It starts as these things so very often do in a tavern. There are two inns in Fort Inevitable; the smaller Red Shield Tavern, popular with the town's off duty garrison guards and the larger and more comfortable Juliver Arms. The Juliver has been owned and managed by a veritable clan of bustling halflings for as long as people can remember...the Reedbanks are typical of their race, welcoming, jovial and never short of time to spin a yarn. It is here, in the most friendly and welcoming of places, where a chain of events will occur, where strangers will meet...where a quest into the darkest depths of the earth...and history...will begin.
The month is Abadius and the weather is typical for this time of year...the snows have set in and trade along the Crusader Road is slow. The few travellers that arrive at Fort Inevitable are either heading north to join the fight at old Sarkoris or are caravans of merchants plying the trade routes through the River Kingdoms. Needless to say, new faces in the town are unusual whilst the snows hamper travel and, until trust has been gained, will draw the attention of Fort Inevitable's Hellknight guards. Tonight the weather is particularly bitter, a harsh wind whistles through the streets and a shower brings fresh snow...yet the winter can be briefly forgotten within the warmth of the Juliver Arms...a small crowd of locals crowd the bar, huddle around tables or warm themselves against one of two roaring fires. A night like any other night beneath this roof...yet all of this was about to change...
I thought that, given this is a good old-fashioned dungeon delve, we could have a traditional 'you are in an Inn...' intro. You can either already be in the Inn or arrive at some time during the evening...if you are from Fort Inevitable then you will undoubtedly know some of the locals (feel free to make some up if you want)...if you are new to town then some backstory about what you are doing in town should come through in your first posts or interactions.
Snow... I hate snow.I will be cold enough in my grave.
The woman having these thoughts flashed a mirthless smile as she was walking toward Fort Inevitable. She was as plain and average as you could be,nearly hidden in a grey cape that have seen better days. She trodded into the snow with determination.
Hope Pharasma will put a warm bath somewhere for me. That would be a twist of Fate I would cherish.
Surprised at the sound of her own voice in the wind,Ea stops in her tracks, and look around her calmly
Wilderness...Sometimes I miss you. But The Lady of the Graves works around people, not wild animals. Pharasma gave me life one again, in my time of need. I own her my life now.Own. Now. Won.Only three letters, and some interesting possibilities which can cover all a mortal's existence.
Coming into view of the Hellknights guards at the entrance of the Fort, Ea shivers slightly, and not from the cold.
Hope they won't remember the young outlaw i was, and let the priest I am in
When she talks to the guards, her tone is flat, matter of factual, her green eyes as emotionless as possible
Sister Zalinsel, from the Church of Pharasma, seeking shelter from the snow.
Em sits in the Juliver, her crystalline eyes glinting in the firelight. She sat apart from the others, nursing a drink. Her only companion the strange lizard on her shoulder, it's own skin dashed with crystalline stones.
Something felt charged about the air tonight, unrelated to the snow.
"It is late to be travelling…and storms shall bring fresh snow…you are fortunate not to be out in the wilderness tonight Priest…", the Hellknight's voice is gravelly yet not without warmth, "My lady, if you are without accomodations, you will find a welcome at the Juliver Arms...follow this road a short while, it is well signposted". Shouting back towards the gatehouse, the Hellknight orders the gates open for Ea…chains and cogs creak in the cold as the heavy wooden doors swing partially open…the lit torches within the town walls illuminating Juliver Way...
|Yasmin al Akbar|
"Isn't a marid supposed to love the cold?" said Yasmin, as she trudged through the snow. Her boots and travelers cloak were completely soaked by the snow. "By Gozren, It's freezing out here!" Yasmin missed the warm sun of her homeland.
Beside her floats a small blue genie. "Obviously it's because you're not a marid. You're just a pitiful human. Of course your frail body is cold."
"Well then, O powerful genie, why don't you teach me how to wield magic like you." A vengeful smile crosses her face. She knew these words wounded the fallen genie the most, for she had taken his powers for her own.
"Teach you? Better to watch you freeze your toes off."
