Lucendar's CoT PbP....TakeTwo!

Game Master Lucendar

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Male Gnome Oracle / 2; HP: 18/21, AC: 15/13/13, F+2/R+2/W+3, Perc +2, Init +4

Tuktuk leaves the funeral saddened for the loss of Gregor, who truly seemed to be a man of honor and a genuine hero. He also feels bolstered by the words of Pallius, and he has to control a spring in his step so as not to seem to conspicuous.

The gnome heads back to his uncle's shop, where he spends the late morning and afternoon seated at his work bench, using painfully short strokes of his razor sharp knife to shape his small but intricate works of art. This one, a chariot with driver, bowman, and large, spoked wheels, was a special piece requested by a local judge who was a collector of anything related to military history.

He takes a break for lunch, and brings a dense bread and smoky cheese to his small copse of trees...his island of serenity in life, for a lunch with Penny, his cousin. The girl was young, naive, and full of vibrant hope. She was a welcome breath of fresh air to the gnome, who had just recently become so jaded.

He whittles away the time...quite literally, until he needs to leave for the meeting of like minds. He packs everything that he can think of, but can't help but think that he's missing something as he makes his way to the Crossed Swords.

HP 5/16, AC 11/11/10, F +2, R +1, W +4, Init +2, Per +0

Marcello bids farewell to the woman beneath the hood, pulls his own over his head, and leaves the Iomedaean graveyard, heading north out of the civilized section of town. The further north he travels, the less savory the neighborhood becomes, and the more infrequent the Hellknight patrols are visible. Eventually, he finds himself at the door to a flophouse somewhere in the narrow and crooked streets of the Rego Crua, invisible amongst the pesh-pushers, prostitutes and cutthroats.

He enters the building, ignoring the few people that congregated in the dingy and poorly-lit common room. They paid him the same notice. He climbed to the second story, and knocked at a door at the end of the hall. "It is Marcello, nonna. Please, open the door." His voice is quiet and solemn, almost weary.

Silence answered at first, though he eventually heard the familiar scrape of a chair against a bare wood floor, and slow footsteps. The door was unlocked, and opened by a withered old man, wearing a faded military uniform from decades ago. His eyes are rheumy, and it takes him a moment to recognize Marcello. "Come in, nipote," rasps the old man. "Before someone else does." He moves aside, and Marcello enters, closing the door behind him.

The old man heads back to where he was seated, sitting facing a grimy window, watching the people walk up and down the Rego's streets. "Look at them," he said. "Desperate, mewling, afraid. That's what Westcrown has become. We were a proud people - Cheliax controlled the parts of Golarion worth controlling, back before everything went to Hell. Now look at us. The pride of Cheliax. Murdering each other in the street for a few coins." He shook his head, and continued to look out.

Marcello knelt down before his grandfather. "I know, nonna. The Thrice-Damned House of Thrune sold away our freedom in exchange for the power that the Dark God could bring. But I've listened to your stories. I've listened to the way things were when your father was still alive. Is it not too late? Can we not change the way things are?"

The old man's lower lip quivered slightly. "You dream, boy. No, the Asmodeans are too entrenched in Cheliax. Save Aroden returning, nothing will excise him. This cancer is too deep."

"Then not Cheliax, but at least Westcrown!" Marcello cried, quickly lowering his voice as he realized how animated he had become. "I have met a few people, nonna. They want to help the people of Westcrown in ways the Hellknights either cannot or will not. My friend, Gregor...he was among them. He died last night, trying to save people he had never met. I owe it to him to see what can be done. If anything good can come from my blasphemous birth, then let it be this."

The old man sat impassively, staring out the window. "Do what you must, boy," he said, quietly. "It matters not to this old soldier. My fight ended years ago."

Silence returned to the tiny apartment. Marcello adjourned to the corner of the place that he called his own, and he opened a small footlocker. Inside was a wooden box, painted white. He opened it, and removed a silver necklace. Dangling from this was a stylized longsword with a starburst hilt. He put this on, kissed the blade, then tucked it beneath his shirt - for a slight moment, he thought he felt a burning sensation as the symbol touched his flesh, but the feeling passed as soon as it came. He spent some time in silent prayer to the Inheritor, then put the box away and closed the footlocker. After all this, it was time to meet the others. He went to the door, reached for the handle, and stopped.

"Goodbye, nonna." He waited from some sort of response from the old man, but never received one. He sighed in disappointment, opened the door, and left to head towards the Crossed Swords.

