Oh dear, have I made a mistake? Father Isaak, who is he? I'm sorry I 'mistook you for some of my 'oldest friends' who were comming to see me. Anyway, maybe I have made a mistake.The human priest mutters, obviously ill at ease.
sense motive DC 10, Xenarchy and Roh-Kai use your old rolls.
The priest is trying to not draw attention from the guard. Why, you have no idea, but he seems terribly nervous, more afraid of you then you are of him. Who or what is he trying to hide?
--The guard captain and two of his men are looking at you from across the temple square.They seem pretty bored, but the amount of guards, 5, is excessive for a temple square this time of day, especially one with nothing to steal, and so few people around.
Garesh nods to the priest, "My young friend here always gets the name wrong, but we are here to get supplies from priest..." He suttley waves his hand to fellow elf to give a priests name. " Yes, oh you are him excellent. Well let's go see if they got my order right this time." Garesh turns and gives a smile to the group and he'll follow the priest if he leads them inside, and whispers back in elven.
"I'm guessing the extra guard is due to your little trip, don't worry were here to help."
City guards much like city cops, are not much known for their language skiils.By the way the priest is human, he is speaking elf, why? You don'tknow.
--Having heard what Gareshhad to say, the priest points in the direction of the largest outbuilding, and suggests That is the apothecarium, I suggest we go there and begin the 'treatments'. He actually hisses the last word, in hopes that even the slower members of the party understands the need for secrecy.
He adds " You have no idea, these wall have ears, and Isaak's mission is far FAR more complicated than you imagine.
If nobody objects he ushers you into the largest building, the apothecarium.--The priest shuts the door, and locks it. He turns to you and says in Cheloveki,
--I'm afraid we can not be too careful, after all, the words on the notice are true and you are on the Tsar's business. First I must make sure where your loyalities lie. Glancing at the orc and the elf he quickly explains I do not refer to you, of course, rather there is a rather delicate political conspiracy. Namely, the boyar of Rekagrad is quite hostile to the current Tsar, and is interested in making his position weaker. Thus the city is full of spies. Father Isaak is not only, or rather not simply a Priest of Marfya, but also an agent for his majesty, Tsar Dmitri. I think you can all understand the need for secrecy. Should you have any questions or objections, please make them known now, for I can't let you meet Father Isaak until you have decided you are ready to work for the Throne.
Vuk shifts his weight to his left foot as he cocks his head in confusion, "If such hostilities exist, why post on the board, for all to see, that the tsar is funding this exploration?" He nervously shifts his weight back to his other foot before continuing, "I am unsure how I could prove my loyalties, which in fact I don't think I have any to anyone other than me and my family. Though, I suppose that means that I do not wish ill upon any group or person."
Vuk goes silent as he lowers his head as if deep in thought.
"My loyalty is with my faith, and Ios wishes for me to do this task. So that is what I can offer...." He pauses and starts to think then his eyes brighten up as he remembered something. "Hmm the lucky one also wished for me to look out for this one." He pulls out the wanted poster he took from the board and begins to read it to the priest then asks, "Do you know such a person? Or do you think the priest incharge of the caravan would?"
Male Orc Fighter/2 [HP 23/23; AC: 17/15/12; Init +4; F+6, R+2, W+0; Perc +1]
"I will not swear loyalty to you or your Tsar. I had no idea the mission would demand such, your poster simply asked for guards. An orc swears allegiance only to his Clan, his Hold, and his brothers in arms. I care not for your politics."
Roh-Kai pauses for a bit before speaking again, although the words come out a little tentatively.
"However, if your money's good, I'll not betray you if that's your concern. Despite the situation I find myself in I'm not a common" Roh-Kai spits on the ground before saying the next word "mercenary. If you hire me as a guard, then a guard you'll have, and one of the best. As much as I swear to never bow before your Tsar I will never betray an honest employer."
--The priest hurries to explain I see you are not familiar with our politics, Orc, nor do you wish to be. Our worry is that your loyalities lie with the Boyar of Rekagrad. He is the strongest voice against Tsar Dmitri. Since it seems all of you are from elsewhere, you are in fact ideal for this expedition.
--As to the wanted poster he adds, I have never heard of a person, and to be honest find the description a bit vague. In fact I think it could apply to most of the female adventuring types I have seen.
--He pauses before continuing And yes the money is good, very good. No, you won't have to swear any oaths, and if that is all let's go see Father Isaak You can make a knowledge:nobility or knowledge:history check to learn more about the political climate in Mir
Xenarchy dispels a portion of her false meekness once the party is within the private confines of the apothecarium. With mere shift in stance and expression, she seems to radiate a sense of power. She feels more comfortable being herself in here, and that may be a subtly frightening thing. "Aha, so it is the clash of crowns that brings us here? Very well, friend. I have no love of the Boyar nor the Tsar, but nobody is offering me payment to fight the Tsar so here we are. Besides, now that you know this, it would be drastically poor for my health if I betrayed your trust, wouldn't it?"
