|Telethal the Halfblood|
Talon will also take a seat reluctantly. That they are here on the Human terms, potentially hugely outnumbered if things went sour kept him on edge. On the other hand however, Derrick seemed like a reasonable man, and the fact that they had had reasonable diplomatic contact with the man before reassured him.
Our last meeting was potentially dangerous for all of us, but it worked out well. Certainly we took away the hope that Human and Elven relations could improve. Our race was once much greater than it currently is, and that you have had the foresight to help us with the journal that you gave us and so on bodes well for us all. With the memories of the last war however still fresh for us, you can understand why perhaps more cautious than you might expect. We are a long lived race, slow to forget the major issues that are caused us. On saying that however, there is much that we have to report, and indeed we have a favour to ask of you.
The fair Lady Elorin tends to be the one who is better versed in talking and understanding the finer points of diplomacy. On the other hand however, ours is a race where the strict hierarchies do not tend to last for long. Hence why I am addressing you personally, rather than waiting for her lead. On a recent quest in a jungle region nearby we met Cultists of a god by the name of Rovagug. They have taken a temple in the area for their own, and have managed to forbid an elven expedition into those lands. It makes for an uncomfortable situation as we have reason to believe that there are artifacts there that might help those who wish to oppose the god of chaos and destruction. Whilst an elven expedition cannot reenter those lands, we have reason to believe that there is a loophole in the wording of the magics that forbid us from going there. We believe that an expedition of elves that has been sponsored to go to those lands by a nation of humans might be able to return there. In any case, it might be many months before we can return due to the power increase that the cultists have experienced.
This is where we currently stand. Is there anything that we should know in terms of where things stand in your kingdom, and is there anywhere that we might be of service for you?
Elorin waits until Derrick and the others are seated and then sits down herself and sighs. Thank you for hosting us today. It seems both of us have been through some dramatic things recently. As much as you have had upheaval and major change in your kingdom here, we have come across a similar situation in the forest.
Elorin looks saddened as she continues.
Though I fear in that case the temporary victors did not have the right to take that victory nor to continue on. The Forrest is in danger from those that wish to cause it harm and control it for their own means, as is the temple hidden within it. If we could get to the temple then we could save the Forrest and perhaps have out two kingdoms first joint venture.
She looks towards Derrick and greats him with respect and formality of his new position, but still with a tone of friendliness and friendship. It is good to see you well and to see that this place can get back to the way things should be according to a new and fresh leaders. It can not of been easy on your part and any help that we a able to give we shall.
Diplomacy, 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
|Human on Team Human|
The human herald unrolls a scroll and reads, "We present for you approval the new head of the Coastal Kingdom of Seaview, Derrick the Dauntless. Accrued titles include..." Derrick motions for the herald to stop and takes his seat.
Derrick speaks in a quiet by clear voice, "Some in my kingdom were not happy that we had to fight without any direct elven support our oppressors. We have serious rebuilding to do to restore our town to its original condition and begin the process of starting our new government. Many are reluctant to act before we are strong."
Derrick continues, "I have inherited some talent that found themselves unemployed with the change of regimes. Foremost among these is a 'Society Man' called the Ferret. I will have him speak."
A nondescript man of about 30 years of age enters. He is obviously one that passes notice in a crowd, medium height, medium build, brown hair, and eyes that seem to be elsewhere. Close examination shows that he looks slightly like a ferret when he stands still for a while and begins to speak....
"I was the 'Eyes and Ears' of the previous king. Unfortunately for him, this grassroots rebellion happened so quickly, he was caught unawares, defeated, and now I am unemployed. I have no loyalty to anyone except my family, my employees, and the well earned wages I am paid."
"I have heard you have had some problems from your own admission and the reports from the Serpent People. Much of your problems stem from a lack of understanding of human nature, human politics, and local conditions. I will throw my lot in with you, but I require a double share of the loot--I do not benefit spiritually or emotionally when the elven cause is advanced, so I must benefit more so financially. If you would like, I can bring my personal bodyguard who requires only a normal share. Business is business, I will not be offended with any answer."
I really don't like it. We haven't had any loot ourselves yet to share out, and desperately need the items and treasure for our own plans. I would most likely want to decline this kind offer at this point in time.
In the event that we get the chance to confer in elven politely any time soon:
It is a pleasure to meet you Mr Ferret. You describe your former job and politics admirably. We would need some time to consider your offer.
Elorin turns back to Derrick.
If we could of been here to help we would of done. had we known more of what you planned. We are here now and offer our help. perhaps we could talk alone we have much to share and to talk of. I trust you Derrick the Dauntless and your strong faith to your people. I can certainly understand and empathize with some one who would do anything to free his people and keep them safe from harm.
