I figure this about when Hon might pipe up.
"Protection money, skimming off the top of transactions, and all other forms of taking money from hard-working stiffs does indeed sound appalling. Especially the 20% part. Steep that is. Now for whatever the reason historically it started, lets step back a moment. Does not the dwarven king or any govt take a cut from everyone in his fiefdom? How do the "For the public good" projects get paid for? In the Garrisons case, they are upfront, blunt and, ironically enough, honest about their collection efforts with what it entails. To paraphrase what Magnum's father said, if the rust was all that held all together do not remove it. These are the rules for this society, we are not in the Dwarven Clan Hall. And more importantly, we are the minority and outsiders. So while it is galling, please think of it as tax of the ruling oligarchy instead of royalty. Listen to what the merchants say, if anything, ask about the benefits. If there aren't any, then you should be hearing some discontent. And I am betting that actual theft and burglaries are non-existant, for those who have paid. And everyone will have paid. Seeing as how independent thieves are, um, fully prosecuted. Pay the 10gp, explain the misunderstanding, turn it around and inform them of our security expectations. Kib no longer has to maintain a guard and can explore the "1 copper" market to pick up trinkets.
Hon looks like he is about to say more, yet hesitates. Shaking his head, he awaits the inevitable firestorm of Dwarven indignation, and look of shock over a unknown Dwarven voice coming from Khazad's direction.
Again I say we check with the local authorities what the tax laws are. Once we know the laws then we can judge if we are treated fairly or not. If not, screw'em that don't deal with us. Ya need to know where the rust is first before you start cleaning it off.
How much is a barrel of ale that is large enough for Kragg to dunk Hon in? I believe Kragg is strong enough to pull that stunt off.
Gallak's eyes glint with mischief.
An organization o' thieves, it be. Be thar any over Torag's heart a thief do covet more'n gold?
The albino's thick, braided beard twists in what can only be a smile behind it.
Ah say pay 'em, alrigh'. Mayhap we paid 'em when we got 'ere. Couple o' brigands we gave the coin dinnae pass on the debt, see? A bonefide mis-un-der-standin'.
He looks around.
Got h'any enemies hereabouts? Ah've a mahnd to grow mah grapes in tha stone.
|Human on Team Human|
The next morning Hon wakes up to a repeated thudding noise. He feels like the ground itself is shaking. Upon rousing himself from bed, he realizes it is not a hangover, but something really large making noise.
Looking outside the windows of the warehouse, the caravan guards and the dwarves (and gnome) see a large metal giant about 12 feet tall approaching the warehouse. Perched on the giant's shoulder is human in advanced middle age in a modified seat. Scurrying behind the huge metal man are two other small bipedal creatures made of copper. A huge crowd is following the metal creatures. Strangely, after setting the human rider down in a chair facing the building, the iron creature raps on the warehouse as if knocking on a door, but the force of its blows rattle the building and shake the foundation.
Standing between the metal men, the human rider and the crowd are six humans wearing uniforms and insignia. The uniformed men seem to be mainly trying to keep the crowd back. The metal creature speaks in a booming voice, "Little hobbit, little hobbit, let me come in....". This seems to be referencing a story about three hobbits and a big bad wolf that is known even in the dwarf lands.
The two copper creatures rush over and unfold a metal table which they then put in front of the seated human. He puts on a pair of glasses and removes a scroll which he places on the table.
The metal man speaks again in a booming voice, "Red Rover, Red Rover, I call the freeloaders over." Magnum is the only one to have played Red Rover, it is not popular in dwarven lands, but he is more than willing to point out that Red Rover etiquette requires a row of people holding hands to make a proper Red Rover challenge. Also a Red Rover challenge only allows one individual to be called by name; more than one is a gross violation.
|Kibibblepep Sparkle Eye|
wtf? Lol. Completely not expecting this whatever this is, exactly. But just as a note, we're in the dwarven consulate, are we not? And pretty sure the caravan guards are not with us. Which reminds me, what dwarves have we met there? And they're the ones we should be talking to about this whole protection racket business. We can trust them (far more than humans anyway) and they live here in Garrison, so should know the skinny. And wow, Red Rover! Man you bring back the memories Chainmail.
OH SNAP!! You do not call a dwarf a hobbit and expect cooperation, nosir! OT: I thought we moved to the consulate yesterday as well.
Brask briefly has visions of slugging the man in the nuts with a spiked gauntlet then ripping them off and feeding them to him, but it pass as he decides that maybe it is better to try and talk. Much less likely to him getting impaled.
He begins walking to the door, but he pauses as Magnum points out the rules breach and turns his head so he can see the human.
