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DM CH-P's CoT: The Bastards of Erebus

Game Master Are


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2nd of Arodus - Ciucci residence - Yahirma:

In case I wasn't clear above: Hortan spoke loudly enough for the maid to hear, which also caused her heightened interest and edging closer. She wouldn't have heard Yahirma's whispering, though.

I can assuage Yahirma's fear of rakshasa-thought-drinking, at least: With her earlier knowledge results, Yahirma knows that while many outsiders and other creatures are able to take human forms, only one race she can think of is known to be capable of taking on the forms of specific other individuals (as would be the case for assuming someone's identity); that race being doppelgangers.

***

Hortan seems reassured by Yahirma's words, and his expression takes on an air of pride at her compliments. "I apologize for my outburst. Yes, of course it would be a good idea to make sure everyone is safe, if - the Gods forbid - there is a.. a ghost, or.. another spirit here."

He smiles at Amalee as he passes her on the way to the stairs. "I misunderstood our guest. There's nothing to worry about." She nods, but keeps her closer position in regards to Yahirma.


3rd of Arodus - Derek:

With some prodding questions, Derek quickly discovers that the only operation in Westcrown that would have access to large quantities of rare metals, or be able to produce such quantities fairly quickly, is the Dwarven House of Commerce.


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 3

Dwarves are often worshipers of Torag, and both Torag and my lord enjoy a good brew. I know a good way to smoothen negotiations.

Making a mental note to visit the Dwarven house of commerce he begins to scour the market for a battle of Dwarven ale, a large bottle of vodka, and a transcript of a Dwarven battle hymn.

Not big gifts, and certainly they could have found these items themselves, but proving that you have respect for traditions may go a long way.
A guest gift giver...


Derek will be able to locate those items with a few hours of canvassing the marketplace.


3rd of Arodus - Delvehaven - Yahirma:

Entering Delvehaven the day following Ilnerik's defeat and Tarvi's safe return, Yahirma finds the place unusually silent, and the lights in the basement are shining stably, with no sign of the fluctuation that has been common these past several months.

In the laboratory, she finds her apprentice already present. The five guardian dolls are splayed out on a blanket beside Tarvi, all looking devoid of life and appearing as ordinary dolls. Tarvi is tinkering with an assembly of small parts lying on another blanket, putting them together with deft fingers to craft a pair of crude doll-like constructions.

Noting Yahirma entering, Tarvi looks up from her work. "I found them like this," she says, clearly indicating the guardian dolls. "They were fine the last time I saw them - before the nihiloi took me - playing around and being the nuisances they usually were. As you know, I had been studying them when I didn't have other tasks to tend to, and I finally discovered something about them that I hadn't yet been able to tell you."

She pauses long enough to take a breath. "I believe they all held fragments of a person's soul within them. That's why they had personalities like our own. One of the books related to the Mwangi Expanse speaks of something called 'Soulbound Dolls'; a kind of fetish doll. You may know of them." She looks briefly at Yahirma before continuing. "Anyway, the book doesn't detail their construction as well as I would have liked. But it does say that the process of creating one of these 'Soulbound Dolls' requires binding a portion of a person's soul into the doll to give it life."

Tarvi quickly moves on. "After I found the lifeless dolls, I decided to explore the rest of the basement to see if anything else had changed. The skull of the Pathfinder Bisby, and the haunted rooms. But they too had gone entirely dormant. I stood in Bisby's rooms for ten minutes, and picked up things here and there. I pulled his rucksack out from between his hands, and I even picked up the skull itself. But nothing happened."

"I think all of these phenomenons were a result of Bisby's spirit, and the reunion of that artifact somehow cleansed this place of his presence. Since the dolls lost their life at the same time, I can only speculate that the soul that had been bound to them was also his, and their fragments of soul departed when his spirit did."

She readjusts her spectacles, and turns back to her work. "I've been trying to make dolls of my own. They won't be as advanced as those dolls were, but perhaps they will be useful in some way." Tarvi smiles up at Yahirma. "Don't worry! I haven't put my soul into them!"

Yahirma gets the sense that her last remark is more a product of Tarvi not yet knowing how to create Soulbound Dolls than for any other reason.

