Sic Semper Tyrannis! (Thrune's Hell's Rebels Revived)

Game Master GM Aarvid

Rebellion
Maps

Loot Sheet

GM Screen:

Perception:
'[dice=Perception (Arcos)]1d20+1[/dice]
'[dice=Perception (Lubella)]1d20+5[/dice]
'[dice=Perception (Talvek)]1d20[/dice]
'[dice=Perception (Aldren)]1d20+3[/dice]
'[dice=Perception (Julessa)]1d20+3[/dice]

Initiative:
'[dice=Initiative (Arcos)]1d20+4[/dice]
'[dice=Initiative (Lubella)]1d20+4[/dice]
'[dice=Initiative (Talvek)]1d20+1[/dice]
'[dice=Initiative (Aldren)]1d20+1[/dice]
'[dice=Initiative (Julessa)]1d20+4[/dice]


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Halfling Dawnflower Dervish 2 | HP:22/22 AC:19 T:15 F:15 | Saves F:5 R:9 W:4 | Init: 4 | Per: 6 | CMB:-1 CMD:13 | Speed 30ft Character Sheet

"It could be both, although I suspect mostly the former," Lubella said. She smoothly switched to small talk when the other customers entered the coffeehouse. Once they had departed, she continued quietly, "As to when it stops — that depends on a determined group taking action."

She paused for a moment. This was risky ground, but if the Silver Ravens were to amount to anything, some risk was unavoidable. "The question is: is that something you want to know more about? Your sister's friend decided she didn't want to get involved. It's a very individual decision, and I can't presume to counsel you one way or the other."


Tiefling Investigator (empiricist) 1/Swashbuckler (inspired blade) 1 | HP 20/20 | AC 18 Tch. 13, Ff. 15 | Fort +3. Ref +7, Will +1 | Resist cold/electricity/fire: 5 | Init +3 | Perception +4; darkvision 60 ft.

A fist clenched on the table, Talvek regards the halfling for a long moment, then simply nods. It seems that his errand is about to turn into something more, and he would be foolish to pass up the chance.


Arcos smiles and slips into his more natural, confident persona that he uses when discussing matters of rebellion. He says to Talvek, ”Well, it is good to hear that your sympathies are...similar to ours. One must certainly be careful of the company they keep in our, ah, line of work. In any case I am Arcos Vadreis, at your humble service. As Lubella says, we cannot force you into anything but this way of life can certainly be dangerous at times. If you cannot take the heat then I might suggest you bow out now.”


Magnimar Lodge

Laria waits for the room to clear of customers.

Perhaps it would be best if the three of you conspirators use my office. The lunch crowd may be joining soon. I will not need it for a couple hours.

She smiles and gets ready to prepare for the rush of customers she normally expects midday.


Halfling Dawnflower Dervish 2 | HP:22/22 AC:19 T:15 F:15 | Saves F:5 R:9 W:4 | Init: 4 | Per: 6 | CMB:-1 CMD:13 | Speed 30ft Character Sheet

Lubella stood up. "Shall we?", she asked. She made her way to Laria's office, and sat in Laria's chair, since it was appropriately sized. Once they were settled in, she got back to business.

"I presume that you've heard of the Silver Ravens? The organization has been dormant for many years, but the time has come to revive it. Someone needs to stand up for the citizens of Kintargo!"

"I should tell you that I'm not actually from Kintargo myself; in fact, I only got here a few days ago. I've been sent by the Temple of Sarenrae in Korvosa. Word reached us about the Night of Ashes, and I was sent right away, to find out what has happened to the Sarenrite community here, and render my assistance. My calling, however, is to help everyone, not just those who worship the Dawnflower." What she didn't say, was that she was under instructions not to get involved in the political situation. Lubella felt, however, that something ought to be done, and it certainly wasn't feasible to report her findings, and get authorization for further action. She needed to use her initiative, and do what was right! Hopefully she would be able to smooth things over with the High Priestess afterwards.


Tiefling Investigator (empiricist) 1/Swashbuckler (inspired blade) 1 | HP 20/20 | AC 18 Tch. 13, Ff. 15 | Fort +3. Ref +7, Will +1 | Resist cold/electricity/fire: 5 | Init +3 | Perception +4; darkvision 60 ft.

Talvek follows the others into the office, suddenly excited and fearful at the same time. What was he getting himself into?

"Have I...? I did more than hear of them! I have been studying them for the past few years! Such a mystery, so fascinating! And you want to revive them? That's fantastic!" Unable to contain his excitement, he springs from the chair he had just sat in and beings pacing the length of the room.

"You are absolutely right, something must be done. The city is smothered in fear now, that is no way to live. Someone needs to rise up against tyranny, and it has long been a dream of mine to be a part of the legend of the Silver Ravens."

He turns towards the halfling, eyes alight with an inner flame. "I'm in."


Halfling Dawnflower Dervish 2 | HP:22/22 AC:19 T:15 F:15 | Saves F:5 R:9 W:4 | Init: 4 | Per: 6 | CMB:-1 CMD:13 | Speed 30ft Character Sheet

Lubella walked over to the tiefling and extended her hand. "Welcome aboard, Talvek!"

"Now comes the hard part — going from three conspirators and a room, to an organization ready to liberate Kintargo. Our first task is to build support. One of the things I was thinking of was to provide free medical care to the poor; we also need to provide food to the hungry. Another task is to contact the leaders of the banned religions. That may prove more difficult, since they've understandably gone into hiding.

"The merchants should be, of course, another important source of support. Arcos, perhaps you could discreetly reach out to some of your clients, and see who would be sympathetic."