"You really make for an entertaining traveling companion, Hakan." Yasmin looked up to see her destination. "Finally, the Juliver Arms. Looks a lot better than most of the muck you find in these River Kingdoms. Hide yourself, Hakan."
The genie hovers, motionless.
"I wish for you to meld your body to mine." As she says this, the genie dissipates into a fine mist and flows beneath her robes. Yasmin felt a tingle on her belly, the place where she had once stabbed herself. She knew the genie was now imprinted there, still bound to her will.
Yasmin enters the inn, takes off her boots and puts aside her cloak to reveal a beautiful Kelish woman with fiery red hair. Her brightly colored outfit is well-fitted to flatter her figure, and bespeaks of wealth, though the fabric is rather worn from travel. "Any rooms to spare for a traveling pilgrim?" asks Yasmin. She was no pilgrim, but better to say she had a purpose besides fleeing trouble. She was finally learning control over her magical powers, but that was not to say she hadn't caused accidents along the way. Reaching into her increasingly empty purse, she puts a few coin on the table. "That and some food - I'm famished." Yasmin then looks to the fire for some warmth and to pass the time.
Ea enter the places, and follows the instructions of the signposts, finding the Julivers Arms easily
Pharasma be praised...some warm food and a real bed at least!
Before entering the inn, she looks at the snowing sky, trying to discern if the snow will continue tomorrow
Survival to predict weather, take 10 for a total a 17
Then she walks to a table, sits on chair near the fire, and ask for a soup and some bread, removing her grey cape while she waits to be served, freeing her black mane and showing her thin face. A wooden spiral is dangling on a small metal chain. She looks at the fire dreamily, keeping to herself.
When the caravan had first set out, Shemnak, one of the drivers who befriended me along the way, told me that we could expect ice and snow in the coming days. We were traveling to a higher road that was inevitably cold and miserable this time of year. What was the name of the town? I don't remember. I seldom remember. I'm just here to protect you people from whatever might feel like taking what isn't theirs.
"Hey Gray, look up there, that's the Fort. I can almost smell the soup and fresh bread! Think there'll be any beautiful women there?" ...Shemnak said with a wink.
Beautiful women? When had any woman ever looked at me as anything other than an ugly scarred guardian? I've never even been with a woman that I didn't pay for. They were nice to look at though, especially after a long journey with smelly horses and smellier men. Maybe Shemnak was right.
We made good time actually. The schedule was two weeks from Crakeboro to the Fort, and I think we made it a day early. That means bonus pay. Not one broken axle or bandit raid to slow us down. The only hiccup was some drake or wyvern flew overhead and spooked the animals for a while.
The caravan wasn't delayed long at the gates. Supplies were more important now than any other time of year, and I assume we were expected. After only a cursory search we were waved through the main gates and it wasn't long before I smelled city-life. Baking bread and nightsoil in the street, roasting chicken and horse manure... it will be nice to sleep in a bed tonight. If they have a room for me that is.
Grayface sees his paymaster and accepts a pouch of coin, shakes his hand and walks away.
Shemnak calls out "Hey Gray, did you see the sexy ginger who just walked in that inn? That's where I'm headed right now! Let me buy you a drink friend."
Grayface looked at the sign: Juliver Arms. Odd name. May as well get that free drink. To be fair, that redhead was very good lookin'.
Grayface wasn't used to friends... he shunned most people and most people shunned him. Once in a while though someone with a heart of gold shined through the clouds in his heart.
Grayface enters the Juliver Arms with Shemnak, his buddy from the caravan. Grayface finds an open table near the doors and takes a seat.
"Aww c'mon Gray, how'm I 'spose da make an impression with Red if we're way over here? Besides, its cold. Lets get nearer to the fire." Shemnak finds a table near the exotic red haired wench and sits.
To Yasmin:"The name's Shemnak. You can call me Shem. *winks* What's a warm lass like you doing in this frozen lost cause of a Fort?"
