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DM Sinvel's Tales of the Night Watchmen

Game Master Sinvel Menter

Follows the journey of four new members of the Night Watchmen in the Great City of Azir.

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All, I added two sections of information to the Gazetteer as well as a few maps located on the Campaign Info tab at the top.

The smell of butter and fatty cuts of meat fill the air as you come downstairs from your room into the main lobby of The Merchants Heaven Inn shown at the red dot in the Trades Ward on the map, which these days doesn't offer many services to any merchants since it has been the main station of the Night Watchmen in the Trades Ward for many score.

After a month or so of training, the four of you from your class of a few shy of a dozen were assigned to this station. The assignment of which being the most prestigious of any in Azir save for the small station in the Cast Ward, but that is usually filled with men who have sharp features instead of brains and brawn.

It is Starday, the 1st of Desnus. The last day of the first week of work as Night Watchmen for the four of you. The four of you meet every morning for breakfast and sit together, mainly because the other Watchmen don't associate much with the new members. Anslon Briarback, proprietor of the inn, greets you cheerfully just as he does every morning and will soon bring out your normal breakfast.

After the day is over you can each get your hand filled with 10 gold pieces, a week's wage, from Judge Bao, the leader or "general" of this station's Watchmen. He stands a few inches above six feet and, although he is more than four decades in age, he can still beat most of the other Watchmen during the drunken arm wrestling matches that spring up late in the night at the Merchants Heaven Inn.

The week went without much for excitement until two nights ago when a few of the Pure Legion came to the Inn to pick up the four new Watchmen. They said they needed some backup while they arrested a group of smugglers who may have also been "cultists" (the Pure Legion's name for someone who followed even legitimate religions). The Pure Legion cursed the followers of religion the entire way to the smuggler's hideout, seeming to prod the four of you for your feelings on the matter.

When the smugglers were found and rounded up, Nathaniel spoke up, telling one of the Pure Legion that he recognized one of the criminals as a cult member. She was searched on the spot and found to be carrying a holy symbol and a religious text. Possibly trying to make an impact on the young Watchmen, the Legionnaire drew his sword and unceremoniously beheaded the pretty young woman, leaving the four of you to shockingly stare at her decapitated body.

So gather around the breakfast table. You all know each other for at least a month now, so any information that you want the other PCs to know about yourself please put in italics.

Here is the layout of the lower floor of the Merchants Heaven Inn

Malchius' fine linen coat stands open, his almost spotless shirt wrinkled from yesterday's wearing and last night's sleeping. As usual, there has been no spell-casting to freshen up until after his morning coffee and spell book study, which as usual lies on the table, taking up way more than his share of the space.

Lines around his eyes betray his lack of sleep these past few nights.

Xarina is a suspicious of most everyone, although not paranoid. She never takes anyone at face value. Most of the time she just comes across as intimidating. Partly because of her demeanor and partly because of her size. Not many like to see someone tower above them. She doesn't abuse her size & heritage though. Treat others good and they will usually be nice back. She hasn't kept it a secret that she doesn't like the Pure Legion. Too overzealous. Plus laws don't really matter when they hurt people.

Xarina comes down looking refreshed and ready for the day.

I put my hat on the back of the chair and sit down at the second leftmost table and face my back to the wall.

I look over at Malchius. You're looking ragged, Malchius. Something got you down?

Nathaniel, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Malchius (although they both deny any relation), is a serious man with a frequently unexpected sense of humor. A Taldan by birth and breed, he is less arrogant than most of his countrymen but no less sure of himself. He is a zealous Watchman who sincerely believes in what he does.

Nathaniel comes downstairs, as quietly and solemnly as he did the day before. He is unshaven and unrested. He collects his morning coffee from the bar without a word and sits down at the table with Xarina and Malchius. Sipping the black liquid slowly, drawing a measure of strength from its warmth, he speaks softly in a quiet voice, If we are going to discuss this, we should discuss it in private.

Raising his eyes and his voice, Nathaniel then wonders aloud, Has anyone seen Garrett?

Among other halflings, there really wasn't much that made Garret stand out... until you got him to tell a tale. When Garret started on a story, he made you feel like you were watching it happen. Sure, he sometimes disappeared for no reason during the day and, yes, he sometimes knew things he shouldn't, but everyone had their quirks, right?