Arcos nods, the slight smile still on his face, "I have a few contacts with, ah, sympathies similar to ours. I shall ask around. It may not to especially easy, as most are fairly content with their lot. Nevertheless, I will persist if it means weakening that bastard Barzillai."


Magnimar Lodge

After a couple hours, Laria comes in to check on you and to get some papers from her office.

How goes the planning my dears? The lunch crowd was pretty much the regulars. Most likely not able or willing to help the cause. Rexus may be by later, after dinner. For now, I will have to use my office. But if you want to come by again for dinner, we may have more visitors.

She pauses as if she has a few in mind.

Some may be sympathetic...and of those, perhaps one or two may even be willing to help.


Halfling Dawnflower Dervish 2 | HP:22/22 AC:19 T:15 F:15 | Saves F:5 R:9 W:4 | Init: 4 | Per: 6 | CMB:-1 CMD:13 | Speed 30ft Character Sheet

"I know I don't have to tell you to be careful, Arcos," Lubella said. "Your guise as a mild-mannered scribe is very important to us. I know you won't do anything to blow your cover."

She looked up when Laria came into the office. "Talvek is on board, Laria. I'm sure he'll make an excellent Silver Raven!"

Lubella got up and headed towards the door.

"I'm going to go out for a bit, and try to see if I can pick up any rumors. Do you have any suggestions for a good tavern to visit?"

Lubella doesn't have any ranks in Knowledge Local yet (she just got here a few days ago, after all). From the information in the Player's Guide, I was thinking she might go to Clenchjaw's, in the harbor district.


Tiefling Investigator (empiricist) 1/Swashbuckler (inspired blade) 1 | HP 20/20 | AC 18 Tch. 13, Ff. 15 | Fort +3. Ref +7, Will +1 | Resist cold/electricity/fire: 5 | Init +3 | Perception +4; darkvision 60 ft.

"If you are looking for the poor and hungry, I know quite a few of those. For taverns, you could stick around this district, some of the students are notoriously radical in their views and will be more likely to openly discuss dangerous topics." Talvek smiles. "I could do the rounds myself, as well, but not together, we would be too memorable. We have to think about security and secrecy, especially now at the beginning when there are few of us and our resources fewer."

Diplomacy to gather info: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12


GM Aarvid, what would be the best skill for identifying and contacting clients of mine? Could I use profession (scribe)?


Magnimar Lodge

@Arcos...profession scribe would get you to the right places to find contacts. It will take something more diplomatic to convince them to do something other than....scribing.

During the afternoon, between customers, Laria repeats some of her prior advice and stories. Partially to pass the time, and partially because she often forgets who she told what.

advice and stories:

"The Hellknights have been instrumental in the enforcement of the curfew, but it's all come from the Order of the Rack. The Order of the Torrent are based out of Kintargo, but they've been quiet over the last week. Lictor Octavio Sabinus, their leader, hasn't been seen in that time. He'd be a powerful ally, but again, I don't know where to start looking, and besides, you probably have bigger concerns than looking for a lawman right now.

"There's a few other people that might help, like Shensen or the Rose of Kintargo. Shensen's a local opera singer, and a devotee of Sarenrae, while the Rose is the head priest of the cult of Milani, goddess of those who fight against unjust rule. Shensen spent a lot of time at the opera house, but as you well know, Barzillai has set up shop in there, so we'll not be able to search that any time soon. As for the Rose, they've gone silent. Perhaps if you can attract their attention, they will contact you.

Speaking of scribes, Rexus returns in the evening and greets Laria.

I am ready to tackle some of those documents...it will take several weeks, so I best get started. I may need the entire pot of coffee...just for starters.

He motions for Lubella and Arcos to join him in the upstairs lounge.

Who is this? He points to Talvek with a look of concern.


Halfling Dawnflower Dervish 2 | HP:22/22 AC:19 T:15 F:15 | Saves F:5 R:9 W:4 | Init: 4 | Per: 6 | CMB:-1 CMD:13 | Speed 30ft Character Sheet

Lubella walked though the streets of the Villegre district towards the harbor. She had heard that Clenchjaw's Tavern was a popular watering hole; that sounded like a promising place to start. Once she arrives, she spent the rest of the afternoon chatting with the barkeep and with other customers.

Diplomacy (Gather Information, listening for rumors): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26

She returned to the Long Roads Coffeehouse for the evening meal (humans did not count dinner and supper as two separate meals, the way halflings did).
"Hey Rexus, how's it going?", she greeted the nobleman. "This is Talvek. He shares our interests."


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Magnimar Lodge

Going back to the afternoon rumors you overheard and may want to share

Lubella Rumor at Clenchjaw area:

“Clenchjaw’s tavern has gone bad. I used to love drinking there; it was always a nice place to relax. Since the Night of Ashes, though, the place is crowded and talk about politics has exploded—as has the number of brawls. We got enough fighting on the streets these days. Whatever’s causing these brawls at Clenchjaw’s has ruined one of the last places we have to escape the violence. Just a matter of time before the new government shuts the place down, I guess."

Talvek Rumor around home:

“Someone’s killing tieflings down in the Devil’s Nursery. I’ve heard that whoever’s doing it is taking trophies, but I’m not sure what kind. Sounds like the Slasher’s back... Just what we need!”

Arcos Scribes chitchat:

“Shame they closed down the opera house—I was looking forward to seeing Shensen in the role of Aolar in Huntress of Heroes. Of course, they say she’s gone missing too—wouldn’t surprise me if she got herself thrown in some Thrune oubliette, the way she’s gone on about the government.”


