|DM Fang Dragon|
Here ye! Here ye! Let it be known that the City Council of New Phlan is seeking heroes to free the city from the evil hordes!
RICHES! FAME! GLORY!
The City Council seeks heroes of all kinds to battle for fame and fortune. Legends will be written about these adventurers...
See the New Phlan City Council for more information!
|DM Fang Dragon|
Here’s a large map of the realms. Some of you have a long journey ahead! Note civilized Phlan is currently only accessible by boat. Feel free to narrate your journey up until the point where you attempt to board a ship traveling there.
As you probably know the River Stojanow has been spewing poison into The Moonsea for decades, it can’t be crossed by normal means. Wood and flesh alike rots within minutes of contact. We’d like you to find the cause for that, and if possible put a stop to it. Also we have our suspicions the Phlan Council, some of them are honest but the agents of Zhentil Keep and Mulmaster are abroad. Keep your eyes peeled and listen for a Moonelf called Talia Dumourne, she’s one of us. Oh you’ll need a pretext for this journey. The master of The Kestrel, a Dwarf by the name of Ironjaw is honourable enough at least where money is concerned but the First Mate Davik has a suspicious mind.” He hands you a heavy bag which clinks softly, ”There that should satisfy Ironjaw. What reason will you give for this trip?”
Azarra nods at being asked to find the reason for the corruption of the River Stojanow. That sounded hard, but she's used to talking to people, and figuring things out. Seems possible, given time.
She nods again about being wary of the Phlan Council, and keeping her eyes peeled for Talia Dumourne. But when he mentions a cover story and gives her the heavy bag, she looks worried.
She speaks softly, so as to not be overheard, but urgently:
Um, is it not enough to just be looking for my parents... no, you're right, if I draw attention to them, then I'll either put them in more danger, or get myself into the same mess. Darn. I should have thought of this. I'm not used to ... thinking this way. Um... I could be going for work? They must have taverns there, where I could sing. Or... um, there are people going there to settle there, right? to try to "reclaim it from the evil hordes"? Could I just be one of them? It might seem a little crazy, but lots of people are crazy that way right now. What do you think?
Also... I'm not sure what to do with this <indicating the bag he handed her> This feels like a lot more than it takes to buy passage. Am I supposed to *bribe* him? How do you even do that? And should I just give him the whole bag, or ... how do you know how much to bribe someone? Is it like giving tips?
That was until the boy politely tapped the Cleric on the shoulder to get his attention. The young man twisted around, his bright yellow cloak whirling lazily with the motion until it settled back against the priest. The young man nodded at the boy's words...it must be important indeed for the Dawnmaster to send a runner after him with the hour at hand for the caravan's departure. Zane dug in his coin purse, finding a silver coin and dropping it into the grateful young boy's hand. A copper probably would have sufficed, but the Cleric was frugal with the stipend the church had started granting him once he had attained full priesthood, and it felt nice to make the young lad's day. He'd probably run home excited to his ma with the coin in hand. Zane smiled at the thought briefly, then moved briskly towards the temple of Lathander, his expression calm, but his thoughts worried.
As the Dawnmaster grasped his arm and tugged him into a more private setting, Zane's brow furrowed slightly but the young man said nothing, preferring to let the older man have his say as was his right. As Sagard mentioned that Zane was wondering what this was about, the young priest offered a polite nod, sure that the Dawnmaster would enlighten him. Understanding illuminated his face as the older priest filled him in on the goings-on in Mulmaster and the change of plans.
As Dawnmaster Sagard finished, the young Dawnbringer absorbed it all for a moment, nodding absently. He had heard of the corruption in Mulmaster, so it came as no surprise to the young priest that another event had plagued the strife-filled metropolis. Zane hadn't looked forward to that leg of his journey, so he rejoiced at his new destination.
"Truly the Morninglord smiles upon this venture, Dawnmaster, to bring us word of this recent development at this late hour. I shall inform the Master of the Six Market caravan that there has been a change of plan and provide a small fee for the inconvenience. I understand your words, Dawnmaster, and have no questions beyond asking if you will once again bless my journey. There is always another dawn." At this the young man offered a smile, bowing his head in preparation for Sagard's blessing.
Zane was restless as the caravan meandered its way up the well-traveled trade road to Elventree. The young priest understood the practicality of traveling with a well-guarded merchant train, but the slow pace was enough to fray the Dawnbringer's nerves, but Zane saw it as practice to work on his patience. The young man chuckled wryly at the thought as he swayed to and fro in the wagon, the fact that he was half the age of many of his recent church's attendees and prone to the same failings as other youth.
