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Shadow over Riddleport

Game Master Joana

"Gristav failed to mention that our destination was a house of madness and murder... so no, I didn't come that prepared." -- Phillip Hargreaves


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Hp :8/8; AC 11(15) / 11 tch / 10(14) ff; Wastrel 1

Tendal turns to the other man with a cold sneer.

"I do not know you sir. But I will say that you are quite curious in your blatant hypocrisy." Trapping his cane under his arm he ticks off the fingers of his left hand with his right.

"You simultaneously said that you were from an enlightened society, insinuated that the young lady was both incompetent and incapable of taking care of herself, then made up her mind for her that she was offended. I wonder if you are capable of seeing the logical fallacy that you have constructed about you." Finished ticking off points, he taps his cane on the floor.

"Let me set your mind at ease. What you see before you is an enterprising young lady of the city. We have many in Magnimar and they tend to do quite well for themselves. While I recognized this immediately, you could have deduced this simply by the fact that she is not a slattern, but instead employed in the distribution of waybills, also that she is traveling the city by herself. Thus she must be formidable in knowledge or skill and thus, being self-assured would have let me know quickly by blade or tongue that I was misguided."

"She has, however, not visited any violence upon my person, and has accepted coin in full view of the rest of the tavern, thus she has accepted the contract of delivering me to the Golden Goblin whole and hale."

"Or it could be more base than that. You could simply dislike my presence and are using the young lady as an excuse to be boorish."

Tendal turns, the anger drained out, and he smiles slightly at Liry.

"Liry is it, if you allow me to be familiar, would you please lead on?"


Male Elf Urban Ranger/ 1

Upon the finish of the Dandy's speech Dayn can't help but laugh, his amusement genuine and the majority of his anger dissipating as the man does a better job of painting himself the fool than Dayn could have ever done for him.

"It's clear you like to try and talk smart and I'm sure there's nothing you enjoy more than the sound of your own voice, so much so that you even try to speak words for me that I never said. But you might just want to improve a bit on your listening skills there youngin'. I have no doubt Liry can take care of herself, especially concerning the likes of you. I made it clear to anyone as can hear that she's free to make up her own mind about taking your coin. My problem was with you. But as you've made it real clear where you normally carry that stick of yours, I figure ain't nothing I can say to you that'll paint a worse picture of yourself than you already done. So, you make sure to mind your manners, and you and me should be just fine."

Turning to Lily, dismissing the fancy fop from his mind he says "If you'll have me Liry, I'll be happy to accompany you to this Golden Goblin place."

Then turning again to grab his bag and bow, and giving a wave and grin to Arnando, he turns back to Liry "And I'd love to learn more about you Liry. For example how did you come to be a performer? And do you like it?"


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Phillip listens to Tendal's badgering... Fancy talk from a fool... and from the sound of it easily led astray. before losing interest and turning back to his drink. A quaff before talking with Sarien in more hushed tones "Seems these lot are looking for the same place we are... though if it's ok with yourself I'd give them a fair head start afore we set out ourselves? I'd prefer to not be seen as friends for walking close to them."


Hp :8/8; AC 11(15) / 11 tch / 10(14) ff; Wastrel 1

Diplomacy: Liry1d20 ⇒ 20 The Wastrel with the 20!

"So you are simply going to USE the young lady then? If you are going to avail her of her services as she guides me to the Golden Goblin, wouldn't it be gentlemanly of you to pay her? As we are disrupting her from her job wouldn't it be appropriate for you to recompense her? Or are you going to simply steal her knowledge and time?" Tendal asks quietly.


Male Elf Urban Ranger/ 1

Dayn is quick to reply with a smile on his lips that does not touch his eyes "It honestly hadn't occurred to me. I don't consider people as things to be used as it seems you do. But then I suppose I'm not as used to having to pay a young lady for her company as you obviously are."

Then again dismissing the annoying fly from his mind he turns to Liry once more "It had been my hope that we might walk as friends Liry, but I admit I'm new to Riddleport, so if it's customary to offer payment simply for giving directions, well, I'll be fine to do so. Of course, if you'd rather just walk with him as what's already paid you, that's fine too, I can always find my own way there." his tone cooling slightly as he says this last bit.


Female Halfling
Braddon Hurst wrote:
At the bar, Braddon responds to Arnando, "From our brief talk, Eulalie seemed nice. If she offered I'd..."

"Here, now!" Eulalie snaps a dishtowel against Arnando's leg in faux indignation. "He hasn't even bought me the drink he promised me yet." She winks at Braddon.


