|Kamlann of Egorian|
Assuming someone gets Kamlann up to speed...
For a long moment, the Chelaxian is silent. At last, though, he mutters, "I honestly don't know which makes me angrier - that the demon-blooded bastard thinks he can just point us off to wherever he wants to send us after what he did, or that I'm seriously considering doing it." He shakes his head. "Piss on it. Let's go. If you're late, Qadiran, don't expect us to wait at the dock for you."
[spoiler=@ Farid]Without making a gather information Diplomacy check - as we've established that you don't have time for - the only person you know of off-hand who might know where to acquire poison is... Gann. Will you heading back to the Dockside Inn, and introducing yourself to Gann after all?
Jelani, will you be accompanying Farid, heading to the docks with Kamlann and Seamus, or doing something else entirely?
A casual glance turns up a couple of likely prospects: a brass bowl (empty) and its partner, a small brass vase (also empty). On the desk itself, a tiny bell (presumably for service).
There are also assorted quills and a vial of ink on the desk - though no papers. A couple of books are stacked on the desk as well, supported by ugly, heavy-looking stone bookends.
Farid's Sleight of Hand check: 1d20 + 11 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 11 + 4 = 30
Attendant's Perception check: 1d20 ⇒ 13
As with the previous party, the attendant searches Farid, briskly.
"Go on up, then. Gann knows who you are, I guess."
Upstairs, a grim man with very dark skin and even darker studded leather armor opens a wooden door at the end of the hall. Beyond, you can see lamplight and the corner of a desk.
Despite looking like he belongs on the back of a mammoth, Gann manages not to look ridiculous behind a desk. Battleaxes and stuffed beasts adorn the walls of the wooden walls. The office looks like a lodge.
"Did you lose a pirate, or are you looking for one?"
Gann's voice is deep, cool, and even-tempered.
"I would like to lose the pirate I did find that is for certain. I am here on unrelated business actually. Unfortunately I do not have much time so let me be brief. I am looking for weapons specifically a crossbow and bolts. Along with the bolts I would also like to purchase something to coat those bolts with. Nothing too deadly just something that would slow an opponent down and give me and edge in combat. From what I understand you are a man who can get your hands on many different things so this request should be of little trouble".
The transaction is remarkably painless. The phrase doesn't get you a crossbow (though the general store that Gann sent you to does sell them quite legally), but nets you a small pot of beets for 90 gold. According to Gann's note, "it takes a lot of beets just to feed one man, so buy a few." You take this to mean that each pot contains only enough posion to put one man down.
How are you paying for the crossbow and poisons (90 gp per dose)? Would you like to retroactively borrow some coin from someone else? Or do you have something you'd like to sell?
Yep, as far as Farid knows Syndir is dead never to return at this point. A light crossbow should work just fine for my ultimate goal even though at this point it is a long way off but better to be prepared as soon as possible. Once that transaction is complete I will head to the Wicked Wench to meet up with the others.
Okay, Syndir should mark 71 gold off of his character sheet.
Kamlann and Seamus arrive at the docks together, both men's bodies still aching with the memories of Sen Dendragon's crossbow bolts - despite magical healing. Farid and Jelani are so far absent, and the shrine's healer is (presumably) attending to Syndir's remains.
The Wicked Wench is anchored exactly where Dendragon's notice said it would be. Though billed as a shipping vessel (for what shipping company is not immediately apparent), it appears to be a converted warship. In fact, Seamus is quite sure that it is. Thuggish guards patrol the dock and guard the ramp while anonymous workmen haul stacked crates on board. Fortunately, no civic or local guards are present.
A bespectacled man in an extraordinarily expensive tunic peers down at the pair from the bowsprit, and the thugs eyeball you as you approach.
Farid, also worse for the wear, takes a roundabout route back to the docks with his crossbow and his beets.
NOTE: The following does not necessarily take place at the same time that Farid, Seamus, and Kamlann are heading out to the docks.
Syndir's eyes snap open, and the young sorcerer gasps for air. Terrible images race through his mind's eye even before his senses can register the condition that he's in. Images of a skull-moon grinning an idiot grin over a field of dust and bone. A sense of disassociation... of pointless, idiotic despairing. And of pain. Brief, and sharp.
A crossbow... bolt?
A crossbow bolt, and a pier. Damp, not dusty. Not a boneyard. A wooden walkway. Not a boneyard, but a pier. The hunter - Sen Dendragon! "He shot me," comes Syndir's first coherent thought.
"He... no. No. He killed me."
"He killed me."
The dragon within stirs. Roars. But even that is drowned out by what Syndir feels next, as his senses return. Syndir is disturbed to realize that the dragon seems... small. Feeble. Fully awake now, Syndir realizes several things. First: he is sick. He feels terrible. He feels less. Enervated and ill and disconnected from the dragon, and the magic that runs through his blood. Second: he is naked, and prone, in a dimly-lit room. There is a man standing over him.
A female voice from... somewhere else says:
"Lay still a moment longer. You'll feel better very soon."