The Cleric had little success in trying to talk to the various merchants and guards about the Morninglord, that was until they had encountered the bandits on their third day out. Zane took it good-naturedly when those that had spurned him before were now eager to hear of Lathander and more importantly, receive his blessing. Other Faiths might look with disdain upon such whimsy, but the Morninglord was all about new beginnings. Each of these supposed converts could become a full-fledged worshipper, and therefore increase Lathander's standing in the Pantheon. So Zane tended the spark of faith in each interested party dutifully in the hopes of the men and women making a lifelong commitment.
Zane waved to the various members of the Seven Suns he had befriended on the short journey to Elventree, looking around the small city with a satisfied air. A short trip across the Moonsea was now all that separated him from New Phlan and its promise. A promise of rebirth for both the city and Zane's family. A new beginning. Though he had never met his grandfather and knew his father only slightly better than a family friend, the young man felt a sense of divine fate whenever he heard of Phlan, even as a child. The feeling had only intensified as he grew older, and he thanked the Morninglord profusely when the call to resettle the city had come.
The young Cleric grasped his holy symbol in his hand tightly as he walked slowly through the city, looking for the dock area. Once he caught sight of the canvas sails in the distance, Zane walked with purpose to the harbor, looking for the Mistrider among the many boats anchored. The priest felt nervous now that the final leg of his journey was at hand, but he pushed the anxiety aside as he found the cog the Dawnmaster had mentioned. Zane offered a short prayer to Lathander to bless his travel, then proceeded up the gangplank to find this Jhonas and procure passage to New Phlan.
Ishta doubts for an instant, weighing her options. "Um... I'm not sure, father. I would need to consult a good map if I wanted to plan the journey, but I'd say a good idea would be to try through The Dragon Reach. A boat would save me a lot of time, specially if I could find one as near as Telflamm." Of course, this is a one-minute-thought plan, it needs polishing, but it seems a good start to her. "Besides, I have been in Sembia and Cormyr in my voyages, so I speak the language and made some friends there. The southern route seems safer anyways." Of course, that is only directed towards relaxing her father and make him feel confident. Nothing really grants a safe journey nowadays in Faerun.
After spending the night at home, the next morning Ishta says goodbye to her father and starts her long journey to Phlan, with a first step in Telflamm. Before leaving, though, her father speaks one final time.
"Uh, oh... I nearly forgot!" He turns to one of the apprentices and asks "Quickly, bring the bag that's on my accounting table." Back to Ishta, he goes on. "From my times of adventuring, I still had an old sword. It's good quality, but nothing magic or that you may have use for, so... yesterday, I sent one of the boys to sell it and acquire something for you." The boy comes with a sack and gives it to Ishta's father, who in turn gives it to her. "This is for you, daughter. I hope you don't need it, but you can at least have something from me when you're away." Ishta opens the bag and produces a fine, cylindrical wooden case. Inside, she finds some scrolls. "This case contains some magic scrolls that I have purchased with the selling of my sword. Make a wise use of them" Kissing and hugging him, Ishta says farewell and finally leaves before the old man burst into tears.
I've let my mind fly and spoke as the father also, I hope you don't mind (if the target of the prologue was to set us in motion, I think you won't). Also, the scroll case was already in my inventory, that was just some fluff.
And all Raumviran and Rashemi know: only a fool doesn't listen to a mother who managed to grow old.
It wasn't until much later, after weeks of travel, that a seed of subconscious truth started to blossom into a thought. Perhaps she had warned him to prevent him from rushing in blind, to always second guess himself when confronted with might and power. In that, she had gifted him with wisdom.
Kardas then picked up a wooden good luck amulet at one of the many villages he came by and carved a symbol onto its flat surface to represent the woman and her words, tying it to his armor as if it could shield him from harm. There it hangs together with a dozen other good luck charms.
|DM Fang Dragon|
OK that's everyone except Ser Armithia, hopefully he’ll be along soon, I’m hoping to link him up with Zane at Elventree so I’ll hold off posting on those two prologues till tomorrow. In the meantime, Armithia and Zane, feel free to RP a meeting if you like. Anyway let's forge ahead with the other prologues.
You made discreet inquiries about a boat and were soon directed to the Seashell Inn, a knwon haunt of a great barrel chested salt beard of a man named Jhonas, master of the Mistrider. You looked inside, to hear raucous laughter accompanied by the heady smells of ale, tobacco and game pie. At the bar you spot a man who could only be Jhonas deep in conversation with the barkeep, a once powerful middle age man turning to fat.
Azarra looks mostly relieved. Oh, okay. I can do that. And I'll just give the whole bag to the captain. (She still looks overwhelmed by that... that's a LOT of money.) Thanks. Sorry I'm so bad at this. I'm going to visit my parents. That's true, well mostly true... I mean hopefully true, right? I can do this. I should probably pay the captain in private though, right? Hmm. Okay. I've got this. It's just a performance, and I am a performer.
