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Shadow over Riddleport

Game Master Joana

Braddon: What's a mole?
Snake: It's a blind animal that digs holes underground. Why? It's not what's for dinner, is it? Because I'll just starve if it is. Not really that hungry anyway.


7,851 to 7,877 of 7,877 << first < prev | 148 | 149 | 150 | 151 | 152 | 153 | 154 | 155 | 156 | 157 | 158 | next > last >>

Female Halfling

"Boss Croat's organization is supposed to be reliable," she admits slowly. "Everyone in Leeward does business with them, and I haven't heard any complaints. Should I tell them about your friend being in there with the man and the child and the woman covered with blood?"


Gristav, Braddon, and Snake depart the Gold Goblin not long after Phil and Ethel. They also direct their steps toward the Bazaar of the Seafaring Peddlar. As they approach the small shop, a mere footnote between the grandiose Mystery of the Gate and Cleg Zincher's even more imposing arena, they spy two Small figures on the street ahead of them: Phil and Ethel.


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

"Do we catch them up? No, they deserve their space. They are a comely couple, aren't they? If one squints, and... pretends it's perspective. I suppose, that's a perspective, of a different sort. Then, one might do without the squint." Gristav smiles brightly at his companions.

"You know, that vendor, he might not know we've any link. Let's enter separately. If they enter..."


As the trio watch, the Small figures of Phil and Ethel move away from the shop toward the east.

Are you going to Boss Croat's Compound, Phil? I don't believe you've ever been there, but you can take 10 on Knowledge (local) to know how to find it, and of course, Ethel could tell you as well.


Rolling his eyes, "No, we don't catch up to them. We've got our own work cut out for us. Let's just keep to the task at hand."


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

"Fair enough."

Braddon makes his way round to the door and knocks.

"Who should we say sent us?"


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)
Ethel Braum wrote:
"Should I tell them about your friend being in there with the man and the child and the woman covered with blood?"

Speaking cautiously Phillip replies "I wouldn't volunteer that... I don't think there was enough blood or chaos for them to be responsible. But speak plainly and honestly, the truth of the situation will ring out."

From the Bazaar Phil wends his way towards Boss Croat's compound - though keeps his eyes open for any half-orcs who are clearly part of the clannish organization. Luca intimated that any one of them would be able to be guide to the others.

Off to Croat's compound with the assumed take 10 Knowledge Local. If he sees a clearly delineated half-orc prior to the compound then he'll approach them (as suggested by Luca).


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
Braddon Hurst wrote:

"Fair enough."

Braddon makes his way round to the door and knocks.

"Who should we say sent us?"

"I've been before. I brought myself. And you.", Gristav answers. "But usually, it's open... Ah! Of course, the day of rest. Well, we'll wait some minutes, and see if we've disturbed him. And not try any harder, I think, to do so."

"Should we be welcomed, Mister Kane, do look it all over. Something may ring a bell."


Gristav wrote:
"Should we be welcomed, Mister Kane, do look it all over. Something may ring a bell."

"You can bet on it," he says, glancing to his left and right out of habit.


Female Halfling

Phil and Ethel continue on to the northeast, cutting through Leeward Common. Like the other businesses in town this morning, the market seems to be getting off to a slow start: the farmers' wagons have arrived, but few of the stalls are yet set up and stocked, nor are there many shoppers waiting impatiently.

The pair take the northern road leading out of the Common and pass the Three-Billed Duck, which seems to be alone in the neighborhood both in being open and in doing a fairly brisk business.

Ethel glances to the right side of the street, where the boarding house in which the girls shared the low-ceilinged attic flat stands. "I wonder how Almah and Maddy are holding up," she muses, a little guiltily. "Should we stop to see them?"


Male Human (Keleshite)

Braddon knocks at the door of the small shop, standing beneath a painted wooden placard bearing the moniker 'Bazaar of the Seafaring Peddlar': impossibly blue waves lap at the bottom corner of the words, and a brightly-colored ship peeks over the horizon of the oversized 'B' of Bazaar. Freshly-washed windows of multiple hand-sized panes of glass on either side of the door display eclectic wares: glass and wooden windchimes, brightly-enameled pottery, necklaces of knotted cord and hand-painted beads, hammered copper bracelets and earrings, tiny stone idols, small carved chests, and gewgaws and knick-knacks of all kinds.

