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Getting the Band Back Together

Game Master Mowque


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Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

She'd have focused on teaching him how to dodge and parry. Mechanically, I suppose she'd be trying to get him a Swashbuckler's Panache pool with the 'Dodging Panache' move.

Intelligence: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7

"I am nervous," the halfling admits, twisting her fingers around her holy symbol. "Afraid, even. But I was taught that bravery isn't the absence of those things, but the act of overcoming them. Being nervous is not a fault."

The paladin thinks for a moment as she regards Trilla, then says, "You know - it's never, ever too late to change professions. You haven't been doing this long, I know. I suppose I haven't either." Tatalia smiles up at Trilla. "But you're a good person, I think, like everyone aboard this ship. Just remember that your feet are never chained to one path, no matter what has happened or what choices you've made. You can always find another if you wish to."

After this conversation with Trilla is done, Tatalia will go find Bronwen and make sure she knows Tatalia's plans (meeting with the Bellflower Network to see if they can arrange their entry in return for helping them). Tatalia really hopes that if anyone has access to the gear they'll need to stay hidden in the city, it's the Bellflower Network.


Farnell tries to follow along, but having no experience with a blade, he does little except fall on his face a few times. The boy seems unworried though and confidently assure Tatalia that he'll be a great warrior like her, before long.

Talking with Trilla, the young sailor cocks his head, "What do you mean? I enjoy my life here. Yes, sometimes I'm afraid or worried, but the Captain is a smart man, and it is very free out here. Beats fishing, I can tell you that."

Tatalia finds Bronwen near the prow, gazing at the now nearly invisible, dark shrouded shore. Slowly the Slippery Elm is headed toward, weaving among rocks that the halfing can't even see.

When Tatalia mentions the Bellflower network Bronwen shrugs, 'If you think that is best, but I do caution you against being recruited. They will be needy and a warrior like yourself will be a resource they will wish to snap up...Watch yourself."


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

I'll assume that was pretty much the end of the conversation with Trilla, probably with Tatalia just adding something along the lines of 'just keep it in mind'.

"I hope, at least, to use that need to make a fair trade with them. If I can get into the city and rescue some people from slavery while I'm at it, I think... we'll be off to a good start." She almost says 'I think Connac would be proud,' but isn't sure if those are the right words to use around Bronwen.

Either way, Tatalia grips her scabbard with a wry grin, a fancy coming over her for a moment. She curbs her enthusiasm and adds, "Don't worry. As much as I'd love to stay and help the Bellflower Network for a long time, Connac's mission is still our priority. We'll only be doing this to enter the city."

Also, what's the date in-game again?


Making me keep track...*grumbles* Three days since your last journal entry. This is the night of that third day

As the druid and paladin talk the ship is nimbly guided inward of a long, sweeping bay. Whatever rocks or reefs lie below the surface, Luek seems to know them all for Tatalia doesn't hear any scraping or feel jagged rocks.

The shadowy shore ahead is barely visible but Bronwen seems unbothered by it. Mere darkness doesn't seem to bother the elf, even by the standards of her kind.

Finally, in the black of true night, they come up tot he shore. Seemingly sprung out of the rocks and sand, Tatlia can see a small group of huts and buildings clustered together. Looming black rocks shield the town from sight until you are right on top of it. She sees very few fires or other lights.

Luek, pacing the deck, giving orders pauses nearby and says, 'Black Bay. Keep your wits, ma'am. It can be a rough place."

You will never find a more retched hive of scum and villainy

The ship ties up at one of the short docks snaking into the water. The waves here are rougher, making the ship pitch up and down. None of the sailors seems to have any trouble though, jumping down and tying up the ship.


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

"Is there anywhere you'd suggest I go, Captain?" Tatalia asks as she stares at the hidden port with a scrutinizing gaze. Unlike Bronwen,
she does have trouble seeing. "I'll need to find some sort of lodging, if any is available... I won't ask to use the cabin here any longer - you've been more than gracious as a host.

"And then we'll need to arrange that meeting. How soon do you think they'll meet us, if you had to make a wager on that?"


Luek pauses, pondering the somewhat hidden town. "I'd recommend you stay aboard ship, ma'am. There are flophouses and taverns on land, yes, but no place where a lady of your quality should be found."

He turns and smiles, teeth glinting through many hard years at sea. "As for the meeting, I'll take care of that right away, even before I ask about my trade. You can't ask for more then that, can you?"

Bronwen comes up, soft-footed as ever. In the dark she is shadow among shadow. 'Shall we go ashore and see what we can see?"


