Algund looks up at Corwin in growing alarm, raising one hand. Shhh he says softly, no need to wake them. You can barely hear his words, and there is almost no breath behind them. It's less about no good things than it is about more bad things, and we don't want those bad things to happen to us.
"Wake what lad? I can't pick out anything in this half-light", Corwin whispers back, peering into the shadows, his left hand holding tight to his daughter's arm.
Sorry for the late reply, had a busy few days with a little one that was sick.
The woman glares at Algund, pointing down the alley. "Only one way forward, slick," she says.
Making your way down the darkened alley, Rebecca shines the light ahead of them. Here and there a few doorways and loading docks can be seen, their doors all shut. Stinking puddles of water have collected in the center of the alley, and the cobblestones are uneven, making your excursion through the poorest part of town quite arduous.
After about twenty feet down, your captive suddenly stops. "Here's where we left him, I think. Hah, who knew, apparantly the rump-faced pig was alive after all," she says as she looks around at the empty surroundings, slightly surprised.
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
Rebecca glares at the woman. "Isn't it amazing how much a person can survive. You are living proof of that, given I was only a few inches away from piercing your heart. Forgot to calculate for it being smaller than average, I suppose. If we find his corpse instead of him I will keep that in mind for the second strike. Now do us all a favor and stay silent."
Turning from the criminal, Rebecca examines the scene.
"Blood smears... not likely to be a local person, they would have just slain him on the spot and picked his pockets. Likely caused by him dragging himself." Following the trail, she finds the shelter and the body beneath it.
"Hey, are you awake?"
She gestures for her companions to come quickly.
Perception: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (14) + 0 = 14
Heal to determine if the guard is alive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Recalculating my heal check it looks like it was too high, not sure why. If anyone wants to double check if I have any other mods that'd be appreciated.
Algund follows behind Rebecca, taking a close look at the body and trying to feel for a pulse. His hands seem to glow faintly as he does, although you can't quite be sure. This is the guardsman, correct? He asks the injured woman without looking up.
Lay on Hands: 1d6 ⇒ 3
As you approach the person, you can immediately tell it's not the guard you're looking for. This man is disheveled, with dirty, matted hair, dressed in filthy rags, and comes across as being among the lowest in society. He stares at Rebecca with bloodshot eyes, snorts, and spits a gob of phlegm on the cobblestones.
"Am now, what's it to you?" He glances from Rebecca to the others, and down to your weapons. "You lot don't seem like you belong here, can I help you?" he grins, revealing blackened and broken teeth.
"We're looking for an injured member of the Korvosan Guard, do you know anything about that?" He knows where this dance might lead, to donations for money but he wasn't going to part with any coin til there was some kind of results whether positive or negative. But the man might be willing to help but handing out coin for information was an easy way to get lots of information that led approximately nowhere.
Algund raises his visor but does not remove his helmet, glancing around at their surroundings while Gadren talks. After a second, he moves in and seems intently focused on the dirty man, leaning on his glaive. So uh...if this is an ambush we'll kill you first, I suppose. Seems unlikely that you don't already know that, though, we're tough prey and you've got no escape routes and all that. Which means we can just take a moment to talk, unless we're being watched by someone who knows you've got a secret. But then they'd just kill you, since you look pisspoor and not important to anyone. Algund suddenly glances aside, voice rising slightly, I guess we could kill you too, but uh... he looks down considering for a second, I'd probably be much less enthusiastic about that.
Anyway, the point is, if you made me guess I'd guess that we hold like, ninety five percent of the cards here. Or whatever people say. And the main one of those is that we've got some money, probably not a whole lot by some standards, but enough to make you happy for a bit, y'know, with alcohol and uh...revelry and so forth. Algund winks, dropping his pack. When did I become someone who winks? Also uh, we're going to want some actual results before we do anything for you, because we're not idiots. I mean, venturing down here might be considered idiocy by some, but I honestly think it'd be more idiocy than that to attack us. Just look at the amount of steel wrapped around me...I'm like...incredible. Algund seems to be aware of how self aggrandizing his statement is, and is clearly speaking in hyperbole.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28 Would love to get some aid another rolls here, though I'm not sure it matters considering the natural 20.