Azarra seems to gain confidence at the idea of this being a performance, and stands up taller, as though she is about to sing. She stashes the bag in her pack, shakes her contact's hand firmly, and walks confidently to the ship.
She gains passage, giving the reason for her trip as "visiting parents" which she says like she is really bored with the question (perhaps overdoing it, as she pretends to yawn), and afterward asks the captain for a moment to discuss her fare, and when they are alone (if he allows such), she gives him the bag, saying I trust I can count on your discretion.
If that all works, she feels really accomplished and pleased with herself, settling into her cabin and looking forward to the trip.
Speaking of other deities, Zane pulled up as he saw a Helmite stalking the deck of the wide merchant ship. The man was tall, slightly taller than the Cleric, even, and seemed to effortlessly pace in that armor of his. The astute priest noted the man's relatively straight legs and his unsteady gait as the ship gently rocked in its mooring, quickly deducing that this was no seaman. Zane sighed in relief at that...though he held nothing personal towards the faithful of Helm, the same could not always be said vice versa.
The young man let the warm afternoon sun bathe him in its glow for several moments, feeling the embrace of the Morninglord in its raw power as he closed his eyes. When he opened them, unsurprisingly the follower of Helm was still there. Oh well, there was nothing to be done about it...perhaps the man had simply lost his way? The Cleric narrowed his eyes as he felt distinctly the warming rays of the sun as they bore down upon his brow. A sign, perhaps?
"Good afternoon, good sir. Do you know where I can find Jhonas, master of the Mistrider?" The priest flashed a friendly smile at the man, rosy pink disc in his hand as he studied the other man. The face seemed familiar somehow, though he was certain they had never met. An interesting development.
|DM Fang Dragon|
The wagon train stopped at Suzail to take on some extra passengers and goods before heading east through the lawless Tilverton gap through which it was only safe to travel in large armed convoy. Everyone was glad when you passed the mountains marking the border of the dalelands. Soon you would be by the Moonsea!
Weeks pass and eventually the wagon train rumbled into Elventree. You were most gratified to see it wasn't yet another crowded walled city stinking of humanity. Instead it was built elven style, working in concert with nature. There were no roads to speak of, only shady forest paths and almost-invisible trails that wind through the town. Neither are there any cleared common grounds or any large buildings. All structures in Elventree are located in either natural caverns or hollowed-out trees, just as it should be.
You were surprised to learn it's about a mile inland rather than directly on the Moonsea. There is a lighthouse north of the village called Elua’s Lighthouse, and two piers which serve as the village’s harbor, collectively known as Moonport. The only Tavern is a two story affair built around two very large and still living Oak trees, The Moon on The Water run by a jolly half elven man called Arojar, seemingly staffed exclusively by other half elves. There are currently no ships in town but this seems a good a place as any to inquire about their schedules. Several people from the wagon train are staying here including a human follower of the Morning Lord judging by his attitude. You could have sworn you had never set eyes on him before, yet he seems oddly familiar...
You were surprised to learn it's about a mile inland rather than directly on the Moonsea. There is a lighthouse north of the village called Elua’s Lighthouse, and two piers which serve as the village’s harbor, collectively known as Moonport.
The only Tavern is a two story affair built around two very large and still living Oak trees, The Moon on The Water run by a jolly half elven man called Arojar, seemingly staffed exclusively by other half elves. There are currently no ships in town but this seems a good a place as any to inquire about their schedules. Several people from the wagon train are staying here including a rather distinguished looking elven follower of Helm. You could have sworn you had never set eyes on him before, yet he seems oddly familiar...
I guess then that this:
"Hillsfar was once under the extended rule of the Elven Court but in 1357 DR Maalthiir overthrew their representatives"
is being ignored for story sake.
Having done everything that was to be done in Teflamm, Ishta boards the ship that is destined to take her to Hillsfar, a travel that's going to take several weeks. Thankfully, she's been on boats before and is not prone to sea sickness. Even so, it's going to be boring.
Eager to set sail, she asks the captain. "We're waiting for one more passenger, ma'am. A gentleman going by the name of Kardas Rasalas. As soon as he's here and ready, we can head on to our first stop in Hlammach."
Greetings, Dawnbringer. I confess that my knowledge of seacraft is found wanting.
I do have hope that Mister Jhonas is controlling this monster.
Those I have spoken to within the city have told me of your integrity and your skill in such matters".
After trading what uncut gems and semi-precious stones he had brought with him from his 'home' in northern Rashemen, Kardas had to confront himself with the unpleasant truth that the Sea of Fallen Stars was no Lake Ashane: the waters stretched past the horizon! The newly acquired gold coins, decorated with faces of people he had never heard of, paid for a trip to Phlan.