Grayface was always amazed at how easy it was for some guys to talk to women. Shemnak made it look easy. Whether he was at all successful, he was still breaking the ice, which is something Gray only ever did with his sword.
The warrior sits down with his friend near one of the hearths. The warmth felt nice on his cold bones. Gray knocks the snow from his shoulders self-consciously. If a bar wench is near, he orders a frothy ale and something meaty.
Feeling like some awkward third wheel, Grayface takes a few moments to scope out the room, its patrons, its exits, and anything else noteworthy.
perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Em watches the new arrivals with great curiosity. Her dreams had been more intense lately, maybe these people could help her... she wasn't so good at introductions, which should she speak with first?
Emerald is not exactly subtle at observing the newcomers, and they can probably feel her eyes upon them.
After a scan around the room, Gray was about to return to his ale when he met eyes with a woman across the room with absolutely stunning features-- stark green hair and greener eyes. The heinous scarring on his face was enough to turn most people's gaze aside, but in her eyes he saw no derision or disgust, only curiosity.
On her shoulder was a some sort of glossy reptile. There were firey flashes that danced up its length, reflections from the burning hearth.
Grayface smiled at her, in spite of himself.
It was a rare sight to behold. Expectation and experience had taught the grizzled warrior just what the world thought of him. Strangers usually turned away in fear or revulsion. He wondered if this woman with the odd appearance might also have experienced uncomfortable moments with new strangers, but for different reasons.
|Yasmin al Akbar|
Yasmin rolls her eyes as Shem approaches and winks. He looked like a commoner, and by the state of his clothing was probably a traveler as well. Not the best first impression. "You must be confused. I'm not a lass - and I doubt I'll be warming anything of yours tonight." Yasmin hoped she wouldn't have to demonstrate how cool she could really be. She takes a closer look at the other fellow who entered with Shem, only to blanch in horror. She looks away, embarassed. "Say, what happened to your friend over there?"
Ea - the gathering clouds and the rising wind will bring heavy snow...no one should travel tonight...
Gray - the scene within the Juliver is a scene replicated across the River Kingdoms and beyond; a crowded bar, locals chatting away like old friends, the occasional raised voice...really nothing out of the ordinary...
Bustling around in the increasingly crowded area near the fire, a Halfling Woman asks whether anyone will require food tonight; the choice of fare is not untypical for this area of the world...boar hunted from the nearby woods, mutton locally farmed or fish...
Emerald - The Halfing is Gilly Reedbank, one of the youngest daughters...she smiles seeing you alone and, seeing your fascination with the newly arrived strangers, encourages you to go and introduce yourself..."Em, why don't you go over and make our guests feel welcome...I'll be over with some wine soon enough"
The door to the Juliver opens from time to time...bringing a quick blast of frigid air followed by a friendly shout as the locals recognise each other...
The door opens as a hooded figure walks into the room. He keeps his head down, but scanning the room at the same time. He walks up to the bar.
Something warm please, barkeep. It's cold out there tonight.
He grabs his drink and moves to a table, keeping the wall to his back.
Without thinking, Ea retorts quite cryptically to the last obvious statement
A cold white shroud will embrace the land before the end of the night. Woe to the travelers.
Then she cross the glances of the green skinned girl, and sustains her look lenghtily without a word
Emerald smiles at the halfling. "Gilly, perhaps you aught to mind you're own business... though you're probably right."
She finishes her drink and walks over towards the scarred man awkwardly, "Do you mind some company? You look like you've been travelling a ways."
Did that come out flirty? by the gods I hate initiating conversation thinks Em nervously.
As the winds rise outside, the atmosphere within the Juliver Arms becomes more jovial. The smell of well prepared food fills the air as patrons sit down to their meals…
Listening around from your various positions within the bar, the topics of conversation are as diverse as they are noisily debated; gossip about local families, the harshness of the weather, the slowing of trade (worse than ever apparently), the increase in bandit activity and rumours of burglaries within the town walls.
