"You're Owl, right?"
The owner of the voice steps out of the cobbled alley, the shadows obscuring most of his face. In the dead of night, with only a few street callers roaming for their next bed, you two are alone in this alley of Riddleport.
Your latest case has been tracking down a segment of Sczarni, an intricate collection of Varisian crime families, stationed in Riddleport and most likely responsible for the kidnapping of your client's daughter.
However, the Sczarni are very thorough with their work, and it's taken you weeks to track down this single lead.
The man steps further out of the shadows, his thinning hair almost wispy in the cold night air as it comes from shores.
"You bring what I asked you?" has asks, one twitching hand outstretching to you while the other reveals a book. This book with its tattered pages and worn writing is the ledger of slavers people have been sold to in the last month alone. Valuable information to the right people (including yourself) and most likely has what you need to find the girl.
Respond as you would
"Here's your cut."
You have just arrived in Riddleport, and the caravan you had been traveling with is passing out payment. Even without looking at the money pouch that was handed to you, its apparent that this isn't even half of what you're owed. The torches that light the city at night are burning brightly, and the caravan leader, a particularly mousy man is already shouting orders at the laborers to start moving the product to the docks.
You thought you might be cheated again, and had hoped that wouldn't be the case. And here you are once again.
What do you do?
Oh dear....this isn't good.
While on leave from your usual caravan, you decided to travel to Riddleport as you heard that their penchant of harboring less than savory characters would provide a market of unusual and potent poisons. You arrived in the afternoon, made yourself comfortable and took off for the markets. However, while you couldn't find the market's someone did find their fingers around your money pouch. An instant later they sped off into the darkness leaving you on their trail.
you reach an intersection and see two lads shoving their way, one your perpetrator while the other is probably an accomplice. One is heading to the main gates while the other is heading to the docks.
What do you do?
"Won't you be mine?."
The persistence of this one was....unnerving. This was the second time Richter has found you after you moved, the first at Korvosa, and now at Riddleport. Even with a faux smiled plastered on your face, it occurs to you that he wouldn't understand the subtly of a venomous smile if he saw one. Even now, as he asks for your hand once more, this now ruined ex-aristocrat of Chelixian heritage, which you may have had a small hand in.
Richter produces a ring, his grandmother's he claims, and offers it to you on bended knee. Suffice it to say that he drawing more than a little attention from the rest of the patrons of the bar.
It had been a couple weeks since you've contracted a job at the docks of Riddleport, but you've found peace in it. It's hard work, laborious work, but the pay was decent, any fight taking place someone probably deserved, and there was alcohol from all over the continent if you knew who to ask and you could pay. Not a bad way to start off some repentance, sticking up for the smaller folk who couldn't protect themselves. In fact, that's how you found yourself in your situation now.
"You wanna go?!" A fat man roars, spittle dripping off the side of his mouth. Behind you lies what appears to be his mistreated son, a small money pouch in his hands and a large throbbing welt on his face where his the fat man had whipped him with his belt. That was when you stepped in.
"Mind your own business!" he continues, eliciting a reflexive flinch of panic from the boy.
The black markets of Riddleport are unsavory, to say the least, but it was one of the best places to find lost texts and stolen books that had been lost to thieves years ago. Of course, such materials should be returned to their previous owners....then again, it wouldn't hurt to keep them safe at home until such time they were notified right?
You find waiting by a street corner, outside a bar. The lively music inside is muffled by the thick wooden doors, and you can smell the spiced meats and fragrance of desire that many escorts wear to attract their next client. Your rare book contact was supposed to meet you here ten minutes ago, and you wonder if he skipped town with his payment or is simple running late.
Then, you think you see what appears to be a man hanging out an alley away. He hasn't moved in some time, and then you see another man join him. They talk for a moment and then one of them pulls out a book and starts handing it to the other one!
Quick question, do you have a human manservant now or not? I'll be playing him/her for the most part, but need to know if you already have contracted one or are going to later.
Kalisuel took the pouch while trying not to glare at the man. She'd be surprised if it was even a third of what the others were being paid. She doesn't say anything, the thought of thanking yet another cheat while trying not to choke him causing bile to rise in her throat.
She hated Riddleport. She always got cheated here, and it was a sure bet that wherever she looked for work, she'd be confused with a stripper, a hooker, or both. Even when she did manage to find a job that wasn't demeaning, she would find her coin purse lighter afterwards, her coin somehow winding up in the pot for a game of towers or being used to pay for other, more carnal, entertainments.
Still, she had to eat, and even with the forty crowns she's scrimped and saved, she wouldn't get far. She needed to find work, and find it soon. Deciding that getting something besides trail rations to eat would be a good thing, she looks for one of the taverns she'd had luck finding work before. She pulls the hood of her cloak low, hoping to hide her eyes as she walks in and makes for the bar. She waits patiently for the keeper to come around to her, knowing that even if she'd been born the most beautiful human in all of Avistan, interrupting the barkeep at his work would only make it so she was served last. When they do ask what she wants, she looks up at them.
"I'll have a hot meal, some water, and word of anyone looking some help and are willing to pay would be great," she says loud enough to be heard over the din.
At the divergent path which led to the docks and the gate, respectively, the ratfolk sniper stopped in her tracks for a moment with a troubled expression on her face. "Oh wait, now hold on there just a minute you two lovely lads. Let's not do anything rash. I were only teasin' ya."
