I nod to the men. "I know. I am here simply to learn from your leader. If indeed there is nothing wrong then all will be well. I would like to share words of wisdom with your leader. Nothing more. I will not be taking you anywhere nor asking you to go anywhere against your will. I and my friends want to learn from him. Is that going to be a problem?" I await there answer.
The men look at each other, their faces showing their thoughts. They look like they are about to give in to you, until a voice shouts from the back, "Baldrago, Malder! You know the rules, no-one comes in!" You notice that there is worry in their expressions before they turn back to you, "Ya can't come in! Ya sound nice 'nough, but we can't let nobody see Verik! Now kick off!"
My polite expression turns sour. "I hope you and your boss understand what this means right? In this time of chaos, there are many unsavory sorts who would do harm to the population. I pray the gods have mercy on your souls you poor men." With that I turn and depart.
The effect was meant to intimidate as a last attempt to change their minds but if it doesn't work I return to the others.
Intimidate:1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
As I leave I look around for anything suspicious.
Perception:1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Seeing nothing I approach the others.
"They would not let me in even at my nicest." I say this mildly disgusted. "I may have been in error mentioning I was from the guard, however, I know of no other authority I could have claimed that would have yielded better success. I can lie though it is not my gift. Since honeyed words do not sway these men, I can only suspect they are likely hiding rebellious actions. Dangerous ones at that. No good will group would turn away a harmless inspector. I have exhausted my specialty so now it is time for a different approach. I suggest one of two actions. Sneak in, or brash are way through. Last time both were used but I will ask your....opinions before I act. All I know is I want this matter resolved and soon." I wait for ideas from the others.
If no one comes up with anything better, Vico will approach the men, "Kano, Jax, a fine though unexpected day for charity, quite the new job for you. But the Field Marshal might have something to say about deserters, more so in this troubled time. So I suggest that you stand aside while we sort this out, otherwise ..." Vico lets their limited imagination work on them.
Intimidate 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29 Do they stand down?
Vico has his sword hand empty and his other arm(with the buckler) across his chest. Holding an action, if violence breaks out, from anywhere, Vico will go full defense with his bucker getting AC 24.
Cannot make that perception check
Iolana's expression does not falter when Fealix returns with his tail between his legs.
"You are correct," Iolana allows, her tone clearly condescending as though praising a child for turning over the correct block having been shown the solution. "These men are murderers and thieves of convenience. An observation I made last night, while you were moon eyed with the guard captain," she adds.
"Should you wish to 'sneak' I would suggest observing them for some time so that we can excise their element completely, but I assure you, most ardently, that they will not lead you to the man that you seek."
My eyes narrow at Iolana suspiciously. "So you have been scouting them out already. Seems I am not the only impatient one around here. But you seem to have discovered only what I have deduced. A whole night of waiting and you got no further that I did in a simple encounter. This only proves that waiting yields nothing at this point."
I turn to look to the men and Vico. "Our sneaks have not spoken for some time and that new fellow is now stepping forward using force. If he is unsuccessful then I believe our next course of action is clear. I am no sneak and bet he is not as well. Only one option left. If this man fails, it may invoke a violent resonse. If that happens we resort to our authority by the guard captain to storm the facility and take their leader by force. If you are not ready for that then you should have accomplished more last night while you were acquiring information." I keep my eyes on Vico ready to use magic if a fight breaks out.
"The folly of youth," Iolana sighs. "There is only ever one option and that is yours, is it? Well then, have your bloodbath among witnesses, you cur, and fare thee well in your future endeavors. I am certain no innocents will come to harm in this place by your ill-advised scheme."
I think Vico said he would go if no one offered up any other options, and I offered an option... so, we'll wait to see what he does, I guess...
i watch everyone silently from the shadows while keeping an eye out for any other threats.
perception1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
when i feel safe there are no more of the guards around i walk around the building to see if i can find another way in.
stealth1d20 + 12 ⇒ (13) + 12 = 25
hi all glad to be back from my holiday, sorry i was away for so long. i hope i didnt cause any problems. hello Vico hope to have fun with you.
Vico stops before marching up to the erstwhile guardsmen. He turns as Faelix and Iolana engage in their war of sarcasm. "If being witty would solve the day, we would already be in a tavern, the day's work done." Oh, by the gods, they have me doing it now!
In a less volatile tone Vico continues, "You make a good point, Iolana, in saying that if defeated they may prove too loyal to give up their leader. More likely those two don't know it anyway; I wouldn't trust them with anything important. But what action are you really suggesting? I have no ability to sneak, Faelix says the same. Do we wait till dark, observing this place, and see if some one leads to where we go? That might work but we are known here now, if our target is not already here, then a competent intriguer would not go to his boss for a while. We ... I don't have unlimited time for this either. What say you quiet others, any stealth will fall on you guys and the lady, I guess?"