Tarvi fetches a cup, then produces a sharp knife from her belt. She cuts into her arm, wincing with brief pain, then squeezes blood from the wound into the cup. Once the wound has bled out, she turns to her two creations, and pours a good quantity of the blood into a receptacle in the doll's head. Tarvi looks up at Yahirma again. "Do you want to be the other one's master?"

***

In addition to the creation of the homunculi, Yahirma notes progress in Khazrae's rebuilding. The head is now attached to a neck, shoulders, and two fully functional arms. The new parts seem a good deal paler than an erinyes would normally be, though, but Khazrae seems in good (or perhaps that should be "evil") spirits. "This concoction of yours is working beautifully." The erinyes flexes her fingers. "I look forward to being whole again. This paleness.. It must be a temporary affliction, don't you think? A side-effect of the process?"


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 11 | 50/126 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +5
Resources:
1st 3/6 | 2nd 0/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 2/2 | Summon 0/6 | Rage 6/20

Ah... the dolls are gone. =(


5th of Arodus - All:

Three days after Ilnerik's defeat and the Aohl's destruction, the oppressed feeling among Westcrown's denizens finally begins to be replaced by a sense of wonder that could soon turn to delight, as the Hellknight garrison releases a statement regarding recent events.

Statement wrote:

The curse of the night has been lifted from Westcrown, by the heroic acts of a holy warrior of Abadar named Appario Lind and his as yet unnamed companions. The cause of the curse and all the horrors it entailed was a devious vampire who has now been slain.

On the 12th of Arodus, in commemoration of this momentous day for all of Westcrown, a day forevermore known as the Midnight Festival, there will be a grand feast in Parego Spera. As the opening act of the festival, Paralictor Gonville Chard and Lord Mayor Aberian Arvanxi will together strike the evening curfew from existence.


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 3

Derek will purchase the times in question and then hire a few porters to help him move it over to the Dwarven hall of commerce.
As he steps up to the halls, just before greeting the guards outside he stops for a moment to admire the austere and yet powerful and functional build of the halls.
These halls will stand long after all else around them have crumbled to dust. Dwarven craftsmanship is second to none when it comes to stonework.

After such quiet reflection, Derek steps up to the guards and gives them a bow, making sure to keep it respectful without grovelling.

Dwarven:
"By Cayden Caelians tankard I greet you children of Torag. Derek Keegan seeks admission to the halls for the purpose of business in metal."


Male Human (Taldan) Abadaran Militant 11

Appario smiles at the news from the statement.

How can I profit off it?

Appario goes back to returning the goods, nary a thought entering his mind that isn't on returning the goods or profit off his fame.


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 11 | 50/126 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +5
Resources:
1st 3/6 | 2nd 0/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 2/2 | Summon 0/6 | Rage 6/20

5th of Arodus

*CLANG*

Maddok turned a piece of cooling, but currently near-molten, metal on the anvil and brought his hammer down again.

*CLANG*

The Shoanti smith stopped for a moment as a group of merchants passing by could be heard discussing the heroic Appario Lind, slayer of vampires and savior of Westcrown. The big man only laughed and resumed his work. The Abadaran could claim all the glory if he wanted it, Maddok's thoughts were too occupied with his work and his trip, to the Hagwood to be reunited with Vahnwynne, on the morrow.


Female Changeling (Mauxi Mwangi) Mwangi Spiritualist 11

Quick moment to post

2nd of Arodus - Ciucci residence

With the household staff mollified, Yahirma moves to open the door and enter Guxer's quarters. She inclines her head to him and places one arm across her chest in respected greeting before looking about for any obvious signs of tampering, stalking, or other mischief.

Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5

Content that there's little enough of mundane threats, she will begin to extract candles and other ritual paraphernalia to buy some time for Maddok's return.


Appario mentioned visiting Chammady Drovenge earlier; he already knows where the Drovenge estate is, since he went there to deliver Chammady back home following the caravan ambush. So if he wants to visit the estate, just say so :)


3rd of Arodus - At the Dwarven House of Commerce - Derek:

The guards laugh heartily, before stepping apart to let Derek pass between them. "Ha! Cayden Caelian pije dobro, ali Torag bi ga piti ispod stola! Unesite u patuljački dvoranama, Derek Keegan."

