Kellar shook his head and ran his blue soaked hands through his hair. Tears ran down his face. "Ulhar," he said to himself. Kellar grabbed his shield and Battle Axe and stood up and moved closer to Soren. "Get some rest, I'll be standing here for a while. If I get too tired I'll wake one of you," he said. Constitution Roll= 16+2= 18 Perception Roll= 2+3= 5

...

After Kellar was relieved from break, he sat and placed his pack behind him and he laid back. Orbaugh crawled over to his side and curled up. Master... Kellar's eyelids weighed heavily and he shut them. Ulhar did not come to him in his sleep. He felt like he was floating, the mixture of blue and white mixing in his body around his wounds as he slept. He eventually woke to the tiny feet of Custer kicking his foot. Kellar moved to sit up and found the task to be considerable. "I'll be ready to go, give me five minutes," he said. He rubbed Orbaugh's head and scratched under his chin to wake the pseudodragon up.

Kellar put his armor back on, strapped on his gauntlets and checked over his waterskin and rations. He and Orbaugh ate one ration a piece. "All that fighting and near dying makes a man hungry," he said. "I'm ready to walk to Baldur's Gate. Artimus, do you think there's a chance someone is on Kraken's Fist to request a few horses to meet us on the road?" Kellar left the question in the air and he approached Lord Hale.

"Hale, you've done something to me. I was supposed to be dead. Ulhar. He came for me when I laid there dying in that tower," he said. Kellar looked at Osvald a moment. "I feel different. I don't know how or why, but I feel... off," he said. Kellar sighed and said, "Maybe it's nothing. I don't know, but thanks."

Actions:

Kellar will follow what the group wants to do for getting to Baldur's Gate. He will refuse to give orders or suggest a different course of action. Custer's question of him leaving the horses has raised his self doubt.


Last edited by Kellar on Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:51 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Rollz n Actionz)
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  DiceMaster on Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:50 pm

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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:31 am

The Sigil glowed through the night as did the groans of the dead that pursued them, crashing and surging like waves.

Artimus had so many hurried words, unspoken throughout their foray, burning in the air, shuttled by the fist of the Kraken. The silvered scaled claw hung heavy around his neck.

"Zavoie, I am zwamped by the dead, and flanked by et loup-garou, and Zoren. zhiz may be where I fall, Two and one half Kilo-Metrez miles inland a half notch in from Manlandz point."

"Retrieve the fizt at any cozt."

They clamoured through that dark night and crossed the teeming waters of the forked stream. against all odds, the deep wood gave way mercilessly to fresh sea air.

The scent of salt and ozone peaked interest as it perched itself on Artimus' nose as it flitted on the wind. It interrupted the dank of the infected bogs of the forest and begged the mariner to return to the living.

His form had fallen into a lurching hunch as he waded through uncertain muck, trudging behind the skin shifter. His breath was shallow, flitting out his nose, rapid and regular, like a vipers tongue, tasting the air.

A shoulder lifted, then the other, he rolled them forward and thew gravel churned pitted and spiteful. He looked upon his compatriots, winged, broken and bleeding. All that stood now would live, and questions would be asked.

Artimus could feel the Sorren's thoughts, climbing through the air like spiders. shaking the threads of fate desperate for a way out.

A new message sieged out across adjacent planar blooms, voidsteping across realities.

"We have Zorren, Make way to the zouth zpillway of the zity, and bring a  zet of clothez, Bertrandz will do and a heavy cloak. We make for the docks east,  to the Wagon and the Worg."

Artimus, do you think there's a chance someone is on Kraken's Fist to request a few horses to meet us on the road?" Kellar left the question in the air and he approached Lord Hale.

"Wizh Zorren it is too rizky to ride him in, I have arranged a man at the inlet for the zity,  we will make our way in zecret"  

He answered wringing one wrist and then the other.

"I will take both watchez mon ami."

A final message hummed from the sigil imbued with the will of Selune.

"The Lycans are on the move..."
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Custer Thickett on Sat Jun 13, 2015 5:44 pm

Custer considered Kellar's answer, and nodded, "Aye, yeah.  Horse fed undead might have been a problem, and a sad end for the horses, I'll give ya that.  Who'd of guessed that they were infected fish men, and not Sorren's friends.  Dog, what do ya know of that pink undead, eh?  Umberlee or Cyric?  [Asking Sorren.]

Later in the day, after rousing Kellar, Cuss stands between his blue friend and Artimus.  He scratches his chin, then says, "Aye, secret... but, uh, it's too far to swim, yeah?  Me thinks ya should've gotten some sleep."  Cuss laughs and looks to Kellar for a smile, "No?"
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Kellar on Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:01 am

Kellar watched Little One approach. Kellar had been preoccupied with the movement of the blue color and it mixing with the milky white color under his skin. The mixing reminded him of oil and water.

He first saw it when he was hunting...

The oil had been cast down on the courtyard of the worn down castle. He and a few others put the finishing touches, to make sure the ground was completely coated. The other hunters had coated the walls in tar. "Corvin, I think we have finished here, now we wait," Kellar said. Corvin had just arrived, new to the hunting group, greener than the forest that surrounded the castle. "What do we wait for? Where do I stand?" He said. He gripped his Battle Axe and shield hard and they trembled. "The frost giants that are here will come out soon enough. They have stayed in that castle for far too long. Their number is not that great, but the appetite of one frost giant can consume and entire farmer's livestock," Kellar said.

Corvin looked around nervously and shook even harder. "There's m-more than o-one?" He asked. "Four total. At least that's what the jarl said back in town. No worries, just have to be ready to charge in when we give the order. Understand?" Kellar said. He made a circle motion to the other hunters and they took their positions. Some on the wall, some behind debris. He counted to himself. Three, two, one... "I challenge the four! Come out you dimwitted buffoons!" Kellar watched as a giant hand lifted the gate to the portcullis and raised it up. The steps the giants took could be felt by the hunters as the came forward.

"Who challenges?" A bellowing voice called out. The first giant looked around the tops of the courtyard and then looked down. "You?!? HA! Little blue man, we are four and you are one!" Kellar began walking side to side, keeping the giants fixed on him. He slowly backed away as they kept walking forward. Corvin shook in his armor as he peered out over the rock. "Oh no... Oh, I- I CAN'T DO THIS!" He shouted as he threw his shield down and hurled his Battle Axe in the direction of the giants and ran for the exit of the courtyard.

The lead giant nodded at Corvin running. A giant at the rear of the group lifted a large chunk of debris and hurled it toward the scared hunter. Corvin tripped and fell flat, he looked at Kellar as the shadow of the debris came over him. "Corvin!" Kellar shouted.

THU-ISH!

Kellar threw a javelin at the lead giant, it struck true right in the neck. "Now!" The hunters hiding behind the debris rose and fired their flaming arrows into the oil. Howls came from the giants as they were consumed by flame. They scattered from the flame, crashing into the walls, trying to escape. The tar on the walls ignited and stuck to the giants as they crashed through and stumbled. The hunters fired arrows, javelins and crossbows mercilessly. The flames lasted but a few moments, but it was enough to weaken them for the assault. Puddles surrounded the giant sized bodies and mixed with blood.

Kellar jumped from giant to giant, piercing their brains through the eye socket to make sure they were dead. He walked down the leader's body and jumped off by the feet. What luck. He thought. The Battle Axe Corvin threw had caught the giant in between the toes. He speculated that it caused the giant to stumble forward into the flame and crush it's skull when it hit the wall. He removed the Battle Axe and went to Corvin's hiding place and picked up the shield.

"I'm sorry Corvin," he said as he walked out of the courtyard.

....

"Yeah sleep would've been a better idea. You're losing your looks," he said to Artimus as he nudged Custer.
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Ao on Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:41 pm

[Uktar the 22nd, Baldurs Gate. The Wagon and The Warg Tavern.]

A thick, molasses-like stout creeps down the grain of the heavy-set bench table, where it was spilled by a patron an hour before.

Flames lick up in the hearth, the warm glow keeping your bones from chilling each time the heavy oaken door is opened.

It smells of pipe smoke and greasy, garlic-laden beef.

The young auburn-haired serving woman, her loose black garb draped over worn white smallclothes, smiles at you prettily.

“Another round m’lords?” she says, scooping up your tankards and heading for the bar, without waiting for an answer.

Andrianna scowls at her faintly, her disdain for other women not guarded at all. She draws her cloak - the one gifted to her from Kellar - around her tightly. Geld dozes beside her, swirling his cup of thick mead and coughing gingerly.

Bertrand coughs, looking at Artimus quickly.

“I will be taking my leave, captaine. See you aboard.” He stands and leaves, tossing a handful of coppers down on the table.

You’ve been here since the sun dipped beneath the wintry horizon, several hours into the afternoon. Winter’s bite is settling upon the northern sword coast, and after three days of travel with the werewolf Soren you pulled into Baldur’s Gate amidst the first snowfall.

Now, thick flakes swirl past the window panes, bringing with them a draft that carries into the rafters of the seaside tavern.

Geld smiles at you.

“I’d ask you to tell us of the tower again, fellowship. But my amazement has not yet worn off from your earlier recount.”

A menacing looking elk head, worn to the bone with thick, brown antlers hangs on the wall above the gnome comically. It makes his words rather distracting.

“You’ve done an admirable job. Two harper scouts have seen Cecil and his brother back to the Woodrecht manor. No doubt the elder patriarch will have some questions for his scheming son…”

And indeed, you had seen it in Cecil’s eyes earlier. Thorold, quiet as a mouse the entire journey, spoke his first few words as you passed beneath the southern service gate, at the inlet. The poor beaten youth had eyed the river nervously, as if he wished to disappear into it.

“What do you think father will say?” Thorold had asked, his voice like gravel. Cecil had said nothing.

Geld reclines against the wall, draining his tankard and setting it onto the table, just as your next round appears.

“It must be said,” he starts slowly… “that your decided victory through these affairs has earned you our respect.”

Andrianna nods, a genuine look of seriousness upon her face.

“And,” continues the gnome. “I hope that we can work together again. You are counted as close friends to the harpers, heroes, and no matter where you are in Faerun, our network can be of service.”

He removes his sigil from his cloak, sliding it across the table to Custer.

“Just flash that, fellows. And the harpers will be at your service.”

Geld seems to have finished his words, but then a thought pops into his mind, and he speaks;

“Say, did you ever recover the Urn of the Flamelord, fellows? We’ve no idea of its properties, but I dread the thought of it lost in that tower…"

Andrianna clears her throat, pushing her ale aside in front of her as she leans onto one arm. She speaks for the first time this evening, her eyes flashing awkwardly across Kellar’s face as she hastily addresses the table.

“Geld and I are headed for Westgate, in the morn. Soren is in the custody of the High Harper and the Flames, now, and we are needed in southern Cormyr. I…I hope we will see you again, fellowship.”

She stops for a moment, thoughtfully.

“You are, truly, great men. I am sorry for your loss.”

As her words die, a minstrel near the hearth takes up his lute, and strums a few chords in preparation for a heady ballad of heroics and dragons.

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

Ok lads, you find yourselves back in Baldur’s Gate. Soren is squared away, and the Harpers have paid you 600 gold pieces each as a measure for his bounty.

Custer - you have the urn of the flame-lord tucked away in your cloak. Do you pass it off to Geld?

Hereaways, the path is open to you, lads.

The Red Wizard is still examining that Book that you took, from Keisan. Are you going to return to his tower?

Of course, there’s the matter of the sacking of Esmeltaran, and that nonsense in Amn.

Let me know where you’re headed, fellowship. Let’s get this adventure on the road.

EXP: +20 each
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:31 am

Dwan opts to rest instead of pulling watch, channeling the forces of nature,shape changing, and the rash on his neck has definitely has taken it's toll on him. Sleep finds him quickly.

Dwan looks out on a field of red. He focuses his vison and finds that they are back in the swamp, making for the tower. Scanning the tree line he sees numerous amounts of the undead, unmoving except for their heads which focus directly on the Dwarf. Dwan looks to his companions and speaks but no sound escapes from his lips.

A quick flash of red and Dwan is fighting with Junich, teeth sinking deep into the creature's throat and tearing it out. The room is filled with the red undead and five of his companions are fighting a losing battle. The taste of blood is sweet in Dwan's mouth, he takes another bite from the unmoving Junich. An echoed cry sounds in Dwan's ear as Kellar drops to the hoard. Dwan turns back to his feast, tearing at the changing corpse to expose the more delicious organs on the inside. He takes another bite. The cries from his other allies fall upon deaf ears, Dwan's shape changes back to a Dwarf, yet he is still feeding. The cries have all stopped and the undead have fallen silent to stare at the Dwarf.