Being coronated gets me my own avatar.
"Ferret, I promise your offer will be seriously considered; please allow my herald to show you to your chambers. You will find the hospitality there up to any standards."
As Ferret departs, Derrick's face turns grave.
"I was advised not to let you see this, but I am freeing many prisoners kept in the dungeons. This spy was caught well more than a hundred years ago. He is now released back to you. He is not in the same condition as he was when captured. I found out about him only recently."
An elf is carried out in a large chair. He has lost his sight and the ability to walk due to extreme maltreatment. He has patches over both eyes and the bones in his legs are twisted beyond repair.
"He can only take strong broth as I fear it has been a long time since he was fed properly. He is not very lucid and I fear his mistreatment has caused extreme dementia."
"Now, let's talk about this Ferret from the Society of Secrets. The Society of Secrets is a closed society that exacts a vow of extreme secrecy in those joining. Only after being selected and passing a series of test are you allowed to swear a secret oath and join. The human 'O' is often represented by a rectangle, and the sides of this 'O' with snakes twisted in them represent the two 'S' letters. This is the common sign for the Society of Secrets. I suspect they are spies and assassins--some joke they claim to be assassins to cover up more sinister business."
"The Ferret has acted against many of my people in the past, so giving him a position myself is out of the question. I immediately thought you might put him to use. He seems to be keen on adventuring again rather than resuming what he calls 'The State Dance of Shadows'. I do know the Ferret recently returned from the Serpent Barbarians shortly before you did."
Talon bristles slightly at the very idea of the human man trying to cast off some of his unwanted servants upon the Elven nation. This combined with the Elven Prisoner is almost too much for him to restrain his temper, he wishes to avenge the wrongs inflicted upon the race.
Serpent barbarians? Would that be the Rovagug cultist guys? Or was that the guys further to the north?
Seltyn is beginning to get a notion. He's shocked at the sight of the battered elf, and tries to deflect the rising discomfort with the first problem presented.
Our first concern is the health and safety of this poor elf. I know you had nothing to do with this, Derrick, and you are wise and kind to release him to our custody. If there are any other elves here, dead or alive, our queen and people would like to know.
This elf must be made healthy enough to travel back to his homeland at once, so our Lady can see to his care. Have you any healers to assist us? We can continue our discussion once he's seen to.
He gives Kalthos a look, and the rest of the party. It's time for a huddle, soon as we can do it. We need to make sense of this, and maybe learn something from the tortured elf, too.
He could have been a diviner! But nooooo, evocation was so cool with the new books...XD.
"My lady, he is much healed. He was in very poor condition when we found him. I have a large container of very good soup our healer had made for him, he gained over 10 pounds already."
A large kettle of soup is brought out.
"Anyway, we have two things on our social calendar. I have a document that shows as monarch I have the support of the elves for Lady Elorin's signature should she wish to give it. I also have to arrange a three day coronation and would like your attendance. I do understand that returning one of your own to Elfhome may not wait another day."
"After the coronation we can discuss any joint ventures, but we are putting the pieces back together here. We had our own set of prisoners we are bringing home too from the dungeons."
Derrick the Dauntless, Thank you for your honesty and kindness with this man. Once he is healthy enough to move we shall take him home. Your healers have done him a great service and I hope it will not be long before he can make the journey.
Elorin still isn't sure about Ferret. She also knows that when it comes to future relations she should make the best impression she can with the new leaders. Hopefully this relationship would go on for a while and the for that to happen the first steps need to be done right.
I understand that it is important that both ceremony and official actions have to be seen to be taken by you to your people. Who are no doubt looking for some stability right now. At the very least I shall attend the coronation. A show of mutuality and strength between our people right now should be seen. Then I must ask that we get to discussing the joint ventures.
Elorin turns to Seltyn and the others. If we do this by the books now we may be able to help future relations with these people who we trade with. then help the Forrest and the gods. the few days should give us time to form a plan of action and to go in there as prepared as we can.
Said quietly to the group, hopefully not overheard by any others.
You know more about these kind of affairs than I do, so I will bow to how you wish to deal with this situation. I have a little knowledge of our kind and how best to heal us all, and thus will do what I can to tend to our fallen comrade. In the meantime do what you must in order to get what we need from these people and then be on our way. Humans are strange creatures to me. Does Derrick know about his son having come back to this place?
|Human on Team Human|
One of the advisors approaches. He has the paperwork showing approval of Derrick Talmanes as the King of the new city-state of Seaview.
There is a space for a signature for Lady Ciedrel's designated representative.
