"We're heading north," Nicholas adds. "There's somewhere in the Sodden Lands that we need to go in a timely manner."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (13) + 12 = 25
Unafe nods. "We'll be prepared for danger, but speed is of the utmost importance. How soon can you be ready to leave?"
. . . .
Once arrangements have been made, Unafe whispers to her companions, "I think you're not the only Avistani around, or at any rate you aren't the first. When I was communing with the spirits earlier I overheard a snippet of conversation, something about a 'strange white man around the back of Sharrowsmith's'. It's possible they were spying on us. It's even possible Nieford is in danger.
"Now that we have our transportation settled, let's get back. Salla, can you see if you can find any signs this Avistani might've left behind Nieford's shop? If we can't settle this, we may need to worn him to make himself scarce for a few days."
"I believe that gives us enough time to make sure we don't have any other business in town. If no one has any objections, we'll see you tomorrow captain." Nicholas makes a note to purchase a dose of Alchemist's Kindness to make sure the sailor is functional when they head out.
Once they leave the drunken captain to his night, Nicholas frowns slightly at Unafe's information. "We have until tomorrow to investigate, so I suggest we make the most of our time."
Salla nods at Unafe request, she's been resting against a wall watching the room with her usual lack of animation.
Once the party has made it's way back to the shop Salla wanders around behind it.
Survival(tracking): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (17) + 12 = 29
"At dawn then, Captain. May your ancestors never be far."
As they walk away, she adds to herself, And my mine be close as well.
Wise Namane, are we really approaching your tomb? The task of defending the Blade has fallen to my shoulders as the only Two-Hearted of my generation. There's so much going on though, so much danger, and I still can't feel your heart within my own. Am I so unworthy? Please help me to find my way.
The group leaves the pier bars and heads back into the city to check on Nieford and his shop. A pillar of smoke on the horizon does not bode well for their findings, and sure enough, when they arrive at Sharrowsmith's Exports they find the building ablaze, roaring in an inferno.
Unafe is familiar enough with Nantambu to know that there is a fairly competent magical fire-fighting force, but they have not yet arrived. A crowd stands around the burning building, talking and gossiping with one another. Nearby, an older Mwangi woman weeps, her knees on the ground. A smaller crowd stands around her, consoling her, but she wails, "My poor, poor Hassan!"
Alarmed, Unafe turns to the elder and asks in polyglot, "Is Hassan still in there? Or Nieford? We'll do our best to save them."
Then to the crowd (also in polyglot), "Friends, do any of you know what happened here? Did anyone see a pale Avistani about here?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (18) + 14 = 32
Do I know if Create Water would help at all here? Can create 14 Gallons / round.
Also, the crowds may be too big for this, but wondering if Salla's tracking discovers anything interesting.
"Oh dear..." The building being destroyed not long after they left was far too convenient for him to believe it was a coincidence. He elects to let Unafe do the speaking for the moment, but reminds himself to try to learn a translation spell in the future if they're going to continue traveling this much.
..."Not today." Cai'nan says through clenched teeth. "TRY TO KEEP THE FRAMEWORK SECURE!" he yells as he ties a cloth across his face to guard against the smoke. And then he bolts inside...
As Cai'nan runs in, Unafe binds her spirit to his. "Hold on for a few seconds first. I'll do my best to keep you safe, and may your ancestors cleave to you as well."
Round One: Shield Other, Round two before Cai'nan acts: Life Link.
Cai'nan dashes into the burning building, smashing through the crumbling front door easily. The heat of the air and the choking smoke sap his endurance, but his connection with Unafe sustains him somewhat.
The front room is the storefront area. Art falls from the walls as it catches aflame, and the money register is red with heat. One door leads to the left - Cai'nan isn't sure where this door leads, he didn't get a chance to see in there earlier. Another door leads to the right. Cai'nan knows that this area has most of the merchandise.
Damage to Cai'nan: 2d6 ⇒ (1, 5) = 6
As for Salla's tracking, that was done under the assumption that you reached the building safely - if Salla still wants to loop around to the back of the building and look for tracks, then that's totally acceptable.
Salla loops around the back. Smoke is spilling out of several windows on all sides of the building. Salla's expert tracking skills point out that there were a pair of people back here. She finds evidence that two people set a fire in the building and then hoofed it back to the street.
Cai'nan forges forward, checking out the unknown door. The hot wood singes his hand when he throws the door open. The inside of the room is a small office. It hasn't set ablaze in here yet, but Hassan is also not in here.
