Chapter Five

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:09 pm

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Ao on Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:53 pm

The fire dies down beside the gnomes, the cheerful mages drawing looks of befuddlement, and perhaps even suspicion from their outrider companions. A stout, dark human kneels down beside them poking at the coals. He looks like he is about to say something, perhaps looking to join their conversation out of politeness.

But the language and subject matter of illustrious academies and scholarly magic are clearly out of his depths. He withdraws some large hefts of wood from a satchel, placing them on the fire and retreating to his peers.

The stars burn brilliantly over the fellowship, as Val, Artimus and Osvald wash the filth from their flesh and the blood from their clothes. The red-headed paladin catches her travel companion smirking at her from the bank, before the dark woman retreats to the fire for a meal, and then to her bedroll privately.

Sim runs his falchion along a length of wood, sitting on a rock beside Kellar.

“…yes, I know the desert has not been kind to you and your fellows, Kellar. But I assure you, Faeressar is a bastion in this hot place. Within our walls, we house many artisans and merchants, who come and go on their way into Calimshan. For your arms, I will introduce you to Bronze Camel. He is a master smith, from Calimport, and will treat your weapons well. And we keep crows in the castle. Surely, you can use one to message your loved one.”

Osvald stirs in his sleep behind them, the lord justice of the Janessar looking back at him.

“You should get some sleep, dragoon. There will be much travel in the morning yet.”

Sim bows slightly, returning to his men.

[…]

Dwan sits in the dark, alongside the stocky dark-skinned man he had come to know as Baqir. The Calishite is bald, his many rotund rolls of fat and muscle spilling through an unbuttoned woven vest as he sits smoking a pipe. The burning odor is intoxicating and spicy, strong tobacco laced undoubtedly with pleasing sap from the Gurakka tree, a Chultean varietal that Dwan’s companions in the Gold Army would chew on often during their times at war.

Baquir pours a cup of tea from a strangely shaped clay pot, handing it to Dwan.

“…ho ho, Mush-ra is who you seek.” He laughs, but not in a condescending way.

“Don’t you know she is a legend, dwarf? No man has seen her.”

He curls his eyebrow as he looks to Dwan, clearly perceiving his desperation.

Baqir pauses, rolling smoke around in his mouth and blowing it out into a wispy cloud.

“Just because Mush-ra is not seen, does not mean she does not exist. It is said that she rides the desert in a wagon pulled by white horses that run faster than a man can see. So, this is expected.”

A pair of outriders walks past them, nodding at Baqir as they speak among one another. The portly Calishite sits smoking for a minute more, and Dwan can tell that he is considering whether to share something that sits upon his mind. He opens his mouth, after a time.

“When I was a boy, I broke my neck falling from a camel. My mother stood in the desert as I lay dying, calling out to lady Mush-ra to heal me. The lady never came to her, but when she returned, my neck had healed and I could walk. Perhaps it was Mush-ra’s miracle. My mother thought so.”

He stands up, patting Dwan on the shoulder and walking to his bed.

[…]
[…]
[…]

The craggy, rocky dunes gnash in sands of the northern Calim desert like great boils on the back of a gargantuan stone beast. Sand and sweat crusts across your upper lip, coarsely nipping at the soft skin underneath.

Ahead, Sim sits high atop his horse, looking off from the top of a small, rocky hill.

“Agrash Faeressar!” he shouts down to you, a smile cresting his lips as he disappears down the other side of the dune, his horse carrying him lithely out of sight. It takes you several moments to climb to the zenith of the incline, alongside the other riders atop their horses.

Your flesh is burned and red, and your tongue is heavy with sand and the gummy white residue of saliva. And yet, despite your lack of breath, the sight before you is wondrous.

Beyond another half mile of dunes, a great dustbowl rises up within the foothills of the Marching Mountains. Sand blows across the landscape, and yet it cannot obscure the many sandstone buildings and palisades that rise up from the desert floor, greeting the glinting sun with domed, brass roofs and spiralling turrets. It is surrounded by a high wall, sunbleached and green from ages of weather and protection.

An outrider sidles up next to you, a smile crossing his lips.

“Ready for a rest, northron? Faeressar is our oasis. Come, you will like it.”

The outriders quicken their pace, slowing only slightly to allow their tired charges pursuit.

[…]

“Aloo Gakanuktar, Lord Justice!” shout the guards in unison, standing at attention before the portcullis of a gate. Overhead, two turbaned men nod their greetings to Sim and his cadre, pulling a wheel to lift the heavy iron bars and permit them entry.

Peering curiously between the bars, Custer can see a city of the desert before them. Buildings and tenements stacked upon each other beckon them through, while tall, knotty palm trees frame the unique architecture.

You take your first steps through the gates of Faeressar, heavy stone structures casting shade across narrow laneways. Mounted guardsmen ride off in the distance, and the streets are traversed by cloth-wearing citizens who stare at you curiously.

Birds fly high overhead, the far off sounds of humanity and social living sounding strange to your adventuring ears.

You follow Sim and his men, absorbing the sights of this foreign place.

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

Ok guys!

Welcome to Faeressar. You’re following Sim and his men through the streets, taking in the sights. Soaring, arced buildings and dwellings give way to pleasant market squares and fountains. It is a small old city, with many cracks and grooves. But it is well-loved, and well-lived in.

Sim will guide you through to the city’s heart, a sprawling market square built around three enormous public bathing pools, with crystal blue water. He invites you to explore the streets, and stay with him at his keep, which is an ancient castle cared for by the Janessar.

It is about noon, and you have been walking perhaps four hours. You’re tired, of course, but I want to give you a rotation to explore for anything you wish, and perhaps take advantage of the marketplace forum to start up some buy/sell threads.

Sim requests that you join him for dinner at sundown.

An INCREDIBLE round of roleplaying posts guys. You actually all blew me away. Everybody gets +1 Destiny point, which allows you to reroll any roll you like. Smile

You’re all MVPs.

-Ao

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Pimli Prixus on Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:31 am

Pimli sits in a trance like state, eye glazed over white, muttering to himself. The small camp at the oasis has sprung to life as the outriders busy themselves with making quick meals and breaking camp. This is unnoticed by the little gnome, his mind has wondered, Savras is showing him what is to come, no matter the choice, he is living every possible out come of the upcoming day. [Portant rolls for the day d20 x2]

A dark hand is laid on his should, eyes unfogging Pimli looks up to see the stout human from the night before handing him what appears to be some kind of portage. He smiles towards the man and nods his thanks, the knowledge of what's to come already fading out of mind as he eats greedily.

With the food done, he gathers his possessions to prepare for the upcoming journey. He feels great, as if that was the first sleep he's had in months, there is something he has to do though before they leave. Pimli looks over to wear Artimus is preparing for travel, he sighs to himself and walks over to the mariner.

"Artimus, walk with me. I have a few things to ask about your...uhhh...Fist" he waits on the Sea Captains to acknowledge the request before leading him a small way from the camp, away from prying ears. "You told me when we first met that your...organization, uses magic pendents to communicate across long distances. How strong is the magics? If I had one would I have been able to contact you from Cyric's realm. I'm sorry for leaving you as I did, there was just something that I had to see in the portal room." He pauses, not sure how to proceed "I.....Have you.....heh. Have you received any contact from Emelious? He wasn't in the War room when I was carried through, and we didn't see him during our escape. I'm sure you sent him off on some mission or another like what the Hales did, I'm just worried we just got free of the Nerguhl I would hate to hear that a mountain fell on him. He looks up at Artimus, pleadingly as he awaits the answers.

====================
Daily Portant die d20 x2: 5, 16


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:31 am

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Kellar on Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:29 pm

Kellar approached the city with the others. He took in the sights and sounds as he stretched slightly. The march was more arduous than he expected. It certainly isn't hunting large beasts. Orbaugh danced on his shoulders and shook the chainmail coif lightly and snapped his tiny jaw at the smells of fresh food.

Kellar looked to the others. "I was given a few places to stop by while we are here. I need to freshen up my armor and re-stock a few missing pieces of equipment," he said. He looked at Valeria when he mentioned missing equipment. She had broken his crossbow. "Where can I find the blacksmith Golden Camel?" he asked. He checked over the weapons he had currently. Need new javelins, more chain, maybe a net made of chain. What else...?

Kellar waited for Sim's reply before taking his leave. "Anyone want to travel with me? I'll be seeing the blacksmith and maybe a couple other vendors." Kellar waved to the everyone and began making his way to the markets.

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Gimble Nabisco Raulnor on Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:08 pm

Pimli Prixus wrote:"... What about yourself Gimble? What did they teach you at Silverymoon?"

Gimble listens intently and strokes his beard as Pimli tells him about his specialty. He nods and hums and hirms as the younger gnome recalls the details of his school and its teachings. "Silverymoon teaches a mage many great things. As usual, they have academies with all the usual schools of magicks, but there are a few that specialize in certain branches such as Miresk's. Then there are groups like the Spellguard and the like. As for myself... well I've learned a lot of abjuration in my day. I'm glad of it, too; it keeps my frail old bones protected."

As the caravan passes through the gates and into the heart of Faeressar, he looks around at the crowd and buildings with marvel. Gasps and sighs of delight and admiration escape his lips every so often as his eyes land upon a new aspect of the culture or style of architecture. Already, he has his notebook out, floating in the air with his mage hand, to scribble down notes.

"I will accompany you, master Kellar. This is quite a grand city, and I'd rather see more of it than less of it! Come along, miss Thaemor. I believe you owe our friend a new crossbow?" Gimble follows after the tall dragoon. His gate flows from a fast walk to a slight skip as Kellar and Valeria weave through the crowds and make their way to the shopping district. Gimble keeps an eye out for arcane or stationery shops. Above them, Minerva glides and floats on warm drafts of air emanating from the streets.

