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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


7,051 to 7,080 of 7,080 << first < prev | 132 | 133 | 134 | 135 | 136 | 137 | 138 | 139 | 140 | 141 | 142 | next > last >>

Braddon, Gristav, and Snake depart the Goblin, heading north toward the erstwhile office of Nathanael Weatherby and the secretive upstairs flat. The pedestrian traffic has picked up as the lunch hour is approaching, and they see a few street vendors heading toward their usual corners, pushing handcarts that trail the aromas of cooked meat or fresh bread.

They slow their approach as they near the building which still houses a milliner and Braddon's favorite cobbler. The alley which gives access to the second story will be blocked to their view until they are almost upon it; alternatively, the approach up the stair through the scribe's office and the hidden door is available.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Smiling Phillip nods "Aye, that there shall... it's Varisian Caravan night after all. And hopefully a sideroom with furniture of a more suitable sizing for our folk. "


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

"We should probably go round through the alley. I dunno if we locked the back door. The scribe put up a sign before he left and locked up, so I doubt the front is open."
Braddon walks past the front and scans the sign and door as he does, but doesn't stop for a close inspection. He continues on to the alley.


M 1/2E Magus 2 :2223a1: BAB1 CMB/D:3/15 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1 HP15/19 FRW522 Appraise7 K:Arc7 K:Lcl7 Ride6 Scft7 UMD8 Diplomacy 5 Intim 5 Sense Motive 3 Perf:Dance 3

"We locked the door, we took the key. Some part of we brought it before, and again now, and now gives it to you." Gristav makes an empty gesture that is somehow filled with a single key. Smiling, he offers it to Braddon. "Return it, and we may be as lucky again. I recommend you loot linens and other portables, the richer wrapped in the poorer. I'm assigning myself to watch for whoever might be watching for you. I know I've no talent for it, but you two, together, are a better division than any other, for the entirety of our tasks here."


Female Halfling

Leaving behind the activity at the Gold Goblin, Phillip and Ethel reach the road and stroll past the looming structure of the Mystery of the Gate. "I suppose Maddy's in there working," Ethel remarks, an air of smug satisfaction about her at the thought of Maddy sweeping floors and making beds while she's enjoying a leisurely promenade on Phil's arm on the street outside.


I believe you guys have the keys both to Weatherby's office and to the upstairs room, on the key ring you took from Weatherby.

Gristav takes up a familiar posture on the street corner, trying to look like a casual pedestrian pausing for a rest and not a suspicious loiterer casing the joint.

Braddon slips back down the alley whence the stairs ascend to Lil's hideout. He spies no sign of activity but remembers the heavy curtains at the windows which could conceal a watcher and the creaking tread partway up the staircase.

Snake, are you following? Braddon, are you going to attempt to approach stealthily or quickly?


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

Braddon's voice is low and quiet.
"Avoid the step fifth from the top. It creaks conveniently. Let me know if you see any movement at that window looking over the steps."
With one hand on his short sword and the other on the key Gristav gratefully gave, Braddon ascends the steps softly afoot. Atop the stairs, he waits for Snake, then swiftly puts the key in the lock and pushes the door wide open.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

With an impish chuckle and puckish mien Phillip suggests "We could always drop in if you wished?... ask to see a room and test if it measures to our standards?" his tone though betraying that he meant it only in jest. Continuing as they wombled "In truth though, especially if the space is to be now shared, a degree of polish should be put upon our own chambers. Unless we both intend to use armchair as garderobe, floor as dresser and use a stepladder to reach the bed each night."


Female Halfling

"Hmmm," Ethel replies thoughtfully. "There's not a lot of floor space, but there's a lot of air space above our heads. If we constructed a loft, we could store our clothes and things up there! And we could replace that one huge chair with two of the proper size...." Ethel constructs walk-in closets in the air while Phillip wonders to what extent her plans will depend on the goodwill of Cas Cazynsik.

They stroll on in the direction of Zincher's arena. The gates now open, the clusters of waiting men have dispersed into the interior, but a healthy stream of spectators are still arriving, collecting handbills listing the day's planned bouts from bored-looking thugs standing beneath the raised portcullises.