Male HP: 11/22 AC 16/13/13: F+5, R +6, W+3, Per:+7, Init: +3

Lhuar is more determined than ever to free the city from its current situation. He knows however that Gregor may not be the last to fall, but each fallen ally will only push harder. He does not try to think of words to motivate him, because no words are needed, and no words will help. He pushes the thoughts of Gregor from his mind, and replaces them with all the citizens who suffer currently. A scowl forms on his face as he makes his way to the inn, struggling to remember this is not a quest for vengeance, but one for righteousness.

Male HP: 11/14 AC: 14/12/12 F: +1 R: +4 W: +2 Per: +4 Init: +2

Will make a post tomorrow morning..super tired right now.

Male HP:09/21 AC: 16(18HS)/11/15(17HS) F: +5 R: +1 W: +0 Per: +0 Init: +2

Pallius spends his time wandering the city streets, waving greetings to people as he goes (and keeping his other hand on his money pouch!). Eventually his feet take him in the direction of the abandoned Le Grange estate, stopping to breathe in the familiar air he knew as a boy.

After its owners desertion, the grounds were soon overrun by the flora that had been so diligently kept at bay by the servants and the manor itself had seen better days. Fading colors and moss covered windows now marred what was once the refuge/prison Pallius and his conspirators had before they scattered like leaves once the tree of Le Grange was gone. With a swift prayer at the entrance, "Gods above, keep my friends safe. I'll do what I can to help." Pallius heads back towards the livelier streets.

He then asks one of the locals for directions to a scrivener with the aim to fulfill at least one of Gregor's final requests. Entering the establishment he states: "I need a letter sent to Egorian."

The scrivener, a gnome male of some 75 years by the name of Janku, looks at a map and says "Egorian, that's about 150 miles away up the Adivian River. That'll be six gold and will take about 7 days to deliver."

Male HP:09/21 AC: 16(18HS)/11/15(17HS) F: +5 R: +1 W: +0 Per: +0 Init: +2

Tapping his pouch, "Done, it should be sent to Lucia Arcadis. The message being...." As he pauses, thinking it over in his head. "Your brother Gregor has passed, helping those who could not help themselves. He was interred this day 16th of Neth, in the Westcrown cemetery."

Janku sighs, "Sorry to hear it, my condolences. These types of letters are becoming more and more common in these times." He pockets the gold and starts making preparations.

You all arrive at the Crossed Swords tavern at around 5:00 pm and see the regulars, including Lou and Zeke and April, the young blond serving girl. You are directed to sit at a table especially reserved and prepared for you in a side dining hall of the tavern. Zeke comes up and says, "Please sit and enjoy your meal, there is much to discuss this night."

Male Gnome Oracle / 2; HP: 18/21, AC: 15/13/13, F+2/R+2/W+3, Perc +2, Init +4

Tuktuk nods his thanks to Zeke and pulls up a seat, his eyes scanning the tavern. Due to the very nature of these "discussions", he's obviously on edge, and his eyes flit about nervously, looking for anyone who seems out of place. As the others filter in, he greets them with a smile that starts off shaky, then becomes more confident with each arrival of a fellow conspirator.

Perception, looking for anyone out of place...i.e. not regular
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13

Female HP: 8/8 AC: 12/12/10 F:1.R:2.W:2 Per: +0 Init: +2

Naeli finds a place near the end of the table. With practiced care, she sits facing the doorway. This should be an interesting discussion. I'll need to make time to come clean with the party. After, perhaps...

Male HP: 11/22 AC 16/13/13: F+5, R +6, W+3, Per:+7, Init: +3

Lhuar makes sure to get something to eat before heading to the tavern. It is hard to concentrate on an empty stomach. Once he arrives he sits down as instructed, eager to have this meeting so that he can move forward and commit his thoughts to action.

Male HP: 11/14 AC: 14/12/12 F: +1 R: +4 W: +2 Per: +4 Init: +2

After the funeral, Jerod bade a farewell to the others and promised to meet them at the Crossed Swords at the indicated time.

The actor picks his way through the streets of the Rega Scripa, nodding and having a short chat with a few friends he recognizes along the way. When he hits the border of the Rego Pena, he cuts his way East and strays a wide birth from the sealed and haunted Dalvahaven Pathfinder Lodge. Finally, as he nears the waters of one of three rivers that slices through Westcrown, he spies the walled and well-kept Winstrom estate, set against a flattering canvas of clear blue sky and calming waters. As a child, he would sit in his room often and face the window overlooking that river, writing away in his journal as he did so.

