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GM Birch33’s Urban Campaign (Inactive)

Game Master Birch33

An urban campaign for two PC's


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As you approach your lodgings, you are aware of a rotund man with bright red hair and altogether too much gold leaning against the frame of the front door to the shop. Torr recognises him as the landlord, Binns.

He sighs heavily as you near him. "At last one of you shows up. Where's Pedrach gone?"

It is at this point you both notice the front door is ajar.

Staring directly at Torr, he says, "He's clearly absconded - with four weeks' back rent owing. And as the remaining tenant, I expect payment first thing in the morning.". With that he slopes past you, his face expressionless but you are both have the feeling his eyes have scanned every inch of you, weighing you up.


HP 13, AC 14 (T 12, FF 12), F+3, R+3, W+0, CMB 3, CMD 15, init +4, perc +4 human Barbarian(urban)/1

Torr blinks then stares like a deer in headlights. Finally after a long pause he speaks. "He what?" He passes Binns and peers into the front door. "He wouldn't.... he couldn't... " He turns and looks back at Fawkes and shrugs, the scowl on his face unreadable through the scars...

what does he see inside?


The ground floor represents the shop, with the first floor the residential area (one main room for cooking and living, two smaller rooms that act as bedrooms and a privvy).

A cursory glance of the ground floor would show nothing out of the ordinary. To the trained eye however, some key (and by definition the most valuable) equipment is missing along with the rarest alchemic ingredients.


HP 13, AC 14 (T 12, FF 12), F+3, R+3, W+0, CMB 3, CMD 15, init +4, perc +4 human Barbarian(urban)/1

With some doubt in his voice, as if even he isn't sure of what he's saying, one way or the other, "Maybe he was robbed? There's definitely stuff missing, valuable equipment and ingredients." Even while speaking he starts heading for the stairs to check the living area, to see if Pedrach actually moved out of there.

Under his breath he whispers, "Fool old man as likely left the door unlocked as moved out... but if he left me here owing back rent, I'll find him, I swear I will."


Male Half-Elf Bard (Street Performer)

Fawkes stands aside, stepping out of Torr's way as he rushes into the apartment. Finding it better for him to stay out of the way, he stands outside, a bit away from the building, and retrieves his lute. Strumming absentmindedly, his mind reels at the new development in this increasingly-twisted story. Something just doesn't seem right, here. Why would Pedrach go through all the trouble of finding a new tennant simply to leave? If he was planning this, why wait this long? And what of his shop? Or his apprentice, for that matter? Though perhaps I've been conned. I'm sure I'll be asked to help with the month's-worth back rent. I'll have to be on guard in case this is some sort of confidence game. After all, I was under the impression that Pedrach was the landlord...

Thoughts of conmen inspire him, and he begins playing a folktune, humming along with it before breaking into the accompanying lyrical poem.

"As we were goin' o'er
The Aspo-de-el Mountains,
We saw Captain Farrel and his money he was countin'
I first produced my dagger,
My mate, he showed his rapier,
Said 'Stand and deliver,
Or the Devil, he may take ye'!

Whack fol di daddy o
Whack fol di daddy o
There's whiskey in the jar!"


Torr sees nothing amiss I the main room upstairs and his own room seems untouched. Entering Pedrach's room, he notices that some personal items and a selection of clothes have gone.

I won't ask for dice rolls for this sort of thing - but if you ever want to be more precise you'll have to specifically ask.


HP 13, AC 14 (T 12, FF 12), F+3, R+3, W+0, CMB 3, CMD 15, init +4, perc +4 human Barbarian(urban)/1

Torr walks downstairs a bit deflated in attitude. He looks at Fawkes with a helpless shrug. "I'm afraid he might be right... some of Pedrach's personal things and clothes are gone. Along with the more valuable equipment and reagents. He was so casual in the tavern, like nothing was wrong... it's not like him... Something might have happened, but I can't imagine what. Then again, how do I know what's 'like him'. It's not like I've known him THAT long. I don't know about you, Fawkes, but I doubt I can come up with four weeks rent on a shop, not even if we sold everything in the shop to cover it, and we'd still be in a bad way - I can't run the shop by myself, I haven't the skills yet, so I couldn't afford it."

He looks over at the landlord and pulls Fawkes aside away from Binns and whispers to him. Subtlety is not his forte, but he tries. "I don't know about you, but I think we need to find new lodgings. Perhaps the landlord will allow us to stay one more night so we only need to worry about tomorrow... think you can charm him into allowing us to stay a bit to settle our affairs? I don't have a lot but I'd like to pack up what little I own, and ... he lowers his voice a bit more, "maybe a few minor salable objects that we can use to get a stake on a new place."

