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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


5,801 to 5,837 of 5,837 << first < prev | 107 | 108 | 109 | 110 | 111 | 112 | 113 | 114 | 115 | 116 | 117 | next > last >>

hp 22 / 22; AC 16; Init +2 Male Half-elf Ranger 2
Gold Goblin wrote:
"Oh. Rat-catcher, huh?" He squints at the half-elf. "You look mighty clean to be a rat-catcher. New recruit, huh?"

Braddon nods. "New recruit. With the speed these things breed I thought you'd have new recruits every day."

He takes a step forward and offers his non-kittened hand.
"Braddon," he announces. "What do you do round here?"


M 1/2E Magus 2 :2223a1: BAB1 CMB/D:3/15 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1 HP13/19 FRW522 Appraise7 K:Arc7 K:Lcl7 Ride6 Scft7 UMD8 Diplomacy 5 Intim 5 Sense Motive 3 Perf:Dance 3
Quote:
The girl glances over her shoulder toward the kitchen and stammers aloud, "I... Mr. Crispin sees the lobster supplier on Fireday afternoons. You might find him there." Stepping closer, she gives him a fierce look and drops her voice to a whisper. "Her Nibs don't approve of gambling on the fights. You want to get Alex in trouble?"

"At the lobsterman's?", Gristav repeats plaintively, a silent wink answering the whisper. "No hope then. I'll just have to remember my notes. I have such a poor memory...", the half-elf says, turning to rush away. "Thank you!", he says, as he goes through the door...

To return an instant later. "Can I have another stew? For ten? I'll be back for it, and I promise, not to clean the crock this time!" Then he's gone again.

And back again. "And anything of blueberry?", he calls, taut as a bowstring between his attention on the girl and immanent flight, waiting only for acknowledgement.


Phillip:
"Espero non velo de novo, cordeiro. Eu non quero ser parte dunha operación de vinganza. Eu son só o cociñeiro. Pero, se o seu amigo de altura ten traizoou Marzo, non é susceptible de minimiza-la."

Anything else you want to have done before the gates open at Zincher's Arena?

Phillip, Halfling:
I'll hope not to see you again, lambkins. I don't want any part of a revenge operation. I'm just the cook. But if your tall friend has doublecrossed Marzo, he's not likely to shrug it off.

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

Braddon Hurst wrote:

He takes a step forward and offers his non-kittened hand.

"Braddon," he announces. "What do you do round here?"

The half-orc visibly hesitates at the proffered hand. He takes Braddon's fingers a little gingerly and gives them a brief shake. "Luca," he introduces himself. "Security. Gates are about to open at the arena; someone's got to keep an eye on the district." Luca wipes the hand he shook on his tunic while he is speaking.

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

Gristav wrote:

"Can I have another stew? For ten? I'll be back for it, and I promise, not to clean the crock this time!" Then he's gone again.

And back again. "And anything of blueberry?", he calls, taut as a bowstring between his attention on the girl and immanent flight, waiting only for acknowledgement.

"For ten?" the girl responds, wide-eyed. "This late in the afternoon? You'll have to be back before sunset!" she calls after Gristav, as he emerges into the afternoon sunlight to head ... where?

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

"Snake" wrote:
Snake rises as he sees the three brought in. "Yes I can. That one's Micah," he points to the man, "the woman is Finnie and the little girl is Cassie." He glances at them, hoping they haven't been scarred even worse than they already are and waiting to see what comes next in this process.

The face of the leader of the Gendarmes bringing in the prisoners sours. "What's this all about, Cooke?" he asks.

"This man's standing surety for these three," Cooke responds. "Approved by the general." He glances across the submissive woman, the little girl, and the whimpering man, and the corner of his mouth turns up sardonically. "Gave you a bit of trouble, did they, Graves? They certainly look dangerous."

Graves scowls. "They were in a known criminal establishment," he retorts hotly. "I had orders to bring in anyone found there."

"And you've done your duty," Cooke replies mildly. "Now let me do mine." He displays the affidavit he's prepared before crossing to the desk to complete the form. "Names and descriptions," he murmurs half to himself, as he fills in the blanks he left earlier, "and then I'll need your signature here." He revolves the parchment on the desk and draws an explanatory X where Snake is to sign before offering him the quill.

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

Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
"Good afternoon, gentlemen. I overheard a discussion concerning arena bouts. I'm new to Riddleport. I am of the mind to learn as much as I can about the arena. Best days to bet. Who I might bet on. Any chance I could join your discussion?"

"Well...." The pair of men exchange dubious glances, but Piccolo can't help but notice that the second man's hand drops away from his weapon. Taking that as an invitation, he enters the box, which is virtually identical to Will's, albeit with a slightly different view onto the sand, with an ingratiating smile.

"If you're new to Riddleport, how'd you get into this level of the arena?" one man asks, as much curious as skeptical. "Never known Zincher to rent them out to strangers."


hp 22 / 22; AC 16; Init +2 Male Half-elf Ranger 2
Gold Goblin wrote:
"Luca," he introduces himself. "Security. Gates are about to open at the arena; someone's got to keep an eye on the district." Luca wipes the hand he shook on his tunic while he is speaking.

"Security?" Braddon looks to the rat traps.

"Who are you keeping secure from what? Is there a secret way into the arena here? Or does the crowd get a bit restless and add to the mess that's already here?"


M 1/2E Magus 2 :2223a1: BAB1 CMB/D:3/15 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1 HP13/19 FRW522 Appraise7 K:Arc7 K:Lcl7 Ride6 Scft7 UMD8 Diplomacy 5 Intim 5 Sense Motive 3 Perf:Dance 3
Quote:
"For ten?" the girl responds, wide-eyed. "This late in the afternoon? You'll have to be back before sunset!" she calls after Gristav, as he emerges into the afternoon sunlight to head ... where?

