22 Rova 4707
approximately 7:37 a.m.
For five years, the faithful of Sandpoint have attended church in smaller wooden structures rebuilt after fire destroyed the previous temple, and while their new paster Abstalar was helpful, kind, and wise, church wasn't the same. Now, the new cathedral is finally done. All that remains is for the Swallowtail Festival to renew the site's blessing from the gods and it will be as if the Sandpoint Fire had never occurred.
You are in attendance at the Swallowtail Festival on the first day of autumn in Sandpoint. Your reasons are your own to share. The Swallowtail Festival is scheduled to begin promptly at 8 a.m., on the first day of Autumn. The square before the church quickly becomes crowded as locals and travelers arrive, and several merchant tents featuring food, clothes, local crafts, and souvenirs are there to meet them.
You have a few moments before the opening speeches by Mayor Deverin, Sheriff Hemlock, Cyrdak Drokken and Father Zantus.
A rather attractive half elf woman in rather plain clothes, the kind that might be used for traveling meanders lazily down the road, she has a streak of red in her hair and her clothes seem to be decorated with a similar color. On her face is a rather pleasant smile. She enjoys the cool morning air on her skin. Large stretches of skin are exposed, revealing a soft pale color embroidered with dark Varisian tattoos. On her right arm is one in the vague shape of a fox.
"Well even if the Mayor and Sheriff don't have anything interesting to say I should at least be able to enjoy myself at the festival." she said out loud seemingly at no one.
Alric wanders through the square, occasionally pausing to say hello to folks he knows in town. He works his way through the booths, stopping to buy a small meat pasty to munch on and a mug of mead to drink as he walks. Eventually, he finds a good spot from which to observe the functionaries when their turn comes to speechify. He stands watching the crowd and the festivities.
Well, this bodes well for some entertainment to come at least. There should be bards aplenty for music and more later, as long as all goes smoothly according to plan... but when does that ever happen in Sandpoint. Something will probably pop up to liven things up even further. We shall see.
As Aimea walks by, speaking softly to herself, he smiles, agreeing with her. "Aye, lovely tattooed one. The festival should prove most entertaining, even if the speeches aren't, since speeches of this sort frequently disappoint all but the speaker."
Alric is a young half-elf, perhaps in his late twenties, fair skinned and fair-haired, taking more after his elven mother in appearance. He is of average height and weight, dressed in slightly flamboyant clothing typical of Varisian style as worn in Sandpoint.
One of the passengers pauses as she steps onto the top of the recently arrived ship's gang-plank. Casting back her hood reveals a pleasing face framed by raven tresses. Her clothing of of very high quality, highlighted by the great cloak of shimmering black feathers draped over her shoulders and clasped by silver jewelry to her traveler's blouse.
Disguise:1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15 (^_~)
Hefting a small chest she saunters down to the wharf and, with an assured step. begins heading into town. Her gaze, however, is cast all about as she takes in the sights -sounds and smells of the town as it prepares for the coming festival.
As she walks up into the town proper, deftly avoiding the major throngs of the bustling crowd, her eyes widen and her demeanor grows cheerful as she sights a familiar landmark. Her stride lengthens as her path leads her towards the "Rusty Dragon".
As the crowd gathers in the open area in front of the new church, a young ginger man dressed as a Varisian works his way to an edge of the crowd and starts juggling several dark balls, playfully teasing and interacting with the children among the crowd, and any adults willing to pay him attention.
"This ball, you see, has been bad, and the other balls are mad at him. They are all trying to avoid him, so I have to hide him away or the other balls won't juggle properly. So, I'm going to take this ball and I'm going to stuff it into my mouf. Mow I kin chugglw da resk of da dawws, 'n' . . .." Yes, he stuffed one of the balls in his mouth and kept talking as he started juggling the rest of them. ". . . wiff uh widdle wuck, chey'll wet me . . .." At this point he spits that ball out and into the traditional waterfall pattern he's running the other balls though ". . . add him back into the rotation. And there you have it! They don't seem to be so mad at him anymore."