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

Gimble goes with Kellar to shop.
Gimble and Minerva keep an eye out for arcane or stationery shops.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Custer Thickett on Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:42 pm

Custer was worn and sore.  Trudging through the sand on foot with a heavy pack and in dark leather, even with the numerous stops to rest in shade, was nearly too tough to overcome.  Brahm's struggles made it no easier, and he often found himself straining to help the boy up while futility trying to keep from showing his own building exhaustion.

While the well packed earth of a well traveled road offered him some relief, numerous piles refuse left behind by Calimshan's humped beast of burden steamed in the hot sun.  The smell made him feel like retching with every deep labored breath of travel, but the rising sandstone palisades of the city offered the promise of a proper seat and a chalice of lager.  The hope for that comfort drove him forward, his pace quickening as the drew near the gates.  

One of the outriders near him  spoke, “Ready for a rest, northron? Faeressar is our oasis. Come, you will like it.”


"Fook yeah.  Might ya have a shaded place of rest where ya keep the Orange kind cold?"  Cuss nearly bellowed in his excited anticipation. 

The outrider chuckled, "Yes, there is such a place, you will see."


In the streets of Faeressar, Cuss's head pivoted left and right with every step, taking in every sight of the city.  He was always more comfortable in a city or town than in the wild.  Here, nearly everything before him was different from the streets of the cities in the lands he had traveled before.  The colors of the stone.  The shapes of the buildings.  The color of the humans, and the garments they wore.  The animals.  The music.  The language.  

All the people were all looking at the party, but hardly any gave him more than a glance, while Kellar, Val, and others drew outright stares.  He considered what they must think of Sim's catch, curious as to how the ill prepared northerners with him might have survived crossing their dessert.

As they neared a slow moving group of camels, the riders mounting them steered the animals to a stop alongside the road so as to let the Janessar pass.  Cuss noticed that the hides of the mounts were shaved into very intricately detailed murals.  The one closest to him depicting what appeared to be a king atop a rearing warhorse and a winged demon wielding a long spear.  He did not recognize the script written into the art.


"What is this cut into the hair of your humped horses?"  He asked the portly rider above him, the one Dwan had said was named Baquir.  


The rolls of his skin jiggled as he laughed, "Humped horses you say?"


"These riders cross the dessert to bring goods from the Bazaars of our land.  They do this to show respect to the spirits of the dessert so that they may travel in peace."


Cuss tilted his head as tried to understand Baquir's thick accent.  He asked, "Spirits of the dessert?  Like the healing lady named Mushroom?"


The fat man nearly fell from his horse as he laughed.  "Mushroom?  No, no, no, no."


[Investigation Roll ]
12

...


In the market near the pools, Custer and Brahm seek out a leather-worker to refit their armor, restock some simple supplies for his kits, and acquire some leafy hallucinogens....  Marketplace Post incoming.


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:42 pm

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:54 pm

....

Artimus rose with as the morning sun peaked over the dunes surrounding the oasis in which they'd made mecriful camp. His vision whist dreaming had filled him renewed vigor- Vigor, and questions. He would consider his experience, carefully as they trekked toward Faeressar.

The taste of the red sand- ferric and salty landing on his tongue for the first time. The sensation was not unlike the salty iron mist that eminated from the breaking waves of chamlinshan port as seawater graced oxblood hued rock.

Artimus' mind kept floating back to their enounter with the hedge shrouded demon as he packed his gear and dressed himself- the sudden impotence of his will and the failng of his flesh to obey his command... it was beyond his knowledge to suss out any solace. What layed in the place of explaination was shame at his failing, and a looming fear of when such.... retrenchment might strike again.


Pimili- The Mariner thought- nearly aloud. Back in the chamber of the poisoner Pimili had been the first to hear Artimus' tale laid bear, the gnome seemed unphased the tale- one kept silent mostly due to how outlandish it sounded.  


Just as he resolved to consult the gnome - He nearly tripped over Pimili as he turned to find him before the caravan set out.


"Artimus, walk with me. I have a few things to ask about your...uhhh...Fist" "You told me when we first met that your...organization, uses magic pendents to communicate across long distances. How strong is the magics? If I had one would I have been able to contact you from Cyric's realm."

I appreciate your tact Mon ami, ze magicz are ztrong, no doubt, zhey have yet to be zhown to have limit. Beyond zhe ziel of zhe matieral plane may be too much for even zhem.  

"Zhey Operate much as the zpell of zending, a incantaion accessable by many zchoolz" Artimus said  tapping his forehead with a gloved hand
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/sending.htm

"What am I even zaying- zertainly you know more of zheze matterz zhan moi"

"I.....Have you.....heh. Have you received any contact from Emelious? [...] I'm just worried we just got free of the Nerguhl I would hate to hear that a mountain fell on him. He looks up at Artimus, pleadingly as he awaits the answers."

"Oh no...you.. you don't know... I.."

Aritmus searched the sands at his feet for the words.

"I don't know how to zay zhiz mon ami... Emelouz fell, facing Kezian. obliterated in aerial melee by zome incantation while mounted on one of zhoze terrible beaztz.

"Dwan, Cuzter and Emeliouz zhrough zhemzelvez into the maw- againzt all zenze- over the edge of the tower. Emeliouz waz az brave az the other two, juzt not az fortunate..."

"I have the fizt zhat he wore.. briefly az he did. You have earned it Mon ami, take it, uze it, learn what you can."

Silence lingered as Artimus held out the Fist's emblem in outstretched hand.

The Mariner forgot his questions for the moment- he would ask Pimili once they set out.
[...]

“Pimili, do you remember what I zhared with you after we zlew the poizoner..  When you came through the portal in the clutchez of that demon, I want to move but I found myzelf unable to command any of my limbz-- and the zearing in my chezt-- it waz az bad az the black night that I fell...”

“I've faced a creature like zhiz one-  in the hallz of Latora and felt nozhing like zhiz... but zhat waz before... before...”

He stammered off not wanting to say the words aloud...

“Doez any of thiz any zenze at all?”


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Valeria Thaemor on Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:03 am

There was a dull ache in her back, a prickly sensation from her sunburnt face, and bright sunlight in her eyes when Val finally sat up from the borrowed bedroll with a loud groan. Still better than waking up in a cell. All around her the others were stirring and packing up their things in between quiet, casual conversations. Following their example, Val shimmied out of the bedroll, wiping away any lingering debris from the desert in the process.

After pulling her armor on (hissing in pain whenever anything brushed up against her sunburn or a bruise) she grabbed her things and scanned the group for her fair white robbed lady. Her eyes paused on Gimble, busy chatting animatedly with Pimli about magic no doubt. There’s a fast friendship blooming. Giving the two gnomes a smile and wave, she continued her search until her eyes locked onto the lady. She was just as beautiful as the day before.

Walking over, she graciously handed over the bedroll. “You have my thanks for lending me the bedroll and allowing me to ride with you. Perhaps I can repay your gratitude when we reach this town?” She gave the woman a coy look before strutting off to have a quick breakfast.

“Oooh!” She called out upon entering Faeressar. Her eyes scanned the buildings and people curiously as they headed in deeper. As others began to head off to various places to do various things, she once more set her eyes on her lady friend lustily. She hadn’t taken more than one step when Gimble latched onto her arm and reminded her of the crossbow incident.
“I have plans Gimble!” She hissed at the little gnome, pouting in the direction of her fair lady. She knew it was no use; she did owe Kellar a new crossbow. “Dammit! You and me later!” She called out before allowing Gimble to drag her off towards the market.

---

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Osvald Hale on Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:59 am

“Ready for a rest, northron? Faeressar is our oasis. Come, you will like it.”

"Fook yeah!" Cuss' exhausted bellow manages to draw a hearty chuckle from Osvald, which blooms into a full on howling laugh. The exhaustion, the sun, and the ridiculousness of their situation cumulate in the ranger and he nearly doubles over laughing. Caught up in the absurdity of the moment a few of the riders and others even join him in the ridiculous fit of laughter. Wiping a tear from his eye, Osvald pats Cuss twice firmly on the back. The rangers weary eyes speaking volumes to his travelling companion:

Together they'd seen much and more, survived through the bad and the worse, cast their dice with the wims of fate and won. So far at least. A drink was undoubtably necessary.

Stiffiling the last of his laughter, Osvald straightens up. Coughing awkwardly he feels the judgemental eyes of Sim and the remaining riders upon him, annoyed with the hold up of the caravanning group. Osvald opens his mouth to speak but thinks better of it. Instead he glances to Cuss again, and grins before turning to face the sun and walking on--singing softly one of the old songs, voice fading unceremoniously into the sun bleached lands beyond.

...

As the party approaches Faeressar, Osvalds eyes peer from beneath a sunburnt brow, seeking along its battlements. Glistening like ivory beads in the shade of his hood.

As they enter, the city feels like a clay pot curving up around them. Baking all the contents within. Merchants lead heavily laden beasts, and silk-clad women danced in shaded portals, the smell of pipe-smoke and foreign spices drifting around them.

Osvald lingered just beyond the gate house as the others paired off and departed for the markets, store-houses and taverns.

The desert was a trial, to be sure.. but... only here, now, in the undulating throng of city life did he feel truly isolated.

The vast... dead-ness... of the desert loomed large in his mind. He longed again for his mountains, For the kin he'd known again all too briefly. The brave face he'd kept for the others fractured abruptly within him. A brief dialogue with Sim familiarizes the ranger with the main corridors needed to find their destination for the evening, and Osvald excuses himself from their company for awhile.