The arena, please. How late is it?


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

The Past Unfolding:
Phillip nods, content to part without forcing any connections. At the last he speaks in Varisi to leave a clouded warning "Arrotz-herri, otso-herri." A foreign land is a land of wolves. to intimate that if Marzo did decide to come... it would not be as a fox to a chicken coop.

Turning and showing his back without fear to Crysanthemum, Phillip allows all the feelings that roil within him to steep and fester. His legs guide him from Rotgut towards the House of Silken Veils... where he seeks a private bath, and time to allow his thoughts to marinate.

Rough plan to take him from now to the arena opening time is:
1) Spend some time at the baths to clean the blood and morning off himself and his gear. Though he doesn't need to engage in detailed conversation unless Taffy / Anakinyi show up to chat.
2) Spend a walking lunch around the Gold Goblin to do more thorough deep dive into the sorts of tenants that are within 2-3 blocks of the casino. Specifically taking note of squatters / drug addicts / homeless / beggars (but not engaging with any of them).
3) Run into Braddon at some point after number 2 so we can hit the Arena together.


Male Gnome Bard (Negotiator) 2

"It helps if you are an acquaintance of a spectacular artist. Will Swevenforey has been gracious and provided a means of entry into this lofty area of the arena. We gnomes tend to stick together given our sparse numbers. We tend to pass unnoticed given we don't take up much space."

"Your box is quite nice." He strolls about the box. "So it seems Fireday is not the best day at the arena. At least that is what I hear. Is today merely a prelude to the real money bouts on Starday?"

Gold Goblin wrote:

"Well...." The pair of men exchange dubious glances, but Piccolo can't help but notice that the second man's hand drops away from his weapon. Taking that as an invitation, he enters the box, which is virtually identical to Will's, albeit with a slightly different view onto the sand, with an ingratiating smile.

"If you're new to Riddleport, how'd you get into this level of the arena?" one man asks, as much curious as skeptical. "Never known Zincher to rent them out to strangers."


Gold Goblin wrote:

The face of the leader of the Gendarmes bringing in the prisoners sours. "What's this all about, Cooke?" he asks.

"This man's standing surety for these three," Cooke responds. "Approved by the general." He glances across the submissive woman, the little girl, and the whimpering man, and the corner of his mouth turns up sardonically. "Gave you a bit of trouble, did they, Graves? They certainly look dangerous."

Graves scowls. "They were in a known criminal establishment," he retorts hotly. "I had orders to bring in anyone found there."

"And you've done your duty," Cooke replies mildly. "Now let me do mine." He displays the affidavit he's prepared before crossing to the desk to complete the form. "Names and descriptions," he murmurs half to himself, as he fills in the blanks he left earlier, "and then I'll need your signature here." He revolves the parchment on the desk and draws an explanatory X where Snake is to sign before offering him the quill.

Snake takes the quill with reluctance - not use to signing his name to anything - and signs next to the "X" the name "Kane" before returning the quill. "So what's next?"


Phillip:
While the girls and their black-armored protectors promenade on the plaza as before, you can't help but feel a slight difference in the atmosphere at the House of the Silken Veil, as if the attention of the ranking members of the temple is focused elsewhere. You don't see Taffy or Anakinyi or Pip or the strawberry blond; only the male tiefling whose intimidating presence threw Ethel off her game on your joint visit leers at you as you pay for your bath. It occurs to you as you re-enter Riddleport's streets, hair still damp (though not to remain so long in the midday heat), that Daynadrian said at breakfast that he intended to pay another visit to his contact in the temple today; if anyone knows if there's something brewing among the Calistrian hierarchy, he might.

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

Braddon Hurst wrote:

"Security?" Braddon looks to the rat traps.

"Who are you keeping secure from what? Is there a secret way into the arena here? Or does the crowd get a bit restless and add to the mess that's already here?"

"Security for the homes and businesses of Leeward," Luca responds promptly. "While everyone's away watching the fights, it's a prime time for thieves to poke around ... looking for back ways in, rat catcher." The half-orc's speech slows as he completes his final sentence, giving Braddon and his back-alley surroundings a suspicious glare.

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

Gristav departs the Three-Billed Duck and joins the flow of pedestrian traffic heading toward Zincher's Arena. It begins with just a few people here and there, but by the time he nears the massive stone walls, a veritable flood of fight-goers is pressing around the gates on three sides of the bowl, almost all of them male. Most look to be common working men; but sailors and stevedores are also present, and Gristav spies a few men in finely tailored suits hanging back from the crowds fastidiously. Most are consulting handbills like Alex Crispin's, and Gristav sees large and capable-looking men by the closed gates distributing more. Garishly-colored posters depict the sorts of bloody eviscerations that will hopefully be on display this afternoon.

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

Cooke retrieves the affidavit Snake has just signed, adding his own signature and the date at the bottom of the parchment. "Now," he replies, turning an admonitory gaze on the three prisoners, "I inform these three that they're being released on your recognizance and any further trouble they get into will redound on both them and you." He looks sternly on Finnie and Micah, neither of whom meet his eyes, and on Cassie who stares back defiantly above her gag. "Let this be a warning to all of you to better mind the company you keep and the properties you frequent. You do not want to come to the attention of the Gendarmes again. Keep your heads down and your noses clean, eh? All right, Graves, let's take them outside and get these bonds off of them."

"But," Graves sputters impotently, "they need to be interrogated...."

"Take it up with the general if you want to countermand his orders," Cooke retorts. "We've this gentleman's name, residence, and place of employment; if any of these three are wanted for further questioning, it's his responsibility to produce them."