The clutter in the windows means that it is difficult to get a clear view of anything in the back of the shop, but after waiting a while, Braddon hears the sound of footsteps. A moment later, a Keleshite man with a neatly trimmed beard peers through the front window. His gaze passes over Braddon and Snake coolly, but a spark of recognition lights his dark eyes when they land on Gristav.

He unlocks the door with no appearance of haste. "You are shopping early this morning," he observes, opening the door and setting a silver chime above it jingling. "I trust your need is urgent and your pursestrings loose?"


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
Hassan ali-Haqim wrote:

...a spark of recognition lights his dark eyes when they land on Gristav.

He unlocks the door with no appearance of haste. "You are shopping early this morning," he observes, opening the door and setting a silver chime above it jingling. "I trust your need is urgent and your pursestrings loose?"

Gristav enters with no appearance of haste. "Yes, I apologize for the hour, or rather, the day. The road has taught me little respect for either, though you have taught me some for yourself. Accordingly, I've brought these gentlemen, Misters Hart and Kane, to make the acquaintance of your person and shoppe, on the occasion of my needing to leave here neither heavier nor lighter- Well, not unduly lighter- , but wiser. Might we leave them to their browsing while we discuss the matter?"

...

"There is a dwarf of some shade, dwelling in Rotgut, and I'd rather not knock on every door, nor splash ripples in a pond where the fish might startle into biting. I expect, you might direct me. My business with him would be two-fold, the one more urgent than the other, the least only mentioned as I shouldn't wish to seem to have been concealing. I've a surplus of alchemical equipments and supplies of clear provenance but dubious purpose, and thought he might make safe disposal or use of them, I don't much care which. That's the lesser matter. The greater, which brings me to your door, on a rest day, devolves from his dwarven nature, and I'd rather not speak much more to details thereof. If I might avoid it."


The interior of the store is not large -- it appears that only the front half of the building is used as a showroom, while the remainder presumably serves as a residence for the shopkeep -- but not an inch of it is wasted. Shelves, stands, and display cabinets delineate a circuit of open floor space designed to take the browser past a multitude of wares and a counter in the back corner. A barrel filled with sawdust-stuffed toy animals fashioned of bright patchwork fabric sits against a wall; in the back of the shop, a rainbow of scarves and shawls hangs through rings high on the wall; opposite this, near the sales counter, is a display of beaded jewelry. Looking around, Braddon and Snake suspect that one could find almost any item in the shop, as long as it is of both exotic appearance and limited utility.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Patting Ethel's hand for some cold comfort Phillip answers "After... first we put paid to the half-orc's concern, then can come comfort. We'll swing past and you can spend some time while I attend to some other preparations?"


As Gristav goes and talks to the man, Snake checks out some of the wares. He picks up a scarf and looks over at Braddon. "How does this guy stay in business? All he sells is crap." He places the scarf back, shaking his head at the sheer amount of stock of useless items.


Male Human (Keleshite)
Gristav wrote:
"There is a dwarf of some shade, dwelling in Rotgut, and I'd rather not knock on every door, nor splash ripples in a pond where the fish might startle into biting. I expect, you might direct me. My business with him would be two-fold, the one more urgent than the other, the least only mentioned as I shouldn't wish to seem to have been concealing. I've a surplus of alchemical equipments and supplies of clear provenance but dubious purpose, and thought he might make safe disposal or use of them, I don't much care which. That's the lesser matter. The greater, which brings me to your door, on a rest day, devolves from his dwarven nature, and I'd rather not speak much more to details thereof. If I might avoid it."