"Here I am." The storyteller says as he pulls over a chair, dressed in his usual many-pocketed clothes. "What we talking 'bout where?"

Malchius is arrogant and proud. At the same time, he is a reformed partier, so still possesses many of the entitled loafer, alternating with a strong work ethic when the mood takes him. He has a strong presence, born and bred into him, and he fully expects others to do what he says. He can twist words to make you think he's promised something that he hasn't. He resents his current situation (like their meager living situation, though he's polite enough to ever let their host know this), and craved finer everything from food to clothes. He's desperate to reclaim at least a part of his former wealth. Finally, he's so adamant that he practices no religion that it's almost like he's over-compensating. You know his family was ruined because its head practiced religion. As adamant as he was that those smugglers needed to be punished, he was sickened by the brutal killing. He'd much rather turn and use an asset than kill it.

"Apparently, we're not talking about my lack of sleep, though why that should require a private room is beyond me. I promise you that my lack of sleep last night had no cause we cannot discuss in mixed company."

My mistake; if not recent events, what has you sleepless?

Just then Anslon stops at the table for a moment and places Xarina's breakfast in front of her. "Don't look so glum boys, you've almost made it through the first week!" the ever cheerful round man says.

Anslon, just like the rest of the Watchmen, call the group "boys" or "men" even though one of them is, in fact, a lady. No one in the Watchmen seems to treat Xarina any different than any of the other men. Could it be because she is a half-orc?

"Not many make it through the first week, I'm guessing?" Garret asks. "Is it the change in the sleeping routine or the job that stops them?"

Malchius grimaces sourly. "Okay, maybe a private room would be needed if we were actually going to talk about it, but since we're not, we don't need one. Maybe we could instead resume unraveling the mystery about why you have my face."

Malchius orders some breakfast himself and makes sure his espresso is on its way.

They probably treat her like one of the guys due to her demeanor. She acts like one of the guys most of the time anyways.

Ah, breakfast. I'm famished. She begins eating like the food was something special she had never eaten before. Anslon, you always did have a talent for making good grub. Bring a pot of coffee and a large mug would you? She glances at Malchius. Your face is too cute to belong to anyone else.

Malchius and Nathaniel, how tall are the both of you? Garret is pretty easy to guess. :P

Re:lack of sleep, Although you are part of the Night Watchmen, they do indeed patrol mainly during the day. Especially here in the Trade Ward where most of the petty crimes happen during the day. The Watchmen in the Port Ward or the Residential Wards do patrol more during the night. The name, much like they name of your station house, is very old and their cause and duties have progressed over the centuries. Sorry for that lack of detail on my part. Let's say your shift is currently noon to midnight and it is about 10:30 in the morning.

Now, if your PC has some other reason to be lacking sleep...

Oh, lack of sleep is definitely connected to the recent events. Would it be possible to get a Discussion thread set up for this game?

Garret Nihks wrote:
"Not many make it through the first week, I'm guessing?" Garret asks. "Is it the change in the sleeping routine or the job that stops them?"

"Bah, there are near peace here. I recon you won't see much heavy crime, even around here. Is a fairly peaceful time with this Keeper we have. Of course, that doesn't mean the Pure Legion can't find a way to bash some heads in..." the innkeeper says.

Sense Motive DC 10:
It is obvious to you that Anslon doesn't care much for the Pure Legion.

The Keeper (common knowledge, no check needed):
Rahadoum is ruled by a Council of Elders comprising representatives from every major settlement and nomadic group. The council in turn elects one of its members to be the Keeper of the First Law for a period of 5 years. Council members elect Keepers to represent their interests, but ambitious Keepers use the position to sway public opinion toward their own agendas. This tension means Keepers rarely get reelected. Malduoni, a genuinely likable man, has bucked the trend, and is now serving his second term as Keeper.

Malchius wrote:
Would it be possible to get a Discussion thread set up for this game?

Done. Link on top tab.

Xarina wrote:
Malchius and Nathaniel, how tall are the both of you? Garret is pretty easy to guess.


DM Sinvel:
Sense Motive 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22

Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 10

Nathaniel gives Anslon a smile, as he eyes Xarina's breakfast somewhat uneasily.