As the roar filled his ears in almost a plea for help and visions of dust and despair became reality; Syndir sat straight up and retched violently. Realization of reality hit like a dousing in ice cold water and he knew deep down that something went wrong...really, really wrong...that man isnt Farid...or the dour priest...what was his name anyways...feck, is this hell?..i had really hoped the after life wouldnt start like this...you there wyrm?..or am i all alone?..
He thought to strike at the man and flee but his sickness demanded otherwise as he convulsed for a spell. He knew he coudlnt kill a kitten at the moment and that scared him more than being dead would for some reason. The lady's voice didnt promise violence though so maybe there was a chance.
Syndir's Spellcraft: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
The man standing over you weaves a spell, and suddenly you feel much more yourself...
And that's when your mother - (human as can be, just like the paintings you've seen depict her) - steps into view, looking down over you. The female voice belongs to her.
The shock over finally seeing his flesh and blood mother stole the words from his mouth for quite some time. Well, that and having to think long and hard about being dead! That kind of thing is cause for some serious reflection. When he finally spoke it was a hoarse croak at first.
Mo..mother? Died? I dont remember the River Styx or a tunnel with a white light at the end. What happened after that then? How did you find me? Where have you been?
His voice gained strength as curiosity overtook shock.
The striking, red-haired woman watches the spellcaster attending to you with disinterest, as she speaks.
"Indeed, I am your mother, whatever significance you choose to attach to that word. You did stem from my womb, in any case."
The man casting spells on you looses another wave of magic.
Syndir's Spellcraft: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Again, you are at a loss as to what is happening to your body, but you feel immensely good, now. Any sense of having become something less is gone.
"As for white lights and the like, you won't remember much. In a moment or two, you likely won't remember anything about the experience."
Your mother turns away, and nods toward a familiar heap piled up on an extravagant, gold-gilded darkwood chair in the corner. As you turn your head to see your clothes in a pile, the room seems to lurch. It is then you realize that you're on a boat. Below decks on a ship to be precise - and an excessively expensive one, if the gold-inlayed struts and rare, seemingly-magical wood that constitute the walls and floors are any indication.
"Dress yourself, and then we will speak; and before we do, know this:"
The woman looks over her shoulder at you as she strolls gracefully across the room.
"I have many sons, more than you would ever guess. Do not let the great lengths I have gone to today fool you into thinking that I cannot replace you - or give birth to a hundred more sons to take your place. You are in debt to me now. Great debt. I advise that you work hard to remain useful and productive. You may well profit greatly if you do, but you will certianly wish that you had remained dead if you do not."
Syndir is shocked and dismayed - this woman is nothing like the tales you'd heard of the beautiful, fair-skinned foreigner that stole your late father's heart. From the sound of it, she isn't even human.
As the woman takes a seat at the far end of the room, she adds:
"Oh... and forget whichever name it might've been that your father might have taught you. You'll call me by my true name. Aristozobel.
Farid will hold back to watch the encounter between Kamlann and Seamus. He will set a bolt in the crossbow in case this is some sort of set up and they need cover. Farid mutters to himself, "I should just let the pirate perish for what his lack of action did for poor Syndir". Shaking his head to clear out those thoughts he focuses on the man who is truly responsible the trigger man. Not today but one day he will pay...
...Aristozobel...thats pretty enough...
Truth to tell he couldnt for like of him...strange thought there right now... remember what his father called her. Always a frank man Syndir told her this.
He never named you. It was always 'your mother', 'she', and at times 'that harlot' and 'my love' when he was drunk and thought no one was listening but never by a name.
The Qadiran never really cared either. He always felt that she had abandoned him with his abusive father and would have never forgiven her had she not somehow just brought him back from the dead. He did indeed owe her for his life and debts were something he took serious. He thought he owed others a debt as well but the specifics escaped him at the moment.
He took his time dressing. More worried about falling on his face in the rocking boat then any childish thoughts of modesty.
I am most appreciative moth...Arisozobel.
Fully clothed and feeling much more himself he took a seat
at an appropriate distance and prompted a continuation of the conversation.
You mentioned working hard?
|Kamlann of Egorian|
En route, Kamlann retrieves his wand and triggers it twice over the space of two minutes. His wounds are gone by the time the two minutes are passed, but he rather pointedly does not offer to do the same for Seamus.
As they reach the dock, Kamlann studies the ship and its occupants, and his scimitar is most firmly in hand this time. "Fool me once..." he thinks grimly. Coming to a stop some distance from the gangplank, he exchanges a look with Seamus before calling out, "Ho there, the Wicked Wench!"
On the docks: "Haggrathy? is all that the well-dressed man shouts back.
...elsewhere: "Working, yes. To pay your debt... but also to make your fortune."
The woman - your alleged mother - picks up and rings a small hand bell. It chimes, softly.
"Syndir, are you familiar with the concept of the long con?"
Seamus chuckles quietly to himself at Kamlann's pointed avoidance of offering aid. You seems to have made your choice about me. Fair enough, you'll learn how debts, good or bad, are paid in the Shackles soon enough I guess.