"We will prepare the recently released prisoner for comfortable transport aboard your vessel. Any message for Lord Ferret by the way?"
So far, Derrick's son hasn't come up in the conversation, but you expect him to be at the coronation.
He's got him, right? I guess the next step is to get the elf back to elfhome and see what we can learn from him, if anything.
We must confer among ourselves, as is our custom. We have no message for Lord Ferret right now.
Should we take the treasure back and buy some better stuff? I'm thinking the queen might let us have it. Not much, split 6 ways, but anything helps.
Get back home and deal with things as best we can, find out what we can, equip ourselves the best we can, then figure out a plan. Might have to go looking for those boats this time or something
The trip back and forth is not very long--so returning quickly some or part of the group is always and option.
Lady Ciedrel greets you upon your return.
"This is Silverstrike, one of our top undercover operatives. He has been missing for many years. We must get him to the healers immediately. Thank you so much for his return."
When she hears about the payment, Lady Ciedrel insists you keep it for returning Silverstrike.
"Silverstrike is from a prominent family. He has paid for significant healing privileges. I predict he will be up an about in a week. I am mainly concerned that his mental faculties may not return fully. It appears he was tortured and maimed. Who did this?"
"By the way, the humans seem to want our approval for their new king. What do you think of their choice? Did you sign their paperwork or bring it back for me to sign?"
The intelligence advisor briefs you on direction of the queen. He speaks to all of you quickly and waits for questions before departing.
"We did receive word that most of jungle ruins were burned. Our high priest has informed us that the dryad in the area is still alive but most probably in captivity. That is definitely surprising. Thank you for returning one of our best agents."
To 770: I believe he was tortured by the old regime. Derrick released him to us as soon as we got there, and understood our wishes to get him home immediately.
771: Derrick is new to all this, I think, but worked for the corrupted court before. He was very helpful to us on our last visit, and is eager for your endorsement. He wants our friendship. How successful his rule will be, I cannot say. The papers are for you to sign. My impression is that he's sincere, but we were there so briefly, it is hard to say how stable his reign may be. There are some around him who may not be as sincere as him. We can hopefully learn more about his situation on our return.
To the advisor: This is encouraging. If she surrendered for our sakes, and yet lives, I would like to extract her from such a terrible situation. There may be a way to do that if we return and learn more.
Who's got questions or comments?
I have but one objection, and that is due to the poor historical relations between our two races and the manner in which we were treated afterwards. The changes in the Human cities are unknown to me, if you call them a good thing then they are. My concerns are on a smaller scale, like where you would like us to go next with the aim of pursuing our race's cause. There was a strange man, possibly the power behind the old throne who spoke to us of a potential deal. We were told by Derrick that there is a chance he understand the Jungle areas better than we do, and might be able to help us. We didn't agree any terms with him as of yet, but he might be a valuable source of information later on should we attempt to rescue the dryad.
Talon will take a back step for a while now, listening more than he speaks, his mind on other things.
By the way, how much gold do we gain each out of the 1000 that we have been given?
I will sign the papers also, Derrick seems genuine. How it will progress is another matter, but if we start strong it has a better chance of staying that way. Elorin seems much happier at hearing the news that the Dryad is still alive.
I would very much like to go back and rescue the Dryad. Derrick did mention he woudl talk about a joint venture after the coronation.I would like to make it back in time for that. To have Elves represented there. and then to get onto helping the Forrest.
The gold last time was 150gp for the party +1000gp all given to the party = 1150gp. Monthly income going to the party is now 300gp with the added wealth from trade with the humans.
You may wait for information from Silverstrike (one week) or head back to Seaview. You actually have your own dock slip labeled from last time.
It is possible to explore inland and move on to the former provincial capital. It is a massive distribution center and a center of activity as well as the largest city by far in the area.
Here's what I think: We buy weapons (trade in any Seltyn bought you, if you want), armor, and whatever else . Seltyn will get a few more spells, though that's not a huge benefit right now. Seltyn spent 125, so we have 1025, or 170.8 apiece. Remember that Flambeaux has 3 melee weapons on him at all times that you can all use, so if you lose one, you can borrow. ;)
We can't wait a week for Silverstrike. Let's go back, attend the coronation, and make sure our relations with the closest humans to us are good before we try to branch out.
We all agree that we've got a score to settle with the Rovagug freaks, and we want to save the dryad, if we can. We need a new "sponsor."
There's also the issue of the Ferret.
Kalthos and Talon are pretty sneaky. If we spend a little time hanging around the court for a while, promoting goodwill and all that, they might get a chance to spy/research/gather info on him. If he can lead us to the Society of Secrets or the cultists, we might be able to use him, rather than the other way around. If that helps Derrick, great. Friendly relations, you know. One place we can dock and not be attacked.