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

Tatalia seems a bit surprised by the words "lady of your quality." "But I'm -" Tatalia doesn't have time to finish whatever objection she has. The conversation moves on. Either way, she shakes her head and smiles.

"I'll take your advice and sleep in the cabin, though I'd like very much to see more of this place first. Thank you, Captain - and you really are far too generous." However lady-like or unlady-like it may be, the halfling gives the old man a grateful hug (well, as much of a hug as someone as short as she can give) before Bronwen steps out from the shadows.

"We should go ashore, yes," Tatalia agrees, stepping up toward the elf. "It's night, but I think we can spend a few hours out and about before retiring back here to rest."


Luek blushes and heads down the gangway, talking to some tall, skinny man about the ship. Tatalia sees a sizable bag of gold change hands between the men.

Bronwen shrugs, "In a place like this, perhaps night is the time of business?"

Tatlia does note that, unlike she imagined, she doesn't see sailors rushing off to roister or head to taverns. Most stay close to the ship, or on it.

Black Bay itself is dark, and Tatlia sees no sign of habitation. She smells salt, old fish and coal smoke however, wafting on the night breeze.

Anything else? Are you going openly armed or not?


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

"Perhaps," Tatalia says as she makes her way down the gangplank. "I'll admit, I'm glad you're here. I can barely see in this darkness."

Yeah, she's going with her sword strapped to her belt, and she's keeping a hand near the hilt. She's not certain about this place, but she figures people are practically expected to be armed in such a shady locale.


Please make a Perception Roll

Tatlia and Bronwen set off into Black Bay, unsure what to except. What hits the paladin first is the stillness, the quietness. While not overly well traveled, Tatalia knew dockside were usually busy places full of bustling people, merchants, grog-shops and other places. Here though, all was at quiet.

The dark stone street was empty of people, and while a few ships were tied up, there was no sign of life on them. As far as she could tell there were no taverns or shops anywhere near here, only many looming warehouses and storage facilities. There were many of these, stoutly built and firmly locked. Judging by their number and size, Black Bay was the transit point for a sizable quantity of goods.

Huge black rocks thrust up, towering over all the buildings, breaking up the town. The streets are wide, obviously built for carts and wagons. All is empty, quiet. Vast shadows rest in the alleys, creating a strange, weird backdrop for the solid, cold looking buildings.

It is not the quiet of peace however,. but the watchful silence of predators waiting for prey, or the guardian waiting for the trespasser. The empty streets make her feel vulnerable, even with the druid at her side.

In the distance she does hear the sound of people, but can see nothing yet.


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

Making the roll and seeing what happens!

Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28

As she walks, Tatalia's hand slowly drifts from near her sword's hilt to on it. She can't quite place why this is - but it feels necessary.


Ah well, would have been more fun if you failed

Tatalia's heightened senses detect footsteps behind her. She whirls, ready for danger, be it beats or man. Who knows in this strange place? With the agility of a trained warrior she makes an about face and is confronted with...

Farnell. The boy had apparently followed them secretly, off the ship.

He grins sheepishly as she spots him. Bronwen sighs, annoyed.

'Um, hello?"


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

THIS BOY! AGAIN!

It isn't often that Tatalia wears a look that can kill a man, but at the moment, she does. "Farnell!" she snaps in a no-nonsense manner, pulling her hand away from her sword and shaking her finger at him. "You listen here: I told you I'd take you with me some distance, and I will, but you shouldn't have snuck off the ship! Now, tell me why I shouldn't drag you back aboard it by your ear! Right now!"


The boy smiles and is about to give a cocky answer when his eyes glance at the warehouse they have stopped in front of. His face changes to fear and he stammers, 'Because of those men coming at us?"

Tatalia turns again and spots a stout iron door swing open, as four figures march out. All human, they are all heavily armed with swords and cruel looking axes. They form up around the building, giving the three of them hard looks. The leader, a tall, well-dressed fellow with the pale skin and dark hair of the Chelish, steps forward and says, "Why are you stopping in front of our building? Who are you?" His accent is refined, educated, not what she expected.


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

"It's merely circumstantial," Tatalia explains, holding a hand up with as polite a smile as she can muster. "My name is Tatalia, and my companions and I don't intend to bother you. If you would lower your weapons, please?"

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (6) + 12 = 18


The man coolly eyes Tatalia and her group, lingering on the shadowy druid. It does occur to the paladin that Bronwen probably looks the image of a magical thief.