Halfling Dawnflower Dervish 2 | HP:22/22 AC:19 T:15 F:15 | Saves F:5 R:9 W:4 | Init: 4 | Per: 6 | CMB:-1 CMD:13 | Speed 30ft Character Sheet

When they retired to the upstairs lounge, Lubella shared some information she had overheard during the afternoon. "Apparently, there's been a lot of discussion of politics lately at Clenchjaw's Tavern, or so I heard. There's been a corresponding increase in the number of brawls too, it seems. So it might be a place to get leads to attract followers, but we'd have to be careful; there's probably Thrune sympathizers there as well."


Tiefling Investigator (empiricist) 1/Swashbuckler (inspired blade) 1 | HP 20/20 | AC 18 Tch. 13, Ff. 15 | Fort +3. Ref +7, Will +1 | Resist cold/electricity/fire: 5 | Init +3 | Perception +4; darkvision 60 ft.

Talvek had just returned from making the rounds of the student bars and coffee houses when Rexus appears. The tiefling nods his head at the man in greeting, then turns to Lubella.

"You said you wanted to help those less fortunate. I don't think you can get less fortunate than my people living in the slum of Devil's Nursery. Things are usually... not good there, but now they're getting worse. A serial killer is on the prowl, killing tieflings and taking trophies. We cannot allow this to continue."


Halfling Dawnflower Dervish 2 | HP:22/22 AC:19 T:15 F:15 | Saves F:5 R:9 W:4 | Init: 4 | Per: 6 | CMB:-1 CMD:13 | Speed 30ft Character Sheet

Lubella was very concerned by Talvek's news. "That's terrible! We should start an investigation right away!"


Magnimar Lodge

Rexus greets Talvek with a warm handshake and smile.

Well, anyone who shares our interest and who has Lubella as a reference is a friend indeed.

Laria smiles as she is drying mugs.

You are serious about this! Good. It is about time someone did something.
It has been awhile since my contacts in the Bellflowers were in touch with me,
but I'd wager they have a name or two to add to our list.
There is a certain baker in Old Kintargo. I think she would fit into this nicely. Julessa is her name. Nice woman.

Rexus nods, agreeing with Laria.

If you are serious on reviving the Silver Ravens, then you are going to need as much help as we can muster.
I also have a few local acquaintances I can check for interest.
One has been working around here, similar to the two of you.
He has some zeal and could be an asset as well.
He certainly has no love for Thrune.
I will check with him in the morning.
Aldren had some other friends too, but I think they all left town a day or two ago
after the riots when I met your group.

He sighs.

Those few days seem like forever ago already.
But right now, this stack of dusty documents is not getting any smaller.


Halfling Dawnflower Dervish 2 | HP:22/22 AC:19 T:15 F:15 | Saves F:5 R:9 W:4 | Init: 4 | Per: 6 | CMB:-1 CMD:13 | Speed 30ft Character Sheet

"Very good!", Lubella said enthusiastically. "Already, we are three stronger. The people hunger for freedom — I can feel it! Our path may be a difficult one, but our cause is righteous. Long live the Silver Ravens!"

Afterwards, she spoke to Rexus. "I know your heart is heavy, and with good reason. But I promise you, your mother's efforts were not in vain. Your work honors her memory."


Magnimar Lodge

Rexus smiles at Lubella.

Thank you for your comforting words of wisdom. I am sure my mother would be happy with the efforts to revive the Ravens. However, I think it is best I occupy my mind with the task of deciphering these documents. I believe they will be critical in unlocking the past.

He pauses, with a bit more excitement in his voice.

I have just started to figure out the encoding, which tells of the early Silver Ravens. Unfortunately, at this rate it will take me 7-9 weeks of labor. Unless one or more of you can assist.

Translating the documents requires 7 weeks of work by someone who has at least 1 rank in Linguistics and speaks Celestial, Elven, and Strix.

I am spent for the night, despite Laria's coffee. I will turn in and in the morning check on my other contacts in the city. They may be able to carry on while I remain dedicated to this task.


Tiefling Investigator (empiricist) 1/Swashbuckler (inspired blade) 1 | HP 20/20 | AC 18 Tch. 13, Ff. 15 | Fort +3. Ref +7, Will +1 | Resist cold/electricity/fire: 5 | Init +3 | Perception +4; darkvision 60 ft.

Talvek looks very gratified at Lubella's reaction and perks up at the mention of documents from Rexus. "I know that we have just met, but... is this perhaps something I can help with? I have spent a fair amount of hours researching the Silver Ravens in dusty archives and libraries. I do not speak Celestial, but the other two languages are known to me." He is torn for a moment between the desire to help with the research and the urgency of investigating the murders. The immediate safety of his people has to take precedence, so he turns to Lubella again.

"Investigation, yes. I will start asking some questions in the area and let you know what I find."


Halfling Dawnflower Dervish 2 | HP:22/22 AC:19 T:15 F:15 | Saves F:5 R:9 W:4 | Init: 4 | Per: 6 | CMB:-1 CMD:13 | Speed 30ft Character Sheet

"We should go with you," Lubella replied to Talvek. "If there's a killer on the loose, it's best not go alone. Let's head over there as soon as the curfew lifts in the morning."

There is a 6:00 PM to 9:00 AM curfew in effect. The only easy way across the river is the Bleakbridge, which is guarded by the dottari.


