In Town: Southern Cross

KyrilliaKyrillia: “Hahahah, the warning while appreciated is hardly necessary. Most of these guilds and labor unions are heavily dependent on Harkonian contracts. If they wish to fight with a Harkonian they’ll learn the error of their ways ere long. Plus, I have a weapon named Kael who does a very impressive job of motivating others’ she smiled with a wry womanly grin. Then she called out ‘Oh I nearly forgot, your cut of the spoils from the first mission’ she tossed two leather drawstring pouches on the table, the first is filled with a hundred platinum, the second with 250 gp. ‘I’ve taken the liberty of lacing these with a magic mouth spell, they will cry out ‘STOP THIEF!!!!!!’ when someone other than yourself tries to take them from your person. She stroked her chin while digesting your words, ‘Lacking might be one way of looking at it. Clerics are often difficult to operate in certain outfits such as this. They’ve too many restrictions, ethical and moral based as you well imagine. Storm and Kessa brought up the same point to me earlier. However, one cleric that caught my eye had snobbed all of my attempts before. For this reason he stood out in my mind. Maybe where I’ve failed you may prove more successful? His name is Ash Elkoroth. He’s an artist and a cleric of Prysila the Goddess of Love and Fertility. Formerly a high ranking assassin for the Black Empire oddly enough. He’s quite vain and full of himself, and worships women yet expects them to worship him back. You’ll find him working at the Wailing Banshee as its house healer. He gets paid to rid the customers of any diseases that would make most men’s manhood fall off. I fear you’ll have to use that clever brain to lure him into joining the party’

After tracking down Gwen, you see she’s a young thin girl perhaps 18 winters old, give or take. She smiles at you warmly (chr) and says ‘well I shant ask any why’s or other pesky questions. That ugly bitch is a bit of a nasty cunt. Here, here’s the key its room #20. Be careful, she put a door guard there. He’s not much, just a young fool named Rex. Dreamer type, has big dreams but little drive. He shit his pants the first time he came across a Kobold in the dark woods. Now, you’re handsome enough but lets see some action! When you’re done you owe me…a proper night on the town, such as it is. And you’d better not scrimp!’

You headed towards room #20, the door sentry Gwen mentioned didn’t hear your footfalls but stammers ‘halt, who goes there!?’ he saw you then and pulls out a dagger ‘you filthy dog, you aint getting past me!’ he snarled. He was a tall slender lad, maybe a year older than you. His lack of calloused hands told you volumes, idleness. What he did to sustain himself you weren’t exactly sure.

41 comments
Whisper
Whisper

(20)
"Trusted?"  Whisper smiled at Lord Zor, both of them aware that so far only a token level of trust had been had been established between the trio.  "Indeed the offer still stands."  The young rogue would keep an eye and a hand at his weapons around the drow for the time being.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

'on ang kabaa?' Zor stammered, then said 'wait, allow me to accompany you' he touched something around his neck and a moment later his face took on the likeness of a gray elf, 'I can alter my looks easily, Abbil' he referred to you as. 'Would you have a trusted one tarry by your side for some length? If your offer still stands'

Whisper
Whisper

(20)
"The name does not ring a bell with me given the information I've come across but that's not to say this Cerranis doesn't go by other names or have others issuing his orders.  Perhaps others would be able to aid in making sense of it all.  You have my thanks Lord Zor."  Whisper would let the story simmer in his mind for the time being but perhaps it was time to return to Southern Cross and get on with finding some undergarments or getting answers from Hannah?

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Zor shrugged and you could sense from his facial features he wasn't sure how to respond. Formulating thoughts he said 'That is an excellent question, without an excellent answer. The boss, his true name I discovered is Cerranis. My young friend, what can you do indeed? You are swift of foot, as I bore witness when that Ogre Mage tossed you into the pit of swallowing mud you thwarted death with effortless agility. Now make your thoughts as agile and deft and your answer will avail itself. However, I am new to your world of this cursed brightness so what good am I? I can only do what I must. I will mention this: there is a reason this Cerranis is keeping others out of his little district. He is looking for something, what it is is what you must concentrate on'

Whisper
Whisper

(20)
Whisper did his best to keep his thoughts hidden as some of the additional puzzle pieces got put together in his mind.  That was assuming that Zor's story had more truths then lies to it and how was he to tell for sure?  Was it worth traveling north an hour to this temple?  What if they did and fell into a well crafted trap?  Could they use some of the items from his bag of disguises to sneak Zor back to Southern Cross to speak with Lady Kyrillia?  What if Zor had been paid by 'the boss' just like the other brigands and thieves to ruin Lady Kyrillia?  Was this information valuable enough to pay Zor's supposed debt?  Unsure of what to do or what to say the young thief was at a loss for what to do next...  "I've heard rumblings and rumors lately from various sources that fit in with your story Lord Zor.  The question is, what to do about it?"

OC: Analysis paralysis?

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Zor tossed the ruby back, 'why are you giving me this? I told you, I'm indebted to you already this would add to that debt' he shook his head in irritable confusion, 'you surface dwellers are certainly a peculiar lot' he said 'let's move aways from here, that way is better toward the west' he hiked along for a few minutes until you were well clear of the quicksand pit. He sat himself upon a log and bade you and Morga do likewise, then began to speak:

"As I've already told you I came upon the surface recently, and sought some mercenary work to keep me from boredom. It gets rather lonesome when everyone considers you a black skinned demon from the abyss. I met a few of these cloaked ones who I spied running amok at night, they couldn't see me none at all at night. When I approached them they offered me work, and were too eager to know me, as if pleased a drow came along and decided to help them with their work. They would capture and terrorize some lone travelers that passed through the area. They received orders from a shodoval named Bol. While these human cloaks slept fitfully I followed this Bol to an underground temple roughly an hour by foot north of here. There were a few other Shadoval's lurking about, and when they saw me they were overjoyed and thought I'd answered some sort of calling. This temple I knew about from records back home, it was formerly a drow spypost a thousand years ago. Now, there were orcs mostly within, some goblins and they had worgs as mounts. When I went inside I met their vaunted leader, who referred to himself as 'the boss'. He's a priest of Tharizdul, a demon king thought to have been destroyed five thousand years ago by Wrath's servants. He was extremely pleased by me and offered me lodging, an exquisite meal and information. He offered me a position as general of his forces, and he had two trolls as his guard. A few ogres, maybe five and some minotaurs, at least ten by my count. They were herding a flock of fresh slaves all of them men and dwarves excavating in a large deep pit mining for something. The dwarves I could sense were precious to him, and they were the gray kind, the Duergar. I sensed that this 'boss' was not entirely human. He had the fangs of a vampire, but he could walk in the sun with impunity. On my third night I spied on him, and he was speaking to a ghostly being that appeared as a dragon, though what color I wasn't certain. They spoke in a language that I could not understand rightly. A little magic from my house medallion alleviated this, and I could hear fragments of their conversation. They were discussing the finding of fragments for a map, they were discussing this map heatedly. Thats about all I can recall, as I left shortly thereafter and his men decided to kill me so that I wouldn't talk'






Whisper
Whisper


(20)
"Indeed life is not."  Whisper replied to Morga with a smile.  The female bounty hunter's demeanor had thrown him for a moment but now he thought he understood her motives.  She seemed to value the challenge of the hunt and the rewards that came with it.  He wondered if she'd undertake a mundane task if the pay was good?  Giving up on the train of thought that would probably get him on the receiving end of one of her dangerous weapons Whisper sent the ruby skyward for Zor to catch.  "Lord Zor, thank you for the generous gift please forgive my rudeness.  I believe that for now insight on the Shadoval and their schemes would be most helpful.  Is the ruby sufficient to cover the cost of the information?  I shall also check with my employer about opportunities for your formidable skills to fill your pockets with coins."

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Etiquette fails, you have no idea of drow etiquette or culture.

The drow elf noticing your confusion explained 'this is not mere commoner's hauberk. From the city of my hated folk I'm a drow lord of some stature. It is light as your leather, but absorbs damage easily enough. May it serve you well.

The dark elf smiled, 'I work well in the shadows, but I can escort you on some adventure if you crave another blade, so the decision I leave up to you' 

Morga scoffed, 'I don't need any monies, you scoundrel. I'm not a greedy whore! I deigned to join you in your frolick through the woods because I grow weary of cities. But you can certainly pay for drinks and exquisite food. Have you no romance? I thought you Jez'zur cats to be sophisticated. Life's not entirely about coins and treasures young hustler'

Whisper
Whisper

(20)
Whisper was puzzled by the gift of chain mail, perhaps the drow could not detect the fine dragon armor he wore?  He wondered to himself if he could bear the armor's weight and still be able to use his talents?  Was there a way he could gracefully refuse or return the gift?(Non weapon prof:Etiquette - Is there a way?)  Whisper also believed that his assumptions about what had lead both he and Morga out this far into the woods might be correct.  He would find out when they returned to Southern Cross and he tracked down Hannah for some answers.  Responding to Zor's question about coins with a nod and a smile the young thief gestured to Morga.  "That I do, however I owe the very dangerous and very lovely lady there a good portion of what I have.  My dear, I fear there will be little reward for bringing back word of Jespias's demise.  What is the fee that I owe for your services?"   Whisper danced the ruby he had liberated from the body of the female thief days ago across the knuckles of his right hand in front of the cash strapped drow.  "Now then Zor, do you want payment for providing timely information on these Shadoval?  Or do you seek adventure and the riches that come with it?"

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

The drow elf turned towards you as he spoke: 'I'm not entirely certain, but it seemed they took the boy to cause a stir in this city they spoke of, Southern Cross. My hunch is they sought to append blame on me entirely, to scare the peoples of the city from entering this forested area. Once someone would happen upon a innocent child killed by a drow elf it would induce chaos and fear. The shadoval are servants of a secretive cult, they venerate one of the dead Gods. The dead Gods were slaughtered eeons ago by the War God Wrath, when the sunlit realm was young and naive. It seems peculiar to worship a deity that no longer is alive. These cultists were conducting secret works in the deeper parts of the woods, near the island not far from here. I've been staying there since it had recently been cleansed by someone' he looked at you as if thinking of something, then he scooped up his chainmail and hands it to you, 'this might be snug on you, young one, but a token of my gratitude. You came to my defense and saved me for I surely would've met my death if you did not do as you did' he then salvaged the cheap leather off of one of the slain men and tossed as many bodies as he could inside the quicksand pit: the owlbear, the ogre, the men' he then came back and said: 'a life for a life. I owe you a life debt my friends. Name an enemy and they will be no more. I do not like owing anyone such a sizable debt, so consider my service as payment since I've scant in ways of coin. Perhaps you have more than one?"

Whisper
Whisper

(20)
Whisper retrieved his throwing daggers and knelt to clean them also with the magi's garments, cutting a clean portion of the robe off he placed it in a coin purse.  Whisper smiled to himself as he listened to the drow's tale, realizing that few words if any were likely to hold any truths.  "Was the boy just a ransom ploy a few of the fools came up with to make some extra coin?"  Whisper asked of Zor the drow as he stood back up and replaced his daggers in their wrist sheathes.  The young rougue's mind tried to determine why he and Morga now stood next to a pool of quicksand, with half a dozen dead on the ground, covered in blood, themselves wounded, face to face with a drow mercenary, and a dead ogre magi at their feet.  Gambits, especially those directly affecting him and his family, were always fascinating and he had a guess about the reasons as he waited to hear Zor's answer.  

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

The boy said ‘Yes, yes I’m Jespias how’d you know that?’ then, the young mud stained boy’s hand shot out and grabbed you by the neck in a powerful vicegrip beguiling his obvious physicality, he drew you near and sneered his eyes began glowering with a crimson red light ‘you stinking pigs interfered with my plans. You slaughtered my meals for the week, now I’ll sup on your meat this night, hahahahah’ he suddenly grew immense in size until he was a 8’ ft tall ogre clad in silken garb that looked exotic, easternese. In his grasp was a two handed katana, he flung you into the quicksand pit laughing evily, ‘you pathetic fools, so easily tricked! The real Jespias I ate and digested weeks ago!’