"Say, you're not from around here?", Rallos realises that the table he has selected is already occupied by a curmudgeonly looking fellow, "This is mine and Jack's table...least it would be if Old Jack hadn't decided to go trade up at Thornkeep...I told him, I did, that if the snows didn't take him, then brigands would...he didn't listen...say, raise a toast with me? ....to Jack!!!"
The bar is full of locals so feel free to chat with any of them about the local area or gossip
Shemnak replied "Aww cmon now miss, i didnt mean no harm. My friend here? Eh, he's a good fellow. Just a bit roughed up...and rough around the edges.
Oy Gray, I'm off to find more receptive company, if ye catch my meaning. *bows to Jasmin* My lady."
Grayface doesn't notice his friend's conversation or departure, nor the disgust conveyed by the red-haired woman nearby, as he is suddenly very nervous about the approaching attractive female with hair greener than summer grass. Just as suddenly he is keenly aware of his grotesque appearance. He reaches into his pack and pulls out his dark gray eye patch, and swiftly puts it on.
Clears throat nervously, swats away at the last remnant of snow on his shoulder
To the green-eyed lady, "well...hello..um...yes hello there. Sit with us. I have indeed been traveling, came in with the caravan from Crakeboro." The warrior finally notices that his friend has abandoned him and he faces this creature alone.
-An awkward silence follows.
Blast it all, why can I never just sit and TALK to a woman...I've killed men in full plate armor, fought a slew of goblin raiders, 9 hells...I even helped fell a viscous ogre without fear. But you throw a pretty face in front of me and my composure shakes like a leaf on a tree
"I see no packs or other traveling gear with you. Do you live here?"
Short and to the point. Much like combat... don't over embellish. One foot in front of the other.
A good book by the fire. That's what i miss. People are so talkative... Death is silence.
Ea rises from her seat and gets to the bar to order her meal, keeping a vigilant ear when first hearing of banditry.
Perception, untrained: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
Don't be silly, girl.No ghost of your past will come back to haunt you. Probably.
Coldly, she asks the bartender
how much for a warm meal, a room and maybe some warm water later?
|Yasmin al Akbar|
Yasmin lets Shem go without complaint, preferring the company of one of the halfling servers running about the inn. Halflings were usually friendly and harmless, after all. After a bit of idle chatter, she gets to the thing she's really interested in. "Say, do you know of any mages or sorcerers in town? Someone friendly I could talk to?" Someone who can teach me how to wield magic, she thinks, but keeps that to herself.
"People call me Grayface. Nice to meet you Emerald. You...You're eyes are...awesome. And what on Golarion is Quartz? It doesn't look like any reptile I've ever seen.
I don't know how long I'll stay. The damnable snow is clogging the road fast, I doubt many wagons will be leaving soon. I might be here longer than planned... not that I had a plan.
Want any food? Or an ale? I need to speak to the innkeep anyway, I'll be right back."
Looks for the apparent innkeep or head bartender,
"I'd like a place to sleep, common room is fine. I'd also like (drinks and food that Emerald may have asked for), another ale, and some of that fresh bread I'm smelling.
Tell me innkeep, any news you could share? Any rumors? Any jobs for a strongarm that need doing?" Gray asks these questions loud enough for anyone nearby to hear, in case a stranger feels like volunteering any information. He's now wearing his eye patch to hopefully deflect some of the revulsion.
Grayface looks around at the other tables to see if there was an apparent "champion" of this inn. It was always fun to flex his large muscles and attempt to best the local tavern bully.
If there is an apparent tavern champion, Gray will size him/her up.
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
The Halfling behind the bar consults a leather bound book and, smiling at Ea, announces that, despite the weather, she has sufficient room to accommodate her…and that food and warm water presents no problem, "It'll be a while though, I'll send one of the girls up to prepare your room…in the meantime, maybe you would like to take your meal now? I can heartily recommend the honey roasted boar… the fish is delicious as well"
Glad for company, and pleased that someone would toast his friend, Rallos' new acquaintance sets down his beer, "Yeah, Jack headed out just as the snows hit. Said he needed to get his goods up to Thornkeep before they spoiled…but we all know that the roads aren't safe this time of year…sure enough, the caravan that came in last week brought his body home…peppered with arrows he was, and his wagon burnt and empty", he takes a deep quaff of his beer, "The Hellknights damn well ought to do something about this…instead of fighting amongst themselves", he looks nervouisly around….maybe scared that he's said more than he really should have….