He needed to... to pray... The sensation was vague and foreign. His gods were old. So old their temples were dust tenfold lifetimes before his birth, and their ears were long since deaf to a world who had all but forgotten even their names... All forgotten but to him and the precious little living blood of his kin. Often in his youth he'd ruminated on the unapparent benefits of sacrement to uncaring gods... to which his father would reply without fail: What good is the man who needs his gods to do his work for him? But now... Well, his gods were Olufsens gods; and his uncle needed all the help he could get. He had to pray.

His old gods shrines were the mountain top. The cliff. The deep cave. Only where mortal folk faltered, could the undying thrive in peace. Hardship was their only communion. Here, this city on the very edge of habitation, hardship was rife. The great expanse lurked, impossibly uncaring and vast just beyond the gates. Osvald grinned. His distant gods would happily perch silent on these mountains for ages untold. Perhaps they did... There was no knowing.

Finding a quiet back lane, Osvald kneels at the wall of an ancient charnel house, hewn from the mountain rock itself. The ranger places a hand on the stone, weathered smooth as glass with ravages of time, and says the words...

For awhile, at least, the discordant hum of the city is very, very, far away.

...

=====

Osvald is concerned for his uncle and will pray for him. Afterward, he'll rejoin the others at the destination Sim outlined for the party.

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:08 pm

Accepting the tea, Dwan listens intently at Baqir's story. His composure quickly melting away as he tries to keep track of all of the facts.  He is almost caught off guard as Baqir stands and pats his shoulder while he walks away. But- he says as the mage walks away.

There is not much more I know. Baqir pauses just another moment. I pray you find your cure, master dwarf. and he continues off.

Well everyone knows Dwarf eyes see better than any man's.  There must be some kind of way to find her He calls out to Baqir.   Only silence answers.

Dwan sits at the fire in silence for another couple of minutes to gather himself.. He is not sure if he is excited to find someone that can confirm that Mush-ra exists, or frustrated that all he has to go on is she rides in a wagon that cannot be seen.     Realizing that he is the only one left by the fire, Dwan lets out a frustrated sigh and find his bedroll.  His thoughts buzz wildly in his head, but sleep quickly finds him.

=============================
At Faeressar
=============================

Dwan pauses a moment to take in the sights of the desert city. How long has it been since I've last been in a city? Imnescar for certain, many vials ago, but that may not even be standing anymore.

Kellar wrote:Anyone want to travel with me? I'll be seeing the blacksmith and maybe a couple other vendors.

Thanks but no thanks, Kellar,  The thought of  pushing through crowds of people just to get to a few pushy vendors... I would rather spend another month out on the sand.

I will be going with Sim to his keep there are some things that I have to do.


==============================
The Keep
==============================

Sim, is there a silent place in this palace that I could sit and read with little interruption?

Sim guides Dwan to a sitting room with scrolls and books tucked into the shelves on the side.  

This should do, Dwan.  Should I send someone with food or drink.

That's probably for the best, could you also send someone once most of my friends arrive? I apologize for any burden this may be,.

Once Sim nods, Dwan sets down his pack and pulls out the book he received from Keizan's tower.  The Red Plague

Dwan sits down and opens the book....

===============================================================
Dwan gets rest.
Dwan will go directly to the keep and will read what he can from The Red Plague.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Pimli Prixus on Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:06 pm

Artimus DeLonde wrote:....
"Oh no...you.. you don't know... I.."

Aritmus searched the sands at his feet for the words.

"I don't know how to zay zhiz mon ami... Emelouz fell, facing Kezian. obliterated in aerial melee by zome incantation while mounted on one of zhoze terrible beaztz.

"Dwan, Cuzter and Emeliouz zhrough zhemzelvez into the maw- againzt all zenze- over the edge of the tower. Emeliouz waz az brave az the other two, juzt not az fortunate..."

"I have the fizt zhat he wore.. briefly az he did. You have earned it Mon ami, take it, uze it, learn what you can."

Silence lingered as Artimus held out the Fist's emblem in outstretched hand.

With the words out of the Captians mouth, Pimli feels the full weight of the last 11 days bare down on his shoulders. He feels weak, as if he's about to collapse. But holds as strong as he can, it's what the mariner speaking to him would do.

Emelious....

====================================
FIVE DAYS EARLIER

Screams of pain errupt from the neighbouring cage, the poisoner Nerguhl is at work again testing out his latest concoction. It's been 6 days since the wagan train setting out from Imnescar was set upon by the Orcish legions. Since then this cage has been his home, the strange Half-Elf his only compainion.

"Pimli, can I ask you something, more of a favor really." Pimli smiles up at the Half-Elf "Of course!" Emelious turns his back hiding himself from the guards watching over the cage. From underneth his shirt he pulls out a pendent carved into the shape of Valkurs holy symbol. "If anything happens to me, not that Valkur will all it but if anyting does can you give this pendant to my parents? Silvora and Eadred from Waterdeep."


Is he afraid or being socialable? of course we're going to get out of here. These Orcs are horrible hosts and we will show them that! Hmmm he's looking at me I better answer

I will. And if anything happened to me, there is a letter in my bag from a colleague, Mazryn. Well former colleague, he's dead now. When his body was returned to the school he was stripped off all his possesions save for that letter. I haven't read it yet, but if it has any information regarding what happened to him or about what he was seeking help me complete his quest."


======================================
NOW

Pimli reaches up and takes the pendent from Artimus reluctantly. "Thank you" slipping the amulet around his neck "I....there's something I need to do before we travel. I need to be alone"

Pimli walks away a little bit, mulling over the information that he was given. Skurr I need you to do something for me The Raven familiar swoops down and pearches on the gnomes burdened shoulders. I need you to fly, fly to where we came from, and I need you to retrieve an item. Pimli thinks on the image of Emelious showing him the pendent so the familiar can see it in its minds eye.

((Skurr try))

The Raven lifts off flying North towards the place that the group came from, where Emelious fell to his death. "Ill omen that" Pimli turns around to see one of the Calishite watching Skurr fly off "Bird of death flying north, someone will die this day."

"My friend there is going to help fulfill a dead friends last wish" Pimli turns back to watch the flight of the Raven. Be safe my friend

=======================================
On the trail

Artimus DeLonde wrote:
“Pimili, do you remember what I zhared with you after we zlew the poizoner.. When you came through the portal in the clutchez of that demon, I want to move but I found myzelf unable to command any of my limbz-- and the zearing in my chezt-- it waz az bad az the black night that I fell...”

“I've faced a creature like zhiz one- in the hallz of Latora and felt nozhing like zhiz... but zhat waz before... before...”

He stammered off not wanting to say the words aloud...

“Doez any of thiz any zenze at all?”

"hmmmmm your um anchor is reacting to the presence. It's not a fear from yourself, but the Gods and there minions are the natural enemy of the demonic. And the natural pray for that matter. Whatever is tying you here with one foot in life and one foot in death, is whats causing you to freeze up. I'm not sure why or how, but I will find out for you"

Pimli continues on the walk deep in thought over this Demon problem. It's something that will need to be solved sooner rather then later.

========================================
Arriving

Pimli stares in wonderment at the white capped towers, the strange stone buildings, all the odd people, animals, smells. He's never see a place like this before, and it's marvelous!

He notices a few of his compaions breaking off to go shopping, "Wait for me!" he calls out as he walks in the direction they did. Trying to take in everyting at once.

[Preception check to avoid losing the group d20+1: 4]

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Damn dice!


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:06 pm

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Ao on Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:08 pm

[Faeressar, Arrival]

The sun glints off the many bronze roofs of the city as Sim’s men begin their journey up the stone streets towards the castle. The wind ruffles through their packs, as some loosen their head-dresses and cloth turbans. They wipe sweat from their foreheads, disappearing down laneways strewn with colourful tapestries and lightly floating linen fabrics.

You walk by a woman doing her washing before a humble domicile, the sharp smell of cleansing soaps catching you as sud-filled water spills out onto the sandy walkway. She smiles up at the fellowship, a wrap of white fabric tied about her hair and humble dress.

Sim straightens, looking back at Kellar.

“You’ll find the Golden Camel in The Whispering Anvil. Come, I’ll take you.”

The pair ride off, the rest of the fellowship lingering on the walk through Faeressar’s streets. Gimble and Valeria head on their own way, while Pimli wanders off absently and Osvald disappears down a shaded walkway…

[…]

Gimble and Valeria walk in tandem, ducking under awnings and slipping through the streets of Faeressar. They pass markets tucked amidst homes and residences, small clusters of merchants operating out of their homes or on their doorsteps to sell hand-crafted goods or services.

The streets become crowded as the sun climbs, a pack of camels being led by four wealthy, blue-skinned merchants forcing you to squeeze to the side.

Beyond them, an tall, narrow staircase looks over a breathtaking market square. Citizens of Faeressar push past you as you marvel, balancing enormous loads of goods and water on their heads as they nimble ascend or descend the intimidating stair. You can see three enormous, sapphire bathing pools in the market square, surrounded by countless stalls and crowds of hagglers.

The waters shine in the mid-day sun, bathers swimming and lounging in the heat. From this distance, you can hear the excitable shouts and carousing of the city folk far below you. Small bursts of magical cantrips and spells erupt from the crowd now and again, conjurations spiralling up into the sky from entertainers, no doubt.

The square hums with life.

A short, cloak-wrapped tiefling pushes past you, looking down at Gimble in an unrepentant way.

“Out of the way, gnome.” he says curtly, continuing on his way. The demihuman has long, tall horns that bend back regally, their points nearly meeting halfway down his back.

Gimble is slightly spun round by the interruption, though the rudeness of his oppressor is handily forgotten as he espies a small store down a shady alley.