Male Half-Elf Cleric of Calistria (2) | HP: 13/13 | AC: 16 t10 fl 16; 17 t10, fl17 (w/shield) | Fort +3 Ref +0 Will +7 (+2 vs enchantments; Immune sleep) | Init +0 | Perception +6 (low-light) | CMB +3 CMD 13 Conditions: --

The last few days had decidedly not gone as Aldren had planned. Brought to the protests by a friend, the half-elf had known trouble was coming. Still, Berenice had been his conscience -- and largely his only friend -- for the better part of a year and he'd begun to help her with her calling in life, rescuing halflings from the scourge of slavery. And when she said she was going to the protest, he wasn't going to refuse. Someone had to protect her from her foolish savior complex. Plus, at the time, he'd hoped some of the Abadarans who'd taken over the Calistrian temple would be there and open to a 'theological discussion'. With my morningstar.

The riot that broke out afterwards was just the beginning of a long series of utterly miserable events. Beaten, stabbed, dipped in sewage, my clothes torn by some sort of reptilian beast... and not an Abadaran in sight. By the end of it, he was too tired to even think of communing in Calistrian rites and had just curled up to sleep in a room he'd rented at one of the local inns.

Berenice and the others he'd met in the wake of the riot had been forced to flee the city, but Aldren had been just lucky enough to keep his identity concealed. And my life... I owe Rex for that one. He'd been awake for an hour or so, lying in bed beneath the room's sole window, enjoying the morning sunshine as it fell on his skin, when he heard the knock at the door. Hmm... The dottari wouldn't knock so politely, but still...

He stood and briefly considered his holy symbol, went with a dagger, then opened the door while wearing naught but a single black stocking he'd forgotten to take off the night before, weapon concealed behind his back.

GM, my apologies if I'm taking liberties with a knock at the door, but based on what you wrote above, I figured Rex would be showing up the next morning. Whether it's Rex at the door or someone else... *fingers crossed* ;-) And, obviously, retcon anything I just wrote that doesn't work.


Magnimar Lodge

The night passes uneventfully as each departs for their respective rooms to contemplate the future of the Silver Ravens and their role within it.

***

The next morning Rexus sets out and finds the door of Aldren, the halfling he had met earlier in the week.

Greetings, Aldren. Sorry to bother you so early, but I have some friends getting together and thought the topic might be of interest. Meet you.
Say, noonish at Longroads. If you can make it, great. I am sure it will be worth your while. Sorry, I cannot stay, as I need to invite a few others.
With a short bow the aristocrat/scholar departs the half-elf in a bit of a rush.

***

Laria sets out across town, and crosses the Bleakbridge to reach the Owl Bakery early in the morning. She enters as soon as the shop opens.

Yoohooo! I say, is Julessa around. Oh there you are, deary. I need to place an order for a half dozen of your large coffee cakes, as we have been going through them at the Longroads like...well hotcakes.
Despite all of the proclamations and its impact to business. How have you been doing under the circumstances.

She casually waits for the human woman to respond to the order and question.

If you get a chance to stop by, or deliver those cakes for noon-hour rush, that would be wonderful. If you could find a way to deliver them personally, I will make it worthwhile. I hate pulling you away from your shop, but I have some friends I'd like you to meet. Ta-ta for now. and she heads out, looking both ways down the street to make sure the coast is clear before she heads back north to the bridge in the early morning.

Talvek and Lubella (and Arcos?) head out in the morning, post curfew to visit the homequarters of Talvek, knowing they want to be back by noon to meet with Rexus' friends. The Dottari manning the bridge are not very attentive and pay no more than the usual State your business. as the group crosses.

What are your intentions once you arrive?


Halfling Dawnflower Dervish 2 | HP:22/22 AC:19 T:15 F:15 | Saves F:5 R:9 W:4 | Init: 4 | Per: 6 | CMB:-1 CMD:13 | Speed 30ft Character Sheet

Lubella rose just before dawn, as usual. After her morning prayers, she ate breakfast and got ready for the day. As soon as 9:00 AM arrived, she set out with her friends for the Devil's Nursery. Her holy symbol was carefully hidden in case they were searched by the dottari, and her scimitar was concealed under her cloak.

Once they got to Talvek's home neighborhood, she started to ask around, to get some basic information about where the murders had happened, and what 'trophies' had been taken.

Diplomacy, gather information, taking 10: 10 + 8 = 18

Following Talvek's lead on who to talk to. Trying to narrow down how many victims, where the bodies were found, and who might have seen something. I imagine that some preliminary information gathering is about all we'll get done, before we have to head back for the lunch meeting.


Male Half-Elf Cleric of Calistria (2) | HP: 13/13 | AC: 16 t10 fl 16; 17 t10, fl17 (w/shield) | Fort +3 Ref +0 Will +7 (+2 vs enchantments; Immune sleep) | Init +0 | Perception +6 (low-light) | CMB +3 CMD 13 Conditions: --

"Rex!" Aldren briefly exlaims before the man explains his presence and runs off. The half elf finds himself staring at Rexus's back a bit flummoxed though hardly for the first time. Hmm. Lad seems stressed. As he closes the door, he says (mostly to himself), "Yes, well, nice seeing you. You too. Ta ta." Then, with a chuckle, he goes about dressing himself, then heads out into the city to find some new breeches before heading to the meeting with Rexus's friends.


Arcos rises a bt later after Lubella, preparing himself a small breakfast. He heads out with Lubella and Talvek to Talvek’s neighbourhood. He carries his dagger under his cloak with him. He also wears the simple cloak with his Blue Warlock outfit under it, in case the Blue Warlock needs to make an appearance.


Magnimar Lodge

Lubella and Acros follow Talvek into the Devil's Nursery slums. While he receives some smiles and waves from the locals, they are more suspicious of his two unusual companions.

Why are you bringing THEM here? Can we trust them?