Female Human (Chelaxian)

Liry watches the exchange between Tendal and Daynadrian with a mixture of amusement and concern that Tendal might demand his coin back to find another guide. "Calm down, fellows!" she puts in when she gets a chance to step between them. "I've had brusquer requests without a gold coin to sweeten the words and taken no offense," she assures Daynadrian. "And I just assumed he was mooching off your payment," she smiles as she turns to Tendal. "After all, nothing stopping him from just following ten steps behind us and getting there anyway, so he might as well walk with us, right? The tour is now leaving the building: the Publican House to the Gold Goblin, with all the sights and smells of the Reek District in between!"


Female Half-Elf (Varisian) Wizard

Samaritha smiles at the announcement. "Shall we tag along with them?" she asks Malkith and Braddon. "I mean, I know the way to the Goblin, but it's always safer traveling through Riddleport with a group, and the larger the better. Besides, she's already working there; she might be willing to put in a good word for us -- or at least be able to get us in to see the boss."

Dayn and Braddon, will respond to your questions to your respective NPC companions on the way to the Gold Goblin. It's a Walk and Talk! :)


Male Human (Varisian) ; 8/8 hp; AC 14 (11 t/13 ff); CMD 12; Init +1; Oracle of Lore 1

"That sounds like a wise idea," Malkith agrees. With his backpack slung over one shoulder, he gestures for Samaritha to proceed him as they fall in behind Liry and her entourage.


Female Half-Elf (Varisian) Wizard
Braddon Hurst wrote:

When things settle he returns to Samaritha.

"Looks like everyone is heading for the Gold Goblin. If one tiefling can cause that much trouble, we won't have any problems earning some coin. Did you say you could do magic?"

"Mm, yes," she responds as she, Malkith, and Braddon trail out the door behind Liry's 'tour.' "We had a mage in our caravan -- always handy," she explains to Braddon, "for fixing things and cleaning things and providing light when it's pouring rain and the fire won't stay lit; a spellcaster's like a jack of all trades when you're in the middle of nowhere. Anyway, he taught me. Thought I'd take to it because of...." She gestures a little self-consciously to her slightly-pointed ears. "Apparently, elves are supposed to be good at magic -- or at sneaking through the woods, finding tracks. I never had any talent at that, but the magic took. I think everyone assumed I'd stay with the caravan once I'd had my training, but I just couldn't see myself spending the rest of my life on the road mending broken wheels. Not that it's not an important job," she turns to Malkith. "It's just ... not for me."


hp 22 / 22; AC 16; Init +2 Male Half-elf Ranger 2

"Ah, I'm the opposite," explains Braddon. "Sneaking through the woods and finding tracks I can do. It's just a matter of seeing stuff that isn't how it should be. Magic, though- I don't think I could ever do that. You must be real clever."

Braddon enjoys the walk and his eyes dart back and forth taking in the sights of Riddleport. He notes the dingy alleyway, apparently deserted but the entryway with well trodden flagstones worn smooth. He smiles as the lurkers far ahead near one corner move away at the approach of such a large group. He is aware of the grate to the sewers just a little out of alignment. But always his gaze returns to Samaritha.

"So, how long you been in Riddleport, and what sort of work have you been doing?"


Female Half-Elf (Varisian) Wizard

"It's been ...," she counts back for a moment on her fingers and sighs, "...almost six weeks," she confesses, "and the only work I've found is looking for it. I know that sounds like I'm not really trying, and when I first got here, I was so sure I'd get taken on at the Cypherlodge, I actually didn't look around at much of anything else. Ever since I realized how light my purse was getting, though, I've been trying to find anything to pay for food and a place to stay until I can get my foot in the door with the Cyphermages, but Cleg Zincher has contracts to provide workers for most of the legitimate businesses in town and I can't get past his front door, either. If Saul Vankaskerkin is hiring off the street ... well, he's one of the only people in Riddleport willing to cross Zincher."


Male Human Rogue (Investigator)/ 1
Phillip Hargreaves wrote:
A quaff before talking with Sarien in more hushed tones "Seems these lot are looking for the same place we are... though if it's ok with yourself I'd give them a fair head start afore we set out ourselves? I'd prefer to not be seen as friends for walking close to them."

Sarien finishes his wine and nods. "Agreed. Better to keep a certain distance from the trouble some of them are likely to bring."


Male Human (Varisian) ; 8/8 hp; AC 14 (11 t/13 ff); CMD 12; Init +1; Oracle of Lore 1

"The open road is not for everybody, just as not everyone is suited for city life," Malkith points out as Samaritha talks about spellcasting. "Any task can be important in the right situation, but when compared to the greatness of a hundred other potential actions, they will become menial. Then again, not no everyone has the strength of self to face the adversity that comes with the greatest of actions." He looks directly as Samaritha as he says the last part.

