"This isn't a meeting, this is a riot waiting to happen," is Rica's first thought as she enters the building. She was expecting a small group, not...this. She begins listening just as the supposed leader begins to mention a man named Lamm. She tightens her lips and looks up at the half-elf speaking from her place in the back as she wonders just what Astin's gotten her into. As he continues his speech though, Rica finds her lips curling up into a slight smirk as adrenaline begins to rush through her. "To think that Astin would be involved with people like this...well, it certainly gives them at least some credibility, doesn't it? I wonder...could this turn into something?" She runs a hand over her cravat and watches the man with great intensity until he finishes speaking.
Then, one by one, people pledge themselves to the cause. She looks over them, attempting to take stock of who exactly is doing so, but she's so far in the back that she can't make out much of anything.
"And what would you have us do, Sir?" she calls out as she makes her way through to the middle of the crowd, dodging various students and beggars, sometimes even pushing them aside with her cane. If there's a plan that doesn't just involve suicide, she wants to hear it. Feelings that most normal people associate with panic are pounding in Rica's head, causing her chest to clench, but they only serve to feed her interest.
Arael points at Rica to answer her question. He smiles at her, a dazzling glint of his considerable charm and charisma. "I'm glad you ask. I want to make this clear. We are not fools. We are not looking to get ourselves killed. Open rebellion will get the Korvosan Guard to come down on us if we are lucky, and the Hellknights if we aren't. There are forty thousand people who live in our fair city, with thousands more in the surrounding lands. This isn't a battlefield, though we will be able to defend ourselves. No, our battlefield will be gaining the favor, the hearts and minds, of the people of Korvosa. We will show them that it is not fair for four hundred to rule over forty thousand without an election, and they will find it is difficult to rule without the consent of the governed."
The woman in tough clothing, presumably Arael's chief lieutenant, strides the boundary of the room. She occasionally checks out the window, but mostly focuses on the people who came to the meeting. She clearly has some considerable talent at recognizing promising potential recruits. She barely gives even a second glance to most of the people in the room, but spends quite a bit of time studying about a half-dozen people scattered in the crowd. She seems especially interested in the masked man who spoke first, as well as the cloaked figure invoking Milani. Her eyes dart several times to what looks to be a simple beggar to the rest of the room, and her sharp eyes focus on something amid the crates near the exit. She also keeps an eye on the strangely-dressed girl who seems to have gained Arael's favor, though she appears less than fully pleased about her for some reason.
The Varisian woman that Arael mentioned earlier stands up to speak. She nervously fiddles with her deck of cards, which is actually a Harrow deck to those who look closely. She speaks with the heavy accent that most Korvosans associate with the criminal Scarzni who roam from town to town. "I am Zellara. Arael is here to make this city a better place. I came to him after my son was murdered by Gaedren Lamm. Arael and Janiven went to speak to him to demand justice. Lamm and his thugs attacked them, but they fought them off. I knew as soon as it happened that Lamm was dead. I felt my son's spirit rest, knowing that a dangerous criminal was gone. I have seen the cards, and I know that he will not lead you wrong."
Elrith, on hearing that a possible target for her bow is now gone, audibly grunts her displeasure. Janiven's eyes whip back to the crates by the exit and Elrith locks her gaze for a moment before lowering hers from the steely stare. Elrith sighs, whispers, "If you've led me to destruction, I swear I'll make sure to gut you first," to Knuckles, then steps forward into the light to address Arael.
"I am the Arrow." She pauses to let the name sink in, generating recognition (or not). "I have traveled the world, helping Taldane villagers repel constant Qadiran raiders. I have freed slaves from the halfling flesh markets of Katapesh. Noble ventures that all failed for one reason or another. Why is this coup going to be different?"
Arael grins at the pretty elf, all his charm and focus on her. Behind the self-styled Arrow, a roguish human male looks a bit displeased with the half-elf's attention towards her. Arael gesticulates with his hands as he answers. "This isn't a coup, and that's why it will succeed. We aren't looking to replace one set of nobles with another. That will only perpetuate the injustice that we see on the street every day. We are looking to have this be a government that respects its people, that includes and listens to them. That's why we will succeed. We aren't doing this for greed or pride or power, but justice and equality. Don't you want to stop them from discriminating against those of orcish or devil-touched heritage, to treat the smallerfolk fairly? Don't you want them to stop pillaging the people with taxes as they enter and exit the city? Don't you want them to actually prosecute the criminals who flood the streets with drugs and violence, instead of simply looking the other way if they've paid their dues with the Cerulean Society?"
I understand if you're biding your time to see how this develops, but try to at least have an internal monologue or reaction so I know you're still here. You can trust me. This is going somewhere.
Elrith attempts to keep her face cold as ice in the heat of Arael's warm gaze.