If we can't get info on the Ferret, we'll just have to see what we do know before we decide anything. What am I missing?
|Flambeaux - Elvish Bannerman|
I see no reason for you not to come with us.
Windfavor readies the ship for the quick trip back.
"Thank you for saving Silverstrike, he was one of the best elven spies ever. He could pass for human and was masterful with disguises. I think he was theatre trained too."
Off to the coronation.
You are greeted at the dock and shown to your own inn. A two-story affair has been given to you to serve as the new embassy/elven quarters when you are in town. A sign at the door reads, 'Subject to closure at any time due to King's business'.
The inn has comparmentalized rooms. Currently panels/partitions have been moved to make four lavish apartments upstairs. A full common room downstairs that can seat about 40. The staff is a family of four to cook, clean, and serve drinks that arrives for two hour intervals three times a day at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The herald has prepared and delivered here a short speech declaring that the elves look with favor on the human king and wish Derrick and his line well. Two young pages have been assigned to look after you at all times but you have been left on your own. They wait patiently at the door and offer to do any menial tasks.
Day One of the Festivities Begins. Theme= The Past
The Coronation is set to last Three Days.
The theme is the past. Previous subjects speak of the oppression under the previous king. Ties to the Coastal Kingdoms that left Seaview and the surrounding kingdom solely responsible for containing the elves on the island. Three political prisoners speak of intolerance at the hands of the old king.
Derrick gives a short speech "We are not here to relive the past but to learn from it. We need to become a healthy community again and move past our hatreds and prejudices."
At the end of the day the Ferret appears. He gives a short speech where he speaks of taking orders from a despot and doing things he did not agree with. The people in the crowd do not like to hear from him and many yell for him to be arrested or harmed.
Finally, the Ferret has two court bards play the Mandolin and drums while he sings in a coarse, but compelling voice. His song is about the choices between going along and making a stand. At the end he talks about just finding a way out.
His performance leaves the entire hall quiet and he makes a quick exit. Grabbing a travel bag he gives a quick bow and salute to Derrick and hurries out the door.
Updated song reference to be 2010+ :-)
Kalthos, Seltyn says while the music plays, I'd like to know more about this fellow. A lot more. Perhaps your talents could be of use to us? Follow him, ask around, spy on him, if you must. Talon can help you, if you ask him nicely...
He looks around to make sure no one's trying to listen. I'll leave you to your own devices, but the sooner the better. Let me know if I can help.
He then steps over to chat with Flambeaux.
perception: 1d20 ⇒ 15 EDIT: That's a +1, so 16.
Kalthos leaves to follow the Ferret. He left alone and does not return for the second day of the cermony.
Day two Theme is the present.
Derrick lists the extensive resources the kingdom has--mainly the best natural harbor for miles and miles. The new friends the kingdom has made. But the peril that they face as they are no longer a part of the "Coastal Kingdoms".
He mentions the guilds and the trades that will now flourish as the fuedal society of old is replaced with a mercantile society. The day closes with a parade of the guildmasters and nobles of the area.
Very long, and very boring. Kalthos has not returned.
Talon at this point will head after Kalthos.
1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Not having a Kalthos post we will advance this part along quickly.
Kalthos follows the Ferret to a meeting with six other humans and a hobgoblin. He observes him pay off his previous employees. Kalthos observes him give six humans each ten hundred weights of silver each (about 100gp each), shakes their hand and wishes them the best of luck.
Kalthos follows the Ferret and the hobgoblin to the hills overlooking the ocean in the nice side of town. They enter a large mansion and Kalthos prepares to wait in a hiding place. The Ferret appears unexpectedly with the some local security assigned to protect the nicer neighborhoods. After an 'invitation' to visit Kalthos feels he may avoids some explaining to the local security and instead chooses to enter the mansion. Here he discovers a Society of Secrets meeting place. He is offered a place in the society and, after giving his word to reveal the place to know one and any society business, allowed to return to the inn. Seltyn discovers Kalthos returning through town after his search at the end of the second day of the ceremony.
I am assuming that he told us where the secret hiding place of this society is, although possibly not even that. Not sure where Talon comes into this because I did state that I had been following Kalthos.
Kalthos told you everything he did not specifically promise to keep secret. If he wishes to divulge more, he will. I misposted, Talon leaves to find Kalthos and meets him upon his return. As a rogue Kalthos was brought into the safehouse as professional courtesy. His service to elves may outweigh his obligations to his profession.
If you ask him to tell you to break his oath, with no information from Kalthos I have decided his default decision is his obligation to elvenkind outweigh is obligation to this society. He will then tell you.