What am I doing? He thinks looking around. The sweet taste of the blood has turned rotten in his mouth. As he glances around he sees the still shapes of Custer, Kellar, Osvald, and Artimus decorating the ground. The bodies of many undead surround his friends yet more have come to replace those that have fallen. Dwan looks at his hands, and they start rotting away. The sores and tears in his skin start to sprout the red fungi, the roots of which stitch his flesh back together. Dwan looks down at the body, hunger consuming him once more. Red once again envelopes his vision as his hands tear away at the body, and his teeth sink into more flesh and blood, Shorjahls eyes are empty as they stare at the ceiling.


Dwan awakens from his dream covered in sweat. The rash on the back of his neck burns as he rolls on his hands and knees to empty the contents of his stomach onto the grass beside him.

___________________________________________________________________


Dwan travels the road to Baulder's Gate deep in thought and says little to his companions. He snapped and yelled at Cecil at some point on the trip but about what he could not remember. Not many people approached him after that.

Smelling the garlic in the air, Dwan orders a helping of the dinner at the tavern. He fiercely eats up the potatoes and greens on the plate, but after one bite of the juicy beef, Dwan quickly loses his appetite and slides the plate over to be forgotten.

Dwan spends the rest of the exchange getting lost in several tankards of ale, it seems to dull the ache in his neck. I'll let them take care of the Harpers.

You are, truly, great men. I am sorry for your loss. wrote:

Dwan raises to his feet and focuses a dark stare at Andrianna.

Was it worth it? Possibly a mundane urn for the life of our friend! He save a unicorn, protected a town from flaming death, he tackled the evil in that cursed book and for what? A pile of gold? Our friend would still be alive if it wasn't for your foolish quest.

Dwan lets the dark thoughts pass. His soldier's training kicks in and prevents him from making a fool of himself, he hasn't had that much to drink yet. My lady. He says to her and he moves towards the bar for another drink, maybe something more potent.

As he sits back down with his companions Dwan brings with him another round. He passes each drink carefully to each of his friends. He raises his tankard and toasts Shorjahl.

To Shorjahl, though I did not know him as long as many of you his actions spoke of his character. He would never hesitate to expend as much of his power as possible to aid us and those in need. He was a courageous warrior and had a strong mind for tactics. He gave all that he could so that the rest of us may live. His sacrifice will never be forgotten, and he will never truly die so long as we live.

Once the drinks are finished and the group moves the conversation on what to do next, Dwan speaks up.

I will need to see the Red Wizard to see if he has any knowledge of this red fungus or the mark I have on my neck. Any of you who want to join me? If not, I believe I shall see you hear in the morning.
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Kellar on Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:49 pm

Kellar arrived back in Baldur's Gate with his companions in the early evening. He told them, "I'm going to get some rest, not feeling well. Probably just exhausted." He made his way down the main street and came upon The Iron Raven. "I'll get us squared away," he said. He approached the barkeep and laid down five gold for rooms for the him and his companions. He grabbed a key with a heavy hand and leaned toward the barkeep. "I'll need a healer and the name of a weaponsmith. Someone who specializes in large weapons, Halberds, Glaives and such. A blacksmith too," he said.

The barkeep thought for a moment and said, "Lady Isylte, she's a healer at the apothecary. You boy, run for Lady Isylte, ask her nicely to see the gentleman in Room Four. As for the weaponsmith and blacksmith... Hmm, ah, I know go see Thromdag Metalbrand, he's a weaponsmith, he does mostly large items. All military grade as one would expect for the reputation of a Metalbrand. Now the blacksmith..." He paused a moment and continued, "Bratdrout Chaincoat. As the name implies, he's well known for his armor to fit all types. If you happen to visit both, tell them the Iron Raven sent you."

Kellar dropped two more gold pieces to the barkeep and he nodded to the others. "I'll see you all in the morning, or maybe later. I have healer stopping by in a little while," he said. Kellar made it to his room, he undid the straps to his armor and dropped it on the floor as he made his way to the bed. His head crashed against the pillow and he was fast asleep. He awoke to the soft hum of a woman's voice. His eyes opened and he saw her standing beside the bed with her hands glowing white. Her hands lowered and the light faded from her hands. She knelt beside the bed and said, "I'm Lady Isylte, I was sent for by The Iron Raven. I work at the apothecary here in Baldur's Gate. I let myself in when you didn't respond to my knocks at the door." She looked up and down his body, the strange blue color still mixed with the milky color of the potions he drank earlier.

Lady Isylte bit her lower lip and looked at the wounds on his body. "This dark blue color is not a natural phenomena. But it does not seem to impede your healing or mine when I apply it. This color that is mixing with it, is that from an external source?" She said. "I drank a potion, I don't think my body agrees with it. Normally I concentrate on the wounds and they close by themselves. A darker blue hue takes the place of the wounds," he replied. She raised her eyebrows slightly and nodded. "I see, so this was bestowed to you. Most humans can't withstand the type of injury that your body has sustained. At any rate, I've done what I can to heal your wounds faster than they would otherwise," she said.

Kellar ached as he rolled to his side to reach for his satchel and withdrew his gold pieces. He removed ten pieces and handed them to her. "Here," he said. She watched the gold fall into her hand and she replied, "This is way too much, but I won't argue about it. If you need something else while you're here, please contact me at The Blue Pot Apothecary," she said. She bowed low and exited. Kellar's head fell back against the pillow and began to dream.

....

Kellar stood in darkness. He was here before... The same dark hue covered the ground. He felt the air move in swirls, he listened to great wings. "Ulhar."

The dragon roared and landed in front of Kellar. "Ulhar sees Kellar in front of him once again. Why are you here?"

"I did not come here willingly. My eyes closed and now here I am. Will you be taking what you have given me?" Kellar asked.

Ulhar's head lowered and he looked Kellar in the eyes with his own. The dragon's breath was cold. "The ranger... Hale, Lord of the Wood. His hands laid upon you when you fell. You are bound to his prayer." Ulhar inhaled deeply. "And... a healer's drink. A poor alchemist and a ranger bound your strings to them. No matter," Ulhar said. He brought forward one more claw and pierced Kellar's heart with a single claw.

"Hnghhhhh..."

Kellar's eyes went dark again.

....

Kellar awoke on the floor, he sat up. No pain. He moved to stand up slowly, expecting to ache. No pain? Orbaugh looked up from the top of the bookcase and looked at his master. Master! Shiny! Kellar looked at his arms and looked at his chest. Where the wounds had been, the skin had healed over and the light blue color was returned. "Still cursed." He moved toward the light of the window and looked down again. He saw the faint shimmer of dragon scales on his torso. "What in blazes is this?!?" Orbaugh dropped to the floor and walked over to his master. Master shiny!

Actions:

Kellar wakes up, something is definitely different...

OOC: I will draft up a Market Place post so I don't write too long in the main thread. I also have some filler with Andrianna. That'll be in the Market Place post.
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:08 am

The air cooled as fall had given to winder, muting some of the stink that hung in the hung in the east docks.  The West winds that pushed in from the sea of swords in the summer months stunk of dead fish and meat past it’s due.  There was mercy in the quieting months.

The sticky knife gorged table tops that rounded the room and the streaked line walls. The ones that gave the room a dusky dank tombre were only half the charm of The Wag’ and The Warg. The rest was the drunken working lot that filled the place. Artimus watched the room as the Harpers spoke. He squinted his left eye at the acrid, garlic laced pipe smoke as he listened. He rubbed the back of a tired head, looking up through his dirty wispy hair.

Around the room, Fishmongers, still fresh with a reek that barred them from most places, Dockworkers, who’s angry wives and broods of children kept late for an extra round or two… The Dockmaster would be taking the blame, again. The whores wouldn’t filter in till the moon was high in the sky, and when the third, least…recriminating shift of city guard took the streets.

The room was more concerned with drinking off a hard day’s work or easing up for the night shifts toiled in the sprawling storehouses that marked the lower east side of the city, than anything else.

Confident that none were eavesdropping Artimus palmed his face squinting hard.  “wine…Wine…WINE” his progressively louder request was missed by the lackadaisical, auburn haired wench as she sauntered slowly by the cracking fire, her thick ass bouncing under a loose long faded apron covered dress.

Artimus blinked again, taking a small pleasure in watching her leave as he lost the chance as a strong honeyed wine and let out a sigh, grasping his face again.

--At the mention of Shorjahl and the Mission.--

Aye it was a hard fight with a high price. Shorjahl gave what cannot be repaid, and each of us here are indebted.  I knew him very little, but I will drink to him. I hope where he is he burns no longer.

“Say, did you ever recover the Urn of the Flamelord, fellows? We’ve no idea of its properties, but I dread the thought of it lost in that tower…"

Artimus’ ears perked at the question and he slowly opened his shuttered eye looking longways at Custer…

Artimus was standing beside the Halfling when he concealed the Urn. What would these Harpers do with the Urn. Could Adrianna and Geld be trusted… they seemed too proud and absentminded respectively to be co-opted or self serving.

What would the do with the Urn if the kept it… What could it do for the Kraken…

He shifted his gaze to Dawn, who’s face had an empty  burning look. And Osvald who gaze met his. They had both seen Cus with the urn too.

The mariner blinked and pulled is right ear lobe long as he shifted back into his seat.

“Geld and I are headed for Westgate, in the morn. Soren is in the custody of the High Harper and the Flames, now, and we are needed in southern Cormyr. I…I hope we will see you again, fellowship."

I wizh you zafe travelz mon amies, the road can be dangerouz. Actually, you  may  be able to help me. I have a package that needz pazzage to Cormyr,  It’s small, no large than a bread box. But it can only travel in trusted hands.

“WINE!” Artimus shouted interrupting himself. Giving the straw haired wench a start, causing her to drop a stein and return a cross glance back at the reclined Cormyrian. “If you pleaze Madmoiselle” He finished softly.

Would you be willing to take it in tow, C’est vous plait? I can have one of my crew meet you at the weztern gatez.

To Dwan,  

I zhink we zhould all make for the wizard, perhapz he can tend to your wound dawn while he inzpectz our…  yURN-ing questionz.
Artimus finished with a raised eyebrow


Last edited by Artimus DeLonde on Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:13 am; edited 3 times in total
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  DiceMaster on Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:08 am

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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Custer Thickett on Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:55 am

Custer was very impressed with how smooth the task of entering the city went.  He fully expected trouble from Sorren or some surprise to ruin his chances of a hot meal, bath, and a soft bed, but Artimus' plan and crew were almost without flaw in their execution.  Soon, the broken Harp was no longer his problem.  Cecil and Thorold were also returned to Woodrech by the Harpers, saving his feet the long walk but troubling his ego.  They wanted the glory of Woodrech's seeing his son again for themselves, he was sure.  Glory they did not deserve.  It belonged to Shorjahl.  To me...  Cuss hoped Cecil would tell his father that the Harps had little to do with Thorold's salvation.  The debt was owed to the Kraken's Fist.  

Cuss thought back on his conversation with Cecil earlier in the day.  He had told the boy, "Ya need to tell ya father about the Broken Arrows.  With the lanterns gone, might be they'll leave ya be, but more like they'll be bitter and come for ya, Cecil.  Iffen we don't get audience with him before ya do, doan let em send ya back home, clear?"  

It wasn't.  

"Ya can't go back there until we know the Arrows doan want ya dead, boy.  If he doesn't keep ya in, then come find us, yeah?"

Cuss swirled the ale in his tankard and watched the foam on top dance with the motion.  He took a long swig to wash down the mouth full of smoked fish he had just swallowed.  The bitter hops of the brew clashed with the sweet citrus spices of the fillet, but Cuss was far too hungry and thirsty to care about his taste bud's complaints.  Even if they did, he wouldn't hear em over the screams of his nose.

Cuss laughs in his cup, and says, "Old Joe could hide with this rabble, an even the dogs wouldn't smell em out, eh Dwan?"  Poor fellow looks worse.

The serving wench distracted him from the Dwarf, and soon so did Andrianna.  She pulled the red cloak tight around her to hide jealousy?  Custer's eyes darted then a smile crept upon the corners of his lips.

Cuss stopped Bertand before he left the table, "Bertrand, wait.  What of the boy?  The padfoot, is he still on the ship?"

After Bertand left, Cuss turned his attention to Geld.  He accepted the sigil of the Harpers from the gnome, and held it up for the others to see as he spun it between his fingers.  "Thank ya, Geld.  Me thinks mayhaps this be but one act of friendship in what will be a long history of cooperation between Fist and Harps, yeah?"

When Geld inquires on the Urn, Cuss's mood turns and he slumps back in his chair.  His face shows defeat and his eyes look to nothing as he sighs then admits, "Aye, but not for long.  They told ya about the rope we used to get from the keep to the tress, well, they didn't tell it all.  I... I fell, and when I did the Urn was crushed beneath me.  It was baked clay, and old.  Now it is just crumbled dust in a bog."  

Cuss snorted as he wiped his nose on his sleeve.