Xenarchy almost glides like a snake as she turns to face the gathered party. "Friends, you may not know what you are about to get into but trust me when I say, we will do well to trust each other and work together. A conspiracy is not something you can simply strike with an axe to make it go away."
She turns back to the priest and smiles. "I think that settles it. Now, naturally, you could be one of those very spies, looking for those who would fight the Boyar so his agents can eliminate them. Please, as a gesture of trustworthiness, would you mind allowing yourself to be enspelled for just a moment? No harm will come to you, I assure you."
--The priest looks rather alarmed, and mutters, You know Father Isaak is, ahem, ready to see you now. I merely had to make sure you weren't the Boyar's men. But you , casting spells, in here, I don't think Father Isaak would approve. I mean, does one usually ask first anyway?How do I know my head won't explode? Knowledge:arcana checks DC 10
Going by the words, and look of fear on his face, it would appear the priest is little more than a pharmacist, with little experience of magic at all. He'd most likely start blessing himself should you cast a spell on him, muttering about witchcraft.
--The priest asks you to follow him, as he pushes a bookcase sideways, revealing a small secret room. In a measuring only 8 by 8 feet, or about 2.5m square, is a desk, a cot, and a chair. Sitting at the desk is a short, clearly Rajul human. His red eyes blazing in the dim light...
--I felt it was time I ended this cloak and dagger charade, as you are all clearly men and, ahem, a woman of action. Please forgive me for the security measures I have taken. In case you haven't noticed, my being in the city is not a secret,hence I posted my real name and location on the advertisement in Short's. That said, my every move outside this temple is being watched, and my room was broken into last night.
--Father Isaak has a shaved head, and a short black beard. He looks to be about 55 years of age. His words are slow and cultured. Around his neck is a small medalion in the shape of a woman holding a baby.
A holy symbol of Marfya
--Let me be honest with you, this is not simply a research expedition. Rather we are looking for a lost treasure, the tomb of Verthelinael. I do not expect that to mean anything to you. In the tomb, is the Raven's Mirror. an artifact which is said to show a king the time and nature of his death. The Tsar, has bid me find it, and bring it to him. He fears the Boyari are plotting to murder him, and this wold give him the proof he needs. The expedition will give you 100 gold coins now, and 900 should we return alive at the end. Murder me, or run off with the payment, and you don't get the rest. Knowledge checks for History, Arcana, Dungeonering,
--We will take canoe up river for 5 days, after that we must cross into the Orc Holds. There you,he points to Roh-Kaiwill be of great service. In particularly, I believe we will be in the territory of the Yellow Dog Clan. In addition, we will cross through forests with Kett Hunters. The Kett are fiercly xenophobic and we will be in grave danger. Even worse, gods know what beasts lurk among the trees. Finally all I can offer at the end, is a chance to find a high elf tomb, which is likely to have undead or even magical constructs guarding the Raven's Mirror. A terrible, terrible time don't you think?
Xenarchy smiles, remaining silent during Isaak's explanation of the plan. Once he has finished, she nods curtly. "This is quite fascinating. I cannot say I possess the means to deal with undead or constructs, as they tend to lack minds to be beguiled. Friends," she says, turning to the others, "I trust you will be steadfast in the face of mindless foes. I will support you in what ways I can. I am quite eager to see this mirror, myself."
She levels her shoulders and exudes confidence. "We should have little to fear from the orcs, Kett and beasts. The orcs and Kett can be spoken to and the beasts are hardly likely to outwit us."
--Father Isaak grins at Xenarchy and says Soon we will have a chance to put your confidence and abilities to the test, but not yet. First I must ask you, what can you do? Orc, I take it you are a powerful fighter, but what of the rest of you?What are your talents? I can provide a certain amount of healing, and am a capable scholar, but quite weak in all other areas, to be honest.
Male Orc Fighter/2 [HP 23/23; AC: 17/15/12; Init +4; F+6, R+2, W+0; Perc +1]
For the first time since you've met him, you witness an expression of happiness from Roh-Kai. In fact, as soon as Xenarchy finishes speaking he lets loose a low, throaty laugh.
"Little to fear from the orcs? Little enchantress, the orcs of my hold would consider that enough of an insult to kill you where you stand and we are much more civilized than the Yellow Dogs." He laughs a few more chuckles before continuing "It's just ... so funny that you think your words will save you, when it is your very words, I bet, that would get you killed."
Roh-Kai seems to lighten up a bit after his simply appearance was enough to convey his talents.