Taking a deep drink of coffee, he turns his attention to Malchius, We've been over this my friend: you have my face, not the other way around. As for how you came to be graced with the chiseled features of a Taldan--when you quite clearly are not Taldan--is beyond my understanding. My best guess is that witchcraft and your mother are both involved somehow. Nathaniel smirks enough to make certain that Malchius knows he is making light of the undeniably uncanny resemblance they bear to one another.

In any event, I'm likely being paranoid; I think Xarina is starting to rub off on me.Nathaniel cracks a grin in Xarina's direction. Nevertheless, Nathaniel lowers his voice a bit as he turns to Garrett, We are talking about what we all saw happen two nights ago.

And with that Nathaniel falls oddly silent for a moment.

Malachi's dismisses Nathaniel's counter-argument with practiced ease, having heard it before and expecting it.

"I suspect we shall see more of the same in this line of work. We had probably best be getting used to it."

But he too falls silent.

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9

What kind of roll is that? All I needed was a two! Grr

Xarina has smiley eyes at the paranoia comment.

She lowers her voice so only those at the table can hear.

The legionnaire that executed that girl is no better than those the legion claims they hunt. I say that there is more to them than they are letting on. With our new employment we should be able to keep a good eye out for anything. Anyone up for it?

She takes a gulp of hot coffee and continues eating.

"Okay, now we definitely need a private room," Malchius says dryly, putting his spell book away at the arrival of his food.

"My room is open. I've don't got much more than a chest in there, and everything's sized for you overly talk folk anyway."

Sent you a private message.

"Fine. After breakfast and coffee. Must have coffee first."

As the group is close to finishing breakfast and about to discuss things in Garret's room, a man walks up to the table. He is a little older and one of the men that has kept to himself so far this week. Before he approached the group just know it was hard to tell if any of you had even been members living under the same roof for a week.

"I guess we have some fresh faced young men with some stones here!" he says jovially. He sticks out his hand to Malchius. "That's a damn fine thing you did the other night with that cultist. Glad someone in here knows what needs to be done and when it needs to happen!" he says in a low tone, bending over close to Malchius' ear.

He then straightens up. "The name is Poulias, Poulias Atregan. And I hope the rest of you are as devoted as young Nathaniel here." he says with his hand on Malchius' shoulder, oblivious of his error.

Malchius looks about to point out the error, but stops, clearly irritated, and too irritated to care. "Of course, all my colleagues are equally as devoted. Obviously the story has grown in two days, though. We did our jobs and identified a criminal. Isn't that kind of what we're here for?"

"Strange how devotion to one thing is encourage when another is banned..." Garret finds himself thinking. It didn't surprise him. His way of thinking was changing quite quickly nowadays.

"Would I be here if I wasn't devoted in ending the criminals hold in this city?"

"I was recruited. I have what I need for the job. Criminals beware."

Sense Motive on Poulias: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21

"Ingratiating fool. Can you be trusted?" Xarina wonders.

Did any of us catch what Poulias said to Malchius? Or was it too low to hear without a perception check?

Xarina wrote:

Did any of us catch what Poulias said to Malchius? Or was it too low to hear without a perception check?

Yes. Although Poulias lowered his voice, those at the table could still hear him easily.

Not sure what you were trying to sense, but you get the feeling he likes your group because you turned in a cultist to the Pure Legion.

I wanted to see how genuine he is. Just being suspicious is all. I also replied to your PM too.

All: I've looked over your character sheets. Comment on the Discussion tab.

Nathaniel stands dutifully to shake Poulias's hand. Following Malchius's lead, he leaves the issue of mistaken identity alone. We have a fine team here, sir. None finer." Nathaniel sits back down and fills a cup of coffee, which he then offers to Poulias. Regarding the cultist, do we know if she was alone, or were there others?

Nathaniel Briton wrote:
"Regarding the cultist, do we know if she was alone, or were there others?"

"The hells if I know, son. I just heard about what happened last night!" Poulias says. Then a puzzled look crosses over his face as he looks back and forth between Malchius and Nathaniel. He grumbles something to himself and walks back to his table away from the entrance and towards the back of the inn, where the more senior Watchmen congregate.