Unaccustomed with such long journeys by sea, he spent a few more gold pieces on books on the history of these lands, contemporary literature and a specific Telflammar journal on herbalism. Hauling these paper treasures with him onboard, Kardas was met with frowns, sighs and a few scowls as apparently these people took the notion of 'time' a lot more serious than his fellow Raumvirans and Rashemi. Hushed apologies were uttered and the exotic looking man boarded the ship, charms and amulets dangling from his slicked back hair and chain shirt. He kissed more than a couple of them while walking the plank, then continueing to scan the ship for any friendly or interesting faces.
T'was to be a long journey and books and manuscripts could sustain him only for so long.
Either way, he still had sympathy for the poor man. "Indeed, good sir. With this being the only ship in port and my youthful impatience rearing its ugly head, I surely hope this is the ship I seek. I believe I've seen you around the caravan...Zane Levallis, and I am indeed a Dawnbringer of the Morninglord. Perhaps we should go ahead and look for Master Jhonas, and get you inside the vessel. It probably will be easier to gain your feet inside with proper walls about you." He smiled again at the man, wishing he had some way to help the man with his seasickness. Otherwise this would be a poor voyage for him.
Speaking of which..."You are going to Phlan then, friend?"
Aye, perhaps, being in doors would be better. Well met, Dawnbringer Zane. I am Ser Armithia Seendren, knight in service to Helm. Yes, I go to Phlan. It has been ordered.
After waiting for some minutes, a man dressed in eastern clothes boards the ship. He salutes the captain and, for what they talk, he seems to be that Kardas Rasalas the captain talked about.
When the man is done talking with the captain, Ishta approaches him.
"Gretings! I am Ishta. Are you by chance Kardas? We were waiting for you!" Ishta's tone is clearly amusing, not agressive at all. She smiles before going on. "Can I ask you where are you headed to? It would certainly be a nice thing to be able to talk about something not related to ships or water on my way to Hillsfar. Plus, I have a good amount of foodstuff my father prepared, typical from my homeland, if you want to taste... in exchange for something to taste from yours!" she says, giggling.
|DM Fang Dragon|
Anyway several days later the ship the ship arrives at New Phlan without incident. You arrive to find the small civilized toehold to be brimming with excitement. The city council have called far and wide for adventurers to help reclaim that which was stolen and many have answered their call. As yet few bands have been granted a charter but the council is sitting every week day ready to offer work for those daring or perhaps desperate enough to try!
Of course before any of that you need to find somewhere to stay. The dock official tells you, ”Well Ma’am there’s the Cracked Crown just over yonder. It’s relatively quiet and peaceful and serves good grub with a small but decent selection ‘o beers and ales. It’s kinda pricey mind and I guess it’s clientele attracts more than it’s fair share of second story men if ye catch my drift. Then I suppose there’s Nat Wyler’s Bell, Ma’am I’d give that one a miss, kind of a locals place none too friendly. On account of it bein cheap it’s a den o’ cutthroats, ruffians and swords-fer-hire. Yeah and then there’s tha Bitter Blade. Yeah don’t go there, Ma’am not if ye value yer life...”
The passage to Hillsfar took a the best part of a month and was annoyingly expensive. Still you did get to do some sightseeing in Halamash, Procampur and Tantras. Of the three Proud, well-mannered, and orderly Procampur was probably the most interesting. Famed for its jewelers and metal-smiths, and for its most unusual feature, the districts that divided the city by function and occupation, each with their own distinct roof color. Tantras only becomes famous later during the Time of Troubles.
Hillsfar itself is a classic walled coastal town. Originally named Hillsafar after a dwarf clan, but within a few decades the name was simplified to Hillsfar. It flourished under the extended rule of the Elven Court becoming one of the major trade hubs in the region. Still despite this your exotic accents from far away Kara-Tur attracted considerable attention. After spending a few days on dry land by mutual agreement decide to start looking for passage across the Moonsea to Phlan. After a couple of hours in the docklands you learn of The Sea Otter which is headed there this evening. If you hurry you should be able to catch it before it sets sail… feel free to narrate yourself into Phlan. You’ll need to find an Inn, with luck choosing the same one as Azarra. Perhaps you’ll meet her down by the docks as she talks to the port official?
"Well met. Are you two traveling together or just happened to have no other place to bunk for the duration of your trip? I am bound for Phlan".
Mal wears a holy symbol of Aerdrie Faenya around his neck. His dress though would suggest that of a warrior more than a cleric though.
Ser Armithia Seendren, bound for Phlan. Looks like we're mates for the voyage.
Azarra thanks the dock official, thinking that none of the places really sounded ideal, but that she would try the Cracked Crown first, just so she could sleep after all the snoring on the trip. A whole bag of bribery for that. Wow. ... At least she was safe though, and for that she was very grateful.
She proceeds to the Cracked Crown to inquire about weekly rates for room and board, and pays for a week in advance. She also asks if they are in need of an entertainer to sing for the lunch or dinner crowd.