Then the two parted and Jix let out a string of curses that would've made a sailor blush.
"Oh sod it!" The exasperated rogue exclaimed and took off after the one headed to the docks.
"No where to run now you little minge." She huffed under her breath.
Appraise: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
She doesn't entertain the possibility of saying 'yes' to the man, not even for a moment. She might not have much to call her own presently, but there was potential. She could have far more on her own than would be given to her as a wife of a disgraced former nobleman. He had nothing more to offer her--except maybe that ring--and so it was time to leave him behind. For good, this time.
Playing off her shocked expression, Laetitia brings a shaky hand up to press against her ample chest, as if to still her would-be racing heart. Her eyes scan the onlooking bar patrons with an air of nervousness that she only partly feels before returning to the kneeling man. "Oh my... But this is all so sudden. I don't know what to say," she says to him in a breathless voice. Looking around once more, she seems to shrink against the scrutiny, trying to look like the blushing maiden they both know she isn't. "They're all staring. Oh, please, my love... Can't we discuss somewhere more private?"
Bluff: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28
Once she was close enough for them to see the indignation on her face she began berating her contact for having the nerve to make her wait, only to make the sale with someone else! "Empty Cups! You've got some nerve to be doing this! I had thought your word was good, but I guess that's my mistake, isn't it? What reason could you possibly have for doing this, hm?" Fists on her hips, she stared down the two of them, focusing more on the one that was handing over the book.
Hired Attendant Kali Val'Demar paid for and (reasonably) statted.
Otho moved a little closer, making sure they were both face to face. He didn't want the man to see anything but him. If a few flecks of spittle hit him, then oh well... Fair was fair. He was about to spit on the man's shoe after all.
"Yeah," he said after the loogie left his mouth, "I wanna go."
[spoiler=OOC]First thing's first. Do I know this guy or his kid at all? Will I need to roll knowledge (local)?
Second thing is, I'm going to try and intimidate him.
Intimidate: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Your keen eye is able to discern that the ring is nothing more than a bit of styled copper with a shiny rock on the top. Perhaps the rumors you heard during your time with this one were true, that his grandparents worked their way up from nothing, only to have their fortune squandered away by the next two generations.
At your recommendation of finding a quieter place away from others, Richter begins to break out in sweat.
"Absolutely!" he says, his eagerness all too apparent on his face. His clammy hands wipe the beads of sweat already forming on his face. He approaches the barkeep, and after coins exchange, he comes back with a room key.
The room he gets is actually....disappointing. It doesn't hurt that you can tell this isn't even the nicest one available. Still, he closes the door with care and looks at you with adoration in his eyes and a hint of desperation in his smile.
You aren't sure at first if the barkeep heard you, but a few moments later a tin plate with some steaming food lands in front of you with a copper mug of water on the side. You poke at it, and it seems to be normal meat and potatoes, maybe a bit more potatoes than meat but it smells decent and the amount is agreeable.
A fat meaty palm extends to you.
"Five silver," the barkeep says, a price you know is a bit extra than prices even here in Riddleport, but before you can protest he adds, "There's a guy who's been asking for hired help. First room on the right up the stairs."
It seems the extra silver was for the info.
You feel like you've gotten control of the situation, which is the norm for the experienced dealings of the Owl. Yet, fate always has some surprises even for the most prepared.
"Empty Cups! You've got some nerve to be doing this! I had thought your word was good, but I guess that's my mistake, isn't it? What reason could you possibly have for doing this, hm?"
A visisbly angry half-elf woman approaches the both of you. Her hair is as white as the winter's first snow, and braided back in what you recognize as an Ulfen style though she does not appear to be one.
As you get closer, it seems the situation is a bit odder than you first thought. True, there is a man who is holding a book and there does seem to be an exchange going on. However, one of the men, a half-elf like yourself who seems to hold more confidence than the sea holds water, has a foot in a threatening position over a statue.
"You said you would be alone!" he says, clutching the book even tighter in his arms and flees back into the alley away from both of you.
If either of you give chase, Roll initiative and give me an action of how you're chasing him or something.
You can make a knowledge local check to know more, but all you know right now is that you've seen them around together and they resemble each other leading you to believe they're father and son.
"It'll take more than a thug to get between me and some familial guidance. Watch closely boy! This is how you treat the urchins!"
Clearly this man was the rare cross of crook and noble that resided in Riddleport. Operating smartly enough to keep his fortune while using gaining even more through illicit business. You watch as he removes his gloves and removes his coat to one of his three staff that follow him around town. He holds his fists up, almost comically looking as the fat man prepares to fight you.
If you're going straight into combat, need an Init and action. But if you aren't, then just tell me.
This way. That way. Almost missed an exit here. Almost lost in a crowd there. This kid really knows the city well, and that familiarity is definitely playing in his favor. Unfortunately, you do lose him right before you reach the area of the docks. There's two places he probably could have gone from here. There's an tavern inn nearby that you know of, or he might have headed deeper into the docks to hide among the cargo and such.
There are several workers still going about there business on the docks, and you can watch as patrons filter in and out of the tavern inn.
The boy has completely vanished from sight and if Jix knew anything about theft, which, as an upstanding citizen of the law, she most certainly did not, she had mere moments to relocate the urchin or he would be gone forever.