Yep. Following.

Snake nods as he's warned of the fifth step and keeps an eye on the window as he waits for Braddon to get a few steps ahead before following - making sure he actually avoids that crazy fifth step.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Pondering that there surely must at least be one other carpenter in the cesspool of Riddleport, Phil guides them past a bored thug so as to snaffle a handbill and scan the day's bouts...

Don't need a full rundown - mostly interested in when they'll kick off, when they'll end, any animal / monstrous bouts and when Ranef is fighting.


Female Halfling

Phillip acquires a bout listing and quickly runs an eye down it. It appears that the slate is soon to be underway, if it hasn't already begun, and will continue until sundown. The only animal event seems to be a round of bear-baiting in the late afternoon. Ranef is scheduled to fight after that.

While he is glancing over the handbill, Ethel has turned away to the northeast. "Do we have time to stroll through the market?" she asks, gesturing through the line of buildings to the unseen Leeward Common on the other side. "Some fresh berries and cream might be nice."


As Braddon starts up the staircase, Snake keeps an eye on the curtained second-story window but sees no signs of movement. He follows Braddon up and joins him on the cramped landing before the half-elf quickly unlocks and throws open the door.

The room within appears empty and unchanged from their last visit. It will take a more thorough examination, however, for Braddon to be certain no one has been and gone in the interim.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Phillip muses a moment with eyes to the sky before nodding affirmation "Aye, that we should." chuckling and running a hand through his hair before stretching his neck "Surprising to say, but I've not taken a turn through there since arriving in Riddleport... can't say that some fresh fruit and a few colorful knickknacks wouldn't help brighten the room at the Goblin either." proferring a crooked elbow to allow him to lead her onwards and through.


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

The first thing Braddon does is head toward the secret door.
"Close the door. Don't touch anything," he tells Snake.
He makes his way down the steps to the office and when sure there's no one about he returns to upstairs to Lil's hideout.
Meticulously, he searches for recent signs of passage, paying particular attention to the false bottomed draw. He also tries to put things back where they might have been originally.
"We spent the night here hoping she'd return, but she didn't. Took turns sleeping on the floor. Wanted to sleep on the bed but Gristav wouldn't allow it. Well, she isn't using it now. So I should keep it. Moving it will be an issue. Anything you can do to help?"
Braddon waggles his fingers in a poor imitiation of psuedo spellcasting to suggest the help he was thinking of.


Snake shuts the door as quiet as possible and then takes a look around the place. Lucky hops down from his shoulder and stands on his hind legs, sniffing the air before running around the place crazily, inspecting anything and everything. Snake simply shakes his head at the silly mongoose.

Braddon Hurst wrote:

"We spent the night here hoping she'd return, but she didn't. Took turns sleeping on the floor. Wanted to sleep on the bed but Gristav wouldn't allow it. Well, she isn't using it now. So I should keep it. Moving it will be an issue. Anything you can do to help?"

Braddon waggles his fingers in a poor imitation of pseudo spellcasting to suggest the help he was thinking of.

Snake stares at Braddon a moment as if frozen before he simply just shakes his head at the silly man. "Yeah, I can help you carry it; but it might look kind of odd carrying a bed through the middle of town. How about we not worry with the bed right now and concentrate more on finding this Lil person, hm? I'll help you take a look around to see if there's anything that might lead us to her if that's what we need to do. Anything specific I should be looking for?" he asks as he proceeds to inspect the room as thorough as possible.

Take 20 for 30. That is, if the plan is to take 20. Otherwise just take 10 for 20. And that is also if the plan is to actually search the room thoroughly. However you wanna play this, Braddon, works for me.


As slowly as he attempts to look like he's perusing the options on display in shop windows, Gristav feels he is starting to stretch the credulity of his performance. As near as he can tell, no one appears to be watching him, but he feels conspicuous in his loitering. At one point, he is momentarily alarmed to spy a figure moving in the scribe's locked office, but he quickly determines it to be Braddon, checking for any signs of Lil Scarlet coming or going, no doubt.