[Rolling deception +5, Cuss wants to convince everybody.]
8

Cuss continues with Geld.  "What of the undead, Geld?  They seemed formidable, and they are not far from the city.  If Cyric has anything to do with their mustering, then this City may be the next Esmeltaran, if another has not already fallen before Kesian and Sothis's hordes.  Are you going to help us find the Cyricist, no?  Blood for blood, Harpers.  Balance."

[Rolling persuasion +8, Cuss wants the Harpers to investigate Sothis and Kesian.]
22

When Artimus yelled WINE to the serving wench, Cuss jumped some, but laughed much more.  When Dwan yelled at Andrianna, Cuss was frozen speechless.  His tankard hovered between halfway between a salute and a sip.  His eyes were wide and bounced between the dwarf and Andrianna.  Thank me Lady of Luck that Kellar's not here right now.

However, Dwan retreated after saying his piece.  Cuss's eyes met Andrianna's for a moment.  It was the first time his ever told her's, I'm sorry.  Then, she turned and was gone.  

Cuss drained his cup.

Dwan brought another full one.  "Oiy, Dwan.  Ya alright, I doan care whta Andrianna says about ya, yeah?"

Dwan wrote:To Shorjahl, though I did not know him as long as many of you his actions spoke of his character. He would never hesitate to expend as much of his power as possible to aid us and those in need. He was a courageous warrior and had a strong mind for tactics. He gave all that he could so that the rest of us may live. His sacrifice will never be forgotten, and he will never truly die so long as we live.

Cuss saluted with his cup and said, "So long as we live."  Then he drank, and drank, and drank until the cup was empty.  He pulled the tankard away from his face, and burped loud enough to drown out the lute.  The minstrel stopped playing for a moment, possibly distracted by the interruption.  Several patrons clapped in response, possibly thinking his song was over.  Cuss thought the applause was for his burp, and that kept his smile alive.


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Re: Chapter Four

Post  DiceMaster on Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:55 am

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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Ao on Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:35 am

Geld eyes Custer as he recants the story of the urn’s demise. The gnome frowns, but nods.

“Well, perhaps for the best it is.”

Andrianna watches Kellar walk over to the barkeep, and then retire to his room. She stands, and Geld stands with her.

The gnome speaks again.

“Well fellows, here we part. I hope our paths cross again.”

[Uktar the 23rd, Baldurs Gate. The Tower of The Red Hand.]

…Mazolath is sitting in his dense leather armchair, absently stirring at a tea with a sprig of lavender. His bespectacled eyes rest upon an aged, oversized nose. His white hair falls around him like the mane of a venerable lion.

Red robes cascade off the furniture, pooling on the floor around two slippered feet. He looks up at you, a pipe in his mouth, his face expressionless.

“Fellows…I was expecting you days ago.” he says, and grows quiet as he looks at your lot.

Potted plants hang in the scullery, draping pungent garlic fronds down onto a low counter top. The smell is both herbaceous and savoury, calming your mind.

But Mazolath’s face flashes a storm.

“Shorjahl…is he?” the elderly man stops, and then nods when he sees your expressions.

“A dark omen. My thoughts rest with the boy - my brother spoke fondly of him, though I did not know him. But the time for rumination on the dead must wait. My mind reels, because…because of this.”

He places his hand pointedly upon the table beside him, where the dark tome rests. You take a seat around him in the den, watching as a cold sweat breaks out upon his forehead. He removes his hand hastily.

“This is The Book Of Lies. I suspected that it might be, but I had hoped against it, I confess. It is a tome whispered about only in the darkest of circles. And, it is said to be penned by the laughing god himself.”

He clears his throat, sipping his tea.

“I spent many sleepless nights trying to decipher its secrets. The book is written in Shadowcant - a language that can twist the mind with lies and maddening thoughts of dark things. One cannot read Shadowcant without feeling the deepest of paranoia, and the hardest edge of insanity. It is within the folds of these horrendous emotions that the lord of lies hides his secrets. His agendas. His designs.”

Mazolath stands up, walking over to a bookshelf in a hurry. He licks his thumb, reaching in and pulling out a small brown leather-bound book.

“Have you ever heard of the Order of The Overgod?” he asks rhetorically, not pausing for you to answer. He leafs through the pages, and after finding his spot, displays it to you by extending a bony hand.

You can see a sigil of a circle. It appears to be a white, erupting sun, with a small humanoid shadow in its wake.

“It is said that there exists a being superior even to the gods of Toril. That the deities worshipped across Faerun and beyond answer to a supreme being. His name, they say, is Ao.”

Mazolath coughs, placing the book back into the shelf.

“Throughout the long history of the realms, there have existed small cults of Ao. They last no longer than a dozen years, and rarely do their orders hold any consistency from one instance to the other. You see, Ao bestows no powers nor favours upon his clerics. And those predisposed to the fervour and piety of religion find no…feeling, in worshipping him. It is as if they had put their faith in a rock. And so, their numbers rarely last, existing more out of curiosity of his existence than conviction of his purpose.”

He paces, looking at the ground and pushing his spectacles up.

“I’ve buried my nose in a hundred texts on the topic, each more vague than the next. Who created the realms? Some believe the gods did. Some believe Ao. And what’s more, there are tellings of an even greater being, who entrusted Ao with the care of our multiverse. But that’s not the interesting part…”

Now he picks up his tea, taking a sip and placing it back down.

“Each of these cults find themselves united around a very specific set of historical recounts, from tomes scribed from tomes scribed from tomes long lost in the depths of candlekeep. They tell of a time - a time when Ao walked Faerun himself. It is ascribed, that in the early days of our world, Ao fell beloved with a creature of our plane. A woman - her name was Loleith.”

Mazolath stops, looking down his nose at you. His tone transforming into a cadence of bard-ly affair.

“It is written that she was so perfect, so beautiful, that even the overgod could not resist her charm. And so, as Ao walked our realm in a cloak of gold and light, he took her as his bride and shed the skin of his divinity, becoming human for a time.”

He lowers his voice.

“And he found the happiness and joy that the races of our world find in the comfort and love of another. But Loleith was of humble origins, and she hungered for prosperity. And he, in the spell of love, wanted nothing more than to gift it to her. So, he returned to the stars and forged her an artifact of greatness. A rod of shimmering starlight, forged in the burning core of the plane Limbo. He studded it with fat rubies that wept the milk of creation, the raw power of godhood. And then, he gifted it to her, bestowing upon Loleith not only the power of godliness, but the power of creation. He called the rod - the Halichondath.”

Mazolath takes a breath, settling back into his armchair.

“And at first, Loleith delighted in her power. She created good things from nothing. Building her home into a palace, and her village into a thriving city. She bestowed prosperity upon her nation, and mended warring lords with bounties of material. Soon, she tired of the mundane affairs of lordship, and elevated herself to godhood. For years, she sailed the stars with Ao, discovering new wonders and delights and pleasures.”

The red wizard absently flicks his finger, leaning forward.

“But you know as well as I how this story ends. Only Ao was blind to her lust for power. So powerful is the tonic of love, that he could not see the dark creature she had become. She began to dominate the cosmos, subjecting entire planes to her will. And she began creating…creating vast landscapes of power and lust and sound and excess to satiate her growing need for ascendancy. Finally, she began to destroy and undo the work of the gods themselves - driving them into hiding. Our multiverse fell into madness.”

Mazolath clears his throat.

“It took Ao many decades to see that the woman he had loved, had become a monster. And so, he returned to the ether, vowing to undo the disaster he had wrought. With a great reckoning, he cast Loleith out of the stars and into the plane she had created - what we now know as the demonweb pits. And without the power of the Halichondath, she was demented and warped into the horror-goddess we call Lolth. The queen of spiders.”

“Ao returned to the stars, and it is said that he swore an oath never to meddle in the affairs of our world again. And so, the overgod fell into obscurity, and Faerun came to know only those that had survived the cataclysm of his lover Loleith.”

He takes a breath, gesturing towards the book.

“The story is tragic, but this book is neither about Ao nor Lolth. Cyric, it is said in this tome, seeks the Halichondath - an artifact that he prizes above all else. And, Ao - in his infinite wisdom, hid it not among the planes, or the stars, but amidst our fair world, where gods cannot walk. And so, the god of murder entrusts his followers to searching for it, in the hopes that one day he may destroy all who oppose him, and build a new multiverse in his image.”

Mazolath looks at you squarely, a look of grave sincerity in his eyes.

“This is the stuff of legend. And yet, here is this book, in my study. A beseeching of the dark god, for his followers to uncover the secrets of the Halichondath, and deliver it to him. A curiosity, perhaps. Or an omen. A sign that the men of Cyric have begun to unravel the mystery. Fellows…this is a mystery that our world cannot afford to see unravelled.”...

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

Ok guys. Long post today - lots of prose and storytelling. I’m giving you a moment to interject, and ask any questions of Mazolath about the story or otherwise.

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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Osvald Hale on Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:58 am

Osvald stands near the fire, looking into the flames as the old wizard speaks.

A wry grin crosses the rangers face as he passes his hand along the stone of the mantle piece, wondering where in this hierarchy the quiet gods of his mountain fell. Somewhere low he was sure...

"So what? Where would we begin?" He turns to face his companions. "Return south and seek out Kiesan? If he's rallying orcs and cultists to his purple banner, his talons may soon reach the breadth of Amn, If not the entire Sword Coast." Osvald shrugs, and searches the others in the room for their opinions.

"We know the Cyricists aren't afraid to show force brazenly, they played their hand openly at Esmelteran. If... If it escalates further in the south... Well, the chaos of open war would provide ample disruption for them to crack open crypts unmolested by the authorities; who would be committed elsewhere to protect the free folk--Hell, scattered groups raiding the odd tomb wouldn't even register as a threat when cities are burning.

So, I say we dispatch the harpers to warn the lords of Amn, and go after Kiesan ourselves. We still have a score to settle with that bastard priest... Shorjahl'd say the same, of that I've no doubt--but we must act quickly and wisely if we pursue him... I... I know it's not much to go on, but; At the very least, his is a name we know. A first rung to climb."


=====

With the new information come to light, Osvald wants to return south and start bustin' heads guerrilla-warfare style until we can suss out our old buddy K.

Thoughts?
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Kellar on Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:45 am

Kellar arrived with his companions at The Red Tower and listened to Mazolath wax poetic. He listened to Osvald offer suggestions about where to go to next.

"I recall that I wanted to pursue the dragon and Keisan just after Esmeltaran was razed. We had a fresh trail to follow then. Their path was lit like the sun," Kellar said. He raised his hands and shrugged his shoulders. "My thoughts are that we use the Harpers and the Kraken's Fist to find sightings of Keisan. I also agree that we can start small with guerilla tactics and remove their number one incursion at a time."

"Mazolath, it's an interesting story you tell to be sure. I'm not one for belief in gods walking the land and whatnot. I believe in what I see and what I can kill. Shorjahl's loss will be avenged by me- by us. A magic item or not, Keisan and the Cyrics will fall. That dragon's head will be mine and I will wear it's carcass as a trophy," Kellar said. A shimmer of golden scales flows over Kellar's skin and fades. Mazolath narrows his eyes in response.

"I'm with you Lord Hale, let's travel south. We need to travel light but have supplies with us. Artimus, I will travel back to the Pistol and prepare a few more arrows for Osvald. I'll also need to borrow some of your rope to fashion a few nets to bring along," he said. Kellar turned to Custer. "I think we'll need horses again and THIS time I won't set them free while we're traveling," he said with a smirk.

Actions:
Kellar is in agreement with Osvald about pursuing the Cyrics after Dwan's neck is resolved.
If the group decides to pursue what Osvald proposes, Kellar will set upon making a few items on the Pistol.
If the group decides to not pursue what Osvald proposes, Kellar will defend Osvald's proposition.
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Custer Thickett on Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:35 pm

Custer balls his fist on the table, and leans forward to look at each of his friends.  "Oiy, Me thinks it's madness that I am gonna be the one to say this, but we ought not rush south with Harper trumpets announcing our course and destination."  Custer stands, and runs one hand through his hair, "Shorjahl would say it better, but it's..."  Cuss sighs in thought and blinks, "We've been trusted by me Golden Lady and yours of the Moon.  I keep telling ya a saying of me kind, that translates to common something like 'Careful, cautious planning is the mother of all good luck.'"

Custer motions with one arm toward the Red Hand, "He said the cursed thing was writ by Cyric, and that it gives his people orders and the like.  Baj... uh, that Avatar, he knew we had it and that we were bringing it here.  We saw he didn't die when your brother did." Custer looks towards the window.  "He's still out there.  So is an army of pink undead."

Cuss looks at Osvald and Kellar, "We can't tell the Harps about the Hali... Halika...  The thing.  We doan want it fallen in the wrong hands.  There may be more wrong hands than just those of Cyric or Sorren."

Cuss reaches behind his torso between his armor and cloak, and pulls out the Urn of the Flamelord, setting it on the table before the group.  He continues, "An we doan want them Cyricist knowing where we going.  Amn already know's about Sothis's army and what it is capable of, yeah?  I'm sure that's got their attention well enough, and until it's dealt with I see no reason to go on distracting them."