"If it's mages you want, then you could do worse than talk to her...", one of the locals points Yasmin in the direction of a golden haired Half-Elf holding court at a table of scholars, "They're not from around here...but they've been spending some pretty coin"
This seems to be a pretty friendly kind of an inn so there isn't anyone obviously spoiling for a fight...it seems that Gray will have to find another way of making fun...overhearing the plainly clothed woman at the bar asking for accommodation, it seems that there is room at the Juliver tonight..."There's not going to be so much Caravan work for the next few months mister", one of the locals overhears Grayface asking about job opportunities, "...but maybe check at the Gate tomorrow, there are a few bounties to be had...the Hellknights are stretched pretty thin..."
The general hubbub within the Juliver rises and falls as people arrive and meals are served...the evening is turning out to be pleasant enough when a small group of cloaked men walk into the Inn. There is a brief pause in the conversation whilst the locals check these new arrivals out...when a lute appears from beneath the cloak of the tallest man, the atmosphere eases and the barkeep shouts a welcome..."Come to sing for your supper Lads? Take a place next to the fire over there and sing us songs of far off lands, of sunshine and summers, of happier times...". The group, five men in total, move next to the closest fire and launch into a rousing version of the Crusader's Lady, Summer comes to Irrisen and Dance a Merry Dance...it isn't long before people are singing along and one or two merry souls start to dance.
|Yasmin al Akbar|
"Scholars, you say..." Yasmin is a little intimidated at approaching them. But she reminds herself that she's a quick study, and knew how to fake it when she needed to. She heads on over, eavesdropping momentarily to get sense of the conversation before she speaks. Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
"Mind if I join your table? I hear you're visitors to this town like myself."
The warrior looks over at the woman asking for accommodations. She must be a traveler too, and like himself she possibly arrived today judging by her apparent lack of a room. He didn't recall seeing her on the road, and he didn't recall seeing anything but sparse tracks in the snow ahead of his fairly large caravan.
Did she arrive alone? Likely not; It was rough out there. If so, then she might be more experienced...or more formidable than she appears.
Grayface returns to the table and addresses Emerald, "Partners then. The closest thing I had to a friend in this town just left for more feminine company. You can heal?" He looks around at nearby tables for eavesdroppers. In a more hushed tone he says "Magical healing? Sounds damn useful. Especially if we some good bounties to seek." Grayface smiles wickedly.
Returning to his normal tone he comments on one of the newcomers, "The woman there at the bar, do you recognize her? She's asking for a room, so I think she's a stranger to this place. She didn't arrive with my caravan, which makes me wonder what her story is. Maybe... maybe you should invite her to join us for a drink and a story? I've got a strange feeling about that one."
Hmm...sounds like there is work to be had dealing with these brigands. These Hellknights....they are the local militia? There is some internal strife? Not a good thing in the local military...
perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13 to listen to the rest of the room
"No I don't think she's local." eager to prove herself to the experienced warrior Emerald approaches the bar. "Ummm, Hello, my friend and I overheard that you are new in town, and wondered if you'd like to... sit with us and compare tales?"
Never was good at approaching strangers.... keep it together Em
Ea answers the halfling bartender
One portion of honeyed boar it will be so. I'm not in the mood for fish. And get me a room. Please.
Then someone talks to her. She turns and looks at the green face of a woman. Another man, a few feet behind her, bears an heavily scarred face.
I don't know who you are. I don't even know what you are. I expect your blue green skin isn't the result of some disease, because you would have been thrown out of the inn if that was the case. I've seen dead corpses looking better than you, honestly, but at least you don't smell of rot and decay, and when you serve Pharasma you learn to be happy with that.I don't know what makes you think I could be a teller of tales. I'm more a quiet and silent woman...These are the longuest sentences I've said since more than a few days, as I travelled the wilderness alone.And now, all this people, suddenly, talking and singing and dancing...Well, sit nearby, enjoy a drink on my tab. Do tell me who you are, both of you. You can call me Sister Zalinsel.
