Logan, I think that cumulates to a +5 on your first Diplomacy check. Then +4 after that.
Coral surrenders a dagger she had hidden under her belt. After they collect the weaponry, other guards make a general search for any concealed weapons on the five. Satisfied, the elite guards usher the five toward the large double doors that open into an expansive court.
The great, polished stone walls are draped with tapestries, historical accounts woven into images accompanied by runes. Towering pillars of marble hold up the high ceiling, the surface of which is an enormous chiseled mural depicting the might of the Master Smith, Torag, and dwarves of his likeness carrying out the sacraments of toil, craftsmanship, strategy, and fortitude. White shafts of sunlight stream in from windows, giving luster to the braziers of silver. Along the deep navy blue carpet that leads from the doors to the thrones, are two lines of more royal dwarven guards. Their thick, stout armor gleams by the light of the fires and the sun, and they number one dozen in each line. Rectangular slabs of gold-veined black marble create a tall platform where three high-backed thrones, each a different color and each ornately designed. The throne to the left appears to be solid gold, the center looks like common iron, and the right is another metal, so black it appears to absorb light.
However, two of the three thrones are occupied. The iron seat at the center is filled by a dwarf who wears an iron headband presenting the Hammer of Torag on his brow. Over full plate armor, minus a helm, he wears a black, embroidered apron. A decorative and yet deadly looking warhammer lays across his lap.
In the golden throne, lounges a dwarf in shining mithral woven chain, over which a white cape with silverweave embroidery drape behind him. On his head sits a large golden crown encrusted with dozens of glittering gemstones. The head of an ornate pickaxe rests on the ground, and the butt of the carved wooden haft is clutched in one hand. Both hands of this king are arrayed with sparkling rings. He presently studies the approaching party from his slouched position, and mumbles something to the centered king. The one in the iron throne remains stone-faced, his only expression a single, slow blink. Due to the distance and the largeness of the king’s court, it is near impossible to discern what the golden crown said to iron crown.
“The man in the front is a Stonebit. The Wyldotes must truly be desperate to cater to the noble line most favored by the our kind. Be wary of what he says, if he comes on their behalf. The hobgoblins may finally have coerced the men to make war against us, for there walks one among them, as an equal...”
The dwarf on the iron throne is Priest-King Stormcall, ruler of the center island. The dwarf in the golden throne is High King Fivestone, ruler of the northmost island, Hammer. This means that High King Anvilhart, of the Anvil island, is absent.
The double oak doors thud close behind the five, and every eye looks on at the odd collection of races before them. The king on the iron throne speaks, his regal voice echoing off the stone walls. “Never before have we allowed a goblin into this court. But the attainment of an Irkei Stone is not a daily occurrence, and given his company, we will not eject him from our presence, immediately.” The last word comes out in a warning tone. He turns his eyes to Bolgrith, Aladdin, and then Logan. “What is your business? What urgency drives you to our court?”
What do you do? You can make more Knowledge/Perception/Sense Motive checks if you like, before answering. Just remember to specify what you want to know with the skill check you roll.
kno nobility : 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
For the perception, if unable to hear what was said, then simply to observe the physical features of the kings to see how receptive they are. The Kno. Nobility to know who the kings are and whether two of the kings would be able to issue the call to war.
Instead of Perception to read facial expressions, the roll you are looking for is Sense Motive. I can apply that roll for the results below.
The kings maintain guarded expressions, a well-practiced defense against decades of attempts to influence their emotions and rule favorably on a particular petition or request. It is difficult to be certain how receptive the kings seem, though the presence of Rolg wasn’t exactly received well. Still, they don’t appear to be bored, so they must be interested in the reason of this appearance.
In addition to the spoiler above,
Logan also knows that the three kings handle their domestic issues individually, each according to his kingdom, but foreign issues, such as going to war as a united force, require unanimous approval by all three kings. With only two of the three here, the decision must be tabled until King Anvilhart joins the king’s court.
Knowledge (geography) will tell you the travel time (on ship) from the Anvil island to the isle of Stormcall.