As they continue to walk, he listens to the half-elf talk about some of the major players in Riddleport: the Cyphermages, Cleg Zincher, and Saul Vankaskerkin. It seems this Saul is the embodiment of their opportunity, as well as their danger. Finally, he voices the thought that had been clawing at the back of his mind, "Why is it that Saul is willing to cross Cleg? Perhaps, more importantly, why is no one else?"


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

"Well and good" Phillip affirms, finishing up his own tankard before visiting the little halfling's room and readying himself for the journey across town by returning his cloak to his shoulders. Leaving only the payment requested upon the bar, Phillip moves out into the burgeoning Riddleport morning at Sarien's side... though lingering slightly behind and in his shadow where possible to present the lesser of a target out of the pair of them.

Knowing little of the town, Phillip turns to established shopfronts and well entrenched hawkers as a means of finding the path betwixt the house of the Publican and the Gold Goblin.


"Watch yourselves on the streets," Arnando calls after the portion of his clientele that is leaving, "and hope to see you back for a drink again! Except for you, Samaritha: Hope you're no longer welcome in this establishment next time I see you," he grins sympathetically.

"How will I ever pay you back if you won't let Cyphermages in?" she replies with a grin.

"Come to the back door, love," Eulalie puts in firmly. "No sign forbidding Cyphermages in my kitchen. I'll make tea."


Female Human (Chelaxian)

Liry leads her charges northward, up the west bank of the Velashu River. While there are a few more people on the street than there were earlier, all of whom give the guided tour a wide berth, and some storefronts are now blearily open, it's clear that most of the buildings along the river are long shuttered and boarded up. Viable businesses on either side of the river include a small smithy, an anemic lumbermill specializing in ship repair, and a fulling mill and tannery. The strong smells from the hides mix with the stench of rotting fish from two fish-packing houses and the run-off from the streets of Riddleport to leave no doubt about how the River District got the nickname "the Reek District."

The young woman seems inured to the smell, however; at least she seems perfectly cheerful as she responds to Daynadrian's question about her chosen career. "Only life for me, sweetie! Only life worth pursuing in Riddleport, anyway. I'm a ... what he called me," she smiles at Tendal, "an ... 'enterprising young lady of the city.'" She seems pleased with the elegant turn of phrase. "Better than a streetwalker or a tavern wench -- not that there's much difference between those professions in this town, except that if you're up front about what you're selling, Shorafa Pamodae will protect you. Better than being the kept woman of one of the crimelords or their lieutenants, either; I'd rather put my trust in Shorafa. As to how I got into the business, well, I have Dungo to thank for that. Although he's got me to thank for his celebrity, too; you might say I 'discovered' him." She grins wickedly at her own private joke.

"All right, folks, coming up on Velashu Ferry, only safe way to cross the river, no matter what the sailors in the jolly boats might tell you. Oy! Grimas!" she shouts across the river at a small cottage at the end of a pier, throwing a handful of gravel for good measure. "Get your lazy ass out of bed! You've got customers!"


Female Half-Elf (Varisian) Wizard

While Liry patters away to her dual escorts at the front of the party, Samaritha replies to Malkith as they bring up the rear. "I don't really know. Part of it has something to do with that tiefling in the Publican House, Lil Scarlet. Both Saul's son and Cleg Zincher's brother were ... 'clients' of hers," she blushes a little, "and they got in a fight over her one night; Zincher's brother ended up dead, and Saul's son disappeared. Most people thought Cleg had him killed and made sure the body wouldn't be found. But from what I understand, there seems to be bad blood between Vankaskerkin and Zincher going way back." She shrugs. "You should ask Arnando; he and Lalie seem to know everyone's stories in Riddleport."


Female Halfling

Back at the Publican House, the "little halfling's room" proves to be the river out front. As Phillip is re-entering the tavern to join up with Sarien, he notes that Eulalie has returned to her mopping in the common room. She glances back at the door to the morning room, then gestures to Phil to come closer. "You think you're pretty flash, I can tell," she tells him in a low voice around her mop handle. "You're a big man in your own mind, and that's as it should be. But there's those in Riddleport that all they see when they look at you is a halfling just the right size to toss in their ship's hold and sell in Cheliax. Right now, you're nameless, and nobody knows you. The first thing you do, is you get some people to know your name, who'll notice if you up and disappear. That's the best protection money can't buy in Riddleport, is to be known. Find some friends the scum and lowlife won't want to cross, and stick with them."