Bluff to pretend she's unimpressed with is brown doe eyes: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (14) - 1 = 13 A few spots of colour appear on her cheeks, but nothing more. Knuckles grimaces as he spots the subtle flush.
"That's all well and good, but either you hope to convince the current government to change its ways, give up its absolute power and wealth, and start passing out bread in the soup kitchens, or you're looking to replace said bastards with a more forward-thinking bunch, which, by definition, is a coup. I'm not complaining. The king's on his way out, and this city is a warehouse full of alchemist's fire, waiting to go off when the idiot bimbo of a queen knocks over the first vial. This city is going to start tearing itself to pieces, and in the end, there are either going to be Hellknights in charge, with this place becoming a Chelish colony in all but name, or the drug lords will win out, and this place will become worse than Riddleport and the Shackles combined. If this meet is nothing more than flowery words and big boasts, then I'm out the door, but if there's a plan, then I'm staying. I'm not looking for the full agenda here, just some proof that there's at least half a brain behind it, cause if there is, then the Arrow will point wherever you aim it."
Elrith crosses her arms in her best effort to look sternly up at the man, ruined only slightly by her unconscious effort to better frame the curves in her black leather armour.
DM Barcas. I'm definitely here, never fear. The only thing that's going to take me away from this game is death, and even then, there might be some negotiating...
Arael grins, his attractive face lighting up at Elrith's passion. His human features complement his elven ones very well, combining the elven grace with a very unmistakeably human masculinity. There is a glint in his eye as he responds to her. "You are quite the hero of the people. We are very lucky to have you on our side. It's hard to believe that someone so beautiful could be so dedicated." Janiven subtly rolls her eyes at Arael's flirtations. He shifts to turn to the other members of the crowd so everyone can hear. "She raises a good point, a practical point. We do not intend to stand idly by and make speeches, simply hoping to turn the will of the people into something practical that we can use. No, we are going on the offensive!"
Several people cheer, some of them saying some unkind words about the government and some saying things that are frankly treasonous. "No, no. Not against the government. We would be crushed. No, we are going on the offensive against those protected by the nobility. The Guard is too tied up in bureaucracy and politics. They can't effectively fight the criminals in the streets with their hands shackled by the law. We have no such issue, my friends! We are going to engage in a street battle with the common criminals. Gaedren Lamm was just the first, and there are so many more! We will organize into groups and dedicate ourselves to bringing down the corrupt gangs that plague our citizens. Do you want the Bastards of Erebus running wild and loose? Do you want the Outsiders handing their drugs to your children? Do you want the Scarzni to rob your parents blind of their life savings and convince them that they did the right thing? How about the Basilisk Combine or the Winter Wolves? Once we cleanse the city of the criminals, make the streets safe at night, the people will follow us. Once we have the following of the citizens as their heroes, we can demand change from the government!"
Rica watches the exchange between Arael and the female elf with wide eyes and a slight grin. It isn't until Arael turns back to the rest of the crowd that Rica gains control of her face again, forcing her expression into one of slight interest. It just keeps sounding better and better. At first, she was worried that Arael was trying to start a full-on revolt, but now... "Perhaps he really is as smart as he appears. Imagine that."
She looks around as he finishes his explanation, fully expecting the crowd to shrink, now that Arael has made it clear that he expects more than simple treason from them. Regardless of whether it does or not, Rica then looks back at the charismatic half-elf and speaks, making sure her voice can be heard above the crowd.
"I'm impressed! No, really, I am! You're right, a coup would do nothing but cause death. But please tell me, good sir, have you made sure that there are none within our midst who might seek to crush this cause? What if that man over there were an informant to the Outsiders? You're putting a lot of trust into strangers, the way I see it." She runs a hand through her hair and takes a deep breath, thriving on the excitement of the situation. "A lot of trust indeed. How do you know we're capable? How do you know this won't fall apart the moment the filth of this city rears it's head in retaliation? You're making this sound easy. I'm not saying that there isn't talent here, and I'm not saying I'm unwilling to lend my aid. But if I'm going to lend my hand to a cause that very well might get me killed..." "Killed? What am I saying?" "Then I expect a little bit of assurance that this won't be all for naught!"
I'm also still here, and I admit I was waiting to have a bit more to react to, since I was one of the last people to post before Arael spoke again. I'll try my best to help keep things moving though.
A beggar in the crowd begins to cough loudly and horribly, falling to his knees after a moment, a few nearby move back rapidly, beggars know the danger of sickness on the streets, catching the man's apparent cold would be a death sentence to them. However when a space is cleared he stands up shakily, leaning heavily on a cloth-bound cane, tousled auburn hair wild above his dirty face, only one eye visible, but that eye is shining with fervor. Not the time to cut a dashing figure old boy, but one finds it hard to resist.