"We also need to make sure Bauldur's Gate is properly alarmed about this Pink Undead.  I'm sure none of you want to come back here to find a dead city dusted in pink fungus and bad appetites, no?"  "

As for this."
 Cuss taps the Urn on the rim, "We could return it to Woodrech, but me thinks we know it not to be safe in his vaults.  The boy said pure saltwater.  Might be we know where to find that, yeah?"  Cuss notices some eyes widen, and quickly throws up his hands while shaking his head, "I'm not saying we go on doing that for nothing, but might be we need to gather some real weapons of power and the like to take on the best of Cyric, Umberlee, and Lloth."

"Either way, I do want an audience with the senior Woodrech and some of the captains of Bauldur's Gate before we leave.  Woodrech owes the Fist a debt.  Might be we need it paid now or later, but sure nuff we gonna wish we had the favor some day, yeah?  We need to know his contacts where we going, case we need send word back to the City by means other than Harps or Fist."

"Oh, and Bertrand never said... Has anyone seen Ara?"[/b]
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:18 pm

Artimus leaned against the fireplace as the red wizard spun a tale of madness, lies, murder, love and a rod with the power to undo the world.  all worlds.

"A'alichondath"

Artimus tested the word softly.  It sounded like a oversized bird or a venomous lizard. But what did a reality weaving thing even sound like.

As Mazoleth continued, Osvald swept his hand on the mantle, with a look that seemed far away. Perhaps in the mountains where he said he'd decended or perhaps considering his place in all this.  As did Artimus... consider his place in this every changing landscape.

The growth of his quiet empire would do nothing to combat the injustices of man if the will of a god was turned to way of death and madness...

The Captain of the Trois Pistol quietly considered as his friends spoke their minds.

Ao, I say we dispatch the harpers to warn the lords of Amn, and go after Kiesan ourselves.

" It zeemz my world is to be be halted, in favour of chee realms not falling into darknezz."

Artimus remarked, sounding casually annoyed at upheaval in his path.

" Zuit!"

"I'd curze your namez... all of you, zave for the fact I would be piloting my zhip into a black future. One I wouldn't known was doomed until the zeaz boiled or my eyez melted out of my faze, whatever the cultist would do zhould they obtain zhiz... object"

Artimus stated whirling his right hand in the air as if he was drumming up trivial examples while speaking of  horrifying ends.

"Zo, I zuppoze I am in your debt. Merci you baztardz" Artimus quipped with a smirk.

"I recall that I wanted to pursue the dragon and Keisan just after Esmeltaran was rased. We had a fresh”

It'z true Kellar, you did zay zhat, and perhapz you were right. zhat and a mug of mead will get you a drink..."

"What iz important iz what we do now. Ozvlad, Kellar if your of the mind to track theze cultizt and the mad priezt through the zouth, I will join you and az much az it zaddenz me The Piztol will zail without itz captain.

"Cuztar, I'm of your mind too,  let uz be wize in our preperationz, we've lozt the frezh path and head ztart let uz find edge and advantage where we can..."

"zpeaking of,  Mazoleth thiz may be a zilly queztion, but iz there any way to magically locate or track Kezian, the cultiztz the dragon. zhould we crozz zomething like that black zmoke monztrozity again, doez it have a weaknezz we can extort."

"Gentlemen, if we are in agreement,  make ready the gear you need, we zhould divide the tazkz of zpeaking to the harperz, alerting the guard.  zomeone zhould zpeak to the clericz of thiz city, perhapz they can give uz zome edge.  Perhapz a letter from the harperz or you Mazoleth perhapz you can give a letter of introduction or some advizement on our road ahead….?"

"Oh and, pleaze keep the name and activitiez of the fizt well guarded. Zome hunt us, and otherz zupport us, while mozt know nothing but perhapz a myth or a impozzible tale. We are effective becauze we are zecretative and elusive. I will reach out zome key memberz.  A warden in the zouth may know of zome of the cultizt’z movementz or activatez.  Catzgruth. (Artimuz will reach out to memberz in a zeparate pozt)"

"Cuzz. your heart is larger than you let on or your chezt would allow... Ara has accepted the pozt of cabin boy under Savoy's leadership. He will learn to sail, and to fight, and to keep bertrand from killing himself accidentally." Artimus Chuckled.

It'z a good luck and he will be treated az a brother. I envy him.

-------
Ok. Artimus is asking mazoleth about magical divination of items like the rod and magical means of tracking the cultists
The Trois pistol has taken on ara as a cabin boy and is a member of the crew as along as your ok with that AO.
Atriums wil reach out to 3 members of the fist with speckfic questions in another thread  hopefully up tonight. An also a marketplace thread

Who would like to take on talking to the harpers and the guard.  

If no one asks about the fungus and the urn from the wizard Artimus does.


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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:34 am

Dwan listens intently as the wizard speaks; the story leaving Dwan deep in thought.

This story almost seems unbelievable, but what he says rings true my vision in the grove those many weeks ago. It is as Selune said, the evil gods have had their pieces in motion for some time now.

As the group appears to be deciding their next course of action Dwan speaks up.

I will have to agree with Artimus and Custer. We must make the threat of the Cyricists and red fungus known to the proper people here. Whether the creatures of the red fungus are related to Cyric or not, another city destroyed will be a victory for them.

However, we need to take action and move against the Cyrics again. We cannot stay too long and get lost in the politics of a city like this. I say we should move south within the next day or two.


Seeing the confused look on the wizard's face at the mention of red fungus and their creatures, Dwan explains the phenomenon that they found.

I was attacked by one of these creatures I think. It was too early on to be certain, but I have this mark on the back of my neck that doesn't seem to dissipate with healing, magical or mundane.

Dwan shows Mazolath the mark on his neck.

Do you have any ideas as to how this can be counteracted? I have horrible nightmares and I already feel myself raising to anger easier. I don't know if I will turn into one of those creatures and I don't want to needlessly endanger my friends.
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Ao on Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:12 pm

Mazolath frowns as the fellowship talks through their plans, the elderly wizard rising and looking at the wound on Dwan’s neck.

“I am no healer, druid. But this wound is not a viral one. This…red fungus you’ve spoken of. I…” he creases his eyebrows, pinching his nose with his hand.

“It is not the first time I’ve heard of this. I fear for you, my friend. This is a magical plague, and will not be easily undone in you. And if the Cloak Wood is infested as you say, Baldur’s Gate could be endangered indeed…”

He coughs, looking again at the wound before moving swiftly over to the door to his greenhouse. He re-emerges moment later, with a large bushel in his hands.

It is a spindly plant, with strange white growths on the tips of large fronds.

Mazolath walks to the kitchen, removing a large knife and shearing the plant apart. He pulls a brown satchel from the wall, stuffing it with most of the plant and handing the rest to Dwan.

“This is Oricharthumweed. No doubt you know of it, druid, but perhaps not in the healing capacity. It is an herb consumed by the Ukthardt barbarians in the north. They are a savage people, fearful of magic. The herb dulls the reactivity of magic in the blood, rendering it inert. Mercifully, it will stop the infection from growing in your body…but it will also render you immune to magical healing. Draughts and potions will not heal you…nor will spells of mending. But, it should keep you from succumbing to that wound…for a time. I suggest you pour your energies into solving for this illness, master dwarf.”

[…]

Mazolath sits smoking his pipe. The red wizard considers you for a time, looking over at the book.

“This Keisan…” he says, after Artimus posits his question around divination and scrying. "I do not have the means to divine his location. You'll have to find him in Amn."

“If indeed this book was in his possession, then undoubtedly you’ll find him on the trail of the artifact. I will spend these next weeks poring over any accounts of the Halichondath in the grand library, and we will speak again. For the sake of us all, I hope you can bury this quest of the laughing god. Else, we’ll have dark times ahead.”

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

Ok guys, really nice round of posts. Dwan, you have enough of the Oricharthumweed to last you about a month. While under its effects, you cannot be the target of any magical healing unless its cast by an 8th-level spell caster or higher. Similarly, you cannot be the target of any magical curses unless cast by a similar spell caster. Note: curses does not mean all magic attacks. Just specifically curses.

This rotation, it’s extremely important to let me know what you guys want to do.

Here’s what Im assuming, based on the previous round of posts you guys made: you want to head back to Amn (where?) on Trois Pistoles. Tell me where ,and make sure you tell me about any preparations you want to make before you leave Baldur’s Gate.

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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Custer Thickett on Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:52 pm

Custer stood and scooted his chair away from the table with one foot behind him as he gripped the table preparing to speak.  The wood creaked and cried a against the rough floor, turning heads his direction.   He looked them each in the eye, then said, "Very well, the way I be seeing it we need do this.  We split up and wrap up our business here so we be at sea in a day or two, no?"

"Last we know of Kesian, he be in the Small Teeth. Me thinks we need be stocking the Mountains Root on the chance we need it as a base for this campaign, yeah?  Might be the Elves of the Soulwood have eyes on em or can help us find the trail, no?"

"We need be contacting Pelegar on the state of Esmeltaran and efforts to track Sothis's Army, yeah?  Iffen there is progress there, might be the Harper in Athkatla can help muster against em if he still be in Amn, no?  We have this now."
 Cuss spun the golden Harper crest across the wooden table.

"Ill talk to Woodrech about supplies for the Root and his contacts with the Flames and such here in the Gate.  I need to see Ara and some other folks in town.  Might be I can be ready to depart by the new moon, a day from now."

Custer reaches into his belt pouch, and pulls out a dirty glass vial of pink water.  He tosses it to Dwan.  "Me thinks ya gonna be needing this."

Cuss picks up the Urn of the Flamelord, tucks it a pouch under his cloak, and turns for the door.

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

Custer wants to see the priest in the temple of Waukeen about the fungus and Cyric.
Custer wants to speak to Ara about what he learned on the Broken Arrows, and if he heard anything about them wanting revenge on Cecil or Thorold.
Custer wants an audience with the Senior Woodrech to formalize an alliance or working relationship with the group, and make a deal for supplies the Moutnain's Root will need.
Custer also wants to stalk an acolyte or priest of Umberlee outside their temple, hoping to interrogate them about 'Pure Salt Water.'

I can write up something in the markerplace or another thread with you, Ao, if you'd like to go ahead and move along to the journey next rotation here.
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Kellar on Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:53 pm

"Dwan, I would suggest seeing Lady Isylte at The Blue Pot Apothecary for a more educated opinion. You heard Mazolath, he's not a healer by trade. He gave you the weeds of a barbarian," Kellar said. "No offense, your... highness?" Mazolath waved his hand at Kellar.

"If you would like, I could accompany you there. I might want to pick up a few medicines myself anyway. She's a remarkable healer that one," Kellar said. He turned to Custer and walked toward him. "Custer, I agree with you. We can split up, if Dwan would like my company I will go with him to see if we can't find a more permanent solution to what ails him. If we have the day, maybe he and I can find someone who can dispel the thing on his neck and remove it," he said. The light in Mazolath's room flickers and shows a glimmer of golden scale float over Kellar's skin.

"I'll send word to Adrianna to let her know where we'll be headed. If we're to head back to Hale's Estate, at least they'll know where we're at. Perhaps more Harpers can help us along the way," he said. "I know your lack of trust in the Harpers. I think Adrianna will be helpful in the coming days." Kellar shrugged, as if to say well what do you think?

Kellar waited for Custer's response and then talked to Lord Hale. "Hale, whatever it is that happened, it turns me from the path we discussed all those days ago. I feel... different. You can sense it can't you," he said. "Whatever it was, and what comes from now on, I'll follow your lead. You can do this," he said to Lord Hale as he clasped his shoulders firmly. "I need to see about Adrianna, meet you back at the Pistol."

....

Kellar found Dorlyia's Doves. On the sign it said: Messenger service, all manner of animal, small weight items no problem! He walked inside the shop and elderly looking half-elf stood on a ladder by the counter. She was feeding her animals. Kellar looked around and the sign was no lie, it did have all manner of animal in the shop and an arrow sign that pointed to a door that said: More in back! She turned and saw Kellar standing by the entry way and she waved him in. "Now now, we don't want that shimmer to be bothering my friends here," she said. Is it really that obvious? Her head perked up and she replied, "To me it is obvious, maybe not to others, but the daylight seems to show what's inside you."

Orbaugh chittered and wagged his tail while looking at all the different animals in the cages. "I'm Dorlyia, I work with the animals to deliver messages to people throughout the region. We have a close bond with these animals. I feed, shelter and care for them, and they deliver messages for me. They return after they've stretched their legs and observed the world during their travels," she said. "I'm Kellar. The Quick... and this is Orbaugh, my companion. We've had a bond for some time now as well," he said. "Oh yes, he's a chatty little thing that one, he was talking all the while you were coming to the shop," Dorlyia said. She scratched Orbaugh under his chin and he promptly dropped onto his side so she could scratch his belly.