A heavy wood shingle hangs outside the humble building, reading ‘The Jade Quill’. In the windows, you can see stacks and stacks of books and stationery.

[…]

Perched upon a velvet cushion, Dwan stares out the window of the castle in repose, The Red Plague cradled in his lap. His chambers in the castle are set high up, giving him vantage over much of Faeressar. The room is small, but comfortable, and furnished with beautiful wooden furniture and luxurious fabrics.

It is cool, the afternoon sun casting the faintest of lights into the shadowy room through the window. In the absence of a lantern or candle lit, only the daylight streaming in aside him illuminates the pages of the book as reads through.

The book is scrawled in common, and is more of a journal than a tome. The author signs himself only as ‘Volo’, and it is a short read. Only twenty or so pages have been filled, the summation of a journey to Norland in the Moonshae isles, in which he encountered a tribe of fishermen under curious circumstances.

Only the beginning of the journey was documented. And yet, there were enough passages to make Dwan’s skin crawl…

Kythorn 4th
Norland

"…Between the stink of rotted fish and the stink of the fishermen, I do not know what is worse. My hosts were hospitable when I arrived, and yet seven moons past they became irritable with my presence. Not rude, perhaps. But they’ve suggested that I set sail a good many times.

I’ve a good mind to do so, but it troubles me how they reacted to our finding of the red pool. Only a small thing, no deeper than a few inches on the beach. A hideous crimson fungus grew on its fringes, stinking like the innards of a bulbousfish baking in the sun. They screamed, mind you. Grown men, shrieking at a pool. Later, by the fire, they denied what they had seen. And they grew rather angry at me for pressing the matter.


Several more days of suspicion and paranoia, are followed by this final entry.

Kythorn 11th
Norland

“…they buried Verlan yesterday, after cutting him apart and burning his flesh. Such barbery, I have never seen. It turned my stomach, and I was sure they planned on following through with me also. The red pools have begun to bubble up on the beach like pockmarks on the island. We find river mouths choked with fungus, and animals that hobble about with the disgusting red filth bleeding out of their cracked flesh. I put down an elk with a bowshot through the eyes, and watched it rise back into unlife. Worse still, from the depths of the forest I still hear it at night… the squelching, rigorous warbling of some…thing. Or things, perhaps. Screeching out into the night under this blood moon. It is unsettling. I am leaving tonight. Selune guide me from this wretched place.”


Dawn’s door opens suddenly, a young woman wearing a silk, flowing gown and walking in with a tray of breads and citrus water.

“A light refreshment for you, master dwarf. Do not eat too deeply, Lord Justice requests your presence at his table at sundown.

Looking out the window, the dwarf can see that the burning sun has already begun its’ pink descent towards the horizon.

[Castle Faeressar, night. Great hall.]
[…]
[…]

Twanging, exotic melodies float from the lutes and lyres of Sim’s entertainers, the slender women playing beautiful, discordant notes that you’ve not heard before.

Two great fires burn at opposite ends of this ornate room, where no less than a dozen servants move between it and the scullery, bringing an endless array of refreshment.

There is a vaulted brass ceiling above your head, detailed with thousands of hours worth of craftsman ship. Torchlight dances across its many embellishments, creating a dizzying landscape of beauty.

Colourful tapestries cover every wall, with ornamental wooden sculptures punctuating the scenes painted within. The furniture is lacquered darkly, and shaped in the most unusual, modern of ways.

Even the glassware and serving plates are detailed, with crystal details and bone handles. The wine is decanted in a celebratory vase, painted carefully by hand into the image of a verdant oasis. And the pale beer, of the variety so treasured by Custer Thickett, is also decanted in a low oaken serving keg sanded into the shape of a falcon.

Sim sits quietly at the head of the table, watching you eat with a smile upon his face. The spread is lavish, roasted game birds and steaming piles of roasted vegetables giving way to spiced gravies and jellies. A cooling soup of yogourt and mint sits alongside a fiery concoction of beans and peppers, stewing atop a table side fire.

“So, how are you enjoying our blessed Faeressar? She is a jewel, yes?” inquires Sim, cutting a rasher of meat from the bone of a duck.

The pleasantries continue, though its evident the Lord Justice is driving the conversation to his earlier curiosities.

“Tell me friends, how is it that you come to be in our realm? We are wardens and protectors of this land, and there is no shortage of evil afoot. Between Sallad’s forces, and the unscrupulous traders and thieves guilds that infest Calimshan, even Faeressar is bloated with spies and assassins like a street dog with fleas.”

He straightens himself, wiping his mouth.

“What is this portal that you speak of? I can see that you are mercenaries, or adventurers perhaps. What is your cause, fellows? Please, apprise me.”

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

Ok guys, you’re in Sim’s great hall where he is feeding you an opulent feast. Aside from just answering his questions, feel free to pose your own.

You’ve all had a chance to stow your belongings in one of the rooms that have been assigned to each of you. You can take some liberties with your day, or the people you’ve met in the castle.

MVP: So hard to get this one right. You’ve all done such a great job. I’m going to give it to Osvald today. I thoroughly enjoyed your writing about finding solitude to reflect and pray for Olufsen. Gave me the feels.

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Kellar on Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:25 pm

Kellar entered his room. It had an ornate bed, chair, rug and curtains. The hearth was lit with a small fire, enough to keep it warm for the cold night that set in the desert. Kellar set down his new shield and equipment. He removed the leather toolkit from his pack and sat in the chair next to a small end table and began working on his helmet. He sized and cut the camphor cloth and began stitching it to the inside. After a while, with the stitches taut, he tried it on and felt the relief the cloth gave.

"Simply amazing Orbaugh, so small a thing that could make all the difference," he said. Orbaugh sat at the sill and looked out at the goings-on in the city. He flapped his wings a bit, folding them and then unfolding them. The pseudodragon had been quiet since the day prior. Perhaps it was the sand. It got everywhere on Orbaugh, and every little while he flitted and shook, trying to remove it.

A maidservant arrived while Kellar was working and provided a carafe of water and some bread. "Do not eat to full. You are requested for dinner this eve," she said with a bow. Kellar nodded and poured two cups. Orbaugh hopped down from the sill and began to drink, sometimes plunking his tiny head all the way into the cup. Kellar felt the sigh coming from Orbaugh. They split the soft bread and ate small bites. Kellar replaced his leather toolkit and removed Grol's Journal.

He began reading through the journal at a slow pace. He studied the diagrams of formations and ranks in the first few pages. I see, Long Pikes and shields used in small packs... They could dismount riders even when at a disadvantage... And, Hmm. Kellar saw the various arrowhead types. "I'll have to share with Osvald," he muttered and read aloud, "Broadheads are used for felling horses or other mounts. And Bodkin points for armored opponents (like I saw in Esmeltaran). And, this interesting Orbaugh. Elf-Arrowheads. Said to cause Elf-Shot, excruciating pain within the body of the wounded. Very Interesting."

Kellar closed the journal and began preparing for the dinner. He maintained his armor, left his helmet in the room along with his equipment except for Anna's axe. He hung it from his clockwork belt.

At dinner...

Sim wrote:“What is this portal that you speak of? I can see that you are mercenaries, or adventurers perhaps. What is your cause, fellows? Please, apprise me.”

Kellar raised his cup to Sim. "My cause is to kill people that would bring harm to my companions. Along the way I might tend to my own troubles, but for now I stand with them." He lowered his cup after he drank and waited for the others to talk with Sim. He waited to ask his questions until the others expanded on the party's cause.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Custer Thickett on Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:48 am

Cuss stares down that table at Valeria's bruised and battered face as he delicately fills his jeweled silver chalice with the aromatic orange lager from inside the falcon carved keg.  He winks at her when she catches his glance, but quickly looks away from her response.

Taking his seat between Osvald and Artimus, he uses his left hand to flatten his bright white thawb (robe).  Then he makes a simple show of smelling, spinning, and then chugging half the chalice of lager.  He straightens his back and takes his time, letting the tingle of fermented yeast burn as it tumbled down his throat.

When he sets the cup down on the table, he has to cover his mouth to muffle a burp.  "Oiy, sorry about that.  I really love this beer.  We always had plenty back home thanks to ya Golden Sands Brewery."


He turns to the plate, tearing into the bird and dipping it in the beans and peppers before following a messy bite of it with a fist full of roasted vegetables.  His utensils sit untouched.  More a small joke to his friends than a careful presentation. 

"So, how are you enjoying our blessed Faeressar? She is a jewel, yes?” asked Sim from his comfortable position at the head of the table.  

Cuss closes a fist over his mouth to force a swallow before answering, the grease of the bird framing his mouth as he spoke.  "Aye, me lord.  I had the pleasure of visiting your hammams. The experience was like no other, and the building a majestic beauty only rivaled by the temples of the gods."  

He allows a smile to linger before turning back to his meal.  

Sim continued with conversation.  “What is this portal that you speak of? I can see that you are mercenaries, or adventurers perhaps. What is your cause, fellows? Please, apprise me.”

Kellar answered first, raising his cup.  "My cause is to kill people that would bring harm to my companions. Along the way I might tend to my own troubles, but for now I stand with them."


Cuss laughed over the half devoured leg bone in front of his face, lowering it to joke, "Aye, and I stand just a little behind you, no?"


He enjoys a chuckle before wiping his mouth with a red serviette, and trying to answer the Lord Justice.  "It is a bit of a tale, that of what we are.  One me thinks not all of us have even heard, yeah?"


He looks around the table with a smile, "When the first of us gathered, it was over an attack on a small hamlet in the Small Teeth mountains of Meiritin, or Amn.  This lead us to a legend of a beautiful soul trapped inside a dying body.  One we saved by sacrifice of our own blood and sweat."