Logan bows respectfully low at the waist diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15 "It is with sincere gratitude that I thank you for being willing to make an exception and hear our plea, m'lords." he straightens. "I am Logan Stonebit, lieutenant of the Borderguard and son of the late captain Patrick Stonebit and nephew of Dredan Stonebit, ruler of the Stonebit house. These are my trusted allies and friends: Rolg, the iron shield and impenetrable defense; Bolgrith, cleric of Irori and irreplaceable support; Alladin and Coral, powerful sorcerer and companion. We come before you today on behalf of the kingdom of men to seek the strength of the dwarven kingdom because the hobgoblin kingdom, Hagglesport, either willingly or by obligation, has waged a full scale war under the leadership of a bug bear warlord, Gartok the Undying and his dragon mount." he continues to describe the opposing force. "I understand that this is no small thing that we seek but I also understand that, if the kingdom of men is left to fight this force alone, the histories will record genocide at the hands of goblin-kind." he says with sober finality.
|Aladdin of the Azlanti|
Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Aid Diplomacy 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (6) - 1 = 5 No aid
"What Lieutenant Stonebit says is true. Gartok the undying seeks the destruction of the kingdoms of men, but your fears of war against your majesties' lands are unfounded. We hold nothing but respect for your people. And you need not be so wary of me. Indeed I assure you that no one, be they man or dwarf, despises my kin more than I."
"I realize that I am an oddity and that I am likely unknown to your majesties. However, were it known, my reputation would stand untarnished for decades before you. I am a loyal, capable soldier and, though I have not always done so, I endeavor to repay slights with honor and mistreatment with mercy. I am learning much from Brother Bolgrith of the ways of Irori, but I confess a growing reverence for the Master Smith and his kin."
Logan’s Diplomacy skill is +2, +5 thanks to Bogrith’s buffs. 17 +2 for Bolgrith’s Aid is 19! Not bad...
When Logan speaks of Gartok’s dragon, the dwarf on the gold throne shows a disdainful smirk. The aproned king remains stone-faced. Neither of them move when the lieutenant is finished speaking, though an unkind glint can be noticed in King Fivestone’s eye. At Rolg’s words, the two kings slightly crease their heavy brows, weighing the words of one who despises his own kin. Holy King Stormcall runs a calloused hand over his thick brown beard in thought.
The king seated in gold, High King Fivestone, scoffs openly when their visitors are finished speaking. “Pah! A dragon! And are the Council of Seven not known for their double-speak?” He looks at the elite guards flanking the double-doored entrance to the thrice throned hall. “This is a farse! A joke! Who allowed these jesters into our hall-” A sudden, swift gesture from Holy King Stormcall halts the black-bearded king’s mockery. The priest-king mutters something to him in their father tongue.
“There is no lie in their words. They truly need our help. And the hobgoblin is, different, than others of his kind.”
High King Fivestone’s expression changes from scorn to apathy, as he nods to the Holy King’s whispered words. He takes a ponderous moment looking over the visitors to the court. A bejeweled hand rises from the gold armrest, palm turned up in a lazy, helpless gesture. “I’m afraid your askance of Hammertide aid is ill-timed,” he says in mock disappointment, as a half-smile betrays his attitude, “Without High King Anvilhart present, we will have to wait to decide on the matter. Return to us in three days…”
The iron-crowned dwarf adds nothing to the Fivestone’s words. Rather, he watches the Stonebit with an intense, unwavering gaze.
The staggering ratio by which the nation of men are outnumbered, three days will be too late, even with an optimistic estimation. Given the time it took to sail to the Hammertide Isles, the men of the Ytramond Commonwealth have likely already joined battle with the goblins. Today might even be too late, if the battles go poorly.
int: 1d20 ⇒ 12
A deep frown takes Logan's face. "I understand the necessity of having all three Kings present to make a decision as significant as this, but is there no other solution than to wait? The fact of the matter is that if we wait 3 days, the kingdom of men will be a blood stain on the boots of Gartok's legion and residual ichor in the maw of his dragon. Is there no other means, magic or otherwise, to bring the third king to court or to confer with him?"
Int 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Rolg falls to his knees before the Holy King. "The men of the west will be dead long before 3 days pass. My experience tells me they are likely dead already, but I have to believe they live. I have to believe there is someway this trip will help them. Please your majesty, there must be a way to decide this matter now. In return for your help, I will devote myself to Torag's teachings and will become a great champion of his cause. I swear it, and offer my service, such as it is."
