"Relax, Mellany," the tiefling says, laying a gentle hand on the woman's arm. "They're not worth whatever punishment you want." Even as he says the words, though, Blast feels a rank part of himself wanting to burn them all away with the acid. He shakes his head and sets off with the others, graciously accepting anything given him, but not wanting any more than the flasks.
Bob leads you through the crowds without incident.
Turning a corner, you arrive at a majestic wooden building with an ornately carved sign on the front, proclaiming to the world: "The White Lily". The building is several stories tall, with over twenty windows facing outwards onto the street. Walking through the front door, you arrive in a gilded reception chamber. A stout matron stands behind a counter, and looks at the group of you with a smile that barely conceals intense ruthlessness and avarice. On the other side of the room is an open archway, showing a sumptuously appointed room nearly a hundred feet across. You can just about make out many men sitting on couches and chairs, being... waited upon... by several women, most of whom seem dressed oddly light for this time of year. Occasionally, a pair stand up and take one of several staircases up into the building.
"A fair greetings to you all!" intones the matron. "Welcome to the renown White Lily, palace of a thousand earthly delights. Will you gentlemen be looking for someone specific, or would you prefer to enter and browse through our range?" She notices Blast and sizes him up. "Do please keep your tiefling outside, however, our customers often complain about their odour."
Bob pushes through you all, and walks up to the matron. "Hullo, Magdal. We're here to see Shelia. Is she free?" Magdal scowls down at Bob. "Didn't those guards finally catch you, you wicked little child? *sighs* very well, i'll have someone fetch her." She rings a tiny bronze bell, and a slip of a girl appears, listens to some instructions and walks into the room and up a set of stairs, her gait somewhat more swaying than is usually found in traditional locomotion.
Looking at Bob and then to the group, "So are we supposed to follow her?"
'This is a nice place,' Aromar thinks to heimself, 'better than the places I usually patronize.'
Blast is a little surprised by the decor and... transactions taking place within the White Lily, but as he pauses, he has to stifle a laugh. How didn't I recognize that name for the kind of establishment it would have to be? The tiefling's only answer is that he doesn't frequent them.
The reason becomes only more poignant with Magdal's reaction to him. Smell? Blast sniffs himself for a moment. The only smell he notices is the pungent fecal odor that's on all of the party. Still, he just puts on what he hopes is his best smile-- it's more of a grimace-- and raises his hands, palms out.
"It's fine," he says, regardless of anything the others might say against Magdal's treatment of him. "I can wait outside, it'll be fine. Now I have these vials, I can defend myself a little more easily."
Still, it's easy to see the sorrow and pain etched on the tiefling's face; his seemingly cavalier manner doesn't hide them well, and the still-purple bruise on his cheek only brings them out.
"I'll be waiting outside with our tiefling," Mellany says haughtily. "I always heard the White Lily was a high class establishment, but it doesn't even have a discrete side parlor for special patrons to wait in. I wouldn't be surprised if Madame Magdla and her girls discuss their clients' performance in the marketplace." With that Mellany hooks her arm in Blast's and starts sashaying towards the door.
"Dear Matron Magdal" Akari gives a long, drawn our curtsy. Akari's face is plastered with the fakest smile to date.
"Please excuse my companions and I, it has been a very trying 24 hours. "
Akari's accent is hardly recognizable at this point.
"Your establishment is quite beautiful. Under... better circumstances, I would have loved to explore what wonders the While Lilly has to offer."
Another big smile
Improve Attitude (Diplomacy)-DC 10+2(friendly) OR DC 15+2(indifferent): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17+1 if she finds Akari attractive
The DC I posted there is an assumption of 14 or 15 (+2) charisma for the matron. I only post it as a reference to you to make things easier, though I understand her stats may be different.
Taurven smiles at Magda. Yes indeed, a most impressive establishment. Perhaps I will return later to savor it's delights myself.
Taurven lets his eyes wander where they will as he waits for Shelia to arrive. It is a bittersweet pleasure, the girls only remind him of Ammelia. he wonders what she is doing right now. Wonders if she is thinking of him.
Diplomacy-Aid other:1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
The matron remains unmoved by Mellany's comments or attempt to leave; she's dealt with far too many clients to be impressed by such things. She casts her gaze over to Akari as she speaks, and while her expression does not change she does seem more friendly towards you.
From a side corridor comes a young woman of possibly sixteen years, garbed in a semi-transparent shift with a leather belt around her thin waist. She beams brightly at Bob as she arrives, and he walks over to her smiling in return.
"Bob! I've been wondering where you'd got to; it's been so long since you've come and seen me!"