As you were forcefully thrust toward the quicksand pit, you latched onto a hanging vine ran up the tree and landed on a low hanging branch with the dexterity of a monkey.

Morga crouched low in her typical readied battle stance, loosing both glaives the first whizzed past the ogre magi, returning to her hand her second tore into the monstrous thing.

The Drow Elf roared angrily and cut into the ogre-magi with brutal devastating effect, a longsword inserted into the ogre-magi's stomach and his offhanded shortsword pierced the ogre-mage's right leg. From your vantage point you flicked two more throwing daggers into the Ogre-mage, the first sunk into its heart (20, 75%) and it dropped to its knees crashing headfirst into the ground.

The dark elf with both swords still drawn went up to the ogre-mage placed his swords in a cross and chopped off its head, then began pouring oil over its body. The drow elf said 'ogre wizard regenerates, like troll' he took its severed head and throws it into the quicksand pit.

Morga sheathing her weapons moved up to the drow and eyed him suspiciously, obvious disdain 'well? speak up black elf. What're you doing around these parts?'

The male drow eyed her for a moment, shrugging sheepishly 'adventure, exploration' he said, offering her a disarming smile. He cleaned his blades on the ogre magi's silken robes, which looked very expensive. He said 'well, you both saved me. You deserve something for aiding me so much. I'll tell you something, I'm not sure if its of any use to you. These mercenaries were hired by the shadoval, they're the men of the shadow plane. They were given good coin for easy work: prey on the innocent, keep others out of forest. I am Zor, formerly of house Everhate. I was aiding them for a bit of coin but when the mercenaries discovered how much more I'd gotten in exchange for services rendered, they turned on me and put me in the pit. They were going to use me to scare others out of the woods, say that the drow have resurfaced to kidnap children' 

REACTION



Whisper
Whisper

(20)
Whisper knelt before the boy and quietly asked him a pair of questions, "Are you Jespias?  What is your mother's name?"  The discovery by Morga that these men weren't brigands or some local toughs from the bar with too much to drink and evil intentions had him concerned again that he had been set up by the woman claiming to be Hannah.  

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

MORGA reached back then flung her glaive into the air, and you saw that it spliced the side of one of the men’s neck opening his jugular he fell headlong into the quicksand. ‘Who’s there!?’ the men dropped into crouches, unsurprised.

‘Show yourselves!’ another cried out.

*twipppttttt* your arrow flew wide, missing its mark. ‘There! That way circle round and get that bastard!’

You turned and ran, noting two on your tail. Morga caught her glaive as it circled through the air and returned to her grasp, she sent her chainwhip at one of the men chasing you. The whip snagged the man on the bicep and with a violent jerk from Morga diverted his attack to strike his fellow comrade instead. The man’s dagger, which was intended for you sunk nearly to the hilt in his friends right leg, who cried out in mortified anger. The wound wasn’t so terrible, but the man vomited and his face turned bluish green. Before he even realized what had happened, the area that Morga jerked the mans inner bone pierced his flesh at the elbow and blood was stealthily oozing out of it, the doom registered on him just as he fell over and died.

As you kept running, you dove forward reflexively when you sensed two people ahead who must have circled toward your flank. One was a man clad in boiled leather, and with a woman also dressed in leather both swung longswords and daggers at you, missing widely. You sprung to your feet, next to the cloaked woman with an angry indignant look on her haughty features, ‘hold still cur, let me put you out of your misery!’  this time the female tore into you with her sword, and her comrade at arms did likewise (-7 hp total) you cried out in agony, for you’ve never had suffered such excruciating pain before now. Not even in the many practice drills of your numerous tutors. Then you realized the pain was from their weaponry coated with poison, and you fought its effects.

‘how’s it possible?!’ the woman stammered, baffled that you were still standing. Quickly regaining your composure you inched in and sunk your shortsword into the woman (20:35%) who gasped in shock and outrage (-18 hp dmg) your blow far outweighed her and her comrades combined. Then, Morga’s glaives severed the womans neckline simutaneously and she fell at your feet fading rapidly.

‘You swine you’ll pay for that!’ the male fighter came with his longsword and dagger striking furatively at you, missing by a longshot. He took a blow from Morga’s glaive that slashed across his bicep, the wound was horrific and his eyes registered that fact despite pretending it was nothing. You slashed out at the cloaked man, your shortsword tore through his leather and breached the skin beneath (-7 hp dmg) you stabbed with your dagger but missed.

2nd round: you both attack one another but miss entirely as you circle eachother. Then, he ducked Morga’s glaive, but a second takes his head clean off returning to the Nyriddian’s grasp. She grinned at you devilishly, blood splattered all over her arms and body.

‘We got the bitch, boss!’ three men came at her position trying to corner her. She leaped straight up and landed on a low branch some 15’ high. The men below were dumbstruck, never seeing such a thing before. They hurl their spears at her, one cutting into her leg. ‘I’m going to rape the dogshit out of you, bitch!’

You came up toward the tree Morga was at, the men’s backs perfectly exposed. The first one you plunged your sword into the small of his back and disemboweled him entirely his upper torso fell over and all of his entrails spilt out on the ground before him. ‘I aint signed up for this shit!’ cloaked man #2 said and ran off. Morga’s chainwhip wrapped around his neck and she pulled him up and let him hang. It was a matter of seconds before he’d die.

The 3rd man came at you, tripped on the root of the tree right before. You sunk your sword hilt deep his upper back *backstab* and he moved no more (-18 hp dmg) Morga dropped out of the tree and landed beside you soundlessly.

‘they’re not brigands’ she said, turning one over, her eyes looked to you for answers then she guessed ‘mercs? hmmm, blood and ash lets go there the child...’
 