'I...' His voice trails off weakly, before he clears his throat and suddenly his voice is strong, suprisingly so, as it carries out to the crowd.
'I don't have much strength. I don't have big arms, or a clever head, I have little to offer but myself and what I know. But this is something I've never seen on the streets. This is something pure, this is something with promise, and which promises to make live better for me and the other gutterkin of this city. I give all I am to this, in the eyes of the gods I promise myself, my live and all my effort to this cause. My name is Luca the Gull, and I'm with you.'
The beggar stands upright as he finishes his speech, as if healed by Araels words and the hope given to him, as if lifted by Iomedae to stand and speak benedictions to her followers. He raises as if a man saved and given strength by something greater than himself. He holds himself tall as no crippled beggar would ever dream. Here's hoping its contagious and that your movement shows itself to be as bloodless as you promise. I'm betting on you half-elf.
Diplomacy check to sway the crowd at large, and the beggars especially to become convinced to join with Arael. 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
Senjin's initial fears diminish. He likes the sound of targeted strikes. No hand wringing or sign waving, but action. Throwing off the chaff of this rabble and getting to business. The business of hitting gangs is what he knows.
He listens as the Elf talks. The Arrow. I had heard some stories..didn't know it was a woman.
But this other woman, her fine clothes and words of suspected treachery. She dares point a finger. Look at her. She is the nobility we seek to free our selves from! "Let's not count out Noble spies." He calls out into the ruckus after her speech.
Then a beggar takes the floor and seems to recover from his injuries. What is going on tonight? Something unusual for sure, special even.
But the fervor of the crowd worries him a bit. Was that faith healing? I do not want to get tied up in a religious movement...the crazies and their religion are always trouble...using faith instead of their heads. Clean up the prostitution, clean up the drinking...it doesn't end these things, just makes it rougher on those desperate enough to succumb. Driving something underground without realizing the role poverty plays in all this. Desperate people do anything to survive.
He stands back up. "Like I said, I am all for taking on the gangs. But I am not signing up for a crusade. I wish to break their power, but will not be part of an extermination. He looks around at the crowd. Many of the beggars here likely started of in gangs before falling to an unlucky blow. The only difference between him and them is that he crawled back up, with some help. But there are others who still deserve that chance. The blow has yet to be struck upon them, and they are still just awaiting the day they are left discarded on the streets by those they thought were friends.
He turns back to Arael. "These gangs can be roughedup. Broken even. But a good share of the members play little role in the crime and violence, their only sin being that they were desperate when no one else would look after them. I want your pledge that mercy will be shown to those who ask it. And that resources be made available to help in our destructive wake. You want to win the war against these gangs..you have to offer something the gangs are providing...security, shelter, food, and even a reason for living. These people are not looking for a vote, they want help. Killing the worst of the bunch is a start, but without a hand of compassion to follow up, we are just raising another generation of toughs that will have to be just that much crueler to survive."
Arael points to Janiven and Zellara. "My friends will ensure that only those loyal to our objectives will be part of this organization. Janiven is a shrewd judge of character, almost to the point that she seems to have mind-reading powers." Several people in the crowd chuckle uncomfortably, and a few scoot away from her. "We also have the advantage of Zellara's Harrow deck. She can predict the future, to an extent, to warn us if there is a snake in our midst."
He turns to address Senjin specifically. He locks eyes with the Shoanti youth. "I know exactly what you mean. No one is without a past or regrets. Those that can be redeemed will join our cause. As we absorb them and grow our numbers, we can take on stronger and stronger enemies."
Rica's brows raise in spite of herself as she follows Arael's gaze to Janiven. "A shrewd judge of character? It's better than nothing, I suppose. The fortune-teller though...she will probably prove more useful, if she really can predict the future. This could work. The question remains though...am I willing? Surely I'd be a great asset to this group, but the repercussions..." She shakes her head slightly and forces a confident smile. "I can handle it. Astin wouldn't have invited me here if he didn't know that fact. To think that I could have a hand in reshaping the greatest city in all of Varisia..."
She raises her voice once again. "That's all I needed to hear! This city, while great, has it's dregs. It has -wounds-. There are places here that even I hesitate to show my face in. You're right, the people of Korvosa shouldn't live in fear, under the clutches of a government that, quite frankly, cares little for it's people! Of course the nobles lack concern for the problems of those living in the poorer districts, what happens here doesn't affect them!" She then pauses and folds her arms in front of her, giving her words time to sink in. When she speaks again, her words have the unmistakable sound of distaste, which changes to pride once she refers to herself."Few nobles see the need for change. They're happy as long as they can continue their social games. Believe me, I know of noble injustice. I only barely escaped the games myself. I am Rica Hismar, -former- student of the Academae, adept summoner, and hopeful friend to this cause."