Hassan's expression doesn't flicker. "Gundsric," he affirms. "Nearly as far south in Rotgut as you can go. A three-story building nestled in the shadow of the western ridge, beneath the sign of a snake coiled around a staff. I know him only by reputation, but if the price is fair, he may well be willing to relieve you of your surplus equipment."


hp 22 / 22; AC 16; Init +2 Male Half-elf Ranger 2
"Snake" wrote:
"How does this guy stay in business? All he sells is crap." He places the scarf back, shaking his head at the sheer amount of stock of useless items.

"You're not wrong. Most of this stuff is only good for kindling. You'd have to be mad to... ooh, stuffed animals!"

Braddon's eyes light up as he starts lifting animals from the barrel and setting them aside as he digs deeper. Eventually, he finds a larger, soft, bright patchwork animal and thrusts it towards Hassan.
"How much is this? I'll take it!"


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
Hassan ali-Haqim wrote:
Gristav wrote:
"There is a dwarf..."
Hassan's expression doesn't flicker. "Gundsric," he affirms. "Nearly as far south in Rotgut as you can go. A three-story building nestled in the shadow of the western ridge, beneath the sign of a snake coiled around a staff. I know him only by reputation, but if the price is fair, he may well be willing to relieve you of your surplus equipment."

"You do not disappoint. Very well informed, for a man who seems not to leave his shop. I suppose I, a man afoot, must seem very dim indeed..."

Braddon Hurst wrote:

...finds a larger, soft, bright patchwork animal and thrusts it towards Hassan.

"How much is this? I'll take it!"

"Or, perhaps not.", Gristav grins.

"You spoke of a reputation. Could you elaborate? The longer I'm here, the longer Braddon browses."

"See what else you might need, Braddon. Perhaps you can match, a certain shade of red?"


Braddon Hurst wrote:

"You're not wrong. Most of this stuff is only good for kindling. You'd have to be mad to... ooh, stuffed animals!" Braddon's eyes light up as he starts lifting animals from the barrel and setting them aside as he digs deeper. Eventually, he finds a larger, soft, bright patchwork animal and thrusts it towards Hassan.

"How much is this? I'll take it!"

Shaking his head and sighing, Snake moves along within the store, truly wondering if there is any thing in here that is even remotely interesting.


Male Human (Keleshite)
Braddon Hurst wrote:

Braddon's eyes light up as he starts lifting animals from the barrel and setting them aside as he digs deeper. Eventually, he finds a larger, soft, bright patchwork animal and thrusts it towards Hassan.

"How much is this? I'll take it!"

The shop keeper's mien changes entirely as he turns to the half-elf, his face stretching into a wide grin and his eyes shining with enthusiasm. "These bright little animals were hand-crafted from mammoth wool by artisans in the Tusk Mountains. They have taken quite a journey to delight the eye of a discerning gentleman on the Varisian coast, no? Four silver coins."

Gristav wrote:
"You do not disappoint. Very well informed, for a man who seems not to leave his shop.... You spoke of a reputation. Could you elaborate?"

Hassan rolls one shoulder in a non-committal shrug. "A man need not beard the dragon's den to know that few return alive. I know nothing of the dwarf ... only a general insinuation that one who deals with him ought to count his coins carefully and refuse any offer of refreshment. And it may be mere empty rumor. Who am I to say?"


Phillip and Ethel continue past her erstwhile home into the cleft of the eastern ridgeline of the city, where the buildings lining the street march straight up to the rocky escarpment and then stop. While not as dilapidated as the River District, this particular corner of the city seems less prosperous and decorative than the rest of Leeward: the flower boxes and freshly-painted shutters give way to bare brick walls and barred windows. Ethel unconsciously walks a little nearer to Phil.

Boss Croat's compound is unmistakeable: a triangular military-style complex surrounded by a high brick wall. North of it is only the rock scarp of the ridgeline; on the opposite side of several tons of solid stone must be Devil's Fork. As the pair approach, a trio of muscular half-orcs look up from the stoop of a brick box of a building. They are seated on old crates around a barrel on the top of which they're playing some kind of a dice game. They watch the halflings with mild curiosity.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Phillip keeps his left arm hooked to serve as an attachment point for Ethel's arm as he raises his right to the half-orcs. In an even and not overbright tone he calls "Good morning gentlemen... we've business with Bruno and Luca. Any chance you could point us in their direction?"