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

Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:

"It helps if you are an acquaintance of a spectacular artist. Will Swevenforey has been gracious and provided a means of entry into this lofty area of the arena. We gnomes tend to stick together given our sparse numbers. We tend to pass unnoticed given we don't take up much space."

"Your box is quite nice." He strolls about the box. "So it seems Fireday is not the best day at the arena. At least that is what I hear. Is today merely a prelude to the real money bouts on Starday?"

Piccolo's name-dropping doesn't elicit a reaction from the men in the box; apparently, Will's fame isn't widespread enough for him to be known outside of the commercial market for billboards.

"Aye, not enough bettors on Fireday," one of the men replies. "Zincher and Croat save the best bouts for the bigger crowds on Starday. Still, Fireday afternoons are good for handicapping ... if you know what you're looking for." His supercilious tone indicates that he considers himself an expert. "You can see who's on his form, who's a little under the weather, that sort of thing."

"You almost never get a death on Fireday," the other man complains. "That's why they don't loose the beasts; they can't be instructed to pull their punches."

The elderly man notices Piccolo's presence in the box for the first time. "What's that?" he demands in the overloud voice of the slightly deaf, squinting at the gnome. "A doxy?"

"It's a gnome, father," one of the men answers, raising his own voice. "From one of the other boxes."

"He means 'pixie,'" the other man assures Piccolo, embarrassed.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Freshly Laundered:
Phillip pays a half mind to the consternation he feels at temple... but only half a mind. The passing of the murder house from the adrenaline fuelled now to the more retrospective near memory had allowed the depth of feelings felt to play out in a more visceral nature.

Unconsciously he rubbed at his shoulder where the meaty hand of Wall-Eye had gripped him... held him helpless as a babe in a vice. A shudder worked through his skin that was quelled by the hard memory of steel meeting flesh. Whatever was arousing the Calistrite house would need wait to be illumed later... it should seem that Daynadrian would be pursuing it at the least.

Instead Phillip put the House behind him and smoothing out a still drying moustache by hand, he put his legs to purpose taking him t'wards the Goblin and surrounds - so as to more keenly scout the few blocks that lay near to it.


Male Gnome Bard (Negotiator) 2

Piccolo chuckles, "We gnomes do appear odd to humans. We are often mistaken for...what was that?...a pixie doxy?...The fights on Fireday are for handicapping. That is a useful bit of information. I think I shall do some handicapping. Thank you very much. Farewell."

Piccolo exits the room. He casually and surreptitiously strolls about this level of the arena studying the walls, noting doors, and learning the layout.

Perception1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27

Gold Goblin wrote:

Piccolo's name-dropping doesn't elicit a reaction from the men in the box; apparently, Will's fame isn't widespread enough for him to be known outside of the commercial market for billboards.

"Aye, not enough bettors on Fireday," one of the men replies. "Zincher and Croat save the best bouts for the bigger crowds on Starday. Still, Fireday afternoons are good for handicapping ... if you know what you're looking for." His supercilious tone indicates that he considers himself an expert. "You can see who's on his form, who's a little under the weather, that sort of thing."

"You almost never get a death on Fireday," the other man complains. "That's why they don't loose the beasts; they can't be instructed to pull their punches."

The elderly man notices Piccolo's presence in the box for the first time. "What's that?" he demands in the overloud voice of the slightly deaf, squinting at the gnome. "A doxy?"

"It's a gnome, father," one of the men answers, raising his own voice. "From one of the other boxes."

"He means 'pixie,'" the other man assures Piccolo, embarrassed.


M 1/2E Magus 2 :2223a1: BAB1 CMB/D:3/15 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1 HP13/19 FRW522 Appraise7 K:Arc7 K:Lcl7 Ride6 Scft7 UMD8 Diplomacy 5 Intim 5 Sense Motive 3 Perf:Dance 3
Gold Goblin wrote:
Gristav spies a few men in finely tailored suits hanging back from the crowds fastidiously.

"Difficult, isn't it?", The half-elf huffs, in pattern of patrician patois. "Such... crowds. One rushes ahead, and brushes, against them...", he said, his face and tone shading to distaste, "Or, one... waits." He faintly, frustratedly, shudders. "I hate waiting."

"There ought to be a place, just for gentlemen. Even if one is slumming..."


Phillip:
Going into the Gold Goblin, or just grabbing lunch from a street vendor and walking the neighborhood?

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

Gristav wrote:

"Difficult, isn't it?", The half-elf huffs, in pattern of patrician patois. "Such... crowds. One rushes ahead, and brushes, against them...", he said, his face and tone shading to distaste, "Or, one... waits." He faintly, frustratedly, shudders. "I hate waiting."

"There ought to be a place, just for gentlemen. Even if one is slumming..."

A couple of burly men accompanying the wealthy arena-goers put their hands to cudgels at their belts at Gristav's approach but look to their employers for a sign as to whether the half-elf is welcome or needs to be warned away. The well-to-do men themselves exchange uncertain glances, eyeing him suspiciously. "Indeed," one answers skeptically. "I would suspect you of having private knowledge of such a place, if one exists, as I don't believe we've seen you here before. What is your business, Mister...?" he trails off, looking to Gristav to supply a name.

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

Piccolo continues to retrace his steps toward the concession area, passing two more boxes before arriving back where he purchased the nuts and ale; both are unoccupied, lending credence to the reports he's heard that Fireday matches are less attended. In addition to the five boxes on the left, he passes three staircases on the right leading up to the sunnier sections of the arena.

When he enters the concession area, however, there are a few customers at both the food counter and the betting windows that are now open. Across the large open room, the other corridor leads on to what are assuredly more private boxes opening onto the sand.

Continue on to the other corridor, go back to Will's, or do something else, Piccolo?