Vico strokes his mustache in contemplation. "I'd prefer not to have a confrontation, they are or were colleagues, and riots are a terror to all. But the mission will be done." Vico looks at any remaining stealthy types, silently questioning, can you do it?
Glad to be on board, Tyler, nice to see you, hope the pace can pick up now. I've been matching pace but can do more posting most days.
"To preface, I will say that it is my suspicion that Vaskertin is not the objective, but a method of our illustrious Queen to maintain a heightened state of fear in the city. It is clear that a defector reflects poorly on her administrative abilities, moreso than employing Hellknights to settle disputes in her territory.
"But, one hires mercenaries to leave, not to give them accolades," Iolana continues, her eyes flashing in Fealix's direction. "I do not believe that our employer expected us to survive."
She pauses and looks to the two men. "They are desperate for coin. Fifty gold to dispose of any person we can name. Learn their names, promise them gold, and they will slaughter themselves, I expect, if we wish to be a party to that behavior. I believe our particular talents, and yes, cur, even yours, can be employed elsewhere.
"A man with Vaskertin's sensibilities will likely not be able to resist the urge to secure himself in these times. If we let it be known that the group that disposed of Lamm is looking to assist others, we may capture his interest. This would require only that we make this known. I suggest we use the Dwarven Ales as a meet place, so that he will feel comfortable with meeting us."
-----In response to Iolana's earlier comment about my bloodlust----
I sit and listen to Iolana's words with an uncharacteristic sense of joy and pride. Realizing to some degree that the woman cares enough to insult my motives when my only motive is chaos.
Fealix? This woman is rather bold in her assumptions about you. Shamira knows what you want. You needn't listen to her. She is of little consequence in the grand scheme of things.
"There is more to it than that. She said some awefully melodious words but one note rings sour with that arrogance and ignorance I despise." Though I am saying this statement out loud, it is to no one.
I turn my attention to Iolana. A strangely pleasant smile on my face. "I like what you have said. It gives me a sense of pride. There is one thing however that you have brought up that I do not understand. I have asked this question to many I have been assosiated with and none have been able to answer. What is "Innocence"? I narrow my eyes waiting and predicting her response.
------I listen to the plan Iolana lays out------
I raise my eyebrows. "So you presume that we, or rather, myself, were set to our deaths? Interesting. I assume you have this on good faith? Never the less, I am not quite sure it matters. Let's just say I have grown rather accustom to being sent to my death. My father couldn't kill me, Lamm couldn't kill me, and countless others who have attempted the same couldn't do so. In this case scenario, I would not have desired an up front assault. I would have done so only to assist this new fellow should he had riled the guards. I would rather plan my violence before carrying it out. Regardless, we have avoided that for the time being."
I ponder for a moment. "I do want to complete the task before me whatever the motives of our employer. I am not one to make choices based on morals but rather a desire to fulfill my mother's ambitions. Hers is a desire to meet the queen and the desire falls on myself as well. So, hate the situation or not, I plan on bringing in Vaskertin soon. Not this moment but in a timely matter all the same."
This woman would have you not fulfill your duty Fealix. You needn't humor her with your attention. You need to focus on getting on the queens good side so we can talk extensively.
I seem suddenly annoyed. "I know that. I do not need you to keep reminding me all the time! Just stay quiet for a moment and let me finish." I look back at the others. I clear my throat clearly a bit embarrassed. "Forgive the outburst. I sometimes get carried away with my own thoughts."
I think for a moment. "So, you know how to draw out Vaskertin? If he wouldn't meet with me in his own sanctum, what knowledge have you that he would meet us in a public setting instead? Obviously you know much more than you let on." I look at Iolana suspiciously.
I'm glad to see that the pace has picked up again, thank-you everyone for being so patient.
Vico, are you going to the guards and intimidating still, or have you stayed away from them now as the others have been talking?
While you are all discussing the situation none of you notice Tyler leave, when you all turn to look to him you see he isn't standing where he was before, he moved only a couple of feet ... but how did you not hear or see him move? Even the two guards seem to have missed his disappearance and don't realise he is back until everyone turns to look at him for his opinion. They are watching you all suspiciously though, hands on their weapons.
im not suprised that none saw me leave or come back but i wait for them to stop talking before speaking quietly to them all. 'these are the only windows, around the west wall there is a pen for animals and a set of doors which look to be unguarded. if we can come back without them seeing we could sneak in from there. there arent any more ways in other than these doors here and the ones around there.'
while everyone thinks about this i look at Iolana 'why do you think our employer doesnt expect us to live? i didnt get any impressions like that, in fact that guard woman seemed nice and just wanted answers. even if you mean the Queen i didnt get any suspicions from her, she lost her husband and is mourning. i dont see any more than that, or do you know something i dont?'