Approaching the gate, Jerod removes a key from his coat pocket and lets himself in; the gate is unmanned and unguarded, as it always was. The Winstroms never made enemies, and were often sought after for their particular skill set. Perhaps that will all be coming to an end soon, he mused to himself. Might have to hire someone to keep an eye out for trouble. He continued through the garden and eyed the ornate raven's hood knocker before proffering the key necessary to unlock the oaken door.

Slipping inside, the man removed his coat, placing it on the chair nearby, and called out, "I'm home. The funeral was...well, as one would expect." Off to his right, the seductive and warm aroma of freshly baked goodberry muffins came calling from the kitchen. Before he could focus on what was truly important, however, a familiar but hard face approached from the opposite room, the voice practiced and flat but not without a hint of emotion.

"Ah, the Master Jerod returns. I trust all is well, sir?" came Jensen, the majordomo of the last 35 years to the Winstrom family. He was aged but quite apt at his craft, and while he worked tirelessly, nary a day went by without every task being completed, as if by magic. The man stood there, solid despite his years, a black-suited silhouette of unmoving service and oft-helpful advice. Though he kept his emotions always in check, Jerod could tell the man was good and cared deeply for their family, even if he might never admit it in such a personal way.

"Jensen! Glad to see your face, smiling as always I see," the actor said with a grin, then waved a hand effortlessly. "I've told you there's no need for all that master nonsense; and smile more, it'll do you well."

Jensen moved towards the door and picked up Jerod's coat, shaking the wrinkles out and hanging it up on a hook nearby. "I'm certain your father would be rolling in his grave, Master Jerod," came the man's monotone voice. Jerod rolled his eyes knowingly then.

"Get me my things, Jensen! It may be a while before I return home, and I shall want to be prepared." came his response.

The man in the suit raises his graying eyebrows, a discerning look now cast about his features; despite the obvious query in his eyes, he did not ask, doing as told. "Shall I pack the master's favorite shirt?" He drawled on, his voice still the same solid, practiced tone.

Jerod nodded, then disappeared into the kitchen while Jensen readied his things. By now, the muffins were calling his name and despite his uncanny strength of will and unmatched good looks, he could not resist. He crept forward, hoping to avoid the watchful eye of those around; spying no one, he slinked towards the fresh pan cooling on the table. With a delicate hand, and a knife, he reached forward to pry one from its hot confines. Almost immediately, a hand snaked out from behind him and smacked his wrist, causing him to drop the butter knife with a clang. Disarmed, he recoiled instantly in surprise, shaking his head in defeat. Sliding around into view came Trudy, a heavy set woman who had helped raise he and his siblings over the last twenty years.

She wielded a wooden spoon as though it were a deadly weapon; at times in past years, it had been, he remembered sorely. "Now, now, Master Jerod, you know how I feel about you ruining your dinner. Those are for tonight. You might be the man of the house around here, but this kitchen is my domain, and I intend to keep it orderly." she boasted with a scolding tone, then gave him an endearing hug. Afterwards, she departed to the other side of the room, pulling out several utensils and going about her work. "So, how did things go?"

Just then, Jensen appeared with a backpack, freshly packed, holding it out to Jerod. He nodded and took it, still eyeing the muffins with resolve. "That's the thing, Trudy," he replied, concern in his voice. "Things have changed of late. I may not be returning for dinner. In fact, I may not be returning for some time."

The heavy woman stopped her preparations, but did not turn around. "..But I was making your favorite." Jerod sensed Jensen's prying eyes again, his eyebrows raised as though prompting him some explanation.

"Times have changed; we've all seen it. I've met some friends in the last few days. I' to change things, for the better." said Jerod, now pulling out a dinner napkin. He placed it as a palette on the table, then dumped the dozen muffins out onto it, rolling them up afterwards. In one swift motion, he dropped them into the top of his backpack, safe and secure for later.

"Obliged, I'm sure," said Jensen, as though it was a foolish idea. "Your father was much the same. He would be proud, Master Jerod, if he knew, " he continued, allowing a small hint of his approval, even if his expression still said it would be nothing but trouble. "..the master will return to us in one piece, I presume? Very well, I shall keep your things in order while you are away."

