You all wake up to a strange clinking noise, it must be the strange engineered bell that Terxu installed into each of your guest rooms. As you get up and get dressed, you remember, todays the final day you have before you leave. Oh, yes Terxu also has stressed that this morning would be your briefing, so you all quickly are off to the other side of the estate, cutting through the courtyard to speed it up. You enter the dining room, each of you sit down.
The old man stands at the end of the table, dressed in seemingly un-extravagent clothing, or at least less than you would think he would be. He isn't very tall, probably about 5 feet each of you measure, he is completely bald well, except for ligh black hairs that are growing out of what seems every crevice in on his head. With a nod and a wink, he looks over all of you.
"Before we begin, I would like each of you to give your preferred name, what you offer to the group, a little bit of your backround but not all of it, we don't have that much time to spare, and any special ablilities you might have that would overly impress us." he smiles as he almost seems to recite the words.
The young looking halfling stands first and speaks with a quiet but lilting voice, "I believe I shall begin."
He sweeps his cloak back in a flourish and continues,"My name is Davik Smilebeard, I am a master manipulator of the mind. I can trick even the most cynical skeptics and turn them into believers. I have knowledge of a great many things. I come from a small town far from here, that I doubt any of you know. I trained with the best magician in the world along with a great scholar of his time, and now am here to assist in any way I can.
He reaches into his cloak and retrieves a coin and as he flashes it around he tosses it into the air. Perform:1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
The coin seems to hang in the air for a moment, but then gently floats down to his hands. He smiles broadly and takes his seat again.
The surly dwarf stands with a grunt. "That's a good trick Davik but I'll take steel over mind tricks in the heat of a battle. Names Valak Steelspike, you can call me Valak. I am a priest in the Brotherhood of the Iron Lord. I understand there are battles to be fought and glory to be won in the name of Gorum. In the heat of battle it is best to stay out of my way. Gorum has blessed me with the ability to heal wounds should any of you find yourselves lacking in his guidance."
The young Varisian woman stands as she nods to the dwarf, "I too prefer cold steel in a battle over magic. My name is Feena Dawnstrider, but please call me Feena. I have traveled many places," she looks to the halfling,"and have buried many evil creatures and artifacts. I am here to make sure that no evil arises from the depths below. May we travel with justice and good intentions." She takes her seat again as she re-adjusts her armor
Badang looks forlorn at the empty dining table and curses under his breath.
This Terxu is all business. Couldn't he at least prepare a small repast, considering this might be last time in a long while we'd be getting some hot food?
His mood not improved especially getting woken up by an impassioned bell like device which hardly remains a bell after Badang looked bleary eyed for a stop function and decided his axe would do just as same.
No, looking back at Terxu. He's just a bloke with money but no guts to seek the treasure he finds interesting.
WIth a sniff, Badang leans back and voices out in a gruffly obnoxious voice, addressing Terxu.
"You hired me because I'm handy probing round old ruins and have the brawn to do so with little support."
Looking around at the assembled crew,
"I've worked with crews like this before, the shorter the name the easier to remember and forget. You all can call me 'Bhad'. Not pig-face, that's the name for my axe.
Sizing up the half-orc with some disdain
Bah...a pig-face! Just my luck. Nothing worse than a half-orc with an attitude. Thinks Valak.
"At least the axe is pretty to look at." Grumbles Valak to no one in particular.
"Now, now, no need to fight, especially in my presence," Terxu says as looks at the orc, then he stands up and begins to pace around as he proceeds, "To business though, your 'crew' if you will, will be traveling to the fallen fortress, which, for a long time was sealed, although, of late, it seems that not only has it been opened, somethings moved in, although I don't know what, (bluff check) by the by, there will be treasure, although nothing in particular, except for... Some information, supposedly a wizard, an ancient ancestor of mine named Roxkeu, I don't know much about him, and maybe you will come across something? Now, about the pay... I'll offer you 250 gold each, the proper worth of anything you find, and 200 gold, maybe more, for information on my ancestor, Any objections? If not, let us eat" Terxu yells the last part and raises his arms as he says it, at the same time, 6 striking women, all of different race, burst through the door, An elf, a half-elf, a human, a gnome, a dwarf, a halfing, all dressed in waitress attire, walk around the room and deliver piles of smoked sausage links, loaves of breads, various small pastries you can't name, eggs cooked almost every way you can think, hashbrowns and other potatoes, butters, more assorted meats, cheeses that are to extravagent to describe, and many strange colored sauces, "When we finish, you will leave," he yells happily and jeers.