OK. So we didn't learn much more than we already knew about him. My impression is that we could go deal with the cultists ourselves. Ferret may or may not be something more than just a greedy mercenary. It's likely he has a deeper connection to the cultists. If he has to travel with us, though, he couldn't warn them we're coming. Somebody else could, though.
I think Derrick's patronage would be key to returning and rescuing the dryad. Unless they moved, we know where they are, and we can pull a few stunts to stack the deck in our favor next time. What do you guys think?
We got our arses handed to us last time that we went there, and that was rather unfortunate really. In my opinion it would be better to go elsewhere and level up a little, deal with life away from that place and learn a few more lessons before going back there.
The DM has hinted many a time that an epic plot point lies in the Human capital city. Where there are epic plot points there are normally also hoards of EPIC TREASURE!!! To the Human Campital City we go
Speaking of epic treasure.
Day 3 of the Ceremony - Theme is the Future
The human ministers outline an agenda of distancing themselves from the chaotic and undependable Coastal Kingdoms and aligning themselves closely with the elves. To some extent they mention making a decisive move that will have long term consequences. To that effect, they ask for a firm commitment of a full defensive alliance with the elves as a cornerstone of future success.
Derrick than asks for Elorin to step forward and presents her a gift. It is a bow that is masterfully crafted and has greater power when wielded by an elf. The bow is an intelligent item, and Derrick warns it has a sworn duty to kill all goblinoids. He hands it to Elorin as a gift to her and describes its powers.
"This gift is for you, Lady Elorin, who inspired us to move forward by honoring the past."
(1) This bow is a longbow with no proficiency penalty to use. Any class may fire this bow without penalty.
(2) Any arrow fired by the bow has the bane ability versus goblinoids.
(3) Only in the hands of an elf--this bow is +2
(4) This bow is intelligent (INT=14, WIS=10, CHA=10, EGO=15)
(5) Only when held by an elf will this bow speak. This bow speaks Common, Elven, Goblin, Draconic - It tends to speak rarely unless directly addressed-- it is quite shy.
After Elorin accepts the gift there is applause. Then Derrick is coronated by the two priests. They present the signed approval of the elven queen and announce the Talmanes line as the new hereditary line of the city-state of Seaview.
After the coronation Derrick holds a closed council of war. Only three ministers join him in his discussions with the elves. Derrick outlines a bold plan. The armory and depot maintained in the capital city is known to contain materials of war that have been stored in the event of conflict. He plans to send a raiding force to recover all the valuable material using stealth and guile. They have produced colors, insignias, and standards of a mercenary band hired by a distant ruler. It should cast all suspicion from his group as long as no one is captured.
Derrick looks toward Elorin, "You are invited to take the lead on this raid--as a joint venture I ask we split things down the middle. I will make sure that you have all the support to get there and back. Please consider the bow a deposit of good will to make up for a lack of direct participation in this raid."
Time for a roll call. This elven relic is obviously almost priceless and could be sold for significant gold back at Elfhome to buy a more diverse set of equipment (about 10000gp worth).
This is a bow to make Talon have wet dreams over. Bloody hell, I would really like it. Damn my hide for making an archery ranger. Although using this bow means that going down the arcane archer route becomes more and more appealing....
Whilst this plan of yours to raid your own kind would give you a great deal of materials and the like for later use, it worries me that you would turn against your own kind so savagely. On saying this, I can understand your wish to take these Human lands and combine them under a single ruler, especially if they are run as poorly as you claim.
There is a greater issue however. Yours is but one small kingdom, newly fledged and possibly not as ready for war as you might believe. That we who are of the Elven race cannot hide our identity as much as we might like is also a potential issue, for we could be opening ourselves to huge problems if things were to fail. However, fortune favours those who are brave enough to follow her, and thus I believe that it might be our best hope to follow you on this quest.
I would state however that there are other avenues of exploration that the Elves know of that might help your cause should be have been given the time to follow them up properly..
Talon looks at the bow lustfully, the craftsmanship and skill of it more than apparent. It would be a bow to master all bows, and he had sworn to master the best of them. Alas it was also a gift to the fair Lady Elorin, a woman that he held in high regard. He would have to think about how best to approach the subject.
Perhaps a seduction would be in order..... he did find her skills most interesting, and she was far from unattractive... But then there was the mission to make sure that the Elven lands prospered. If his desire for one bow were to put that all at risk, then who knows where that might end up taking them. It was a dangerous path to go down.
Talon waits for the others in the group to respond, curious as to what Seltyn might order, and very curious about what the fair Lady Elorin will come up with.