"We all knew this day would come. Maybe you'll find out what happened. Maybe we'll see her again," pondered Trudy, as though to no one in particular. She still didn't turn around; perhaps it was to mask the sadness she now felt. Moments later, she continued with her utensils, chopping up various vegetables in the process.

Jerod looked around the room, then at Jensen. "Is mother about? he asked quietly. "I should like to bid her farewell, too."

"The master will find she is currently away with prior appointments." replied Jensen, and Jerod nodded in affirmation.

"Tell her I'll see her again, and to take care. Also, hire someone to see to the security of this place while I'm away. Things are...growing darker. Please." and with that, he squeezed the hardened majordomo's shoulder lightly, for emphasis.

"As the master would have it." agreed Jensen, then left the room.

Jerod bid farewell to Trudy, then slipped his backpack over his shoulders. There was one last person to say goodbye to before he departed.

The actor walked outside to the back of the estate, where the family mausoleum jutted up from the earth. It was very old, carved with scenic imagery reminiscent of the glory days long since past over the city of Westcrown. On the door it bore the likeness of their ancestor, Francis Winstrom, for whom his middle name bore its namesake. Walking behind it, some of the stones were long since wedged out of place, forming steps of a sort that could be used to climb on top. In earlier years, he used to play with his older brother here, pretending it was a castle as they would sit and look out over the wall from atop, or defend it from an unseen menace below. Now, it was just a dusty old mausoleum, boring and lifeless.

The actor took a seat on one of the wayward stones, then breathed a sigh. "Well, you always said times could be better, brother. And, here I find myself, heading into the unknown," he whispered to the air, and took out a single muffin as he did so. "We never got to see the same place dad always talked about, you and I, but I'll make my mark before its over...and, I'll find sis too." A deliberate but focused look marked his features, his lips tight with a hardened frown. He leaves the muffin there on the steps, for the ghosts of the past or the birds to claim, either one. Nodding one last time with resolve, he whispers. "Farewell, Gavin. I'll find Eliza for us. I'll see you both again."

And with that, he headed off to meet the others, and his fate, at the Crossed Swords tavern.

Upon arrival, he follows where instructed, taking a seat in the back next to Naeli and orders himself a bowl of stew.

HP 5/16, AC 11/11/10, F +2, R +1, W +4, Init +2, Per +0

Marcello arrives at the Crossed Swords, and follows April's direction to the side hall. "Grazie, bella. A flagon of wine, a hunk of bread and a bit of cheese will suffice for now, I should think."

Male HP:09/21 AC: 16(18HS)/11/15(17HS) F: +5 R: +1 W: +0 Per: +0 Init: +2

Relaxing in his chair, Pallius looks around. "So everyone decided to show up." He remarks at the assembled crew. "I wonder what Zeke has in store..."

You notice that Zeke looks fidgety and keeps looking at the door, as if waiting for someone.

Your food and drink is served and Zeke closes the door to the dining area, ensuring privacy. A little nervous, he starts, "Thank you for agreeing to meet with me here. First of all, I wish to say I have marveled at the self-sacrifice Pallius, Naeli, and Jerod showed at risking their lives and even losing one of their own to to try and save an innocent family and end a goblin threat in Westcrown. There are few, if any, Wiscrani who would have done the same and that act alone spoke volumes about your character. To Tuktuk and Marcello, I know you share the same beliefs that good should prevail and that's why you are here and why I have chosen you. So before I start, I wish to thank all of you for your actions and passion. You make us believe that better days are ahead. Now, I was not supposed to speak to you today, but one of our leaders appears to be running late and I will take the risk that he will not be upset that we started without him. However, what I wish to speak to you about is of a sensitive nature and there could be serious repercussions from the government for it, so if any of you do not wish to be involved, please state so now and you will be free to leave."

Female HP: 8/8 AC: 12/12/10 F:1.R:2.W:2 Per: +0 Init: +2

"This government has taken from me one of the few kindnesses of my life. I owe it less than nothing."

Looking around the table at her new companions, and then at Zeke. "Speak on, I say."

Please assume that I am running with Disguise - Half-elf up at all times unless otherwise noted. Let me know if I need to make a check at any point...

Male HP: 11/22 AC 16/13/13: F+5, R +6, W+3, Per:+7, Init: +3

"I think everyone here is dedicated to the cause."

