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."
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.
"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?"
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?
"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.
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.
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.
"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."
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."
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."
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.
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.
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,
You Break it, you Buy it.
This is neutral ground. Grievances should be taken to the Sheriff
Someone has underlined the last one in red paint.
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?
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.
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.