Sorry for the absence. I was travelling then returned home only to find that my computer had gone and died on me while I was away. Needless to see I am a little out of sorts. I'll do my best to catch up. Sorry again!
He listened i/b] ntently, nodding softly at the correct places. So he had a job again? This was interesting. Here he had been about to ask for his old post back but this, this was a lot better. This could mean a way to work with the Guard and still play his own goals along, as well. He nodded softly, chewing his lip in thought.
"I see the sense in what you are saying Ma'am and it would be an honor, truly. But... May I ask a favor? After all of this is done, after you are through needing my assistance, could you find a place for me within the Guard again? It was through unforseen circumstances that I withdrew my Commisson and, truth be told, I miss the Soldiers life a bit!" He grinned self-consciously, before continuing. "Of course I understand that may be a good while from now and that suits me just fine. Regardless of your answer, it would be an honor to serve the Guard again, in any capacity I may!" he bowed fluidly, one hand on the hilt of his sword, the other on his heart.
@Alejandro in Citadel Volshyenek, Earlier
Field Marshal Kroft smiles at Alejandro, one of the few times she's let her facade slip. "Get this done for me, Endrin, and you can come back with a promotion. This is an important assignment. Get out there and do it right. I don't expect daily reports, but keep me updated when you can." She returns to her business, subtly giving him the sign that he should get on the assignment as soon as possible.
Luca moves closer to the stage now that he has announced his allegiance to Arael, bobbing and weaving through the crowd, keeping a wary eye on Janiven, who he noticed saw him as different from the other beggars. I don't like that ones keen eyes, she'll be much harder to subtly direct than this Arael. Though he's clever, I'll certainly give him that.
'What now? We've all shared words and thoughts. But what about details? When do we start, and where? Should we split people into cells and groups before diseminating too much information? It will lessen the ability of people to tell the guards on us. Give everyone a contact other cell members, and a few simple tasks. While you assemble your criminal suppression team. One thats more than happy to leave the less vile thugs alone, and maybe leave them to the guard. We'll earn even the guards favor then, which cannot be a bad plan.'
Luca maintains his accent to a degree, but the real thickness of it is gone after his impassioned speech, he finds it hard to talk in large technical terms in his deepest accents. Some actor I am. Gods I hope this doesn't get me killed. I'm a little too in love with my own skin for that. Leo better appreciate all the work I do for him.
Coming late to the affair, Alejandro makes it just in time to swear his allegiance to the cause. He stands there dazed for a moment, unsure as to what exactly he has sworn to. Knowing that he could not truly go unnoticed, being a well known Nobleman and all, he had decided to simply dress down. He walks closer to the stage, his hand resting lightly on the hilt of his sword.
"Indeed that is a very good idea, Master Beggar. Alejandro Endrin, at your service. I too would like to know "what now"? Those of you who have heard of me, know I am a supporter of the Common man. I wish to help in any way I can!" He bowed fluidly, avoiding looking at the Gull.
'So here you are Luca... I had wondered where you had gotten to...'
Alistair keeps a close eye on Janivere, or more specifically on whom Janivere spends the most time looking at. When her eyes settle on his self, Alistair unconsciously tries lowers his head such that his hood overs his eyes more. It was an important habit he picked up and has likely saved him from being recognized in the past.
Alistair had heard of the Arrow before, during his studies at the Library. What is she doing here? She'd be a great asset to the cause. He had also heard of Alejandro Endrin. In fact, his father had built the very orphanage Alistair spent most of his young life in. The Endrin family was one of the few that Alistair had any respect for, but would Alejandro live up to his father's name? I'll have to keep an eye on him.
Alistair hadn't heard of Rica before, but any noble who shrugs off the politicking could be fine by him. I'll have to watch her closely too. Alistair also looks over the Shoanti man and the strange beggar who called himself Luca the Gull, after Janivere spends time on them as well. An odd group this.
Alistair knew firsthand from growing up on the streets that crime runs rampant throughout the city. Could targeting the criminals of the city really bring about change in the government? Could this be a new form of rebellion? Alistair thinks long and hard on this and mutters a short prayer to Milani. Yes. This is what Milani wants. This could bring about true change in a kingdom where rebellions have failed. This could be exactly what Korvosa needs. And to top it off, we eliminate criminals, threats to a new government and the people alike.
Alistair, in a move he wouldn't normally take, makes his way to the front alongside Luca the Gull and Alejandro Endrin, nodding to the both of them, but keeping the majority of his face hidden for the time being.
Mind-Reading Powers? Senjin braces himself to make a break for the stairs the moment Janiven points him out. He catches her gazing long and hard at him after his questions, but she move on. There are no accusations.