Male HP: 11/14 AC: 14/12/12 F: +1 R: +4 W: +2 Per: +4 Init: +2

Nodding, Jerod leans forward and eyes the door, then Zeke himself. "I think you know where I stand. You have my ear."

Sense Motive on Zeke: 1d20 ⇒ 18

I assumed so, Naeli; I will let you if you need to roll.

Though Zeke feels nervous and overwhelmed a little by the situation, he speaks honestly from the heart.

Zeke stammers a little. "I know, I know you are all dedicated. I just wanted to let you know how dangerous this course of action is that we are about to embark. It could be branded traitorous by the Chelaxian government, a crime whose penalty is death. But it seems to me you all have already decided that you need to do something to ail Westcrown's woes, before it is too late. Well, you're not the only ones who feel this way. And though perhaps, I am not the best suited or the most eloquent, I must have my say." Zeke stands and walks around the room, though you cannot tell if it is for effect or to gather his thoughts or both. "We have all suffered, in one way or another. I have lived in Westcrown my whole life, and although I love this city, I must admit, as must you, that despite our peace and prosperity, we continue to suffer. Fear should not be an expected part of life, and yet each night brings fear to our doorsteps. Yes, Westcrown has been safe from war and famine for nearly seventy years, and yes, our businesses have prospered—but for 30 years now, the government has failed to end the Shadowbeast threat, letting their own dottari fall before their claws. We live under a curfew, letting evil rule the dark! Other lands live free from tyranny. Other cities do not fear the night. Other governments do not cede the streets to monsters of the infernal shadows. Westcrown was once such a place, and she wants to be such a place again. Westcrown is not only her buildings and canals and docks and history—she is also her people. Westcrown is our friends and neighbors, our mothers and fathers, our siblings and cousins, our sons and daughters! With but a small group of supporters and dedicated brothers and sisters, we can earn the trust and admiration of those people. A Westcrown free of these shadowy beasts is what we all seek and desire!" Zeke pauses to calm himself, as he is all riled up.

HP 5/16, AC 11/11/10, F +2, R +1, W +4, Init +2, Per +0

Marcello waits a moment to see if anyone gets up to leave. After any have had their chance, he clears his throat. "When a government can no longer protect its citizens, it must fall to those citizens to protect themselves and others. If wanting to die on my feet rather than live on my knees brands me a traitor to the House of Thrune, then so be it."

He listens to Zeke's words, and finds himself nodding in agreement. "Well said, signore! There are many cancers that fester in Westcrown, the strongest of which is the shadowbeast threat. I have it on good authority that these four" - here Marcello gestures to Pallius, Lhuar, Jerod and Naeli - " are more than capable. I am Wiscrani, as was my father and my father before him, and it pains me to see what has become of this jewel of Cheliax. What plans do you have? And where do we all factor into them?"

Male HP:09/21 AC: 16(18HS)/11/15(17HS) F: +5 R: +1 W: +0 Per: +0 Init: +2

Nodding at Zeke's words, Pallius bangs his gauntlet on the table. "You're damn right! It's time for action!" Grinning as he takes a drink. "What do you have in mind?"

Glad to not see the party fleeing into the streets after his speech to alert the dottari, Zeke smiles and excuses himself for a second. He opens the dining room door, closes it, and returns after a about a minute.

DC 20 Perception check:
You hear Zeke outside the door speaking with his brother Lou in whispers. "Darius is still not here? It's not like him to be late, especially when he knew how important this meeting was. These recruits could really make a difference in the city."

Zeke returns with a drink in his hand. "Good question, Pallius. Well, first of all, the forming of a movement has been in play for some time now, very discretely and subtly. You are not the first nor shall you be the last. There are two main groups, one here in the Rego Scripa and one in the Rego Pena. There are a little more than 2 dozen of us in total, like-minded individuals who wish to make for a better Westcrown and are tired of waiting for the government. 30 years is a long enough wait. Our District leader, Darius, believes that the shadow beasts were put into place by the House of Thrune to oppress the Wiscrani citizenry and consolidate their infernal power, though we have no proof for this theory. What we are looking for is a small-group of warriors to form a band of protectors, who can win the admiration and support of the people through their good deeds. However, what we most wish is to avoid bloodshed in the streets through entanglements with the dottari and the Hell Knights. All that will do is provoke retaliation on the public and increase the severity of the government's iron fist and the poor and disenfranchised will suffer most of all. So if you're looking for blood or all out war, this is not the place for you. We have to take advantage that Westcrown is largely ignored by the rulers of Cheliax in Egorian as the old capital and a home-in-exile for the old nobility. Bloodshed in the streets will just cause Egorian to send more troops here and that is the last thing we want. Consider this a quiet revolution."