Damage: 2d6 ⇒ (5, 4) = 9
Cai'nan takes another 5 damage and Unafe another 4. Unafe then takes 5 damage and Cai'nan heals 5. That leaves Unafe with 12 damage and Cai'nan with 3.
The heavy smoke has fallen down into the secret storage room below the main room. Still, through it all, Cai'nan can see the prone form of Mr. Sharrowsmith's assistant Hassan. The boy is slumped over a stool near the bottom of the ladder. Cai'nan begins to cough and choke on the thick smoke, but manages to hold it together.
Damage: 2d6 ⇒ (1, 2) = 3
Fort Save (DC 15): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
Unafe takes 6 damage, and Cai'nan takes 2, but then heals up to full. Unafe is now at 63/79.
Round 2: Unafe 79-2=77, Tuturutanga 39-1=38
Round 3: Unafe 77-3-2=72/79, Tuturutanga 38+1-2-2=35/39. Casts create water.
Note, Life Link has a 30' range. Shield Other has 40' range.
Unafe and Tuturutanga both start to sweat and grimace as they feel the flames burning them.
Despite the pain, she gives a low chant to the ancestors, bringing rain down upon the flaming building.
Since the tracks lead back to the street Salla returns there. Standing close to Unafe she will look over the crowd, trying to pick out who might be watching what happens with more than casual interest?
Sense motive: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (14) + 11 = 25
Salla looks carefully... and sees something interesting. Among the crowd of mourners and shocked watchers are two. They stand stock-still. Their eyes are completely midnight-black. They are Mwangi, sure, and their clothing and figure matches a native... but there is something strange about them to be sure.
Cai'nan jumps down into the basement, breathing in the sickening smoke and lifting Hassan (with some difficulty) up onto his shoulder.
damage: 2d6 ⇒ (4, 4) = 8
fort save: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
The fire burns his flesh, but he manages to keep his lungs' integrity despite the thick and dangerous smoke.
Gritting his teeth, he mutters to himself "Not...today..." as he climbs up the ladder. Once topside, he takes steadies his grip on Hassan and bolts for the door...
Not sure if my illusionary disguise is still active after all this, should be quite the visual either way...haha!
Since Salla has no idea what these people are she casually drifts over the Nicolas, and making sure she's not looking at the two with the black eyes, directs his attention to them.
Bluff (To point them out to Nicholas discretely): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20
Slipping an arm through his Salla remarks. "Nicholas dear. Do you think that there is a danger of burning debris falling on the crowd?" Waving her other arm to indicate the spectators, and using the arm wrapped in his to squeeze when their gazes pass over the suspicious pair.
Sorry, the board must have eaten my last post for this?
Nicholas momentarily looks very grateful to be given something to do when he doesn't really have the spells to help with the flames. "It seems that it could be," he agrees, his eyes immediately following hers to the pair. "Perhaps we should get them back and keep an eye on them to make sure no one is hurt until the fire brigade gets here."
I don't have Knowledge (Planes), so unless my lore skill helps, I can't do much
Cai'nan charges out of the burning building, Hassan on his shoulder, his mithril armor sizzling with heat. Meanwhile, Salla and Nicholas begin to watch a couple of strange, suspicious members of the crowd...
When possessing a creature, the creature has midnight-black eyes.
Cai'nan looks quite the striking image as he emerges from the flame. His illusion had clearly worn off in the turmoil, him being too distracted to renew it during his hunt for Hassan. So the flames dance on his armor and make it shine even more than it naturally does.
"Hot. Hot. Water, after would be nice. Unafe! Can you check on Hassan?" he asks as he kneels down and sets the man on the ground.
Unafe breathes a sigh or relief as Cai'nan emerges with Hassan.
She kneels down beside the injured man. As she does, she sings out, "E nga tupuna pai, tohaina o koutou manawa whakaora ki te hunga ora." A warm pulse of white light touches everyone near the young shaman, and all wounds within the area begin to fade.
She then checks Hassan over to see how badly he's doing. Will he survive? Am I good enough to save this man who is suffering only because he was close to us? Please, Namane, do not let me fail.
Channel: 4d6 ⇒ (1, 6, 3, 5) = 15
Heal: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16
I think that brings Unafe, Cai'nan, and Tuturutanga back to full.
Nicholas ponders for a moment, but can't remember where he's seen the odd people's eyes before.
Lore Nidal: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
"That was reckless," Ciervo chides when Cai'nan returns, more for show than anything. After all, in contrast, he had done nothing at all.