"Thanks fer lettin' me know that. I feel much more enlighted knowin' tha rules ta a kid's game."
The twitch in his left eye does nothing to diminish the wild barely constrained fury as he make his way to the door. One thing is for sure though, the long timers of the group have never seen the dwarf this mad before.
He makes his way to the door and throws it open. Before the newcomers have time to come in Brask heads out. His voice is like ice.
"Listen 'ere ass-wipe, call me a hobbit again, and I'm rippin' yer balls off an' feedin' them ta ya. Got me?!"
|Kibibblepep Sparkle Eye|
Hmmm, wonder what kind of balls the huge metal man has? Brass?
And hey Brask, so ya just left Kib crying in the corner all night? Mean and heartless. Ah, well, no worries. I'm sure he'll forgive ya. Eventually.
|Kibibblepep Sparkle Eye|
After his examination of the axe, Kib shared his findings with Khazad, mainly that it was an item of epic power and as well was possessed of magics of the necromantic sort. He did leave out the part though of his thinking he heard it speak.
When the axe speaks aloud later though, clearly announcing it's intelligence to all, Khazad and Kib look at each other, sharing a relief that they were not, indeed, going mad. The Gnomish sorcerer also whispers to his companion "Khazad my friend, I have a bad feeling about that axe. Be careful, eh? Very careful"
My bad, the warehouse in question is the warehouse the dwarves (mostly Nar) have been using as an unofficial HQ as the dwarves have no real diplomatic status in Garrison. No humans except Magnum are there. It is owned by a wealthy dwarf smith - Silver Dunham. He uses it to store the rare overflow of merchandise that hasn't happened in many months.
|Human on Team Human|
The large iron creature reaches down and grabs Brask in both hands. He lifts Brask up and turns with him in his hands so Brask is towards the human with jet black hair with touches of gray. In this position, though, Brask can only see the huge iron giant that is holding him. His back is to the human now wearing horn-rimmed glasses.
The human clears his throat and speaks for the first time with a quiet voice the moment Brask is quiet, "Do I have your attention? Who is empowered to speak for this group?"
The crowd makes an Ooooh sound, but quiets to hear the words of the human.
"That'd be me ass-wipe. I've been named their leader an' led 'em I 'ave. Now, are ya gonna me why yer here? Or are ya gonna pretend I'm some girl's dolly fer a bit?"
Brask doesn't seem to be too worried by being man-handled by an iron giant. In fact, he seems to be even more pissed.
"An' you seriously think this thing's gonna scare me an' me lads? WE'RE DWARVES! We fight giants fer tha 'ell o' it!"
Khazad rushes at the door after Brask, brandishing the axe which begins to emit a dangerous greenish glow as the blade becomes moist with magical acid. Upon seeing the disrespect towards their leader, his face puffs up and becomes red as he shouts:
"Is this your idea of negotiations?! Put him down NOW before I turn your iron stool into a pile of rust!"
Khazad readies an attack vs. approach. If he is approached by a living creature, the attack will be nonlethal.
|Kibibblepep Sparkle Eye|
Is the giant large or huge sized? And if huge, it's not immune to grease, is it? Assuming it's not immune
Despite his still being upset with him, upon seeing the disrespect a fellow dwarf is treated with, especially the leader of the dwarven expedition, Kibibblepep is filled with fury.
"Pick on someone yer on size ya big bully! Or mebbe I should jus bring ya down tae our level." and spending a moment in concentration, he causes viscous oil to form on the bottom of the metal man's feet. DC15
|Human on Team Human|
In PbP NPC dialogues will appear one-sided to save time. A witty dialogue in a tabletop game turns into a speech so the most information can come out.
The seated human quickly moves his hands muttering a few words, and Khazad tries to resist.
With a glance at Khazad, he continues, "I get waken up last night from a sound sleep because my employers want my intervention. It appears they have labeled you as powerful and chaotic, a dangerous combination. Although my private research shows that disorder must increase in the world, my employers insist on creating more order in the world. Although research had revealed that dwarves were the orderly ones and elves the unpredictable ones, reports verified by my observations show you to be quite an entropic group.
"You are presented a system where everyone's fair share is 20%, and you do not accept it. You threaten peons with your axe but seem to react poorly to threats yourself. The only reason I am somewhat tolerant is you wear the insignia of the Dark Owl, a distinguished and noted member of the Society that employs me. Probably the greatest Grandmaster in the organization's history. I do not think you are living up to his legacy very well at all."