Male Gnome Oracle / 2; HP: 18/21, AC: 15/13/13, F+2/R+2/W+3, Perc +2, Init +4

Perception1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22

Tuktuk finds himself nodding at the words, his conviction and devotion to the cause growing with people of like mind about him. I'd think a quiet revolution is the way to start, though I'm sure it must eventually be given voice. What could a group such as this do on a level that's quiet, though?

He listens as Zeke steps out, then gives him a puzzled look. He sits up straight, suddenly on edge. I'm sorry, but I couldn't help but overhear; a man named Darian was to be here, and he's not? Do you think something could be amiss?

Male HP: 11/22 AC 16/13/13: F+5, R +6, W+3, Per:+7, Init: +3

"I think we should lead by example, and let the people know someone is fighting in their name from the shadows, at least until we can fight openly."

Male HP: 11/14 AC: 14/12/12 F: +1 R: +4 W: +2 Per: +4 Init: +2

Jerod speaks up, raising a hand to indicate Lhuar as if he is correct, "The dwarf has the right of it! We should lead by example. Each and every one of us has something at stake, something that has been taken from us; and if we can hold our heads high then surely others will follow in our step."

Zeke is caught aback by the gnome's keen hearing and as he speaks, you hear the tone rising in the main room of the tavern. "Tuktuk, it's Darius. Yes, he's our District Leader and he's late. I hope nothing's wrong but it's not like to him to miss something so important. Anyway, I agree with everything you are all saying and..." A loud knock on the door interrupts Zeke's conversation and Lou pops his head in, "Sorry all, but Zeke, you need to get out here. This is bad." Zeke walks outside, leaving the door to the dining room open. "What is it, Lou? I'm in the middle...Jacob, what is it? What's wrong?" You see Zeke now speaking to a young human lad of about 15 years, in tattered clothes, sweating and out of breath. His face is red and he looks very scared and nervous. Jacob speaks and between battered breaths, he says, "Master Zeke, it's bad, they've got Darius!"

Zeke's eyes widen and his voice rises, as he thunders at the boy, "What do ya mean, boy? Who's got 'im? Speak now!" The boy, more scared than ever, blurts out, "The Hellknights!", before doubling over in a fit of coughing. The tavern's five regular customers as well as the room go silent for a few seconds, before Lou interrupts it, screaming, "April, get Jacob some water, now!" The young waitress, frozen in place by the announcement, suddenly snaps out of it and runs to the kitchen, her hands trembling, as she pours the water into a cup and brings it to the boy, who struggles to drink it. The worried looks on everyone's face is clear, as they try not to show it but fail miserably.

Male HP:09/21 AC: 16(18HS)/11/15(17HS) F: +5 R: +1 W: +0 Per: +0 Init: +2

"So much for subtlety..." Pallius grumbles as he heads for his weapons.

Male Gnome Oracle / 2; HP: 18/21, AC: 15/13/13, F+2/R+2/W+3, Perc +2, Init +4

Tuktuk follows Pallius swiftly. Though suddenly unsure of his steps, he certainly did appreciate his increased options had he his crossbow in hand. The gnome searches for any regret, should the Hellknights catch them, but realizes that this would be his path no matter the danger.

Female HP: 8/8 AC: 12/12/10 F:1.R:2.W:2 Per: +0 Init: +2

"This is not a very good start for a revolution..." Naeli mutters to herself.

Zeke, more concerned than angry, speaks up again, "Ok, boy, from the beginning. Tell us what you know." After taking a few more sips of his water, Jacob's cough subsides and he speaks, "Well, I was out travelin' with uncle Darius by the waterfront. He said he was goin' to meet with Arael to discuss business, when suddenly, dottatri came out the woodwork and apprehended all three of us. They took us to the garrison and they wanted to interrogate and torture me, when Hellknights showed up, the Order of the Rack they called 'emselves. Their leader, a man named Shanwen, said he was taking custody of Darius and Arael, but ordered them to free me, saying that he would not stand for the punishment of innocent children. I guess he was a good man. So as soon as I got out, I came running here to let ya'll know." Zeke's reaction is summed up in two words: "Oh sh*t!" Jacob feels proud of himself and is stunned by all the worried faces he sees from the people in the tavern. "What?? Did I do something wrong?"