--------------------------------

Meanwhile, inside, Snake and Braddon conduct a painstaking examination.

Snake:
The flat consists of a single room, running perhaps two-thirds of the length of the building. The only two windows are the ones you were watching on either side of the door, heavily curtained for privacy; the side walls slant up the interior of the roofline to the ceiling. In front of one of the windows is a tall metal stand, beneath which the detritus of feathers and seed husks testifies to the former presence of a bird.

In addition, the apartment contains a small wooden table with two chairs, a dressing table with a mirror and low cushioned stool, a chest of drawers, a standing wardrobe, and a round canopied bed in pride of place in the center of the back wall like a throne on a dais. You detect no signs of recent occupation.

Braddon:
You find the flat, the attic storage room, and the office below as you left them; there are no signs that anyone has been there since your last visit. The air smells a little more musty, the lingering scent of Lil's perfume now barely perceptible. The drawer with the false bottom appears undisturbed. You try to remember exactly how the few belongings in the chest were arranged and return the light dresses and wraps and the tangle of jewelry to their previous state.

The bed looks as if it will take some effort to disassemble and relocate. The sheets and curtains can be easily removed and folded, and the mattress rolled into a rather cumbersome bundle, but the circular base and bedposts can certainly not be carried out the door and down the rickety stairs in one piece.

--------------------------------

Phillip and Ethel stroll through the market at Leeward Common, perusing the merchandise on offer. Ethel gives the vendors hawking fish stew and meat pies a wide berth, turning a little pale at the aromas of their wares, but is able to find a farmer's cart sporting basketsful of a variety of berries; having purchased a small pot of cream which was unwrapped from a turban of dripping cloth to keep it cool against the rising heat of the day, she is pleased with her excursion.

The cobblestones around the well in the center of the common are packed with carts and stands, kiosks and wandering merchants, mostly selling perishable goods from the farms outside the city. Bread, vegetables, fruits, cheeses, and meat are all on offer, as are fresh herbs. A chubby-cheeked girl is selling floral nosegays that will surely be wilted long before sunset from a basket alongside her mother's wagon.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Phillip adds to the haul of the day with a handful of flatbreads, a hardy cheese and a half-dozen apples. As he wrestles with the logistics of managing the assortment of comestibles, he adds a sheet to the pile - using it as a ready means of combining them all into a single load. Mulling over the sun's path and that they're freshly laden he queries Ethel "Are you keen to come to the meeting with Marce? - or would you prefer back within the Goblin?" asked honestly and leaving the preference solely up to his paramour.


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

Braddon breathes a sigh of relief.
"Okay. Doesn't look like she's been back here. So, we've still got the jump on her."
Braddon looks wistfully at the bed.
"I suppose, if it's too big to move to the Goblin, I could move in here."
He turns back to Snake.
"Thanks for the help. False alarm. Let's get back to the others."


M 1/2E Magus 2 :2223a1: BAB1 CMB/D:3/15 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1 HP15/19 FRW522 Appraise7 K:Arc7 K:Lcl7 Ride6 Scft7 UMD8 Diplomacy 5 Intim 5 Sense Motive 3 Perf:Dance 3
Gold Goblin wrote:
As slowly as he attempts to look like he's perusing the options on display in shop windows, Gristav feels he is starting to stretch the credulity of his performance. As near as he can tell, no one appears to be watching him, but he feels conspicuous in his loitering. At one point, he is momentarily alarmed to spy a figure moving in the scribe's locked office, but he quickly determines it to be Braddon, checking for any signs of Lil Scarlet coming or going, no doubt.

Daylight no doubt being helpful...

To draw attention away from Braddon, Gristav gives an obvious shrug, and walks to the center of the nearest intersection, where he carefully chooses a footing for his staff, crouching beside it as if sheltering in a shadow cast by the cyphergate's apex. Judging the staff's verticality by lifting it slightly free of the ground, and letting it pendulate to rest, he carefully observes... something, about the cyphergate, or so it would appear.

Measuring one staff's length closer to the gate (or further, whichever is closer to Weatherby's), Gristav repeats the exacting process.