In a fit, she dashed to the nearest dockworker and bowed down in front of the man, tears in her eyes. "Please, sir, please, 'ave ya seen me charge? 'es new to the orphanage an', for the first time, a prospective couple came by an' showed sum interest in 'im. They told 'im to pack 'is bags an' be ready to go by sun-up. But they never came round an' now 'e's gone an' run off sayin' 'e'd never come back. Please kind sirs you must help me find 'im! I'm so worried!" She cries between ragged breaths.
Bluff: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28
Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Fat man hadn't taken the out or backed off. Otho wasn't about to do the same. He brought his hands up and kept his limbs easy and loose. He didn't want to get too serious yet. He also didn't want the kid to see his father die today.
There was something off about this. Sure, he'd have to watch out for the servants on the sidelines, but that wasn't what was setting him off. It almost felt like he'd forgotten or was missing something.
"Funny. Thought you were the one that looked like an urchin ya puffball."
Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
Otho will spend a move action to use his martial flexibility to gain dodge. After that he'll make a nonlethal power attack against his opponent.
Attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Damage: 1d6 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Will update her sheet with the silver paid
Kalisuel didn't balk at the price, but she wasn't too happy about either until he told her about the man upstairs looking for hired help.
"Thank you, for both the food and the information," she says pleasantly as she counts out five silvers. She hesitated a moment, then added a sixth as a tip. She ate quickly, happy that the meal seemed to be the same quality that the others patrons are getting, and if there was a little less meat and a little more potatoes than normal, that was a small price to pay for not having to eat some gruel that one of the other guards had fixed.
After finishing her meal, she heads up the stairs to the room the barkeeper had told her the man was waiting in and knocked.
She enters if someone says to.
The other guy's gut reaction must have been threat because he bolted. That was annoying. But Owl had cultivated a mask of calm detachment over the years so it didn't show. He sighs and slowly leans over to retrieve the figurine, putting it safely back in a pouch at his side. Giving chase had a less then 50% chance of success. This meeting was more hastily put together than he liked so he hadn't researched escape routes yet. The guy was a local and knew the streets well. But he ran from a woman so that might be a good enough leverage to get another meeting. If it got around he was a coward that could hurt his reputation.
Owl turns to the woman and sizes her up once again, still coming up with non-threat. "Your mistake? That is an understatement. Catastrophe more like it. You may have just doomed a poor girl to death or worse. Congratulations." Whether she felt guilt or not at that statement would tell him a lot about the person before him.
Grabbing up her pack from its resting place at her feet, Tish follows the man up to their less than stellar accommodations. Still, it suits my purposes well enough. Time to find out how this poor sap keeps finding me. Once she hears the door click shut behind her, Tish drops the coy act as abruptly as she lets her satchel fall to the floor. Turning, she advances on the man with a predatory look, one that usually precedes her target losing their willpower. With a sharp little smile, she backs him against door, pressing her body flush with his. "I thought I might never see you again," she coos softly, walking her slender fingers up his torso in the hopes of throwing him further off guard. "However did you find me?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
She's using her hypnotic stare ability on Richter. -2 on will saves.
Unfortunately, she had lost him in the couple of seconds that it had taken her to realize that his words were some sort of lecture. Having only gone halfway down the alley, she turned and glared at the person who had not broken out in pursuit. Angrily, she stomped back to him, and invaded his space enough to look up at him. "You!" The cantrip she had cast hovered around her head and shoulders in several glowing balls of light, one ball going to hover just in front and above his face, allowing her to get a good look at him. "You undercut my deal for a statue of something?!" Huffing a long breath through her nose, she looked up at him in challenge. "Of course it's a catastrophe! One you engineered by cutting in on my deal! Care to repeat yourself?"
The people on the street had either seen enough of two people meeting in the mouth of an alley, or were dissuaded by something about their mannerisms, having seen enough domestic squabbles to draw the wrong conclusions, and continued to walk by with barely a glance. It was not the first time some noble prat traveled further than they should have for someone that they should not have. Whichever way it actually was, it was something that many residents of the area had seen and (at least for now) were disinclined to pay much attention to.
Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4 That is not going to catch anyone at all.
Owl doesn't flinch as she advances. He also ignores the little bubbles of light. It was a simple magic that most magicians could do. Some even felt arrogant about it. So she was a mage. Empathy didn't work. Maybe logic would. He opens his mouth to speak but then closes it. No. This was not going to end well. And he didn't need to bother. "You didn't listen the first time. Doubt you'll listen the second. Toodles." He waves his hand close to her face and walks off. He had a contact to track down. Again.
"That little s@+$ was yours?!" one of the dock worker bellows. "Nearly shoved me into the waters edge as he raced by. Go collect him before I have to fish his body out of the water like a dead fish."
He quickly points you towards the direction he ran off. You race after him, and begin your frantic search. Minutes pass, and you're starting to think you'll never see your money again.
There he is!
He looks hurt, taking shelter from a large fat man dressed in fine clothes behind an even larger man who knees are much higher than your head (as a small creature I'm assuming). With your keen eye, you can see him tightly clutching your money purse near his swollen and slightly bleeding face.
When you add modifiers like power attack or combat expertise in the futures, please include all modifiers as separate numbers such as 1d20+4-1, it helps me make sure math was done correctly.