Male Gnome Oracle / 2; HP: 18/21, AC: 15/13/13, F+2/R+2/W+3, Perc +2, Init +4

Tuktuk's ees widen at the boy's tale, and he immediately agrees with Zeke. They let him go to follow him here! They'll be here any minute! Zeke, is there another way out of here?. He points to the front of the tavern. Someone should check and see if anyone's coming!. His lack of offering to go himself is fairly telling.

Zeke moves to the front door, and as he does, you almost immediately hear the galloping of numerous horses drawing near, and then seconds later, you hear the armored boots of men dismounting. Zeke looks outside, nervously and sweating, and whispers back, "Hellknights, a platoon of them! Lou, check the back!" He locks the front door to the tavern. Lou rushes through the kitchen, as the patrons huddle themselves in the corner, some of men cursing. Lou calls back, "More horsemen back here!" Suddenly, a voice from outside yells, "By the authority of the Hellknight Order of the Rack, you are all under arrest for conspiracy to plot against the Cheliaxian government and possible treason. Open the doors now and save yourself the bloodshed!" You hear armored gauntlets begin to bang against the doors. April starts to sob. Jacob just looks confused. "I...I..I'm sorry, I didn't know!" Then he too starts to cry. Lou and Zeke just look at each other in shock and then at the party.

Male Gnome Oracle / 2; HP: 18/21, AC: 15/13/13, F+2/R+2/W+3, Perc +2, Init +4

Tuktuk puts a hand on the lad's shoulder. You couldn't have known that they would follow you. Zeke, you have to have prepared for this? Do you have a cellar or attic that has some access to the outside?

Male HP:09/21 AC: 16(18HS)/11/15(17HS) F: +5 R: +1 W: +0 Per: +0 Init: +2

"Still don't want that Hellknight bloodshed?!?" Pallius hisses as he hefts his greataxe.

Female HP: 8/8 AC: 12/12/10 F:1.R:2.W:2 Per: +0 Init: +2

Naeli jumps to her feet, fear written plain across her face. If Hellknights find a tiefling would not end well.

She mutters a cantrip, screwing her eyes closed as she feels her power infuse her very bones.

Readying Color Spray

"Y-y-yes, we do", stammers Zeke in response to Tuktuk, as he moves behind the bar and starts to lift a heavy trapdoor. "I had forgotten we had this here. Yes, this will do perfectly. It drops down directly into the sewers. Darius told me about it once. It's supposed to lead to a secret hideout." Lou looks solemn, "You five go with Zeke. This is my tavern, I will not abandon it. I will stay with April and the patrons, to try and stall them to build you all a good head start. Good luck." He then shakes your hands and waits for you to drop down before closing the trap door. The pounding on the door increases!

Male Gnome Oracle / 2; HP: 18/21, AC: 15/13/13, F+2/R+2/W+3, Perc +2, Init +4

Tuktuk's eyes widen as he rushes past the front door, fully expecting the Hellknights to break through and grab him up at any time. He grabs his gear from behind the bar, and stands near the door. On the way, he puts a hand on Lou's arm and nods his thanks. We'll help however we can when we get out of here, Lou. You won't be left behind.

He waits at the top of the trapdoor, obviously to allow someone a bit better at scouting to head down first.

Male HP:09/21 AC: 16(18HS)/11/15(17HS) F: +5 R: +1 W: +0 Per: +0 Init: +2

You know.. I don't think we have identified those two potions we got from the prequel!

"You're a good man Lou, don't do anything foolish!" As Pallius descends down into darkness.

Male HP: 11/14 AC: 14/12/12 F: +1 R: +4 W: +2 Per: +4 Init: +2

Trying his best to keep his nerve about him, Jerod pushes himself up from the table, heading to grab his things from the bar. "Dammit all!" he hisses, as though remarking about the current Hellknight situation..but his eyes are clearly upon the entrance to the sewers. He sizes it up, scrunching his face as he does so, then casts a wary glance at the pounding of the door, as though considering. Heaving a defeated sigh, his gaze turns back to the trapdoor, its sewer entrance no doubt full of rats and other more pestilent, grimy things, least of which being the uncleanliness of it all.

Resolute in what would be less than his finest hour, Jerod warns the group, keeping his voice low. "We'd better make haste. The more they pound on that door, the less likely for a favorable outcome to Lou!"