As Sarien nurses his drink in the morning room, waiting for Phillip to return from nature's call, his isolation is intruded upon by a gravelly har-rumph at his elbow. He turns on his barstool to find one of the dwarves from the long table standing a little self-consciously behind him. "Pardon," he says gruffly, "but would you and your friend be going to the Goblin this evening?" He stabs a finger half-heartedly at the abandoned handbill on the bar as he shifts his weight from one foot to the other.


Hp :8/8; AC 11(15) / 11 tch / 10(14) ff; Wastrel 1

For a few moments, Tendal beings to wonder if his throat is going to try and crawl out one of his nostrils in an attempt to block the awful scent.

Too much time on the road! I forgot how...pungent cities smell. But, its the smell of industry...and money, so I might as well get used to it.

After a few fish faced gasps for air, Tendal's sense of smell commits suicide to save his sanity, and the noxious blend slowly fades into the background.

Lily wrote:
"Better than a streetwalker or a tavern wench -- not that there's much difference between those professions in this town, except that if you're up front about what you're selling, Shorafa Pamodae will protect you. Better than being the kept woman of one of the crimelords or their lieutenants, either; I'd rather put my trust in Shorafa. As to how I got into the business, well, I have Dungo to thank for that. Although he's got me to thank for his celebrity, too; you might say I 'discovered' him."

"I whole heartily agree." Tendal says stepping around an odious pile of manure to continue down the street to the river. "It is much easier to survive, and profit, in a city if you are smart, quick, and open to possibilities. Too often people simply give up and either are sold, or sell themselves, rather than trying something a bit different."


Out at the ferry, several seconds go by without any answer being made to Liry's call; then a door opens, and a man emerges, half-heartedly buttoning a shirt over his bare chest. "Nine Hells, woman!" he shouts back. "I just took you over to that side less than an hour ago! Make up your damn mind!" Grumbling, he steps expertly down into a wide, flat boat tied off at the end of the pier, casts off, and poles across the river.

As the ferry approaches the waiting group, the punter is revealed to be a good-looking human, perhaps a bit past his prime, with the weathered skin of a sailor and sun-bleached hair escaping from a disheveled ponytail at the nape of his neck. He grimaces as he glares up at Liry. "Well? What's your excuse for dragging me out of bed not once but twice on a Sunday morning!?"

"Thoroughly mercenary," she shrugs, clambering down into the bottom of the boat. "Got paid to cross to the windward bank, and now I'm getting paid to go back." Having gained her balance in the punt, she goes up on her tiptoes and kisses the frowning man on the cheek. "Be nice now," she counsels him. "These gentlemen are new in town and will think you're serious."

The ferryman's face breaks into a broad smile, an expression that seems to fit the creases in his face more than his previous scowl. He reaches a hand up to Tendal and Daynadrian, as much to offer his hand in greeting as to help them into the boat. "Grimas Oltedler," he introduces himself. "If you're in Riddleport any amount of time, you're likely to be seeing a lot of me."

"Not quite this much of you," Liry puts in. "Finish buttoning your shirt, you brazen strumpet." She pokes a finger in his chest playfully.


Male Human (Varisian) ; 8/8 hp; AC 14 (11 t/13 ff); CMD 12; Init +1; Oracle of Lore 1

Only once Tendal and Daynadrian have found their footing in the boat, does Malkith follows suit. He gives Liry a nod of acknowledgement as he climbs aboard. Turning back to the windward bank and offers Samaritha his hand to assist her.


hp 22 / 22; AC 16; Init +2 Male Half-elf Ranger 2

"Women again." Braddon shakes his head at Samaritha's story.
"I'd never kill over a woman. Well, unless she wanted me to. I mean, if I was protecting her. Of course. But not a whore. I mean, if she's a whore, they could bid for her. Or something. But I can see how killing the brother of a powerful man would be dangerous. Stupid thing to do. As dumb as..." "...breaking a contract?"
"Well, I suppose we all make mistakes. And the son's alive? In hiding perhaps? Is there a reward? I'm good at finding people."

Braddon hops on the ferry behind Samaritha, taking a long look behind them before he does. Some windows nearby would provide an excellent view of a ferry crossing. Nearby locals would know regular travellers on sight. Some would have their own boats ready to cross. Braddon notes the various buildings, picking landmarks that would guide his return journey.