So uh...I think that's about the state of things. He pulls out a waterskin from his pack and takes a drink, leaning back for a moment but making to keep his eyes open. Did anyone pack the food we bought earlier? I'm uh, kindof interested in some bread or something. Algund picks his pack up again and puts it back on, looking around at the others. He closes his eyes once more, turning them on the poor soul and searching for any evil therien.
Rebecca wordlessly points to the trail of blood leading to the makeshift structure the homeless man is using.
"As you can see, the man wasn't in the best of shape. Did someone help him, or did he get put out of his suffering? In either case, where is he now?"
The homeless person snorts again as you question him. "You talk alot, pretty boy," he says to Algund, "But you said the magic word. The wee little lass o'er there is correct. The man y'all are looking for, some folk came thru and found him. Dragged 'im all the way down the alley to tha fine establishment o'er there," he motions towards the end of the street, where you can see a building with light streaming from the windows, illuminating some of the gloom.
"Ta be honest, it didn't seem like they was wanting to buy him a drink, if'n ya get ta understanding my meaning. Now, with me havin' to come to mentioning buying drinks, I do believe you spoke of some of that as well, and seeing as I happen to have been of such great help..." he flashes his grin again as he holds out a grubby hand.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
There's a gold in my left shoe, in case we die and they forget to search. Algund picks up the foot and waggles it in the air. It'll be yours anyway if things work out, good luck.
Algund nods once, and then a grim look passes over his face. His knees bend slightly, his back straightens, and his grip on his glaive tightens. Algund's brow furrows, and his eyes turn a faint glowing blue color, like the sky on a winter's day. Anyone want to look closer? His voice is lower, and he speaks each word clearly with a slight pause.
Detect evil now activated every turn until further notice.
The homeless person did not detect as evil, by the way.
His outstretched hand drops to his side again, giving you a skeptical look. "Oh sure sure, so y'all come back to give me my gold, yeah, pull the other one, why don't ya. Pharasma spit on your bones, now off with ya and leave an old man to his rest."
The man turns himself to his side, making clear he has no desire to continue the conversation.
As you exit the alley and approach the tavern, you can hear a lot of commotion coming from inside. The building is constructed of whitewashed walls set between aging timber beams, its roof leaning slightly forward into the street, giving the entire building a looming, menacing appearance. On a creaky sign outside, the name 'Sticky Mermaid' is painted in fading turqouise lettering.
1d100 + 30 ⇒ (87) + 30 = 117
Local": 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Gadren looks at Wren and then to her father. "I'll be honest I'm not sure I'm old enough to go in here. It's a rough spot and no one should try the local specialty brew it's strong stuff. I've heard of more than one soul dying from alcohol poisoning trying to indulge with too much of it. I don't fancy his chances truth be told. But if this woman didn't finish him herself then she should be handed over." Gadren looked leerily at the rough establishment.
Knowledge local: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Algund walks forward slowly, staying in front of Corwin as best he can. It's difficult to tell what he's thinking when you can't see his face, and he doesn't respond to Gadren in any noticeable way.
know: local: 1d20 + 10 + 1d6 ⇒ (18) + 10 + (5) = 33
Rebecca nods in agreement with Gadren's assessment.
"No idea why the occupants would drag a wounded guardsman inside, but it likely wasn't to bandage him up and give him a mug of their.... 'finest.'"
She makes air quotes around the last word.
"Corwin, you and Wren should wait outside. No sense in exposing her to more rot and filth."
She gives them both a concerned smile.
Know Local: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
"I'm not sure staying out here would be much safer or less filthy." Pia comments after Rebecca, finally seemingly coming out of her own mind.
"Stay close to the doorway, at least it provides a quick egress if needed." She mentions to Corwin.