He sighs and considers the worst alternative, which would be to return home, tail between his legs and become an unwelcome presence there. Many far less onerous opportunities were out there in the world. Something would turn up, he was sure of it, especially with a magical bard at his side. Though in truth, he wasn't sure if Fawkes would want to stay with a thrice cursed barbarian wannabe alchemist.

"Besides that, there might be more to this than meets the eye. I'd like to find Pedrach... perhaps something more sinister than him simply 'running out on the rent' has occurred. He could even be in some kind of trouble. Still the matter of our lodgings has come up, and is the more pressing." He nods towards Binns and lofts a brow at Fawkes as if to encourage him to deal with the landlord.


Male Half-Elf Bard (Street Performer)

I'm a bit confused about how to proceed from here. I was under the impression that Binns had left us in the first post. It doesn't matter to me one way or the other, I just want to stay consistent within our shared fictional reality. I'll try to post actions that don't deal with Binns for the immediate present until it's been clarified.

Fawkes stops playing mid-song as Torr reappears. He listens to the explanation of the sorry situation, frowning. "This is quite the conundrum. I think you're right; it just doesn't feel... It feels like there's more to this story than we know. If business was in a bad way, you'd have known about it. Perhaps it explains Pedrach's searching for a new tennant, but I won't pretend that I'm close enough to the situation to make guesses." Fawkes crosses his arms and stares at the ground, the green orbs clouding over in their strange way. I have more than enough to pay the back rent, but it may be best to keep that piece of information to myself at the moment. It's like Mum always said: "If they think you can't pay, you'll never spend a coin." And I suppose I could always stay another night at one of the inns. But I was so looking forward to having my own lodging again! Looking back up at Torr, he opens his mouth to say something, but a sudden thought strikes him. "I think I may have an idea. I'll talk to Binns."


HP 13, AC 14 (T 12, FF 12), F+3, R+3, W+0, CMB 3, CMD 15, init +4, perc +4 human Barbarian(urban)/1

I thought Binns just moved aside, but was still there... if he's gone then we have nothing to worry about for one night at least, we have lodgings, lol


For clarification, Binns left you as you entered the downstairs.


HP 13, AC 14 (T 12, FF 12), F+3, R+3, W+0, CMB 3, CMD 15, init +4, perc +4 human Barbarian(urban)/1

ah ok.. then i guess we're good to stay here the night if that's what we decide to do... sorry for my confusion...not a problem In that case, rather than asking Fawkes to deal with the landlord, he would have instead suggested that we stay the night and maybe talk to Binns in the morning... and maybe look for Pedrach in the morning as well.


Male Half-Elf Bard (Street Performer)

Fakwes cooly regards the building that may or may not be his future home, thinking about what he's going to say to Binns in the morning. Looking back to Torr, he says, "We have lodging for one night at least, but what are we going to do about Pedrach? If you want to find him, perhaps we should go back to the tavern? If he's truly fled, then he like as much won't be there, but there may be somebody who knows where he went."


HP 13, AC 14 (T 12, FF 12), F+3, R+3, W+0, CMB 3, CMD 15, init +4, perc +4 human Barbarian(urban)/1

"No rest then, aye, heading back to the tavern sounds like a good place to start... but I should lock up before we go." Torr goes back inside and gives the place a final quick once-over to see if Pedrach left a note or any indication as to what happened.

perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24 well, couldn't have done any better if I'd taken 20... let's see if it's good enough or if there's anything TO notice

Hopefully, since Torr was his apprentice, and a resident, he at least had a key.


Torr takes a final look around the rooms before he leaves and the review confirms his earlier suspicion that the things taken suggest Pedrach took them and was travelling light. There is certainly no note or clue as to why Pedrach would have left abruptly - other than owing the back-rent.

Torr gets the feeling that Pedrach could have taken more and only a small investment could get the shop up and running again.

Torr locks up the shop but you haven't travelled more than a few steps when Binns and a few tall, broad-shouldered men step out of the shadows - into the moonlight.

Binns talks slowly and deliberately. There is no menace in his voice, but it carries an assured air - as if everything he says will surely come to pass. "My old dad had a saying. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Something makes me think I'll never see either of you again. I need some assurance you won't go the way of Pedrach. I presume you don't have the money on you, so how will you make good by tomorrow morning."