I stopped my action and a talking to the others now. So no I'm not currently going to try the intimidate.
Vico listens to the group and begin to wonder just what is going on. "I have orders to bring Vancaskerkin back alive if possible, I am going to carry out those orders. If I have deciphered your meaning correctly Iolana, you intend to aid him, why?" At Faelix's outburst Vico looks very surprised then assessing.
Sense Motive:1d20 ⇒ 20
Great roll, what do I get from it?
"Are you drunk young man? Please control yourself, the times are too serious for malarkey."
At Tyler's return and comments, Vico says, "I'm willing to wait for those that are good at 'nightly activities' to gain entry and answers, I could not be in such a group though, I'd be heard a mile away. Truly I'd prefer this settled with as little violence as possible - but not less violence than possible, to complete the Field Marshal's orders, that I'm sworn to obey. And I'm very sure that the Field Marshal intends for me to return alive."
Bluff vs Vico's sense motive to convince him there is nothing amiss:1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14 and fail. Okay spoiler below is for Vico
In spite of my vain attempts to act natural, I have let it slip that I may not be as sane as I often sound. In fact, you get the suspicion there may be another being in my head. It could be a deity, planer creature, a spirit, an imaginary friend, or I am simply just insane. At least I act like my will is not always my own.
So ... what is the plan? Wait until night fall and slip in through the back, try to gain entry through the front or a mix of slipping in through the back whilst some of you enter from the front (Pincer maneuver)? If you are going to split up, please tell me of your teams, I will control Raz until he is able to return.
Read the dm note in post above, open to all as you wish. If a roll is needed bluff 1d20 ⇒ 13. Vico will take no overt action as to Fealix yet he will seek the advice of the Temple of Pharasma first. The bluff is simply if Faelix believe Vico to be unaware of his oddness or not. If the bluff fails Faelix will know that Vico tried to pretend ignorance.
If the sneaky members want to sneak, Vico will support them as best he can. Let Tyler take the lead I guess, it appears he is the best sneak. Vico will go where Tyler wants him to, take in account Vico cannot be stealthy.
If Iolana is at all bothered by Fealix's tendency to snarl at the air, she does not display an emotion. "I could toss a fig for your ambition, cur, so long as you do not involve me in your downfall. I am a mother, and my people and my daughter await my return."
When Vico speaks, she favors him with her attention. "Because I believe in his mission," Iolana says. "These riots we hear about but have not seen, it is not these hungry folk who are rising against the Queen's armed and armored knights. They are the innocents in this, and do not deserve to suffer for violence started by others."
Iolana smiles at Tyler before responding in the following, not wishing to discuss politics so openly before the guardsman.
"Is the Queen in mourning, or is she simply giving a performance?" Iolana asks. "You are correct, however, the captain is merely her creature. But her willingness to smile upon the cur speaks volumes for her lack of judgment."
I smile at Iolana. "Innocence is a lie. You can never know what these people do behind closed doors. As we had seen in the alley, these people are just as sinful as everyone else. In the end the collateral matters little."
I take a breath. "I do not trust this Vask person. I am one man seeking an audience in his turf and he stilll refused to see me. An honest person with good intentions would not keep thugs at his door and turn away an ambassador unless he was hiding something. If you want to talk evils, someone offering free food in a time of chaos is a good way to earn loyalty and when the time comes he will call on them to fulfill his own ambitions. It is a simple tactic. Weather his ambition is goos or not is besides the point. I trust him no more than you trust the queen."
Lokking at Tyler. "Now you have presented an option that I will agree to as opposed to open conflict. Find out what Vask is up to and grab some evidence of it and we can bring it before the captain. Then we will go on her advice."
I look back at Iolana. "Do what you feel is best. I will not stop you."
Tyler it is your turn to do something.
i look to Iolana.
i turn to face the others 'how about Fealix and me go in through the back quietly and try to get to Vaskerkin, while you all distract the men here. means we would be less likely to be seen or heard and we can do this with little or no violence? does that sound good?'
I nod at Tyler. "I will go with you Tyler but I cannot sneak. You will have to move ahead of me and make sure it is a place I can go without discovery. I will stay a safe distance back so as not to jeopardize your position should I be to loud but close enough to respond if you trigger an alarm. I only want to go because I want to see for myself what these hooligans are hiding. Whenever your ready I will follow." I wait for Tyler to lead the way but I follow at 20 feet. Once inside I will only move at Tyler's beckoning
Okay ... So could I please have Stealth checks from Fealix, Tyler and anyone else who wants to go with them?