-Posted with Wayfinder
Corwin's bushy eyebrows slowly go up as first one, then all of his companions suggest that he stay in the alleyway with Wren. He glances around at the filth and shadows, then back at the raucous crowd inside the Mermaid.
"Wren, while normally I would say that staying in the dark alleyway might be a poor decision, I think we will wait here, on guard."
Corwin sets his hand on Wren's shoulder and guides her into the shadows near the door.
"I am certain that if things become...difficult, you will make enough noise to alert me. Corwin says intensely. "We don't need to leave any of our companions in the gutters like these unfortunates."
Rebecca nods. "Normally I would lead the way, but in this instance perhaps someone less conspicuous should take point. Don't need to force a fight unless ncessary."
Waving his mount to the street, Thorfinn motions to Wren and tells her "Guard the girl. I will be back." he nods to Rebecca "For the same reason, I should probably stay to the rear." he loads and cranks his crossbow, ready to provide support to the others.
I don't anticipate that they'll let us avoid a fight, but I suppose there's a chance it might happen. Algund rolls his shoulders a few times, grunting slightly, and then relaxes. He raises his visor, eyes still glowing blue, and rests his glaive gently on his shoulder.
I can take the lead. I'd be more confident in Old Korvosa, the people there know me a bit better, but there's a decent chance that I've got acquaintances who are friends with people inside. Then again, I'm not dressed friendly right now. Algund pats his helmet.
I think it's fine if I do the talking, at least at first, sound good?
Assuming you enter the tavern:
As you push open the door, you come into a large common area, lit by two fireplaces at either end, and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Behind the bar, an obese man with reddened, hanging jowls is cleaning out mugs, with seemingly all his attention focused on them. The air smells of acrid smoke, stale beer, and vomit. Near a door in the back, a drunk half-orc is on his knees, throwing up the contents of his stomach.
The smoke makes your eyes sting somewhat, but you make out about a dozen patrons, most of them with beermugs or bottles in their hands, and almost all of them gathered around several overturned tables arranged in a circle in the center of the common room.
Inside the overturned tables─that function as a makeshift arena─you see a man in a guard uniform struggling on the floor with a large mongrel dog that's sunk his teeth in the man's arm. He's clearly already badly wounded, his face streaked with blood from a headwound, and his uniform soiled and tattered. The growls of the dog and the screams of the man are barely audible above the ear-deafening laughter and jeering of the gathered crowd...
He's still conscious, means he's probably not in immediate danger of dying, not with magical healing available. It's better to take a slow approach, let him suffer a little, if it benefits us in the long run. The thought causes Algund great discomfort, his head cocking to one side slightly and his face freezing into a mask of disapproval. There's worse in the world already, just because you can see this man's suffering doesn't make it matter any more than theirs. It just makes me care more.
Algund shakes his head, clearing his mind of moral questions and focusing on the problem at hand. Too many of them, too large a crowd, they've been drinking, next to no chance that they'll listen to someone asking them to stop. Mediocre to bad odds we can scare them into submission, though perhaps the gryphon might make that possible.
They're distracted, so is the barkeep. Maybe we could put the lights out before anyone knows we're here, push past the crowd and hope to wrestle that dog away? No, the fires are too far apart, not going to be easy to put out either, even if we could drop the chandeliers. Perhaps we could spread those fires around, throw a pint full of oil on them, light the walls and floor. They'd be insane not to run away, assuming that worked out well enough, but then the whole neighborhood would go up in flames, that'd be worse than if we just let this man die. Probably wouldn't work to buy a round of drinks for everyone, seems like they'd rather watch now and drink later.
What about gold on the floor? Two dozen gold coins, scattered about, might cause chaos, each man trying to make a bid for the other man's coins. No way that wouldn't cause a fight, a gold stretches far in this neighborhood. If they're all ganged together they might be more rational, though they are drunk, in which case we'd probably have to fight them, but if they are all allies they we'd have to fight them unless we turned around right now.