Xenarchy presents Roh-Kai with an unfazed grin. "Oh no, I have no plan of speaking to them myself; I do not know the tongue. If you are an examplar of orckind, then it is only right that you be the one to greet them. If need be, make them afraid of you."
"Intresting treasure indeed, though I always like my death to be a suprise." He gives a crooked smile, "I am a conduit to Ios, and will provide our journey with a great deal of good luck. Though I am also versed in combat as well and my god has granted me a few other talents." His smile goes wider and takes out his cards and begins to shuffle them as he listens to his newley found friends responses.
--Having heard from everyone, Father Isaak grins, and draws out a paper from his sleeve. It is a contract stating that you will be paid 100 gold coins now, with the rest to be paid upob return to Rekagrad. Should you die, you will not be paid. Please sign your name or make your seal at the bottom of the contractHe asks.
--If there is no objection, you need to meet me at dawn tomorrow, in the docks district of the city. We will begin the canoe trip up river. I have aranged for two boats. You should buy any materials you think you will need, but I have gotten the supplies for the trip up river ready. Once we get to the forest, I hope Vuk can help us keep fed. So until dawn tomorrow you are free to take any character actions you wish.
"Dawn tomorrow it is." Vuk happily takes up the pen and signs his name at the bottom of the contract. He looks to everyone else, "I will be doing a little shopping and hopefully some studying before calling it a night this evening. Any of you are welcome to join me."
Vuk will wait for everyone to sign and if no one offers to join him he will head out to find a new Longbow. Once that is accomplished, he will try to find a library or cartographer that has a map of the region we will be traveling into.
--Father Isaak explains Yes, food, tents, and so on are provided. We also have a hammer, saw, 30 feet of rope, and a shovel. Anything more than that I suggest you buy yourself. --Each person receives 100 gold coins after signing the contract. Rekagrad is a large city, and any mundane object can be bough with little effort.Simply pay normal book prices for any mundane object. Anything magical or rare will need to be mentioned.
--VukThere are no maps because the region mentioned is uncharted. No one has mapped the orc holds. The orcs are not map makers, and the region is poorly explored. You are not even sure how Father Isaak has located the tomb. In fact it seems rather impossible.
Xenarchy spends a while considering this amount of coin given and her first thoughts are of finery. Since this is an expedition into places where garb of the noble courts might not be so useful, she just frowns and sets those plans aside for another time.
Explorer's outfit - 10 gp
Crossbow, light - 35 gp
A dagger that isn't reserved for special occasions - 2 gp
And a few nice things for herself that don't serve any useful purpose - 10 gp
Shopping taken care of? Garesh hasn't bought anything? Feel free to make a retroactive action before we leave. You find a longbow at the normal price. No maps of the area though.
--As planned you meet at dawn, at the river docks. The river will be against you, and thus it will take 5 days of rowing up river. Father Isaak is checking the supplies and making sure everything is ok.
list of supplies:
35 days of trail rations
30 feet of rope
6 fish hooks
1 flint and tinder box
1 clay jug
1 bottle of alcohol 150 proof
1 sketch book
1 box of artists pastels
1 bottle of lantern oil
--It appeas to be a nice day, the weather is good. Most traffic on the river is going down stream, and your party alone will be going against the current.
--I'm glad to see you could all make it. I believe I have sufficent supplies, and we have a woodsman, so I figure you can hunt and forage should we run out. I know there are delicious fish upriver. Our first order of business will be how to divide ourselves up between the two boats. There are 5 of us, but I'm not a very strong rower. How about the rest of you? Any experience on the water?
--He pauses, and continues, There are stories of river pirates, and I'm afraid we will run into them. Do you think we can fight them off? They are said to work in small groups, no more than 5 or 6 at the most. We might be able to bribe our way past... The boats are 12 feet long, and 30" wide. It will be crowded and uncomfortable. Most likely you will sleep on shore each night.
Xenarchy returns with an actual weapon! It looks like she spent a bit of extra gold getting an artist to add embellishments to it to match her aesthetic. None of this looks like it would make the weapon function any better than a common crossbow.
"I do not take joy in swimming, so let's make sure we stay on the boat, shall we? River pirates, we can deal with in a number of ways. While I know I am no marksman," she says, looking over the crossbow, "The pirates are not privy to that knowledge."
-The White River, or Beli Reka, is the 2nd major river in Mir. It flows from a glacial lake in the mountains, south west. It joins the Great River at Tsargrad. The river can be navigated as far north as Zhurk, at which point there are several waterfalls. Most trade is flowing south to the Capital, and away from the Dwarf Fortresses of Zhurk and Kazum. Metals are shipped south, and the Dwarves import food and alcohol.