While the fat man has some combat experience, you were right in doubting whether it could match up to any of yours. He takes a swing at you head which you easily dodge, stupid amateur can't even mask his intentions. You respond in kind by placing a knee directly in his stomach sending him reeling, huffing, and puffing.
But he isn't done, and barks at one of his servants who produces a sword for him to use, which he grabs and brandishes angrily.
"You're going to regret that! Filth!"
There's a moment of silence, but a voice, rich and sultry speaks.
You open the door, and find what can only be described as an explosion of fluff and silk. A single elven male sits at a desk in the corner, finishing his work.
"The fact that you're knocking here means the barkeep thought to send you my way." he says offhandedly. With a flick of his wrist, the door shuts behind you and he stands up. It's when he turns to face you, that's when you realize that his robes were probably not for...standard use. Covered much to little.
And suddenly....you get it. This...This is was definitely not what you thought you signed up for.
But hey, if you wanna go that direction with your character, fine by me.
You can feel his nervousness as you press your body to his, and the shiver of pleasure that runs up him would be sweet in some small way, if he didn't have that creepy follower thing in the foreground of who he was.
"Not a problem for a man with my talents," he says with a smile. "I happened to be introduced to someone who's very good at finding information. Only took him a couple days to find you. Without him I'd probably never have seen you again. We'll have to invite him to the wedding."
He awkwardly places an arm around you, confidence growing.
Owl stalks away. He was one of those types, had the world locked down to a few simple beliefs, everything else was either annoying or illogical. Well, with your deal soured, you return back to the bar you had waited outside of. Those smells really had an effect on your stomach and its demands.
Inside, among the warmth, you find the table your servant and friend Kari Val'demar has already claimed, laughing it up with a bunch of dockworkers. But as you approach she shoos them all off, giving one a wink, before passing you a warm ale and flagging down a server.
"How'd your deal go?" she asked, the rosy redness of her cheeks indicating how she spent her allotted pay for the day.
How much did you pay for a month's service?
Dammit. So much work. So much effort. Gone, just like that.
Well, it may not be a total loss. You know your target's spooked and will likely retreat underground for a bit. But your source knew that man personally, maybe personally enough to know where he hid during dangerous times.
It had been a simple trade last time. You helped him find this girl she was looking for, and he gave up an associate who had info on the girl you were tracking. Perhaps another trade was in order? You know which inn he was staying at, perhaps he'd be there....
Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Attack: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11 Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Heh, I kinda walked right into this one. It's fine, though. Kali should be fun to embarrass. :D
Kalisuel looks down to see what she's wearing.
A set of worn out clothes.
A pack well past its prime.
A pair of boots that had maybe another month left before they were just leather wrappings and twine.
Two well worn and well used blades in equally worn scabbards.
A suit of dwarven-crafted chainmail easily thrice her age.
And absolutely nothing that should have suggested she was a prostitute.
Seriously, this is a new low, even for me.
Her face turning scarlet, she buries it in her hands and slowly shakes her head.
"Please tell me that you are actually in need of a caravan guard," she begs through her hands.
About the only thing that could make this worse is if a couple of Calistrians came in right now.
And Kalisuel casts the spell tempt fate :)
Can never be too careful. That's a sniper's moto.
Finally! She rounded the corner and had eyes on the purse snatcher but, unfortunately, it seems someone else had a bone to pick with this little urchin.
Jix sighed and began approaching the scene with a deadpan face and her heavy crossbow drawn. She had watched this play too many times before. Usually from the perspective of the child and knew she would have to intervene before things got out of hand. These well-to-do types, were always the same. They viewed the poor as something filthy and less than humanoid and were quick to take great offense at the slightest provocation by the poor.
Of course, the lad had probably stolen from him and thus, Jix felt, he had the right to give him a little bit of a work-over, hell, she was going to do that herself, but if she didn't step-in now she knew from experience that the finely dressed man would likely take things too far.
"Alright, alright there lads, you got your lumps in that's enough. The lad's comin' wit me. I'm takin' 'im in to the constable, on a five gold bounty, as a witness to a murder." She decreed, waltzing up to the men, hands on her hips looking, every bit, an official bounty hunter.
Bluff: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 = 30
"Any coin the lad owes ya 'll 'ave ta be taken up at the constabulary. Now kindly sod off if ya would." She sneered as she gave the, much taller, men and ocular pat-down for valuables.
Perception Check For Valuables On The Fat Man: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Perception Check For Valuables On The Tall Man: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
The face was definitely not ringing any bells. At least the servants weren't actively interfering yet. To his credit, Otho kept his hand off his own sword. Instead he reared back for another blow.
Duly noted. Since his nonlethal attack connected, I'll make that free intimidate check thanks to enforcer. 9 rounds remaining for Dodge to be in effect. I'm not sure if Otho's opponent moved, but if he did Otho will use a move action to get toe-to-toe again and make another unarmed, nonlethal power attack.
Intimidate: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Attack: 1d20 + 4 - 1 ⇒ (17) + 4 - 1 = 20
Damage: 1d6 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 3 + 2 = 6
She was not pouting.