Male Half-Elf Bard (Street Performer)

Fawkes glances at Torr quickly before approaching Binns. He bows his head and clears his throught before beginning his quick-talking game. "Good evening, sir, and a pleasure to meet your acquaintance proper. I am Fawkes, and I have no quarry with you. As I am not your tennant, I have no stake in your quandry as it is, and I'm merely a humble by-stander. However, it occurs to me that both you and your tennant are in a bad way. You are owed back rent equalling four weeks' worth, and your soon-to-be-former-tennant here has no money to pay." After stopping a moment to take a breath and to let his words sink in a bit, he continues, spinning his pitch. "One way or another, you have a residence that needs lodgers, and I am a prospective resident in need of lodging. I understand that you're in a bad way at the moment, and may be in need of some assurance of payment after this unfortunate turn of events. I am willing to rent your..." He pauses a moment, looking behind him and giving the building an exaggerated once-over, before continuing, "shack. And I am willing to pay my rent in advance, to provide you the assurance you so desperately need after having been taken advantage of so mercilessly." Again, he pauses for emphasis.

Sighing dramatically, he opens his mouth to finish his piece, laying it on as thick as he can manage. "Truth be told, sir, I've never met either of these unscrupulous men before tonight, and I must say that I am thankful to be spared in this way, that I should not have fallen among them without warning as a sheep among murderous wolves! Truly, my goddess protects me in this, and as a devout follower of the Savored Sting, it is my duty to aid you in seeking revenge for the injustice that the ignoble Pedrach, the son of infamy that he is, has brought upon you! Sir, if you would allow me to aid you in this, if you would give me leave to track down your debtor, I would be grateful for the opportunity! Sir, I beg your leave, that I may set right this wrong in the eyes of Calistria!"

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17

Not sure how you want to treat things like Diplomacy. Should I roll and then try to form an argument to match what I roll, or should I make the argument, and the roll merely decides how effective it was, regardless of content?


HP 13, AC 14 (T 12, FF 12), F+3, R+3, W+0, CMB 3, CMD 15, init +4, perc +4 human Barbarian(urban)/1

Torr keeps his mouth shut and lets Fawkes talk, since he obviously has a silver tongue and the wit to use it well. He tries to appear abashed by being labeled unable to pay and unscrupulous.

unscrupulous? heh... he knows as well as I that I'm as much a victim as he is... I wonder though, do I know enough to run the shop myself? I maybe can't make more advanced alchemical concoctions, but I'm fully capable of making simple items for sale. Pedrach certainly left enough for me to set up shop myself, and he certainly could have taken more if he'd wanted to... I wonder if he did that intentionally. Ah, I will need to think more on this - maybe talk to Fawkes about it. I wonder what the rent actually IS on the shop and apartment.

After being lost in thought for a moment, he turns his attention back to Fawkes and Binns.


Binns listens patiently as Fawkes talks and talks. When the bard has finished, a few seconds elapse before the plump man's face cracks into a broad smile.

"Of course I'd welcome you as my new tenant. We have a deal. But in the matter of my owed rent, I do not need Pedrach tracked down - I have his room-mate here. So, that's four weeks' back rent and how much in advance were you looking to pay?"

His smile does not falter and his voice is jovial - but the men at his side do not seem to be in on the joke, their menacing bearing has not changed throughout the conversation.

It never hurts to roll for diplomacy - especially when the game is not face to face and the flow of dialogue is understandably stilted. Unless you say something particularly clever or stupid, the roll will always have an impact.


Male Half-Elf Bard (Street Performer)

Fawkes tries to keep his face from falling as a realization sinks in. Glancing behind Binns at the two men, his self-preservation kicks into overdrive. Time to make a decision, Fawkes; those men look like they're more than willing to purt the screws to Torr for this back rent, regardless of whether or not he can pay. This situation may be bad, but it doesn't seem like I'm being fleeced for the gold. Mum always did leave out the part with the beatings for those who can't pay.

Knitting his brow into an outraged sneer, he throws his hands in frustration, adding in a grunt of outburst for good measure. Ostensibly stalking away, Fawkes attempts to walk around Binns and the men as he rants. "Why, I never! I've never met this Pedrach fellow before, much less kept company in his run-down rented shack, and you're going to hold me responsible for the rogue's debts? If you think I'm going to stand for this, you're sadly mistaken, sir! You're hardly the only slum-lord in the Shingles, and if you think I'll stand for such racketeering as this," he points a finger at the two brutes as he stops in his pacing. He steps toward Binns again, stopping short of getting into striking range to keep from provoking his hired muscle. "You come here and try to intimidate me with these menacing gargoyles, expecting me to pay a debt I don't owe, and then continue to happily rent your rotting choker's nest of a domicile?!" He throws his hands out again, spittle flying as he shouts, "I won't have it, sir! I've a mind to report this to the Cerulean Society, if not the Guard! I offer to pay rent in advance, and to track down your debtor free of charge, out of my own pious devotion to the Savored Sting, and you treat me as though I am part and percel to this brigandry?! By what measure do you call yourself by any other name than 'scum', Mister Binns?!?" Fawkes takes a deep breath, his chest heaving with true outrage at the fictionalized slights against him, his face as red as his hair. He places his hands on his hips in an agressive stance, ready to pull the dagger that hangs inches away on his belt.