"We need to get him out of here... and to find Nieford. There are too many prying eyes around here."
Hassan awakes when Unafe channels energy - energy which also heals all of the burn wounds incurred by Cai'nan's charge into the burning building. As he does so, several local spellcasters show up. One of them casts a powerful spell and much of the flames of the building immediately go out. After a moment to judge, a second spellcaster casts the same spell to put the remainder of the spells out. The remainder of the fire brigade runs into the building to search for survivors and repair support pillars.
The two black-eyed locals leave the area, walking away down the street as the crowd begins to disperse.
Hassan rolls over and begins to hack and cough, spitting out some black phlegm as he does so. "Thank you for saving me..." he says, although his voice is weak.
"Can you track them if we let them leave, or should we follow them?" Nicholas whispers to Salla as the fire brigade arrives. "I doubt their presence here is a coincidence."
Salla taps Ciervo on his shoulder, indicating the two departing strangers with a nod. "Following." She says quietly. "You follow me at a distance." Moving off to follow them as discretely as possible.
Salla actually had to use words today! She'll need time to recover.
Stealth: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (14) + 13 = 27
Her plan is to follow the arsonists with Ciervo back 30 feet keeping an eye on Salla.
"Understood," Ciervo replies simply, still looking down at Hassan. He lingers for a few moments to give Salla a more considerable lead before turning to follow.
Stealth: 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (2) + 21 = 23
Perception #2: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13
Neither of the strange locals seem to notice Salla and Ciervo tailing them, although they definitely take precautions that seem like they don't want to be followed - a circuitous route, they look back often, and they stop occasionally for a seemingly innocuous task like getting an espresso.
Salla and Ciervo need to tail them for around 20 minutes until they reach what seems to be their destination - some kind of medium-sized walled enclave. Neither Salla nor Ciervo can read Polyglot's script, so its anyone's guess as to who might be inside. The pair are stopped by security - armed Mwangi men and women - at the enclave's gate, but after what seems like a short conversation, they are allowed inside.
Stealth: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (17) + 13 = 30
Dropping back out of sight of the compound Salla will speak with Ciervo. "I'll stay here out of sight and observe. You get the others. If I need to move I'll leave a sign as to where I'm heading."
Salla finds a place she can observe the compound and remain unseen.
Still not the best at social interaction, but this is her main role so she's trying to communicate. :)
With the two sneaks heading off to track the suspicious locals, Nicholas steps forward to check on Hassan and Cai'nan. "Breath slowly," he advises, placing a hand on the man's shoulder. "Very brave Cai'nan. Reckless, but brave. And effective, so I suppose I shouldn't complain. Perhaps we should find someplace to let you rest and have a short breather."
Bluff (Secret Message): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (13) + 12 = 25
"All right, then," Ciervo answers as he moves to regroup with the others, before adding without needing to, "Be careful. They might already know that we're in the city, if not exactly where we are."
The rogue saunters off, hopefully saving time by taking a more direct route back to the burnt-down shop.
Kind of assuming that the group isn't going to still be sitting there ~30 minutes later, so I'll leave it there for now.
Nicholas smiles and gestures for the party to follow him a little bit of a distance from the crowd. "Salla and Ciervo are tracking two suspicious people who are possibly responsible for the fire. We should find someplace to wait for them where they'll find us but we'll be out of sight."
Salla finds the actions of the strangers suspicious, it's almost as if they want her to follow them? Deciding that doing so alone is too much of a risk, instead she slips back to join the party. Not running, and keeping an eye out for ambush, especially from the two scarred men.
Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28
Nicholas, Unafe, and Cai'nan are able to find a small, empty cafe about a block away from the building fire, although nobody really stops looking at Cai'nan (due to his heroics and his worn-off illusion), which forces him to take a quick route that's different from Nicholas and Unafe so that he can return to a less-conspicuous form. There, the trio wait for Ciervo and Salla.
Ciervo returns after about half an hour.
Salla stays back from the burned shop and searches the surrounding area for the party. Once she finds them she looks around cautiously for any observers.
Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (13) + 11 = 24
If she can't see anyone watching the party she will move in and report what she has observed so far, hopefully someone in the party can read and speak Polygot.
"The two strange ones didn't stay long. Came out with two badly scarred men armed with spears. Strangers went one way. The two men were sent to search Niefords. There now."
Damn! I should have copied the writing on the compound so someone could tell what it meant.