"Finding another copy of that book is next to impossible! We got lucky that we found that one and there were not many that were made!" Wilting, she looked up when the server approached. "One of your best orders of food, if you would." Dejected, she took a drink of her mug and laid her head on her arms on the table, looking over at Kari. If she was drinking, then she had already eaten. "At least you're having a good night", she sulked. The warm and comforting atmosphere of the inn could not reach her right now, but she was probably also hungry. Perhaps food would make this situation seem better.
Used the Hireling(trained) fee, so 90s/mo.
If I'm to start properly covering my tracks, I'll need to know more about this mystery informant. After being a courtesan for so many years, Laetitia has learned a thing or two about the different types of men, and generally how they behave. Nearly certain that the man she's embracing is the trifecta of bad clients--insecure, obsessive and likely prone to jealousy--she feels she needs to navigate discussing another man with a bit of delicacy. Asking for a name might be too obvious... If I could at least narrow down the location, I might be able to find this person myself and persuade him to quit tracking me. As her fingers stray lower and lower down the man's torso, eventually stopping to trace the waistband of his breeches, she poses her next question with a light, casual tone. "You met him in Korvosa?"
Is Richter wearing a belt, by any chance? Might come in handy in a couple posts.
Situation 1: If he is there he taps on the window and smiles like a serial murderer, pressing his face to the window. After a reaction he opens the window and slips in. "ello Benny. Where does your boy like to lay low? Random passerby spooked him and he ran off."
Situation 2: If it is someone else he pulls himself back up and enters the front door. He walks directly to the bar, head down and tired looking, to avoid wandering eyes. "Benny's special," he says to the bartender. It was a code for a drink and to ask where Benny currently was. Owl leaves a few extra silver for the information.
Situation 3: If no one is there but he sees signs of the man he is looking for, he slips in anyway and waits. See situation 1 speech.
"Hmm?" The elf wonders, before realization also hits him. He then starts to laugh, while covering himself, adjusting his robes with a few straps.
"My dear girl no," the elf proclaims. "Good heavens, you're not here for that sort of thing. You're not really my type to begin with."
These words aren't meant as insults, rather, a bit more explanatory to his "taste."
"I was hoping you'd take up a small job for me. A bit of risk, but decent reward. How do you feel about escaping from a jail cell?"
As the fat man turns around to swing the sword at you, its fairly easy for you to close the gap. You threaten him coldly, but the stupid bastard is having none of it. He starts to swing, and that's when you land your fist squarely on his temple. There's a beat. and then he slumps, his sword falls to the ground in a clatter while he lands in thwump. Unconscious.
The servants that work for the fat man look at each other hesitantly.
"Alright, alright there lads, you got your lumps in that's enough. The lad's comin' wit me. I'm takin' 'im in to the constable, on a five gold bounty, as a witness to a murder."
The new voice you find comes from a ratfolk female; her jet black fur and lithe figure are quite alluring if that's to one's tastes. You haven't seen her from around here before, but she seems to be very official.
"Any coin the lad owes ya 'll 'ave ta be taken up at the constabulary. Now kindly sod off if ya would." she explains, sneering at you all, looking you all up and down, possibly for weapons.
Right before you make your approach, a sudden hesitance crosses you as the giant of a man decks the fat man brandishing a sword in one swift motion.
"I already regret it. I'm going to have to wash your stink off my knee later." you hear him mutter angrily.
Nevertheless, you proceed forward trusting your natural wit to get out of this mess.
Before anyone can get a word in edgewise, one of the servants grabs the boy's hand firmly and lifts him to his feet.
"Do you realize who've you just attacked?" the servant frantically asks. "That was the Duke Maggory. You won't get away with this."
He pulls out a small dagger and frantically brandishes it at both Otho and Jix.
"And if the vermin thinks I'm going to relinquish the Duke's precious son in some filthy rat's custody, think again. Come back with an actual person and I'll speak with them, thanks."
As the moment of food crosses her mind, a basket of stir-fried seafood lands in front of her. Looking up, you can see Kari passing the server a silver, and giving you a wink.
"Can't let my employer pass out from hunger when she decides to spend the entirety of her allotted allowance on old dusty pages."
She takes another swig from her glass.
"Though I was talking with those nice gentlemen over there." She gives the fellas a flirtatious wave, and is met with cheers and whistles. She doesn't seem to mind the attention, as long as the guys knew where the line was.
"Anyway," she continues."I heard them that if you're looking for rare texts, there's a pretty open dealer in town right now. He's staying at an inn nearby, not too far from here. It's by the docks, but I wouldn't be surprised if he had a copy of the book you're after."
"ello Benny. Where does your boy like to lay low? Random passerby spooked him and he ran off."
Laetitia, you are surprised to hear a voice emenating from the window pane, and perhaps even more so when a mad-man face is pressed against it. Richter for his part quickly hurries over to the window.
"Owl! I've told you over and over again I go by Richter now! No more of this Benny business."
Richter lets Owl into the room, and quickly pulls Laetiita closer as well.
"Dearest, this is the man who's brought us together. The one I who helped me find you so our love could grow." Richter's all smiles again, as he quickly introduces the love of his life to the handyman who helped find her.
"You, my clever friend, have earned yourself a seat on the groom's side of the wedding when its held."
Owl, you were hired to help find this woman and there's a decent chance you have suspicions on her actual character but decided to keep quiet so you could get paid. Essentially, I'd rather avoid social combat for the time being so both Laetitia and Owl play nice.