The weapons do not lower, but instead are raises and gripped tighter. 'Move along then and know we have our eye on you. This is our territory and we don't need malingerers."


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

Tatalia begins leading the others away from the warehouse. She stops only for a moment to remind Farnell, "I'm still going to have to drag you back by the ear," giving him a narrow-eyed look. "This isn't funny!"

Tatalia focuses, then glances over to Bronwen. "Is there something you're looking for here? Or should I start dragging him back?"


They don't get far when Tatalia stops to re-consider the boy. She can feel silent eyes watching them, judging them, from every shadow and every sealed door. For a second she wonders what type of goods are behind the doors, what treasures.

Bronwen glances at her, then the boy and shrugs, "We should explore the town. Maybe we will find people, I think I hear voices ahead. The boy is a distraction," she says coldly, 'If he wishes to have an adventure, let him join us. Splitting up may be be unwise."


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

Tatalia squints at Bronwen, then at Farnell. "Alright," she says slowly, "but if you try running off again I'll do the ear thing, mark my words. I will!"

Tatalia can't see very well in the dark, so she follows behind Bronwen, doing her best to keep Farnell directly in front of her and in sight as often as possible. Inwardly, she knows she could use her lantern, but wonders if perhaps that would be a bad idea.

I'm assuming there are pretty much NO other lights around, right?


The boy nods and acts contrite but Tatalia can tell he is simply excited at getting to go on this adventure with a real live hero like the halfling paladin.

Nope, no lights. Folks in Black bay like being hidden.

Tatalia sees no restaurants, taverns, grog-shops or even brothels. The quiet and tenseness is unnerving. They they come into a large, roughly paved square. A huge black rock looms over it, cutting a jagged hole in the sky and casting it in even darker shadow then the rest of town.

Shut and closed buildings surround the square, silently watching, except for one. It is a large building, solidly built, with several floors and makes Tatalia think of a bank or a jail. But here there is warm, buttery light and the sounds of talking, eating, drinking, even a bit of laughter.

The door is open, the only open door Tatalia has seen. Smoke coils from one of the many chimneys, lost in the darkness.

Bronwen looking at the square says, 'An auction block and benches. I wonder what they sell here."


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

A thought flashes through Tatalia's mind and she grimaces. "I pray it's not what I imagine, or I would be forced to act." Nevertheless, she starts toward the door, her stomach grumbling. "I hope two coppers are enough for something to eat..."


Bronwen shrugs but Farnell whispers, "Do you have enough for all of us?"

The broad porch is empty, and doesn't have the usual set of smoking chairs and benches common to most taverns. Also oddly, Tatalia sees no sign or name of the Inn.

Inside is a scene very similar, if much larger, then in the tavern at Cyremium. A very large common room, dotted with roaring fires (with slowly turning spits set on them) and filled with tables. Tatalia notes the tables seem to be clumped in little clusters instead of uniformly spread out, forming little islands.

There is no bar, apparently the food and liquor being brought out of a closed kitchen, which sports a very solid iron-banded door.

A set of wide stairs leads upstairs.

As they enter a skinny, wiry man with a wiry black beard and a shaved head spots them. Instantly he focuses on Tatalia and scowls saying, in a heavy Chelish accent, 'Runts sit over there." He waves to a collection of tables filled with halflings (but not exclusively). Tatalia also notes that other groups of tables have halflings, in lesser amounts.


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

When you say other groups of tables, you mean ones that have lots of other people (humans) around them, right? I'll post I know the answer.


There are a wide mix of races, everything from teiflings to humans to halflings (even a dwarf or two). The tables the man waved to seem to mostly consist of halflings but there are halflings at other tables as well. Does that make sense?


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

Yep, that's all I needed to know! Hopefully the dice favor me,
because Tatalia is from Andoran and eff the Chelish rules! RAAAGH!

Tatalia smiles up at the man and none-too-subtly taps at her longsword. "Well, I thank you for the invitation, but I believe we can find our own place to sit, sir."

Intimidate: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16


Putting some of her hate of Cheliax into her voice, the paladin's usual musical voice turns harder and more grating. The man's eyes widen a bit at the size of her blade and the menace in her voice. Then he looks more closely, "I don't recognize you, who are you with? What set?"

At this, Tatalia notices a few other people idly look over at them, appraising.

Above the door, on the inside, is a large notice scrawled in sticky black tar. It is copied in a few languages (Tatlia sees one in halfling). It reads as follows,

No Fights.