The warrior's one good eye widens for a moment as he soaks in this woman's words. Her tongue is as sharp as my bastard sword.
"Sister Zalinsel. I am also a stranger in town. I'm usually not one for conversation either, but there is something... intangible...something that has altered my state of mind since I've been sitting here in this Juliver Arms Inn. I feel compelled to keep a more open mind than I prefer.
You travel alone you say? It's rough out there, as I see first hand in my duties as a guard or strong arm. The bandits out there will slit your throat for pouch of coppers, not to mention ogres, giants, wyverns, and hundred other foes that prey on those without company.
This fort is fairly isolated. You must be quite formidable, or quite foolish to travel alone.
I know nothing of this Pharasma other than the name. Are you simply a follower or some sort of traveling priest?"
Emerald is rather thick skinned and Ea's abrupt manner doesn't phase her. "I am Emerald, or Em if you prefer, and my small companion is Quartz. My parents were human, and I can only guess they had a sense of humour upon seeing my skin tone. I am a sometime healer, though no real cleric.
Perhaps less an exchange of tales and more an exchange of news, it is always best to be informed."
Emerald fidgets constantly while talking.
For a short time, Ea's eyes widens when the warrior talks about bandits, but she answers as casually as possible
I am a wandering priest of the Lady of the Graves, travelling wherever my Fate carries me. There is nothing foolish in obeying an higher will: I have traveled alone for days, and Pharasma kept me alive, but I could die tonight in my bed if such is my Fate. I accept it. Everyone dies. Maybe I offended you with my words. I tend to keep my kindness and sympathy for those wreaked by agony, and let the living carry on.
No apologies, it seems... She looks at Emerald, and says in a emotionless tone
So your parents were human both? Your birth must have been a very interesting moment.I'm not a racist and I don't judge people on their skin,as long as they die. Death is the ultimate equalizer. And I have no problem either with healers. They can't be everywhere.
"The Spire? What spire?" Her tone was nonchalant yet there was a twinkle in the mysterious eyes. Gray had a feeling this was significant.
Listening into the conversation between the scholars, it seems that they are growing increasingly concerned about the welfare of two of their order, Jharun and Tiawask, although they don't say it aloud...several of the seated party allude to the likelihood that these missing individuals have perished.
"Visitors?", the woman seems taken aback at the interruption, "Why, I suppose you could call us that...although we travel here from Thornkeep often....this will be our last visit until the snows pass though". Comparing Yasmin's exotic garb against the functional drab garb of the locals, "Well there's no doubting that you are a long way from home is there? What brings you to our corner of the world?"
"The Helknights? You don't know who they are?!?!", Rallos's drinking companion looks incredulous, "The Hellknights virtually are Fort Inevitable...without them this place would have fallen to the goblins years ago...I suppose we can be thankful for that". Wiping beer froth from his beard, "But the Hellknights who dragged this Fort up would shudder to see the infighting now...there's three orders you see...all positioning for power...anyways, I've said enough...you keep safe young man", and with that, he gets up, nods to the barkeeper and steps out into the snow...
The singing and dancing continues, members of the band occasionally moving into the crowd and dancing with the prettiest ladies before returning to their companions and taking up the songs again…
Opposed by Perception Check of Customer: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Yasmin Perception Check: 1d20 + 2 - 3 ⇒ (20) + 2 - 3 = 19
Rallos Perception Check: 1d20 + 6 - 3 ⇒ (4) + 6 - 3 = 7
Emerald Perception Check: 1d20 + 3 - 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 - 3 = 6
Ea Perception Check: 1d20 + 3 - 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 - 3 = 14
Grayface Perception Check: 1d20 + 1 - 3 ⇒ (2) + 1 - 3 = 0
|Yasmin al Akbar|
"A pilgrimage," lies Yasmin, her attention suddenly drawn elsewhere. "But with the snows setting in, I suppose it may be hard to keep moving." Yasmin keeps an eye on the band members, wondering if she should be so bold as to try something. "What about you? What brings a group of scholars from Thornkeep to Fort Inevitable?"