"Here are the facts, the city guards are afraid to deal with you. You will sign some paperwork and agree to my employers' rules, or we march you to the edge of the Society's domain and you will be forbidden to return on penalty of death."
Awake and now listening the exchange and self-rightous fury of Brask and Khazad and even Kib, Hon quietly and efficiently packs up his gear getting ready for another long trek. He dons his Cloak of Resistance with the Dark Owl insignia prominent. Taps the Beard of Dog for a morning brew, probable his last taste of this for a bit. Looks for and finds the Party shared pot o' money. He pulls 10 gp and places these on a box that he is reclined on.
In his best Willy Wonka (orig) voice, "No. Stop. Don't do that. Help. He awaits for a chagrinned Brask to emerge or a group of dwarves in an apoplectic rage tossed out of town. If Kragg and Gallack appear to be in a proper mood, he'll offer odds on the situation.
He listens for further dialogue, and looks to see if the other exit/windows (if this warehouse has them) have "watchers".
perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
If it appears that Brask will not ever listen and/or Kragg, Gallack and Kib make motions to provide a violent backup, Hon will scoop up the coin and enter into the diplomatic negotiations to salvage what he can. In case of Diplomatic actions by Hon:
Diplomacy 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15. He will introduce himself (showing braclet as needed), pay the coin owed, apologize for the dwarf's obstinance and make amends while reading the rules of Garrison. "Very clear and succinct. May I have a word with our esteemed leader for a moment? TY. Brask, Like I said last night now pull your head out of your Dwarven butt and behave. This is not the Kings Hold, nor your clan hall. We are guests here. And you sir are throwing a 20yo brat of a dwarf tantrum.
"HA! This is rich! I'm being called a thug by a bunch o' thieves twisting peoples arms fer money! Fair share my ass! we come 'ere fer 'onset trade and you send two thieves ta slink 'roun' where we're stayin' an' demand I pay gold from a job that they didn't even have anythin' ta do with, then you come in a big pile o' slag an' expect me ta be all 'Yessir! Sorry sir! We'll be good sir!' even after ya pick me up like yer a girl playin' with dolls? Might as well kill me now 'cuz I ain't siging jack and though you may push us back, I'll be filling you with arrows tha whole way ass-wipe!"
Brask's voice thunders with rage as he's finally had enough of this.
The man considers Brask's words. "For now, I think I'll recommend blacklisting all dwarves for now. It would be too costly to check all dwarves for identification. Dwarves will be allowed to deal in consumables of course. Well, are we done? I assume you do not intend to assault anyone while here, only to threaten assault."
The human motions to the guards to come over and the copper constructs begin to pack up.
Nar and Magnum have heard of individual merchants being blacklisted for crimes or refusal to pay, but never an entire race since goblins were blacklisted hundreds of years ago.
|Human on Team Human|
As Hon hears Brask continue his tirade, he starts to head out but as he leaves the warehouse, the judgment has been delivered. He turns around stunned. Mouth opens, closes and then reopens. "Well... that puts a twist on things." Shrugging his shoulders, "I guess we longer have to worry about working within the system anymore. Chris, This is an extreme response, something is going on the background. Of course, this may be the very thing that starts the rust removal. We should buy ourselves a couple of horses and a wagon. You know, spend our wealth elsewhere if at all possible. Remind me to pick up a decent map of the civilized world, I'd like to see where else we can setup the next dwarven outpost or future blacklisting attempt. There is an actual smile on his face. He will move on and not be troubled. He remains cordial with Chris, "Are we to have an escort until our business is finished or is it straight to the gates?"
|Merciful Executioners Axe|
|Kibibblepep Sparkle Eye|
Ya know, I'm starting to like that axe more and more all the time. And great time to pull out a 20 Mr DM.grrr
Somewhat shocked that the metal man manages to keep his feet for now, Kib looks to see that the grease is actually where he had meant it to be. Seeing that it is, he mumbles "He'll not manage to keep his feet for long I'll wager..."
His reaction to the ban is mostly one of indifference. The only reason he had agreed to sully himself by staying in the stinking human city was to trade for some goods. But they still had all their wealth and their gold would be good somewhere else.
As for Hon, he was long used to the traitorous dwarf constantly and continuously siding with the human filth over his own dwarven brethren. One day soon the human lover would find out that the dwarves whose back he never had would, at some point, refuse to back his own. Everyone knew that the lowest depths of the abyss were reserved for traitors.
Out loud Kibibblepep says with Scorn. "Pah! Elves! Tha only thing worse thabyou humans! Big surprise tha blasted tree huggerss would rather talk than fight. Coourse Hon will probably want ta jump right inta bed with them as well. Well that settles it. Let's leave this human dung heap n' head somewheres our gold will be appreciated. N' where bloody thieves don't walk tha streets in tha open, pretendin' ta be honest business men!"