Using the bardic performance Disappearing Act in an attempt to give Torr the chance to slip away. Everybody gets a DC 14 Will save against an invisibility effect on Torr. At this point, Fawkes is acting as though Binns had meant that he, Fawkes, was the roommate, basically ignoring Torr's existence in an attempt to re-direct them. I only mention this because it can be easy to lose consistency without meaning to, and things get very difficult when players are purposefully misconstruing things to create inconsistency as I'm doing now. Depending on how this goes, this will likely devolve into a situation where Fawkes relies on refuge in audacity, so expect more intentional inconsistency.


HP 13, AC 14 (T 12, FF 12), F+3, R+3, W+0, CMB 3, CMD 15, init +4, perc +4 human Barbarian(urban)/1

Torr blinks stupidly for a moment at Fawkes and Binns and slowly it dawns on him that no one is paying attention to him, and that Fawkes seems to be doing this intentionally. He takes a couple of steps back away from the encounter and especially away from Binn's hired muscle.

I don't really want to fight and perhaps kill a couple of blokes who are just hired thugs. Nor do I want to get my kneecaps busted because I didn't pay Pedrach's debt. But as long as they don't seem to be paying any attention to me, I'll slip back here in the shadows and hopefully Fawkes can smooth this over with Binns. If he can't, I won't be TOO far away.

He (hopefully successfully) slips into the shadows and waits for Fawkes and Binns to conclude their business. If it looks like he's noticed, he doesn't go far. If it seems they don't notice him at all, he slips away and around a corner, listening to the conversation in case it goes sour for Fawkes, he can return quickly.


As Torr moves away from the group, one of the men with Binns appears to be aware of his movement. He doesn't call out or draw anyone else's attention to the fact however.

Meanwhile Binns appears to be appraising Fawkes. Finally he speaks, his voice as conversational as ever - no hint of threat or anger in his delivery. "Menacing? Menacing? These gentleman are here for my protection, nothing more. This is, as you point out so eloquently, a run-down area of the city and a non-violent person such as myself would represent easy prey.

"Yet your offer to become my tenant appears to be less and less attractive the more you speak. I am a businessman, not a philosopher. I rented this property out in good faith and Pedrach and the boy did not honour their side of the bargain. I am the innocent party here, not you my amusing young fellow. What say you now?"

There are three men with Binns


Male Half-Elf Bard (Street Performer)

As Binns says his piece, Fawkes notices that Torr has managed to slip away. Taking another breath, he makes a show of regaining his composure. "It appears that I have forgotten myself." Bowing to chest level and rising again, he calmly offers his apology. "I can certainly understand the need for protection; one can never be too safe in these troubled times. Please accept my deepest apologies; now that I see you mean me no harm, I can calm my cock's comb and rest easy." Fawkes takes a non-threatening, restful posture, and has the good sense to look suppliant. In explanation for his behavior, he offer, "When one has naught but words for defense, one learns to wield them sharply, and I fear that I was perhaps too quick on the draw. I hope it has not cost me your roof. If it is a choker's nest, than I hope that I may be so lucky as to consider myself among the filth-encrusted sewer demons to be granted the privilege of taking up residence here. If you are still willing to take me on, I am willing to pay a month's rent in advance, and to keep a steady schedule of payment to protect against a repeat of this predicament." After a moment's pause, the half-elf quirks his eyebrow. His eyes dart to the left and right before asking, "While we're on the subject, how much are you charging?"

Letting the bardic performance lapse.


Binns smiles even more broadly than before and slaps one of the men next to him on the shoulder jovially.

"It seems we have half of a solution already. This Fawkes chap will become the new tenant and will pay in advance." His voice is booming in the quiet of the hour.

"Forty gold for the shop and a further forty for the dwellings. Be here tomorrow with eighty gold and I will hand over the keys. My men here will remove the previous occupant's clutter. Its sale may off-set some of my loss."

For the first time, his smile fades. "I shall have to make arrangements for the recovery of the remainder of the debt. Most unpleasant but necessary." This last phrase was directed at no-one in particular.