If you have ranks in sense motive or bluff:
You notice that there is something he isn't telling you, something that may make the puzzle fit a bit more...
Feena skewers one of the sausage links and holds it up for inspection, "Tell me Terxu, why did you send me a letter and how did you know of me?" She turns to look at at Terxu, no expression on her face.
"Ah, yes, you see, every five years or so, I send out about 100 men, to search the lands of able bodied people, your names showed up, so I picked the lot of you." Terxu says as he butters a piece of bread, then adds some cheese and meat.
Davik listens thoroughly to Terxu's tale, but narrows his eyes slightly.Bluff:1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
However when money is mention his eyes light up. When the waitresses walk in he winks at the half elf and says, "How's it going cutie? Would you like some flowers?"Sleight of Hand:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
The smell of the food awakens a hunger in Valak that he has not known in a long time! "Sounds like a good deal Terxu." Valak says as he reaches for a handful of sausages. "What kind of magic did this ancestor of yours practice?"
"Anything that you might think would help, and I was hoping you would like the food, but back to your question, what would I be hiding? Why do you think I would not prepare to the best of my ablility? It's preposterous that you would even bring up such a subject!" As Terxu says this he bangs his hand on the table, his face becoming flustered, he then calms down, wolfs down an egg, and awaits another question.
You know that something is up, although you don't have a clue what it might be.
"Is that all you wish to ask me? If so, then now, you can go and gather supplies you need, and I may be able to assist with supplies also" You notice as Terxu talks, that he has eggs and a purple sauce smeared on his cheek. The fine waitress's quickly re-enter and clean the table to a sparkle, and remove all of the food. Terxu waves to the Elf, she walks over and cleans his face.
Now, if you have any supplies you would like to get, or anything you want to see if he has he'll give you, then go ahead and ask, if you do not, please say that on the discussion so that I will know what is going on, thanks!
"Zirkal, what would you specifically like? Valak, you charming you, you know where the armory is, help yourself, and you may find a potion of cure light wounds you can have..." Terxu says, he then quickly looks over his shoulder, to the wall "Oh no, they're here!" he yells as he quickly stands, turns around, and runs into the wall, knocking himself out.
With the commotion, the Elven maiden returns, she looks over to Terxu
"God, again? My master has been acting funny of late, this being one of his many strange, new, characteristics, anyway, it's best if you get going, as I'm sure he told you where any supplies that may help are, you can go retrieve them, but do not terry, he usually has.... Temper tantrums when he wakes... " She says as she cradles his head.
Nope, just a whacked up rich old man, imagine that...
Feena stands calmly and walks over to Terxu. When she nears she kneels to check if he's breathing. Once comfirmed, she stands and turns towards the maiden, Tell me, did this start when the ruins were uncovered?
"It started about one week after the tremors occured, he was fine until then, and now... He'll just feint, or he'll yell at an inanimate object, or something similar.. It's strange really," the elven woman says as her voice wavers off, she begins mumbling things, then bursts out crying, resting her head on the mans lap , she is obviously close to the man, besides the fact he is her 'master...
Oddly enough, the halfling has been quiet listening to the conversation. When their host jumps he hastily puts his hand to his belt as if feeling for a weapon. He then calmly resumes leaning against the wall. He then pipes up, "Hmm, most strange. However I have no doubt we will be able to help you find what you seek." He smiles a winning smile and fiddles with a deck of cards.
"I'm no hand maiden, I'm his loyal advisor, although, I have no idea how he came across the information, or anything about that old tower for that matter... and he's refused to tell me anything..." The elf says as she twirls her hair with one hand, and looks into your eyes, searching for what looks to be, hope.
"Please, just go and do what he has asked you to..."
Badang, as you pick your way through the armory, you come across a small leather casing, opening it you come across theives tools that are very rusty, and a few are missing, but if you take about one hour, you should be ably to repair them with a Disable Device check...
The elven advisor reappears at the door, "You really should be going, he's just awoken, he's fine, he told me where the tower is, and he drew it on a map, it's only about three miles northwest of town, travel carefully, and may you have good luck..." she says with a grim smile. As she leaves, she sets down a parcel, with a simple brown paper wrapping, and a small grey string tied neetly around it. The small package is only about two feet by four feet, with the map she described placed on top it.
Valak kneels beside Feena and lays one hand on top of the contents.
With his other hand he grasps his holy symbol hanging around his neck and starts to pray for Gorum to bless him with the ability to detect if these are magical.