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Clarification:
Just lunch from a street vendor and a wander - he's keeping clear of the Gold Goblin at least for a while.


M 1/2E Magus 2 :2223a1: BAB1 CMB/D:3/15 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1 HP13/19 FRW522 Appraise7 K:Arc7 K:Lcl7 Ride6 Scft7 UMD8 Diplomacy 5 Intim 5 Sense Motive 3 Perf:Dance 3
Gold Goblin wrote:
Gristav wrote:

"Difficult, isn't it?", The half-elf huffs, in pattern of patrician patois. "Such... crowds. One rushes ahead, and brushes, against them...", he said, his face and tone shading to distaste, "Or, one... waits." He faintly, frustratedly, shudders. "I hate waiting."

"There ought to be a place, just for gentlemen. Even if one is slumming..."

A couple of burly men accompanying the wealthy arena-goers put their hands to cudgels at their belts at Gristav's approach but look to their employers for a sign as to whether the half-elf is welcome or needs to be warned away. The well-to-do men themselves exchange uncertain glances, eyeing him suspiciously. "Indeed," one answers skeptically. "I would suspect you of having private knowledge of such a place, if one exists, as I don't believe we've seen you here before. What is your business, Mister...?" he trails off, looking to Gristav to supply a name.

"Oh, I know of no such place. But I had heard the rumour... I was hoping, you knew?" As if pleased, the half-elf seemed to deduce, "You thought I was some sort of, solicitor for it? That's delightful. It's the shirt, isn't it?" Gristav tugs happily at his own collar lapel. "You couldn't have seen me before; I've only just been here, a day? Or two?", he says, the last while wearing a mask of mental maths. "Two", he says with certainty. "I have no business, or rather, too many, that no one is the business. Just now, I'd thought to attend the arena, and that I might do that hated waiting, in educated company. But, you may have asked my business, to make the point, that I had none with you. True, and I would never wish to intrude. My name, I think you asked, is Gristav."


Phillip:
Returning in the direction of the river, you buy a quick and portable lunch from one of the street vendors and dive into the twisting streets and alleyways around the Gold Goblin, keeping its tarnished bronze dome in sight without passing close enough to be recognized by anyone looking out a window.

The area roughly northeast of the Goblin lies in Leeward District and seems not to suffer from the slight fall-off in cleanliness and respectability generally notable at the edge of a less savory area, undoubtedly due to the proximity of the Cypherlodge's inn and the main road to Velashu Ferry. Unlike the somewhat shabby edge of Leeward where Betta's shop is situated, the paint on the buildings is fresh, the windowboxes full of flowers, and the businesses well-frequented. Everyone you spy here seems to have a purpose and legitimate reason to be here: no beggars or loiterers in sight.

To the southeast of the casino, Wharf District begins. At this distance from the harbor, the buildings are all warehouses. It's difficult to tell which might be in use and which abandoned with most of the doors shut tight against theft and/or intrusion. Being utilitarian in nature, the paint is peeling or nonexistent and the high small windows dusty, cracked or boarded up. The roads are less traveled than Leeward's and heavily rutted by years of handcarts moving cargo to and from the docks. In the shaded alleys, you catch sight of several groups of men, sitting on upturned crates or merely leaning against a wall, passing around a bottle with their lunch; most are clearly sailors or stevedores. You don't see any lone men lingering; apparently even those who work here respect the district's dangerous reputation as the hunting ground of press gangs and pickpockets.

West of the Gold Goblin are the boarded-up and abandoned buildings of River District. On this side of the river, only one structure between Cas Caznynsik's shipyard and Velashu Ferry seems to house a going concern, and that's a tannery reeking of urine, dung, and decaying flesh; while your nose and your consciousness of your recent bath dissuade you from venturing too near the source of the stench, you can see the workers moving within with cloth masks tied over the lower parts of their faces.

Here there is a veritable plethora of possible lurking places for squatters; the disused buildings are boarded up, but, as in Rotgut, there are myriad signs of illicit entry: broken windows, pried-away boards, holes kicked through rotting wooden walls. Many humane rat traps are situated among the weeds and stones, but only a few contain a squeaking inmate; many sport neither rat nor bait, and you surmise that the trapped rodents were poached for meat before the trappers could return to check the traps. You spy a few bedraggled fishermen in the fetid mud along the riverbank with hopeful strings trailing in the river and hazard a guess that some of the rat bait is now being used to tempt fish as well.

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

Now quite certain that Gristav is not someone ranking among their social circle, the wealthy men sidle away with a reproachful look at the half-elf for his effrontery. The bodyguards step pugnaciously into the space they just vacated, staring a warning not to try to follow, but before the gaffe has a chance to escalate into something more physical, the murmur of the crowd becomes an excited hum as the metal portcullis of the nearest arena gate is cranked open and the throng surges inward like water through a sluice gate ... or animals through a chute at a slaughterhouse.

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

Cooke directs the prisoners and Snake back out the front door, and after the interior of Shoreleave, even the packed dirt of the front yard seems comforting. The manacles are removed from Finnie and Micah, neither of whom look up either at their former captors or at their benefactor.

"Here," the Gendarme holding Cassie says, holding the child out at arm's length to Snake. "She's kicked me black and blue all the way from Rotgut and tried to bite me. You can take off the gag yourself, if you want her; I'd rather keep my fingers."


Male Gnome Bard (Negotiator) 2

Piccolo will take one of the flights of stairs to the upper arena. He will proceed to move about noting the layout, while taking a seat at times to enjoy the games.

Gold Goblin wrote:

Piccolo continues to retrace his steps toward the concession area, passing two more boxes before arriving back where he purchased the nuts and ale; both are unoccupied, lending credence to the reports he's heard that Fireday matches are less attended. In addition to the five boxes on the left, he passes three staircases on the right leading up to the sunnier sections of the arena.