The cunning rogue held her arms out in front of herself, placating the armed man and the man with strong arms before her. "Right now lads. Let's all just settle down now. No need to turn to violence. 'ow 'bout we put our weapons down, nice an' slow like."
She then focused her attention squarely on the trembling servant, brandishing a knife before her whilst, at the same time, firing venomous insults her way. "Now look 'er laddie buck, I may be jus' a rat ta yer self but I am 'ere on an official warrent from the constable 'isself, that I am. Which means your currently 'amperin' an official of the law in an investigation." She stood shaking her head from side to side shamefully and tut tuting the servant in a dissappionted tone. "That there's a punishable offense, it is. Not ta mention threatening a representative of the law, now that there's a more serious matter, possibly 'angin' time."
"Now if ya jus' calm yer titties there an' 'and over the lad we can ju' brush this 'ole thing under the rug? Eh? What do ya say? I'll even tell yer boss you tried real 'ard to stop me I will." Jix offers the man a welcoming smile and an award winning wink then turns her golden gaze to the tall man before her.
Bluff: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20
"As for what yer doing. It ain't really a part o' me bounty so, frankly, I don't give a toss."
Well this just got interesting.
Owl takes one look at the woman and smiles. She had the look of a cat struggling to get away from a very affectionate owner. And failing. "Enchante Mademoiselle," he says, doing a surprisingly graceful bow and hat sweep from the window sill. He takes a seat on the dresser and looks back and forth between them. The book could wait, this should be fun. "My congratulations to you two. I am sure you will be very happy together. And I will certainly be there for the wedding. When were you planning to do it?"
Laetitia pulls away from Richter's embrace enough to look her "fiancé" in the eye, her face once more a mask of innocence. "Wait, why is he calling you Benny? Is there something you aren't telling me?"
I always play nice. >=)
"Sorry, it's happened to me before," Kali apologizes after the Elf makes it clear that he's not wanting her for her carnal abilities.
Upon hearing him give a little bit of what the job was about, she was back on the defensive. She didn't like the sound of where this was going, and she was also certain that her knowing was going to be an issue.
"Um, I'd rather not be in a jail cell in the first place," she responds cautiously, taking one step back towards the door.
"I'm not versed in the art of lockpicking and I'm certain that I'd have anything on me taken by the guards," she continues, "I'm just a guard. I don't think I have the skills you need."
So Owl reeled it in himself. He had his fun, made his comment. He was never one to alienate a prospective customer. "That's a okay love. Your groom-to-be already paid." Okay, that was the last one. "A word of advice, I would tone this," he says, indicating his face, "down a bit if you are trying to move subtly. Beauty like yours draws a lot of eyes, men and woman a like. Especially woman. They can be very jealous."
He hops down from the dresser and walks over to Richter. "Benny is unimportant. What is important is...Richter focus." He grabs the man by his shoulders and forces his attention on himself and not his blushing bride. Yeah, right. "What is important is where your man you set up a meet with likes to lay low. He ran cause a woman asked for directions."
"You won't get away with this either you little câcat."
One hand swept down to indicate the formerly conscious duke wipe the other remained balled up and ready.
"Maggory pulled a sword on an unarmed man and look what happened to him. You think I care about your little pig-sticker. I bet this little lady could deputize me. I could beat you into the ground and come out of it smelling like a rose."
He'd caught that wink, oh yes, and he felt like playing along.
Aid Another on Jix's bluff check: 1d20 ⇒ 20
Richter scowls and for once moves away from his beloved to the desk, ruffling through some papers he kept in his hand bag. He rummages for long enough for the both of you to stare daggers and smirk at each other to your hearts content.
"I don't plan on seeing him again..." Richter speaks up as he returns to you two. He hands Owl a few papers.
"I'd start with the Docks," Richter recommends. "There's a small ship that he stays on way off the official docks. You can probably find him there. If that doesn't work, you can probably track him to the Honeydew Bar. Its pretty close to where your meeting was at actually. He's a sucker for their honeycakes."
Richter places his hand and Laetitia again.
"Now if you don't mind Owl, my love and I have some catching up to do."
The trembling servant has turned from threats to tears.
"You don't understand..." he manages to say, his voice wavering as much as his hand. "He'll kill me if I let his son go. I know he doesn't act like it, but he does love the lad. I can't just give him to you."
There is pleading in his eyes, and you can tell there's something to be feared from the portly man Otho just knocked out.
The muses over your answer.
"Oh dear, and I thought I'd finally have someone for that task. Tsk. No matter. Perhaps another task then? There's plenty of work I nee done. Let's see...."
The elf sits on the bed comfortably, and ponders.
"Of course!" he suddenly exclaims. "What do you say about a bit of tough work, hmm? I just need you to take care of a unsavory character in town. He'll be guarded, but the person himself just needs a good kick in the pants.."
"Really? You think that's the kind of information that gets passed around at bars LIa? I know he has a preference for pink and purple, loves strapping young men, and is an arcane wizard of a high magnitude, but no. No idea if he likes to wake up early.
Kari takes another sip.
"Ugh..." she gets up from her seat and slams the rest of her drink. "Alright, we're going now. If we miss this book you've been mooning about for the past two weeks I'm going to smother you in your sleep after another week of complaining."
Kali felt the bottom of her stomach fall out. Was this what she'd been reduced to? A common thug?