The drow was up to his chin, and somehow he pushed Jespias out of the quicksand but the boy was also sinking the more he struggled. Morga tossed you her chainwhip, then fitted her wristbow with a grapple hood headed bolt. She shot into the tree and secured the opposite end to the tree behind her, ensuring it was tight. The line helped tremendously, and her chain also enabled both of the drow and child from not sinking. As the drow hoisted himself out of the quicksand by using Morga's wire, he chanted in some elvish sounding dialect 'nogar qi shuttiey' and he rose up out of the pit, holding Jespias's hand as he levitated straight upward. The boy's eyes ignited with amazement.

As the drow and boy clambered down from the tree, the drow looked at you both nervously for a moment then said 'my thanks, surface folk' he collected some of his belongings, when Morga hissed for quiet. Coming from the main path just a bowshot away was an Owlbear and it charged toward the group.

The drow elf fastened his weapons belt, tossing his coat of chainmail onto the ground. He removed something from his belt, a pair of hand x-bows twitched off the safety and fired a bolt into the charging beast. It collapsed in a epic crash against the tree, snoozing and dead asleep. The drow moved toward it and ripped out an elvish sword from his scabbard, slaughtering the owlbear. 

 DECISION

 










Whisper
Whisper

(27+?)
Whisper unshouldered his short bow and notched an arrow.  He paused before drawing back the bow string, instead risking a quick glance to Morga.  He noted that she had a chain whip and some sort of bladed boomerang in her hands, she was ready to act!  She signaled to him to make his shots on the count of 10 and he turned quickly back to the group of men as they continued to taunt the pair of victims in the quicksand pit.  Whisper planned to put a few arrows into the men who were urinating into the pool and then move about the forest drawing the others towards him.  Running and throwing daggers at his pursuers should give Morga plenty of chances to pick them off one by one. 

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Morga looked at you perplexed, 'why would Morga need to? Simply cut east, city boy!' she laughed at you jokingly, 'following the predictable path is predictable, any fool will know to watch the way they'd come from behind hence you'd loose any element of surprise!' 

She lead you along toward the east skirting the underworld river, when she gave a signal to crouch low and hide. Some sounds of men laughing and talking could be heard. After inching closer to the source, you saw a group of men huddled around a vat of quicksand. In the quicksand was a drow elf desperately grasping a tree root. The men were jeering at the drow's unfortunate circumstances, and they held out staves to further sink him, chuckling. 'Now, put this little twat in there so. If they find this black pig and the little runt, they'll think there'll steer clear o' the woods for years to come!' 

'Boss, maybe we should get some this blasted elf's things. He's got some nice fancy things, look expensive'

'Alright! But leave some of his other crap so it looks like he fell in' one of the men said. There appeared to be 6-7 of the men.

DECISION

Whisper
Whisper


(27+?)
Whisper had used his knowledge of ropes, knots and tricks taught during his time in the carnival to secure the man. (Non weapon Prof: Rope Use)  Judging that the large man was nowhere near as limber as he, Whisper was satisfied that he would be still be in the hollow of the tree when they returned.  He fished out some iron rations from his pack and offered some to Morga, "Back track and continue following the original group?"
OC: Whisper pockets the magical dagger and if the spyglass is unclaimed he will also take that.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Morga nodded, ‘I’m ready, meet me in the stablehouse and tell the groom to ready our steeds we’ll set off within the hour. Tip him a few silvers he’s dimwitted but cunning’ you saw her configuring some traps near her window, and she placed a few items in a metal box beneath her bed.

Both of you rode hard speedily toward the drow wood, her eyes occassionaly scanning the trail. She stopped and noted a broken branch about knee high, and pointed out several skid marks in the muddied road. A half hour at a medium gallop, she dismounted and began surveying the area.

She turned toward you ‘your prey went that’a way, northeast toward Eagle Eiyre. But there’s another set of tracks too that lead north and are heavier, I believe made by someone wearing thick armor. I’d prefer to go north and see. Also whoever the armored one is he’s been around here plenty more and seemed to follow these other tracks who went northeast, then he went back north as though losing interest’

She dismounted and insisted wordlessly you do likewise, then patted the rump of the two stallions ‘we go by foot here on out, the tracks are freshly created. Horses will mire them, and make us more visible. I’ll be above you in the trees, you go by way of ground. I use the animal noises of hawk or fox caterwauling. The hawk means I’ve spotted someone, the fox means certain enemy or danger. And for you little fox, an owl means draw close to me’

Not a mile north when you hear Morga’s hawk sound, distinguishing from a real one was near impossible. Then you saw what she was signaling to you about: a man in thick armor emerged from behind a tree, waving a heavy bastard sword.

Then: *twippppttttttt*, Morga from a high treetop hidden position fired a dart sized bolt into the mans neck with deadly accuracy befitting an Elven archer. The man’s eyes scoured the trees furatively and he plucked the barbed bolt out of him, snapping it with his mailed fist the poison laced bolt didn’t seem to do the trick it was meant to do, ‘come out you bloody bitch!’ the man roared, and he came at you like an agry bull, his sword pointing the way.

As the fighter charged, you brought your hands forward and used his shoulders to thrust yourself over him, at the same time managing to pull his visorless warhelm over his face. Out of the corner of your eye you saw Morga leap out of the tree and land in a crouch on a low hanging thick branch. She twirled and loosed a pair of bola’s: the first ensnared the man’s arms to his body and the second wrapped his ankles together. You noticed the weighed balls at the end of her bola’s strongly attached themselves together like magnets.

Morga turned to you: 'hogtie him up, I'll have a look around. Oh and make sure you take his weapons' she smiled sarcastically, with a bit of a fiery mischief in her gleaming dark eyes. A few minutes later she returned, leading a horse back, 'found it tethered to a tree nearby. Look what this little bastard had' she reveals the contents of the saddlebags on the mans black horse: 88 gold pieces in a leather pouch, another pouch with several rings, some appeared to be wedding rings, and the third: a bag of about 30 scalps. Several other items: bedroll, several sacks, a spyglass (telescope), and other sundry items.