"He is a magnificent little specimen isn't he? His wings are damaged. That's too bad isn't it," she said as she scratched his belly. Orbaugh's tail flapped against the stone counter with small thunks. Kellar could feel the pleasurable sigh from Orbaugh. "But I suppose you're here to send off a message, yes?" Kellar nodded and replied, "A message needs to be sent to someone special. Her name is-" "Andrianna. Yes, except you call her Adrianna. Almost a term of endearment. How sweet," she said. "Very well, I can send a raven with your message. Pick up a stone and tell it your message. If you make a mistake, you'll have to drop it in the bucket there and try again," she said. She walked over to the cage labeled: Proud Willow and opened it up. The raven hopped from it's perch onto Dorlyia's shoulder and bent down to nuzzle her cheek.

"There there," she said. She removed a few pellets from her sleeve and fed them to the raven.

Kellar stood there and looked at the small round rock in his hand. "Adrianna, we're headed to the Mountain's Root. We are sharing information with the governing body here in Baldur's Gate concerning the red fungus. We are going after Keisan and the Cyricists. The cloak I made you is enchanted with warmth. No matter how hot or cold it is, you will always be comfortable. See you again. Kellar," he said. He gave the rock to Dorlyia and she placed it inside the small locket on the raven's neck. "That was a lovely message, straight to the point. I can see why she likes you. Anyway, Proud Willow will be able to find her with little trouble. The enchantment you spoke of is detectable by my companions here. When she gets near your friend she will land in front of them and drop the message on the ground. It can only be read by her," she said.

"Thank you Dorlyia. How much do I owe," he said. "Enough to cover the feed for my companions for a day, so five gold pieces," she replied. Kellar paid her the gold and bid her farewell.

Actions:

Kellar sent a message via raven from Dorlyia's Doves. To Andrianna to let her know what the group's travels were without letting Geld know. She and Geld left the city so Kellar didn't want to pursue them, instead sent a message. Kellar is traveling with Dwan throughout the city if that is what he wishes. Otherwise Kellar will make his way to The Pistol and begin working on a fresh set of explodey arrows for Lord Hale.


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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Custer Thickett on Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:43 pm

Custer was struck immobile in awe of the golden scales glimmering in the light of the room as Kellar moved.  His head tilted to one side as he thought on its meaning.  He hear most of what Kellar said as the tall 'Shiny Man' walked toward him, but his mind was distracted.  He mumbled, "Yeah, I, uh.  We going to need them as well, I expect, no?"

Cuss turned to Dwan, "I'll pray Luck be with you."

He  kept his step in long quick strides as he jogged past the gargoyles.  He would never be comfortable passing between them, and certainly not alone.  Today he could not let frayed nerves slow him down.  He needed to keep moving, and so he did.  His footsteps singing out to him of purpose and belonging.

He eyes patrolled his path for dark corners and disguised thieves as he hustled down the street.  The temple was far closer than the docks, so Cuss took the turn to go there first.  After thirty paces, he stopped suddenly in the street, looking around at the signs and buildings, acting confused.  He turned around and looked behind him.  He walked twenty paces in the direction he'd came from, then stopped again, turning for the direction of the temple, hurrying forward in its direction.  His eyes darted to the faces around him.

[Rolling perception to try to notice anybody following.  +1]
19

Cuss was soon kneeling before the beautiful priest of Waukeen, kissing the large ancient coin that sat mounted upon her finger.  He keeps his voice as low as he can for only the two of them to hear.  His dialect is proper and his tone is serious.  "There is a war upon us, my Lady.  It soon comes to Bauldur's Gate as it did mine's own home not two moons ago.  The forces of the undead gather in large number out in the Cloak Wood."

"There is evidence that the Cyricist believe themselves to be acting on direct orders from the Mad One himself.  Some say there is collusion with other dark gods in his bid.  I only know of the grave danger all of us are in should he succeed.  Tell me, did you learn anything of the Demon I spoke with you about?"


2 Sad trombone

"Be that as it may, I must soon return south.  You must warn the citizens and leaders of this city of the undead in the Cloak Wood however you can.  Send eyes if you must, but know that they may not return.  I lost someone out there.  Mayhaps two when it's done."

In practiced routine, Cuss rolls his tithe into the plate so that the coins spin on end.  He bows to the priest, exchanging traditional parting Halfling words, then he makes way to the docks and Tris Pistoles.  There, he finds Ara and fresh clothes.  

The boy excitedly rambles on and on about what he learned about the Broken Arrows over the past few days.  His voice far too loud for Custer's comfort.  Cuss dabbed the wet sponge under his arms, washing away days of stinking sweat as he scolded the padfoot.  "Shh, boy.  I toll ya to keep this one quiet, yeah?  Me thinks ya done well.  What ya know of their plans for Cecil, eh?  Are they going to make a move against em or his brother?"

[Custer wants to know if Ara got in deep enough to learn of any Broken Arrow plot of revenge against Cecil or Thorold?  Investigation? +0]
6 Sad trombone

Custer tossed the damp sponge in the bowl on top of the barrel in front of him, then handed Ara one of his small handled mirrors, instructing him to hold it steady so that the Halfling could shake out his hair looking in its reflection.  "Oiy, steady, boy.   Keep talking.  Steady."

Cuss then asked Ara to turn around as he changed small clothes and donned his finest Surcoat embroidered with the Thickett Crest and K'Tesh's cloak fastened over his shoulders with the Harper pin.  He felt fit for an audience with a King, and hoped it would suit him well before Woodrech.  

He looked at Ara,  "Turn back around, boy.  Me thinks I look good, yeah?"

Ara smiled, "Aye, but yer breath still smells like Old Joe's bottom!"

After chasing a laughing Ara up to the deck, Custer made his way to Woodrech's Estate, looking for mint leaves along the way.

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

Temple and Ship down, now Woodrech and Umberlee to go.


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Re: Chapter Four

Post  DiceMaster on Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:43 pm

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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Osvald Hale on Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:08 pm

When Kellar extends his arm and claps Osvald on the shoulder, his skin seems to catch the fire light. Osvald raises an eyebrow at the momentary glimmer and nods when he meets Kellars eyes.

"Aye. Something is... Changed about you Kell. We'll talk more aboard the ship. Good Luck."

Osvald exchanges a curious glance with Cuss as the halfling turns to leave after Kellar and Dwan.

'That golden glimmer... Almost like scales. Could Kellars blue... condition be worsening? Or improving?' Osvald frowned with worry. Always another trouble on the rise.

He turned and opened his mouth to wish Cuss a safe journey, but he was already out the door.

Just Artimus and Osvald remained in the tower with the Red Hand.

"Thank you for your Sage council Mazolath, we'll do what we can. If you discover anything more that may help us, send word to the Harpers. They'll know best where to find us." Osvald manages a brief bow, more of a nod then anything else before turning to Artimus.

"Alright, Captain--Let's you and I see about refitting your ship for travel, and contact Pelegar to let him know we're coming. Then perhaps you can charm us into an emergency audience with the Lords of Baldurs gate, it's fallen to us to warn them of the fungus I suppose... If there's time before tomorrow morning I really must head to the south gate; I have to see how many of Shandys horses found their ways home to him, if any: I'll hate owing the old beggar a favor."

=====

Gonna stick with Artimus, head to the Pistoles and inform the crew of what's happening, get supplies loaded and stowed, then see if Artimus can wrangle a meeting with someone official, either through the dock connection or other means.

If there's time before we set out, Osvald will want to go see Shandy and his stables, but won't force it if the timing is too tight.
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:51 pm

A glimmer of copper, and shine flashed across the visage of the dragoon.

Artimus blinked hard.

looking Kellar over he wondered "What did Mon Dragoon bring back with him from the ozher zide...?"

Cuss and Kellar and dwan departed. Three men now stood in the antichamber of the tower.

Merci for the guidanze Mazoleth, it iz a kindnezz I rarely encounter from one of your ... advanzed ability. It'z a rare pleazure.

He finished, bowing to the red wizard with a particularly flowery flourish of the hand.

Artimus motioned to the door, gesticulating for the grizzled ranger to lead the way, and the two exited the tower together.

In hushed tones the Mariner extolled his intentions to Osvald as they winded their way back the His Lady, who bobbed gently in the harbor, anxiously awaiting his return.

"Oui Lord Hale, I will pen a note telling of zhe funguz and zhe dead walkerz and sign it in the name of the Fist. Zhen I'll zee it endz up in zhe handz of hiz majezty'z Grand Duke Portyr'z aid, Alduz Penroze'z hand'z. Via zome intermediary of courze. It'z a ... how do you zay, Oligarchic conztitutional monarchy here... and zhe Duke iz keen to demonztrate hiz populouz leaningz and importance in zhe zhrone. In order to lord it over zhe 'Baldurian Parliament' when zhey queztion him over hiz latezt bacchanalian palace zworee."

"Zuch a delightful danze of power."

As they paced, Artimus gripped the fist through his shirt and began to channel

Pelegar- "We aim to return to the Esmeltaran, What are the needs of the city, I will see they're aboard essentials are aboard and any... extras. I anticipate Cotton and Dried fish.

Catsgruth- " A dark coven is on the move. the ones that attack Esmeltaran, they may be in league with Orcs. you may have seen the movements of cultists of Cyric or a massive blue dragon. It is in the interest of the Fist and Amn that he they be found. We needs a scent on their trail Mon ami"

[Artimus Pens a description of the threat, using his cartography skills to make a map to the effected sections of the wood, the note is signed, Regards - Custar Thicket.]

Artimus and Osvald veered through the mercantile district to secure supplies for the voyage, and a hull full of goods for Esmelteran (Cotton and dried fish and any extras pelegar requests) (please advise cost) (Haggle)

============================
Letter to warn of the red fungus
Messages to Pelegar and Catsgruth
Secure supplies.
Artimus hands off the letter to a man in the thieves guild, to deliver to a one of  dukes actuaries, to give to Penrose,  complete with bribe (50gp)

1d20 cha + 2 for mercantile (10)


Last edited by Artimus DeLonde on Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:51 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  DiceMaster on Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:51 pm

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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Ao on Sun Jun 21, 2015 12:09 pm

[Custer Thickett, Baldur’s Gate]
[Temple of Waukeen]

…The priestess smiles at Custer as the gold coin hits her dish.

“Ever generous, young hin. Could be that you would be fit to wear the cloth.” She smiles that practised smile, incense burning softly from a nearby brass bowl.

She frowns as Custer recounts the tale of the undead.

“Bless your concern, Custer. But dark things creep in the woods, and hills, and plains surrounding our fair city always. Such is life on the Sword Coast. I know a tradesman who is working at the garrison of The Flaming Fists…I’ll be certain to pass on your fears. They will preserve us.”

She listens once again, as Custer inquires about the demon.

“Yes, my acolytes have scoured the city. I’ve not heard back yet. It could be that your demon has fled, Custer. At least, for now. Watch yourself, young one. The darkness follows, at least until you bring it light. Or…pay it enough coin, it seems.”

She sighs, watching as a tax collector walks into the temple with two Flaming Fists. The priestess waves at Custer, reluctantly walking toward the altar..

[On Trois Pistoles]

“…An’, an’ I heard that the Broken Arrows is smuggling in blackthistle from Luskan, using the Kuo-Toa. They’re brilliant! Way better than the Shadow Thieves back home. Esmeltaran - burned fer’ a reason, it seems. Our thieves weren’t smart enough! Least, not the shadows there. Now, the Shadows in Purskul. Waukeen bless me - I heard they’re a real lot...”

Ara laughs, continuing on his rambling. The boy seems delighted in Custer’s interest, his young, dimpled face smiling beneath the cover of his blonde hair, which has grown quite long.

“…They heard about Soren, they did. Boy, the string puller I was talkin’ to, Sembin? Thumbin? I can’t remembarr, but he was burnin’ mad about the whole thing. Said ‘e was gone’ to head to the Woodrechs himself and skin Cecil alive. But ‘e wouldn’t - he’s all talk, that one. I guess Soren was important to them for some reason? I couldn’t get that outta them. Anyway, he’s in irons now so I guess it don’t matter none?”

…”Anyway, so th’other day this bread baker…”

Ara chatters on and on, smiling and laughing and jumping from crate to crate as he talks. With a deft leap, he lands on the gunwale of the ship, balancing like an acrobat as a seagull swoops overhead…

[At the Woodrech Manse…]

The fire burns low, Custer huddled in a tall, overstuffed velvet chair. Lord Woodrecht clears his throat, drinking a tall stein of grog in front of the hearth.

The elder merchant is wearing a plush smoking jacket, and he lights a pipe carefully between his cracked lips. Dark hair falls in his face.

“…I’m sure you know I’ve done business with your father before, Custer Thickett. Lincoln was a shrewd man, and I found myself on the other end of more than a few very thin deals with that man. But it seems the apple has fallen far from the tree.”