1d20 ⇒ 19

Once he explains the reason and investigating the murders, the locals seem to be more receptive. They take the next 1d4 ⇒ 1 hours to explain what they know of the murders, and provide directions to the alley or block to the sites where the victims fell.

One tiefling woman steps forward, and speaks directly to Talvek.

I am Zea. I know the woman Pella, you are with her right? She cares for our kind, so I will tell you this.
Poor Icklar was the latest murdered. It was but two nights ago. He was not causing any trouble. Do you really think you can help?

***

Aldren is able to find his new breeches at a local tailor in town. Once he heads north towards the Bleakbridge, the Dottari are waiting and more alert.

One of the Dottari guards calls out. HALT! Hey, you look familiar. Didn't I see you on the day of the riots?
I think you were one of the trouble makers that fled.


Male Half-Elf Cleric of Calistria (2) | HP: 13/13 | AC: 16 t10 fl 16; 17 t10, fl17 (w/shield) | Fort +3 Ref +0 Will +7 (+2 vs enchantments; Immune sleep) | Init +0 | Perception +6 (low-light) | CMB +3 CMD 13 Conditions: --
GM Aarvid wrote:

Aldren is able to find his new breeches at a local tailor in town. Once he heads north towards the Bleakbridge, the Dottari are waiting and more alert.

One of the Dottari guards calls out. HALT! Hey, you look familiar. Didn't I see you on the day of the riots? I think you were one of the trouble makers that fled.

Dressed in crushed black velvet with gold trimmings -- almost identical to what he wore to the riots -- the dottari patrolman isn't wrong. Damn. I thought I'd killed everyone who saw me... Alright, father, here's hoping you've taught me something useful betwixt the loathing and the beatings...

The half-elf almost sneers at the effrontery of dottari's challenge. "Who do you think you're talking to, guardsman? I'm a scion of the noble house of Astavare, leal servants of House Thrune. Of course I was at Aria Park, my father bade me investigate the happenings, but if you're seriously accusing me of being a rioter..." He walks towards the dottari, not to intimidate but to show he isn't afraid, flashing his signet ring as proof of his claim to nobility, but then realizes it would be best if he softens his tone. Contempt of ones lessers yet deferential to authority... A little flattery, well-placed...

"Well... I'm afraid you'd be mistaken. Though you're right, I did flee when the riot began and sought out some of your colleagues, who saw me to safety. I hope you gave those hoodlums a good thrashing."

Mistress, favor me now, please.

bluff: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23


Halfling Dawnflower Dervish 2 | HP:22/22 AC:19 T:15 F:15 | Saves F:5 R:9 W:4 | Init: 4 | Per: 6 | CMB:-1 CMD:13 | Speed 30ft Character Sheet

Lubella smiled at the tieflings who stared at her. She knew it was better to let Talvek talk to the locals first, before she asked any questions.


Tiefling Investigator (empiricist) 1/Swashbuckler (inspired blade) 1 | HP 20/20 | AC 18 Tch. 13, Ff. 15 | Fort +3. Ref +7, Will +1 | Resist cold/electricity/fire: 5 | Init +3 | Perception +4; darkvision 60 ft.

"Zea, what a lovely name. Yes, I am Pella's son, and yes, I think we can help. No one else will care about us, Zea, so we have to make our own destiny. For too long we have cowered in the shadows, subjected to the whims of the powerful. No more." He looks Zea in the eyes, and for a split second flames seem to swirl in the depths of his gaze. He is deliberately vague in his words, carefully watching for her reaction - is he speaking of the murders, or of something more?

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13

"Icklar did not deserve to die, I am sure, so we must see that his death is avenged and that the threat is removed. Anything you can tell us will be helpful in preventing this from happening again."


Level 2 Cleric| AC 17 | HP 19/19 | F +6 R +3 W +9 | Init. +2 | Perc. +3 | Active:
GM Aarvid wrote:

Laria sets out across town, and crosses the Bleakbridge to reach the Owl Bakery early in the morning. She enters as soon as the shop opens.

Yoohooo! I say, is Julessa around. Oh there you are, deary. I need to place an order for a half dozen of your large coffee cakes, as we have been going through them at the Longroads like...well hotcakes.
Despite all of the proclamations and its impact to business. How have you been doing under the circumstances.

She casually waits for the human woman to respond to the order and question.

If you get a chance to stop by, or deliver those cakes for noon-hour rush, that would be wonderful. If you could find a way to deliver them personally, I will make it worthwhile. I hate pulling you away from your shop, but I have some friends I'd like you to meet. Ta-ta for now. and she heads out, looking both ways down the street to make sure the coast is clear before she heads back north to the bridge in the early morning.

Smoke starts to rise from the Owl Bakery's three chimneys hours before dawn breaks; the dough that's been prepped and shaped the night before gets shoveled into the massive brick ovens by Julessa and her faithful assistant, a slow-moving but seemingly tireless young man by the name of Lavaro. By the time the first gray light steals across the horizon and the watchman calls the end of the night shift, the bakery is already bustling as regulars line up to either end their night with freshly baked treacle buns and coffee or to begin their shifts with pies of all fillings and... coffee. Loaves, pork-stickies, pasties, and pies are piled high and eaten as quickly as they're laid out, so that Laria has to elbow her way to the front to get a moment with the harried Julessa.

"Laria!" The older human woman takes a moment to wipe her floury hands on her black apron (which by this point in the morning has already turned gray) and step up to the counter. Her braided tresses are held back under a plain white headwrap, her face flushed from the heat of the ovens, and her eyes lively and alert as she listens to the other woman's words.