As you discarded the mans weaponry, you stop at a dagger that glowed blue when you touched it. Morga: I want to hogtie and gag him, but not leave him out in the open. Spread out, look for a hallow tree where we can stuff him in for the now' 

A two minute search revealed a weeping willow with a hallow base, and a moss concealed flapped opening. Morga stuffed the man into the opening and bound his wrists to his ankles. She reached into her satchel and tossed a bag that exploded into a scattered field of caltrops, 'careful your feet, fox' she said.


Whisper
Whisper

(27+?)
"Let us set off then.  The chances at finding the boy Jespias alive diminish as time goes on."  Whisper nods that he is ready to go.  His eyes linger for a few moments longer taking in the beautiful Morga before he turned to go.  Inside he was grateful to Morga for eliminating the threat of Shade even though she likely didn't know that he had crossed the half orc.  That was one less person hunting him and that was a good thing.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Kessa smiled at you thoroughly touched, and she inched closer and embraced you then gave you a kiss on the cheek, ‘your generosity is well recieved’ then she prepared for her journey.

Morga opened the door her eyes at first narrow and suspicious, but when she saw it was you she smiled and tussed your hair as one might a younger sibling.
 
‘Ah, the sneak is back’ she says with a casual friendly tone. She was counting a great deal of coins on her desk, and you saw a parchment on the bed with the same likeness as the half-orc woman named Shade, ‘damn it you made me lose my count’ she said irrately, ‘hmmm, looks like the garrison commander gave me ten gold over. Must be my charming personality’ she said with a chuckle, then gave you a feigned scowl ‘don’t even think about it unless you want to be fingerless, Jez’zurian snake. I know all about you tricksters, caught a’plenty fore this outfit. You infect with your crazed ideas, one thought to spread like wildfire and topple entire kingdoms. Your brand of sorcery isn’t unknown to my ilk my fiendish friend. Now, what schemes are you up to?’

When she heard your need of a tracker, she nodded exuberantly ‘one condition, I’ll collect the reward on any with a face painting like this half orc bitch I turned in. Had to kill off two competitors who were after her as well, top of which an assassin who tried to snuff her out before I could haul her ugly ass in. I’ll give you a percentage of any bounties we come cross. The commander’s cracking down on the brigands in the drow wood. Seems that these bandits are doing something in the woods, trying to keep it clear of simple travelers and merchants. Strange, you would think that such outlaws would want more innocent victims to fill their purses with. ‘

The beautiful Nyriddian clad her feline form in boiled leather and elven chainmail. She placed her shortswords at her belt, and a number of daggers and a wrist-xbow on both of her wrists. When she noticed you looking she said ‘the left is fitted with sleep arrows, the right with the black powder the dwarves use to excavate. One hit of this can fell an ogre, two can bring down a hillgiant’

 REACTION

Whisper
Whisper

(27+?)
Whisper nodded his thanks to Kessa and wished her well and passed her one of his healing potions.  "Be safe in your travels and return soon.  A repayment for your gifts and aid, a potion of advanced healing to keep you fit no matter what you manage to get yourself into."  The young man smiled at the female ranger for he had witnessed both the woman's wild streak and martial prowess.  Turning from the ranger's door the footpad quickly and silently made his way to Morga's room to ask for her aid in this task.  While Morga's fees might be higher then Kessa's he would gladly pay them.  Knowing now that Hannah's employer Lady Sidyl had contacts in his homeland was well worth the cost. 

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

The woman composed herself and succumbed to your guidance. She said ‘Handmaiden to Lady Sidyl. You’ve my gratitude, adventurer. If you bring my son back to me I have other rewards for ye, which I’m sure you wouldn’t refute so readily’ your instincts didn’t detect any deception or treachery. She was a handmaiden of some local noblewoman, not exactly noble blooded herself. She took your hand and held it firmly as if to get your full attention, ‘Listen, what is your name? I’m Hannah. Do be careful, okay? My lady sends spies through the dark wood to deliver messages to Jez’zur. Sometimes they don’t make it back to her. And her spies aren’t the typical bums that infest this commonroom looking to make drinking money for rescuing a cat out of a tree, if ye catch me drift'


Kessa: “Ordinarily I would, but I cannot I’m afraid, Kyrillia wishes me to run an important errand to Harkkonia. I have to ride three and a half hours north along the coast. Why don’t you fetch Morga? She’s in her room’
   

Whisper
Whisper

(27+?)
Whisper fought back the initial urge to relieve the woman of some of her more valuable appearing possessions.  Instead he placed a hand on the small of her back and ushered her towards the Sundered Sword Inn.  "Myself and a companion who is one with the woods will aid you, your promise of coin is not necessary.  Come with me, and tell me more about what happened, who you are, and why they took your son.  My friend and I will set out as soon as possible to bring your son back."  He explained to her while walking back to the inn.  Whisper's keen eyes scoured her person for details that might alert him that this may be a trap.  After all he had stolen from a half orc thief the previous day and his employer appeared to have at least one powerful enemy.  (Non weapon profs: Disguise, Infiltrate, Forgery, Appraise all used to get a better 'feel' for this mysterious royal sobbing in the street)

OC: Since Kessa had arrived at the Sundered Sword Inn Whisper will ask her to accompany him in tracking down the four, paying for her services from his own purse.  He wished for this woman's well to do family to be indebted to him and him alone.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Preparing to exit the Banshee, two girls intercepted you giggling as girls do. They looked clean and very beautiful, and they had a warmth to them unlike most women of other houses. On the wall you spotted an expensive looking mosaic of two girls engaged in making love. Valtor smiled and waved for you to come to him, chuckling for no clear reason, 'Whisper, you came and now going without so much as breaking bread and having a drink? Surely you're not that much of a rude fool. Please, try some of these bacon wrapped dates they're simply divine' he said. He inched near you in whispering range, 'I've need of a decent thief with silent feet, a sharp mind and ambitious heart. If you've some availability in the wee hours of the night, I will let you in on a good proposition. I'll meet you in your room later, around midnight'