You Break it, you Buy it.

This is neutral ground. Grievances should be taken to the Sheriff

NO FIGHTS

Someone has underlined the last one in red paint.


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

Tatalia's glance flicks to the sign, then back at the man. She answers very simply, "I will not answer any of those questions. I will sit down where I choose and share a meal with my compatriots. You will not ask any further questions except what sort of booze I would like on my table. Are we clear, sir?"


The man shrugs, "Your funeral, runt."He sits down on a tall stool, leaning back against the wall, eyes on her.

A few more of the denizens have turned to Tatalia, eyeing her casually, speculatively. She has the feeling everyone new who comes in here gets this same treatment. She can feel the rough sawdust under her feet, smell the tobacco from a dozen pipes, taste fresh meat on the air.

Ok, where do you sit?


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

Tatalia turns her head and glances back at Bronwen and Farnell before she makes her decision.

Just wanting to see their reactions/expressions, or anything Bronwen might say.


Farnell looks scared, excited, awed and terrified all at the same time. The paladin wonders if he is about to explode.

Bronwen eyes her mysteriously but she sees a hint of respect there, and agreement that while stealth is good, character counts for a great deal more sometimes.

Tatlia sees six main clusters of tables, closely grouped together. The ares between seem heightened and tense, like the borders of wary nations. One is dominated by halflings, another by teiflings, a third by formal looking humans, and one by men wearing dark robes and full black masks.

Along the back wall are a series of tables and chairs more haphazardly mixed, with less of a clear sense of organization.


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

Tatalia gives the wiry man with the shaved head one last cold look, then starts toward the back of the room. She chooses a table that's on the 'border' between the halflings and the more haphazardly mixed group - just deep enough in the haphazard group to be not where the Chelish man told her to go.


Are you openly wearing your holy symbol or not?

Tatalia gets stares from both groups as she walks back through the room. The air between the areas is nearly electric with tension, but she feels this is the usual feeling here. A not-so quiet peace.

As she finds a seat, one of those in the motley collection in the back eyes her openly and squints. A black bushy beard, grimy hat, salt-lined clothes mark him as a man of the sea. He pats a bench next to himself in invitation. She notes most of the people in that 'motley' section have a maritime, sailor look about them.

The halfling's eye her carefully but say nothing and do not approach.


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

Uhhhh... Whoops. Guess who was wondering why the thread wasn't updating and only just now realized it was I who was supposed to post all along? XD

No, her holy symbol is tucked beneath her tunic and armor. The chain on which it normally dangles is probably visible, though.

Tatalia makes note of the invitation she's offered by the bushy-bearded sailor, then looks to her companions. "I'll be back," she says to them before passing her two coppers to Farnell. "That should be enough for a spot of bread and water," she whispers quietly. Then she admits, "It's all I have left." Finally, she looks to Bronwen and says, "Please keep an eye on him for me."

With that, Tatalia makes her way over to the table with the salty old sailor.


I hate it when that happens

Bronwen gives Tatalia an unhappy look and scowls at the boy. Clearly the elf doesn't care for children.

When Tatalia reaches the black-bearded man, he grins and says, in a thick Absalomi accent, "If ye be a sailor, I'm a sea cow. What brings a lady liek you to a place like this? Spin me yer yarn." With some skill he hooks a chair and slides it over to her (rapping the halfing on her knees.). To her surprise she notes the chair is made for her small size.


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

"Well..." Tatalia tries to find the best way to answer the question without revealing too much information. After chewing on it, she decides to say:

"I have been traveling to fulfill the final wishes of a dear friend, the nature of which I should not say. But I needed passage by sea, and there was a captain willing to take me aboard. Fortunate, perhaps, because several days into our journey, we encountered pirates..."

Tatalia will take this opportunity to tell a tale of the battle with the pirates without giving away any names, making sure to make it sound fantastic and grandiose.

Perform (Oratory): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (7) + 12 = 19


The seaman, (surely a smuggler?) takes in her story carefully then he nods, "Aye, you've been afloat at least, and it is a good yarn. Surprised it didn't end with alot of stretched necks, but that is landsmen for you."

He raises his tankard, full of watered down grog, "My name is Foghult. Nice to meetch ya. But I was more curious why you are in this place in particular. If you aren't a pirate or smuggler, there is little else in Black Bay, especially at night."


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

"Tatalia is mine," responds the halfling with a smile, holding her hand out. "And I suppose it can't hurt to say that I'm doing one last favor for a very dear friend. I'm not certain if I should say more, at least in so public a place."