"Our glory brought with it reward that in turn, may be the rebirth of old family names either soiled or forgotten, but it also brought with it a sense of duty to pursue what seemed to be a union blessed by the gods we each turn to in our thoughts and prayers."


He paused to sip his lager, then continued, "It may be that we simply followed their call to serve when conscription is all that they have left to fight that which seeks to destroy us all.  That which we saw burn half of my home city to the ground in a single night of chaos, murder, and the power of an ancient blue dragon ridden by a weave wielding Ogre at the head of an army numbering in the thousands."


"They carved a path of blood across our homeland while we chased their agents in an effort to get ahead of them.  In time, and after seeing many of our friends fall, we did.  At least, we got ahead of some.  Though, we do not truly know where we stand, as when you found us, we had only just escaped through one of their portals."


"A portal constructed by dark dwarves enslaved by these powers I speak of.  A portal in a room with several more just like it.  Even one connected to our lovely dark elf friends deep under our feet."


"But enough of how we are all probably going to die, no?  This bird is delicious.  What kind is it?" Cuss asks as he takes another large bite.

[Persuasion Roll, Cuss is trying to lead Sim down a path of wanting to help, if he can be such an ally. +8] 
10


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:48 am

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Ao on Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:49 pm

Sim leans back in his chair, carefully balancing his flagon in his left hand. The kind-faced Calishite woman walks noiselessly behind him, refilling his glass and disappearing into the corner of the room.

The spicy food is beginning to bead sweat upon your forehead. The heat gradually builds, until the majority of you are feeling quite warm in your mouths.

“A portal built by duergar, you say?” muses Sim, scratching at his beard.

In that moment, Marietta leads forward in her seat to speak. The white-robed woman sits across from Valeria, eyeing the black eye that the paladin has garnered for herself since arriving in Faeressar.

“Lord Justice, where we found the fellowship is not where that portal intended. I know of translocation magic, and there was no gate open within miles of where we found them. I am not concerned.”

Sim nods, looking back at the fellowship.

“So perhaps it is not a danger to us, then. But Tyr’s justice does not come from complacency. I must confess, I am curious about where you escaped from, and the malevolence that you’ve described, halfling. I hear some of the lands of Amn, and the sacking of Esmeltaran has been on many a trader’s lips these past moons. Still, Tyr has brought you here, in our path. And I wonder at what your role will be in the great web of righteousness.”

Marietta rolls her eyes slightly, though Sim catches her.

“Don’t mock fate, Marietta. We are all slaves to it.”

She quiets herself, taking a sip of her wine and settling back down. Sim clears his throat, continuing.

“You have found yourself in lands, and for this I am grateful. Faeressar is beautiful and just, yes. But her lands are blighted with Sallad’s forces. The necromancer broods in his tower, his shambling forces of undeath devouring caravans of merchants and travellers. Our roads are unsafe, and his numbers grow with every death.”

He wipes his mouth, putting down his glass.

“In addition, my outriders killed a band of slavers a day’s ride south of the city, not two weeks back. They were unmarked, but I fear that they belong to the Rundeen…a slaving consortium from Tashluta on the northern shores of Chult. If their reach has expanded this far north, then something is undoubtedly afoot. I fear for Rundeen spies in my city, truthfully.”

The serving girl begins to clear plates, another following behind her bringing a brimming flagon of sweet wine, and a towering plate of decadent-looking chocolates.

Sim pauses to consider a confection, and then continues his conversation.

“These are troubled times, fellows. And I’ve no doubt that you have your own matters to attend to. Tell me, guests… what plans do you have, now that you find yourselves in our midst?”

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

More conversation with Sim.

MVP: Giving it to Kellar. Great rotation. I liked your response…heh
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Gimble Nabisco Raulnor on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:39 pm

A short, cloak-wrapped tiefling pushes past you, looking down at Gimble in an unrepentant way.

“Out of the way, gnome.” he says curtly, continuing on his way. The demihuman has long, tall horns that bend back regally, their points nearly meeting halfway down his back.

Gimble throws his hands into the air around him in an attempt to regain his balance. He drives the end of his cane back into the ground, driving up a small cloud of dirt and stopping his uncontrolled spin with an agility that defies his age. "Watch where you're going, young man!", he calls out to the tiefling. Gimble's voice barely keeps itself above the mighty ocean of chatter that drowns the market square, but it survives long enough to clash against the tiefling's eardrums. In the second that it takes to utter his sentence, the gnome has already memorized the unique ridges and twists of the horns that arc down to the stranger's back. Smooth, even growth ridges. Properly maintained and well worn. Long length. Lucky fellow must have had a rather comfortable life - a luxury not afford to many of his race. If they were to meet again, Gimble would recognize him instantly.

Gimble huffs in irritation and turns around to browse the market goods.

Later...

The old gnome awakes from the daze of shopping with a start. Without even a hint from the sunlight outside or the level of activity in the square, Gimble realizes that there are but a few hours left before night falls and he is to be called to the hall of Sim. He picks up his purchased goods and packs them into his bag before skipping his way back to the keep. The streets of Faeressar turn into a blur of sound and light as the castle draws closer. Gimble finds his way to his room. It is a small, cozy space, decorated in tapestries and rugs. The walls are plated with paintings, maps, and diagrams like the hide of a dragon. Running short on time, Gimble tosses his bag onto the relatively large bed that sits in the middle of the room and runs up to the full length mirror that stands beside the dresser. He waves his hands over his face and clothing; the gnomish magic wipes any traces of dirt and debris from his body while imbuing his robes with the subtle smell of lemongrass.

Gimble smiles broadly as he heads into the great hall. What would have been a shock to the system of an ordinary traveler presents itself as another fascinating new subject of study to Gimble. The potent concoction of music, dance, color, smell, flavor, and culture seeps into the gnome's brain, taken in as easily as the desert swallows water. Gimble sits himself in the middle of the group, next to Val, and enjoys the food and beverage before him. He tries each dish and washes it down with a glass of wine, even spicing the meals with magic if they were not flavorful enough on their own. His mouth keeps itself occupied with eating and drinking as he allows the other to tell their tales to Sim.

“You have found yourself in lands, and for this I am grateful. Faeressar is beautiful and just, yes. But her lands are blighted with Sallad’s forces. The necromancer broods in his tower, his shambling forces of undeath devouring caravans of merchants and travellers. Our roads are unsafe, and his numbers grow with every death.”

Gimble speaks up in between bites of food. "Where is his tower located? Have you tried scrying? I would do it myself if I could, but I am not learned in the art of divining." Gimble's mage hand plucks a chocolate off the top of the tower and plops it onto his awaiting tongue. He looks between Pimli and Marietta, a spark of hope in his eyes, as he chews and remarks the sweet fruit filling and darkness of the surrounding chocolate.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Custer Thickett on Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:49 am

Marietta leans forward to say, “Lord Justice, where we found the fellowship is not where that portal intended. I know of translocation magic, and there was no gate open within miles of where we found them. I am not concerned.”

Cuss points his half-eaten, un-named bird leg her while he looks to Osvald and asks, "Oiy, did that one just call me a liar?"


As she is continues to a path that brings scorn from Sim, Cuss smiles her way and then finishes his bird with a couple more fist fulls of vegetables to chase it through him.  

When the talk of magic subsides and Sim brings up the Rundeen, Cuss wets his gullet with a fresh pour of orange lager and leans forward to ask, "Me Lord, I traveled much of your city this afternoon and I do not believe I saw any in bonds.  If ya.  Eh, excuse me.  If you have no slaves here, what gain would a slaving consortium from another land have in sending spies?"


After the topic subsides, Cuss also asks, "Me Lord, forgive me for begging of your attention, but it would seem that some in the city have a distaste for Harpers.  Are they not welcome in your lands?"


When Sim asks of their plans, Cuss responds, "While we are here, we've need of audience with one of your famed healers.  The Lady Mushrahm."
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Kellar on Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:14 am

Kellar nodded at Custer's question about Mush-ra. "Yes, our companion Dwan is in need of aid in curing an illness he contracted some time ago," said the dragoon. "I believe that is our priority for the moment. If we were to get assistance in locating the person he seeks, I would provide my assistance to you and quash the slaver activity." Kellar removed two cookies from the platter the maidservant walked by with. He passed one to Orbaugh and he slowly chewed on one as well. "How many riders are at your command? Perhaps the more immediate threat of the necromancer should be dealt with first. That is not to say slavers should be left to their own goings on..." He trailed off. I am of two minds about this. However... Kellar chewed a bit and then continued, "I retract my initial statement about slavery activity, I say the necromancer should be dealt with first."

Actions:
Kellar suggests helping Dwan first.
Kellar suggests going after the necromancer.
Profit???
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Ao on Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:05 pm

A steaming cup of tea is placed before you, as Kellar’s words fall upon the Lord Justice. Sim listens, sipping at the steaming beverage as Custer and Pimli posit their questions.

"Where is his tower located? Have you tried scrying? I would do it myself if I could, but I am not learned in the art of divining.”

Sim looks at Gimble, tracing his finger across the heavy wood table. The gnome watches as the teapot floats over from the table to the hearth, hanging itself above the frame and keeping warm.

“The necromancer’s tower is perhaps a misnomer. Salad and his forces nest in the endless corridors and structures of The First Necropolis of Nykkar. It is a sprawling grave city, half-eaten by the sands and stacked high with buildings made of stone. It is nearly impenetrable… I have only seen it from many miles away. The crags and rocks surrounding it are home to many Ant Lions and giant scorpions. Not to mention the risen dead.”

Sim stands, walking over to a beautifully illustrated map of Calimshan that is hung on the wall.