Outside, you meandered the streets when a sobbing well dressed woman was crying her eyes out just outside the Sundered Sword. She was a blonde woman clad in fine expensive dress. As she saw you she fought the tears back and composed herself, 'you, are you he? The Harkonnian lady's man? Please, I beg. Some vile bastards took my boy Jespias and sped towards yonder woods. There were four of em, unsavory and dirty looking they came out of the sundered and rode off grabbing Jespias. Please, none of these two bit sell sword drunkards would lift a finger even with promise of coin. They're too scared of the drow woods'

Whisper
Whisper

(27+?) Whisper paused briefly and then continued walking down the hallway, the words of the conversation becoming fainter as he went until they were lost behind the door. While he would greatly enjoy examining the posterior of all the lovely ladies that worked in the bordello he doubted that he had enough coin to do so. He skipped out the door of the brothel and set about locating and learning more about House Dutazmin.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

(vs. int: success) you knew the names Ash spoke about, these were the bottom of the food chain in circles of local nobility. Their wealth and prestige was tied to how well the serfs did at home, and their merchants did in neighboring realms. Most of these nobles while uncommonly loyal to their queen had kinsmen and loyalties to Jez’zur as well. This misdeed Ash suggested was not an uncommon thing in courtly life. The common game of sabotage, seduction, and petty rivalries. ‘You still here?’ Ash asked without looking at you. When you left, you overheard the following behind a closed door: “I’m telli_ _ou, there’s a t_atoo of a m_p frag__t on _ome s_pid whore’s _ss. The _ob_in k_ng’s gots the second part, and the s_pid sod we met got a part o’ it too though he not be knowing what he gots. The fourth part aint nobody knows, and the fifth is upriver somewhere’

Whisper
Whisper

(27+?) Whisper mulls over the request from Ash, ignoring his barbed words for they mattered little to him. After all, he had found a way to potentially earn his valuable aid. The young thief tried to place names and alliances from the request to his mother's and to his employer's families. If such actions would jeopardize his tenuous grasp on power in Southern Cross he'd just walk away and chalk this up as a failure. Otherwise he'd ask the peculiar holy man what proof was necessary for him to believe the deed had been done?

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

The cleric Ash doesn’t take his eyes off of his model, and simply ignores you entirely, ‘Try again, guttersnipe but not with me. You’re just a lowly amateur, a thespian without the gift. You’ve no poetry in your heart. Had you put a modicum of realness in your words I might’ve wept enough to be properly moved. But your attrocious display simply bored me to tears, truly artless. You thought to play on my artistic abilities, or my way of life? I receive ample coin, food, lodgings, women, information and I feel I’m in a far better way than what you have besides a Harkonnian boss lady. Yes I know who you work for, nothing happens in Southern Cross without my knowledge not that its difficult to aquire such. Sometimes a man’s life depends on a mere scrap of information. Listen, I don’t know what your boss expects but I told her this before I’m not risking my life for her secret works. Just because I was an Imperialist pig before doesn’t mean I’m seeking to enlist in Harkkonian shadow work. I’m a follower of love, not death. Hmmmm, tell you what, Jez’zurian rat. I could detect your accent a mile away. Steal me the under garments of Lady Constance Du’Tessa of House Dutazmin, worn and with the scent of her petals still intact. Then, plant them in Lord Dargos’s bed chambers for his cuntish wife to find. Do this and I’ll hear whatever stupid lies you’ve been sent to me to deliver’

Whisper
Whisper

(27+? for rest) Whisper went about getting the coin necessary to pay the fee regardless if he needed the cure or not. Placing the coins in the leather purse he had gotten from the corpse of the female thief he prepared to hand the coin over. Trying to casually strike up a conversation felt awkward but he had to start somewhere. "You've got a masterful hand for the arts Ash. Does it ever gets old sketching the same subjects in the exact same settings day in and day out? With a whole world out there filled with women I find it odd that a handsome man such as yourself chooses to remain here and dine on the same meals every single day." OC: I've no idea where this is going but it beats the "I'll bet I can paint a better picture then you! Loser has to go adventuring! Winner gets to stay here with the whores!" :)

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

YOU SLEPT COMFORTABLY BACK IN YOUR ROOM AT THE SUNDERED SWORD. The dour faced innkeeper and his fat wife kissed your ass profusely, knowing now that you were one of Kryillia’s agents. They struggled to remain calm and composed, but bent over backwards to ensure you were treated lavishly. Gwen spotted you before you sauntered off, giving you a mischievious wink. Her role in your burglarizing the half-orc’s room was a euphoric adventure for her you sensed. Someone who was accustomed to tirelessly waiting on rude patrons, cleaning and scrubbing pots and pans, and other backbreaking meanial work something like adventure was something born from an entirely parallel universe. The innkeeper scowled at her and she quickly returned to her duties with a look of feigned tiredness which seemed to appease the innkeeper. You slept blissfully, secure in the knowledge your many trigger traps would alarm you in the event someone tried to gain access. You had a nightmare of several shadowy beings chasing you through the inky blackness of the Black Forest Kingdom. The Elven woods, immense in its entirety was home to so many beings deadly and terrifying. You had lost many of the shadows that dogged you when you parted company with the circus, and you had to guess some of it was partially attributed not to your stealth and trickery but from elves that dwelt in the forest. Even beasts you noted were tracking your movements, until you lost them purposely or used simple traps to capture these tiny spies. The flowing scent of scrumptious home cooking awoke you before sunrise. You were in the commonroom and was served a sumptious breakfast of toast, bacon, poached eggs, potatoes and sausages, add to that coffee and grapefruit juice. The other patrons didn’t even pay you any heed. Some garrison soldiers nearby conversing about latest patrols: ‘aint seen much activity in the drow woods. Seems like that band of drow we were trying to capture were just a bunch of hooligans playing at drow! Seems somebody took care of em recently. Well my hats off to whomever cleaned house, I’d buy the blaster’s a few ales!’ The day went by smoothly, when you were preparing to head over to the Banshee you spotted Kessa outside the Sundered Sword teethering her steed. She smiled at you and tossed you a pair of peculiar double ended curvaceous daggers, ‘A gift from my homeland, scoundrel. Sistari daggers. It’ll take some getting used to, they’re not any ordinary throwing dags. These return to you if they miss their mark! So you’d better be careful in the catching’ she offered then headed into the commonroom and up the stairs, disappearing. THE BANSHEE smelled deeply of perfume and sweat, both seemed to linger thickly in the air. A scantilly clad young girl greeted you as you entered a lounge, where men of all sorts were laying about being tended to by various girls some were quite beautiful and others not so much, but the clientelle didn’t seem to mind. You saw Valtor with two lovely young ladies seated in a sea of cushions, his goblin slave huddled in a corner and clad rediculously with womans undergarments. The Elven mage’s eyes met yours and he lifted a gold chalice up to you in a brief salute. You purchased a room and a ‘girl’ to accompany it for 20 gold pieces, dinner and wine included. Eventually you managed through some simple inquiries to locate the house cleric. ‘Ash’ was near the public bath upstairs engaged in drawing several nude female models, his artistry was fairly masterful. He appeared to be a brown haired man with a serious face, chiseled and symetrical almost elfin in countenance. ‘A hundred gold, if you need to be cured of whatever ails you. And if you’ve been with some of the lesser house girls something DOES my friend. Count yourself fortunate I’m in a good mood, otherwise I’d charge you double’ he turned his focus for a moment back on the naked sylph before him who was posing as still as a statue, ‘turn a little to the right girl, I know you’re not accustomed to it but I’m not paying you for your looks sweetheart’