-The point of the river you are going to travel, varries. However, the river is at least 200 feet wide, at the narrowest point, 1000 feet wide at the widest. Depth varries from 15-30 feet. Obviously this is a river and it's dimensions can change for rain or snow melt. The current is dangerous for a weak swimmer, but not a problem for a human powered craft going up river.
-From Mir:geography and geology a book in Father's Isaak's collection
Oddly enough, the skill used for boating is survival, unless one has profession sailor.
Vuk looks down at Xenarchy's crossbow and sighs a little. "I'm not sure if adding colorful art to your weapon is going to disuaid a bandit from attacking you. Though if you are insistent on using it then I could help teach you. Might as well be deadly with it if you're going to use it." Vuk turns back to Father Isaak, "Would you by any chance have a map of the area that we are going into? I would find it easier to hunt as I don't know the area or terrain. I tried looking for one last night, but was unsuccessful."
Xenarchy shakes her head. "Do not be concerned. The common bandit does not likely understand magic, either. A few harmless tricks might convince them that doom has come upon them. If their hostility is too persistent to be intimidated, we have other tricks. It is not as if all our chances lie with this silly thing," she says, gesturing with the unloaded crossbow.
Well, to be honest, I'm not entirely sure where we are going. All I know for certain is that after 5 days up river, we should see some ancient high elf stones sticking out of the water near the west bank of the river. From there we need to follow the ancient trail west, until we locate the tomb. But as nobody has done this before, I'm not sure how succesful we will be. To be honest, I've been more of a scholar, and not an explorer. Perhaps if you make a map of the area, you will become famous. But the area is populated by both Orcs and Kett, so perhaps we will be able to find a local guide...although, since both tribes are xenophobes, I find it unlikely.
Sorry about late response but was catching up on my sleep, Garesh will pick up a thunderstone, Acid flasks(2), twine, magnet, brass knuckles, bag of marbles, and a bottle of that fine(cheapest) wine that he had at “Shorts”. All that comes to 57gp he lets young pickpockets take the rest of his money he got from the priest. Seeing as they need it more then himself. Vuk will see him smile as the pick pockets snatch his money and the kids look odd at the man when he nods his head at them after the theft.
”Haven’t really taken many boat trips myself but I have a feeling lucks on my side.” After Vuk asks there benefactor about the map and hears his answer, ”Hey those are better directions then most, and at least in the orc area both me and Roh can speak to them. Though I am sure if a kett is willing to talk to us before filling us full of arrows then they’ll talk our language and hey you got an elf with ya that helps out a lot when dealing with Ketts or that’s what I’ve heard.” After the father makes the comment of Vuk becoming famous from making a map, ”Sounds like a good idea for ya lad, right up your alley.”
We have a orc to interpret, and I have a spell that helps me understand what they are saying. But I've heard the Orcs are one of the most savage clans, and the Kett will accuse us of tomb raiding and disturbing the dead. I don't really expect encounters with the natives to go well. Pirates are mostly ex-soldier of fortune types, or dwarven exiles. They'll speak Cheloveki just fine.
Male Orc Fighter/2 [HP 23/23; AC: 17/15/12; Init +4; F+6, R+2, W+0; Perc +1]
"Well, woodsman, why don't you go with the enchantress. Keep her from shooting me with her pretty toy. I'll go with the father and garesh can take his pick. Some of the orcs will speak other tongues from their dealings with the other races. But don't expect hospitality and try and talk as little as possible if we meet them.
STR checks will be used for rowing speed and power, and Survival will be used for keeping the boats afloat and on course. Every person including Father ISaak will make a STR check to represent the need for rowing against the stream. In addition the party needs to make one survival check, but only the highest will be used. So you may use aid another, if you wish. [ooc]
1d20 ⇒ 18 Isaak's STR check
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13 Isaak's survival check, he will be aiding another Vuk, on his check.
[ooc]The DC for the survival check is 15.You need a total of 10 to aid another. Every party member can add their +2 bonus to the same lookout.
--Vuk please note that you have bought paper and coloured pencils. You can simply write mapmaking supplies on your paper. Figure 1 gp in total cost, with weight less than 1 pound.
--As you cast off from the docks, with the rising sun on your eyes, you feel a refreshing breeze. The river and wind are against you, but the current is quite lazy. The day passes slowly, and you joke and fool around to pass the time. You pass several slow moving flatboats, which are headed in the direction of Tsargrad. They are easily avoided.
--Father Isaak suggest that two people row, and one take a break in the middle, so as not to exhaust any one person to much. The sun is shining, and it soons becomes uncomfortably warm by noon day. Still you are a hardy lot, and expected this.
--As the sun begins to set, you are still on a fairly wide stretch of the river. The river is 200 feet wide, with forested banks on both sides. Should you continue it will be night, and darkness will become an issue.