I'm here, I just don't want to jump the gun on any further conversations with Ea or Emerald. I'll check back several times tomorrow.
Ea occasionnally glances at the dancing as Emarald and Greyface chatters, keeping silent. For a few seconds, her eyes cast a threatening look, but they have no clue why
”A room for the night? Certainly…and I can guarantee it will be so much warmer than the winter outside”, taking a ledger from behind the bar, ” and your name is? Also, and we have to record this…rules of the Order I am afraid, where are you from?”
”A pilgrim you say? Why anyone would want to pilgrimage to this sodden part of the world, I have no idea….you are right though, the winter will stop your travels awhile”, the lady gestures you to sit amongst her group, ”Allow me to introduce myself, I am Iliara Starcloak of the Goldenfire Order. You probably haven’t heard of us? We normally call Thornkeep home but I suppose you could call Fort Inevitable a home from home”. The last comment elicits a smile amongst her group, ”You have maybe heard tales of the Emerald Spire? the Azlanti ruin north from here? It’s secrets could herald a new age…yet it does not readily yield it’s knowledge…two of our order travelled there a few days past, and have not returned”. Iliara takes a sip of her wine, ”I fear for their safety yet none here have the experience necessary to risk another exploration… We may well be forced to seek help from Thornkeep, in which case, I fear time will be against us”
As the hour grows late, the songs played by the band become slower and more wistful…the dancers drift back to their seats and sing along to ballads about travellers, heroes of days gone past and the hardships of the River Kingdoms…several songs talk of the Emerald Spire and fallen adventurers who sought their fortune...
|Yasmin al Akbar|
"The Goldenfire Order, you say. Are you a mage's guild? I know a thing or two about magic myself." Yasmin peers over at a certain band member yet again, and comes to a resolution. "Let me see if I can demonstrate."
Using the music and dancing to disguise her actions, Yasmin calls on her magic to charm a certain member of the band. Cast Charm Person, Will DC 14. She then approaches him and smiles. "Care for a dance?"
Of course, if the spell fails, she's expecting that the man will try to steal from her. In which case, she's slapping his face and making a scene, assuming she can catch him.
Before Emerald had a chance to respond to Gray's question of her mentioning "the spire," Grayface overheard a singer's lyric that told of heroes who ventured to The Emerald Spire, seeking fortune and glory. It caught his attention. He looked to the band expectantly, hoping to hear more but sighed and looked back to Emerald after only hearing more vague notions of heroics and unknown dangers from the song.
Suddenly it didn't seem a mere coincidence that Em's features were akin to emeralds. Suddenly Grayface felt a shiver of excitement run down his spine, giving him goosebumps.
The warrior looked to the Priestess of Pharasma to look for any similar reactions in her eyes. All he saw was a flash of anger while she looked toward the minstrels. Gray turned to look but saw nothing out of the ordinary.
"I find myself growing tired. Tomorrow I plan on seeking out the Hellknights at the gate for any possible bounties or jobs that need doing. Sister Zalinsel, would you care to join Em and me, while we seek coin and justice?"
At the risk of sounding grim, gold can pay you a bigger and softer coffin, but you will still be dead.And the only justice you can find of trust is in the Graves Garden of Pharasma.But everything seems to point out to these Spires since I entered the inn, and as a faithfull of the Lady I can regognise the patterns of Fate, especially when they are thrusted to my face. And if people died near this Azlanti ruin, it is my duty to check if they stayed dead.No offense meaned to you, Emarald.I'm sure you won't like to know your parents are walking but rotting soulless corpses.
Sister Zalinsel eyes are deep and piercing as she talks to the massive fighter
Try to find a few more people interested in this task, Grayface. Your scars will show you aren't one to die easily and that you're no stranger to overcome odds. If the weather allows, and if everyone is ready, we go to the Spire tomorrow.