"Who owns all the empty buildings?" he asks Samaritha. "I'm sure some of them wouldn't be too bad to stay in. Avoid paying for an inn." He smiles.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)
Gold Goblin wrote:
As Sarien nurses his drink in the morning room, waiting for Phillip to return from nature's call, his isolation is intruded upon by a gravelly har-rumph at his elbow. He turns on his barstool to find one of the dwarves from the long table standing a little self-consciously behind him. "Pardon," he says gruffly, "but would you and your friend be going to the Goblin this evening?" He stabs a finger half-heartedly at the abandoned handbill on the bar as he shifts his weight from one foot to the other.

Psst - Sarien, you missed the Dwarf

Returning from his ablutions, Phillip sees the swarthy dwarf talking with Sarien and approaches only close enough where he might overhear the talk without being seen to.


Male Human Rogue (Investigator)/ 1
Gold Goblin wrote:
As Sarien nurses his drink in the morning room, waiting for Phillip to return from nature's call, his isolation is intruded upon by a gravelly har-rumph at his elbow. He turns on his barstool to find one of the dwarves from the long table standing a little self-consciously behind him. "Pardon," he says gruffly, "but would you and your friend be going to the Goblin this evening?" He stabs a finger half-heartedly at the abandoned handbill on the bar as he shifts his weight from one foot to the other.

Sarien drops a few copper coins on the bar and glances over at the dwarf.

"I can't speak for my companion, but I'm planning to attend. Why do you ask?"


The dwarf looks back over his shoulder at his companions and beckons them with a confirmatory jerk of his head. Much as when they paid for their liquor-laced porridge, the dwarves file up to the bar one by one, each of them leaving a few coins, silver or copper, in a pile on the counter in front of Sarien. The spokesdwarf deposits three silver last of all, on the top of the pile. "Spend it on drink," he says wearily, "or lose it at the tables. Just make sure the house keeps it. Tell Larur it were...." He thinks better of whatever he was going to say and shakes his head. "Never mind. Don't say nothing. Just leave our coin behind you at the Goblin." He nods to Arnando and tugs his beard respectfully at Sarien; then the dwarves trudge out wordlessly through the common room, leaving empty bowls and ale mugs on the table behind them.


Male Human Rogue (Investigator)/ 1

Sarien looks after the dwarves, puzzled and curious by the request. He turns to Arnando. "What was that about? Why would they ask me to spend their money for them? For that matter, who are they?"


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric

Arnando leans forward, resting his elbows on the bar as he looks after the retreating dwarves. "Gravin Goldhammer and his boys," he responds. "The skeleton crew that works the night shift at the Gas Forges. As for why," he clears his throat and lowers his head to scrape with his fingernail at a nonexistent spot on the bartop, "Vankaskerkin has a partner in his new venture, a dwarf named Larur Felden. They used to work with him. Guess this is their way of helping him out."


Male Human Rogue (Investigator)/ 1

Sarien begins to pick up the coins and puts them in an empty pouch to keep separate from his own. "I suppose that explains it. Very trusting of newcomers but I'll spend their coin as they wish."


Hp :8/8; AC 11(15) / 11 tch / 10(14) ff; Wastrel 1

"Grimas is it? Do you usually tie up at this location?"

Tendal looks around, fixing the dockside position in his mind.

If Liry trusts him to be trustworthily mercenary, then he could be of use in the future.


Tendal Deverin wrote:
"Grimas is it? Do you usually tie up at this location?"

"Aye, this is the crossing," he nods from the pier on this side of the river to the one on the other side crowned with the cottage he emerged from, "unless I'm getting paid extra to take folks somewhere in particular." He looks at Liry quizzically.

She considers a moment, then shakes her head. "Straight across is fair by me," she replies. "They're headed back to the Goblin, and the next pier south is too close to the Wharf District by my mind. Safer tramping through the Reek than risking meeting a rusty knife in a blind alley in the Wharves. Two coppers a crossing," she announces to the rest of the punt. "You're covered, sweetie," she grins at Tendal, patting the pocket where she slipped the gold coin.


Male Elf Urban Ranger/ 1

Before leaving the bar Danaydrian turns one final time to Arnando, and, indicating his change smiles and says with a smile and a wink "Please consider the rest a donation to the Temple from a grateful and now less thirsty patron. I'm sure we'll see you again friend. Until we meet again."

As they leave and begin their Trek, the Urban Ranger walks with a smile on his face, thrilled once again to finally be out of the woods of his birth and in a city proper. Even the smells, terrible as they are, do not really seem to bother him, being, as they are, just another part of Big City Life. As he walks and listens to Liry speak, despite his smile and easy-going seeming nature,Dayn is intensely alert and pays notice to every stray noise and too lingering look. For while his love, at least at present, of being in the city was genuine, he was neither foolish nor naive and so knew as well that surviving in a city like Riddleport took constant vigilance and awareness. Still though, he had plenty of time in between his looks to trade pleasant words with their guide.