“It is here -“ he points to a spot that is a good ways south-west of Faeressar. “-and scrying would prove a challenge. I’ve no doubt that Sallad has powerful anti magic spells at his disposal. But even if that were not so, the necropolis is so unknown, so sprawling…that it would be difficult to know where to scry.”

Sim leans against a tapestry, listening to Custer ask of the slavers.

“Yes, Faeressar is a free city. We do not permit slavery here, and will viciously liberate any who are captured by the Rundeen. Myself and the rest of the Janessar are a thorn in their side, and so they watch our movements, waiting for us to ease our guard so that they might exploit travellers and caravans in the region.”

He raises his eyebrow when Custer asks of the Harpers.

“Not many are fond of the Harpers in these lands. I confess, they have meddled with the Janessar in the past, and though I would not turn them away from shelter, I have little love for their kind. Why… are there Harpers in my city?”

[…]

Sim seats himself again when the topic of Lady Mush-ra comes up. And then a faint smile creeps across his face as Kellar speaks of aiding with the necromancer, and the slavers.

“A-ha! I had hoped you would offer your swords, fellows. Far be it for me to request of you, as your host… but these are tough times, and I knew from when we saw you in the desert that this was fate. Why else would Tyr bring you to us?”

He dabs at the corner of his mouth with a napkin, breathing deeply. His face darkens slightly.

“Lady Mush-ra is a legend. You must know this. There may be another way, however…”

He stands again, walking toward the map once again. He points to a spot in the west of the marching mountains.

“There is a Djinn that lives in the mountains. His name is Vassago, and he is a legend in his own right. Many believe him to be myth also, but I have met him in my journeys, and I know that he lives. I freed him from his former master, Kapad Al-Nizjeer Asago, and for this he owes me a life debt. Go - find him. His citadel is made of solid green stone, and he keeps stables with the fastest horses in Faerun. Tell him that I sent you, and he will save your friend in the place of this life debt.”

Sim smiles, continuing.

“Then, return to Faeressar when Dwan’s illness is passed. And we will destroy the necromancer.”

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

Ok guys - last comments / questions for Sim? All agree on a path, and if you intend on leaving for the marching mountains, let me know what supplies you’re taking with you and we’ll screen wipe to the journey.

MVP: Gimble!
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Kellar on Mon Mar 21, 2016 1:58 pm

Kellar ate and drank and listened to the others at the table converse. A few questions were targeted toward Sim, but Kellar continued to eat and think of visiting a messenger service. "Sim, I would like to send a message. Who would I speak with here in order to use that service here at the castle?" It has been too long since I spoke with her. I wonder what she is doing now? Kellar waited for the answer and then excused himself from the table. He looked at his companions.

"Looks like we're headed to the mountains. I will be stopping at a couple shops for provisions sometime in the morning. Artimus, do you happen to have extra gold pieces I could borrow for the time being?" Kellar waited for a response from his companions and offered to have company when he went to the shops before setting out.

Kellar left the dining hall with a maidservant who took him to the messenger ravens near the roof. He was greeted by a small man. "We can send a message, these raptors glide on the winds high above the desert. They normally arrive at their destination within seven days. Please, write the message here and place it in the small tube." Kellar nodded and began to write his message:

Adrianna,

I am half a world away from you now. We have arrived at Faerassar. We raided the towers and came away with a phyrric victory. All the same, I pray the cloak is treating you well. We could use your help in the near future. ~ Kellar.

Kellar folded the note and put it in the tube and the small man tied it on a raven. "Where is this going to," asked the small man. "Baldur's Gate- Harpers," replied Kellar. The small man whispered to raven and gave it a pellet of food. The raven cawed once and left the window out into the night in the direction of Baldur's Gate. Kellar returned to his room and checked over his provisions and made a list of things he felt he needed: Winter Clothes, Pitons, Torches, Rations, Water, Canvas Tent, Pine Pitch and Flasks of Oil.

Actions:

Kellar asked for money.
Sent a message.
Made a list for shopping.
Onward to the mountains!
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Osvald Hale on Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:29 am

Osvald eats heartily, passing plates of exotic food back and forth between Artimus, Cuss and himself as Kellar talks with Sim. The food was spiced perhaps a touch beyond his palate--but there was wine a plenty to dull the burn.

Cuss parlayed their tale to a very captive audience along the table. The halfling certainly had a gift for words. Osvald would have to try and remember how he had phrased the tale for when they returned north, if they ever did. Tavern wenches loved a good tale of valour.


"Oiy, did that one just call me a liar?" Cuss' gestures with his bird leg. Osvald raises an incredulous eyebrow. Smiling and chuckling a little, through his mouthful of food, Osvald looks down to his friend and speaks; "Seems she's a prickly one, Master Thickett."
...

"...Go - find him. His citadel is made of solid green stone, and he keeps stables with the fastest horses in Faerun. Tell him that I sent you, and he will save your friend in the place of this life debt. Then, return to Faeressar when Dwan’s illness is passed. And we will destroy the necromancer."

Osvald pulls the greasy meat from the leg joint of a bird, before dropping the bones on his elaborately enamelled plate and wiping his mouth with a cotton napkin laid beside his table setting.

"Janissar, the exchange of your life-debt is much appreciated--Thank you. Does the Djinn dwell in his green tower alone? Is there some token of yours we could bring with us, to validate ourselves to the djinn when we reach his tower?

"While we have ranged far, the terrain of your lands remains foreign to us. Travel in the desert is perilous to the uninitiated, and it is a near certainty we will face many trials on this journey. With this in mind, I humbly request one of your number to accompany us on the journey to the tower... Someone familiar with all the hazards of the area to act as our guide..." Osvald sips his wine. "...And, given the nature of our destination it only follows that the ideal candidate would be someone also gifted with knowledge of local magics and mysticism." Osvald nods to Marietta before returning his gaze to Sim. "Your woman in white, Marietta... May your spell-weaver join us on this quest? It's mutually beneficial for all involved to insure our triumph in this endeavour. After which, our swords join your own to cleanse these lands."

Osvald drains the rest of his flagon and awaits sims response.

After dinner, Osvald will follow a servant girl to his chamber for the night, and upon awakening restock his quiver from the castle armoury and purchase two additional wet skins for the journey while the others make ready.

=====

Osvald has some questions about what exactly to expect when the reach the green tower.

Osvald would like a guide for the journey, and since Marietta seems to know local magic she seems the best candidate. Plus, Osvald want to see how the Marietta-Val-Cuss thing will play out.

It's boring on the road, sometimes.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Ao on Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:44 pm

The night wanes, and at last Sim stands, positioning the evening as concluded. He withdraws a long pipe from his cloak, lighting it and puffing a sweet cloud of scented tobacco.

He nods at Osvald and Kellar, plucking a date from the table and biting off a corner of the plump fruit.

“Vassago, the djinn, dwells in his tower with a dozen servants and guards. The citadel is the home of his former master, who the Janessar brought to justice for kidnapping and murder, among other things. Marietta knows the way, this is true. Will you go?”

He inclines his head at the white robed woman, who nods.

“Marietta will bring you. Care for her… she is not a fighter. We prize her for her intuition. I’m sure you’ll come to value that quality also.” Sim continues.

“And, she knows Vassago. She can vouch for my life debt.”

He finishes the date, and places the pipe on his bottom lip.

“Yes, Kellar, we have a rookery. You’re free to make use of our birds.”

Finally, he moves to the door, holding it open for you.

“Fellows, I will not see you in the morning. I ride early for the Khanall enclave, on Janessar business. The Syl-Pasha arrested a dozen of my outriders near Calimport a moon’s turn ago. Marietta will meet you in the morning for your journey. Good evening.”

[…]

Marietta walks with the fellowship, escorting you to the atrium that connects to the guest’s quarters. She bids you goodnight, walking in the direction of her own quarters.

You filter through a dramatic archway, crowned with marble statues of lions and antelopes that peer down at you. A minor enchantment on them allows the inanimate sculptures to move their heads, inclining to each of you in turn.

Gimble can tell that they are more than decorative. Perhaps, a security measure of sorts.

As you enter the guests quarters, walking along the polished hall towards your staterooms, something catches your eye-

[Osvald, Perception]

The huntsman does a double take, lagging behind his companions. Through an intricately styled window, he watches the flicker of a rope whip against the starry night sky. And then, a nimble shadow flashes past the window, disappearing downward…

Running to the window, Osvald can see a small humanoid rapidly descending the length of the tower, clearly targeting a landing on the stables roof and onto the ramparts…

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

Ok guys, you’re all standing in this hall to the guest quarters.

Osvald notices, and you can all assume to be informed.

Couple important things:

The window does open. It slides upward into the stone
You’re within reach of the rope
You’re on the fourth floor of the citadel, and so a fall from this height would likely be fatal (or really awful)
The humanoid is almost on the roof of the stables. Assume him to be, by the time you post
The ramparts are adjacent the stables. On the other side of the ramparts is the city of Faeressar.

Let me know what you plan to do (if anything)

MVP: Osvald & Kellar, for similar reasons. Sorry, they were both great


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Kellar on Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:47 pm

Kellar noticed Osvald looking out the window, he relayed that it was someone descending outside the palace walls. "Not a normal way to leave is it," said Kellar as he moved to the window and grabbed the rope. Instinctively Kellar looped the rope with a caribiner and latched it to his belt and he began his descent. Athletics Check= 17+8= 25; Success! (Advantage from being secured to the rope?) Orbaugh, glide and keep an eye him, don't lose him! Perception Check= 13+4= 17; Success?

Kellar descended along the wall and called back, "OSVALD MEET IN THE STREET! LOOK FOR ORBAUGH!" He neared the halfway point on the wall and scrunched his legs into a squat and exploded off the wall. The rope left his caribiner and he descended to the ground where the humanoid was. (used Jump Spell) Kellar streaked toward the stable roof...