Male Half-Elf Bard (Street Performer)

Smiling and bowing his head in gratitude, Fawkes starts away. As soon as he's turned around, the smile drops into a calculating frown. Pedrach's left some things, it would seem. Torr thinks he can't run the shop by himself, and that may be true, but if he's to have any chance as an alchemist, he'll need the supplies. I don't know if I'll be able to cover the expense, and it's a bit unreasonable to even expect that I should. Fawkes continues walking, thinking hard about the situation, but keeping on the look-out for chokers or other threats in the dark. Just what have you gotten yourself into, Fawkes? People disappear mysteriously all the time! Why should I even care?! His frown creeps upward into a mischievous grin as he answers his own question. "Because it's a damn lot of fun!"

Walking to the tavern to follow up on this Pedrach business.


HP 13, AC 14 (T 12, FF 12), F+3, R+3, W+0, CMB 3, CMD 15, init +4, perc +4 human Barbarian(urban)/1

Torr, around the corner in an alley scowls at the amount of rent Binns is charging. it seems exorbitant for such shabby lodgings, but the shop is probably worth that much easily. I could make enough to pay the rent just selling a few alchemist fires or tanglefoot bags a month, not to mention more smaller items like tindertwigs and the like. Could I do this alone, and still have a life? Get some sleep now and again? Maybe. But wait, no.. they are going to take everything? How can I run the shop with nothing there? Oh WHY did you disappear, Pedrach?

When the conversation with Binns is over, he doesn't come back out of the alley... when he sees Fawkes walk by, he takes a wild guess that the bard will head toward their previous planned destination. Torr heads hurriedly back to the tavern by another route.


By chance you both arrive at the tavern at the same time. No sooner have you entered the bar than the young woman that Pedrach left with rushes up to you, a scrap of parchment in her hand.

She appears flustered and her cheeks redden as the blurts out, "I'm so sorry sirs. Your friend asked me to give you this," she thrusts the paper into Torr's hand. "I followed you when you left but then you came across that nasty creature and I panicked and came back here. But you're here now so I hope this makes it all right.". She curtsies quickly and disappears even quicker.

Torr's letter:
Dear Torr.

My apologies for my cruel deception. You are a truly talented young alchemist and your knowledge will soon outstrip mine. I love the science but make a lousy businessman. I therefore leave you my shop and most of its belongings whilst I go to find my fortune elsewhere. As you read this, I will be at the shop and will take a few key items for myself but leave you the rest. With that young bard helping to pay the bills I am sure you will make a going concern of the shop. I have to admit I have left a small back-rent owing but Binns is a reasonable chap and will definitely come to an arrangement once he knows I have left you high and dry. Ever your friend if you caconfront yourself to forgive me.

Pedrach


HP 13, AC 14 (T 12, FF 12), F+3, R+3, W+0, CMB 3, CMD 15, init +4, perc +4 human Barbarian(urban)/1

Torr sighs, unable to even to thank the young lady before she disappears, then shows Fawkes the note while he orders a couple of drinks. "We deserve these... " and he hands one of the ales to Fawkes, while the bard reads the note. "I wish we'd seen this before we ran into Binns. Might have changed the nature of our dealings with him. I don't know what you were doing back there, but you did manage to distract him and his men long enough for me to slip away. Thanks for that. I wasn't ready for a confrontation with him. I guess now I am, and we'll have to be there in the morning to prevent him from taking everything. I can't run a shop with no shop to run."

Torr scowls slightly, tightening the scars on his face into a particularly gruesome display. 'Course I don't know that I'm that much better of a businessman than Pedrach was. I don't know anything about running a shop by myself. And I don't know what he means about me outstripping his knowledge soon.. I still have so much to learn."

Then he laughs bitterly, "Not to mention, he took some of the most expensive and hard-to-replace items. I will have my work cut out for me, eh, young Fawkes? Well, drink up, my new friend, tomorrow is another day, as they say. At least, now, you get your own room, until we end up needing to sublet again. And, while I don't have a lot to move, it would be silly to move my things, so you get Pedrach's room, which is the larger and nicer of the two."

He stashes the note in a belt pouch, as proof to show Binn's in the morning.