Dwarven:

"Hah! Cayden Caelian drinks well, but Torag would drink him under the table! Enter into the dwarven halls, Derek Keegan."

Once inside, Derek finds the main hall spacious, yet crowded, with numerous dwarven merchants occupying smaller offices branching off from it. A circular counter stands at the center of the main hall, where several clerks serve those who approach them.


2nd of Arodus - Ciucci residence - Yahirma:

Entering the room, Yahirma finds the master of the house seated in bed, with the covers drawn up to his neck. He seems unkempt, and his eyes are wild as they flicker from her to the open door. "Close it! Close the door! My brother! He will come in and kill me! Close it, I said!"

***

Assuming she does so:

The man looks visibly relaxed as the door is closed, but his eyes remain wild as Yahirma sets up her candles and other devices. His gaze snaps from window to door to Yahirma, and back again, on and on.

About five minutes after she went inside, Yahirma hears Hortan's voice from outside the door. "The cook is making dinner downstairs, and Amalee and I are here. Delilee doesn't answer when I knock at her door; she must have taken a nap."

***

2nd of Arodus - Ciucci residence - Maddok:

When Maddok returns with his covered charge in tow, he finds Hortan and a middle-aged woman who seems to be a maid standing outside the door to the master bedroom, while Yahirma is nowhere to be seen.


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 11 | 50/126 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +5
Resources:
1st 3/6 | 2nd 0/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 2/2 | Summon 0/6 | Rage 6/20

2nd of Arodus - Ciucci residence

Maddok glances at Hortan and the maid.

"Where is Yahirma, the woman that I arrived here with? I've brought someone that Delilee will be very pleased to see and Yahirma should be present for the reunion."


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 3

Derek smiles, salutes the guards and steps inside the halls.
Noticing the clerks at the counter Derek turns to the porters and instructs them to wait at the doors to the all, but to the side as to not block traffic.
He then steps up to the counter, and as soon as one of the clerks approaches him he once more gives a respectful bow.

Dwarven:
"I greet you master ledger, I am Derek Keegan, and I am looking to buy a large quantity of Mithril from your halls. A sufficient amount to forge a set of full plate armour.
As a token of respect, I have provided a small guest gift which waits by the entry as you can see."


2nd of Arodus - Ciucci residence - Maddok:

Hortan turns to Maddok, looking suspiciously at his covered companion. "Lady Yahirma is with the master. Delilee is taking a nap, I think. She doesn't answer her door." He pauses for a moment, frowning. "Who is this? I'm not sure if a surprise is the best cure for guilt."


3rd of Arodus - Dwarven House of Commerce - Derek:

The clerk listens respectfully to Derek's introduction and request, and looks over to the porters waiting at the entry. "Dobrodošli na patuljački Doma Komore, Derek Keegan." He snaps his fingers, and a liveried servant appears as from nowhere. "Uzmi ovaj čovjek Gojek Thunderbeard."

Dwarven:

"Welcome to the Dwarven House of Commerce, Derek Keegan. Come with me." He snaps his fingers, and a liveried servant appears as from nowhere. "Take this man to Gojek Thunderbeard."

The servant quickly leads Derek to one of the offices branching off from the main hall. A shelf on one wall bears several samples of raw metals; Derek sees clumps of gold, silver, platinum, and his desired mithral. A well-dressed dwarf sits at the nearby desk, rising when the servant brings Derek close. His heavy beard has been plaited into intricate patterns, and tiny bits of gold and silver are affixed to the ends. Having brought Derek over, the servant vanishes as quickly as he appeared.


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 11 | 50/126 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +5
Resources:
1st 3/6 | 2nd 0/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 2/2 | Summon 0/6 | Rage 6/20

2nd of Arodus - Ciucci residence

"Once Delilee sees this person, she will be unable to contain her excitement but it must be a surprise for everyone or it will ruin the moment. Trust me in this. You have a key don't you? I know it must seem rude, but please let yourself in if you must and wake her."