He files the name 'Shorafa Pamodae' in his mind upon hearing it, taking a moment to think back if he had ever come across that name before in any of his research. Knowledge(local): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7 *+2 if she's human Upon their meeting Grimas the ferryman and noticing Liry's flirtatious nature with him, Dayn's eyes narrow a bit as he tries to gauge the true nature of the man, but he presents a friendly enough smile and a strong, genuine shake of their hands, passing along the required ferry toll. Sense Motive (on Grimas): 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 5 + 2 = 14

When the others are done speaking he asks the ferryman "Do you operate around the clock? Otherwise what are one's options for crossing the river in the evening or night?"


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)
Eulalie Makeckney wrote:
"Find some friends the scum and lowlife won't want to cross, and stick with them."

Phillip approaches Eulalie as she beckons and listens to her words. A slight tensing of his cheeks is the only outward sign that he doesn't appreciate o'ermuch being given advice from one whose job is to merely to mop. Leaning close and responding in a sinuously twisting voice that almost threatens "Is that what happened to you Eulalie? Or were you born to the hold in Cheliax?" remembering the slight Chelaxian accent he picked up when entering the Publican House "Your concern is noted, but not welcome. I will look to mine..." turning to walk away and throwing words over his shoulder "...you concentrate on your mopping."

He then rejoins Sarien and looks to set out into the city.


Female Half-Elf (Varisian) Wizard
Braddon Hurst wrote:

"Women again." Braddon shakes his head at Samaritha's story.

"I'd never kill over a woman. Well, unless she wanted me to. I mean, if I was protecting her. Of course. But not a whore. I mean, if she's a whore, they could bid for her. Or something. But I can see how killing the brother of a powerful man would be dangerous. Stupid thing to do. As dumb as..."

Samaritha accepts Malkith's hand into the flat-bottomed boat before turning to answer Braddon. "Well, I'm sure they had both been drinking. And some versions of the story say there was a love potion involved: either that Lil was using the potions to build her clientele, or that Orik had tried to slip one to her to get her to drop her other men. I don't know," she smiles at him apologetically. "It all happened before I ever got here; I just have the rumors to go by, and I'm sure the tales grow taller as they spread."


Daynadrian:
You don't recall ever hearing the name 'Shorafa Pamodae' before it was mentioned in the Publican House: Arnando thought Liry's horns and tail would be offensive to Shorafa, apparently one of the power brokers in Riddleport. From Liry's reference just now, she seems to be involved with the 'hospitality' industry in some way. As for Liry and Grimas, the two certainly seem to be quite friendly. Whether there's anything more to it than that, your limited experience with human mating rituals just can't divine....


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric
Sarien Ruseff wrote:
Sarien begins to pick up the coins and puts them in an empty pouch to keep separate from his own. "I suppose that explains it. Very trusting of newcomers but I'll spend their coin as they wish."

Arnando chuckles. "They're better off trusting a newcomer than a local. After all, you don't have any connections yet: no one who'll be keeping an eye on you and reporting back to their boss where you're going and what company you're keeping, and you're not likely to go running to Zincher to tell him what they're up to." He nods across the room to Phillip as he re-enters the morning room and meets eyes with Sarien impatiently. "Off then, are you?" the barkeep asks, sweeping the copper pieces off the bar into his palm. "I know you don't know me from Aroden, but if you'll take a piece of friendly advice, you and your friend'll stick together and keep a sharp eye about you. Stay well inland of the wharves, especially after dark. And come back for a drink so we don't worry about you."


Braddon Hurst wrote:
"Well, I suppose we all make mistakes. And the son's alive? In hiding perhaps? Is there a reward? I'm good at finding people."

"What's that?" Grimas turns around with interest, eavesdropping shamelessly. "There's news of Orik?"

Liry shrugs. "Lil claimed to know that he was alive and in hiding somewhere. Wanted me to deliver the message to Old Stumpy. She's probably bluffing. If anyone knew where Orik was, Zincher would have heard about it by now."

Braddon Hurst wrote:
"Who owns all the empty buildings?" he asks Samaritha. "I'm sure some of them wouldn't be too bad to stay in. Avoid paying for an inn." He smiles.