Looking around, "Yeah. Get back to the others. Oh what fun..." As they move to take their leave, "This 'Lil' own a bird?"


Gristav's maneuvers draw some nervous glances from the passersby, growing more numerous as the lunch hour approaches. Most give him a wide berth, figuring he's a wizard of some kind or in league with the Cypherlodge somehow; one fellow watches him bemusedly for a moment, then approaches and tells him helpfully, "It's just shy of noon."


Female Halfling
Phillip Hargreaves wrote:
"Are you keen to come to the meeting with Marce? - or would you prefer back within the Goblin?" asked honestly and leaving the preference solely up to his paramour.

She mulls the question a moment, squinting up at the Cyphergate to gauge the time. "Actually, if you don't mind, I might try to find Almah on her lunch break and talk to her about those pockets. Unless you'd rather I go with you to the wharves."


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Phillip bows a slight dip before shouldering their load of fruit and comestibles and offering the other elbow. The path he has in mind is back to the Goblin to drop off the goods and part ways with Ethel, before continuing onwards to find Marce upon the wharf.


hp 22 / 22; AC 16; Init +2 Male Half-elf Ranger 2
"Snake" wrote:
Looking around, "Yeah. Get back to the others. Oh what fun..." As they move to take their leave, "This 'Lil' own a bird?"

"Yeah. A thrush. No one's seen it. She was in disguise on Sunday night. Dressed as a Varisian with a basket. We found the empty poison vials and some scarves in that false bottomed draw on Toilday, but no sign of bird or basket. We know she's on the ship 'cause that's how the scribe tried to contact her on Wealday."

Braddon locks the door as they head back down to the street via the alley.


Braddon and Snake slip out of the alley, trying to look as if they've just been taking an innocent shortcut from the next street, to rejoin Gristav, who is squinting up at the Cyphergate like a surveyor or a putative landscape artist.


M 1/2E Magus 2 :2223a1: BAB1 CMB/D:3/15 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1 HP15/19 FRW522 Appraise7 K:Arc7 K:Lcl7 Ride6 Scft7 UMD8 Diplomacy 5 Intim 5 Sense Motive 3 Perf:Dance 3
Gold Goblin wrote:
Gristav's maneuvers draw some nervous glances from the passersby, growing more numerous as the lunch hour approaches. Most give him a wide berth, figuring he's a wizard of some kind or in league with the Cypherlodge somehow; one fellow watches him bemusedly for a moment, then approaches and tells him helpfully, "It's just shy of noon."

"...yes, well it's just over four cubits, so if we carry the..." wrinkling his brow at the collision of whatever he was thinking and the helpful interloper's injection, Gristav blinked at the man, a long moment. "Oh, you mean, the time. Say, that's clever. By the shadow?", Gris asked, pointing toward the cyphergate.


"Aye, where the shadow falls," he replies encouragingly. "Best way to set a time to meet up with mates or a ladyfriend. 'When the shadow reaches the rune that looks like a gull': something like that."

--------------------------------

Phillip leaves his bundled purchases at the Goblin, where Ethel picks up one of her spare dresses to take to Almah for consultation about concealed weapons. Ethel departs for the boarding house where Almah works as a domestic, while Phillip heads south toward the Wharf District. Marce had indicated that he would meet him on the road between the wharves and the shipyard when he had his information, so Phil makes his way to the corner where the street meets the boardwalk, to give himself an eye out in both directions. The wharves are loud and hectic at noontime, busy with laders loading and unloading cargo, sailors coming and going from ships and taverns, and men trundling handcarts back and forth. Marce is not immediately evident ... but lunchtime's not yet past, either.


As they make their way toward Gristav, "So it's the docks we're headed? Or you got some place else you wanna check for this missing lady."


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Phillip settles into his selected stoop and whiles away the time casting eyes over passersby to see if he can pick out the size of their purses and where any blades might be concealed. He had no intention of testing his hand... but it was always useful to keep his eye in.

Any sign of Billy Dagger or Bellamy of course would draw a reaction, but he isn't searching for them.

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