Now to her mission. Perhaps her stomach and her goals could align for a while. She sits at a central table in the common room, orders the stew (or whatever food they are serving that is remotely edible), and keeps her eyes and ears open for rumors or a conversational opening with anyone else in the room. Even if there isn't anything to overhear or join in, she just watches, wanting to know about the other people staying here, gathering as much information as she can.
Rolling Perception because I am just watching and listening for now... will give an actual Gather Information roll if I find people to talk to.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
The Dawnbringer's tone was flippant, but his bright green eyes were serious. Suzail had been his home ever since he drew breath in this world, but he had always felt pulled to Phlan as a moth to the flame. He hoped he'd do the Morninglord proud. "Zane Levallis, priest of Lathander the Morninglord. Have we met before, Malstei? I'm getting this serious case of deja vous...perhaps it's due to the shared destination."
The young man shrugged, laying his pack down in a corner of the room before walking to the door. "Please excuse me, I think I'd like to see what has the captain worked up!" With an excited grin the young human climbs back on deck as the ship begins the process of getting her sails up to catch some of the wind that already seems to be blistering about. Seeing that the huge pieces of canvas are only let down partially, the young man listens patiently as a crewman explains that to go through a storm at full mast was to invite utter ruin to a vessel.
As the fierce storm starts not long after they leave port, Zane tries to make himself useful on the deck, only going below if ordered to by the captain. The priest knows that he would get in the way of the more skilled tasks with the ropes and such, thus he carries things and holds other items still so that they can be secured. As the great cog pitches and rolls he feels a tinge of sympathy for the poor gold elf belowdecks, thinking that the poor sot set to cleaning duty is going to be upset after they disembark.
The voyage was nerve-wracking, even for the priest, but the vessel made it to New Phlan in one piece, the only casualty being a keg of ale that had flown over the railing before it could be secured. As the trio waited for the boat to be properly docked the Cleric paces impatiently, eyeing the recently reclaimed New Phlan and the older section of the city that still was dangerous. Fifty years, and his family was finally back to help reclaim this foothold of civilization on the Northern Moonsea shore.
He looks at Malstei and Ser Armithia, eager smile creeping into his face. "I suppose we should ask where we should stay before we clear out the city proper, eh? Perhaps we could work on the same charter, even!? You both seem handy with a blade, and while I'm no slouch with my weapon, I can call upon the Morninglord's aid, as well. I'll ask the captain about the town while you think on it, ok?" The Cleric hurried off to find captain Jhonas to ask about a reputable Inn and where to find the Council.
Overcoming his initial doubts and fears, the man continued to chatter with Ishta, opening up more and more by the day. Rough around the edges, it soon became clear that his more blunt mannerisms were most likely not seen as to be rude amongst his people. Honesty, for the Raumviran, reveals the path whereas the lie and obfuscation can hide it in plain sight. It also became apparent that the man had arcane talents, most noticable in his morning exercises where he'd draw his sword and plain for all to see, infuse it with arcane powers. The Raumrivan saber, curving outwards and as it nears the tip back inwards again, was inlaid with a thin silver line which seemed to help the man channel his powers through it more effectively. The semi-precious stones in the pommel would light up whenever he did so.
As the ship sailed on, so too did the memories of Thesk fade into the background. There were after all so many new impressions and experiences flooding into the man's mind that it was hard to keep a grasp on it all! The crashing waves, pushed onward by the winds, were hypnotizing to the plainsman. The near mechanical manner in which the crew operated the ship, making it submit to nature so that it could harness nature's own power, confirmed to him the universal truth that every man needs a horse. Even if the horse was a wooden one with sails.
But even wooden horses need rest. Hillsfar came into his life in an abrupt manner, changing the serene setting of the sea for the chaotic hubris filled experience that is a large Faerun city. Wishing for nothing more than to this leave choking sensation behind him, Kardas went in search of a ship to get him to Phlan. Unaccustomed to the local traditions and customs, Kardas continously reached out to Ishta, hoping this refined civilized woman - unlike those of his homeland - could be his guide through this urban jungle.
As the ship is finally bound for port Mal turns to Ser Armithia with Zane scurrying away once more, "Excitable that one. They breed and bounce around like Rabbits it seems.
The north of this city is incredibly dangerous. I have spent the past several months patrolling the Quivering Woods and had to circumvent half the Moonsea to get back here.
He is not wrong though, I am here to assist with the plight of this city. If you, and he, are here for the same reason then it stands to reason that we should approach the authorities, such as they are, together. Alone, none could face that which plagues this place".
The travel to Hillsfar has been shorter than at first thought it seemed. Of course, the fact of having another arcane aboard has soothened the boredom of such a journey. Actually, for Ishta it has been quite an excitement. "Wow, this guy can channel magic through his sword. How cool! I wish I could do that."