The actor peers into the gloom of the trap door, casting a spell to shed some light as he does so. He falls in step behind Pallius.

Cast Dancing Lights inside the trap door.
Perception 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7

Male HP: 11/22 AC 16/13/13: F+5, R +6, W+3, Per:+7, Init: +3

Sorry about the weekend absence.

Lhuar does not say anything, but he looks as if he wants to take on the intruders. He then thinks better of it, and heads towards the trapdoor.

Male Gnome Oracle / 2; HP: 18/21, AC: 15/13/13, F+2/R+2/W+3, Perc +2, Init +4

Tuktuk rushes after the others, his confidence bolstered by their descent. The pounding at the door undoubtedly hurried his steps along. He holds his crossbow up and ready, as if expexting Hellknights to be in the sewers, too. He lets his eyes adjust slowly to the actor's spell in the darkness.

You all descend via the ladder into an underground tunnel lit by Jerod's magic with Zeke while Lou closes the trapdoor behind you. Zeke leads the way down a long 20' long 5' wide hallway that ends at a simple wooden door. He pulls a key from his pocket and unlocks it, a smell of sewage assaulting you, as you see a sewer tunnel 10' wide running to the left and right. Zeke stammers, "Darius and I marked these tunnels, it's easy to get lost down here. Look for the arrow." He points it out to you and you see it is well hidden, marked lightly near the bottom of the wall, and it points left. "We did this at every intersection, so if you ever get lost, the arrow will guide you. Now I hope it's still here.." He bends down and pushes aside a false stone in the wall. "Good, it's still here." He pulls out a cache of potions, wrapped in a crimson cloth. "Look, we need to get moving, those Hellknights will find the trapdoor if they search behind the bar and they'll come down here looking for us. Take these and use them if you get wounded. I can't believe this is happening but at least Darius prepared for this worse case scenario. Now, there are other dangers down here besides the Hellknights. Darius mentioned something about goblins moving down here, so watch for those. Now let's go left!" Zeke hands you 2 cure light wounds potions each. Marcello steps up and says, "I'm going to go right, try and lead them away from you or at least get them to split up. I'll catch up with you as soon as I can."

Need marching order - 10' wide hallways.

Male HP:09/21 AC: 16(18HS)/11/15(17HS) F: +5 R: +1 W: +0 Per: +0 Init: +2

Hopefully one of them is not trudging through the sewage itself??

"More goblin bastards..." Pallius growls, [b]"Well maybe the Hellknights can do some good and take care of them for us."

Pallius can take lead with longsword+HS (getting shot stinks!) provided we have light.. else can have dark vision. (although I think Pallius/Lhuar can head the party!)

Female HP: 8/8 AC: 12/12/10 F:1.R:2.W:2 Per: +0 Init: +2

"Goblins or Hellknights....I'll take goblins."

She peered down the tunnel. "Lead on, Pallius. We're with you."

Male HP: 11/14 AC: 14/12/12 F: +1 R: +4 W: +2 Per: +4 Init: +2

Jerod eyes the marking on the wall then carefully stows his cure light potions. "We'd better be ready for anything," he remarks warily while dubiously eyeing the filfth. With a sigh, he takes a tentative step into the sewers and falls in behind Pallius, casting his lights and keeping them ahead. "And I had just purchased these boots only a week ago. Hadn't even broken them in yet. Ah well..."

Ok, still confused about order. Pallius in front. Then who? Who's in the back? Where do you want Zeke?

Female HP: 8/8 AC: 12/12/10 F:1.R:2.W:2 Per: +0 Init: +2

Naeli, learning from experience, will be last in line. She can monitor to the rear with her darkvision.

Male Gnome Oracle / 2; HP: 18/21, AC: 15/13/13, F+2/R+2/W+3, Perc +2, Init +4

Tuktuk looks concerned at Marcello's selfless act, but he nods, trusting the man's abilities. He secures his potions in his pack in an effort to keep them from breaking, then follows after the others. He takes his place in the middle of the line, behind Pallius.

I'm assuming that Lhuar would also be in the front, so it'd be Pallius and Lhuar, then Tuktuk and Jerod, then Naeli and Zeke. If that's agreeable to everyone else, of course.

Male HP:09/21 AC: 16(18HS)/11/15(17HS) F: +5 R: +1 W: +0 Per: +0 Init: +2

Sounds good to me

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