"A half dozen?" She turns to gaze at the racks. "Easily done. I'll add those to your tab." She scribbles something on a pad by her elbow then turns back with a wry smile. "As you can see, people want warm break and hot coffee regardless of what's going on the streets. Perhaps more so because of it. We're on the verge of hiring a third hand to help with the demand, so no complaints here."

Her eyes narrow but a fraction at Laria's invitation - it's decidedly unusual for Julessa to make the deliveries herself, but something in Laria's tone catches her attention and she gives a slow nod. "For an old friend? I will find the time. And if you believe these people worth the meeting, than I believe you. I shall see you at noon, then."


Magnimar Lodge

Aldren's response gains no more than a raised eyebrow and the typical.

Fair enough, you may pass. Move along citizen.
We cannot protect you once you leave the bridge. Stay away from riots next time!

***

Talvek befriends the tiefling Zea and she seems to sincerely want to help as much as she hopes the three of you are able to do something. You sense genuine concern in her voice and nervous smile at Arcos and Lubella.

"I can take you to the location of Icklar's murder, where you can investigate the site. His murder took place but two nights prior, in an alley near the southern wall of the city.
Follow me.
The gold-eyed woman starts off cautiously, obviously to escort you to the site for you to investigate it.

***

Julessa's shop has oddly seen a bit of a slump in mid-late morning business, noticing some of her more timid regular customers are absent today.
The post-riot state of the city and the Thrune's strict proclamations are starting to make an impact, but for how long? Just today hopefully.

The ovens continue regardless, and the noon hour approaches. At 11 bells, she has to depart soon if she is to make the meeting Laria described on the north side of town.

BTW - I am assuming those with holy symbols other than Asmodeus or Abadar have them hidden (along with your "Down with Thrune!" Posters).
Let me know if you plan otherwise.


Halfling Dawnflower Dervish 2 | HP:22/22 AC:19 T:15 F:15 | Saves F:5 R:9 W:4 | Init: 4 | Per: 6 | CMB:-1 CMD:13 | Speed 30ft Character Sheet

Lubella followed Zea, taking the opportunity to observe the conditions in the neighborhood. This seemed like an area where a medical clinic might be needed.

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12 To judge how suspicious the locals are of 'outsiders'.

Lubella's holy symbol is indeed carefully hidden, as previously described.


Male Half-Elf Cleric of Calistria (2) | HP: 13/13 | AC: 16 t10 fl 16; 17 t10, fl17 (w/shield) | Fort +3 Ref +0 Will +7 (+2 vs enchantments; Immune sleep) | Init +0 | Perception +6 (low-light) | CMB +3 CMD 13 Conditions: --

"I understand, guardsman. Thank you for the concern." It takes Aldren a good amount of effort to resist a quip or comment with a double-meaning but ultimately he leaves well enough alone. May your honey be fouled by a swarm of yellow jackets, you slack-jawed thugs. He smiles as he silently curses them, and finishes his trip to the coffee house where he orders a coffee and cream spiced with cinnamon.

GM, if Aldren still knows Laria from the Bellflower Network (and she's around), he'll exchange pleasant conversation with her. If not, he'll just sit and wait for Rexus while people watching. And yes, generally keeping my holy symbol concealed beneath my armor. Figuring it's a move action to pull out into the open.


Magnimar Lodge

Lubella can tell the Zea is more trusting of the two of you "outsiders" after Talvek vouches for you. Otherwise, other locals in the slums are less trusting and downright suspicious of your motives.

Lubella easily spots several hidden figures in windows and doorways watching as you pass, following the tiefling woman down different streets and alleys.

***

@Aldren, yes you would know her since you met her as part of your parallel adventuring, Bellflower or no.

gm:
a,l: 2d60 ⇒ (23, 2) = 25

Although Laria was heading back to Longroads for the noon rush, Aldren sees her in the distance and the faster half-elf easily overtakes the halfling woman about 10 minutes from reaching her business.

1d20 ⇒ 3 however she does not seem to be aware he is behind her at present.


Level 2 Cleric| AC 17 | HP 19/19 | F +6 R +3 W +9 | Init. +2 | Perc. +3 | Active:

Packing the six coffee cakes into a basket which she covers with a heavy cloth, Julessa steps out of the bakery and into the currents of tension, distrust, danger and volatility that seem to have come to characterize the streets of late.

She walks at a brisk pace toward Laria's establishment, doing her level best to avoid any confrontations or problems; her familiarity with the back roads and side streets allows her to duck aside whenever anything untoward presents itself ahead, and she takes her time when entering large streets, plazas, or crossroads, allowing herself to gain a sense of the lay of the land before stepping forth.

Stealth: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20


Male Half-Elf Cleric of Calistria (2) | HP: 13/13 | AC: 16 t10 fl 16; 17 t10, fl17 (w/shield) | Fort +3 Ref +0 Will +7 (+2 vs enchantments; Immune sleep) | Init +0 | Perception +6 (low-light) | CMB +3 CMD 13 Conditions: --

Aldren spots Laria ahead of him and sees she is oblivious to his presence. With a grin, he double-times it to catch up with her (hardly stealthy at all given his breastplate) then half-whispers in a patently ridiculous imitation of the dottari at the bridge, "Your coffee has violated the nineteenth proclamation against beverages made with the milk of cows raised on the southern coast. Pursuant to the fifty-third proclamation, only yak milk is permissible in beverages brewed of beans!"

If she stops to look behind her, he tries to tickle her. If she doesn't, he'll just fall in step at her side with a wink and a chuckle. "How's my favorite halfling coffee-mistress this morning?"


Magnimar Lodge

Zea leads the fledgling ravens to the spot she claims was the murder site. She points to the section of the southern city wall, near a buttress. That's where I found him.. She shudders as she looks around, obviously uncomfortable being here, recalling her experience.