Male Half-Elf Bard (Street Performer)

Fawkes snatches the offered note and reads it, his brow knitting with vaguely negative emotion. He sips the ale, listening to Torr's concerns. "I think you've got it in you to run the shop, but I'm fairly certain that Binns is cleaning out the apartment as we speak. We may be able to negotiate with him over their price, but I'm afraid we're a bit stuck for the moment." He starts to say something else before pausing and staring into his cup. After a moment, he confesses, "I've got enough for the first month, but it will deplete most of my savings, such as they are. Truthfully, my first thought was that this was a confidence game of some sort. I apologize for maligning you so harshly to Binns; things didn't go quite as I had intended and I got a bit carried away." Shaking his head solemnly, he takes a long swig. By the time he's finished, there's a smile under the foam he wipes from his lip. "This has been an eventful night. I'm almost sad that Pedrach wasn't kidnapped after all; mark me, it would have been one hell of an adventure!"


Fast forwarding slightly based upon your intentions...

You arrive bright and early the following morning at the shop to see Binns overseeing the removal of the contents of the shop and lodgings.

His usual cheery disposition remains intact as you approach him. "My young friends," he booms, "How are you this fine morning."

To Fawkes he says, "I believe we agreed a fair price, no? I presume you can afford the advance?"

Without waiting for a response he switches his attention to Torr. "I am pleased you have returned. It takes a certain character to take resposnisibility for other's actions. But a debt is a debt and must be repaid. Tell me, as I suspect you don't have the wherewithal to satisfy the payment, did you have a solution in mind?" Simultaneously, he signals for the men performing the removals to stop working.


HP 13, AC 14 (T 12, FF 12), F+3, R+3, W+0, CMB 3, CMD 15, init +4, perc +4 human Barbarian(urban)/1

(Sorry it's been so long without a post - Paizo was down most of the day.)

"I can try to run the shop and pay you what Pedrach owes, but not if you dismantle and take it all. Either you can take a one time partial payment by selling it all off at a reduced value, or you can leave it and let me pay you back the full amount over a little time. Though in truth I don't think I'm legally obligated, there is a morality issue here and I'd like to pay Pedrach's debt. However without a source of income, I have no way to pay you." He looks at the contents that are left and shakes his head slowly.

"So what would you have, Binns... partial satisfaction now, or full satisfaction in time? I can't do both."

I wish I had Fawkes' gift for words, I'm sure he could have stated this better...


I'll wait for Fawkes to respond before I post...


Male Half-Elf Bard (Street Performer)

Fawkes fingers the purse filled with gold on his belt, keeping quiet while Torr deals with Binns. Torr may not speak much, but he's efficient with his words. He may have had some tutoring in speechcraft or argumentation. I just hope he's a good an alchemist as Pedrach thinks he'll be. The idea of Torr running the shop alone just seems somehow wrong, and Fawkes realizes that he and Torr will each need the other to accomplish their dreams. This pithy thought is suddenly hijacked by the prospect of running an alchemist's shop, and the half-elf's eyes glitter with glee at the adventure to be had in business management.


Binns appears to be waiting for Fawkes to say something and when the silence stretches to more than a few seconds, he fills the void.

"Despite your concerns last evening, I am no man of violence. When I incur a debt, I always do the sensible thing and pass it on to someone better suited to managing this sort of thing. And it may surprise you to learn that physical pain rarely yields gold."

"No, my benefactor tends to ask favours instead and I have already spoken to him this morning." He quickly raises a hand to forestall any interruption.

"No deal was sealed but I have an understanding of the favour he would ask in return for covering the cost of the back rent. It is a simple task - to attend a meeting and report back on what is said. He would send one of his accomplices but they are all well known in these parts and he believes would not go unchallenged if they turned up. Two new faces, however, would be able to hear a great deal more."

"It would only take a word to confirm the deal. It's worth 160 gold to you, and there is no likelihood of violence - just a little detective work. What say you?"


Male Half-Elf Bard (Street Performer)

Fawkes opens his mouth to speak, but is silenced by Binns' gesture. The green eyes light up at the sum before his imagination carries him away again. That's quite a large sum for so small a favor. It sounds like an important meeting, and one that may not be entirely... Well, if nothing else, it should prove to be lucrative. "I'm a bit concerned regarding the exact nature of the costs and payments involved. The back-rent owed should be a sum of eighty gold pieces, the same sum that I'm putting up in advance. This job is to pay one-hundred and sixty? Is that to each of us? To split? Or the gross total, with the back-rent expense to be deducted?" Mum always said to see the money first; few services demand payment once already rendered, though it's a fool of a man who double-crosses Calistria's wasps.


HP 13, AC 14 (T 12, FF 12), F+3, R+3, W+0, CMB 3, CMD 15, init +4, perc +4 human Barbarian(urban)/1

Torr looks from Fawkes to Binns and waits for the landlord's answer to Fawkes quite reasonable questions...