Arabeth pauses to watch one of the street performers as they entertain the crowd. Amused by his display and rapport with some of the urchins she wanders closer, her journey put on hold. Coming to a stop, she rests the small chest of her belongings upon the ground, leaning forwards and resting a boot and some of her weight upon in.
With a shrug she adjusts the weight of the cloak upon her shoulders, causing it to fall aside slightly which reveals a sword hanging easily at the woman's side.
I be watchin' you Master Purrun. (^_~)
"Excuse me, Pardon me!"
The diminutive figure pushes his way through the crowd, almost getting stepped on several times. His long green hair flows in a breeze that isn't there, and while he smiles all the while, there is a troubled look in his stomy grey eyes.
"I haven't seen a crowd like this since the election of the Supreme Elect of Andoran!"
He stops to straighten and dust off his well-worn traveler's outfit, looks around then marches over to a young half-elf munching on a meat pastry. As he gets closer, Alric can see he is the tallest gnome he has ever seen.
"Excuse me, but could you tell me what exactly is going on? I've only just arrived, you see, and while this seems like a marvelous gathering, I don't think the celebration is going to last. I would like to speak to someone of some religious authority about a Very Important Matter."
Alric turns from Aimea to the newcomer who paused to juggle for the kids and adults nearby. He nods as he acknowledges the young man's skill, one he wishes he shared, but to himself he sadly admits he lacks the innate talent for it.
He is distracted from his attention and musing by a small figure, well, maybe not so small... small for a human, tall for a gnome... with.. green? hair, how odd... "Hullo there. What's going on? Why it's the Swallowtail Festival. But it's also the day for the dedication of the new Cathedral in Sandpoint! As for religious authority, you probably want to talk to Father Zantus. But he's going to be speaking soon, so you'll probably have to wait til later, if not tomorrow, to see him. What's so important? I'd be glad to listen to your tale, whatever it might be. By the way, my name is Alric, and it's a pleasure to meet you."
Spotting a familiar face in the crowd he waves at Arabeth and calls out to her, "Hullo... Beth isn't it? We met at the Dragon, though I admit it was some time ago, so forgive me if I've gotten your name wrong."
He turns back to Ceri and lofts an eyebrow, as if to say 'you've got my attention now', with a friendly smile on his face.
"Hello Alric, a pleasure to meet you! I apologize for my atrocious manners, my name is Cerinnibert Daergel."
He shakes Alric's hand energetically, then looks over his shoulder as the half-elf's attention drifts towards the unusual young woman.
He turns back and grins at him, then looks a little more serious, "Well, it's hard to say, unless you have had dealings with divine intervention before. You haven't, have you? They're very tricky, the gods; they never quite come out and say what they want, they just sort of give you a nudge in the right direction.
A few weeks ago, I was given a nudge. To come here. Well, not here exactly, I didn't know where I was going until I got here. But this is definitely it! Something is going to happen here, and with Gozreh's grace hopefully we can avoid the worst of it. And that's why I need to speak to a religious authority, to see if there have been any other omens, signs, portents, or bolts from the blue..."
Hearing her name, even a diminutive, Arabeth turns to look for who might be calling her amongst the crowd.
Perception:1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19 (Plus any bonuses for Alric actually waving at her (^_~) ) Upon seeing a familiar and friendly face she smiles, bends and picks up her traveling chest and walks over.
Setting said luggage down she offers a hand and an equally friendly smile.
"Alric! Good to see you. It looks like t'will be a marvelous party this time, does it not?" She greets Alric warmly, even as she waves her other hand about at the crowds of people gathered for the fun and festivities. (^_^)
She turns her smile towards the talkative and seemingly excitable Gnome who's managed to coral her acquaintance.
"Good day to yourself, Sir. Might we be properly introduced?" She asks of the green haired one.
"It would be my pleasure! Cerinnibert Daergel, at your service, m'lady." the gnome replies as he bows and kisses her hand in a most gentlemanly fashion.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
Cerinnibert is too dazzled by her beauty to see through her disguise, but Arabeth catches a glimpse of lightning playing across his eyes as he gazes at her, indicating that he is not quite a normal gnome.