But then Areal turn rights to him. Senjin feels like he isn't wearing a mask, the man can can right through him. But again, there are no accusations. Instead the man seems to to know who he is, or more specifically what he was. Senjin nods his approval at Areal's response and his heart raises up a little. With Areal's help I can save those in need of saving.
Luca doesn't look at the Endrin man, even a dressed down noble stands out in this crowd. Funny that in high society, Endrins tenuous finances mark them out as much as their wealth does here, they stradle the line, fitting in neither society. I can see that weight on your shoulders old friend. Luca didn't have that problem, he was both a member of the cities wealthiest noble family and an almost indistinguishable beggar. But I don't know who I am?
Now, now old boy. No time to get sentimental. You have work to do and all that. Pip up. Luca nods pleasantly to the nobleman and the cowled Milani worshipper, not showing any particular emotion only deep-rooted deference to his social betters, downcast eyes and a faint placating smile with no teeth. He rests on his cane again now that he is still and near the stage, but it is not as heavily as he rested before making himself noticed.
The Ephocal Tower chimes loudly, over and over despite it being not the normal hour of ringing. The crowd in the warehouse murmurs and begins to speak to each other. There must be some news of some sort. With the rumors of the king's health, the crowd's concern turns to Eodred II. A swell of fear rushes through them, knowing that the time they have worried about for so long is likely here.
Zellara flips a card to the top card of her Harrow deck. She looks at it, then shows it to Arael. He whispers something to her, then makes a gesture to Janiven. She wades into the crowd, organizing people into groups. As she does this, Arael speaks to the assembly. "Friends, I fear our meeting must come to an end. It seems that the day of reckoning is at hand. We will have to move swiftly, for the enemies of freedom will rush to gain power. Janiven will divide you into groups and give you a way to get in touch."
She pulls Elrith, Alejandro, Alistair, Rica, Senjin, and Luca aside. She whispers to them, "Find someplace safe. Go there now. I'll be in touch. You are the ones that Arael has been waiting for, the ones that Zellara predicted." She returns to dividing the groups, figuring out who is to go where.
Luca bows his head, not making eye contact with any of those he finds himself and wipes at his mouth with the edge of a tattered sleeve. An odd assortment indeed, not exactly unnoticeable. He coughs, clearing his throat before saying.
'Well sirs and misses, I know a tavern near the docks. It might be an idea. It ain't to fancy, and the drink ain't great, but they don't care what you look like, and they don't ask any questions. I reckon Janiven's kinda sorts would know it too, be able to find us there like.'
What did she mean by predicted, I don't like the idea of being a part of that Varisian's card games of fate. I don't like that at all.
'Its called the Drowned Cat? What say we head there?'
"Too public," the Arrow counters, "And not a nice-sounding part of town. If riots do break out, bars in the rough areas are going to be filled with scum and desperate men. The South Shore should be relatively quiet, not too rich, not too poor. I have a house there that should serve us. I can tell Janiven where to find it."
Senjin looks over his companions, looking at each face, but spending a moment longer on Alejandro's. Then he tugs down the rag that had been covering his face. "I guess there needs to be some form of trust here, seeing as we all just pledged service together. Under the rag had been a nose bent askew and a ragged scar under one eye.
"I agree that a bar in the Docks is not wise for this group for I would endanger you. I am Senjin, but down here I am known as the Eel, and I am dead. If I show my face and I am recognized, my reputation will catch up with me. Granted my face is a little different now, but I would prefer to keep my presence unknown to protect those that I care about. It is better they think I'm dead, then to have them used as pawns against me."
He pulls the rag back up over his nose. "This plan of yours Arrow sounds good. All the safehouses I know are also known to those I wish to avoid. And the one place I am truly safe, none of you can follow. So unless we have another option, I will come." He then pulls the hood on his cloak up to put his face into shadow.
Alejandro sighs softly, before nodding. "Truth be told, I too would not like to be near the docks. I ahm... Heh. I had a run in with some Tieflings earlier today and they want my blood so how about we just go to this lovely womans house hmm?" Nodding softly, Alejandro squeezes the hilt of his blade hard, a frown painting his face.
Seemingly deciding that the decision has now been made, the Arrow nods her agreement, quickly finds Janiven to whisper her the address, and returns. "Could you please give me one moment, and then we can leave?"
She heads over to the roguish man who was with her. Leaning her head in closely, she looks him in the eye and says, "Thank you. For once, you didn't screw something up. This seems like exactly what I was looking for." She brushes his cheek with a kiss. "Now, if the king is truly dead, the city will probably riot for awhile. Stay away from the house, and I mean, stay away. But be safe. I would be...grieved if something unfortunate were to happen to you." She abruptly turns on her heels and returns to the group, small spots of colour staining her cheeks.