Still, if the man was wicked, then she'd be helping out at least.
"tell me of this man," she says plainly, not letting her disappointment show, "name his deeds and I'll decide then."
What 'ave I gotten meself into this time?
She then straightened her back and glowered at the crying man before her. "Absolutely an' completely pathetic you are ya cockless git. Some backbone you 'ave! An' after givin' me a right tongue lashing 'bout me splending self an' me 'ole race. Ye should be ashamed ta call yerself a man." She barked, glaring at the man as though she were attempting to make him explode with her own mind.
Jix spat a large viscous glob of saliva on the cobblestone, which resounded with a sharp splat, and shook her head. "The very sight of ye makes me sick to me stomach, it does. I can't be arsed with this b!#~+~#s any longer so jus' give me the bag of coin the lad's 'olding there. It's evidence from the scene, it is, an' git yer ugly arse outta me face an' I'll jus' pretend I've seen none of this."
Bluff: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
She indicates to the bag with her heavy crossbow whilst baring an annoyed look on her rodent features.
"So, I'm not the only person you're here to track down. Which makes me simply a means to an end for you. I'm hurt.
Laetitia tries to surreptitiously steal a glance at whatever documents Richter passes off to Owl, curious to see what information could be so invaluable to the investigator as to motivate him to track her down twice. She isn't able to make out very much from the papers, but luckily Richter is more than forthcoming with the details of the mystery man's location. You may not plan on seeing him, but I certainly do. The plan is far from fully formed in her mind; Laetitia isn't even sure whether she wishes to help or hinder Owl in his quest. On the one hand, should she cooperate with him, it was likely she could convince him to quit pursuing her once she ditched Richter again. Then again, she was certainly spiteful enough to want to throw a wrench into his plans, just to see the smug look wiped off his face. As Richter dismisses Owl, Laetitia "favors" the man with one last parting smirk.
"See you soon."
He kneeled down and fixed the boy with a penetrating stare.
"What do you want to do right now?"
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
"So, I'm not the only person you're here to track down. Which makes me simply a means to an end for you. I'm hurt."
"I'm sure he could kiss it and make it better," he says smirking, and holding the papers further away from her. She could certainly play the game well. He'd have to be careful around her.
He leafs through the papers but decides to take them somewhere else. Somewhere safer. Maybe the Honeydew Bar. A ship would be hard to get on but everyone has to eat. If he waited there, the man was likely to show up again.
"Now if you don't mind Owl, my love and I have some catching up to do."
"Of course. I will let you be. Maybe you should go tell inn keeper to send up some food, get some candles, make it romantic." That should leave the lovely lady a few minutes to get away, he thinks. Or whatever else she decided to do in a the empty room. He shakes Richter's hand and kisses hers. He then folds the papers up and put them in a belt pouch and hops back out the window. He slides down the rope and, with a deft flick, pops the grappling hook off and rolls it up as he walks away.
Owl makes his way over the Honeydew Bar, whistling a little tune. As soon as he enters to scans his surroundings looking for the man. If he doesn't find him, he finds an out-of-the way table and has set taking sips of the local brew. Maybe even tries a cake. Enough that the staff don't mind him being there for a while. He pours over the papers a few times and puts together some plans as he waits.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
"Fine, I suppose. Your argument has persuaded me. We will go tonight", she said a bit haughtily, trying to seem magnanimous. It was a bit hard to do given that her dignity had since evaporated when she failed to emulate Kari in downing the ale. Heading towards the door, she grinned. Getting her hands on the book would be a good thing, since her contact stiffed her. She was due a bit of good luck.
The Elf smiles.
"My name's Desoran, by the way." He sighs, as if wondering where all the manners in the world had gone. "And you dear?"
After getting your name, he continues.
"The despondent is a Duke Maggory. He's had a hand in smuggling, drug dealing, forgery, and about a dozen other crimes. Now normally he'd fit right in at Riddleport, but you see I've grown tired of having my servants buy his forged ancient tomes that he keeps releasing on the market. And I'd like to get my message across."
He muses for a bit longer ,as he stretches on the bed.
"He beats his son too, if that makes a difference. Belt and fist, whatever's handy."
The kid looks up to Otho, his stoic face beginning to tremble. You can tell he's learned to internalize pain, but as with the strongest souls, there are a few subjects that can bring one to tears.
"I want my mother..." he whimpers, a quiver in his voice and tears forming in his eyes. His breathing starts to get faster, panic setting in as he struggles to keep his emotions contained.
The servant in the meanwhile hasitly moves to comply with Jix's wishes and tries to wrench the money purse out of the boy's hands.
"Give it!" the servant demands, but the boy desperately clings on as if its his only lifeline.
Otho, see spoiler below
You feel as if the boy isn't holding to the bag in greed, and he's despartely sincere about wanting to see his mother again.
You find yourself alone with your "love" who is beside himself with what he thinks is coming next.
"Would you like me to order room service, my dear?" he asks. "Or if you'd rather catch up sooner than later..."
He is indeed wearing a belt
You arrive at the HoneyDew Bar, but don't see any sign of your target. However, you do run straight into the woman who interrupted you earlier!
You are about to leave, with Kari in tow, when you walk straight into the man who tookover your deal!
Well this should be interesting...