***

Aldren approaches Laria from her '6' and as he calls out to the halfling, she turns with a smirk obviously recognizing the half-elf's voice.

Well, they also say that open disregard or complaint of the proclamations will be prosecuted as insurrection of the 9th degree! But I bet that still wouldn't stop you, hun.
How are you doing...you scoundrel?
she smiles and walks back to greet the cleric.

What brings you to these parts? Don't break my heart and tell me you are not going to stop by the Longroads! You should join us for lunch.
We are having a reunion of sorts. Or maybe a re-union.
she laughs at her own pun.

***

Julessa makes it across town and has no problems with the dottari on the Bleakbridge. She winds her way through alleys and sidestreets. As she approaches her destination, she spots Laria talking to a much taller half-elf off to one side of the street, in the shadow of the famed Alabaster Academy.

She overhears the last part of the conversation


Halfling Dawnflower Dervish 2 | HP:22/22 AC:19 T:15 F:15 | Saves F:5 R:9 W:4 | Init: 4 | Per: 6 | CMB:-1 CMD:13 | Speed 30ft Character Sheet

Lubella walked over to the section of the city wall that Zea had indicated, and examined the area. Even though the crime scene had obviously been disturbed, perhaps some clue might remain. She cast a spell and scanned for magic auras, just in case.

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8

Casting Detect Magic.


Halfling Dawnflower Dervish 2 | HP:22/22 AC:19 T:15 F:15 | Saves F:5 R:9 W:4 | Init: 4 | Per: 6 | CMB:-1 CMD:13 | Speed 30ft Character Sheet

After looking over the site of the murder, Lubella approached the tiefling woman Zea. "Allow me to introduce myself — Lubella Heathertoes, at your service," she said, bowing. "I'm not affiliated with the city law enforcement; I am merely a concerned citizen, and a friend of Talvek's." She didn't explain that it wasn't Kintargo that she was a citizen of.

"I believe that all people should be concerned with the welfare of others. I understand that there's been a series of murders in this neighborhood, and that troubles me. People should be safe to walk the streets, not looking over their shoulders in fear. I want to stop this menace!

"I'm sorry to have to ask you for details about such a terrible thing, but, anything you could tell me about the condition of the body, when it was found, would be helpful. If anyone in the area saw, or heard anything unusual, in the hours leading up to the discovery, that would also help greatly. The killer or killers must be stopped, before they kill again!"

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28


Tiefling Investigator (empiricist) 1/Swashbuckler (inspired blade) 1 | HP 20/20 | AC 18 Tch. 13, Ff. 15 | Fort +3. Ref +7, Will +1 | Resist cold/electricity/fire: 5 | Init +3 | Perception +4; darkvision 60 ft.

He was very glad that the halfling had tagged along. She was well-spoken, and knew to ask the right questions and say the right things. He nods along as she talks to Zea, adding only one thing.

"It would also help if anyone heard or seen something unusual after the murder, not just before."

He inspects the location as well, in case Lubella had missed anything.

Perception with inspiration: 1d20 + 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (10) + (1) + 4 = 15


Level 2 Cleric| AC 17 | HP 19/19 | F +6 R +3 W +9 | Init. +2 | Perc. +3 | Active:

Julessa approaches, angling out wide so that both the half-elf and Laria can see her approach. She carries a broad basket under one arm from which wafts the delectable aroma of freshly baked coffee cakes, but her expression is, if anything, a wary one.

"Laria," she says, nodding to her friend. "It seems all paths lead to the Longroads. Shall we walk together?"


Male Half-Elf Cleric of Calistria (2) | HP: 13/13 | AC: 16 t10 fl 16; 17 t10, fl17 (w/shield) | Fort +3 Ref +0 Will +7 (+2 vs enchantments; Immune sleep) | Init +0 | Perception +6 (low-light) | CMB +3 CMD 13 Conditions: --
GM Aarvid wrote:

Well, they also say that open disregard or complaint of the proclamations will be prosecuted as insurrection of the 9th degree! But I bet that still wouldn't stop you, hun.

How are you doing...you scoundrel? she smiles and walks back to greet the cleric.

What brings you to these parts? Don't break my heart and tell me you are not going to stop by the Longroads! You should join us for lunch.
We are having a reunion of sorts. Or maybe a re-union.
she laughs at her own pun.

Aldren laughs and, though there is a care-free affect to his demeanor, there is a tiniest hint of something sinister at the end of it. "They wouldn't know what to do with me. Just ran into two of the jack-booted skullians on the bridge. Oh, don't fret. I let them be. Two on one isn't a scenario I care for... at least in a fight." His voice trails off as he gets distracted by a comely passerby -- "Hi there, beautiful day, isn't it?" <wink> -- then he whipsaws back to the conversation, speaking a bit quieter and more seriously.

"As a matter of fact, our nobleman friend said something about just such a luncheon with some mutual friends. Finding myself with little better to do, I decided to take up his invitation. That I get to see you again is icing on the cake."


Magnimar Lodge

Lubella performs a quick search, but turns up nothing unusual. Not even her magic scrying is able to locate any traces of auras.

Talvek takes a bit more time, but also comes up with nothing interesting or noteworthy.

Lubella resorts to direct questioning of Zea. The tiefling woman relents.

I have told you most everything I know. I found the body...you know Icklar, lying in a clump against the wall. At first I thought he was sleeping. It did not look like he struggled or nothing. Just lying there cold and dead. She pauses.