I think that request would require a diplomacy roll on Maddok's part (or intimidate, if he wants to go that route) :)


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 11 | 50/126 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +5
Resources:
1st 3/6 | 2nd 0/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 2/2 | Summon 0/6 | Rage 6/20

I'd thought he was already helpful towards us.

Diplomacy: 10 + 5 = 15

I'll save intimidate for if being nice doesn't work. =P


Well, he's still employed by the Ciucci family. Since Delilee already said she didn't want to see Maddok when he asked her, it would require more than simply being helpful to actively go against her wishes. Considering a servant defying their noble masters would stand a good chance of not only being fired on the spot, but of never being able to get a similar position in the same city again.

***

Hortan doesn't seem convinced by Maddok's argument. "I have a key, but.." He looks from Maddok to Delilee's door and back to Maddok again, swallowing. "I already asked if she would see you, and she said no. And if she sleeps.. I can't just take it upon myself to go into her bedroom. Certainly not without a very good reason."


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 11 | 50/126 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +5
Resources:
1st 3/6 | 2nd 0/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 2/2 | Summon 0/6 | Rage 6/20

Fair enough.

What is the maid doing while all of this is going on?


As a follow-up: The diplomacy skill says "give aid that could result in punishment" requires a check result of +15 compared to a normal check; intimidate probably won't help in the situation.

Yahirma could probably convince him, though, since she's a bit better at this diplomacy-business than Maddok is :)

***

The maid follows the exchange between Hortan and Maddok with interest, but stays out of their way. She also steals the occasional glance at the covered person accompanying Maddok.


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 11 | 50/126 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +5
Resources:
1st 3/6 | 2nd 0/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 2/2 | Summon 0/6 | Rage 6/20

Maddok takes a deep breath.

"Can you get word to Yahirma that I have returned? She should be better able to explain the situation."

So much for resolving this today. =(


2nd of Arodus - Ciucci residence - Yahirma and Maddok:

Hortan knocks on the door to the master bedroom. "Lady Yahirma? Your friend has returned and wants to speak with you."


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 3

I'm doing a lot of bowing and scraping today, but they say three is a lucky number.

Dwarven:
"Greetings Gojek Thunderbeard. I am Derek of the Keegan family. It would appear that my business here in the dwarven halls of commerce have led me to your door.
I am looking to purchase an amount of mithril sufficient for the crafting of a set of full plate armour."

I might just want to buy a little more metal while I'm here...

Derek looks around the office, quite pleased at the casual but still stylish way the examples of metal are being displayed.
Being able to take something simple and make it special is something that he finds especially worthwhile and praiseworthy.


3rd of Arodus - Dwarven House of Commerce - Derek:

Gojek Thunderbeard wastes little time, getting right to the point. "Vi ste došli na pravo mjesto, Derek je Keegan obitelji. Mine mojih predaka su ispunjena srebrnastog metala, a ja vjerujem da imam dovoljno mithral opskrbljena ovdje u Westcrown za svoje potrebe. To će vas koštati 3500 zlatnika."

Dwarven:

"You have come to the right place, Derek of the Keegan family. The mines of my ancestors are filled with the silvery metal, and I do believe I have enough mithral stocked here in Westcrown for your purposes. It will cost you 3,500 gold pieces."


Male Human (Taldan) Abadaran Militant 11

Whatever Day of Arodus, Whenever Works - Appario's Bedroom

Appario wakes to the diminishing piles of art and collections stacked about the place. Deciding that he needs a break from returning stolen merchandise and plots another course of action for the day.

M'Lady Chammady.

Appario will spend time to bathe and shave, then another hour in polishing his armor and the appropriate primping.

Shall I bring her a gift? A foot, on horse, or carriage?

In the end, Appario decides to ride to the Lady Chammady's manor to better enjoy the day and take some time browsing the market for a suitable gift, should one catch his eye.

In the end, Appario will buy the Lady a Just Scale.

Tis a fine gift that no one should be without. Who doesn't love making a deal?

* * *

Appario will seek an audience with Lady Chammady.


A day of Appario's choice - Drovenge estate - Appario:

From his last visit, Appario knows that the Drovenge estate occupies one of the central islands, with a private pier attached; while he could certainly bring a horse on the boatride, it wouldn't be of much use once there.