Grimas doesn't scruple to answer this question, either. "Hard to say," he tells the half-elf, as he begins to pole the punt across the river. "As a rule, in Riddleport, whoever holds the deed is the legal owner, even if he broke into a strongbox and knifed half a dozen guards to get it; the Overlord hates to see that kind of initiative go unrewarded," the ferryman chuckles. "But these buildings," he looks around at the humble storefronts, "I wouldn't even know where the deeds had got to. Wherever the shopkeeps and craftsmen took them when Zincher put them out of business. Well out of town, I would imagine. If a building stands empty long enough, it reverts to the Overlord, and it's up to him to grant ownership to whom he pleases. If there were a boss in the Reek District, you'd probably go through him to see about opening one of these places back up, but there's nothing left here to tempt one of the crime lords to claim it. My guess is there's already some squatters, of the type you wouldn't want to saunter in on looking for a place to lay your head."

Daynadrian Nirgassan wrote:
When the others are done speaking he asks the ferryman "Do you operate around the clock? Otherwise what are one's options for crossing the river in the evening or night?"

Grimas laughs. "Evening and night's my prime business hours," he explains. "It's the mornings I get a bit of a lie-in, when hellions like Liry here aren't rousting me out of my bed. The rest of the week I have a lad to cover me before noon while I grab a wink of sleep, but there's little enough business on a Sunday morning. It's everyone's day off, save for the wharves and the Gas Forges that work all hours."

The trip across the river is short enough, but being so near the water and surrounded by it on all sides, the stomach-turning smell is even more intense. When the punt finally bumps against the pier, Grimas expertly wraps a rope around a piling before giving Liry a hand up. "Here we are, folks. East bank of the Velashu River."


Male Human Rogue (Investigator)/ 1

Sarien grins and winks at Arnando. "Will do. Thanks for the advice and the wine. Good day to you now."

He looks to Phillip. "Ready then? We've got some sights to see and some coin to spend."


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Phillip shrugs before nodding with a hint of a smile "I have naught else to do, so let us sally forth." not pausing to even hold gaze with the mopping lass in the entryway as they stride into the steaming morning filth of Riddleport.


hp 22 / 22; AC 16; Init +2 Male Half-elf Ranger 2

Braddon hands over 2 coppers to Grimas.
"Thank you. All very interesting."

He follows Samaritha from the boat, and when they've moved out of hearing of the ferry he whispers to her.
"Who's the Overlord, again?"


Male Human (Varisian) ; 8/8 hp; AC 14 (11 t/13 ff); CMD 12; Init +1; Oracle of Lore 1

Malkith places to copper pieces in the ferryman's open palm as he steps from the punt. Just as when they boarded, he turns and offers his assistance to Samaritha as she disembarks. As the group moved further into Riddleport, Malkith's attention was drawn to their surroundings more. Although he had made a handful of visits to the Publican House in years prior, this was his first trip to the east side. He studied the buildings, the pedestrians, and the expressions of those that made the time to take notice of the group.


Hp :8/8; AC 11(15) / 11 tch / 10(14) ff; Wastrel 1

"Liry, a moment of your time?", Tendal says, motioning towards the prow of the ferry.

Liry:

As soon as Liry joins him, he stands with his back to the rest of the passengers, his voice a low whisper.

"Liry, I do not think that there is any love lost between you and Lil. I do not know who Stumpy is, but you going to him to deliver this particular message may not be...conducive to your health. I think that Lil is using you to stir up trouble, trouble that a smart businesswoman such as yourself knows that is is better to stay out of, if you catch my meaning?" Tendal produces a gold coin, holding it between his fingers, ready to drop it into Liry's hand.


Female Human (Chelaxian)

Tendal:
Liry's eyes light up as Tendal produces the second gold coin of the quarter of an hour or so she's known him. "Don't worry, sweetie," she assures him, holding her hand palm up to catch the unexpected bounty. "I live by a strict rule: Paid work trumps unpaid work. If Lil wants a message delivered, she can toss a coin to a street urchin like the rest of us; I'm not on her payroll."

Perception 17 to overhear the above conversation for anyone in the ferry who cares.


Male Elf Urban Ranger/ 1

Dayn squints briefly at the interaction between Liry and Grimas, not quite able to determine the nature of their relationship with each other. Putting it aside for now, and reminding himself that he has just met the girl, and that she's just the first girl he's met so far. He pays attention to Grimas' answers to all the questions directed at him.

However a spark of jealousy erupts once again, moments later, when the arrogant, fancy dressed prat takes Liry to the front of the boat. Without moving or making it obvious, Dayn tries to listen in on their conversation. As he hears the talk and sees the gold pass hands, he narrows his eyes in suspicion for a second, wondering what the b@$#&>d's true motivations are.