"My darnest apologies for that, sweet Shelia," speaks Bob, doffing an imaginary cap and bowing to her. "I got detained by those greasy mitts of the Empire; but I couldn't never just forget about you and those wonderful hands of yours! So, I broke out, ran through the gates and ran to see you!"
Shelia's response is merely the sardonic raising of a delicate eyebrow.
"Well... and maybe these people helped too."
"I thought so! Well, go on then, introduce me." The matron shoots an imperious glare at Shelia for such familiar behaviour, but Shelia ignores her.
Bob takes her by the hand and leads her over to you. "Shelia, this is Mellany and..." "and friends, if you ain't minding me calling you so, this is Shelia."
Aromar typically prefers a wine that has had time to age a bit, fully mature to bring out the intensity of its flavor. That being said he loves wine and will never turn down a glass that's offered to him. He smiles at Bob for the kind introduction, bows slightly at Shiela, extends his hand and gently kisses the top of hers one its placed in his. 'Tis a pleasure, the warmth of your hand softens the very beating of my heart. and he smiles up at her with ... eager eyes. 'And to think just hours ago I was in a prison cell - what a life'
Hearing Bob introducing her, Mellany stops her show of leaving the Lily, but she keeps her arm wrapped around Blast's. "So, Bob, now I'm Mellany, not 'Babe' or 'Doll'?" She asks the urchin with a big smile. "Though seeing your pretty friend, I shouldn't be too surprised. Hello, Shelia, I'm pleased to meet you."
Blast also pauses, turning as he hears Shelia and Bob talking. While he's willing to admit the girl's beauty, Blast also knows how tieflings are viewed, as well as recognizing that this girl is barely a quarter of his age, even if she's almost as physically mature. He shakes his head with a grin, both at Bob's comments and at Mellany's calling him on it. He slightly nods his head. "Good to meet you, Shelia."
Blast can't help but feel a little awkward in this whole situation, though-- especially with Mellany still linking arms with him. Not sure what to do, he snaps his fingers in an almost agitated manner, and barely perceptible snaps of orange flame and white sparks appear with each pop. Blast glances around the room, a tad nervously.
What in Golarion am I doing here? A brothel? Certainly doesn't seem like a good start for a knight of a good order, or for a quest for power... Ah well. Blast sighs softly.
"And I am Akari. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Our friend Bob mentioned to us earlier that you may have something interesting to show us."
Akari will lift slightly her right arm and flash the blue symbol at Shelia at such an angle that only she can see it.
If necessary Sleight of hand Vs Contested perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
"My name is Alian." He nods at Shelia while he ignored the matron before. She wasn't worth his time, or the time of any of them for that matter. Dismissing people out of prejudice was folly, but the woman would probably take ages to learn as her skull likely was as thick as her waist.
And my name is Taurven. the half-elf inclines his head graciously. Then in a much quieter voice continues. We would much prefer to keep our business, our business. Is there some place more discreet..?
Shelia gives a gentle smile. "Oh, you're an eager one, and charming too... i'll have to strip you down and give you one of my special sessions, if you think you can take it."
"Aww, come on, a man can't but speak wots nice when with his favourite girl.." Shelia smiles to Mellany in return and bows slightly.
"You as well, Tiefling. A pleasure."
Shelia looks at you with a bemused look, with no comprehension whatsoever of the symbol. "Err yes, a pleasure to meet you too..."
"There is. But wait, Bob, why exactly have you come here? Surely not just for my company..."
"Hmm? Oh, yes, Shelia- we need you to take us to the cellar. Please don't ask why just yet, it is an... odd story. But there's something there I think these fellows might be interested in."
Shelia raises an eyebrow, and responds "Sure, Bob. But you have to promise to tell me what this is about soon- the matron keeps a close eye on us, and I do hate a mystery!"
Shelia takes you down a corridor, its walls plain and spattered with whitewash. Passing through a small set of kitchens, you come to a small staircase descending down, and a door. Shelia leaves you to return to work, and Bob pushes the door open, taking you into an immense wine cellar- sixty feet wide, forty long, crammed with shelving and bottles and barrels of all kinds.
Bob ignores these, and walks over to a small spot in the corner, kicking over some containers and dust to reveal a small hole in the floor, about large enough to fit one of you at a time.
"Through here. I was exploring these one day and found a piece of floor that felt odd- kicked it a few times, and whoosh! Down I fell."
Aromar fawns lovingly at the wine and looks to be in a daze. He half jokingly mutters to himself, “You go on without me, I'll stay here and make sure someone looks after this wine.” You get the sense from his statement that despite his earlier indication that he would rather be in the basement than upstairs.