***

The boatride over to the central islands provides Appario with ample time to consider what he may want to say. On the final approach to the private pier attached to the estate, he notes a larger contingent of visible guards than was there on his previous visit.

A pair of the guards quickly make their way onto the pier as it becomes obvious that Appario's boat will land there, barring his way. "Who are you, and what is your purpose?"


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 3

Dwarven:
"Normally I would haggle, I am decently skilled in such art, but this is an exception.
To mine such rare metal, ship it here and sell it...this is an achievement by the children of Torag. I feel it would be disrespectful to pay anything less than the price that is asked.
Can the metal be packed and ready for transport in the morning? I will return then with the money then.
By the way, have you ever heard about a dwarf brewer, smith and devotee of Torag by the name of Granor Goldenbeard? He left rather suddenly and I have no idea what happened to him."

I think i have an idea of something to give this man, a sample of rare metal. There is no anatheum left to share, but the blue metal...big brother will have a sample to give him.


Male Human (Taldan) Abadaran Militant 11
DM Are wrote:
A pair of the guards quickly make their way onto the pier as it becomes obvious that Appario's boat will land there, barring his way. "Who are you, and what is your purpose?"

Appario smirks, thinking that his holy armor and reputation would have preceded him.

"Appario Lind of the Church of Abadar. Here by right of oversight. Tell your Lady Drovenge that an official from the Church requests audience. We wish to see if our investment does well."


3rd of Arodus - Dwarven House of Commerce - Derek:

I notice that Derek forgot to bring his porters over to Gojek Thunderbeard; perhaps he has a better use for them :)

***

The dwarven merchant holds out a hand to shake Derek's, his grip as strong as his workman's hands would suggest, if not stronger. "Dakako. Vaš mithral će biti upakiran i spreman do izlaska sunca. Vi ćete biti u mogućnosti da ga pokupiti na jednom od mojih skladišta. Nadzornik će ga predati jednom imate dokaz o kupnji. Evo, neka mi vam dati adresu."

Dwarven:

"Certainly. Your mithral will be packed and ready by sunrise. You will be able to pick it up at one of my storage facilities. The foreman will hand it over once you have proof of purchase. Here, let me give you the address."

He pulls out a piece of parchment and quickly scribbles an address on it, then hands it to Derek. "Tu. Sada, Granor Goldenbeard, rekli ste? Naziv zvuči poznato." He thinks for a moment. "Da, sjećam se. On je pozvao daleko na hitnim obiteljskim stvarima. Ali ja vjerujem da je on možda vraća Westcrown do sada. Ja ću pobrinite se da imate njegov trenutni gde dostupna kada se vratite."

Dwarven:

"There. Now, Granor Goldenbeard, you said? The name does sound familiar." He thinks for a moment. "Yes, I remember. He was called away on emergency family matters. But I believe he may have returned to Westcrown by now. I will make sure to have his current whereabouts available when you return."


7th of Arodus - Drovenge estate - Appario:

I picked a date :)

***

"Is that so?" One of the guards snaps his fingers, prompting a third guard to quickly make his way over. The first guard whispers rapidly, followed by the new arrival walking briskly up towards the mansion. The talker turns back to Appario. "You will wait here."

About 15 minutes later, the third guard returns, accompanied by a fourth guard. "The Lady will see you now. Come with us." The two guards flank Appario as they walk up to the building and into an entrance hall looking much like Appario remembers it, except the portraits of former family patriarchs no longer adorn the walls. They continue to the same private library where Vassindio Drovenge once met with him, and lead him inside without knocking, continuing to stand at his sides.

The young Lady Drovenge stands waiting, her bearing almost regal, as is her dark blue gown. A quizzical look is on her face as she waves the two guards back. They retreat, but only as far as the door.

"Appario Lind. I must admit I'm surprised to see the savior of Westcrown here on official business for the Church of Abadar. Is there a problem with my loan? It has only been a few days since I met with my usual contact at your Bank, and he didn't mention anything of note."