He extinguishes his match, stretching backward. The meal they had shared prior, upon Custer’s surprise arrival, was still sitting heavily in their guts. Grease-laden Pheasant, and tart raspberry pie.

“You’ve done me a service, halfling. Cecil…I knew that boy could be foolhardy, but I never dreamt that Thorold would be bold enough to double-cross a fallen harper and the most powerful thieves guild in Baldur’s Gate. No, your rescue has saved me two funerals, and the ire of that assassin Soren. If only you’d managed to save the urn…but no matter.”

He sucks on his pipe, producing a writ of trade from his back pocket. Woodrech pulls a dark quill from his jacket, scrawling a quick shorthand and signing in indigo.

“Show this to my master of fulfillment, Ohopar, in the southwestern dock ward. He’ll requisition whatever supplies you need for your fortress. We have trade goods and foodstuffs from around the Sword Coast. I trust you’ll be reasonable in your takings.”

He hands Custer the writ, and takes a deep pull on his pipe as the flames die to coals, and the night nears its end…

[Temple of Umberlee]

…Custer strolls along the dockside, watching as waves lap against the wharf. Fishermen and tradespeople walk by, pushing their carts and hoisting satchels above their shoulders.

The temple of Umberlee sits opposite the Wharf Master’s castle, a low longhouse nestled upon a tiny peninsula in the harbour.

It is ornately decorated, with sprawling petrified octopus tendrils bolted to the outside of its wooden frame. Three clerics stand solemnly outside, guarding the doorway - a marble, arched gate. Now and again as sailors pass by, they toss coppers and silvers into a water-filed urn outside.

The clerics wear silvered masks in the shape of an octopus carapace, the tendrils splaying off through their ragged, long hairstyles.

They look at Custer quizzically as his subtle conversation bleeds into the topic of ‘pure salt water’.

There is a pause, and then one of them speaks.

“Are you one of the salted, halfling? How do you know of pure salt water?”

Custer doesn’t know what he means by ‘one of the salted’, but continues to listen. However, another of the clerics interjects.

“If he was one, he wouldn’t be asking. Be on your way, halfling. Go. And if you’ll be crossing the salted waves of her domain, I’d watch myself. Lady Umberlee loathes curious, meddling land walkers.”

With that, they turn away from you….

[Kellar, Baldur’s Gate]

[Trois Pistoles]

The dragoon sits on the bow of Trois Pistoles, working away on the hafts of the arrows. The sun shines brilliantly overhead, and as he looks up from his toils, he can see a raven swooping past on its way inland, with a black stone in its clutches…

[Artimus DeLonde, Baldur’s Gate]

[Ignacio’s Dammes, Meeting Spot]

Artimus leans against the sooty, sodden wall of Ignacio’s Dammes, a brothel of the words sort in southwestern Baldur’s Gate.

Drunken philanderers and perverts stumble past, the grime and booze of the city’s underbelly thick on their shirts.

A man knocks on the wall next to him, a few feet away. He looks down the alley, then turns to Artimus.

“Master Delonde. It is a pleasure.” he says in a thick, easterner accent. A sea of fallen stars man. Perhaps of Vesperin.

The man holds out his hand, taking the note carefully from Artimus and stowing it in his cloak. He nods, blonde curls falling in his face, as he takes off to the north…

[Trois Pistoles]

Artimus sits in his quarters, holding tightly to the fist hanging around his neck. His message to Pelegar and Castgruth had been sent nearly 14 hours ago. He awaited their response.

First, the words came from Pelegar…

“Artimus, the city rebuilds. Athkatla offers little aid, and only cursory investigation into the attack. They still do not believe our words of the dragon. Any aid is of benefit. You are a friend to Esmeltaran.”

Vague, and in the words of a proud man. Sometimes, the mariner wished Pelegar would be more forthcoming of his needs.

His thoughts are interrupted by Castgruth’s return missive.

“My lord. Rangers, friends to the Fist, have seen the Blue Dragon. She flies in the deep mountains of the Small Teeth. Orcs bearing the crest of the invaders…the triangular sigil…ride the roads of Amn openly. Roadwardens captured a human riding with a defeated warband. He is held in their keep on the Road of Fangs, between Esmeltaran and Imnescar.”

The message finishes there, leaving Artimus to his thoughts…

[Osvald Hale, Baldur’s Gate]

[Shandy’s Stables]

Osvald can hear the fat drunk stable master yelling at him, as he walks in the door. Shandy sits on a stool next to an aged mule, nursing a bottle of wine. His foot rests on the empty vessel of another.

“Oshvald! You bashtard!” he screeches, falling over himself in a rush to get up, and collapsing into the mule.

“My horshes! You better…better have the other five in tow. Only one made et back, an her leg is broken!” he screams petulantly.

Shandy straightens, and then realizes he needs to retch. The poor man stumbles over to the next stall, emptying the contents of his stomach.

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

Ok guys. That was an exceptional round of posts from you guys. +100 experience each for those awesome gems.

I think I dealt with everything. If that’s all, then let’s set sail for Amn!

Let me know where you’re destined for.

http://baldursgate.wikia.com/wiki/File:Amn_map.jpg if you need a reference

Ao






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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Custer Thickett on Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:38 pm

Custer enjoys the way his body sinks low into the plush, pillowed hug of Woodrech's chair.  It'd been too long since he had rested in one of such fine craftsmanship.  It was something he'd never expect to miss so much just a season ago.  As his host packed and lit his smoking pipe, Custer pulled Elderro's ornate jeweled smoking pipe free from its wrap, and used the stained leather to wipe the piece clean before filling it with a pinch of leaf Woodrech was kind enough to offer.  Soon, the room filled with billowing smoke and relaxed sighs of comfort from the two men.

After putting out his own match, Custer used the free hand to caress K'Tesh's hair in the embroidering of his dark cloak as he listened carefully to Woodrech speak of his sons' follies and an offer of supplies.  Custer takes and quickly inspects the writ with an up and down glance as he blows on the ink to quicken its drying.  He rolls the paper tight to stow and says, "A most generous offer, my lord."  Custer clears his throat in effort to sustain a proper dialect.  "I consider myself an independent operator.  Lincoln and I do not see eye to eye, so to speak.  When ya, eh, you are dealing with me, it be through the Captain Artimus DeLonde of Tris Pistoles, if that is more appropriate for your ledgers, yeah?  Uh, my lord?"

"As for Cecil, well."  Custer settles lower into the velvet chair.  "I've word the Broken Arrows want revenge for his part in all this.  I know it's not exactly ideal to keep him safe here in your estate, but..."  Custer let the word hang a moment, and turned his glance to the fire.  "Might be he'd find safety with us at the Mountain's Root, or in the Athkatla, mayhaps.  If you wish to indenture him to us for a time, we'd keep him out of Bauldur's Gate and Thorold's trouble."

[Rolling persuasion +8]
25

Later, as Custer taps ashes from his pipe, he mentions ,  "Oh, an might want to be keeping your wares off the trade road.  There be a bit of a problem with a horde of undead just a day's ride outside the city.  Oiy, I hope they don't come this way."

"Well, I believe I'll be taking my leave, my lord.  I do appreciate your hospitality.  How might I get word to you from Athkatla or Esmeltaran, should the need arise?"


...

Land walker? Cuss thinks as the clerics turn away from him.  He looks from their silly octopus hats to their two legs and feet.  What the hells are you then?  Custer turns to walk away from the clerics, quickly dipping his hand and a vial concealed under his palm deep into the offering bucket.  He carefully corks the vial with forefinger and thumb as he pulls dripping hand away and inside the folds of his cloak.  Custer turns his head to peak behind him from the corner of one eye, and either comfortably walks or urgently runs away from the temple thinking on 'the salted.'

[Rolling Sleight of Hand +9]
13
...

Later, standing on the dock, maybe with Cecil standing beside him, Cuss calls up onto the deck at Artimus.  "Captian!  Artimus!"  When his friend appears, Cuss flicks his wrist to unravel Woodrech's trade writ and says, "We've got a sponsor!  Yeah!"

...

Actions:
Custer tries to get Cecil indentured to the team for a time, for his own safety of course. Wink
Custer tries to get away with swiping a vial full of the water in the offering bucket outside the temple of Umberlee.

XP Updated to here


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Re: Chapter Four

Post  DiceMaster on Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:38 pm

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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Kellar on Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:54 pm

Kellar looked to the air and narrowed in on the raven flying inland. She received my message. I hope she's safe. He looked down at his handy work and tied off the last of the new arrows for Lord Hale. "Five more arrows for the Lord of Thorns," he said. Elghasek. Translation: Ranger. He bound the arrows together with a piece of twine leftover from the project. "I have special mission for you Ara, you are to give these to Lord Hale when he comes on board The Pistol," he said. Ara's eyes widened. "A mission for me?!? I won't let you down, I promise!" Ara snagged the arrows from Kellar's grip and ran up and down the ship, checking the port for Osvald's approach.

Kellar felt the shimmer move over his skin and he looked down again. He watched his skin slowly return to it's light blue color. The milkiness had faded and the marks from his wounds had begun to heal over. He walked over to where he had left the harpoon he'd made with Old Joe's teeth. "Looks like we might get to use you yet," he said as he ran his hand across it. "Levnim,"he said to himself. (Translation: Harm) He covered the harpoon with a canvas and went to sit down along the side of the ship, looking out at the water.

Actions:
Kellar is killing time, he made new arrows and gave them to Ara.
Kellar will be hanging out by the side of the ship as his companions come aboard.
OOC: If other players post and have dialog with Kellar, I'll do my best to get a reply out before AO's next post.
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:27 pm

Once the group has departed from the tower, Dwan takes note on the improvements to Kellar's health. The day before it looked like a light breeze could have brought down the dragoon.

You're looking a few shades bluer today, Kellar. What's you're secret?

Kellar regales Dwan of his visit with the beautiful Lady Isylte from the Blue Pot Apothecary.

Thanking Kellar for the recommendation Dwan leaves to visit the lady.

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

As Dwan enters the Blue Pot a stench stings his nostrils. The mixture of boiling liquids, burning herbs, and other dubious looking concoctions fill the air with an odor unlike any that Dwan is familiar with. He coughs and covers his mouth and turns to leave the shop.

Oh, don't worry about the smell. None of these potions are poisonous. I am Lady Isylte, how can I help you master..

Dwan Bolduum at your service. Forgive me if I have interrupted anything of importance but a friend of mine said that you were able to assist him with his wounds. He was the blue fella.

I was wondering if you could take a look at this and let me know if you have seen anything like it. I fear I may have been infected by a magical curse, and I fear what may happen if it takes its course.


Seeing the woman take a step back Dwan speaks up to reassure her. Don't worry about catching anything, the red wizard has given me some medicine to at least stem off the curse for the time being, but I'm looking for a permanent solution.

Once hearing Lady Isylte's diagnosis and recommendation, Dwan leaves 10 gold pieces on the counter.

After leaving the Blue Pot, Dwan makes his way to the Pistoles to catch up with the crew, Ara, and Kellar.

==============================
Dwan visits Lady Isylte.

Dwan waits on the ship until everyone is ready to go.
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Ao on Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:18 pm

[Custer Thickett, Baldurs Gate

[Woodrecht Manor]

The elder Woodrecht sucks upon his pipe, musing. [persuasion]

“What an idea…Thickett.” he says, blowing out another pipe load.

“He’s yours. That boy needs to be out of this city. Needs to become a man worthy of the Woodrecht name.”

He reaches into his pockets, producing another writ of credit.

“This writ will produce 50 gold monthly, at any trade guild along the Sword Coast, for his room and board, and to cover his salary. In turn, he’ll assist you in your pursuits of profit and otherwise. But Thicket…. keep my boy safe. He is not a sellsword - he is a Woodrecht. See to it that you keep him from harms way.”

[…]

[Temple of Umberlee]

Custer’s hands deftly swipe the sample of water, and seconds later the halfling disappears into the dock crowd, shouts from the clerics behind him…

[Your stealth roll was enough to get away…they saw what you did, and if they saw you again, they’d recognize you.]

[Dwan Bolduum, Baldurs Gate

The pungent aroma of poultices and potions wisps through Dwan’s nose, as the healer evaluates him. She pokes and prods with stones and herbs. She slathers creams and ointments across the wound, speaking words to the gods of healing. Finally, Lady Isylte draws a great circle on the ground, guiding the dwarf into the center.

She stares at him, her silk gown blowing around her effervescently.

Suddenly, the circle glows, and then turns a deathly black…

Lady Isylte is silent.

“You are cursed, Dwan Bolduum. And you will die, if it cannot be undone.”

The words hang in the air.

“I know of one. One in Calimshan, who may be able to heal the curse. An old crone - a gypsy of the old ways. You must seek her… Lady Mush-ra. And you must find her soon. Three months. No more.”