Once on firm land, it seems obvious that the Rashemi is a bit lost in the crowded city, so Ishta lets her good side take control and offers him some help. Not wanting, though, to offer her help so plainly that Kardas would feel offended, she just asks about the man's plans, to check in which way can she be helpful. "Well, Kardas... now I'm going to search for a ship to continue my journey to Phlan. Where will you go?"
Finding out they have the same destination, it seems easier for them to hire passage and set sail to Phlan, where each of them has their own purpose.
It is a wise man to whom company beckons.
|DM Fang Dragon|
Straining to hear anything of note you manage to listen into the conversation between the barkeep and a tall dark man in fine looking clothes. The barkeep told him in hushed tones, ”Since the last push, the eastern barricades have almost reached the Cadorna Textile House, it’s so close you can see the roof poking up over the old library if you sand on the roof. Of course you know how rich the Cadorna family was rumored to be, supposedly a good part of that was buried in a secret vault beneath their compound!” The other man snorted, ”‘Course, that’s said about most the old family houses in the city too. Lot of fools have died chasing those stories.”
Malstei manages to catch the ear of Captain Jhonas and ask him about the town. ”Well Phlan is a bit of a mess and no mistake. Most of it’s still held by the enemy but their leader, the local patriarch of Bane got killed by a band of adventurers about six months back, that threw them into confusion and allowed civilized folks to gain a toe hold. New Phlan doesn’t have an army, those are terribly expensive. If it did no doubt the city would have been recaptured by now, but instead they’re doing it on the cheap hoping adventures will do their dirty work for them. The new council like to call their little toe hold Civilized Phlan, frankly that’s putting on airs and graces it doesn’t deserve. There’s a real problem with thefts and lawlessness in some parts, particularly disreputable places like the Bitterblade.” A shout comes from a sailor above and Jhonas says, ”Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m needed at the wheel. We shall be docking soon. If you need somewhere to stay, try the Cracked Crown, that’s where I’d go.”
After disembarking you note thin smoke rising from the northern part of town, where apparently there had been recent fighting. Phlan itself had clearly seen better days and it’s once proud buildings are battered and in need of repair. Still what’s left is in state of high excitement, for a veritable army of adventurers, vagabonds and sellswords had answered the council’s call. As yet the hopefuls were disorganized, but you got the sense that should any group get properly organized it would be possible to make your fortune here!
Phlan itself had clearly seen better days/ it’s once proud buildings are battered and in need of repair. You also spy thin smoke was rising from the northern part where there had been recent fighting. Once you disembarked you found the civilized toe hold to be in a state of high excitement, a veritable army of adventurers, vagabonds and sellswords had answered the council’s call. As yet the hopefuls were disorganized, but you got the sense that should any group get properly organized it would be possible to make your fortune here!
You ask around about where to stay and are strongly advised by a market trader to, ”It’s more expensive but do yourself a favor and stay at the Cracked Crown. You won’t find any fighting there, the owners and the watch won’t stand for it. If you feel the need for some night life, there's all sorts but stay well clear of the Bitter Blade unless want to see some drunk or addict getting shanked or worse over nothing.”
Now that he was finally here the priest felt somewhat fatigued, the excitement of the last several days wearing off as the destination was finally reached. No matter...there would be plenty of time for rest later on. He needed to procure lodgings and go try to petition the Council for a charter.
As the young man entered the Inn, his brilliant green eyes swept the inside curiously, wondering what sort of folks frequented it. The smells inside were enough to make the priest's mouth water as he scanned the room as he slowly walked in. People from strange lands Zane had only heard of sat in twos and threes throughout the room, interlaced with well-dressed well-to-do men the Cleric assumed were some of the merchants in the area. A corner of the room held some arcane looking sorts, though they could just be local troublemakers.
His gaze focused on a pretty half-elven woman sitting at the bar, nonchalantly sipping at her drink as she just sat there and listened. He is hit with the same sense of familiarity that had occurred when he first met both the Helmite and the moon elf. Zane smiled at the woman as he crossed the room, giving a small wave before he got to who he perceived was the master of the Inn. Time to make arrangements for the next several days.
Seeing the situation in Phlan saddens Ishta so much. Only a portion of the city is considered safe, and this is only from a very loose point of view. Having to search for the people her father talked about, on one hand, she can't just ignore the fact that help is needed urgently here, on the other, so she is really torn with dilemma.
When adviced about the inn, she thinks that having a nice night of rest would help her decide on her next step, so the Cracked Crown seems the place to go.
"I vote for going to the Cracked Crown - I think I'll see enough mayhem in the days to come that I can spare having to sleep with one eye open for today. What do you say, Kardas?"
|DM Fang Dragon|
I forgot to post this last night. There are a number of rumours doing the rounds in The Crooked Crown.
