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Shadow over Riddleport

Game Master Joana

"Rag End, Rotgut, Rat Street. Someplace out past the wharves that begins with R. Apparently it's really dangerous and crawling with thugs and murderers, but apart from the evil cultists this is the only time I've been attacked since I got here...last week. I think I've been there twice. I lost count. Can I have that drink?" -- Braddon Hurst

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Tendal Deverin wrote:
What time of day is it?

Late afternoon heading into early evening.

Snake heads straight toward the room with the intent of finding a way to get his clothes dry.

hp 20 / 22; AC 16; Init +2 Male Half-elf Ranger 2

Braddon likewise heads upstairs to dry off.

The men climb the stairs to rectify their bedraggled state, Harvey Read smirking after them.

Plans after you've freshened up?

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

Having wrung the weal from his wyrd, awaying the woeful wetness as they'd walked, Gristav was needless of their narrow room's refuge, and lingered without, wandering, if not warding, the hallway. (Though not moving overmuch, save in his mind.)

Tendal might make that dinner, yet...

I really could use a mending magic. Road-roughened is convincing on a courier, superfluous on a sell-sword, and worrying, on a wizard.

So, a lunch date, a dinner date... why do I get the sense someone will invite us to breakfast?

"Say, Tendal", Gristav says at the mage's closed door, "Going forward, I'll prepare prestidigitation, and might you maintain a mending, so we've both?"

Hp :13/13; AC 11(15) / 11 tch / 10(14) ff; Wastrel 2

"Mending...hmmm." Tendal muses caught up short by Gristav's suggestion.

"I had not thought of that. It seemed such a useless spell. My teacher used it mainly as a teaching exercise, not as a proper tool, straightening bent nails, repairing broken candles and the like."

"But as the spell is density dependent rather than object dependent, it might work well in this instance."

"Yes. Please prepare prestidigitation for future use, I will prepare expeditious mending, Mulhav's Torch, magical aura sight and read magical script tomorrow morning."

Tendal works on cleaning his clothes, the best he is able, then goes to find one of the kitchen staff or servants who can quickly repair his shirt before dinner.

hp 20 / 22; AC 16; Init +2 Male Half-elf Ranger 2

Once Braddon is mostly dry, he heads downstairs again.
He makes his way to the bar, grins at the barman and orders an ale.
While waiting for it he looks directly at Harvey Read, grin still in place, before turning back to his ale.

By the time Braddon returns to the common room, it has grown more full than it was when the group passed through earlier. Harvey Read, however, is no longer there.

It costs Tendal some ferocious negotiation and five copper coins, but he eventually persuades a retired sailor, claiming a long history with mending sails, to produce a needle and thread and make the required repairs.

hp 20 / 22; AC 16; Init +2 Male Half-elf Ranger 2

Braddon is happy to take up position at the bar and chat with the locals.
He asks about boats and jobs and groups and gangs. Sometimes he's a pirate from the shackles; sometimes he's a hero from Andoran helping slaves across the Chelaxian Border; sometimes he's a loner from the wilderness who revisits civilisation every few years. Always, he is Braddon and he is your friend. He buys most people who chat to him a drink, and a second if they don't question his tales.
But he also listens carefully to what others have to say.

Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Phillip is of introspective mood as their path wends back into town and towards the inn. He forgoes the natural instinct to move above to refresh, instead wallowing in his dampness and foetid ordure. Seeking a table or booth that puts his back to the wall and with a decent view of the commons, he seeks assistance in seeing himself served with a hunk of black bread, some sharp cheese and a bottle of tawny port. Drawing one of his own daggers to serve as a tool, he alternates shaving slices of bread and cheese - nibbling at the repast in between sombre sips of port.

The overt impression to a casual watcher is of a man at thought, churning over a matter in his mind in solitude. The truth is near to that, though he keeps a casual eye to the commons as well... and after the appearance of Braddon... at tangent to any that might be looking at the half-elf's back.

Phillip finds that his disheveled and dampened appearance attracts no undue notice in the tavern, full of men at least as rumpled and grimy as he. Staying behind in the common room while his fellows go upstairs, he notes Harvey Read's departure, not long after Tendal climbs the stairs. The man exchanges a few words with his companions, throws a silver coin on the table to cover their expenses, and swaggers out the door.

Having restored his appearance to the extent a cantrip and a retired sail-mender can accomplish the task, Tendal, with Gristav in tow, departs for the port-governor's mansion. The walk through the grimy streets of Roderic's Cove, and then over the stretch of open ground between the town proper and the house on the bluff, feels far more treacherous in the dim twilight than it did in morning light and makes Tendal even more uncomfortable about the prospect of returning to the Fish and Fortune later that night in full dark, but the pair arrives unscathed.

The welcome of the lighted windows is far more cordial than that dished out by Mr. Arrow when he answers the door, but he grudgingly shows Tendal through to the dining room -- which is the same as the breakfast room, though its now-dark windows are covered by velvet curtains. Governor Gildersleeve is not alone this time: Harvey Read is seated to one side of her place at the head of the table and scowls even more unwelcomingly than Mr. Arrow.

The port-governor, however, gives every evidence of delight at Tendal's presence and commands Mr. Arrow to set another place on her other side. Given her obvious pleasure at the new arrival, Read has little choice but to play along and make grudging conversation while glaring daggers across the table when their hostess's attention is elsewhere. Gristav, as before, is taken to be Tendal's manservant and is entertained in the kitchen by Mr. Arrow with a similar level of enjoyment but less pretense.

You see Tendal and Gristav depart the Fish and Fortune and see Read's men watching. When the door has just closed behind the pair, one of the watchers nudges the other, and they exchange a few words. Then the second man, with exaggerated indifference, gets to his feet, stretches, and heads for the door himself. As he leaves, you sense the remaining man's eyes flicker toward Braddon, then you, but look away before he catches you watching him.

Up to you whether you follow or stay; it shouldn't prolong the narrative either way.

You hear a great deal about cargo and shipping routes and hard-hearted captains who work their crew to the bone. You hear a lot about the women men have known in other ports. You hear a little about the Sczarni who have a camp in the Churlwood, but their world and the sailors' seem to overlap but little; what you hear is vague and sometimes wild rumors, nothing specific. With a little prompting, you hear stories about Devil's Elbow, the haunted island: it's said there was once a harbor there and a settlement that was all wiped out in some cataclysm nearly 100 years ago -- some say a plague, some say pirates, some say something more supernatural -- and that it's been deserted ever since, the few sailors on ships brave or desperate enough to put in there for water reporting strange sounds in its thick forest and glimpses of something moving between the trees. That leads to tales of the Boneyard, the ships' graveyard just east of Riddleport, said to be haunted by Captain Cullie. You recall your own run-in with the Captain and shudder.

Female Human (Chelaxian)

After dinner, the governor calls for wine and seems in no hurry to bid her guests goodnight. Read, likewise, seems intent to outwait Tendal and be left alone with Governor Gildersleeve; he is therefore taken aback when the port-governor suggests, "Mr. Deverin, I make no bones about the safety of a well-dressed stranger on the streets of the Cove after dark. You're welcome to stay the night ... and I can find a spare cot for your man, of course."

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