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Crimson Throne of Lore

Game Master LoreKeeper

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"Bah! Cheating? You accuse me, the Spiderking, of cheating? In my own house?" Devargo laughs, "Cheating?" He turns to the thugs, "Who here has had less than a gallon of ale?" And is answered by a raucous chorus of "No one!". Satisfied he smiles at the dwarf, "You see? Your man has all the advantage in the world - besides... things rarely get more than... bloody."

Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

"Without a free hand to fill your pouch, the only way for you to win is to make sure both the others are unconscious or off the table -- again, without a free hand or a weapon. Otherwise, if one of them gets even one coin in his pouch, you'll lose," Caulder mutters to Ten, frowning. "You're taking away the only aspect of the game the Bank approves of," he tells Devargo, "the money-gathering part. Without that, it's just a tavern brawl, with both our man's hands tied behind his back."

"Well excuse me for being under the impression that you four came here seeking my assistance."

Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

"We came seeking your cooperation in a matter that concerns all of us, not as supplicants begging a favor for ourselves and willing to be humiliated to gain it. I know you have enough of those." He glances around at the tables full of hopeful ruffians. "This is business, sir. If you came to the Bank for a loan to expand your impressive physical plant here, would you expect us to ask you to dance like a trained monkey or to give you a respectful hearing and a fair interest rate?"

Diplomacy 1d20 ⇒ 13 Could have been worse.

Sense Motive DC 15:

Devargo seems disinterested.

"Very well then," he replies, "What do you have to offer that can keep my interest and pockets." He doesn't bother speaking directly at Caulder, more interested in how the caged dragon reacts to his approach (cautiously wary). Devargo balances two hand-sized spiders, threatening to drop either the left or the right into the cage. The dragon hisses angrily at him - before jumping back when the left spider gets dropped in. The dragon pounces almost immediately, but is taken aback when the second spider lands right behind it.

"You there. And you." Devargo points almost at random at two thugs, "Show me a game of knivesies; can't have this day become a total loss."

Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

Sense Motive 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8

Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

Sense Motive 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11

"We have gold. You have information. I would think it is a pretty simple exchange."

"Yes yes, certainly," Devargo is half-heartedly listening to what Esmerelda says, his attention currently on two of the thugs that are preparing for their sport. "Okay, well, the information is worth a lot, so go right ahead and give what you think the information is worth; if you reach its actual value, then we have a deal. If its less, then consider the money a donation towards my good will and this audience - I will of course look more favorably on you and your future attempts to get the information."

Sense Motive DC 15:

Although this last part is still indifferent, he does nod to himself. Indicating that he'll probably keep to his word.

A thud hits the floor to his left, and Devargo turns to see the second of two spider carcasses flung from the cage. The little dragon looks much worse for wear. The King of Spiders smiles genuinely and croons towards the cage, "Oooo, how much longer I wonder?"

Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

"I will give you 50 gold. And another 50 for the dragon." Esmerelda says nodding towards the tortured dragon while holding out a pouch containing 10 platinum pieces.

Quietly in draconic she orders the little dragon "Hold on a little longer."

Sense Motive DC 10:
Devargo's mood visibly drops.

"Aha. I would've expected the Bank of Abadar to have a better understanding of the value of things. If you're not serious about this, I'd like to ask you to leave."

Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

Rolled a 12 on the previous Sense Motive, but the thread wouldn't let me post for some reason.

Sense Motive 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12 That might be the same 12; I don't know how long the boards preserve a roll. Oh well.

"You're not thinking about this like a businessman, Darkbane," Caulder puts in. "A good customer like Amprei probably drops at least fifty gold every time he walks in here. Matter of fact, there's probably no way our resources can make up for the short-term loss.

"So how about it?" he goes on addressing Devargo directly now. "We can't fully compensate you in coin; the ambassador, devious backstabber that he is, has a heavier purse than we do. We've appealed to your civic pride, pointed out that Amprei's plot will affect you just as much as every other place of business in Korvosa. While no businessman worth his salt wants to lose a regular customer, the loss of his gold won't break you. What do we have that you want?"

Sense Motive 1: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Sense Motive 2: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Sense Motive 3: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11

Pagrip remains oblivious to most of the subtleties in the room. He stays quiet and watches for the moment.

"Contrary to Abadar's teachings, I expect, I'm not overly concerned with money," Devargo pays most of his attention to the knivesies match taking place on the other table. Still he off-handedly adds: "A thousand gold would nearly sway me - beyond that", his eyes glaze slightly and he lets out a slight happy sigh as a yelp carries through the room - one of the contestants is rapidly turning pale, a wicked slash exposing some of his guts. He ineffectually tries to hold them in, but is confounded by the strap to his one hand that his opponent uses to dislodge his efforts. Devargo smiles, "- entertainment, entertainment, entertainment."

Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

"Somehow I don't think he's interested in a little song and dance," Caulder mutters to the others. "Anyone have any bright ideas that don't involve entrails?"

Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

"It is obvious we do not have enough money so we will have to come to another arrangement. What type of entertainment do you have in mind that is worth the little bit of information we seek? Throw the dragon as reward as well and I might consider it."

Human (Varisian) Alchemist 3

To Caulder, Esmerelda and Pagrip: "I could always show him Lord Reginald. I'd bet that he'd find it entertaining... Otherwise, if you can distract him long enough for me to gulp down a few extracts, I should be able to handle two of his thugs in a game of knivesies.

Ten's bluff to be quiet about it 1d20 - 1 + 5 ⇒ (3) - 1 + 5 = 7
Perception 1d20 ⇒ 2

Devargo ignores the writhing young man as he's carried out of the room. "So, that didn't turn out so bad, did it? Is your main man looking like he'll be able to improve on that display?" The King of Spiders nods lazily at Ten.

Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

"If you die, try to die flamboyantly," Caulder mutters encouragingly, clapping Ten on the shoulder. "Korvosa honors your sacrifice."

Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

"Well. While I am still dubious about this whole affair, go for it Ten."

Human (Varisian) Alchemist 3

"Caulder, if I die, I want you and Esmerelda to look after Lord Reginald. I think the two of you would make great parents." Ten replied to the cleric.

Then, to Devargo: "I accept your challenge, Spider-King. Two of your men, against me, in a game of knivesies. Are there any other special rules you'd like to enforce?" Ten asks as he retrieves his mutagen, "Just something for the nerves, to keep my hands steady."

Bluff 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (12) - 1 = 11

If Devargo doesn't object, Ten downs his mutagen (+4 Strength, -2 Intelligence, +2 Natural Armour).

Sense Motive 1d20 ⇒ 9

Devargo reclines in his throne, several spiders scurry to get out of the way, then follow back on and over him. One seats itself on his left hand that is resting on the side of the chair; its one front leg mimics the up-n-down of the Spiderkings fingers. "Excellent," he intones, "Don't look so grim about it paladin, you'll see, it'll be a great sport."

Two eager thugs - the one the victor of the prior session - line-up close to Ten, trying to impose their youthful masculinity on him. The effect is a bit spoiled by the sheer muscle and bulk that Ten brings to the table. "Aight! Issa street pisser aint he? Aight aight, he'sa for the fishkies."

Springtime of youth intimidation 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25

Human (Varisian) Alchemist 3

Reginald, why don't you protect against intimidation?

"Too late to back out now... Pagrip, if nobody objects, could you check the knots after they strap me in? We don't want a bad knot to cause an accident..." Ten muttered nervously.

Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

"Soon as the game ends, we get what's left of our man back," Caulder nods to the Spiderking grimly. "No extracurricular stabbing or stomping after the match. If you're in trouble," he adds to Ten under his breath, "try to kick a coin off the table. That'll end the match, fair and square." He folds his arms and stands back to ensure fair play -- whatever that means within the extremely loose rules of the game.

Perception DC 22:

Something makes a barely audible splash, outside in the waters.

Soon the two tables are pushed together in a vaguely square shape and then are haphazardly cleared of excess clutter like mugs of ale and food residue. The non-competing youths, still half-a-dozen, are spread around the table eagerly chanting for their respective favorites. Bets are spread in the form of money tossed onto the tables and a declaration of who the gambler supports. In little time a small fortune of coins gathers on the table - sizably buffered by a contribution of the Spiderking himself, who puts a generous 50 gold to the pile. "Hah! That makes this the biggest pot the Eel's End has seen since Shakhan's days!"

Appraise DC 15:

A quick overview suggests around 100 gp is on the table, spread over various denominations.

Two ropes are used to strap the contestants together, in the case of Ten both his left and right arms are tied around the wrist - the other two only have their dominant right arms tied. The competitors are arrayed in an equal-sided triangle on the table, with a single dagger in the middle - currently covered in a small mound of coins.

If there's anything you want me to take account of, now is the time to mention it.

Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

Perception 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Appraise 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12

Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Appraise: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15 +2 if this has anything to do with metal or gems

Pagrip gets up and checks the ropes on Ten to make sure there's nothing wrong with them. Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18 If everything's good, he pulls out 20 gp of his own. "I'm betting on my man Ten here," he announces.

Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

Esme bites her lower lip and grips the haft of her greatsword while eyeing the rowdy audience to make sure they do not interfere.

Her eyes fall on the poor tortured dragon. I can't just take it because that is theft. But I can't leave it to be tortured either. there must be another way. Put it out of its misery? Esme shakes her head. What to do? What do do?

Ten and the two youths are readied on top of the table; the ropes currently have maybe a foot worth of slack - but that can change in but a few instances. Their eyes are locked on Devargo, who is poised to give the signal to start. He's enjoying this moment of power and lets a few seconds pass as he raises his hand - then with a sudden chopping motion the match of knivesies is under way!

Initiative of young men 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17

Human (Varisian) Alchemist 3

Initiative 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12

Consider non-contestants to run on initiative "10", just in case you guys want to do something strange.

With a violent tuck Ten feels the force of his right-hand opponent pull him off-center.

Although the contestants are already kneeling (rather than standing on the table) - I'll adjudicate the "off balance" identical to the prone condition.

Trip attempt 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6

The bulk of Ten, however, proves too much for the feeble pull. The second roughling dashes for the coin heap, plunging into it in an attempt to find the dagger first.

Odds of finding it on first attempt: 50%; "high" is success: 1d20 ⇒ 17

With a scream certain of victory he raises the weapon high.

Human (Varisian) Alchemist 3

Round 1
AC 17, T 11, F 16, CMD 17
Initiative 12
hp 25

Ten lunges forward, attempting to bull rush the knife-wielding thug from the table.

CMB 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17 (provokes an attack of opportunity)

While struggling with the thug, Ten does his best to make Reginald understand the importance of collecting coins (only empathic communication possible at Ten's current level).

AC 19, T 17, F 16, CMD 5 (9 vs trip)
hp 12

If Reginald gets the message, he stealthily pops off Ten's ankle and attempts to start gathering coins (possibly only one at a time).

Stealth 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (9) + 19 = 28

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

Reginald detaches as a standard action and moves towards the coins.

Perception DC 30:

A morphous blob detaches itself, apparently, straight off Ten's leg. The creature is the size of - perhaps - two fists, or one big one, like Ten's. It's not clear whether the thing has something in mind, but some rudimentary, pudgy limbs extend from it and allow it to propel itself ungainly along the table top. It's hard to make out what it is doing. Apparently eating a coin.

The dagger wielder is taken by surprise by Ten's brute bulk and fails to take the chance to sink the blade into the big man.

Attack of opportunity 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4 damage 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4

His partner tries to help the dagger wielder by pulling hard on his rope to give less leeway - while the thug with the dagger desperately swings the rope around his own wrist to shorten the slack. In the end he manages to teeter precariously balanced over the edge of the table - held in stasis temporarily by the three body problem of himself, his partner, and Ten in the middle.

Pull, aid 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Pull, balance 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16

Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

"Is that cheating? I'll take care of him if he's cheating." Esme watches the brutal game, carefully.

Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 1

Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

Can't make that Perception check; no point rolling. Well played to get a natural 1 out of the way on an impossible check, though, Avianfoo!

"Formally, we agreed to two against one, not every man for himself," Caulder mutters to the paladin. "No funny business yet, that I've seen. It's hardly worth the trouble of cheating, the odds are stacked so high in their favor already."

Can anyone in the party make that DC? Pagrip certainly can't. :)

"Come on, Ten! You can do it!" Pagrip tries to cheer Ten on.

The DC depends on Regi :) - maybe he rolls low somewhere along the line. I've added a +2 circumstance onto the DC as I figure everybody is focusing on the action.

Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

Continues to glare at Ten's opponents.

Go gross mass!

Human (Varisian) Alchemist 3

Round 2
AC 17, T 11, F 16, CMD 17
Initiative 12
hp 25

AC 19, T 17, F 16, CMD 5 (9 vs trip)
hp 12

Ten holds his position until Reginald has a chance to get back...

I only need one more coin than they get...

Reginald Stealth 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (14) + 19 = 33
Reginald picks up a coin with his mouth analogue and returns to Ten's pants.

Once Reginald gets back (though not yet attached), Ten stomps down on one end of the table, in an attempt to knock everything over:

Strength 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23

Keep in mind that if you fall off the table, you automatically lose.

The whole table strains at the sudden impetus, forming a slight parabola in the middle as it bucks with the pressure. Then, without further warning, the wood gives way, as the legs of the table fail to carry the load. Contestants, gold, and sundry mugs and food residue are momentarily suspended in the air, before gravity strikes back with a vengeance.