All this passes through Algund's mind in a flash just after pushing through the door. He barely slows down, turning backwards as he walks towards the crowd in front of them and spitting out a few quick words. Move quickly. Grab a half dozen gold coins , scatter them across the crowd, and call the others. I'll make for the dog, hopefully they'll be worried about their neighbor stealing their newfound wealth. Algund follows his own advice, palming eight gold coins and checking in with the others for a brief moment to make sure they're on board.
Assuming no one voices dissent
Then he steps to the edge of the crowd and prepares to jump the overturned tables.
Algund strides into the room, tossing a handful of gold coins into the crowd. As the paladin assumed, it has an immediate effect of changing the tone of the crowd as they start scampering across the floor in search of the rolling wealth.
All except one person, a burly, bald man dressed in stained overalls and holding a leash in one hand, approaches you. "I think you entered the wrong place here, pretty boy, are you lost or something?"
In the makeshift arena, the dog continues to maul the poor guard.
You should have a chat with my associates by the door, Algund begins, taking a running leap into the arena with the dog.
Heal: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6 Is he literally about to die, or is he still conscious and fighting?
Not wanting to accidentally hit the man, Algund reaches for the dog, trying to pry open its jaws and pull it off.
Grapple: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Algund vaults over the tables with ease, landing by the dog and the guard. He easily grabs the jaw of the unaware dog, prying him off the guard. He's conscious and fighting, though obviously badly wounded. He scrambles away from you and the dog on hands and feet.
Behind you, the burly man bellows a warning. "Ey now, what gives?! Get im Blaze, bite off his tonkers!"
Grapple: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
You've succesfully grappled the dog, and he's unable to free himself from your grip. What do you, or anyone else, want to do?
What kind of check would it be to throw the dog at the crowd? If I make a regular grapple check I can move it up to 1/2 my speed and put it in any adjacent square, and if that'd be hazardous it gets a free attempt to break at a +4 bonus. That seems related,
but different, I could see you ruling that it'd be harder or easier. Not making any check yet because I'm not sure what it would be.
Should've bought gauntlets... Algund winces, luckily managing to avoid any bites on his hands as he gains control of the dog's shoulders. Should've bought a breyette too, gotta watch my tonkers.
Hey friends at the door, might wanna come a little closer!
Hearing the voice calling out Gadren gave Corwin an exasperated look. "You almost never have to worry about whether you should attack the undead. I miss the Grey District. I'll be back."
Gadren casts shield of faith on himself and starts heading towards the door. Corwin would hear him mumble as he trudged out of the alley. "That escalated quickly."
Love the idea, so let's say a grapple check followed by a Strength check, and we'll see how effective it'll be.
As Gadren enters the seedy tavern, he walks into an explosion of chaos; a lot of people are scrambling on the floor, trying to get their hands on the coin. Several small skirmishes have already broken out, with people wrestling each other over their new-found wealth.
The barkeep is yelling and cursing, and even redder than he was a moment before.
The burly bald guy, obviously the doghandler judging from the leash in his hands, is spurring the dog into a fit of rage. Inside the makeshift arena, he sees Algund has grabbed hold of the dog and is lifting him up off the floor...
Grapple: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28 This is including the +5 for being the controlling grappler.
Strength: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Not worried about the dog biting through his armor, Algund easily manipulates it into a more favorable position, wrapping his arms around its midsection and lifting hard. Oofff, he grunts, the dog is a bit heavier than he anticipated, and he's already slightly off balance...
Algund gets a better grip on the snarling dog, and heaves it away from him. He manages to flip the dog over the tables, and the angry mutt immediately starts snapping and biting at the patrons, who scramble to get away from the creature.
The doghandler starts shouting at the dog, which is clearly to riled up right now to adhere to any commands.
The wounded guard looks up to you, a pleading expression on his blood-streaked face. "G─get me out of here, please!"
Gadren moved over to stand at the opposite side of the man to help escort him out of the room. Seeing the state of the guard he casts cure light wounds on him. He wouldn't look much better, already caked in blood as he was but he should feel the difference.