"Just call me Kay," Kali says at Desoran's question about her name.
Better to not give him more than he has to find me with if I can help it.
The young fighter stood there thinking for a moment, wondering if she should take Desoran up on his offer. Nearly a minute passed before she spoke again, the need to secure enough funds to get out of Riddleport becoming the deciding factor.
"Fine, I'll see what I can do to persuade him not to sell forged tomes anymore," she says quietly, "how much are you paying?"
"C'mon, c'mon! I don't give a toss if the little sad arse want's 'is bloody mommy!" She muttered through gritted teeth as the tall man saw to the child's needs before her and the servant failed to retrieve the gold from the boy.
After a few more moments of this the remaining shreds of the ratfolk's patience had vanished and she began to approach the boy snarling. "If ya think fer one second that yer little sob story gets ta me well you've made a right clanger indeed 'cause, frankly, I can't be arsed. Yer related to this rich t*#+, such as 'e is, so it ain't like ya need the money! Ye don't know what it's like to live in the the street with the rats!" She aproached the boy with a menacing scowl.
"Give. Me. Back. The. Money."
Intimidation: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
They were headed somewhere. Had they been here the whole time waiting for his contact? What would a noble's child want with a ledger on slave trade? Her outward appearance didn't match her intended acquisition. That meant one of two things: this was a mistake on someones part or she needed it. But for what reason? Did his client have another daughter? Was she maybe looking for someone else on the ledger? She was going about it all wrong, that was for sure. Time to find out if she was a potential partner or a pedestrian.
"You," he says darkly. He decided to go for dutiful investigator who was dark, broody and un-trusting of people. So himself but not disarmingly peppy. He strolls over to her and looks her in the eye. "I thought the first time was a mistake. A coincidence. Now here you are again standing in my way. I don't take kindly to people getting in the way of my investigations. So who are you?" One hand rests on his shortsword and he keeps the other girl in his peripheral vision.
"Alright! Lets just all settle down now."
"You," he pointed at the boy, "give the lady the money. I'll make a promise right here and now. I'll do my best to find your mother or bring you to her."
"And you," he looked at the servant while pitching a thumb to Maggory, "Tell his lordship that if he ever whips his son into the ground like a dog again I'll be there to do the same."
"Now what's your name kid? Same for your mother."
This chance confrontation was taking up the time that she was dragged away from her table for a book. "I have no time for rude individuals that undercut others, and then make demands when they see them again. Good evening, sir." She was trying to keep her cool, keep herself calm, getting angry would solve nothing, and there was more to lose in losing her temper than would benefit her. Turning away after dismissing him, she gave a look to Kari and resumed their direction.
Bad combination of work shifts, out of town trip, and real life makes for one hell of a delay. Apologies.
You might be surpised as Desoran beings to laugh.
"My dear....no, this is not how I work." he says shaking his head. "Gold makes for such...loose agreements. After all, you just need more to overturn another's agreement. No dear, I deal in desire. What is you want?"
The lad doesn't even notice Jix as she does her best to bring the feralness of her face out. Sadly, puffing out one's cheeks makes for a cute hamster effect rather than wild animal.
But Otho's promises and reassurances does seem to calm the boy down, and the servant backs off at this evidently larger threat.
"Thomias" the boy says quietly, his throat a bit hoarse from his wailings earlier. He ashamedly avoids jix's gaze as he gives her back her money pouch.
"I'm sorry...there was so much that I...I-I thought I could afford a horse or travel fare to see my mother."
She walk on, not even a look back. That's a new one.
You make your way into the bar, and get yourself comfortable It might be a looooong wait before your target shows up. But...the smell of cooked meats is in the air, and the beer is fresh and cold. This might be one of the better stakeout's you've had in a while.
Time passes....but it doesn't look like he's showing yet...
How strange...it was the second time you've run into that man. But no time for him now, you have a man to track down. Kari hurries to keep pace.
"That the guy?" she asks, but the look you give her is enough of an answer.
You arrive at the inn and after a few questions to the front clerk, you are directed to room upstairs. Hmm...wait.....did he say the left or the right one? you can hear laughter out of one room and one of the doors opens in shocking speed and a man runs out nearly colliding with you and Kari.
"Sorry!" he says as he helps Kari off the floor, and tries to rush downstairs.
Richter is out of the room and down the stairs to yell orders to the kitchen and front clerk. Whether he'll arrive with the items or return to spend time with you, who can say? Whatever the case, you are alone and that time is winding down quickly.
"I loosened 'im up for you." She says, tossing Otho a sideways glance as she passed him heading back in the direction of the tavern and folding her arms up behind her head casually as she goes.
"Ya might want t' clear outta this town if ya know what's good for ya stranger. No sense gettin' yerself involved in other folk's business that's what I always say. Otherwise ya might end up dead an somethin' tells me that ol' sodding Maggotty, or whatever, is gonna be lookin' fer yer 'ead when 'e's 'ad enough of 'is nap time, so 'e will."
I know how that feels. Don't worry about it. :)
Though her expression didn't change, Kali is stunned by the question, and almost answers truthfully. She hesitates a moment, picking her words with care.
"I want to not be cheated," she answers instead, "I do not go back on my word. If you cannot trust me enough to complete the task you hire me to do, then I'm afraid that this conversation is over."
With that, she turns and goes to open the door to leave.