"As I said, a pleasure to meet you, Cerinnibert. That's quite a mouthful... how about if I just call you Ceri.. or would you prefer 'Bert? Anyway... religious signs and omens. Varisia has always been a land where the workings of the gods are frequent and obvious. That you were singled out to receive what you call a 'nudge' is fortuitous indeed. Perhaps you were meant to arrive for this very festival and the dedication of the cathedral for some reason. While my education in religious matters is admittedly sketchy, I still have a healthy respect for such, having seen first hand the powers of the gods at work. As for other omens, or bolts from heavens, I haven't heard of any myself. In this crowd, such news should carry swift and furious, I think. On the other hand, if it were something the church was keeping close to the vest for some reason... " He shrugs, trailing off...
"I don't know Father Zantus personally of course, but I can point him out to you... Up there... " He points to the dais, where a few city officials are gathering, preparing to speak to the crowd. "He's the one in clerical robes and vestments, next to the mayor and the sheriff. Ah but you don't know them either... but you can't miss the mitre, alb and chasuble the good father is wearing."
"Yes, an incredible party... I think the whole town has turned out for the festival!" He lowers his voice so only Arabeth and Cerinnibert can hear him over the noise of the crowd... "What a field day for pickpockets and thieves, if you know what I mean. I'd watch my purse if I were you."
Cerinnibert gives out a loud laugh.
"I would think any pickpocket would be quite upset if they tried to rob me! I barely have a few silvers to my name! I was in such a hurry to get here I haven't had time to earn any extra gold. But, no worries, I will find something to do soon, I always do."
"That's the attitude! I'd still be careful, not all pickpockets are after coin if you catch my drift." He grinz at Ceri's laugh, and pats his dagger, as much to check that it's still there as to indicate his meaning.
"It might take all your silvers and even more to get an audience with the good Father... I hope it won't be so during the festival, but you should be forewarned. Sometimes you have to grease a few palms to talk to high ranking officials. If you find that's the case, just come find me and I'll help out as much as I can. In fact, when you go talk to him, maybe I should just go with you. Sometimes I can be handy, talking my way into places others cannot breach."
He shrugs again, cocks his head to one side and smiles. "So when you do find time to earn a living, what is it you do, my new friend? I myself am an actor." He looks quite proud of that, then a bit more humble. "Though I must admit, parts are scarce and I do have to supplement that living with other work. Someday, I'll be a star player though... I have set my sights on that for sure."
"Alric is it? I am Aimea Riverside from Magnimar, Well I took the name Riverside recently. But none the less. It does seem like a nice festival, are these friends of yours?" she says with a warm smile.
"Aimea... Aimea.. a lovely name that flows on the tongue... for a lovely lady. A pleasure to meet you. I myself hailed from Magnimar about fifteen years ago, so I'm quite familiar with the city, though I've only been back for brief visits since, it really hasn't changed a lot."
"As for these others here... May I present Beth, who I know from a night at the Rusty Dragon some time ago, where her beauty and grace started a fight between a Shoanti clansman and a barbarian from the Linnorm lands in the north. They knocked each other out, saving the lady's virtue, and probably their own lives, since I doubt such beauty is not without it's hidden claws." He nods toward Beth with a little wink.
Cerin.. Cerienni.. Ceri here is a new friend, who I just met, but has an interesting tale to tell, if he can find the right listener."
Ceri, Beth... meet Aimea newly of the Riverside family."
"Me? Oh, I do a little bit of everything. I've been a cook, done some farming, helped manage an inn, assisted merchants, sailed the seas, logger, tanner...
I think I must have held at least a hundred different jobs in the last 50 years. As I said, I should have no problem finding a job."
As Aimea introduces herself, Cerinnibert's eyes start crackling with electricity again. He hurries over, bows and kisses her hand.
"A pleasure! There certainly does seem to be an abundance of beautiful women at this festival. I think I'm going to like this town..."
Arabeth does not not seem to be affected in the slightest by Master Daergel's introduction. She offers him a warm and friendly smile in return as she listens to his banter with Alric.