Healing: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
"It would be a pleasure."
Corwin looks through the doorway for a moment, then down at Wren. "Wren, I think that we will stay here and help from the doorway if we can. I don't like the look of that crowd. I think that the solution here will be talking, rather than steel or magic."
Wren nodded at her father's words, then when he returned his gaze to the doorway and the chaos within, nervously thumbed the edge of her small dagger. This moment was familiar to Wren, hiding in the gloom outside some inn or tavern, looking for the right moment to slip inside.
So many eyes not looking towards their purses... the thought rises unbidden, a sudden desperate need to ensure she has money. Both for her own protection and so she wouldn't go hungry ever again.
She glanced up at her father, then looked around to see if was is another way into the tavern.
Come on, Algund gestures towards the door, leaping back over the tables and landing next to Gadren, glaive once again in hand. Algund is ready to help carry the guard if need be; his mind fixed only on leaving as fast as possible.
The tavern is in chaos, with one half of the patrons struggling to get away from the rabid dog, while the other half is still fighting amongst themselves. The handler is trying to get control over his pet, and the barkeep is nowhere to be seen, maybe fled in a backroom, or hiding behind the bar. After Gadren magically closes some of the wounded guard's worse wounds, Algund helps him upright, causing him to yelp loudly as he tries to stand.
"My leg, it's b─broken, I think," he grimaces in pain.
Gadren and Algund notice that no one is paying them any attention, so a moment later, they find themselves again out in the street.
"Thank you, those madmen would have killed me. They attacked us in broad daylight, everyone's gone mad!" Please, let's get out of here, I need to get back to Volshyenek,"[/b] the guard says.
"Well get you back, and we've apprehended one of your attackers from earlier." Gadren gave the guard a helping hand, supporting him under his other shoulder.
Looking at the group "Let's get him back and leave the guard to process her." This day felt like it had been an age but he wanted this woman in irons and the guard to safety.
Wren eyes the door speculatively, then with a quick glance at her father, moves through the murk to the loading door. She quickly scans the door, looking for trap, latch or lock, and eyeing the hinges to judge the amount of noise they might make.
perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
lol! Well that isn't going to do her much good!
Not sure how much of the Wren subplot Algund sees. I also think it's reasonably likely he could overlook her. It would significantly change his next actions, too.
Gadren will try to put some distance between them and the tavern... just in case the locals get some cohesion back about their missing entertainment. He makes sure that the large woman doesn't try to slink off. He turned to the guard as he helped him move. "What's your name?"
"Jasper," the guard sighs exhaustedly. "My name is Jasper. Thank you for the assistance, I didn't think I would be getting out of there. If I can trouble you a bit more, I would appreciate it if you could help me to Volshyenek."
Making your way out of the seedy Old Dock district, it takes you a few hours to traverse the city, bearing the wounded guard Jasper with you. The city seems to have quieted down somewhat, or perhaps it's because of the early hour. When you eventually reach Citadel Volshyenek, in the Midland district, the early rays of morning start to announce a new day.
The impressive citadel houses the headquarters and main garrison of the Korvosan Guard. Near its gates, two guards bar your way. "Halt! Who goes there?" The guards are obviously nervous, but when they see you are bearing one of their colleagues, their demeanor quickly shifts. Explaining the situation, with Jasper confirming it, they wave you through, with one of the guards escorting you into the central keep. The female prisoner you had with you is quickly shuffled off to a holding cell.
Once there, you are greeted by a dark-haired human woman dressed in red armor, who rises from her desk as you are brought in. She is attractive, but very tired-looking. After a few words from the guard who escorted you in, she quickly commands him to take Jasper to the infirmary.
"Greetings. I am Cressida Kroft, Field Marshal of the Korvosan Guard. Please take a seat, if you're so inclined," she sighs deeply as she sits back down at her desk. "Now, how about you tell me what's happened."
Handouts page updated with Cressida's picture.