For the effort of a simple dance and a little bit of flirting, the key is quickly relieved from the man who, shaking his head as if overcome by an intoxicating substance, returns to his band members…and, saying something to his colleagues, starts to play a deeply romantic tune espousing the virtues of the beautiful women from beyond the walls of Fort Inevitable.
Barely suppressing a smile, Iliara pours Yasmin a drink and suggests that maybe tomorrow she should meet her for breakfast and they could discuss how they might be able to help each other
”Gainful employment you say? Well why not try the Gate in the morning? There is normally work to be found although, with this winter, there won’t be so much caravan work around…the Hellknights are stretched pretty thin and have started offering bounties…maybe you could try that?”
The hour approaches midnight and customers start to drift away to their homes or, if they are staying at the Juliver, up the stairs to their rooms. The band start to play a wistful farewell tune as one of the whistle players comes around the table asking for ‘donations’ for the evening’s entertainment. The fires, stoked so well during the night, are reduced to embers…it would appear that the night has come to an end…until fate plays it’s hand…
The door crashes open, a cold blast of air chills the room and the mood becomes steely cold as, stepping through the threshold, come three black armoured Hellknights…trailing behind them, a lady who left the Inn some half an hour previous…
While Hellknights are widely feared and respected, the common Hellknight joins out of a sense of duty and a wish to be a part of something greater, seeing a world ruled by just laws and free of rampaging beasts and cheating thieves as a future well worth striving toward, even at the sacrifice of a little freedom. Countries and rulers sometimes invite Hellknights into their lands, leaving the dirty business of harsh law enforcement to an already loathed third party, although, convincing Hellknights to leave once they've been welcomed sometimes proves problematic for more freedom-loving societies.
A voice, as cold as the winter outside, announces to all within the Inn, ”A theft has been reported, this citizen’s purse was stolen within these premises this evening…No-one is to leave this establishment until questioning is complete”, as if to reiterate the message, the knight’s fingers tap menacingly on the staff of the halberd he is carrying.
There is a brief silence, no-one speaks or moves until one of the band members drops his lute and, shouting a warning to his companions, sprints towards the rear of the bar area. In his hurry to get away, customers and furniture are roughly pushed out of the way…there is a flash of steel as a dagger appears in the hands of the first band member to run…
The lead Hellknight shouts, ”Stop Them!!!!”
There are four band members in total, they are all running towards the rear of the bar (away from the Hellknights)…
Grayface looked to Emerald, then back to the priestess.
"Well it's settled then. I can always look for work another day. Tomorrow we make for the Spire."
The remainder of the evening was passed with finishing crumbs from his plate, observing the townsfolk, and making conversation with his new companions. The warrior couldn't help but wonder what this meeting portended.
When Grayface decided it was certainly past time to sleep, a cold wind rushed into the room as the Hellknights barged in, stating there was theft and there would be questioning. The warrior wasn't a stickler for "the rules," but he felt very strongly on those who preyed on others-- thieves certainly fell into that category.
Grayface jumps up and moves to block any egress near the back of the inn
To the dagger wielding lute player, "Heh, that's not a knife." draws forth his bastard sword "This is a knife."
Crocodile Dundee FTW... "I would think twice about trying to get past me, little man. Drop your weapon or be shorn asunder."
Intimidate: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
|Yasmin al Akbar|
Yasmin thanks Iliara and agrees to meet with her for breakfast. She shares her sorrow in the plight of their missing companions. "If I found a group that was headed to explore the spire, would any of you be willing to join? Even seasoned warriors have the need for magical aid."
As the Hellknights burst in, Yasmin lets out a startled scream. She tries to compose herself as the fireworks start. "Never a dull moment." Instead of intervening, Yasmin focuses on making sure the key she had re-pilfered is well hidden. If only she had gotten the opportunity to return it before this mess happened. She looks at the citizen who reported the deed. Is she the same person who Yasmin noticed getting pickpocketed?