"I agree. The notion of being surrounded by cutthroats .. by choice .. strikes me as folly. But to approach it from a positive angle, we might find reputable contacts in this Cracked Crown and more easily make the 'next step' because of that. Why mount a lame horse when there's a healthy one next by?" The sturdy man then shrugs. Right?
"Let's settle in and grab a drink or two. The Gods know that my stomach can use it after that boat ride. Perhaps we'll stumble upon good company who can tell us more about Phlan and point us in the right direction."
Gather Information: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (17) - 1 = 16
Azarra, hearing about the possibility of a secret vault is intrigued. If she's already a spy, maybe she should be a treasure hunter too.
She turns around, engaging some of the people at that table in conversation, and works the room a little, eventually sitting back down alone.
Diplomacy (Gather Information): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
She felt a rush of success at gathering so much information. A council announcement, an undead threat, and a lost library! So many things to discover. This spy stuff might be right up her alley... and she was enjoying herself. She closed her eyes briefly, giving thanks to Lliira.
When she opened them, she saw a human coming into the inn that seemed somehow familiar... and then he turned and waved to her. Could she know him? No, but she felt drawn to him somehow. It was crazy to feel this attraction to a human, certainly. ... But what wasn't crazy about her whole life right now? And she would need help following up on all these rumors, and doing her spy stuff, she added in her mind as additional justification.
She grinned to herself, and when he turned from arranging to stay at the inn, she waved him over. This new life was going to be absolutely joyous.
As they enter the Inn and Zane runs off to secure a charter, Mal does his best to find out what else there is to know about news here. Never one to be sociable, he mingles anyway. In nature information is gained through observation. Here, in "civilization" needless small talk was the trick, a trick the elven ranger had yet to master.
He found the smells and cramped, loud setting so distasteful Mal was unable to find out anything vital except to confirm all he did not like about such cities. Hopefully, his acquaintances would have better luck.
Mingle and Gather Information through Diplomacy 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
Take 10 for 16 diplomacy.
Zane manages to weave his way to the bar, managing to overhear a piece or two of information on the way. Of course rumors would abound in this place. No doubt fanned by the Council to lure in more eager hands willing to do the dirty work of cleaning the city up. As he was told the price of lodgings the priest's eyes bulge a little, but he refrains from haggling at this point. Perhaps a bit of gold would loosen the barkeep's tongue.
As the Cleric paid for his accommodations, he inquired about the city and was rewarded with a tale about the old island keep, where the most powerful defenders made their stand. Where Zane's grandfather likely would have been. Now the place was supposedly overrun with undead. The young man's brow furrows at the news before he thanks the barkeep for the room and board.
As he turned to go back to his companions, he sees the half-elven woman from before wave him over with an eager look. He briefly wondered if she was the sort of predatory woman a place like this would attract, but the equipment she carried and his natural intuition told him otherwise. He walked over to her, noticing as he got closer that she was even more attractive up close in the dim lighting. He smiled a bit sheepishly, wondering if this was the Morninglord at work or just the whims of a young man.
Oh well, he was invested at this point. "Have we met before? That seems to be a recurring question I've been asking the past couple days." He chuckled, waiting on her answer before continuing. "Here to help reclaim the lost glory of Phlan? Are you part of a group, or here alone?" He thinks about his question, then carries on quickly before his question can be taken out of context. "Because myself, Ser Armithia, and Malstei, the two dour-looking elven fellows over there, are going to try and claim a charter, and I figure the more the merrier, right?"
Zane put a hand on the bar to steady himself, waiting on the not-so-stranger's reply. If she answers in the affirmative he grins, waving for his two elven companions to come join them. Things were coming together nicely so far!
When the human man asked if they had met before, she knew it was a line... an OLD line... but she couldn't help feeling exactly the same, although intellectually she was certain... well, almost certain... she had never seen him before.
She smiled, puzzled at the mention of saying the question before. I don't think we have met before, but you do look familiar... before she can do the traditional "were you ever in..." background quiz that usually accompanies such a line, he assumes that she is one of those crazy people trying to retake Phlan... and he asks if she is alone, and she looks up at him, and then...
A group? Elves? ... oh, *he* is here to retake Phlan. ... with others.
Well, not what I expected, or perhaps wanted on some level, but joy (and opportunity) from tragedy, as always.
You're exactly right, ... um, I don't believe that I know your name. No matter. I am Azarra, and glad to meet ... She looks over at his friends. ... fellow elves.
I would welcome the opportunity to join your group.
A steel-booted foot shakily steps off the plank?. Breathing a notable sigh, the tall armored knight looks around the immediate area. He takes it all in. He then looks beyond the docks, concentrating on the smell, sound of Helm's words.
I shall not fail!