THUD!

Kellar's boots landed firmly on the roof of the stable and he continued his pursuit.

Actions:
Kellar is Ethan Hunt.
Kellar used Jump from half way down the wall.
Advantage on clockwork belt?
Advantage on Perception.
Queue Mission Impossible Theme.


Last edited by Kellar on Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:48 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Rollz n Actionz)
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:47 pm

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#1 'D20' : 14, 17

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Valeria Thaemor on Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:34 pm

“-so then I kicked the guy’s ass. It was very cool, pity you weren’t there to see it. Anyways after that-“ Val cuts off mid-sentence, her hands still raised high in exaggeration of the story,  as Osvald stares out the window in surprise. Clearly he sees something I don't. “What?” Hearing that someone is descending down the wall, she walks over and glances out the window herself, almost convinced the man is playing a joke on them. To her surprise, there really is a figure against the dark moving quickly down the rope and jumping onto the roof of a stable. “Huh. Yeah it’s definitely a weird way- Hey what are you doing!” Val stares as Kellar attaches the rope to his belt and quickly begins making his way down after the figure. Despite his steady hands and the help of the belt, a little fear creeps up her spine. “Gimble, be ready to cast a spell in case he falls. You have one to make him not die, right?”

Val breathes a sigh of relief as Kellar leaps off of the rope without falling to his death. As soon as he's off, she quickly climbs out of the window and grabs onto the rope herself. "I mean it, Gimble, you better have a spell ready." She grumbles as she carefully moves down the wall. With no special leaping tricks up her sleeves, it takes her a bit longer but finally she touches down and runs after Kellar.

Athletics: 20+6= 26


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:34 pm

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Gimble Nabisco Raulnor on Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:41 pm

Gimble perks up at Osvald's warning. The bushy white eyebrows rear their heads in a sign of curiosity. "Wha? A man descending down the walls?" He quickly walks over to the window, the tapping of his cane on the stone floor becoming sparse as he closes the distance, and looks out into the night. "It seems the castle has a thief problem, eh?" The old gnome giggles, signaling Minerva to take off from his shoulder. "Keep an eye on the lad, Minerva."

“I mean it, Gimble, you better have a spell ready.”
Gimble nods his head. "Yes, Valeria, I'll make sure that you don't fall." Before he knows it, Kellar has dropped down to the streets below, and Valeria has hurled herself over the edge, too. He turns around to look at the others. "If any of you lads would like to follow behind, feel free. I'll have your backs. Me, I'll just stay here, perhaps. I'm not as good of a runner as I used to be." He chuckles softy and turns back to the window, staring out into the city with both hands resting on his cane.

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

Gimble readies feather fall in case anyone slips.
Minerva takes to the skies and keeps watch over the hooded figure.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Custer Thickett on Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:11 am

“Not many are fond of the Harpers in these lands. I confess, they have meddled with the Janessar in the past, and though I would not turn them away from shelter, I have little love for their kind. Why… are there Harpers in my city?” Sim Asked.

After a brief awkward pause, Cuss swallowed and then answered, "Might be, but none that I know.  We've friends among them, but could hardly count ourselves among their rank and file, no?  Be that as it may, while I was in the Bazaar and Hammams, I drew some attention from those that seem to be on the hunt for Harpers.  They seemed a formidable lot."

Later, following Sim's queue, Cuss pulls El Derro's ornate smoking pipe out and packs it with a bit of hashish.  The odor of the leaf is heavy in the still air of the room.  As he surrounds his friends in a cloud of smoke, he chokes on his own laughter and erupts into a fit of coughing.

...

Cuss nearly trips over his long white robe twice as they climb the stairs, pausing to laugh at himself each time.  Marietta shares in the moment, though her laugh was much more of the condescending type.  The hashish improved his mood enough that he rather enjoyed the attention.  Though Val wouldn't stop talking long enough for him to point out the fact.  

Attention turned to the window, Cuss smiled from behind his friends as the paladin of Sune pleaded with her gnomish friend to save her if she fell.  As she descended out of sight, Cuss grasped an apple from a bowl sitting on a pedestal next to the window.  It was heavy, and he noted that it was carved wood and painted.  He paused to consider the cleverness of painted wooden fruit that wouldn't rot being left as a display.  

What should have been a mere moment was drawn into a string of thoughts about both eating and growing wooden apples.  A fitting distraction for his state of mind after smoking the southerners' leaf.

A dabble of drool collecting at the corner of his mouth brought him back to the moment.  He wiped it, then took aim at the person Kellar was chasing across the stable.  

[Advantage from height and disadvantage from range cancel out?  Throwing wooden apple +3, dex only no proficiency]
10

As the piece splinters across the ground, Cuss looks at his friends in the room and shrugs.  Then he spits out another laugh.


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:11 am

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:59 am

Moonshea he thinks to himself as he reads the book. That can't be...

He frantically flips through the tome. What about a damn cure?

Well, if there is a cure on the island maybe... Its going to be two to three weeks for the ship to get here and just the same amount to get back. Maybe I'll make it... No. You'll be long dead, or changed.

Dwan pauses for a moment as the realization hits him. My only hope is a woman who may or may not exist. Dwan breaks the stillness with the ferocity of a wound up snake. He whips the tome against the wall and yells in frustration while falling to his knees. His eyes well up with tears and his yell turns into sobbing. His body shakes from the intensity of the sobs as he falls on his side. He stayed there for several hours, alone.

As the sun started to move its way down the sky Dwan knew that he needed to clean up. He picked up the tome, exited the room and called for a bath.

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

Dinner did little to raise Dwan's spirits. His colleagues could see it clear enough and gave him some space throughout the meeting. Dwan ate because he knew he had to, but to him the food was flavorless as death filled his thoughts.

He let the rest take point with Sim.

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

As the group makes their way to the guest quarters, Osvald stops and points out a figure making its way down the building. The rest of the group breaks into action. I suppose I should help as well...

Once Val is clear from the window, Dwan moves to the sill and extends his arm and staff toward the area in front of the figure.

A cloud quickly forms and sleet pours from the sky making the area in front of the assailant slick.

=============================================
Dwan is frustrated, goes to dinner, then casts sleet storm in front of the figure to slick up the ground. (Must make a DC14 dex save or it will fall prone)

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Osvald Hale on Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:37 pm

Osvald peers out the window over Dwan as the Druid conjures a dark cloud. Osvald curses as Kellar and Val disappear after the fleeing shadow. Scowling, the ranger looks up the wall toward the top of the rope.

'What's happened up there worth fleeing so covertly?' Osvald wonders...

"I'm going up the rope, need to see what's happened up top. Please uh, Keep that spell ready. Cuss--you coming?"

Again cursing, the Rangers damns himself for the foolhardy choices of his life. Taking ahold on the rope, with a deep breath he pulls himself up out of the window, and begins to climb...


=====

Osvald wants to go up to see what the shady character is getting away from/with. Osvald invites Cuss up to check things out with him.
Athletics check: 15+5=20 pass???


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:37 pm

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Custer Thickett on Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:47 pm

Cuss hangs his head and mumbles, "Oiy, not again."

He grasps the rope and steps onto the window sill.  He looks down before looking up at Osvald's climb, then back down again.  Sucking in his breath, he pushes off and tries the climb.

16 Athletics


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Re: Chapter Five

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Custer Thickett on Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:49 pm

Halfling's Luck
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Re: Chapter Five

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Ao on Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:50 pm

Osvald and Custer’s boots echo off the polished floor as they enter through the window. Calamity ensues beneath them, but Custer is too stoned, and Osvald is too alert to notice.

The halfling’s boot scrapes against the grappling hook’s end, a shoddily made thing cobbled together with leather straps and bent bars of iron.

The huntsman is the first in, looking about a grandiose, circular antechamber.

This is evidently a war room, with an ornate brass table lain out in the centre. The walls are lined with leather-bound books, thousands stuffed and stashed claustrophobically upon inscribed shelves.

Eight motes of light float through the room, providing ambient illumination in many shades of blue. Sprawled across the tabletop are many tomes and scrolls, elegant maps drawn out depicting the Calimshan province.

A puff of smoke alarms Osvald, and the huntsman spins to respond with a weapon. Before him is a slender, ghostly looking spectre of a forest sprite. Enormous, caricatured eyes stare at him quizzically, the apparition floating gently across the room.

“There is no meeting scheduled, masters. The time is eleven of the night. Lord Sim is in the tower.”

It smiles, and then seems to stand at attention.

[…]

*CLANK*

Wind whistles through Kellar’s hair as he lands heavily, his armour clanging loundly while he leaps again towards his prey. Heavy though his weaponry and armour are, he moves lithely and quickly, gaining on the black-garbed infiltrator.

Kellar kicks off a beam, crossing the top of the stable within arms’ reach of the thief. This is a slender, almost elven humanoid that he follows, similar in stature to Emelious. It must be a half-elf.

The thief cranes his neck, looking over his shoulder at the gaining dragoon. With the grace of a cat, the burglar coils himself into a spring mid-stride, ready to pounce to the ramparts…

*CRACK*

Kellar digs his heels in, desperately slowing himself amidst his tremendous inertia as a darkened form descends from the sky, landing squarely on the shoulders of the thief.

The half-elf cries out in surprise and anguish, as Valeria drops from the heavens onto his shoulders. She hears the sickening crunch of his bones beneath her, his arm breaking nearly in half from the bizarre angle at which he’s fallen. He screams loudly, shrieking into the night…muffled only by the mask of cloth that he wears upon his face.