When he enters the concession area, however, there are a few customers at both the food counter and the betting windows that are now open. Across the large open room, the other corridor leads on to what are assuredly more private boxes opening onto the sand.

Continue on to the other corridor, go back to Will's, or do something else, Piccolo?


hp 22 / 22; AC 16; Init +2 Male Half-elf Ranger 2
Gold Goblin wrote:
"Security for the homes and businesses of Leeward," Luca responds promptly. "While everyone's away watching the fights, it's a prime time for thieves to poke around ... looking for back ways in, rat catcher." The half-orc's speech slows as he completes his final sentence, giving Braddon and his back-alley surroundings a suspicious glare.

"That doesn't sound too bad a job. So you work for one of the bosses then? Who pays you? Are there any openings?"

Braddon scratches the kitten behind its ears.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

One Potato Two Potato:
As Phillip takes the wander of the River District he notes two things - one, a roughish count of how many squatters and destitute reside... and the second scouting a decent lurk for either person or item near to the tannery. If something needs be hidden I would suspect that covering it in stench and surrounds this vile would likely do most of the job for you.

For the count I'm assuming somewhere in the 'tens' range within a few blocks of the Goblin?


M 1/2E Magus 2 :2223a1: BAB1 CMB/D:3/15 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1 HP13/19 FRW522 Appraise7 K:Arc7 K:Lcl7 Ride6 Scft7 UMD8 Diplomacy 5 Intim 5 Sense Motive 3 Perf:Dance 3
Gold Goblin wrote:
Now quite certain that Gristav is not someone ranking among their social circle, the wealthy men sidle away with a reproachful look at the half-elf for his effrontery. The bodyguards step pugnaciously into the space they just vacated, staring a warning not to try to follow...

"Would either of you, know, then?"


Gold Goblin wrote:

Cooke directs the prisoners and Snake back out the front door, and after the interior of Shoreleave, even the packed dirt of the front yard seems comforting. The manacles are removed from Finnie and Micah, neither of whom look up either at their former captors or at their benefactor.

"Here," the Gendarme holding Cassie says, holding the child out at arm's length to Snake. "She's kicked me black and blue all the way from Rotgut and tried to bite me. You can take off the gag yourself, if you want her; I'd rather keep my fingers."

Looking to the guard with disdain, he ignores him and bends down to remove the gag from the child. "Are you okay, darling? Where's your doll? They didn't take her from you, did they?"


Braddon Hurst wrote:

"That doesn't sound too bad a job. So you work for one of the bosses then? Who pays you? Are there any openings?"

Braddon scratches the kitten behind its ears.

The kitten purrs while Luca scowls suspiciously. "Boss Croat, of course. Half-orcs provide security to the whole district. Where do you come from, rat-catcher, that you don't know that?"


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

"Magnimar," Braddon responds automatically. "After all, if I came from here I wouldn't be stuck rat catching. So if you guys are security for the district, what do the gendarmes do? Do they look after the other districts or just get in the way?"
Braddon lowers his voice conspiratorially. "Or are they just spies for the overlord?"


"'Magni-,'" Luca repeats, still frowning; then suddenly, his heavy brow clears. "Magnimar? Hey, you know Magnimar Deverin, huh?"

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

Gristav wrote:
"Would either of you, know, then?"

Gristav's inquiry is not dignified with a response, as the bodyguards withdraw to protect their employers as the crowd presses into the arena. On the verge of the current himself, he will be drawn through the gates himself if he attempts to pursue the conversation.

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

"Snake" wrote:
"Are you okay, darling? Where's your doll? They didn't take her from you, did they?"

When Snake removes the child's gag, she looks like she might go back and bite the Gendarme; but asking about Neenah distracts her. "She's still at my big house. Finnie pulled me out of there so fast I dropped her." She gives the grown woman a contemptuous glare.

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

Phillip:
You already know that the only inn in Leeward District is the Cypherlodge-owned Mystery of the Gate, where Maddy works as part of the housekeeping staff. By now, you are familiar enough with Riddleport politics to assume that the lack of competition is due to fear of the reprisals of Elias Tammerhawk, the head of the Cyphermages; being the only respectable inn in town allows the Mystery to charge what it likes for its rooms. The flophouses along the wharves are totally unsuitable, potentially dangerous even to yourself, let alone Ethel. You have spied a certain number of placards in boarding houses in Leeward District, however, discreetly advertising rooms to let. While a month's rent might have been hard to scrape up a day or two ago, your share of Beltias's money -- or of Marzo's money Beltias was embezzling -- makes such an option viable.

It would be wasteful to a Sarenite extreme, however, to provide such extravagant surroundings for whatever strays the others might bring home. Those who have already proven themselves unable to fend for themselves would be fresh meat for the sharks of Wharf District; if they can't be returned to Rotgut, it might be worth the trouble to clear one of the abandoned buildings along the Velashu to house them. Any squatters or vermin already resident would almost certainly be easier to defeat than Beltias's gang whom you've already bested.

Arriving at a reasonably accurate count of squatters in the abandoned buildings of River District is akin to determining the number of rats in a cluttered basement. One has to assume that for every one you see, there are more you can't, but the exact ratio is a mystery. You come away with a general feeling that the population density is far less than in Rotgut, where virtually every structure shelters multiple vagrants. Neither the visible traffic nor the somewhat abandoned feel to the district adds up, in your mind, to more than twenty present inhabitants ... though the glimpses of shadowy interior you get through the holes in the walls remind you eerily that you could be wrong about the number of eyes that may be watching your passage.

As you begin to approach the tannery, the feculent stench invades your airways, threatening to turn your stomach....

Roll me a Fort save, please.