Not resisting a parting shot, Hey Chris, next time there is business, do it in broad daylight and not in the dark or behind your tin can. And remember you started the assault first by grabbin' one of our own. I won't forget.
New shopping list. First item: golembane scarab. See how metal man likes that. Nar behind me healing, I give tin can oh 3 rounds before it is a pile of worthless junk.
Hon heads back into the warehouse, sits back unto a box and pulls out a copy of the Human/Dwarf treaty he had made. Muttering "Banned perhaps but lawfully banned? Is there something here we can use to contest this?" He ignores the disparaging looks from Kib. He pauses in thought about 5 minutes later after that Elf comment. "Kib, How would you like a chance at throwing a big ol'hot iron rivet in their highfaluting We are better than Dwarves and Gnomes legal system? Well, this here is an official copy of the treaty some 200 years ago. I don't believe we've gotten a fair shake since it was signed. Help me find our grievances, legit and otherwise." Hon sits back and clarifies any translation issues if needed otherwise he continues to goad Kib, playing to his strength and mindset of the underdog finally getting the big bully back. Pretending to take the humans' side to really draw Kib's ire. Bluff1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Edit: REALLY?! I get a roll like that against my own team? Fricking&^*%#%^ Dice *&&$#*$ Algorythim.
Did not receive results of knowledge check.
Gallak sees this is about to go sideways. Even Dwarves cannae fight a whole city, what they need is a method of subterfuge. He knows what might work, but he knows it'll be expensive. Perhaps too expensive.
Ah know a spell, well beyond meh, but thar mus' be a scroll o' it in thi' thrahs-blasted sloom.
Veil makes us all look human, indefinitely, so long as I concentrate, and from a scroll, for about eleven hours after I stop. It's 1,650gp. If I can see a way to get that kind of gold and slip out to get it, I will.
Turning away from Chris back to the others, Alright, you heard him. Let's go back inside before everyone gets hurt or worse. Kragg will enter the dwarven warehouse fully expecting others to follow him. He is not trying to usurp Brask's leadership, but trying instead to get everyone under cover before something else happens.
Once everyone is inside, Kragg will turn to the group. Okay, we all heard what he said, no dwarves are to deal in items other than consumables. Here's the catch, Magnum and Kib are still free to do any shoppin they want. Kib, I know you don't want this, and neither do I, but we need supplies and a way to get around the system. Tomorrow is the big market day. We've to keep out of trouble so they don't threaten to include anyone else on the ban. In the meantime, Hon goes to the city hall and find out what he can do to get off the blacklist. Bring some of your drunk human friends along, just don't act out. Later I'll cuff you upside the head for your undwarven behaivor, but right now your the best we got.
Remember, Rock sent us all out here to keep the dwarves from declinin. We have to trade with the humans not like them, or act like them. This last part was directed towards Hon. What do you think, Brask? the rest of you?
Gallak recounts what he knows of golems:
Golems are magically created automatons of great power. They stand apart from other constructs in the nature of their animating force—golems are granted their magical life via an elemental spirit, typically that of an earth elemental. The process of creating a golem binds the spirit to the artificial body, merging it with this specially prepared vessel and subjecting it to the will of the golem's creator.
Being mindless, golems do nothing without orders from their creators. They follow instructions explicitly and are incapable of complex strategy or tactics. A golem's creator can command it if the golem is within 60 feet and can see and hear its creator. If uncommanded, a golem usually follows its last instruction to the best of its ability, though if attacked it returns the attack. The creator can give the golem a simple command to govern its actions in his absence, or can order the golem to obey the commands of another, but the golem's creator can always resume control by commanding the golem to obey him alone.
Chris conjures a burst of fire on the ground that burns up the grease under the golem, commands the golem to deposit Brask on the ground, waves to cheering fans in the crowd as the golem puts his chair back up on a special slot in the shoulder, and departs. Brask seems strangely numb from his contact with the golem, as if it sapped some of his energy.
Magnum speaks up after Chris leaves, "Chris and I used to run together when I was starting out; it appears his talents are still formidable, though I think he dies his hair now. Anyway, I didn't want to be recognized in case I need to trade on the sly."
"I am more concerned for how this is going to play out for all dwarves. We got the entire dwarf race equated to goblins over what they will say is a 10gp obligation. Society proclamations will probably reach 500 million people, give or take 10 million. It may allow the confiscation of property held by free dwarves too if they follow the process they used against the goblins. I think Rock may be a little disappointed."