At the official's call, Seamus moves forward. I'm Haggrathy!
The long con? No I cant say that I am familiar with the term. I understand the 'con' aspect but the significance of 'long' escapes me.
...i wonder what happened to Farid?..i bet he couldve told me what a long con was...[/i]
On the docks: The gentleman on deck sighs. "You know what to do, then." He nods toward the ramp, as though inviting you up.
Elsewhere: "Then suffice it to say that I adopted the form you see long ago. I think you know that I'm no mortal woman - I think you knew that before we met. But you are mortal, Syndir. And human. I've taken a human shape - truly human - and born a equally human son. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you are something else..."
Likely responding to the hand bell, an adjoining door opens to reveal a familiar face - Jahoum, a longtime servant of House Apep.
As Jahoum enters, your mother finishes her thought.
"...but know that you could be."
Had Syndir not been slightly overwhelmed with his current situation he would have been overjoyed to know that Jahoum had survived his temper tantrum at the Apep House. As he was though he was dwelling on Aristozobel's words and their import...something else than human?..does she know of the hissing voice?..of the reptile that crawls through my psyche?...
Could be? That doesnt exactly sound promising. Go on. Whats this have to do with a long con?
"You're looking at the con, Syndir. This shape - more or less as human as human gets - is the con."
Aristozobel lights the oil lamp on the end table adjoining her couch. Until now, you didn't realize how dim the room was. In clear light, your mother is clearly Varisian, though her features are stern and weathered. Her fiery red hair seems to blaze in the bright light, and her equally-red lips curl into a smile.
"Though you are human, the power within you has an inhuman source. I am that source, and you know what I am, I think. Haven't you always? Say the word aloud and confront what you already know. Name the source of your sorcery, child. Speak it."
Syndir wished fervently that he could deny what his 'mother' was saying but deep down he just couldnt...deep down hatchling?.. He crushed the voice with his Id not wanting to be distracted at the moment.
...there, there that wasssnt ssso bad wasss it?..
...youre a dragon and your reptilian blood slithers through my veins and claws at my psyche.
Now seated and very much alive; Syndir was finally starting to relax.
At the Docks:
Looking you over with the tasteful hint of a frown, the wealthy official replies. "Your, er, quarters are below decks. Actually, your quarters are below decks. Any place you can find to lay your head. Cots and sleeping sacks are all over - grab one. Whole thing was sort've last-minute."
Elsewhere: "Dragon," Aristozobel repeats.
"Cunning, sorcerous, powerful, and posssessed of tremendous potential. And yet, human. Short-lived, weak, and destructible. So you are."
Jahoum waits patiently, and seems impassive and unsurprised by the nature of the dialogue between Syndir and his mother.
"But... expendable?" Aristozobel smiles.
"Well, that's up to you. You burned down my estate - one of them. That is no matter... I was long since finished with your father and with Jahoum's help I was able to turn a profit from the event. I was content to let you live free until the time came - if ever it might've - that I required action on the part of one of my sorcerous sons. At the least, I would've given your power more time to grow."
Her rust-colored eyes narrow.
"But then a rather extraordinary investment of mine went missing. An investment so mind-bogglingly expensive that it'd break your heart to hear the cost. An elixir. THE elixir - the one they only brew in Thuvia. And no sooner does the shipment go missing en route - lo and behold - does my estate burn to the ground and does my son disappear with one of the House servants. From the very estate where my shipment ought to have arrived."
"Of course, none knew of the significance of the package. At least I thought not. Strange, then, that the divinations for which I paid so dearly should reveal that my son and the missing servant are travelling with a priest of Nethys who also happens to hail from Pashow, in Thuvia. The very origin point from which my elixir left Thuvia."
"So. I hired a conjurer - a conjurer of cheap tricks, as it turns out - to bind an assassin to subdue you. The sandman that you bested. And yet in the days since, further divinations seemed to reveal no involvement on your part, or Farid's. Could it all be an amazing set of circumstances? A Desnian joke of fate? I know not."
Your mother observes you coldly.
"Perhaps you do?"
NOTE: The exact timeline for the backstory events of the campaign - which I have deliberately left vague until now - do put the fire just after the missing sun orchard elixir shipments from Thuvia.
Syndir was well aware of just how destructible he was. He made aware of just how inadequate his skills and power were that day in a town he couldnt even remember the name of. He'd been beaten, cursed and killed all within a couple of hours. He had much to learn.
A priest of Nethys you say? I was indeed in such a persons company up until the moment I met my end. Although our contact was very brief and Id say quite the coincidence. He was in the tavern where we first stopped and probably only made my acquantance because of your sandman attacking the lot of us. He never mentioned any elixir, thats for sure. I would know him upon sight if necesary.
He had no feelings of debt to Jelani and didnt doubt that the man had hidden things from him...then again, we all had our secrets, didnt we?..
What of Farid?
|Kamlann of Egorian|