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

Piccolo takes the stairs up to the main level of the arena and steps out into the blinding afternoon sun. Standing blinking for a moment to regain his senses, he is nearly trampled by impatient patrons shoving past him. As his eyes adjust to the bright light, he can see that the lower benches of the bowl are filling quickly but the upper tiers are all but deserted as the fight-goers seek seats with better views of the potential gore; only around the canopied boxes on the rim of the arena is there any appreciable activity.

Keeping to the less crowded aisles on the upper part of the bowl, Piccolo begins to stroll around the arena, serene in the knowledge that if anyone asks what he is doing he can quite truthfully respond that it's his first visit and he's just checking out the facility. While the smooth, circular sides of the grandstand would normally make navigation difficult, the top of the Cyphergate -- and the dark blot in the sky beyond it -- are visible above the highest tiers of seating, providing an unmistakable landmark by which to ascertain the position of the multiple identical stairwells. He can pick out the canopied box where Will spoke with Zincher and his men, the one on the southwestern rim; while it's difficult to make out the boxes inhabitants beyond the billowing curtains, the fact that several men are perched protectively in the otherwise empty seats around it leads Piccolo to surmise that Zincher is still there.

The crowd in the arena is heavily male and heavily human, save for a grayish-greenish-tinged patch near another canopied box to the northeast. It is circled by what are unmistakeably, even at this distance, half-orcs; Piccolo can make an educated guess that this must be the box of Cleg Zincher's gladiatorial rival, the half-orc Boss Croat.


hp 22 / 22; AC 16; Init +2 Male Half-elf Ranger 2
Gold Goblin wrote:
"'Magni-,'" Luca repeats, still frowning; then suddenly, his heavy brow clears. "Magnimar? Hey, you know Magnimar Deverin, huh?"

"Of course. Magnimar's a small tight knit community. We stick together, you know."

Braddon nods, then frowns.
"So, I gotta go. Work." Braddon holds up the kitten by way of explanation.
"It's been good meeting you."

Braddon goes to step past the half-orc towards a boarding house in the distance.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Oh Dear:
Fort Save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
Hopefully he would turn back before resorting to the upchuck... or at least gets a reflex save to avoid his boots :P


Gold Goblin wrote:
When Snake removes the child's gag, she looks like she might go back and bite the Gendarme; but asking about Neenah distracts her. "She's still at my big house. Finnie pulled me out of there so fast I dropped her." She gives the grown woman a contemptuous glare.

Snake gives a slight grin at the child's determination. "Okay, well, let's go get her, huh?" He rises back up, looking to the gendarme. "Was there anything else that was taken from the house? It might be important to one of them and I'd appreciate it if I could get it back if that's the case."


M 1/2E Magus 2 :2223a1: BAB1 CMB/D:3/15 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1 HP13/19 FRW522 Appraise7 K:Arc7 K:Lcl7 Ride6 Scft7 UMD8 Diplomacy 5 Intim 5 Sense Motive 3 Perf:Dance 3

Despairing of gregariously catching Alex 'returning' 'his' broadsheet, among the dense draw of the crowd, Gristav turns, cautious of the crowd's proximities and his stave's extremities, and makes his way first clear, and then south... west? He wondered if he had that correct, and slashingly sketched an invisible map of the town, in the air before him, while he followed the forming map, back to the Goblin.


Braddon Hurst wrote:

"So, I gotta go. Work." Braddon holds up the kitten by way of explanation.

"It's been good meeting you."

"Hey, rat catcher!" Luca calls after Braddon when he's made it halfway across the street. "That's a cat, not a rat!" He points at the kitten in the half-elf's hand. "Rookie mistake, huh?" He guffaws and disappears down the alley, continuing his patrol.

Braddon proceeds toward his original destination, a tidy and respectable boardinghouse just south of and on the other side of the street from the Three-Billed Duck. He takes the stairs inside all the way up to the small landing outside the door to the attic room and knocks. After a moment, a woman's voice demands warily, "Who is it?"

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

Gristav escapes the crush of people pouring into the arena and makes his way back to the Goblin -- west-southwest, he decides, as the crow flies, perusing his invisible map, but gifted with neither feathers nor wings himself, he is forced to take the road directly west and then turn southward. Going around the building to the back door, he lets himself in with his key.

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

"Snake" wrote:
"Was there anything else that was taken from the house? It might be important to one of them and I'd appreciate it if I could get it back if that's the case."

"He took my keys," Cassey accuses the gendarme Graves, "the ones you gave me when you put me in charge."

Graves's eyes slide thoughtfully to Snake in a manner calculated to make the other man uncomfortable. "Your keys, are they?" he asks quietly. "Don't suppose you have a deed to prove you've a right to the property?"

"In lieu of a deed, possession's satisfactory," Cooke reminds Graves idly, distracted by checking his paperwork. "Give him the keys."

"Of course," Graves replies, turning the corners of his mouth upward as if someone had once given him a thirdhand description of a smile. He takes Cassey's keys from his pocket and hands them to Snake, holding onto the ring just a half-moment longer than necessary.

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

Phillip:
As you attempt to approach the tannery, your stomach threatens to revolt, and this still in the open air: You can't imagine the stench trapped within the walls of the place where you see the masked workers going about their disgusting business through watering eyes. Do they get used to the smell eventually, you wonder? Perhaps they soak the scarves over their faces in some strong perfume. You think briefly of the mask Cleg Zincher provided the dwarves of the Gas Forges, which failed to protect Larur Felden from the ravages of carbauxine, and wonder if it could at least diminsh the smell.

Phil is currently sickened; whether or not the effect might get worse nearer the tannery you don't know. Want to go ahead with a search of the environs?