"We may just have to break into their armory and steal their best stuff. As long as we are going to be blacklisted, we might as well get blacklisted for something worthwhile."
Ah dinnae amamber tellin' no one we plann'd tah trade hurr in tha citah. As Ah hear it told, a couple o' ruffians came bah ta demand we pay 'em, sayin' thah trades wot don't involve 'em go skyside, fast.
Gallak strokes his beard.
Di' any o' you lot give tell tha' we plan to do any tradin'? Seems ta me, we shoul'n't pay a tax afore we incurr it.
|Merciful Executioners Axe|
There is an uneasy silence as the golem stops in its tracks, then slowly prepares to turn around.
Magnum goes rushing out into the street holding up his hands. Brask raises himself unsteadily to his feet, still numb from the touch of the golem. Sap 1d20 ⇒ 8 Suddenly Magnum hits the still woozy Brask with a handaxe modified with a custom fitted bag of lead shot in place of the axe head twice, but Brask refuses to go down. Brask FORT 1d20 ⇒ 151d20 ⇒ 20
Magnum looks back to the warehouse. "Help me get him back inside."
|Kibibblepep Sparkle Eye|
I'm willing to have Kib go shopping with Magnum, or have the diplomats in the party work it out. But personally I like the 'steal their best stuff' idea the most. Or maybe shopping and then stealing? And, by the way, is assination off the list of possibilities? Just sayin' : )
Seeing Brask completely lose it infront of dwarf, human, golem and gnome alike, Kragg rushes out. Grabbing the struggling dwarf and throwing him over his should like a sack of potatoes, Kragg hopes to make it back inside before any more damage is done. Kragg will attempt to ignore the human Chris in hopes that he pulls the iron golem back.
Gotta roll a CMB check. if you beat Brask's CMD you got him grappled.
Brask, in his ire, doesn't even seem fazed by the blows. In fact, he just ignores them.
"I, BRASK ALPSBANE, SON O' HEORN ALPSBANE, CHALLENGE YOU TA A DUEL! IF I WIN, DWARVES ARE FREE TA TRADE WITH WHOMEVER THEY WISH. IF I LOSE, YOU CAN HAVE ME 'EAD AN' THA OTHERS WILL SEND WORD BACK TA THA KING NOT TA MESS WITH YER LANDS!"
|Kibibblepep Sparkle Eye|
Despite his personal upset with him at the moment, Kibibblepeps loyalty to their leader is still as strong as ever. So when Magnum runs out and assults Brask, the small sorceerer loses it screaming "Git yer hands offa him ye lousy, traiteous human scum!". So furious is the small humanoid that he completly forgets about casting for the moment, fully intending to pound the rogue into jelly with nothing but his small fists.
Of course, he likely incurs several AoO's along his way. If not...
(Possible) Charge attack vs Magnum: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
Damage: 1d4 ⇒ 1 non-lethal
posted earlier but deleted to add more fluff.
Kragg would attempt to pull Brask back. 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14 whisper to Brask,Brask, you do speak for the king, but not in these matters right now. We went for trade, not to settle disputes. Whatever you do is by your own hand, not by the hand of the dwarves or Rock. Remember, we need supplies next year just as much as we needed them this year. I don't like it eaither but not much options right now.
will save 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9 Where is that lovely music coming from?
Will 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
Chris looks at Magnum in shock, "Magnum, I thought you were dead."
Magnum replies, "Get out those papers and we will have someone look them over. We aren't ready to be put on the same level as goblins."
"Hon, Nar and Gallak, get out here and rescue this FUBAR negotiation."
Dunno if that's a grapple or not. Brask has a CMD of 17, but if he's flat-footed it's 14. It also depends on how much the golem took out of him.
Brask lowers his voice momentarily as he speaks to Kragg.
"Fine, then they can 'ave me 'ead ta send back if I lose, but he has insulted me an' me 'onor. I'll 'ave 'is 'ead or die tryin' ta get it."
Will: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Brask's mind doesn't even cloud as his anger burns hot.
"But I won't 'ave 'em barring our race o'er 10 gp. If ya think ya can push me around then let's see who's tougher! I said I challenge ya ta a duel! Do ya accept or admit yer too 'fraid ta meet a dwarf in single combat!"
yes it was a grapple attempt to eventually pull you back, forgot to include that in the revised post.
To brask unless still fascinated by the pretty songRemember this and settle the score later. Keep that grudge hot, you're gonna need it later. You're outmanned, outpowered, and surprised. That's no way to fight.