She grows silent, staring at Dwan piercingly.

[Kellar The Quick, Baldur’s Gate]

Trois Pistoles bobs lazily in the afternoon heat, the denizens of the dock scuttling back and forth. Keller watches them, as Ara dances across the boat in a fit of boundless energy.

An hour ago, Cecil had arrived upon deck awkwardly. The boy had gone below deck with Bertrand, and had not yet returned.

His companions also, were still missing.

The day waned on. They would depart by morning.

=-======================

Ok guys! Need a final destination by this time tomorrow.

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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Kellar on Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:52 pm

That fool of a boy.

Kellar kept an eye on the sea while Cecil and Bertrand boarded the Pistol. After some time passed, Kellar went below deck to see what was going on. "What are you doing on The Pistol? he said. They looked up at the blue man and replied, "Bertrand escorted me here. I was sent here by my father, Lord Woodrech. I am to leave Baldur's Gate with you. Stay out of trouble or some such." Kellar casts a sideways glance at him.

"Probably Custer's doing," Kellar said. "Nevertheless, since you're in our charge, you best be learning how to handle yourself. Come up on deck in a little bit and we'll get started," he said. Kellar left without listening to their protest. He made it to the deck and found a couple of scrap pieces of lumber about the size of a longsword. He removed his Battle Axe and shaped it into the semblance of a deadly weapon. As he finished his handy work as Cecil arrived on deck.

Cecil spoke first. "I already know how to fight. I can beat Bertrand handily," he said. Kellar flipped the practice sword to Cecil. "You won't be fighting Bertrand. You'll be fighting me," Kellar said. Kellar removed a javelin from his harness and turned the pointed end away from Cecil. He notched the javelin in the notch on his shield. "Ready?" Cecil looked down at his practice sword and then at Kellar and mustered some courage and went to attack! "Hyaaaahhhh!"

The clank of wooden sword on shield was batted away by Kellar. Kellar shifted to his right and moved Cecil into an exposed position. "Nope. Right side is open. The enemy will split you open," he said. Cecil turned about and lunged at Kellar, swinging wildly. "Stupid blue man! You're not even fighting back!" Cecil said. Kellar parried the swings of Cecil with his javelin and stepped in and shoved him aside with his shield. "Lost your footing again, your enemy will cut your legs from you and run their blade through your heart," Kellar said.

"You're in our service, we need to return you in one piece if we can. That'll be up to you. You don't want to be a disappointment do you?" Cecil put two hands on his practice sword and charged again, tears streaming down his face. "Shut up! You don't know anything! I can beat you!" Kellar stepped back and shifted from side to side, evading the wild swings. He saw an opening in Cecil's attacks and drove his javelin into his gut. "WHUFF!" Cecil groaned as he was knocked back across the deck, laying next to Bertrand's feet. Kellar crouched low and leaped forty feet into the air!

Cecil's eyes widened as he saw the gold shimmered dragoon come crashing down on him. THUD! The Pistol sunk into the water and rocked at the impact of Kellar standing over Cecil. The young man shook while he looked at Kellar. "Y-you're... not, h-human. I-I, I'm sorry. T-teach me," he said. The shimmer came over Kellar's face and he lifted Cecil to his feet with one arm. "I can teach you the spear and shield. There's more safety in that than playing with a longsword. Bertrand, would you like the same training?"

Bertrand nodded quickly and took the wooden longsword from Cecil and threw it over the side of the ship. Kellar removed four gold pieces and handed them to Bertrand. "Run to the weaponsmith Thromdag, you know of him yes," said Kellar. "Tell him Kellar sent you for a few "beginner" weapons, nothing fancy. You want two spears, one halberd and a lance. If he happens to have a couple wooden shields and some hand axes, get those too," he said as he pushed Bertrand down the gangplank. "Be quick, I'm not sure how soon the others will be on the Pistol. We'll be leaving soon," he said. Bertrand disappeared down the docks.

About an hour later Bertrand returned with an arm full of weapons from Thromdag's shop. "Master Thromdag said you could have these, they've been sitting in a box in the corner of his shop," Bertrand said. Kellar looked through the arm full of weapons laid out on the deck. "Okay... Three javelins, four handaxes (a bit rusty), one halberd, and one lance, he said approvingly. "We'll begin your training when we set off for The Mountain's Root. I suggest you get some rest this evening and be prepared to be bloodied, bruised and sore during the trip. We need you to be capable men, not hiding behind a name," he said.

Kellar and the boys sat on the deck near the front and started filing and oiling the weapons to get them into good working order to be used during the next few days worth of travel.

Actions:

Kellar made Cecil an apprentice to him and the way of the spear. If the group does not approve, then Kellar will defer to someone else to watch over the boy if combat should involve them.

Let's sail!


Last edited by Kellar on Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:10 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Bertrand and Cecil are not brothers, who knew???)
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:15 pm

Baldur's Gate: East Dock
=========

Frantic and hovering gulls cried desperate caws as they dove and dipped into the bay of Baldur’s gate. Their noises were as if each fish they pulled from the water might be their last. An attitude of scarcity that made them a skidish, sly, doubledealing breed.

Artimus Strode down the east dock's promenade, he felt no such drought. Making peace with the path that lay ahead he'd spied a deep vien of abundance, even in the calamity that he was sure they were about to provoke.

"If one is to take the plunge, should they not scoop a pearl while they dive." He thought to himself.

A new sturdy chain shirt hid beneath a fresh cotton one, the old garment had soaked in blood, sweat, fur and strange fungus has been tossed in favour of this one, haggled from the cotton trader. A kind of bow put on the 10 bales of the soft, fluffy staple fibre negotiated as a trade good for the voyage ahead.  These bails along with barrels of dried meat, wine a small compliment of fine dyes were being shuttled by Longshoremen to The Trois Pistoles for loading.

As he approached the slip where his lady lay, Artimus stopped, placing his leather gloved hangs on his hips and beamed a wide smile at her beauty. The damage had been mended over their stay in the busy city and she was once again whole.  The Mariner closed his eyes and opened his lungs.

The kiss of the salty air signalled, he was home.

Boldly he walked up the gang plank and inspected his ship.

====================
To Ara

Bonjour Mon petite Groutain, I hear you've been buzy ferreting out zecretz while we've been galavanting thorugh the wood. C'ezt bon. Thiz zkill will zerve uz well. Zavoy tellz me that you've joined the crew az our new cabin boy. I couldn't be more pleazed. You'll learn the wayz of a zailor and the challenge of the zea. The work iz hard and the dayz are long. But zhere iz no better life.  

Thiz zhip iz your mother now 'mon grand lapin', treat her well and zhe will alwayz take you home.


"Captian!  Artimus!" "We've got a sponsor!  Yeah!"

Custer exclaimed approaching with trade writ in hand.
Artimus read over the writ.

"Magnifique! from who... Woodrecht?!" Artimus asked in shock.

"It zeemz our rezupplying will be lezz coztly than expected, Cuzter, your thorny buzh zeemz to have a few rozez. I'll not undereztimate your, how you zay, rezourcefulnezz. You have the makingz of a budding Diplomat Mon Ami."

"But how did you fenagle zuch a..." As he questioned his eyes fell on Cecil.

"Oh I zee...very well, it zeemz we have taken on zomething of a project"

"I wazn't terribly imprezzed with you at the tower in the wood, but you made it out alive and that'z zomething." Artimus said now Addressing Cecil directly.

"Keep Quiet and heed the inztructionz of Cuzter, and the crew. Comprande?"

Artimus noticed Cecil shaking subtly and spotted the fresh bruises on his arms and followed his eye line to where Kellar sat with two makeshift practice swords.

"AH Mon Dragoon, you look much improved and I zee you've taken to whipping the men into zhape. Parfait! Perhapz you would like to be the zhipz Mazter at Armz? Try to keep the men in one piece zhough. Non? “

Artimus finished with a chuckle.

"When everything is ready may I request we all meet in the War room below deck?  I have much to share."

===============
War Room

Artimus shared what he had learned from Pelegar and Catsgruth.

It zeemz zhe grey wardenz, our ranger friend’z zhat cover zhe land between zhe Cloud peakz and zhe Zmall Teezh Mountainz have zeen zhe Blue Dragon. Zhe haz taken nezt in zouzhern Zmall teezh. Orcz az well have been zpotted carrying zhe zigil you zpoke of, and zhey ride openly. Zhiz prezence zuggeztz zhiz iz zheir baze of operationz.  

We can interrupt zheir movementz, ambuzh zheir numberz. I fear we cannot face zhem directly... yet.  

Zhe Rangerz alzo hold a human zhat zeemed to be a zurvivor from a warband zhat attacked zhe Ezmeltaran.

My inztinctz tell me we need to know az much about zhiz enemy and zheir intent az well az gazher zupport. Perhapz once we know more it will be a rallying cry. We need to prove zhiz iz more zhan a local dizturbance.

Let uz zail to Azhkala, Zpeak to zhe High Harper before heading inland to zhe keep on zhe Road of Fangz, between Ezmeltaran and Imnezcar where zhiz prizoner iz held captive.

Zhe Road wardenz have queztioned him; perhapz we can be more... Effective?

Zhat iz my mind az captain. But zhiz zhould go out to one and all, what are your zhoughtz?

Each man zhould have hiz zay

Artimus listened intently for his comrades thoughts.
==========================================

Artimus offers Kellar ships title, Master of Arms
Artimus shares the information he learned from the Pelegar and Catsgruth.
Aritmus Checks the ship over
Suggests they sail to Atlathka, to meet the high harpers, then to the north of Esmelteran to interrogate the prisoner.


Last edited by Artimus DeLonde on Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Osvald Hale on Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:33 am

Osvald is nearly toppled over by the force of the old mans berating. His warbley screech fillsthe stable, causing the horses to whiney and dogs to bark, which only adds to Shandys ire.
Osvald tries his best to explain the fungus, the attack at the tower, but the Old man will hardly let him get a word in until ten minutes and a hundred curses have passed.

Eventually, the old man seems to sober at the threat of danger to the city, but remains incredulous and obviously intoxicated. He shows Osvald to the stall containing the horse that returned... Osvald looks it over through the stable boards for signs of infection, and tells Shandy to keep it isolated from the rest of the stabled horses for a few days at least. As Osvald moves around to the stall door, the horse whines in pain, and limps a step back, rearing in fear.

Shandy shoulders Osvald out of the way, and the old man makes soothing clicking sounds, whispering to the horse.

The horse calmed, and became still, allowing the old man to enter the stall without complaint. Osvald had to admit, the old bastard truly did have a gift. He follows Shandy into the stall, and slowly extends a hand towards the horse, resting it against it's shoulder.

Osvald says a few quiet words, feels energy pass through him like a conduit and into the horse. [Cast Heal Wounds on the mount]

Shandy takes a knee and inspects the horses wounded leg. He sighs, spits, curses again and shoos Osvald out of the stall.

"So are ye' comin' inside fed a drink or are ye to insult me further?"

The slightest grin shimmers across the rangers face. "Aye, one last before we sail."

...

Once indoors, Osvald recounts their tale in further detail over a tall glass of strong amber drink. Shandy pours himself another glass and shakes his head:

"Damn it, boy. If you want to get yerself kill'd thats yer choice, but dun' go draggin' my horses inna it. I appreciate yer healin' words, but please... I don't give a puckered bugbear's arse about no damn'd fire lords er' harpers. Such excitement is bad for business, " The old mans eyes flick down to the web of new scars along Osvalds jaw. "...'nd life 'xpectancy. You've got a good heart in ye Osvald, I hate ter see it run through. Be careful out there. Yer trust'n this fancy new group o' thill seekers with yer life. Adventure, fortune, fame, Danger... It's not exactly a line o' work that draws the most... Sensible folks. This life you've chosen, these new friends 'r yers... Just... Just make sure it's worth it, alright?"

Osvald smiles a warm smile, and clasps Shandys hand as he rises to leave; "Thank ye for the drink, Old Friend." He says and turns to leave.

Shandys voice calls after him, "Osvald... Did ye even bother to see Elidia when ye were here?"

The ranger pauses in the threshold. "...No." The word hangs in the air and the door swings closed behind him.

The old man sighs, staring into his drink before downing it in a single gulp. "...Then yer damned hopeless anyways."

...

Osvald spends most of the afternoon feeling like hired muscle, as vendors and merchant eye him warily while he lurks nearby in Artimus' shadow. When DeLonde begins trying on what for all intents and purposes appear to be White Blouses, The strain is unbearable and Osvald takes his leave. Picking his way through the market, he purchases some arrows from a keen young fletcher and returns to the ship.

...

Osvald stows his gear in preparation for travel in the open sea, Carefully wrapping his bow in his cloak and placing it in his bunk. He was tempted to unwrap it and admire it yet again when a loud Thump! echoes from the deck, and the ship bucks hard in the water. Cursing, Osvald rips his sword from it's sheath and rushes above deck, expecting the vessel to be under attack only to find Kellar standing over Cecil, extending a hand a yanking the boy to his feet.