Ser Armithia turns to his recent traveling companions.
Shall we save a city, gentlemen?
He takes it good-naturedly if the other two mention that he didn't have to stay above-decks during the mentioned storm, shrugging it off. His thoughts absorbed him as he walked in uncharacteristic silence until they reached the inn, thinking about the past and family long and recently lost.
The priest is eager to get before the Council to claim a charter granting them legal privilege to help clear the dangerous parts of the unsettled city, but something nags at him...as though they still need to wait on something. The young man is not one to ignore his feelings, whether they be intuition or the gentle guidance of Lathander. Plus, staying here in the company of the comely woman wasn't exactly torture, either.
The cleric again waves his two elven companions over, tilting his head towards Azarra in an obvious fashion as if he wants to make introductions. Turning back to the woman, he smiles companionably, "So have you recently just gotten in, or have you been here long enough to pick up on the hot spots of activity around here?"
Mal nods to Zane, "Indeed, we could all use rest with a comfortable room after that experience. Still, the Captain got us here safe so no complaints from me".
As the Paladin proclaims his intention Mal almost smiles, "Indeed. Together let us do what we can to force back the darkness. I am told Dragons and their minions are among our foes, for a chance to strike at those wicked creatures I am well ready".
Apologies, I forgot the spoiler.
He does nod at the half-elf, saying,
Ser Armithia Seendren, milady.
Greetings Zane. Dawnbringer is quite the title to live up to.
Knowledge: Religion: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16 -- To know about Zane's religion or what those titles mean[/dice]
She greets Malstei Well met. I am Azarra, and if his other friend walks over she greets him as well, introducing herself.
Would you like to sit and eat? I have been here long enough to hear several rumors, although I can't be sure which ones are or are not true, of course.
If they sit, she proceeds to fill them in on several rumors, some of which they may have heard from other people as well:
I heard two rumors about the Phlan council. One that they are going to announce something big tomorrow, and another that some of them are dishonest and actually working for another city. Some say Zhentil Keep and others Mulmaster.
There are rumors of treasure to be found underneath the old Cadorna Textile House near the eastern barricades. The old library near there was also said to perhaps also still contain treasures of knowledge, including spellbooks.
I also heard several strange rumors having to do with undead. One is that the old island keep is full of undead now, that the cemetery is also infested, and that undead are the true cause of the taint of the River Stojanow.
|DM Fang Dragon|
OK what's the plan folks, are you staying here tonight? If so please deduct 2gp from your totals and prepare for a pampering. Of course the rooms at the Cracked Crown are rather large so maybe you could come to an agreement with the inn keep if you prefer to keep costs down. I'll sort out a loot spreadsheet this weekend.
I took off 14 for a week prepaid. Is it late enough that we should bed down, or should we go out today to get our charter? We haven't had the meetup scene with Kardas and Ishta yet, so I was waiting on that.
Hmm, a trusted person on the council... good question. Actually, yes. I remember someone said that Talia... somebody was trustworthy. I think she was an elf.
I also was waiting on all six to meet up before discussing next steps. I'd rather go to the Council this day, but if it's too late, then early the next morning. I am open to paying for a week in advance if there is a discount, otherwise I'll go night by night.
Lathander is the god of creativity, dawn, renewal, birth, athletics, spring, self-perfection, vitality, and youth. His followers are among the most fervent about destroying undead, and his is the faith closest to 'sun worshippers'.
Zane smiled and nodded at the half-elf's comment. "Indeed. Then again, the dawn always comes on the morrow, so it's perhaps also the easiest title to live up to." The cleric chuckles, shrugging, as the woman introduces herself to his other companions.
The young man has only heard of Mulmaster and Zhentil Keep second-hand, but any associations of the Council to those evil places made the cleric wary of dealing with the group of men in charge of this fledgling town. As long as their intentions included clearing the city and making it safer, the priest was willing to overlook any ulterior motives for the moment.
Zane listened to the rumors of treasure with only mild amounts of interest, but when Azarra mentioned the old keep the cleric sat up straighter, his green eyes focused. Such creatures were an affliction on the living, and the Dawnbringer felt it his personal duty to clear out any of the undead from this area.
The priest overlooked Malstei's slight against humans as a stereotypical outburst, the intent of the question certainly valid enough. Zane would much rather work with someone who could be trusted. The priest nods his thanks to a server who brought him a fine plate of food, and he began to dig in as they conversed over the table.
|DM Fang Dragon|
Lets say it's late afternoon maybe 4pm. It will be daylight for a good few hours yet, with the sun setting about 8pm at this time of year. The full council isn't in session today but it should be possible to arrange for a charter. So we have two votes for doing that today, one more and we'll have a scene change :) Generally I'd prefer to get consensus on such things, but we don't need to wait for the entire party to respond.