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 11 | 50/126 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +5
Resources:
1st 3/6 | 2nd 0/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 2/2 | Summon 0/6 | Rage 6/20

5th of Rova - Maddok's Smithy

Maddok looked his project over carefully. It had been his own armor, the dents hammered out, damaged joints mended, and the armored skirt detached. In addition, he had enhanced the magics bolstering its defensive properties.

He had been surprised when a few days prior the presence of a mighty bear spirit was felt sniffing at the unworn armor. Maddok approached the spirit with reverence and he was surprised by what he learned - the ursine spirit wanted to lend its strength to the shining breastplate. It was not clear what the spirit respected more, the armor or its wearer, but the Shoanti was happy to oblige.

Satisfied with his visual inspection, Maddok tried the armor on. The feeling of the sturdy mithril against his flesh stirred something in the Shoanti and he felt a certain kind of restlessness. His nights with Vahnwynne had been exercise of a sort but he had been cooped up at his forge for days now (or had it been weeks?). He had to get out and test his strength if he was going to keep his skills sharp for the trials to come.

After considering the problem for a moment, one man came to mind (a man Shu-Ak’eh-Di seemed equally interested in meeting again). Maddok quickly jotted down a message and, after finding a courier, sent it on its way.

Message wrote:

Greetings Beorn,

It has been many weeks since we last met at the Devildrome and the celebration afterward and fate has kept me busy since. It appears of late all I have time for is my work at the forge and I find myself in need of the exercise that only battle can bring. When we last met, we spent most of our time dealing with Thrax's devils and it seems we never had a chance to test each other's strength. The fact that you lasted as long as you did tells me you would be a worthy opponent and perhaps just what I need to keep myself sharp.

What would you say to a friendly spar?

-Maddok


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 3

Dwarven:
"Many thanks for this master Thunderbeard, and I appreciate your help in finding my former comrade in arms as well. May your beard grow ever longer, may your coffers fill to overflowing and your clan grow strong and prosperous."

Derek glances at the address on the note before pocketing it.
As he leaves the dwarven halls behind, making sure to pay the porters on the way out he considers what to do with the rest of the day.
Sun is at its highest peak, and autumn is coming, I should try to get some more work done today.

Tapping his chin thoughtfully he realizes that there are two things he can do today, one is to swing by his brothers forge and pick up a sample of the blue metal which name escapes him at the moment.
The second thing he can do is to stretch out a few feelers to hear what happened to the rest of the people he has gotten to know.

Let's see, Semenya, Eklektos, Granor and...Del. No, not Del, I never liked him much, and we didn't really get to know each other that well.

The hardest to locate will no doubt be the erstwhile Druid, so him we leave for last, Granor is taken care of and Del is a none issue, that leaves Semenya.

I need to remember to see Amaya as well...so much to do, so little time.

Realizing that it will be easier to do what he can do without hindrance first, Derek heads towards Maddoks forge.

At the forge

Derek walks into the forge, feeling almost like he walks into a solid wall of heat as he opens the door.
Quickly removing his hat before sweat ruins the inside he calls out.

"Are you in big brother? Busy hammering away? I need a little favour from you if you can spare the time?"


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 11 | 50/126 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +5
Resources:
1st 3/6 | 2nd 0/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 2/2 | Summon 0/6 | Rage 6/20

There's no door. It's an outdoor smithy like the ones you see all over Skyrim.

3rd of Arodus - Maddok's Smithy

Maddok put down the piece of partly shaped metal he'd been working on to address the bard. Sweat from the heat and hard work pours freely down the big Shoanti's neck and bare chest. He reached over casually to cover Derek's unfinished blade.

"Hmm? Anything for you little brother. What is it?"


Male Human (Taldan) Abadaran Militant 11

Appario beams when he sees the Lady Drovenge.

"M'Lady, how are you?" Appario fixes his hair subconsciously. "Oh, I'm not the savior...I was just doing my Lord's duty. Abadar, *Praise the Scale*," Appario taps the holy symbol on his chest, "insists that trade be conducted fairly and safely within the walls of civilization. When the guild of thieves and their shadow pets had become a threat to Westcrown's people, I had no choice but to help. I could not have done it without Abadar and his will inspired any actions I took."