She frees her bow arm from her cloak, pulls the hood of her cloak up to hide her face, and slips out into the gloom of evening, moving with cat-like elven grace, weaving her way through the city streets as expertly as her kin in trees and woodlands. Her destination is the South Shore, and she sets a hard, though not frantic, pace.
Rica looks over her new companions with a raised brow, not even hiding the fact that she's judging their worth. Her eyes hover over Luca, and then the elf who calls herself 'the Arrow'. When Senjin uncovers his face though, Rica's eyes immediately widen for a split second before she forces a neutral expression on her face. She hadn't expected him to lower the rag, and that he trusted them with that information...the reality of the situation begins to settle in Rica's gut.
"I doubt my dwelling would be suitable for such a meeting," she says, agreeing with the Arrow. Once the elf returns from speaking to Janiven and the man, Rica gives a nod and follows quickly behind her, Janiven's words still echoing in her ears.
As soon as they breach the doors of the warehouse, the city's state becomes immediately apparent. Smoke rises from several points in the city, which has erupted in chaos and noise. The dusky night sky is lit with the orange glow of the fires. Dockworkers stream past the warehouse, heading towards Castle Korvosa. Many of them are armed with improvised clubs and torches, raised as they shout in worry and fear.
"The King is dead! Ileosa is going to bleed us dry!"
"We'll all be under the boots of the Hellknights by morning!"
"I'd rather serve Asmodeus than that whore!"
The roars of the crowds seems to have attracted the attention of the many imps that lurk in the eaves of the city, drawn by the summoners of the Academae. They swoop in large packs, attacking the crowds at times. A number of pseudodragons, which take quite poorly to the violent cruelty of the imps, fight them in the sky. The screeches and flashes of their aerial battles only add to the scene of chaos. Several Sable Company marines fly through the melee toward Castle Korvosa, tolerating the skirmish as a mere annoyance. Several of the imps take off after the wing of hippogriff riders, trying to harry them as they rush to defend the castle.
The street is filled to the brim with residents of Korvosa. As they force their way down Harborview towards Eodred's Circle, dozens of rioters approach them from the south. They attack the shops with abandon, breaking windows and kicking down doors. Despite its proximity to Citadel Volshyenek and the Korvosan Guard, they appear to be looting the places in the chaos. About half a dozen of them root through The Time Stop, smashing items that they don't understand and taking whatever looks valuable. Considering the body laying in the smashed-open front doorway of the archery shop next door, complete with arrow protruding from his forehead, no one is looting the Trapper's Hole.
Perception:1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
Just as soon as she exits the warehouse, Rica stops and stares at the scene before her. Not a second later she lets loose a bitter, barking laugh, reaches a hand down to a pouch at her side, and moves her other hand halfway down her cane for a better grip. From the pouch, she removes an even smaller bag and a tiny candle, which she then holds clutched in her hand as she takes a few steps, positioning herself towards the back of the group.
"I don't take well to being attacked, I'm afraid," she says just loud enough for the group to hear. "If they come closer, I -will- hurt them," she says a good deal louder, projecting her voice outwards. "Likely with acid," she adds, her voice reaching an odd pitch as she forces it even louder. She smirks as if realizing some secret joke, which causes her expression of fear to look quite odd indeed.
Perception 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
'Well this is unpleasant. We should get into alleys, we can try and make our way south that way, if we stay on the streets we either join or get trampled by the mob, and then the mob get stomped by the guards. Its going to get bloody fast.' The estates have guards, I pray that Leo is alright. We would have gotten home immediately, before it got truly dangerous. They'll be okay, they'll all be okay. He repeats it like a mantra in his head, but his reveals little of his turmoil.
A crooked grin appears on the beggars face, his eyes are wild and nervous though. 'Lets move, before they set off our wary new friend here, yes?' Luca looks at Rica, before going over to her, he speaks in a soothing voice, calm and neither slow nor rushed. 'Come on now my friend, lets get into the alleys, we've got big armed men with us, they'll leave us alone if we get out of their sight. Nobody needs to attack anyone, and you definately don't need no acid or magic.'
If Rica will let him, Luca takes her hand and leads them all into the nearest alley and away, he walks quickly but doesn't run. A mob is like a wild animal, never show them the whites of your eyes. Don't look afraid just move out of the way.
"No, this one!" the Arrow hisses, showing Luca and the others an alleyway piled high with crates. "Get in there. I'll cover you."
She slips into the deep, darkened doorway she noted earlier that day and hides herself.
Stealth: 1d20 + 8 - 1 ⇒ (18) + 8 - 1 = 25
Once hidden and her new allies are in the alleyway, she has no compunction about waiting until they're attacked to loose on the would-be rapists.