Icklar's body was cremated. The tiefling elders are quick to cremate the bodies as they come up, for fear of them rising to become vengeful undead. But if you want, if another murder occurs, I can come fetch you before they cremate it, if you think that would help. I just hope you can stop them.

The shadows grow short as noon approaches and the trio recall their meeting back at the Longroads.

***

Laria smiles as she sees her baker friend approach with the promised delivery. Well, great timing Julessa. I was almost back to my place and ran into an old...well not so old...well a friend. Ok he is old...but you know elf-kind, they hide it well. she winks at the woman while nodding towards Aldren.

Oh, I am sorry, Aldren, this is Julessa, a business associate and friend. Julessa, this is Aldren. I do hope both of you are able to stay for lunch...and coffee cake afterwards.

She lets the pair acquaint themselves, then says. Oh my! We best get moving, we are going to be late!


Male Half-Elf Cleric of Calistria (2) | HP: 13/13 | AC: 16 t10 fl 16; 17 t10, fl17 (w/shield) | Fort +3 Ref +0 Will +7 (+2 vs enchantments; Immune sleep) | Init +0 | Perception +6 (low-light) | CMB +3 CMD 13 Conditions: --

The half-elf casts a quick glance over the baker, not unlike one would over a piece of meat that wasn't quite in its prime, and the smile he keeps on his face cracks slightly when Laria suggests this flour-splattered woman would have something to do with the noon rendezvous. At that moment, his brows arch into an expression of surprise, though it's gone almost as quickly as it appears.

He bows slightly to Julessa, right arm folded at his waist, and says, "Enchanté, Madam Julessa. A friend of Laria's is a friend indeed. As for scurrilous allegations as to my advanced years, I assure you, whatever wisdom my age may have brought me is more than offset by my affection for coffee cake... Especially if it has rum in it. Please tell me there's rum."


Halfling Dawnflower Dervish 2 | HP:22/22 AC:19 T:15 F:15 | Saves F:5 R:9 W:4 | Init: 4 | Per: 6 | CMB:-1 CMD:13 | Speed 30ft Character Sheet

Lubella listen attentively to Zea's description, before asking, "Was there any indication of what killed him?" She paused awkwardly, before continuing. "I, uh, heard talk of the killer taking 'trophies' in some of the earlier murders. Do you know what that might refer to?"

Sense Motive, to see if Zea is holding anything back: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13

Gathering what information she could, in the time available, she asked, "Can you tell me where the earlier victims were found?"

When the tiefling woman mentioned possible future bodies, Lubella said, "Let us hope it doesn't come to that! But... yes, if the worst were to happen, we would want to see the body." She felt sick saying this; the thought of more murders was awful. She needed to stop whoever was responsible.

She knew they needed to get back to the Longroads, so she bid Zea farewell: "Thank you very much for your time. If you think of any other detail, no matter how small, please don't hesitate to contact me." I should be spending all my time tracking down the killer, but we need to organize the Silver Ravens too. Argh!


Tiefling Investigator (empiricist) 1/Swashbuckler (inspired blade) 1 | HP 20/20 | AC 18 Tch. 13, Ff. 15 | Fort +3. Ref +7, Will +1 | Resist cold/electricity/fire: 5 | Init +3 | Perception +4; darkvision 60 ft.

If there is another murder... Gods, I hope not! He would have liked to stay here longer and talk to the locals, in case anyone had seen anything, but it was time to head back to the coffee house.

"Zea, thank you so much for your assistance. If you learn anything more, drop a note at Pella's or send a runner at the Longroads for us." Although the occasion is somber, he cannot help himself. "If you drop by Pella's, say hi to my sister, she is also called Zea. I'm sure you two would have much in common." With a wink and a bow, he departs with his companions. After only a few steps, his cheer evaporates and he starts thinking furiously. How could they protect the tieflings from this murderer? Neighbourhood militias? As they walk back, he looks at Lubella and Arcos. "What do you think?"


Magnimar Lodge

Laria, Aldren and Julessa reach the Longroads. None of the others have yet arrived, including Rexus. Laria gets busy with preparations of the upstairs room for the meeting.

Make yourselves comfortable, dear ones. We will go upstairs once the others arrive.

She bustles off into the back and starts another pot of coffee.

***

At the murder site, Zea is not holding anything back as far as you can tell.

I do not know about any 'trophies', but I did not touch the body. I ran to get the elders and they took him away. They said there was lots of blood, and some bite marks. It gives me the creeps.

She looks at Talvek. I think I know your sister, Zea. I think we went to different schools together.

LoL - I wonder if the prior GM had this woman in mind or did you name your sister Zea?

I will! I will come find you personally if there is another murder. They seem to happen every couple nights since the Thrune's proclamations.

She follows you back until you depart her. She waves and then goes inside. Visibly shaken from the memory.

On the way back the dottari on the bridge eye you suspiciously, but as it is nearly noon, the crowds press around on the shops and market on the bridge and they do not have time to question everyone.

It is a rush to make it back, and you almost do...but are about 5 minutes late. Rexus arrived just before you and holds the door.

Greetings. I see I am not the only one running late for our meeting. Laria will be ready for us upstairs I suspect. I hope some of the others I invited could make it.

***

After Laria and Rexus exchange introductions of everyone, Laria leads you upstairs and locks the door.

This should be private enough...at least for now.
I will get more coffee and keep an eye outside from time to time.

Rexus nods. I was hopeful a couple others would join, but I could not find one and the others appear to have decided it is best not to risk their luck. Desperate times and all that is going on in the city.
Arcos, you have been very quiet. You and Lubella should probably start with some background. Aldren and Julessa need to decide what they may be getting involved with at this point.

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