"What is hells name is going on!? What's he doing here?"

Ara laughs from the rail, and offers up the explanation. Osvald scowls. "He's all your's Kell. Just keep him out of trouble."

Watching Kellar dispatch the boy to fetch weapons, the rangers eye again notices the faint glimmer of gold crawling on the warriors skin.

Osvald would have to ask what he meant about having Changed him. His scowl hardens.

...

Osvald listens intently while Artimus goes over his thoughts on their destination to the gathered group.

The huntsman's hands tighten into shaking fists at the mention of the Dragon nesting in the Small Teeth, but Osvald keeps his head and his silence. After Artimus finishes, Osvald joins in, nodding to DeLonde.

"I'm with you, Captain. South, to Atlathka."


=====

Ready to set sail southward.
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Custer Thickett on Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:16 am

Custer stands after Osvald agrees with Artimus' plan.  "Aye, but I'd like to be getting word on me own as well.  If we gonna be near home, then I want to know they are there and safe, yeah?"  Custer pauses as he looks at each of his friends.  "Besides, we know K'Tesh knew about the attack.  Might be the Shadows know something we need to.  Ara knows as much if not more than me about the who's who in that gang.  Be that as it may it's not safe for him to be trying to make amends with burnt bridges, but might be that he can school Cecil enough on em to get in an get out with what we need."

As eyes widen and some lean away in recoil, Cuss raises his hands, "I know, I know, he's no good in a fight, we all can agree on that.  But he worked with the Broken Arrows, who Ara say can run three circles around any Shadow he's ever known.  That's not for nothing, no?"

"Woodrech indentured Cecil to us to get him out of the Gate both to keep him safe an to keep his brother, Thorold, safe.  The boy has to have some talent, yeah?  Me thinks if not in the underbelly of Esmeltaran, then mayhaps the first member of Mountain Root's garrison, yeah?  Might be the boy can cook or help get our produce to market.  'Sides, it's going to take a few moons to clean the place up.  Somebody's gotta do it."
 Custer smiles and unrolls Woodrech's trade writ on the table for the others to see.

"Woodrech's offering supplies from his wares to help us stock the Root.  We knee go see his man and see what he's got that we can use to fortify, restore, and supply Lord Hale's estate.  Might be we'll need it if Cyric's whole army be in the teeth, no?  Might be Woodrech has something to help in the hunt for Kesian as well, yeah?"

[Marketplace post?]

Custer turns to Artimus, "Mountain's Root is in the Soulwood in the foot of the Small Teeth not far from Galor's Bend and the River Esmel.  She has fishing dock, but I doan think Tris Pistoles will be making port up the little creek its on.  Might be that creek feeds into the Esmel, though.  Osvald, what do ya think?"

Custer rolls up the writ and stows it somewhere under his cloak.  His face narrows as he remembers, "Oh, an I almost forgot.  I found pure salt water.  Uh, sort of.  Somebody has to become assaulted."
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:57 am

Earlier at the Marketplace
==============================

Artimus mingled about the wears of the tanners and weavers while he and Osvald waited on the waybill needed to retrieve the cotten for their voyage.
As they purused, his eye was caught by a  fresh leather jerken, brown and well tailored. It bore the crest of a howling wolf on the front and inlayed with stylish snaps. A beautiful piece.

The Mariner held it up and turned to Osvald sizing it to his build.

"It looks to be your size mon ami. perhaps a fresh look for the woodsman on the move?  you'll feel like a new man, Non?"

"Perhaps you could pair it with these 'booties'?" Artimus finished, Holding up some fine leather shoes with curled toes at the tip.
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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Ao on Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:07 pm

[Nightal 3rd, The Sword Coast]

An icy wind blows across the port deck, as heady waves wash over the gunwales. The moon shines brightly off the bow, as Artimus holds fast to the helm, guiding Trois Pistoles through the frigid waters on a broad reach.

The temperature has plummeted over the last week, and in the ten days since they left Baldur’s Gate, winter had made her claim across western Faerun.

The lantern affixed above the cabin stair clangs gently against its iron berth, rhythmically sounding through the night into the berths below, where some of you slumber.

A snowflake, uncommon this far south, flits down and lands in the mariner’s hair.

It is a peaceful night.

[…]

Dawn begins to break.

On the horizon, a dull glow rises to port. A city of lamps and splendour, of towering spires shimmering in the morning sunlight. A jewel of the south, nestled upon the cliff peaks of Amn. Gazing out over a sea of trade ships and barges.

Athkatla.

[…]

[Nightal 4th, Athkatla Harbour]

Trois Pistoles bobs alongside an enormous trade galleon at a mooring, and a small fleet of military corsairs in the inner harbour.

The sun shines brightly overhead, dispelling some of the cold that has crept in. The spires of Athkatla loom over you, seabirds flitting around the enormous landscape of trade boats.

An hour ago, the harbourmaster’s boat came round to schedule a shore-ship for your group. It was meant to be here in a quarter hour, but as is customary in Athkatla, boaters with no explicit intention to trade are often shirked.

Ara stands on the stern, shouting at a pair of ducks floating past the transom. They are red and blue, brilliantly coloured. Like jewels in the water of this affluent city.

“Trois Pistoles!” shouts a dockhand boredly, from a longboat packed with more transiting sailors than she was meant to manage.

“Please board!”

[…]

[Waukeen’s Promenade]



Tents stretch out as far as the eye can see, the busy ward of Waukegan’s Promenade bustling even at this early hour.

As you descend the grand stair under a cascading arch, the smoke of barbecued meats and the stink of ale reaches your nose.

Winding your way through the trade stalls, the marvels of the Sword Coast and beyond are lain at your feet. Beautiful jewels, silks, fabrics. Weapons of all grade and value. Magical artifacts and curios, and a fair share of con artists and charlatans. Foods, fish, meats, skins, bars of gold and silver.

It is said that anything bought, traded or sold above ground can be found in Waukeen’s Promenade. And though beneath your feet, the street is not truly paved with gold, it is clear that the pockets of these experienced merchants most surely are.

[…]

“Dogs for sale! Hunting dogs!” shouts a man, walking past with four well-trained hounds leashed upon an ornate golden rope.

You find yourselves on the eastern edge of the promenade, walking down a street designated as ‘Honoures.’ It is here that that the High Harper resides.

A neighbourhood of towering manses and castles, fashioned of the whitest marble, greets you upon this quiet street.

Beautifully manicured facades look down upon the paved way, where raised beds of fragrant flowers and wispy, willowy trees sway in the wind.

Guards with polished, conical helms walk by in pairs, nodding to you as you strolls past. A woman glances at Kellar, clearly intrigued at his skin tone. She smiles broadly beneath an enormous hat, her shapely hips balancing an undoubtedly expensive dress that billows behind her like a rainbow.

Custer looks down at the note in his hand, passed to him by Geld. It is the address - 700 Honoures; The White Pearl.

And indeed, as you look up, you’re greeted by a beautiful, domed mansion with tall white gates of filigree and lattice, crawling with verdant vines bearing striking purple flowers.

Three guards stand outside, in the same conical helms. But they also wear bright crimson sashes, and carry wicked-looking falchions at their sides.

“State your business, friends.” says one, firmly. But as Custer flashes Geld’s signet, they part without question.

[…]

You sit upon lush ottomans, around a low table overflowing with figs and sweets. Decadent cheeses are stacked high alongside fresh loaves, and decanters of sweet wine are perched upon every available surface of fine, polished marble.

Tall willow trees flank your position, and you can hear a bubbling stream somewhere in the distance. It is a place of immense beauty.

After a time, a dark-skinned woman descends the white staircase from the mansion, wearing simple robes of purple cloth. She smiles at you, her round face framed by beautiful black locks of hair that descend down to her slender waist.

You mistake her for a serving woman, until she approaches, and you can see an enormous silver harp pinned upon her purple cloak.

She smiles at you, sitting expertly down upon a narrow, high pillow until she is eye level.

“Greetings, friends of the Harpers.” she says, nodding gingerly.

“I am Asial, High Harper of Athkatla. But as you know, the Harpers are deeply distrusted in Amn, and so we maintain ourselves as a secret order. And so, I am known as the Ameera of Manshaka. These men of Athkatla think me a Calishite princess, and it serves our operation.”

She pours herself some wine, drinking it back and reaching delicately for a ripe plum.

“So, friends. How may I be of service?”

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

Ok guys - you’re in the garden of the High Harper in Athkatla. Also, if you have anything that needs to be done in Athkatla, either get that done in your post or in the marketplace. We won’t be here for long, unless you take us in a bold new direction of adventure Razz

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Re: Chapter Four

Post  Kellar on Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:43 pm

Each day Kellar worked with Cecil in handling a spear. Often correctly small errors in his stance. "Using this the proper way will prevent your enemy from ever closing in on you. But only if your technique is sound. Sloppy footwork like you had shown me when we first started will ingrain bad habits and get you killed," he said. Kellar had made Cecil lower his stance to stress his leg muscles and build his foundation from the ground up. "My legs are too sore, Master Kellar," Cecil said. He stood up slowly, wincing.

"There are many manner of beast and man that will not care that your legs are sore. Throwing your name around and living with laziness in the things you do will get you killed. Now, back down in position, twenty more spear thrusts with each arm, snap at the end. Drive through your enemy," he said. Cecil grimaced as he continued to do as Kellar instructed. After Cecil was done with his practice, Kellar moved him to the "Old Joe" harpoon he had made a while ago. "This harpoon weighs about fifty pounds. Lift it over your head and extend it into the air above your head. You need to do that twenty times and then we are done for the day. It simulates loading a ballista," he said.

At the end of the day, Cecil was exhausted, but grew to respect Kellar's discipline and the requirement of someone who needed to be self sufficient. The day prior to arriving at port Kellar approached the young Woodrecht. "As long as you're in our employ, you follow the order of Lord Hale or myself. Don't question, don't argue and most of all, don't complain. When we tell you something it's for your benefit and the benefit of your companions. We're counting on you," he said. Cecil nodded proudly, albeit achingly.

....

Kellar and his companions arrived at Athkatla and wound their way through the city. A woman in a brightly colored dress caught Kellar's eye as she looked at him. It wasn't the first time anyone had stared at his appearance, but it was strange that someone smiled as they did so. He nodded in the woman's direction as the light shimmered across the golden scales that occasionally floated above his skin. He rolled his shoulders and kept walking and looked down at Custer. "What?" He said. Kellar shook his head and kept moving along with the group. He passed through the markets, listening to the shouts from the merchants. One merchant caught his ear.

"All manner of chainmail and leather for your companion! Not your wife or girl back home! Your dog, dragon, or horse!" The merchant shouted and laughed. Kellar approached the stall. It had all manner of armor, plating, dressings and harnesses for animals laid about and hanging from the stall. Orbaugh looked on from his Master's shoulder, his little head darting about. Master! I shiny like you? Please? Kellar could feel the wanting from the pseudodragon.

"How can I help you sir? I'm having a sale today on chainmail and chainmail accessories! It looks as though your friend there could use a bit of protection yes?" He said. "A small chainmail vest would work great for my little friend here, is there something you can do to make it shine a bit more," Kellar said. The merchant nodded and disappeared under the counter and then popped back up with a different chainmail vest. "This vest has had an enchantment of light applied to it, it is bright enough during the day to shine, but dulls itself in darkness to protect it's wearer," he said. "For you, I say three gold pieces and it will fit precisely on your friend there," he said.

"Done," Kellar said. He removed three gold pieces from his pouch and paid the merchant. Orbaugh dropped from Kellar's shoulder as he paid and stood in front of the merchant on the counter. "Okay Orbaugh, stay still a moment and the nice merchant here will get you setup," he said. "That I will, Master Orbaugh," the merchant said as he unclipped the chainmail. The chainmail was placed on Orbaugh and the merchant muttered a few words and the links in the chainmail shortened up and bunched around the areas to fit comfortably. "There we go, all set. If you should need anything else, feel free to stop by Dog, Dragon & Horse again," he said.

Orbaugh's spirits were high the rest of the walk up to the High Harper. When the group arrived, Kellar and Orbaugh sat on a cushion furthest away from her and they shared a ration. Kellar did not offer much for questions and listened to his companions speak with the High Harper. I don't know if I should ask about Andrianna or keep that to myself.

Actions:

Kellar spent 3 gold to bling out Orbaugh on the way through the market.
Kellar will ask about Andrianna if the opportunity presents itself.
Kellar will listen to his companions speak with the High Harper and will only speak if he is asked to.
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Kellar
Hero of Legend
Hero of Legend

Posts : 485
Join date : 2014-09-15
Location : Wisconsin

Character sheet
Armor Class:: 18
Health:
49/49  (49/49)
Hit Dice::
6/6  (6/6)

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