Appario begins to fumble with his haversack, eventually pulling out his gift for the Lady. Drawing out the scale, Appario places it on the table.

"This is for you, Lady. It is a true Just Scale. It will help you make true and fair deals. I hope you like it." Appario smiles hopefully.

Appario now seems to remember her question.

"My visit? I was just checking in on your arrangement with the Church. I was pleased to hear that were able to help you and, no doubt, gave you fair rates. It is the duty of all Clerigal Abadarans to ensure the financial interests of the Bank."

Appario pauses awkwardly.

"The Bank and you now have a significant interest together...a contract and a mutual interest in each other's safety. One of the reasons why I've come is a reflection of that. I want you to be safe and Church to likewise be protected."

Appario considers his words.

"Now, during my investigation with the Guild, I saw some things that I didn't quite believe: that you, m'Lady, might have been involved with the Guild somehow...or that your brother might be. That is a cause for concern...and I wanted to address it directly with you. If something were to happen to you, the Bank might lose its investment. I do not have any proof of your involvement that I trust...just hints and inklings, but nothing that I want to believe. However, it seemed fitting that I pay a personal visit because of our friendship."

Appario smiles and awaits her reaction.


Female Changeling (Mauxi Mwangi) Mwangi Spiritualist 11

Hooray! A general freeing up of the schedule! I have a list of things that need addressing in-game, and I will be doing so in pieces.

2nd of Arodus — Ciucci residence

Yahirma tries to stay calm and make no sudden moves that might shock the already wild-eyed master of the house. This suits her just fine as it provides ample opportunity to buy time for Maddok's return. Hortan's update simply adds to the intrigue, as it still leaves Delilee unaccounted for.

The maid cannot be... she begins thinking before glancing at the door. I suppose it would be too much to hope that these are lead lined. Brace your thoughts. Shield your suspicions.

Content that her thoughts cannot be read through a door and her mental defenses, she continues to ponder the possibilities. If Delilee is 'taking a nap,' then that means the maid might be the impostor. If the maid is a raksha–... doppelganger, then that must mean the real maid must be indisposed — likely drugged or bound in a closet somewhere. Any assassin worth its pay would be resistant to divinations, but perhaps one of the household staff would be easier to track.

Pulling out a wand, a piece of parchment, and an inkpen, Yahirma sets to recording her query and casting divination.

Divination wrote:
An impostor stalks the Ciucci manor impersonating someone. Where will I find the household member that is now being impersonated?

Oh, the twists possible here are many. Although I'm thinking it's the maid (and the Delilee nap is a way to explain her absence), I'm bracing myself for it being Hortan or even Guxer.

When Hortan announces Maddok's — at least she assumes it is Maddok's — return, Yahirma excuses herself, saying, "I am going to speak for a moment with the visitor. Would you be so kind as to let me back in to complete this work?"

Diplomacy (because Guxer would probably attempt defensive remodeling if left to his own devices): 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (1) + 17 = 18

She steps out and, out of respect for Guxer's paranoia, closes the door quickly behind herself. "You called?" she asks of Maddok. "I was just about to step out for a moment, in fact. It is good of you to have returned."


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 11 | 50/126 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +5
Resources:
1st 3/6 | 2nd 0/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 2/2 | Summon 0/6 | Rage 6/20

Hurray! Welcome back.

2nd of Arodus — Ciucci residence

Maddok appeared visibly relieved at Yahirma's reappearance.

"I have brought a guest Delilee really must see", the big Shoanti says. "Perhaps you could impress on Hortan the importance of this meeting."

The big Shoanti glanced at the otherwise silent maid.

"I trust things with the lord of the house went well?"


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 3

Never played Skyrim, but ok, I can do outdoors.

"Well, two things really, but the second one will take more time, and you already look like you have a lot of work to do.
The first one is easier however, do you still have a small sample of the blue metal from Walcourt? I can't remember what we called it, but I would like a piece if you can spare it.
The second thing, well, tell me when you have some time and we'll get back to it then."


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 11 | 50/126 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +5
Resources:
1st 3/6 | 2nd 0/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 2/2 | Summon 0/6 | Rage 6/20

Inconceivable!

Something like this.