He and Alric might note a slight cloud of discontent upon her features at Cerinnibert's mention of 'signs', 'omens' and 'portents'. Such that she 'humphs' sounding slightly cross at some aspect or other. She adjusts her cloak with a soft rustle of feathers and looks to the juggler as a way of taking her mind off said aspect of the conversation.
She cannot help smile, however softly, at Alric's aspirations. She turns back to Daergel.
"The trick to talking to any clergy," She winks conspiratorially, "Is to know one or two to do the introductions..." She adds with a slight air of mystery.
She smiles as another friend of Alric's joins them. (^_^)
Alric laughs at the small man's antics with the ladies. "Well, if you're in need of coin, there is a fine inn in town called the Rusty Dragon, and while I doubt they are looking for a manager, they might find a use for your varied talents. The owner, Ameiko, is sweet, but tough. And none lovelier in town than she is.. very exotic Tian woman. If I were wont to fall in love, it might even have been her, but as I said... big 'if'"
"Funny you don't look a day over forty-five and you say you've been working for fifty years?" He laughs, because indeed Ceri probably doesn't look any older than his own 28 years. "Just joking friend, you barely look old enough to be my age, and you're not elven... and not quite gnome either... yet you seem to be long-lived. Do you mind enlightening me as to your race?"
He nods in agreement with Arabeth's statement. "Beth is so right. As always with such things, it's not what you know, but who you know."
He looks at her adjust her feathered cloak and sighs slightly with a little envy... Now that is one fine cloak.. someday perhaps I'll have one to rival it.
Arabeth shunts her small chest along a bit, the better to move closer to this new comer who's been introduced to her as Aimea.
"Hello, I heard say you hail from Magnamar? Might I ask you some questions? I've heard so much about the city from Alric, but a 'new' perspective would be wonderful." She smiles, even as she again rests her foot again upon the traveling chest which is her property, crossing her hands lightly upon the raised knee as she awaits Amiea's exposition.
Alric, who hasn't been to Magnimar in over a year, listens as well. Perhaps things have changed in the city since I was there last, but I doubt it. Uncle Justin is probably still in charge of the family business there and father is still in Cheliax in disgrace. I wonder if Justin has managed to get himself elected to the Council yet.
Aimea smiles and giggles at the handsome half-elf, "I am onto you, you are a charmer." she said innocently.
"Oh such interesting people.. though theres really no Riverside family. I was from, no I have no family. Bastards like us are rarely welcomed are they?" She motions towards her ears. "Not that I mind so much, always new people to meet such as handsome half-elf charmers and Varisians who have started wars between such interesting groups."
"Desna bless you all. If its not to forward where are you all staying? Some are locals no doubt? I am recently arrived and rather low on coin I am afraid. So any recommendations would be appreciated before I move on of course. "
"You're welcome to stay with me, Aimea... my lodgings are small, but clean and I can make up a spare pallet for you." He smiles, but not lustfully. His smile seems just genuinely friendly.
She raises an eyebrow, her hand coming up to brush a lock of red hair out of her face. "Yep, I was right, you are a smooth talker." She leans in close to him, as if to kiss him for a moment, pausing near her lips for just long enough for him to feel her body heat and her soft, warm breath against his skin. Then she leans in close to his ear and whispers, "Truth be told I know a thing or two about that as well." her words tickling his ear as she pulls away.
"But usually even I prefer to know a man for at least a few minutes before I agree to go home with him. But maybe I will let you show me around the festival and then we will see." She smiled half joking, half serious.
Alric lofts a brow, thinks for a moment, then chuckles as he actually blushes slightly. "Ah, you misunderstand me, lovely Aimea. I meant only to offer you a place to sleep, nothing more. I'm afraid with the festival, finding lodgings in an inn might be difficult. There are so many visitors her in town already. However, if you'd prefer, I can let you sleep in my lodgings and I will make other arrangements for the night for myself." He actually seems to shy away slightly from her close proximity, wriggling uncomfortably at the tickling of her breath on his ear.