May I take 10 on Sense Motive? Both for him and for the room in general? Total = 15.


Tatalia looks around but detects little. Foghult seems honest and forthright enough, for a smuggler in this place. The room itself is fill with tension between the tables, and a few are covertly looking at her.

"Well, if ye need a place to sit, ya can sit back here with the Free Traders. None o' the other sets would welcome you, I think." The man says, nodding, "They be very clannish."


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

"I think I'll do that," answers the halfling with a smile. "But is there more you can tell me about this place and these groups? 'Clannish' seems the right word, indeed."


The man grins, 'Black Bay is 'n odd place, and that is saying something. I've docked in ever' port from here to Eleder and never saw nothing like it." he takes a long draft from his mug then wipes his face with the back of a dirty hand.

He points to the halflings, "That be the Bellflower folks. Very quiet types, stick to themselves. I expect you know all about them all ready seeing as you're half-size yourself."

He says the racist remark without rancor and moves on, and waves a hand at the formally dressed humans. 'The Noble Quarter, made up of the less popular Chelish nobility. The one's kicked out after the devils took over, you ken?"

Another drink and he juts his chin to the tielfing, who seems to be appraising Tatalia openly, "Shifty bunch that one, watch yourself. The Coiling Tail, big on magic items. I do most of my dealings with them, actually. My 'set' you might say, although I wouldn't trust 'im as far as I could toss them off my bow."

Then he lowers his voice and only barely shifts his eyes to the dark robed and masked table. 'The Council of Thieves. Less said, the better."

Then Foghult grins, revealing a few gold teeth, "Those are the bigun's but there are a few other petty Sets about. So, what was that information worth> Got any news, any inside information for the Auction tomorrow?"


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

As Foghult speaks, Tatalia can't help but regard some of the groups in the room. She glances toward the Bellflower Network's representatives more than once, and toward the nobles and the Coiled Tail. She makes a few mental notes about each of those groups.

And, of course, the halfling does not seem comforted by the mention of a 'Council of Thieves.'

Taking 10 on Knowledge (Local) and Knowledge (Nobility) for a 17 and 16 respectively - what information does that tell me about the groups he's mentioned? Also, taking 10 on Perception to make sure Farnell hasn't run off and done something disastrous again, or that Bronwen isn't strangling him.

Tatalia offers a sincerely apologetic look when the old sea dog finishes. "Your information is worth more than I can offer as of now, Mr. Foghult," she says quietly, "but I will try to find a way to repay your friendliness. Perhaps, if you wish, I could mention your name to someone I know who has a ship to sell...

"However..." Her brow furrows, and she asks with curiosity, "May you make clear how this Auction works? I would rather make certain I understand it in full before I make poor decisions."


Local: Tatalia has never heard of any of these games before except for the semi-legendary Council of Thieves. In the stories, they seem to rule Westcrown from the shadows, a vast and powerful conspiracy of thieves and criminals. Frankly, the paladin had always assumed they were a myth.

Nobility: The halfling knows that when the current Diabolist government took over, many formerly powerful Chelish noble families were removed from authority. She had always assumed they had been killed or exiled, but she supposed smuggling in Black Bay was a little of both.

She spots Farnell and Bronwen eating at a small isolated table, trying not to disturb anyone. They look uncomfortable but safe enough.

At her question Foghult raises an eyebrow, 'Are you a total greenhorn?"

Then he settles back, sipping his grog as he speaks, "All the trade He means smuggled goods for Westcrown comes through Black Bay but Westcrown is the smugglers port for all of Cheliax so alot o' stuff comes through here. About half, say, is already spoken for, some Set has a captain and market in mind. We never see that stuff, it gets brought here, loaded and sent off. But the rest, well, that is were we Free Traders come in. See, tomorrow they will auction of all the unspoken for stuff they got stacked up in wharehouses and pens. It is a big show, all done in that fancy square out there. And all of us traders sit 'n watch and bid on the cargoes as they are brought up. All srtos 'o things from slaves to food. Quite a show!"


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

At this point, I believe I will be forced to make a Bluff check to NOT respond visibly to the word 'slaves' at the end.

Bluff: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15

There is a touch of a grin on the young paladin's face at first when she's asked if she's a 'total greenhorn.' That she made onlookers believe she was not one for a while puts a touch of amusement to her face.

But her mirth is given pause. There is a twitch in the halfling's face at the mention of slaves being sold at the auction. It's the sort of thing that may go unnoticed by the casual observer, but someone with a little luck, skill, or who's actively searching to see what she does might notice.