"I don't like him." Garret grumbles, staring at the table and refusing to make eye contact. "She didn't attack us and shouldn't have been killed."

"I'm surprised the Legionairrre didn't want to torture her to get more names and a confession. It's a good thing there aren't too many like that guy, or the guy that actually did the deed. Of course, we don't even know for sure she was guilty. I know you say you recognized her, but are you sure? Maybe she had just confiscated that symbol from a wayward brother she was trying to save from corruption."

Malchius' hypothetical waxing sounds entirely too close to home to him.

"I agree with you Garret. She didn't deserve to die. If she was guilty of she should have been taken for a trial. Everyone has the right to prove their innocence. I've known people that like to stir the pot from time to time. Or it may just be that this legionnaire has no scruples."

Xarina finishes the last bite of her breakfast and washes it down with a fresh cup of coffee. "Ahh! That hit the spot. The three of you enjoy that as much as I did?"

"Malchius, maybe she thought she was actually doing good here." Garret's grip on his cup of coffee visibly tightens, his knuckles going white as he continues. "I've heard rumors... people think they gods have decided to punish this city for the anti-religion laws."

"And beings, supposed to be so powerful that we should worship them, getting petty and vengeful when we don't play by their little rules. Does this really suggest that they're the type of creatures we should place our everything in. I wouldn't follow a leader that punished his underlings for not liking him, so why should I follow some god who behaves the same way?"

Nathaniel stares vacantly at his cup.

It was her, says Nathaniel, apparently answering Malchius's earlier question. I'm certain of it. And she was a cultist; I'm certain of that too. It doesn't mean what the Legionnaire did was right, but she was a fool for not giving up her god when she had the chance. It's obvious her god gave her up ... for what? Nathaniel pauses to dull the angry edge that has crept into his voice.

The point is that she didn't have to die. She shouldn't have died. Nathaniel clears his throat.

Listen, none of this changes the fact that we all have a job to do. We let the Pure Legion do their thing; they let us do ours. Either way, the people of Azir need safe streets. We all do. ...

With a forced smile, Nathaniel stands with a mild wince. What time is it anyway?

"Probably time to go make our rounds I spose."

Sinvel, do we normally patrol in pairs or by ourselves?

It is about 11:30am, half an hour before your patrol begins.

Xarina wrote:
Sinvel, do we normally patrol in pairs or by ourselves?

Either in pairs or in fours. Depending on how much ground you want to cover. You all have one particular assignment from Judge Bao for your patrol this week: several people shopping for goods in the Market Square have been complaining about pick pockets taking their coins and other valuables. Other than that, the lower ranked Night Watchmen patrol the Market Square, a large open area where merchants set up their stalls and sell all manner of goods.

The Market Square is right in front of the Merchants Heaven Inn. Map of the Trades Ward, red dot is the Merchants Heaven Inn.

"So how are we going to go about our rounds this time?" Garret asks, suddenly relaxed again. "We splitting up or going as a group?"

"I prefer to at least pair up. Makes sure that we have each other's back. Although I am fine with going as a group too. It depends on how everyone wants to do this."

I prefer remaining together as a group, but if we decide to split up, Garret and Xarina have the sharpest eyes so we should make certain that Malchius and I each tag along with one of them.

"Going as a group means less chance of getting our own pockets picked."

"Just don't take any money with you, or keep it in a pouch around your neck. Spiders work too. Most people scream when they see a big spider crawling up their arm."

Nathaniel looks about for spiders.

Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12

Seeing none (presumably), he offers with a smile, "I'm fresh out of spiders, so I guess we'll stick together.

With that, he takes his money pouch and lets out the strings so that he can wear it around his neck. "Good advice."

"Does anyone need to collect anything or are we ready?"

"Let me grab my weapons and I will be ready. Xarina gets up, puts on her hat and makes her way to the stairs. She walks past the table where Casmir Renfoult is sitting and acknowledges him with a nod. When he does the same she will continue upstairs. Once in her room she will leave all but 10gp behind in her chest in the room.

She then joins the others downstairs.

Nathaniel looks down at his belt and realize he too should collect his weapons. He heads upstairs, collects his weapons, and then returns downstairs to join the group.

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