“So Bob, what did you find when you went down there?”
Of course everything's bigger and fancier in Egorian, Mellany thinks as she makes her way through the massive cellars. Even the cat houses.
"What Bob found down there wasn't harmful or he wouldn't bring his friends," Mellany replies to Aromar's question before Bob can. "But if you keep hitting on his girl, you might not be his friend for long. We may as well see what we've come to see." She then lowers herself through the opening.
"I was referring to the bottles of wine in this vast cellar we are in, not the young lady, the smell of the aged oak barrels alone is intoxicating. Regardless, I'm not distracted so much as I am multitasking." As he tilts his head and dismissively looks down his nose at Mellany for calling him out.
Blast shakes his head once more, bemused at Aromar's antics. He drops his tail from beneath his coat once again after Shelia has departed, sighing with some relief, and the tail swishes about.
"Interesting," Blast mutters as Bob reveals the hole. "And you say it's of importance...?"
Blast helps Mellany down, then drops himself, his thin and short build allowing him to slip through with ease.
As Bob leads the party down the cooridor, Akari pays very close attention to his every motion, word, and expression.
Sense motive - Bob. Hunch (DC 20): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
Sense motive - Bob. Detect Bluff (VS Bluff): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12
If Akari senses that nothing is wrong, she will follow down the hole with the others, leaving Aromar to his... business.
You can get drunk when you're King of Cheliax.Taurven grins at Aromar. Let's see what Bob has for us down there. With that Taurven lowers himself gingerly down into the hole.
"You'll see." Bob says before neatly jumping down into the hole after you.
With a dull 'thud' you land on a hard oaken floor. The light from the hole above is enough to tell you that you are in a room a little shorter than the one above, and that the floor is wood. Each of you spread yourselves out until you all land safely, however the room is still shrouded in darkness.
"Anyone got a match?"
Alian silently follows, there was no need for talk. When Aromar started drooling over vats of wine Alian frowned. There were few things more idiotic than gorging oneself on alcohol.
In the dark where they land Alian immediately starts weaving his hands in a simple pattern. If there was something down here they'd find it.
Cast Detect Magic
As the lights materialize, you find yourself in a room a near mirror to the one above. The main difference is that this room seems to be over fifty years old and unused- cobwebs form barriers criss-crossing along the room, rotting shelves and splintered planks line the floor, and on the farthest wall sit three enormous wine barrels- twenty-nine feet wide, and just as tall.
Bob points you at the barrel on the left, but you are too far away to make out any details. "That one."
Due to splintered wood and various debris, the floor counts as difficult terrain.
Alian, you detect no magic other than the dancing lights.
Blast lands with relative ease, crouching and touching the ground to shift the force of the impact. He stands to see the dark.
"Just a moment," he says, closing his eyes. When he reopens them, his eyes are burning orange globes, and he begins to survey the room with his darkvision.
However, no sooner does he begin to do this than Akari creates the magical globes of light. Blast quickly blinks his eyes, the orange fading until the eyes return to Blast's yellow irises.
The tiefling looks at the barrels in some shock. They're so... tremendous, he thinks. Then he chides himself for not having any better words; Come on, you learned language at the academy alongside alchemy.
Blast begins to walk toward the barrel Bob points out, picking his way across the debris. Occasionally his tail darts out in front of him as he walks, removing an object that he was about to step on.
"What is this, Bob?" the tiefling asks quietly.
Aromar dismisses the prudishness fo his companions. 'To think you'd find such upstanding citizens in a jail cell ....
Aromar surveys the room for anything that might be out of place given the apparent lack of recent inhabitation. Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21and then slips into the shadows along one wall, placing his back againts it.
As you approach the barrel, you realize that carved into the grain of the lid is the same symbol that appeared on your bodies as you joined the Eight.
"There. I saw that symbol last time, but I thought it was just coz that wine was special or something. But then I saw it on you and I remembred."
Please note that the barrels are on their side, facing you. Not standing upright.
Aromar inspects the large barrel with the symbol on it, checks to see if its hollow, if there mey be an opening, etc.
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
A secret passageway perhaps? Taurven raps on the marked end of the barrel with his knuckles. He looks around the barrel looking for a latch or hinges, or a hidden button. The dancing spell-light is fitful, but his elvish vision makes the chore much easier.
Perception:1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
While the wood is thick, you are able to tell that the barrel is hollow. You see no latch or hinge, but you notice a fine lining of scrapes around where the tap of the barrel touches the wood of the lid, the lining remarkably regular compared with the otherwise weathered nature of the barrel.