"Well, I consider myself enlightened," she says to the old sailor. "Thank you."

After that, Tatalia will try and share a bit of small-talk and get a little more general knowledge about Black Bay, but when that is done she'll rise from her seat and thank him again politely. Then she'll go and approach Bronwen and the boy and tell them, quietly, "Let's return to the ship now."

She plans on returning to the ship to make sure Farnell is safe and then to discuss a certain slave-related matter with Bronwen.


After a bit of small talk, where Tatalia exposes her ignorance of things maritime, she excuses herself.

The elf and the boy seem well enough and they go back out in the dark streets. Bronwen doesn't seem pleased at being saddled with baby sitting but her tone is polite enough when she asks, 'What have we learned?"

With care, they head toward the docks and the Slippery Elm.


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

Tatalia waits to discuss the matter until they are well away from the building, but then begins to explain what she's learned in full to Bronwen. She talks at length of the different groups, of the auction, and then, finally, of the slaves being held there.

"...and it's because they keep and sell slaves that YOU will be staying aboard the ship if I have to tie you to the mast!" she tells Farnell with a shake of her finger as they step onto the Slippery Elm. "You're clever and you're adventurous, and I can't say those are bad traits, but this time I need you to stay here so I don't have to tell your parents that you got sold to some Chelaxian slaver!"

Once she's chased him off toward his usual sleeping place, Tatalia turns to Bronwen. "I don't plan on letting a slave auction happen right under my nose," she tells the elf. "I don't want to be a fool about it either, but I will not stand idly by. We need to get in touch with the Bellflower Network immediately and see if we can arrange... something through them. Surely they must have a plan.

"And before you say it," she adds with a raised hand, "I know it's a distraction from our mission. But if I ask myself 'What would Connac do?' I know he would put every ounce of energy into freeing them."


Bronwen doesn't have time to reply as Luek strides up, looking refreshed and happy. Business must have went well.

'I have arranged your meeting." he says expansively, 'With the member of the Bellflower. It is scheduled for tomorrow, during the Auction. Might be a bit chaotic, but that was the best he could do. What did you think of the city? An unusual place, isn't it?"


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

Tatalia doesn't respond to Luek's question immediately. "You may have been right that it isn't for me," she says slowly. "I'll meet with the Bellflower representative gladly - will you still be in port, or do you plan to be gone by then?"


The smuggler shakes his head, 'Even if I wanted to leave you, which I don't, I have to stay in town till after the Auction. We will be bidding on some items of course." he nods and adds, 'Will you be in town long? If so, I can do some local runs, stop in frequently until you are ready to move on. As I said, Connac was a good man and I am happy to help his...." He pauses and Tatalia has a feeling he almost said 'daughter' but says, "friend." He says this to include the still silent Bronwen.


Female Halfling Swashbuckler (Mouser) 1 / Paladin (Oath of the People's Council) 4
Defenses/Stats/Resources:
HP 31/40 | AC 24 T 16 FF 20 | Fort+11 Ref +13 Will+10 | Initiative +4 | Perception +8 | Sense Motive +5 | Bardic Performance Rounds 8/14 | Lay on Hands 4/6 | Panache 4/4

A smile can't help but edge up the corners of the halfling's mouth, and she seems to appreciate the Captain's helpfulness and his tone. "We'll be in town at least until the Auction is over, I think," answers Tatalia, folding her arms behind her back. She steps a little closer to speak more quietly, adding low enough that only the three of them can should hear, "There will be slaves being sold at the Auction tomorrow, I've learned, and I don't think I can leave them to their fate in good conscience. I will meet with the Bellflower agent, and by some means try to do something for them. I wanted to make certain you had fair warning, in case things go awry."

With her smile turned sad and eyes to match, the little paladin takes a deep breath and continues: "Hopefully everything will go smoothly and we won't have to do anything too brazen. Where did the Network wish to meet exactly?"


Luek's eyes widen a bit, 'Of course there will be slaves, this is Cheliax....What do you mean by 'go awry'? I'm not a big fan of the slave trade myself and you'll find no chains or extra bulkheads below, but you can't start a fight here, you'll be over matched. There are deep interests here..."

Bronwen breathes, 'Yes, what do you mean by 'awry'?"

At her last remark he says, "They have a little place just off the Auction Square." Luek gives Tatalia directions she can easily follow. "Knock three times on the blue door, password is 'Farmer'."

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