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Quizzically Queasy:
Shallow heavy breathing ensues and Phillip tries to quell the stomach churning through sheer willpower as he slowly backs away from the tannery. Content by mind at least that he's identified the crux of the question... that is that none with their faculty intact would go where the stench barred him from... and that he's sure a fastness could be acquired without too much concern. A subsequent visit would be required to confirm of course... but that could be stayed until at least he was suitably equipped and perhaps timed prior to a bath, rather than soon after.

Gills still choked with the scent of the tannery, Phillip wagers that he likely needs a similar strength of scent to banish the tanning effluvia from his olfactory senses. His legs take him towards and along the waters of the Wharfs, treading the boards and keeping his eyes busy looking for malcontents as he does.

Recollection strikes him then, and his wandering eyes gather a sense of purpose - seeking a telltale daggered scar crossing over an eye and marking a cheek... or at least the face of his dimwitted sidekick.

Along the river, wharf, then if he doesn't see Billy Dagger or Bellamy he'll cut back over and t'wards the Arena / Goblin and hopefully Braddon will be wandering around somewheres.


M 1/2E Magus 2 :2223a1: BAB1 CMB/D:3/15 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1 HP13/19 FRW522 Appraise7 K:Arc7 K:Lcl7 Ride6 Scft7 UMD8 Diplomacy 5 Intim 5 Sense Motive 3 Perf:Dance 3

Tien past Two

Locking the Goblin's kitchen on his way in, Gris turned and pondered duties. Hoping for greater thoughts to come, he busied himself with more ice-making, which, it turned out, brought the greater thoughts.

It was the tuneless shreik of the muffin-tin mold, bursting the frozen block free, that recalled to him the first notes. Not proper notes, not as anyone nearby might agree, but this part of Golarion, Gris reflected as he swaddled the wee bairns of ice, wanted eight notes, while the Tien made due with five.

Thus is was that Gristav sang (not badly, nor well, but in five tones, who could tell?) as he crossed the casino floor, toward his room, the brevetted plunder treasury. The melancholy music matched the mein of the task he'd chosen, an undesirably duty. Which he found, he still looked forward to.

"棕色水位上涨
把我的爱给我
树的木灵的礼物

绿色的海水飞
一扫免费
在你身边,快乐对我来说

Passing Desna on her dais, Gristav said, "Thank you, for this, too.", and began the final verse (though he knew there were more)...

湛蓝的海水宽
无尽海空
两只手永恒

Which brought him to his door. He was shortly inside, granting himself a preview of the plundered map, of which he planned, shortly, to have an expert's opinion.

Tienish:
Brown, waters rise
Bring, my love to me
Wood spirit's gift of tree

Green, waters fly
Swept, away and free
Beside you, joy for me

Blue, waters wide
Endless. empty sea
Two hands, eternity


Male Gnome Bard (Negotiator) 2

Piccolo notes Croat's and Zincher's boxes. He will count the visible guards and look for any signs of incognito guards. He does this while observing the games enough to be able to discuss details of the bout if questioned.

Gold Goblin wrote:

Piccolo takes the stairs up to the main level of the arena and steps out into the blinding afternoon sun. Standing blinking for a moment to regain his senses, he is nearly trampled by impatient patrons shoving past him. As his eyes adjust to the bright light, he can see that the lower benches of the bowl are filling quickly but the upper tiers are all but deserted as the fight-goers seek seats with better views of the potential gore; only around the canopied boxes on the rim of the arena is there any appreciable activity.

Keeping to the less crowded aisles on the upper part of the bowl, Piccolo begins to stroll around the arena, serene in the knowledge that if anyone asks what he is doing he can quite truthfully respond that it's his first visit and he's just checking out the facility. While the smooth, circular sides of the grandstand would normally make navigation difficult, the top of the Cyphergate -- and the dark blot in the sky beyond it -- are visible above the highest tiers of seating, providing an unmistakable landmark by which to ascertain the position of the multiple identical stairwells. He can pick out the canopied box where Will spoke with Zincher and his men, the one on the southwestern rim; while it's difficult to make out the boxes inhabitants beyond the billowing curtains, the fact that several men are perched protectively in the otherwise empty seats around it leads Piccolo to surmise that Zincher is still there.

The crowd in the arena is heavily male and heavily human, save for a grayish-greenish-tinged patch near another canopied box to the northeast. It is circled by what are unmistakeably, even at this distance, half-orcs; Piccolo can make an educated guess that this must be the box of Cleg Zincher's gladiatorial rival, the half-orc Boss Croat.


hp 22 / 22; AC 16; Init +2 Male Half-elf Ranger 2
Gold Goblin wrote:
"That's a cat, not a rat!" He points at the kitten in the half-elf's hand. "Rookie mistake, huh?" He guffaws and disappears down the alley, continuing his patrol.

"Yeah, a mistake..." Braddon mutters quietly with half a smirk.

Gold Goblin wrote:
Braddon proceeds toward his original destination, a tidy and respectable boardinghouse just south of and on the other side of the street from the Three-Billed Duck. He takes the stairs inside all the way up to the small landing outside the door to the attic room and knocks. After a moment, a woman's voice demands warily, "Who is it?"

"Greetings, fair lady. Braddon, the exotic half-elf, has returned."


"Who?" the voice demands. Braddon hears the sound of a latch being lifted on the other side, and the door opens a cautious few inches, Anya squinting blearily out at him. "Are you drunk? What time is it?" Before he can answer, belated recognition dawns in her eyes. "Oh, it's you ... from the casino job. Listen, you can't just show up at my door. Go to the temple, when I'm working." She yawns, preparing to close the door.