Once answer is given, regardless of the response, he will bring up the contents of the shop again. "It stands to reason that if we make good on the rent by doing this 'favor', there is no reason to confiscate the contents of the shop. If we agree to your offer of a favor in exchange for our services, I would ask you to leave the contents of the shop for my use, as they will no longer be necessary to offset your losses. "


Binns considers Fawkes for a few seconds before replying. "160 gold is for the back rent owed and one month in advance. It seems a simple enough equation. How you decide this has been shared between you is up to you. You clear the back rent, have one month rent in advance paid and no money changes hands. Am I making myself clearer?"

He then turns to Torr. "And I will instruct my friends here to return everything they have so far taken - no charge?" He smiles so broadly you can count at least three gold teeth.


Male Half-Elf Bard (Street Performer)

It seems too good to be true, but Desna's jokes always come with the best bait. Fawkes holds Binns' gaze for two seconds, glances at Torr, and nods. "This arrangement seems more than fair. I accept, at least for my part." Too good to be true or not, I'll need to keep my misgivings to myself and my wits about me. It certainly didn't take me long to get back to trading in information; so much for escaping my former life. Never a dull moment, eh Fawkes?


HP 13, AC 14 (T 12, FF 12), F+3, R+3, W+0, CMB 3, CMD 15, init +4, perc +4 human Barbarian(urban)/1

Torr nods toward Fawkes and then to Binns. "I accept the offer. What are the details? Where do we go? What do we do exactly?" Torr asks directly. "Whatever this is, we get in, get the information the man needs and get out. Sounds too easy for 160 gp, but that's not our problem.... or is it?


Binns contemplates your questions. "You will attend a meeting this evening under an alias. You will say little and listen a great deal. Afterwards you will share what you hear. Simple."


Male Half-Elf Bard (Street Performer)

He won't be answering any more questions for now, I'd wager. Knowing how this sort of thing is likely to work, Fawkes nods and says, as much to Torr as to Binns, "Very. I expect that you'll provide us with the rest of the details as the time draws near; we are, after all, on the need-to-know, and we don't yet need to know, do we?"

A short pause gives Fawkes enough time to realize that he was perhaps a bit too curt, and so he bows graciously, attempting to exude humility and thanks. "Thank you for this most magnanimous opportunity, Mister Binns." Returning upright, he pushes his way past the entourage to enter the apartment, all other decorum forgotten.


Binns responds immediately to Fawkes. "Dear boy, there is nothing else to say. You go to an inn at a designated time. You enter the private room. You listen to what's said and afterwards you repeat what you heard. It's not that difficult to comprehend."


Male Half-Elf Bard (Street Performer)

Turning back to look at Binns, he gives him a quizzical look, then an exasperated one, until finally, with a heavy sigh, he explains in painfully even tone, "You said we'll have aliases. We need to know what they are. Am I to be Mr. Brown, or Mr. My-name-is-designated-but-I-know-not-the-designation, Esquire, third of that name? Are we to show up at Designated Meeting Time o'clock, or will the meeting take place in our own plane of existence with it's subjective hour and minute of the day? Does this inn have a name, or is it merely the Designated Tavern & Inn, open from Designated Hour of Opening o'clock until Designated Hour of Closing o'clock, every day of the year save for the Day of Non-Designation, a day held holy in the sight of the Designated God as a day of rest? After all, I would hate to attend the wrong meeting, at the wrong place, at the wrong time, under the wrong assumed name, and I'm sure whatever information we could provide from that particular meeting would hold no value whatsoever to our benefactor." Realizing that, despite his even tone, he may have gone too far, he grimaces apologetically. "Please excuse my deprecating long-windedness. I merely wish to be useful to you, Mister Binns, and I fear that I can't be useful on assumed designations; I am simply not autonomous enough for that."


HP 13, AC 14 (T 12, FF 12), F+3, R+3, W+0, CMB 3, CMD 15, init +4, perc +4 human Barbarian(urban)/1

Torr listens to Fawkes and breaks into a grin, then a laugh. He gets to the point in a very pointed way, though harsh for one short on humor. He observes Binns to see how he will react to the bard's rant, ready to step in and be deprecating to soothe the man's ego if it's been damaged.


Binns sighs audibly. "You are making this more complicated than it really needs to be. I will meet you hear at dusk. I will tell you the place and exact time of the meet and the names you will be using, plus anything else you need to know." With this, Binns leaves and after a quick word with his men, they begin to move the belongings back into the shop and apartment.

You can fast-forward to the evening or continue to do your own thing Neil then.