Then he smiles, his eyes crinkling happily... "As for showing you around the festival, it would be my honor, regardless of your decision later." He does seem more comfortable when she backs off a little.
and on that note, it's 1:30 in the morning here and I am dead tired and going to bed... this has been such a gas, I look forward to tomorrow! Hope I don't miss too much tonight!
Arabeth picks up her trunk,
"Well...I do know where there is some very good entertainment, food and comfy beds." she informs the group. "The 'Rusty Dragon' is just over there..." She indicates the direction of said establishment and giggles,
"I can't wait to see what Amieko's put together this time..." (^_^)
"Talking about far away places should be done over maybe a good meal and some fine beverages." She says over a feathered shoulder to Aimea and co.
Ah...on the note about time zones. I am quite a few hours ahead than most and eventually will be moving into my week days. I look forwards to repartee for as long as I can, but eventually Real Life is going to slow my responses down some what.
She smiles at Alric, then Arabeth. "Ah! A Handsome man wishes to escort me to a festival, and a pretty woman wishes to buy me a meal and a drink. Truly I should have visited Sandpoint much sooner! My dear Alric, I am not very shareable to the best of my knowledge. And seeing how we will be sharing tight quarters later tonight will you allow the beautify woman to ask me her questions over drink before you escort me around?
She smiles and nods to Arabeth and gives her a sly smile, "Please Beth save me from this sorcerer, hes clearly charmed me with his witchcraft and now I am compelled to give him my precious maidenhood on this 'eve. You'll keep him away until I come to my senses won't you? And nothing brings one to their true senses quite like a strong ale and good meal. The Dusty Dragoon you said? lead the way."
with out waiting for a response she heads off in the general direction of the Rusty Dragon.
Cerinnibert smiles at Alric's question.
"Yes, I get that a lot. Actually, yesterday was my 110th birthday. I was born in a gnomish community, and both my parents were perfectly normal, but I was always... different. I've talked to many people over the years, and some have one idea, some another, but the general consensus is that I have a Divine ancestor and have inherited some of their power."
He listens, amused, to their banter. As the women leave, he sits himself down in a convenient place where he can see the stage to wait for the speeches.
Yes, I'm off to bed as well. This has been a great start!
Aimea stops in mid step and turns around looking at the gnome, her eyebrow raised curiosity. "Such things could be a source of power? Hm..." She pondered for a moment, the flirty quality in her voice momentarily gone.
Arabeth also stops, though she turns slightly.
"Please dear Riverside." Arabeth asks, "The establishment is 'The Rusty Dragon'. You'll see why. The proprietress is a friend and so showing respect for her and the Inn is the little that I ask." She arches an eyebrow towards Alric.
"Also -and I forgive Alric's initial introduction, since it was a while since last we met -my name is 'Arabeth'." Though Arabeth does smile to show there are no hard feelings.
"So, lets all go, settle and relax, shall we?" (^_^)
As you begin to head to the Rusty Dragon the opening speeches begin, the turnout for the opening speeches is quite respectable, and four keynote speakers each deliver short but well-received welcomes to the festival. Mayor Deverin’s friendly attitude and excitement prove contagious as she welcomes visitors to town and jokes about how even Larz Rovanky, the local tanner (and notorious workaholic) managed to tear himself away from the tannery to attend, much to everyone’s but Larz’s amusement.
Sheriff Hemlock brings the crowd down a bit with his dour mood, his reminder to be safe around the evening’s bonfire, and his request for a moment of silence to remember those who lost their lives in the fire that claimed the town’s previous church five years ago.
Fortunately, Cyrdak Drokkus is more than up to the challenge of bringing the crowd’s mood back up with his rousing anecdotes as he delivers a not-completely-irreverent recap of the long process the town went through to finance and construct the new cathedral. He throws in a bit of self-promotion at the end, as is his wont, inviting everyone to stop by the Sandpoint Theater the following evening to check out his new production of “The Harpy’s Curse,” revealing that the lead role of Avisera the harpy queen will be played by none other than the famous Magnimarian diva Allishanda!