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

Phillip dares to brave Wharf District, in search of fresh salt air and two familiar faces. While he still has to step lively to avoid being jostled, the boardwalk seems less bustling than he has previously seen it. He surmises that those who had the opportunity to slip away have done so, to attend the Fireday bouts at Zincher's Arena. Perhaps that's where Billy Dagger and Bellamy are; at any rate, Phil doesn't lay eyes on them.

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

Piccolo climbs a few tiers of benches higher up the bowl and begins a new circuit of the arena, closer to the boxes so that he can take a surreptitious glance inside as he passes. He does his best to look like he's peering down into the crowd for a lost seat or companion. There are eight evenly-spaced stairwells honeycombing the arena, each with three entrances ranging from the rim of the bowl down to street level. He notices that the private sand-level boxes like the one Will is occupying are virtually unnoticeable from the public seats: Behind the bright sunlight reflecting off the sand, the dim light in the boxes is impenetrable; the barred windows might lead to cells or service tunnels as far as the average fight-goer knows. They certainly afford more privacy than the canopied boxes perched prominently on the rim of the arena, their colorful curtains rippling in the light breeze off the harbor.

As Piccolo approaches the half-orcs' box, he pauses, as if perusing the seating below, while performing a quick count out of the corner of his eye. There seem to be at least forty half-orcs on the benches on the three sides of the box; apparently, Riddleport's half-orcs prize solidarity above prime vantagepoints. While all are armed, only the dozen or so nearest the box seem to be on guard duty; the rest are talking, laughing, drinking, throwing dice, and otherwise killing time until the bouts begin.

The box itself is hung with yellow curtains with scarlet embroidery. Inside is a massively fat half-orc in yellow robes, sitting on what is less a chair and more a platform that doesn't impinge on his impressive girth. Through small, squinting eyes, he stares impassively out over the grandstand. At his shoulder, ramrod straight, stands another half-orc in similar robes, younger and far more fit. His interest is not in the sand oval below but the benches directly around him; his gaze scans the crowd. As Piccolo is looking into the box, the standing half-orc's eyes suddenly lock onto his.

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

Safely in his room, Gristav slides the charts out of the leather tube and unrolls them on his bed. Although he lacks the specialized knowledge that would allow him to appreciate all their secrets, he can tell that they depict coastlines and islands, hidden reefs, currents, and other geographical features that would be of use to a sailor. They are peppered with numbers, which he surmises indicate the depth of the water at various points. There is no indication of how or whether the various charts fit together, but he finds one which describes Riddleport Harbor and another containing Roderic's Cove.

As he flips through the charts, he hears Jaelle's words in his memory: I can't swear we'll be back before Moonday.... It's been only two days; there's no guarantee the Cloud will be in port.


Gold Goblin wrote:

"He took my keys," Cassey accuses the gendarme Graves, "the ones you gave me when you put me in charge."

Graves's eyes slide thoughtfully to Snake in a manner calculated to make the other man uncomfortable. "Your keys, are they?" he asks quietly. "Don't suppose you have a deed to prove you've a right to the property?"

"In lieu of a deed, possession's satisfactory," Cooke reminds Graves idly, distracted by checking his paperwork. "Give him the keys."

"Of course," Graves replies, turning the corners of his mouth upward as if someone had once given him a thirdhand description of a smile. He takes Cassey's keys from his pocket and hands them to Snake, holding onto the ring just a half-moment longer than necessary.

Snake takes the keys from the smirky gendarme, refusing to play his game by paying him no mind. Turning to the others, "Alright, let's get you all out of here. Cassie, I'm gonna need you to help me with Finnie and I'll get Micah." He moves over to the odd man, placing a kind hand upon his shoulder, gently urging him onward. "C'mon, Micah, your needed at a place that's not here."


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Shrugging away the lack of success on a whim, as it was a whim that had him even gaze for them, Phillip bends his forward trajectory t'wards the Arena.


Male Gnome Bard (Negotiator) 2

Piccolo meets the half-orc's gaze with a smile meant as a warm greeting. After a few moments, he turns his gaze back to the games. He spends some time engrossed in the action, between matches he rises and moves to another section of the arena. It is his intent to stay until the games are mostly complete, then leave with the crowd.

Gold Goblin wrote:

Piccolo climbs a few tiers of benches higher up the bowl and begins a new circuit of the arena, closer to the boxes so that he can take a surreptitious glance inside as he passes. He does his best to look like he's peering down into the crowd for a lost seat or companion. There are eight evenly-spaced stairwells honeycombing the arena, each with three entrances ranging from the rim of the bowl down to street level. He notices that the private sand-level boxes like the one Will is occupying are virtually unnoticeable from the public seats: Behind the bright sunlight reflecting off the sand, the dim light in the boxes is impenetrable; the barred windows might lead to cells or service tunnels as far as the average fight-goer knows. They certainly afford more privacy than the canopied boxes perched prominently on the rim of the arena, their colorful curtains rippling in the light breeze off the harbor.

As Piccolo approaches the half-orcs' box, he pauses, as if perusing the seating below, while performing a quick count out of the corner of his eye. There seem to be at least forty half-orcs on the benches on the three sides of the box; apparently, Riddleport's half-orcs prize solidarity above prime vantagepoints. While all are armed, only the dozen or so nearest the box seem to be on guard duty; the rest are talking, laughing, drinking, throwing dice, and otherwise killing time until the bouts begin.

The box itself is hung with yellow curtains with scarlet embroidery. Inside is a massively fat half-orc in yellow robes, sitting on what is less a chair and more a platform that doesn't impinge on his impressive girth. Through small, squinting eyes, he stares impassively out over the grandstand. At his shoulder, ramrod straight, stands another half-orc in similar robes, younger and far more fit. His interest is not in the sand oval below but the benches directly around him; his gaze scans the crowd. As Piccolo is looking into the box, the standing half-orc's eyes suddenly lock onto his.

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