HP 13, AC 14 (T 12, FF 12), F+3, R+3, W+0, CMB 3, CMD 15, init +4, perc +4 human Barbarian(urban)/1

"Ah well, that answers that question then. He'll tell us what we need to know later." Torr stays out of the way as the men move the contents of the shop back in, watching from the side of the doorway. Now and then he pokes his head in through the door and peers in to see how much of a disaster they are making of the place.

I'm okay with ff'ing or doing a little rp before the meet, whatever


Male Half-Elf Bard (Street Performer)

Fawkes summons everything he has within him to remain calm and collected, saying nothing and turning back into the shop. He'll tell us what we need to know later. Which is to say that he will provide us with the rest of the details as the time draws near. Just calm down, Fawkes. One-hundred and sixty gold is more than worth this moment of agitation. He's just a stupid man, with a stupid face, with stupid bodyguards, and a stupid house that I'm renting and a stupid mysterious job for me to do tonight. That's all it is, just a lot of stupid. So relax and take the day as it presents itself.

"So, how about giving me a tour," he says to Torr.

At this point, we could stand for at least a brief scene of interaction before moving on.


HP 13, AC 14 (T 12, FF 12), F+3, R+3, W+0, CMB 3, CMD 15, init +4, perc +4 human Barbarian(urban)/1

"There isn't much to see... " says Torr as he enters the shambles that was an alchemist's lab and shop. "This is the shop, and this area the laboratory and workshop. Probably best lock the door while we're inside, to discourage potential customers for the day. I should put up a sign to say we're closed for a few days. I'll get to that later." He does lock the door though from the inside.

"The stairs are over here. They lead up to the living area." He goes up the stairs into a small apartment with two separate bedrooms. "Well, this is it... the grand salon." He chuckles softly as if at some private joke. "Your room is over here. Binns said Pedrach left in a hurry, so he probably didn't take ALL his things.. We should move the last of them out so you can move in and call it your own. My room is over there." He waves over toward the other door as he enters the room he called Fawkes'. He moves over to a small dresser and starts going through drawers, taking out anything that belonged to Pedrach, doing the same from the wardrobe. "Of course if you want any of these things, you are welcome to them. If not, I will distribute them to the poor I guess. I have no use for them."

unless there is something of any real value among Pedrach's stuff, (which I'm doubting, he probably would have taken anything like that with him) in which case we can sell it!

He looks over at Fawkes and gives a shrug. "This is pretty much it. What do you think" He probably think 'what the hell have I gotten myself into for an ill-conceived 'favor' and a share of 80 gold a month?'


Male Half-Elf Bard (Street Performer)

Fawkes stands in his room, looking around and taking it all in. After one turn, he stops and lists his observations. "I'd say that it certainly has less pillows than my room in Riddleport, many more than my hammock on-board the Gray Devil, and roughly the same number of pillows as the rooms in most taverns. The view out the window is somehow picturesque for the scene of refuse and drabbery it portrays, and I quite like the sound of this floorboard!" He shifts his weight back and forth, eliciting a wooden squeal from the beneath him. Fawkes seems to take a strange satisfaction in this, grinning more than he maybe should be. Tossing his single bag onto the bed, he moves to the window. His hands on his hips, gazing out onto the Shingles and Korvosa's skyline, he takes pleasure in the scene, feeling triumphant. It may not be much, but what do I truly need, more than a song in my heart and a smile on my lips? It will do, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Is there the luxury of a desk and chair? Fawkes would at least look to see if there is one.


There are three rooms. Each bedroom is small, with a bed and a small set of drawers. On top of the drawers is a ceramic bowl and jug for washing. The main room has a small stove for cooking and heating, a table with three hard-backed chairs and a bookcase with a selection of alchemy books on it. There is a threadbare rug on the floor and a couple of maps pinned to the wall as decorations. Otherwise it's a very basic arrangement.


Binns sends a runner to the shop with a note for you both. He disappears as soon as he hands it over.

Binns’ note:
You are required to make your way to The Black Hippogriff at dusk. You will inform the barman that you are there for a private meeting. He will take you to the room set aside. You are, for the evening, Jake Blacklee and Caius Twining. You are both long-time citizens of Korvosa and of humble origins. You can make up whatever story you like as to your background. But keep it plain and uninteresting as you should not draw attention to yourself. Remember, say little and listen a lot. When the meeting concludes, go back to the shop and await further instructions in the morning.


Male Half-Elf Bard (Street Performer)

Examining the note, Fawkes grins with glee., his prior consternation forgotten. Handing it over to Torr, he says, "Good ta meetcha, Mistah Blacklee. I 'spect it'll be a most int'rest'n meetin'. Wot says ye?"

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