By subtle body language, a masked shifting of weight, and an errant half-glance during Logan’s appeal, suggest that there is something the dwarf kings can do to quicken the process. But the stubborn kings know that this, like all other requests brought to them, is a negotiation. It is a common tactic between merchants, for one to remain indifferently silent while the more desperate one unwittingly makes the bargain sweeter and sweeter.
The hobgoblin can feel over a dozen pairs of dwarf eyes on him as he kneels, and the following silence betrays the surprise of the kings and their guard. Looking up, he sees the gold crowned king wearing a look of suspicion. The king under the iron crown no longer holds a neutral expression, but one of interest. He leans forward slightly as he peers down from his high seat, studying the hobgoblin. But High King Fivestone speaks up again, addressing Logan’s question. “You would question a High King’s command? My father’s father told me of a time when the fledgling nation of men would trade only with the dwarves. But such agreements were forgotten at the promise of goblin gold not one hundred years later! Since then, my father, and I, have watched the realm of men grow fat on the gold of our mines and those of the goblins.”
He pauses, and then gloats, “Do your fellow men now see their faithless folly? How bright do your riches shine when covered in blood spilled by treachery? If the Ytramond Commonwealth is as in dire need as you say, then any aid we send will surely suffer casualties.” He looks to Holy King Stormcall, but asks loud enough for all to hear. “Do we let these men soak up more gold and dwarven blood, simply because they ask for it? What profit will that be to us?”
The priest-king does not take his eyes off Rolg during Fivestone’s questions. In fact, he acts as though he does not hear them, until he inhales deeply and speaks to the kneeling hobgoblin in his court. “Your word is your bond, hobgoblin Rolg. But we will not so readily welcome you into our holy ranks on words alone. Such a station requires training, of mind, spirit, and body. For a soldier, a life is the greatest thing they can give, and take away, and for that I commend you. Even though the goblin kind are wicked at heart, and we should strive to abolish such darkness, High King Fivestone has a point. We three are responsible foremost to the dwarves of these isles. Are we to lend our ships and warriors freely to a cause so desperate?”
Okay, get creative! Feel free to roll Knowledge checks before answering.
|Aladdin of the Azlanti|
Diplomacy 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
"My liege, if I may..." Aladdin bows and waits until he is further allowed to speak. "Would it not be wise to stand with men against the common Goblin enemy now, than stand divided against them later? Surely the Goblin thirst for blood won't be satiated with just the flesh of humans, but will soon turn for dwarven blood as well," Aladdin reasoned.
KN: Dungeoneering 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
KN: Engineering 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Sense Motive 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (9) + 0 = 9
Rolg clenches his teeth. Never have I spoken more earnestly than then. Never have a stripped my armor more completely. And this is your reply? Fine...
"Will you help or no?" Rolg says with barely veiled indignation.
Sense Motive 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
Knowledge (Nobility) 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Knowledge (Religion) 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13 To see if Rolgs offer would have any meaningful portent to the followers of Torag
Knowledge (Local) 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20 How long would it take for the Dwarves to muster an army to assist the Kingdom of men?
In his brief travels of the Sunderlands, the mercenary heard that the dwarves have dungeons that descend deeper than the water tables of their islands. Truly a feat in engineering.
I have no idea what info you’re after.
Torag does not bar any particular race from worshipping him. Even if the dwarves were keen on allowing a goblin to join their righteous ranks, they are nothing if not traditional. Bolgrith suspects that Holy King Stormcall wasn’t denying the hobgoblin the right to join, but was telling him the path would not be easy or quick. If General Thunderhelm has anything to do with the training of Torag’s holy warriors, then Rolg might see fairer treatment in the process. Short answer: yes, it is auspicious and impressive. But that doesn’t mean he gets to skip all the education and training.
It is widely known that the dwarves command the vastest naval fleet of the Sunderlands. They are superior not only in numbers, but in seamanship and in the craft of their vessels. Moreover, the navy from the Stormcall Isle is celebrated as the fastest fleet in the realm, largely due to their pious captains who can magically direct winds into their sails. If the endeavor to rally armies and sail to Ytramond was given all haste, and dwarves worked through the night, the first of the Hammertide longships would land tomorrow evening on human shores.
I’ll post the dwarves’ reaction later in case ol’ Bolgy has anything to add.