Baldrago calls over to Vico once the other group have walked away, "Oi, D'Sall! Why don't you join us? Everyone knows that sorry excuse for a woman; Cressida, won't promote you! We know how hard you have worked and could use someone like you, plus you would get that pay rise you so desperately want, well what do you say?!"
Iolana smiles at Tyler and Razule's initiatives, and tries to keep the enthusiasm when Fealix volunteers to go with them. The man was not a sneak, he was a braggart who enjoyed violence. Lady, please, she prayed silently as they moved away I know it is your will to find beauty in all things. Is this boy your test?
Her thoughts are interrupted by the pig attending the customers calling out to Vico. On instinct she reaches out and touches his arm at the elbow.
"Do not allow these creatures to bait you. Rail of justice if you must to preserve your title, but do not invite violence."
I find it amusing that everyone thinks Fealix likes violence. Truly he himself hates it. It is often a last resort or a means to an ends
I keep my distance allowing the absence of people to act as my stealth. I will only move when Tyler beckons and when attempting to hide from those who are present. I will not follow where I am required to actively sneak about. If I cannot move freely undetected, then I simply do not move. :p
Vico smiles at Iolana's peacemaking, "Not a problem, I'll see about the offer." Vico goes toward Baldrago. "Hello. That's the best offer I've had today but I admit to a certain wariness, 'that which looks too good to be true is too good to be true' an old but wise adage. So how does your new job go? Better pay goes with more risk so tell me what's the risk I'd be taking?"
Vico is interested in what Baldrago has to say but is thinking, Base, greedy, oaf, does he see me as honorless as himself? Not that honor has an ounce of meaning for him.
Bluff 1d20 ⇒ 2 Keep Baldrago from noticing his contempt or at least pass it off as arrogance on Vico's part, not disgust at Baldrago's treachery. I don't think that's going to work but maybe Baldrago'll just get offended, not perceptive. Maybe.
Player whistles in the dark :)
Says the red skinned boy who talked about shoving things up people's fingernails and such. Yeah, that speaks volumes for how much Fealix hates violence. :P
While Vico approaches the men behind the counter, Iolana turns her attention to the customers. She chats with them and attempts to put them at ease, hoping to forestall any trampling or ill effects should violence break out.
Iolana Diplomacy with Customers 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16
This large cattle pen is open to the air, and the stink of manure, mud, and animal is strong, despite the breeze that wafts through the stockade’s wooden fence. To the south stands a roofed shed containing a straw-filled wagon.
In this room you see 2 men, one is chopping up some meat, the other is standing near by, keeping an eye out the front of the shop. Neither seemed to have noticed you, there are no stairs leading up from this room, but there are 3 large doors along the northern wall.
Vico looks a bit surprised then calculating, "Well, that sounds a bit risky, the money would have to be right. Connections are needed to clear up any misunderstandings that might occur. I'd need to know the Cow Hammer Boyz and get a feel for the long term prospects; you know me, I plan ahead." Vico attempts to get more info and conceal his true motives.
Bluff 1d20 ⇒ 19 Vico continues being deceptive, he finds the offer disgusting but wants to know more and waste Baldrago's time.
Sense Motive 1d20 ⇒ 9 Is Baldrago's offer sincere or does he have ulterior motives?
Vico tries the subtle approach as he promised but he's out of his element, he pokes creatures with metal sticks, he doesn't do suave. Not bad for him though.
It would appear that he is being sincere with his offer and doesn't realise that you are just wasting his time.
Vico gives a slight frown and then says, "I understand that the culprit, as you say, can't put up a fight, but any survivors or family could file a complaint with the magistrates. How does the Cow Hammer Boyz handle that? Or are the clients, mmmm, picked to have problems that can't or won't go to authorities." Vico looks curiously at Baldrago as he thinks, I'm going to choke on the irony here as I say this in a Guardsman's uniform.
Vico eyes also sweep around the place, wondering what's taking so long.
Perception 1d20 ⇒ 10
Bluff 1d20 ⇒ 18
I have just spoken with Tyler and he is unable to continue due to some family emergencies. I am unsure if everyone else is able to play still as things started to slow down a lot before this big gap. Let me know if you would like to continue, as I have another player in mind who would like to give this campaign a go. Sorry about the delay of getting back to you all, whenever I tried posting on this campaign (during the last week) my posts have been eaten! I hate it when that happens.