Desperately, he tries to claw away from beneath the paladin. But his broken fingers slip across the icy sleet showering down upon him…

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

Ok guys, Valeria CRUSHED this guy. Kellar and Dwan stood a great chance, but that roll just annihilated his chances of getting away. Well done Val.

Go ahead and narrate your next actions. Feel free to take liberties with where you take the prisoner and in front of whom. He’s badly damaged, and isn’t escaping in any way.

He also has a pack at his side.

Oz - Cus - let me know what you plan to do in the sanctum

MVP: Has to be Val. ANNIHILATION
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Osvald Hale on Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:57 am

Osvalds hand lowers from the hilt of his sword.

"Apologies for the intrusion, W--" He begins, just as a distant scream carries up from the darkened street below. Osvald exchanges a knowing glance with Cuss. Smiling pleasantly at the spirit, the ranger gestures with a hand; "Ah, Just one moment please." Then reaches up to touch the Kraken amulet at his collar:


"Kellar--Heard the scream, is he dead? Me and Cuss went up rope, some sort of war room above. Forest spirit acting as steward here. Many books and maps. Search him for scrolls. If he's still alive, press him for stolen battle plans. Let me or Cuss know what you find, We'll have a look around up here."

Clearing his throat Osvald straightens up a little. He gives Cuss a telling glance that says 'Play Along.' Before speaking in his most official tone:

"As I was saying, Apologies for arriving unannounced. We are investigating a... ah, disturbance, outside. A figure in black. Have you seen or heard anything strange tonight? Anything gone missing? My... associate will need to examine every entrance for....uhm. For signs of... ah... tampering before he can question you further." He says, patting Cuss on the shoulder.

As he speaks, Osvald begins to circle the room, eyes roaming the room for clues--broken webs, trails of disturbed dust on shelves, Gaps between books, or noteworthy titles on the heavy laden shelves. All the while, inching closer to the main table: What lies upon it?

=====

Osvald will use the krakens fist to relay info to Kellar. Then will begin to investigate the room with the spirit answers. Hoping the spirit thinks we belong.

Perception check on the room: 18 + 5 = 23

Perception check on the shelves: 5 + 5 = 10

Perception check on the table: 7 + 5 = 12


Last edited by Osvald Hale on Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:01 am; edited 3 times in total
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:57 am

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


'D20' : 18, 5, 7

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Kellar on Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:06 pm

Kellar grabbed the collar of the crushed man and removed the cloth covering his face. Osvald sent the message through the amulet and Kellar replied, "Sure thing. We will be bringing him back here, I'll ask him along the way." He dropped the amulet back under his armor and nodded to Valeria. "Let's get him back and see if we can't get some answers from him. Orbaugh, check him for shinies." Orbaugh glided down and landed softly next to Kellar and began pawing at the man, checking to see if there was anything of note. Perception Roll= 12+4= 16; success?

"Now, tell us why you were descending on the outside of the palace. Tell us what business you had in the room. Be truthful and you will remain unharmed," said Kellar as they walked the man back.

"Nice work Valeria. More or less unharmed," he said while patting the man on the shoulder where his arm dangled.

Actions:
Kellar picked up the ninja.
Ninja escorted back.
Shinies or something else: 16 Perception (Orbaugh)


Last edited by Kellar on Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:07 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Rollz n Actionz)
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:06 pm

The member 'Kellar' has done the following action : Dice Roller


'D20' : 12, 4

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Valeria Thaemor on Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:20 pm

Val instinctively winces as the man beneath her screams in pain from his multiple broken bones. “Whoops. I uh guess we’re lucky that didn’t kill him.” She laughs nervously and carefully climbs off of the broken man, trying her best not to cause anymore injury to the guy. Whilst Kellar pulls the guy to his feet, Val takes a moment to dust herself off and fix any out of place bits of hair. Only then does she mosey on up and help escort the man.

“Yes, you’re going to answer all of our questions. Don’t even think about lying to us, because we will find out and then I’ll have to break more of your bones. We wouldn’t want that now would we?” She gives him a sweet smile laced with malice.

Intimidation if needed: 10


Last edited by Valeria Thaemor on Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:20 pm

The member 'Valeria Thaemor' has done the following action : Dice Roller


'D20' : 6

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:30 am

Dwan watches as Kellar and Val quickly apprehend the intruder. In lieu of jumping off the ledge or shimmying down the rope, Dwan yells down.

GOOD JOB YOU TWO! WHERE ARE WE GOING TO MEET?

Upon receiving their answer Dwan will proceed to meet up with them.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Ao on Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:14 pm

[In the Tower…]

The sprite stares at Osvald, her wide-eyes seemingly looking through the huntsman. It smiles, hovering with an ethereal glow in the corner of this darkened study.

“Yes, the intruder was here. He took a tome from the table.” she says matter-of-factly, hovering blankly nearby.

[Osvald, perception checks]

Custer pads behind the huntsman, standing by as Osvald looks about the shelves and tables for clues.

This is evidently a planning room for the Janissar. Coats of arms, and decorative chattels adorn the walls depicting pride in this organization of defenders.

The bookshelves are stocked with hundreds of years worth of military history and tactics. Interestingly, works of fiction seem to be scattered throughout, detailing myths and legends from the sands of Calimshan and up the sword coast.

Sea charts and compilations of maps are folded and rolled shelf upon shelf, specific tomes that are challenging to read from an outsider’s perspective.

Skimming across the large battle table, Osvald is fairly certain that the missing tome was a book of future patrols and formations of the Janissar outriders. Indeed, there are several other maps and documents that refer to a master ledger, which is not present.

[…]

The whole fellowship stands assembled in the dungeons of the citadel, Marietta watching over the proceedings as you can hear the iron bars of the cell click open behind you.

The thief is roped tightly to a chair, heavy iron chains lain across his legs and terminating in hundred-pound weights shackled to his feet. In the dim torchlight, the ruffian’s scarred face and unshaven cheeks seem gaunt and unhealthy, enormous bruises shadowing his face.

His pack had been emptied half an hour ago, the missing ledger recovered and restored to its space in the upper tower. Marietta nodded a silent thanks as she retrieved the books, handing them off to a Janissar commander who took it incredulously.

“Well, this is an event.” you can hear the voice of Sim behind you, and as you turn to look, the Lord Justice enters the room with a retinue of two outriders.

There is a ferocity in his eyes that you had not seen previously. Indeed, this is not the same Sim that courted you at dinner - the Lord Justice crosses the cracked and wet dungeon floor furiously, grabbing the thief by the collar.

The smaller man whimpers as Sim, his strength on full display, lifts him up. The many broken bones in the thief’s body must be screaming, as the Lord Justice speaks venomously into his face.

Those of you that speak Alzhedo can hear him threatening the thief with brutal, martial justice. He demands an explanation of his masters, and of his mission.

Earlier, Kellar had asked the same questions of the man. Even Valeria had stepped in, looking to intimidate the dark-garbed assailant [intimidate].

But he had remained silent, unwilling to speak. Now, it seemed like he might break.

However, Sim drops the man to the ground, turning around to address you. His two outriders walk past him, assembling around the thief.

“Fellows, my men will question the captive. When you return, I will apprise you of what they have found. You have done a great service for the Janissar, and so I find you even more esteemed guests than previously. The book-“

He gestures upward, walking forward in the darkened cell.

“…- that you recovered, contained enormous sums of strategic knowledge on our patrol routes through the region. Our rangers have kept this knowledge a secret for generations, and if they were to fall into the wrong hands, the entire realm would be jeopardized. Our enemies have many tactical advantages over our limited forces…that tome keeps us one step ahead. Thank you for restoring it to us.”

Sim puts his hand upon Kellar’s shoulder, and then Valeria’s. He smiles.

“…I hear you fell from the sky.”

Chuckling to himself, he gestures out of the cell.

“Come, we are all leaving early. You must rest. I have taken 300 gold pieces for each of you from our coffers, and prepared them with fresh horses for you in the morning. A small token for your service here.”

Sim leads you back up into the guest quarters, bidding you good night.

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

Ok folks! Welcome back after Easter long weekend. Hope you all had a wonderful time.

Looking to knock it out of the park on post frequency this week. Let’s DO this thing!

You can all add +300 gold to your character sheets. As well, you’ll have fresh horses for tomorrow.

Any last minute prep before you get on your way to the Djinn’s citadel tomorrow, please indicate in your post. Other than that, this will be a roleplaying rotation. Feel free to ask questions of Sim or Marietta this rotation if you’d like, also.

MVP: Osvald

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Kellar on Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:23 pm

Kellar began walking with Sim.

Sim wrote:“…I hear you fell from the sky.”

The dragoon smiled and replied, "In a matter of speaking. I used the thief's rope and ran down the side of the palace and leapt out and landed near him. Valeria was... more punishing than I was." Kellar nodded in salute to Sim. "If you don't mind, I think I will turn in for the evening, it has been quite exciting." He waved to his companions and closed the door to his room. "Well Orbaugh, what do you think?"

The pseudodragon stretched his wings and circle the small rug before the hearth and plopped down. Kellar felt the soft sigh. "Yeah, me too." He doffed his splint mail and set it beside the bed. Anna's Axe rested above the bed within arm's reach. Kellar stood in the center of the room and called forth a pocket of lightning. If I concentrate hard enough... The lightning crackled and rolled up Kellar's arms and golden scales appeared and began glowing and pulsing with energy.

Orbaugh's head lifted from the rug and tilted his head with curiosity.

"Alright, time to dial it back," he said as the energy faded and drew back into his chest. The golden scales shimmered and faded. "It should come in handy." Kellar picked up Grol's Journal and continued from where he left off. (About two hours).

Kellar drifted off to sleep in the chair near the hearth.
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Re: Chapter Five

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