Attack: 1d20 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 4 + 1 = 7 Seeing her first arrow fly over their heads in her haste, she silently curses herself and switches tactics.
Sniping stealth: 1d20 + 8 - 1 - 20 ⇒ (7) + 8 - 1 - 20 = -6
"Leave us alone, or you'll end up like your friend over there," she shouts out.
Perception-1d20 + 0 ⇒ (19) + 0 = 19
His eyes flicking towards the group pointing at Rica, Alejandro growls. Such lawless behaviour curdled his stomach to see. Where were the Guard? By the Gods this was madness.
Raising his voice, so as to be heard by the on-coming group, Alejandro begins to speak. "Come one step closer and I will part your heads from your shoulders. Gull, lead us out of here. Eel, if you will accompany the Gull please? Eyes up Arrow, keep an eye on the rooftops! And Master...?" His eyes flick to Alastair questioningly. "I am afraid I do not know your name sir but keep yourself loose and scan our sides yes? Mistress Rica, anything you can do to help us would be appreciated." Nodding softly, Alejandro begins to back away from the oncoming horde, drawing his blade, keeping his eyes open and his mind sharp.
Alejandros years in the Guard and as a Noble make him slightly bossy and liable to attempt to fall in to the Leadership role
I would like to ready an action to attack any of the crowd that rush us!
Alejandro Intimidate 1d20 + 6 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 6 + 2 + 2 = 21
Rica Assist 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
Elrith Assist 1d20 - 1 + 2 ⇒ (6) - 1 + 2 = 7
Luca Assist 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
The group focuses on Alejandro and his sword, buffeted by the others. They seem wholly unimpressed by the arrow that flies over their heads, if they even saw it. They do pause at Rica's threats, an acidic promise actually reaching their ears. They head the other direction, trying to save face but looking for easier prey.
'I'm a beggar. I know how to navigate alleyways, trust me on that my friend. Swinging swords and cutting a mighty figure won't work on all of the mobs, there will be ones that have weaponry, firing randomly into or over them is unlikely to get them to calm down,' Luca hobbles off as fast as he can go, down the ever-twisting labyrinth of alleyways and passages, each more filthy than the last. Here and there beggars, lepers and the cities most haggard denizens hide among detirus and squalor, desperately praying that the mob on the streets leaves them be. Luca finds himself silently joining their prayers, though he raises his words to no god in particular. The only thing keeping me safe are my wits, and whatever this group can offer us. Lord can only hope we don't meet a more choesive mob if Endrin decides to try more theatrics.
Luca's going to take a long and winding path, but it will hopefully lessen the chances of a random encounter on the streets. If they approach the wall between Southshore and the main city without event:
As the city wall begins to loom large and near. Luca stops and looks around at his companions, who presumably easily kept up with the limping beggar. 'The wall is close. We'll have to cross open streets, and theres likely to be guardsmen, or mobs or both near the gate. How should we progress? Is there any way Rica or Alejandro could dress down or dirty themselves up a bit, best not to look noble on the streets today. I can help, I know what poverty looks like.' The gangly beggar grins then, and though his gums seem stained black, he has all of his suprisingly healthy teeth.
Who wants a disguise to look more peasanty?
I go to sleep and suddenly things take off!
Once the threat of a skirmish passes, Alistair turns to Alejandro and the rest of the group. "You may have heard rumors of Amycus returning. Well, here I am... I'm not really the Amycus, of course, but it never hurt to let people think that. You may call me by my real name, Alistair."
Once in the alleyway, Alistair finally pulls off his cloak revealing a mostly Varisian face with the pointed chin of a Chelaxian. He also loosens his morningstar and pulls out his own longbow. Alistair walks over to The Arrow. "I look forward to seeing you in action. I've been training with this bow, but I'm sure you are a much better shot than I."
Alistair pulls his cloak back on, but this time leaves the hood down.
As the group passes through the light of a nearby street lamp, you see spots of colour in her face at Alistair's compliment.
"I am Elrith. Elrithrathiel, but Elrith for short, and I need to be dirtied up about as much as you are truly a beggar, my Lord." Her smile takes some of the mocking out of her voice. "Honestly? 'Criminal Suppression Teams'? How much more Chelaxian can you get?"
As they move Senjin watches the fight above, trying to watch the Sable Company officers fate. When he sees the Pseudodragons get involved he mutters, "Stay safe you little cheese-thief."
As they come to a stop at the edge of the district. Senjin lifts his mask and spits at the word 'Chellaxian', "Let's keep the insults to a minimum. But I agree, that is a lot of words for trying to get around not saying 'gang'. 'Cuz let's face it, that is what we will need to become. We need to operate in the shadows, help out both our patrons and our followers, and be ruthlessly efficient with our enemies. That is the definition of 'gang'."