3rd of Arodus - Maddok's Smithy

"Yes, the metal from Delvehaven."

Maddok looks around the assorted party-finished projects sitting on nearby shelves. Spotting what he'd been looking for, the Shoanti retrieves the half-completed dagger blade and offers it to Derek.

"Will that be enough?"

Maddok studies his little brother closely.

"Are you well? What's is this about?"


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 3

"You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means."
Darnit, got Delvehaven and Walcourt mixed up, that would have made Dereks face red.

Studying the dagger blade for a moment Derek smiles.
"That should be more than enough; I only needed a sample to curry favours with the Dwarven halls of commerce.
Since we are not busy doing anything at the moment, I thought I would expand my network of contacts."

Wrapping the blade in a piece of cloth he pockets it and nods.
"Well, I was really looking to upgrade my protection; I realize it is a little light for the kinds of situations we regularly get into.
When you have the time, I was hoping you might craft for me the ultimate test an armourer can have, a suit of full plate armour."


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 11 | 50/126 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +5
Resources:
1st 3/6 | 2nd 0/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 2/2 | Summon 0/6 | Rage 6/20

Full plate will mess with Derek's bardic spellcasting. It's doable but you'll be risking arcane spell chance failure.

Maddok studies Derek for a moment.

"Are you certain little brother? Shu-Ak’eh-Di's influence has made you stronger, no doubt, but I believe you'd find armor of that make too heavy."

"Perhaps you'd prefer I just reinforce the armor I made you before."


Male Chelish Arcane Caster 11 HP: 111/112 AC: 22 FF: 20, Touch: 15 F:+14, R:+10, W:+17 Perception:+9(Effects: Mage Armor, Heroism, Barkskin+4 -1 level)

2nd of Rova

Xerath was focused as he practiced his strikes with Judgement's Hand. But not focused enough as he slips and drops his new weapon. He growls in frustration. Despite having a newly crafted weapon, there wasn't much going on for Xerath. He tried to think of things to occupy his time while Yahirma and Maddok slaved away with their respective craftings. "Wait, the ledger! Why didn't I think of it before?"

He picks up his weapon and heads to find the ledger. As he scans it, he sees a prospect right in his field of expertise.

"Livia? I'm going somewhere if you'd like to follow."

"Unfortunately, I will require a little more back up than an enthusiastic imp."

He immediately heads towards Maddok's smithy.

"Maddok? If you are not busy smithing, I was wondering if you would like to help me check out a lead. I remember you and your apprentice encountered some of the walking dead while in the northern ruins of Westcrown? If so, I would like to go over there to find more information about the Council's Army of the Dead."


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 3

Look who's talking haha, I know, but at lv 3 fighter Derek can move at full speed in it, and the spell casting failure chance will not be that insurmountable.

Derek gives Maddoks shoulder a playful punch, "not as heavy or restrictive as you think, it's going to be made out of mithril, I've already made arrangements to procure the needed metal."


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 11 | 50/126 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +5
Resources:
1st 3/6 | 2nd 0/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 2/2 | Summon 0/6 | Rage 6/20

How much is Derek looking to spend? Maddok can make him this. That's the lowest he can get arcane spell failure.


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 11 | 50/126 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +5
Resources:
1st 3/6 | 2nd 0/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 2/2 | Summon 0/6 | Rage 6/20

2nd of Rova

"Yes, I recall there being talk of a growing undead problem last time we were there. You think this a serious problem?"

Maddok spoke briefly to Rizzardo about what work needed to be finished for the day. He collected his equipment and departed with the hooded arcanist.

"The Sisters did not seem concerned so I pushed the thought from my mind. Do you believe this to be a greater threat?"


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 3

That's a bargin for 12500 GP, I shall seriously have to consider that.


Male Chelish Arcane Caster 11 HP: 111/112 AC: 22 FF: 20, Touch: 15 F:+14, R:+10, W:+17 Perception:+9(Effects: Mage Armor, Heroism, Barkskin+4 -1 level)

2nd of Rova

"While Ilnerik may have been defeated, there is one name left on the ledger concerning their Army of the Dead. So as long as this Irimeian exists, it is a threat."

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