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
Hassan ali-Haqim wrote:
Braddon Hurst wrote:


"How much is this? I'll take it!"
The shop keeper's mien changes entirely as he turns to the half-elf, his face stretching into a wide grin and his eyes shining with enthusiasm. "These bright little animals were hand-crafted from mammoth wool by artisans in the Tusk Mountains. They have taken quite a journey to delight the eye of a discerning gentleman on the Varisian coast, no? Four silver coins."

"They are a delight. And felt, no small bother to craft. Then the coloring, and of course, the imagination, to awaken the child in the viewer. Braddon, ask Mr. Kane to help choose another, or two, for the keyholder? We'll be close enough, to deliver that, later."

Hassan ali-Haqim wrote:
Gristav wrote:
"You do not disappoint. Very well informed, for a man who seems not to leave his shop.... You spoke of a reputation. Could you elaborate?"
Hassan rolls one shoulder in a non-committal shrug. "A man need not beard the dragon's den to know that few return alive. I know nothing of the dwarf ... only a general insinuation that one who deals with him ought to count his coins carefully and refuse any offer of refreshment. And it may be mere empty rumor. Who am I to say?"

"Who would I be, to listen?", Gristav plays. "Three poppets, two gold?", he asks more seriously, the coins suddenly in his hand.


hp 22 / 22; AC 16; Init +2 Male Half-elf Ranger 2
Hassan ali-Haqim wrote:
"These bright little animals were hand-crafted from mammoth wool by artisans in the Tusk Mountains. They have taken quite a journey to delight the eye of a discerning gentleman on the Varisian coast, no? Four silver coins."

Braddon's smile vanishes immediately.

"FOUR!?! These boots only cost two. How dumb do you think I am? (Is that blood on the toe?) I'll give you one silver."

Gristav wrote:
"They are a delight. And felt, no small bother to craft. Then the coloring, and of course, the imagination, to awaken the child in the viewer. Braddon, ask Mr. Kane to help choose another, or two, for the keyholder? We'll be close enough, to deliver that, later."

Braddon holds the toy a little closer.

"The who? Find your own. This one is mine. It's for... someone."


Male Human (Keleshite)
Braddon Hurst wrote:
"FOUR!?! These boots only cost two. How dumb do you think I am? (Is that blood on the toe?) I'll give you one silver."

"Ah, but the boots were fashioned here by a local craftsman," Hassan counters. "They cost him only the materials and the time to craft them. These small creations," he indicates the colorful animals, "have traveled from a remote mountain peak, high in the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, skirted the dangers of the Hold of Belkzen, crossed the Storval Plateau, and come all the way here, nearly to the edge of the Steaming Sea. As with most lives, the value is not derived from the raw materials but from the journey they have taken." He grins enigmatically.

Gristav wrote:
"Three poppets, two gold?", he asks more seriously, the coins suddenly in his hand.

"And your friend may take his, as well," the merchant agrees quickly, taking the coins and gesturing Gristav to the barrel to select three more of the toys.


Phillip Hargreaves wrote:
"Good morning gentlemen... we've business with Bruno and Luca. Any chance you could point us in their direction?"

The half-orcs confer a moment. "Luca lives upstairs from me," one of them volunteers. "I'll see if he's there." He swings his leg around to unstraddle his crate-chair and saunters inside the building.

After a few minutes have elapsed, he returns with a grin and gives Phillip a nod. "Wait just a while longer. He'll be down."

Sure enough, after the sun has shifted a few degrees higher in the sky, Luca appears in the doorway, bleary-eyed, clearly just rousted out of bed. He sees Phillip, nods a little nervously; his eyes slide to Ethel and back to Phil.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

With a slightly wry smirk that Phillip suppresses at first opportunity the halfling nods a greeting before adding "Morning... we've information pertaining to the affair of last night... can we speak?"

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