Whisper
Whisper

(27) After reading the contents of his mother's letter Whisper understands now that attempting to contact her would be like lighting a signal fire for those hunting her. Rather then risk her life he would stay put and know that Eldanar would send word that he had indeed arrived in Southern Cross. Whisper was of the same mind as his mother, he needed to work diligently to secure somewhere for their family. He would cautiously develop powerful alliances either through deed or coin and eliminate or ruin all others. He had gotten off to a good start so far and tomorrow he would see to a meeting with the house's cleric. Whisper set about setting up some traps that would warn him if someone tried to gain entry to the room and then went to sleep.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Eldanar: ‘ring craft is extremely expensive my friend, even the erudite in my order covet them jealously. If you wanted to create one you would need Elvish ken, Dwarven platinum, and absurd wealth. However, it is more fortuitous for you to have asked such a thing. Come hither closer to me lad. When ever your travels take you to the thousand isles in the planar seas, one is legened to lie out there in secret. The isle of mists, where the ruins of Draxcon is rumored to be. You must be extremely careful though, few return from therein. It’s home to dhampir, the vampire people. Their mysterious leader is called the queen across the sea and when you lay eyes upon her, its said she will enrapture your soul and make you lose yourself in her preternatural allure’ When you left Eldanar’s stall, you cut through the thick traffic of merchants and teamsters, common folk and some soldiers that pay you no zero heed. In your room you glance at the letter from your mother: ‘My son, I pray you made it to Southern Cross unscathed, and that this letter finds you in good spirits. I have made it to the town of Hetonk, it lies in the Bandit Kingdoms just north of the Gate Mountains. It took me a month to place traps for all of the assassins that dogged me out of Jez’zur. The cleric Eldanar is a trusted friend, and ally. You will find he is both powerful and wise. You should make Southern Cross your home for some time, make certain you maintain a good friendship with the locals there it will be crucial to your survival. Be vigilant my son, the whorish wives of my previous patrons have black souls and thier thirst for vengeance is unquenched. We must both bide our time, grow strong then when the time is right gain our revenge against our enemies. You’ll find comfort to know the underworld river that channels into the snake would take you right to me. After you’ve wintered in Nyr and the ice melts, take one of the Rhenee river pilots boats upstream into the bandit kingdoms. We should unite here, I’ve little comfort being in exile. At months end, I am sending your cousin Nyrul to you on an important, dangerous mission. He will deliver you a special gift from me, but at the same time will lure any foes from the shadows from me to you. He is a most proficient ranger and a former Watcher. His skills and experience will prove useful to our house. Receive him well, my sister is a source of great comfort to me in these trying times.

Whisper
Whisper

(27) "It is good to know that those that hunt my mother have not caught up with her yet, for that bit of news you have my thanks Eldanar. I have only two questions and will not dare ask about what you have just spoken about. Who might I seek out in Southern Cross to have a magical ring made? The other is what the fee would be to send my mother a similar secret note?" Whisper tried but failed in hiding the confusion about what Eldanar had foretold, it made little sense at the moment. Perhaps, his mother's note would shed more light on the odd fortune that was foretold? He also wasn't sure what he would write to his mother but the words would come after he had time to read her note and to think about such things. OC: Since the PC works for the Wailing Banshee bordello does he know/think he can get a room for the night there and setup a meeting with their cleric for the next day? Ring - rather then carry so much heavy coin about with him perhaps purchasing or commissioning a ring would be wise? Ideally a ring with healing or restorative powers would be what he would be shopping for to avoid relying on clerics to mend his wounds. Or should the next day he look to convert the bulk of the coins to gems?

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Kryillia nodded her consent. A side by side comparison of both notes appeared wrote by the same hand. It was a fanciful penmanship you noted, like that of a nobleman or high ranking military official. You donned a disguise and slipped through to Eldanar’s stall. The cleric was engrossed in a thick volume entitled ‘The Dismal Way’. It was a popular book back in Jez’zur, a book you were forcced to read by one of your many tutors. Wrote by the monks known as the Lords of Discipline, teaching calmness and approaching things with a clear steady mind, mind over matter, and attaining ‘enlightenment’. Eldanar smiled as you came to his booth, taking the book and placing it beneath a thin stack of them in front of him as if uninterested, ‘A simple task for so great a treasure as I’ve given you. Yet if I cannot trust you with simple things then how or why would I with greater? You’ve proven yourself capable my young wily friend’ he handed you another case with four more vials, ‘a gift, not from myself but from your mother. She’d sent word to me that you were her son. That wondrous lady is a island of light in this bleak dark world’ he handed you a sealed envelop ‘she wanted you to have this, read it when you have some time to yourself. And now, I know full well you’re a busy lad with some plans unraveling. Before you go, I want you to be aware of the sea of planes. When the constellations of Wrath and Lor intersect, a gate will form that will take you to another plane of existence alltogether, a benign plane that borders the prime material plane that is our world. Once you’ve traversed this alternate plane, you will emerge the opposite side that will be some distant location ahead of the direction you were originally traveling in.This could be a hundred leagues or 10. You might ask me why I’ve told you this, but don’t ask me right now. Ask me when you come back from your travels’