Bluff to not be noticed eavesdropping: 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 5 + 2 = 14
Perception to eavesdrop: 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 7 + 2 = 26


Eulalie is mopping with particular vigor as Sarien and Phillip walk through the common room; she doesn't look up as they leave, but her face is flushed with displeasure.

As the pair re-enter the street, the city appears a little less deserted than when they entered, but the lazy streets still offer a pointed contrast to the bustling docks where they disembarked. Looking up and down the riverfront, it becomes clear that many of these buildings will never be open for business at all; what windows aren't broken are thick with dust and the doors boarded up. Downstream toward the harbor, the road begins to climb up a steep cliff; the structures enjoying the breeze at the top are larger and much more well-kept than those in the immediate vicinity. The smell and view are less promising northward, but what appears to be a small smithy is opening its doors, a middle-aged man sweeping off its front stoop with a broom.

Several jollyboats are visible, moving back and forth between the anchored ships and docks in the harbor; two sailors in one in the very mouth of the river itself see the pair hesitating outside the tavern door and hail them eagerly. "Ho, there! You looking to cross the river?"


Female Half-Elf (Varisian) Wizard
Braddon Hurst wrote:

Braddon hands over 2 coppers to Grimas.

"Thank you. All very interesting."

He follows Samaritha from the boat, and when they've moved out of hearing of the ferry he whispers to her.
"Who's the Overlord, again?"

Samaritha digs into her own meager purse and extracts two small copper coins for her passage. "Overlord Cromarcky," she explains. "He's like the ... mayor?" she looks for the right word. "Maybe more like a king." She shrugs helplessly, still not finding the right analogy. "He's the most powerful of the powerful people in Riddleport, or if not the most powerful, at least the most ambitious and organized. The Gendarmes answer to him, and everyone else agrees to pursue their own interests without getting in the way of his, I suppose."


hp 22 / 22; AC 16; Init +2 Male Half-elf Ranger 2

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25

Braddon gently sweeps Samaritha's hand away and deposits another two coppers in Grimas' palm to pay for her.

"You can pay me back in six weeks, when my cash starts running out."


Samaritha blushes but nods with a grateful smile. As Tendal turns back toward the rest of the passengers, Liry catches Daynadrian's eye over the other man's shoulder and gives him a wink before accepting Grimas's hand out of the boat. "All right, folks," she announces, dropping four coins into the ferryman's palm for her passage and Tendal's, "the exciting and danger-prone portion of our adventure is over. Next stop is the Gold Goblin!"

She leads the group eastward, away from the river, and as the smell grows more distant, the boarded-up buildings begin to be replaced by occupied structures and small businesses. Up ahead, the road seems to enter a more residential area of the city, with multistory tenements over tidy storefronts, but Liry takes an abrupt right turn down a corner marked by a grandiose circular structure with a towering domed roof.

"That's the Mystery of the Gate," Samaritha says, "where visiting mages stay to study the Cyphergate. It looks huge, but there's not that many bedrooms; most of it is taken up with a lecture hall in the center where the Cypherlodge hosts classes and tour groups. They use illusions in the great open dome to recreate runes and views of various angles of the Cyphergate; it's really breathtaking -- and expensive."

"Wouldn't know about that, sweetie," Liry shrugs, "but it marks the boundary between the River District and the Leeward District, where the respectable folk live. Up ahead here is the Gold Goblin Gambling Hall," she announces, "finest casino in Riddleport not in the Free-Coin District. Also," she leans over toward Tendal to point out with a wink, "the only casino in Riddleport not in the Free-Coin District."

The Gold Goblin is a low-slung building with two short wings flanking a central rotunda with a brass dome. At one point it was, no doubt, a gleaming sight along the riverbank, but the structure has clearly seen better days; the brass is now tarnished and marred from years of exposure to the weather and, despite some half-hearted attempts to clean it in spots, is furred with a greenish-brown patina. The road leads around the eastern wing of the building to reveal a triangular cobblestone courtyard, presently criss-crossed with bustling workers and deliverymen coming and going. Stairs lead up to a wide veranda along the front of the main building, and the whole scene is overshadowed by a massive 8-foot-tall statue of a goblin in a pool in the middle of the courtyard, gleaming gold in the sun, grinning down cheekily at all the activity.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)
Gold Goblin wrote:
Several jollyboats are visible, moving back and forth between the anchored ships and docks in the harbor; two sailors in one in the very mouth of the river itself see the pair hesitating outside the tavern door and hail them eagerly. "Ho, there! You looking to cross the river?"

Responding to the hailing of the sailors Phillip chimes in "That we might... and it seems you have a boat. This could work to the advantage of both of us." and starts to walk closer to the pair.

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