He looks out toward the gates, "I would be surprised if the Guard still had the gates open. They would see it better to bottle up Old Korvosa and let it burn itself out, then risk the inhabitants rioting through the more 'noble' parts of town."
Alejandro shakes his head softly, before frowning. "Not going to work with me sadly, these weapons are too flashy for a beggar and I would not be without them..." Frowning around, his lips pursed, he spots what he needs. Sheathing his blade he grabs what appears to be an old wollen blanket from a line, and drapes it around his shoulders.
"There... That should cover the sword and the shield well enough. Other than that... We will have to take our chances. It would be better if I look like myself, should we run in to the Guard. Master Gull, lead on if you will!" Keeping his gear covered, and drawing the blanket up around his head, Alejandro sticks to the back of the group, keeping his eyes open for any sign of danger.
Perception-1d20 + 0 ⇒ (2) + 0 = 2
As Luca goes to take her hand, Rica takes a few steps back and away from him, still staring at the group of rioters as they leave. As the fear subsides, it's replaced by anger. "How -dare- they even -think- of attacking me!" She grits her teeth and rubs her aching eyes with the back of her hand.
"Let them try," she spits out, straightening up. "I'm willing to bet that I'm more capable than most of the nobles on the streets tonight. If they make the mistake of attacking me instead of a better mark, then that's one less innocent dead, don't you agree?" she reasons, trying to appeal to the groups good nature. She doesn't even want to -think- about how much gold it would cost to get a replacement suit made...
"Besides, if need be I can summon a creature that would deter all but the bravest thugs. Of course, it might attract more attention than we want, but I can assure you my control over it far outstrips that of your average 'imper'." She smirks and crosses her arms. "It can navigate the alleys as stealthily as any of us. I'm not equipped for a fight without magic, and as -wonderful- company as you are, I'd prefer to have something I know I can trust to defend me." Those adept at reading people might notice that her focus on the word 'wonderful' was meant to be sincere rather than sarcastic, regardless of how it ended up sounding.
"I did not intend it to be an insult, Senjin, just a statement of fact. I bear no ill will against individual Chelaxians until I have met them, and I doubt Master Gull here is the only one of us to have donned a disguise for this meeting. After all, if the whole point of this little...movement...is that it matters not what race or status one is born to, I believe we should move past little differences such as what race or status we were each born to, wouldn't you agree?"
[b]"And you're right...we are a gang, and the one thing that a gang needs to survive is trust. Criminal gangs force trust through intimidation and extortion. Taking off your mask and telling us your name and history is a gesture of genuine trust, Senjin, just like me showing you my home and telling you my name." Spots of colour reappear on her cheeks again, though she gives no indication why.
She looks up. "Even with the big sky battle, might it not be easier to get out of Old Korvosa through the rooftop community?"
Elrith just stares at Senjin for a moment like he's grown six heads. After a moment, the spots of colour appear yet again and you hear her mutter, "Yeah, well, I'm stupid," as she starts moving on again.
Um, guys? We're heading from the docks on the east side of the island, to southshore beyond the south wall. Old Korvosa is an island of the north coast of the city-peninsula. We don't have to be near it. Unless this bell-tower was in Old Korvosa and I missed that. Going to wait until I know where we are before continuing. Gettting out of Old Korvosa will likely be impossible in the riots if we're there.
'I have many names, you are correct lady elf, however none are more or less true, and the name of Luca the Gull is the most useful and important to this endeavour. Its not who I am that matters, but what I can and will do for the... "gang",' Luca whispers to the others as he looks out onto the streets beyond for any sign of activity.
Perception 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
Elrith chuckles. "Wow! You must really be rich!"
I'll wait to get confirmation on our location before posting more. Some of that stuff might have to be ret-conned out if we are indeed not where we think we are.
"Okay. We are here..." Alejandro crouches in the alley and begins to trace out an X in the earth with the tip of his sword. "We can head here..." He adds a squiggly line and a circle, indicating the Grey District. "Or here..." Another squiggly line and a triangle mark the Heights.
"Really... I do not know. Either paths has its benifits and draw backs. Gull, what do you think?"
Just thought I'd lay it out IC just so we have it in our heads. Being close to the Citadel gives Alejandro the benifit of knowing the terrain well.
'Well put it this way, the riots are going to target the wealthy, and the rich,' Luca looks pointedly at Elrith for a moment, with a faint frown over her earlier accusation of his wealth.
'But, no men are fool enough to invade the Pharasman graveyard no matter how high their blood. I say we skirt the Gray District and stay well clear of the riots. South Shore is a more peaceful middle class district, hopefully it won't be in as much turmoil. This is sensible, yes?'