Whisper
Whisper

(27) "You are right good lady, I do owe Gwen the chambermaid a night on the town for her aid. Before I take my leave, hopefully for the final time tonight, might I examine that note just a bit closer Lady Kyrillia?" Whisper asked as he rifled through his backpack next to her desk. Finding the note containing the orders for the orcs and hobgoblins from the isle of the dead he placed the two notes close together on the desk and began a closer analysis. (Non Weapon Profs:Appraising and or Forgery) OC: General idea of next steps: PC will not go on a date with Gwen instead he will ask if she can get the next night off of work for their night on the town. Instead he will make for Eldanar's shop while wearing a disguise.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

There were two common room windows, small and narrow. A square shaped opening in the center of the ceiling just above the rafters caught your attention. Gaining the rafters, you reached up and examined the closed opening. Another tripwire, this one triggered a clever timing mechanism that relied on a small metallic sphere rolling down a balance, which then sets off eight x-bows pointed at the opening from every direction (n, s, e, w, ne, nw, se, sw) removal of the sphere disarmed the trap and you snip snipped the tripwire. Onto the roof, you crept along and made way into Kyrillia’s luxurious room. She was writing when you startled her, saying ‘I don’t suppose I should expect a thief to enter through the door’ with a dry chuckle. Examining the note, she nodded ‘Excellent work. So we've an enemy, someone calling himself the boss. It would appear the half-orc is an outside talent, she might be the one responsible for a few disappearances of persons I'd summoned to join this group. When you can, gather more information concerning Shade. Who she works for, I believe she's responsible for the brigand attack against your group. For now, go and enjoy some of the fruits of your labors. You’re a rich man now, you should go and find yourself a sweetheart. Live a little!’

Whisper
Whisper

(27) Whisper knowing that time was passing rapidly tossed the crumpled note into the backpack with whatever adventuring gear remained within as well as the other two books. He looked up to determine if there was a window in the room with which to leave or if he would have to go back the way he came and slung the pack over his shoulder ... OC: PC will check for traps if there is an alternate exit before leaving that way. Once he leaves the room he will try to rapidly make his way to Lady Kyrillia's room to warn her about the future purchase rumored on the crumpled note.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Gauntlets of thievery: these are black weightless hand gear crafted from a smooth leathery material. They increase your dexterity by 1 point. For the non thief, they confir thieving abilities of a 4th level thief. Whisper: (20, 96%) with blazing agility you ripped the door guard’s dagger from his hand, he stopped in pause for a moment trying to fathom what had just happened. The dagger twirled through the air and thudded into the ceiling hilt-deep.With your off-hand flung your second dagger into the door near his face. He was sufficiently cowed by the display, or at least you’d thought. He tries to lunge at you in a desperate take down move, but tripped as you sidestep his bum rush, collapsing on the ground in a hard slam ‘you stinking bum, I’ll tear your face off!’ he tried in futile exhaustive effort to deliver punches and kicks until he wore himself thin.. (19) A quick well executed blow to the base of his skull with your dagger you retrieved out of the wall knocks him out cold. Door to room #20: opening the door, you easily found a tripwire about neck high (6’0 ft) and practically inviisble. You duck it to circumvent it, not needing to bother with disarming it. You found another trap just two paces into the room: two floorboards under a foot rug removed and filled with jagged spiked protrusions (rusted spear tips, broken glass bottles, other nasty items) sadly your feet weren’t as cooprative as your trained eye and you made some foot noises which would have betrayed your presence had there been anyone else within the room. The room was a mess, there were clothes strewn haphazardly about, and a single backpack lying atop of the four poster bed which was also in dissaray. You find the journal Eldanar described to you nestled in the bottom of the backpack. Most of the filler contents were standard issue adventuring gear, tin mess kit and tinderbox, some extra female style clothing, bar of soap, etc. You also find another book, smaller in volume containing numerous notes, maps, and various information. Charts & diagrams. Some written in thieves cant, some in the crude pictographs of orcish. As you unraveled the blanket during your search: you found 12 sheathed bladed weapons beneath: 4 longswords a dirk 2 shortswords bastard sword 5 broadswords there was a crumpled up parchment: Shade, I heard you were in town on business from one of your many patrons. If you’re finished doing work far beneath you at behest of the bookworms, I implore you deliver these cursed weapons to Lady Kyrillia. They’ve been disguised to appear as magic weapons and will only affect the fighters in her party. This requires your usual top notch handiwork. If you can, set a trap for any of the fools who she sends forth to Sograth isle. Your talent at ambruscade is unparallel. The Boss

Whisper
Whisper

(27) Whisper quickly flung a dagger of his own at the weapon in Rex's hand and one at the door frame near Rex's head. Trusting in the skills that he had honed in the circus Whisper hoped to intimidate the coward before blood was shed. After all, knowing if Shade was within along with having the room key and someone to enter the room first should hopefully allow him to dodge the first traps and provide him time to deal with the dangers within the room ...

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Eldanar tells you about some of the rings he *thinks* might lie on the isle of mists: ring of protection from arrows ring of feather falling ring of magnetism: repel blades and arrows, or create a magnetic ray (douses a target in a magnetically attracting field making blades or arrows drawn towards them with a +5 to hit target) ring of glory: all that is known is that it was once the property of a paladin-king. ring of the master: unknown properties, said to increase knowledge and power. ring of trollish fortitude: made from the essence of a troll king eeons ago, rumored to be the only ring of its like in the known multiverse. Expect it to be guarded by deadly traps or fierce guardians.