Dagger wielding thug, acrobatics 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8

The youth that had been teetering on the brink of the table completely falls through when the table gives way. His body - without the support of his feet - pivots along the diagonal and he smashes face first on the table top that now rests just above the floor. He's stunned from the impact, thick red blood oozes from his nose as he's draped along the edge of the table. For a moment his eyes carry the will to go on, but then they glaze over into unconsciousness.

Unarmed thug, acrobatics 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Bullrush attempt by unarmed thug, 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 4 + 2 = 18

His companion, though, is quick on his feet and wits. As he lands on the floored table he pushes forward on his balls of his feet and propels himself for a shoulder charge right above Ten's hips.

Ten: your next roll needs to be a DC 10 acrobatics check to keep your footing; should you fail you are flat-footed and cannot take an attack of opportunity against the bullrush attempt and will be flung from the table (barring some epic plan on your part) - otherwise if you threaten him somehow, you can take your attack of opportunity and thus maybe give him enough of a penalty to his bullrush attempt to fail.

Human (Varisian) Alchemist 3

Acrobatics 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4

The thug's shoulder connects, knocking Ten...

Ten lands precariously, his attention wholly diverted as the thug rams into him shoulder-first. With a smug, and slightly surprised, expression of victory he sees Ten sailing unsteadily off the edge of the table, landing unceremoniously on his hindquarters. "YEA!" his one - untied - arm raises in the stance of the victor. The youths cheer while already starting squabbles on the gold and bets thereof.

The Spiderking claps as well, "There. You see, good sport - pity the muscle man isn't light on his feet or able to direct his bulk. Still..." he glances at the table, "these are really rather sturdy, impressive."

Pagrip grimaces momentarily as Ten falls, but then he smiles. "Well, he might not have won the contest, but at least he beat the table," he says with a laugh.

Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

Caulder steps over to offer Ten a hand up, awkwardly around the bindings. "Yes," he replies to the Spiderking, "a good time had by all, and your champion proved his worth. With pleasure out of the way, are we ready to talk business?"

The victorious youth peacocks the room, making a display of kissing his biceps and waving his hand dismissively at Ten. At the King of Spiders orders, the knocked out contestant - nose still drizzling a steady drizzle of thickening blood - is dragged out.

Finally Devargo turns his attention back to the heroes. A fist sized spider scrambles up to his should and is almost nestling his ear, before scuttling down his back again. He grins, his teeth taking on a remarkably sharp appearance as the light flickers. "I don't want to be a spoil sport, nor should you be - this is the Eel's End: here business is pleasure." Generously he opens his arms, "This recent bout of sport has bought you my attention, I'll settle my matters with the ambassador with you for 800 gold." If possible, his smile widens as he picks one of the coins of his winnings and flicks it with force at the pseudodragon, who - in spite of exhausted features - has the presence of mind not to just dodge the shot but deflect it down so it rests inside the cage. The little dragon puts its bulk over the coin and hisses at the Spiderking. Devargo laughs, though it isn't a very pleasant laugh, "Your hoard now?"

He turns back to Caulder, in a good-natured way he makes an offer, "Tell you what - I'll have a suitable challenger called in for another round of Knivesies. You, or the dwarf, can face him - not you," he adds to Esmerelda - perhaps out of some chivalrous note, "if you win, I'll settle for 400 gold - no fuss - but if I win, you'll settle for 800 gold, no haggling. In both cases you get the dirt on the ambassador. Can't get a better offer than that, can you?"

Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

"We win, we also get the dragon then you have a deal. And I won't mention how afraid you are of putting a girl in your little game."

Diplomacy 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22

Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

Caulder steps up close to to confer with the paladin. "You going to be okay with walking out of here without that dragon if we lose, Darkbane? I know how women are when they get their hearts set on something, but we can't afford an emotional outburst. There's more at stake here than a psuedodragon."

"What do you think, dwarf?" he asks Pagrip. "Can't help but feel some nasty surprise is going to come walking through the door in the form of that 'suitable challenger.' I hear dwarves are hard to topple ... but Abadar has a few tricks hidden up my sleeve, as well."

Pagrip has a better CMD, but Caulder's CMB is higher and he has his Command supernatural ability that could come into play, depending on what Lore has in store as an opponent. :P

Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

"Can't say I'd like it, but I will follow your lead, cleric."

Somewhat dismissively Devargo explains to the paladin, "Knivesies with a woman is more like a farce, most of these guys here would rather jumps at your t!*~ and prolong the match." But he thinks it over then adds, "Likewise," Devargo grins towards Esmerelda: "pleasure is business here. If you want the dragon, you'll have to risk half of what he's worth; so add another 2500 gold to the pile, and the dragon is part of the pot. Deal?"

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