Finally, Father Zantus steps up give a short speech thanking everyone for coming before declaring the Swallowtail Festival underway, just as he begins a sharp retort, like the crack of distant thunder, slices through the excited crowd as the sun's setting rays paint the western sky. A stray dog that has crawled under a nearby wagon to sleep starts awake, and the buzz of two dozen conversations quickly hushes as all heads turn toward the central podlum, where a beaming Father Zantus has taken the stage. He clears his throat, takes a deep breath to speak, and suddenly a woman's scream slices through the air. A few moments later, another scream rises, then another and another. Beyond them, a sudden surrge of strange new voices rises-high pitched, tittering shrieks that sound not quite human. The crowd parts and something low to the ground races by, gigggling with disturbing glee as the stray dog gives a painful yelp, and then collapses with a gurgle, its throat cut open from ear to ear. As blood pools around its head, the raucous sound of the sound of a strange song begins, chanted from shrill, scratchy voices
Goblins chew and goblins bite.
Goblins cut and goblins fight.
Stab the dog and cut the horse,
Goblins eat and take by force!
Goblins race and goblins jump.
Goblins slash and goblins bump.
Burn the skin and mash the head,
Goblins here and you be dead!
Chase the baby, catch the pup.
Bonk the head to shut it up.
Bones be cracked, flesh be stewed,
We be goblins! You be food!
Because i've had a long night I don't have time to compile a list for initiatives. Please everyone roll for me. If you make a Perception DC12 you may also act in a surprise round. Once the six of you have posted I will do a round summary. There are 5 of these nasty buggers. Because this is the first combat it may take a while. Also I will look over your characters combat stats and see if anything needs to be improved and tell you. So far Alric your Defense (AC) should be 15, 2 from dex and 3 from a bards armor prof.
Initiative:1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Perception:1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
Still encumbered by her luggage Arabeth is slow to catch on to what is going on. As the Goblin races past, however, she glares and sets her chest down hard.
"So...some one is trying to ruin our fun tine, hey?" She snarls.
Talking is a free action, so waiting before I actually do anything further.
Jarl stowed his juggling supplies back into the bag he carries them around in as the speeches started, knowing better than to try to compete with the formalities involved and that the crow would relocate some afterwards, so he would need to be ready to move long with them.
Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21 I've assumed Trapfinding does NOT apply.
Jarl gathers the bag with his juggling supplies, pulling one of the brightly-painted juggling clubs out of it . . ..
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Cerinnibert thinks back to the tales of goblins he has heard over the years, looking for any clue to dealing with them as he hops down from his perch and strides towards them.
"Stop right there! What are you doing, disturbing this day of joy?"
Alric leaps off the low wall he was sitting on and draws his bow and knocks an arrow, looking for goblins...
init: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
"I knew things wouldn't go this smoothly... " When he spots a goblin, he prepares to fire...
"I am sorry Arabeth, I meant no disrespect." She says looking down at her feet before lifting her head and smiling again, "Hows about I buy YOU a drink to make up for it?" she adds before being cut off by the speeches, she stops and listens to them.
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Initiative Roll: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Aimea clearly does not notice the Goblins. She begins to look around desperately as the mayhem unfolds.
"Maybe I should of waited before judging this town."
Blythe snores softly, her head-wrap over her eyes, a spilled mug on the ground to her right. Her feet are kicked up on a table to the side of the square. She does not budge as the cries go up.
if we made our perception checks - what is it we see exactly? goblins I assume, but where are they - are they in range of, for example, a bow attack? Are there crowds intervening or have they scattered?
Cerinnibert's face distorts with anger, and his eyes flash. He gestures towards the lead goblin as he takes a step forward, and a dark mass of clouds gather above it's head. A chill wind starts whipping around it as pouring rain soaks it to the bone.
5' step towards nearest goblin; if in range, Storm burst: 30' ranged touch attack: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Damage if hit: 1d6 ⇒ 3 nonlethal, and it takes a -2 on all attack rolls for the next round.
If it is not in range, on his next action he will move closer and use this attack.