Leaving Polos behind to enjoy his leave Queshem walks back to the boat with Draflo. What'd ye think of how that went?
At the boat she'll ask Parcell to ask around about a good ship carpenter looking for a post that can also make specialty crossbow bolts. One who's neutral at best towards pirates and piracy for preference. She'll also ask him about where one might find productive work in Quent to keep her crew busy if the repairs on the sails go quickly. Any sort of institution of higher learning in Quent that Draflo can take advantage of? Ask Xiakon what he knows about Abadar friendly places outside of Schenchu Bay in the Shackles.
Over the month while she's not doing something else she'll going to want to supervise training for the crew that's not busy with some other work or on leave, train Key, keep her eyes open for any new opportunities.
A month on land is not an easy thing for a sailor. Queshem feels like a caged tiger during her stay in Quent and watching the long term repairs tot he ship only slightly eases her anxiety.
Parcell finds two solid contenders-
One is a brilliant if eccentric gnome living in Quent.
The second is applicant is actually one of the former slaves Queshem freed, a friend of Rabbis named Tenkac. He seems fairly solid and capable, if not very imaginative.
There are a few local ventures looking for men. Parcell has his views on them, and a few other chime in.
The first is the local fishing fleet. Quent needs alot of food and the sea is a natural place. While this is something her crew would be good at and keep her men in fine ship-shape, fishing is dangerous plus might get them too used to lax discipline.
Second, there are lumberworks in the jungle outside of town. Tough work, it is fairly safe but uses none of her crew's skills. However, it is a demanding job that won't let them get soft.
Third, she could hire her crew out, in parts to other captains for local trading runs. There are many such routes, many simply to other parts of the island, moving everything from food to artwork. This is the most difficult of the choices and could lead to crew being away from weeks at a time under Captians with strange ways of doing things.
Draflo is dismayed to learn here are no schools or universities here. There are a few clubs for magical users but they are are druids and other sailing types. the closest Draflo can come to academia is hanging out with the few book sellers in the city. It is a pitiful sight and Draflo notes, a few times, someone should open a school here.
The tengu cleric doesn't know much about geography at first, but he spends days talking and getting to know the local religious community, mostly hard drinking Besmara priests. They are a garrulous lot and he soon learns much. there are few Lawful places in the Shackles but she learns of a few.
Port Peril, the 'capital' of the Shackles hosts temples of all sorts. As the closest thing the islands have to an administrative center, Abadar is worshiper there.
Next is Taldas island, a small place build by Taldan emigres. It hosts many so called 'noblemen' of all stripes, and holds itself in high regard. They consider themselves very refined and sophisticated.
Thirdly, there are the Ushinawa Islands. These islands, founded by long distant samurai from Minkai, is a land apart. The Shogun rules with an iron fist, a land full of human tengu and other races. Queshem is most pleased to hear he is an fierce oppoent of slavery, with all slaves becoming free as soon as they set foot here. They are a proud and violent people, who yet appreciate the subtitles of origami and tea ceremonies. Xaikon notes that they sneer at the people of Shenchu Bay, despite the similarities.
Unrelated, Xaikon also hear dark rumors of a new and mysterious cult sweeping the Shackles.
Please make some Handle Animal checks
Draflo comes to Queshem late one night, carrying that strange locked box in her hands. Queshem recalls it was the one they found in the secert compartment in the slaver's cabin.
Her friend looks nervous and instantly blurts out, "Irrois. When we went to her home, she had runes in her house that match this box. It took me awhile to put it together....what do you think it means?"
Handle Blessed Correction: 1d20 ⇒ 15
Handle Blessed Correction: 1d20 ⇒ 20
Handle Blessed Correction: 1d20 ⇒ 8
Handle Blessed Correction: 1d20 ⇒ 3
Handle Blessed Correction: 1d20 ⇒ 2
Handle Blessed Correction: 1d20 ⇒ 16
Taking best of each set
It means we've probably found the true owner of the box.. or at least someone who knows who the true owner would be. Queshem thinks for a moment Any idea what those runes be? Or at least hazard a guess?
Carpentery: Any reason why Queshem couldn't have two carpenters on board? One for more regular work and one for special projects? Queshem needs both after all
Workers: Queshem will send sailors who need sea seasoning to one week of fishery followed by one week of logging. Those who are lax in discipline will be sent to two weeks of logging. The common funds will only take a minimal part of their wages (1/10th) and the rest will go to the sailors themselves. Sailors who wish to earn extra coin for themselves are welcome to join the logging crew for up to two weeks. The rest of the time will be spent training to transfer Sea Dragon knowledge wider in the crew. Queshem will take Parcell aside and tell him to point sailors struggling with the training towards Tound for advice.
Rumours: Queshem will instruct the sailors going on leave to let out that they've just come from Bag Island way and that it looks like Norborgerites from Beachcomber attacked Slipcove to take full control of the island but not reveal how much they were personally involved. Get ahead of the rumour will and pin the blame on Gnarea pretty much.
Also ask Draflo to see if she can go over maps of Bag Island and see if she can pinpoint where these hidden caves under Beachcomber might be. What she really wants is some sea entrance to them. Willing to spend some coin on high quality maps of the region if that will help. To obscure what she's about she'll buy high quality maps of a few different places. Schenchu Bay, Bag Island, Taldas Island, Ushinawa Island, Mgange Cove. What's a reasonable price for these?
Note, we are halfway through your month on land.
Key: Queshem and Key seem to hit if off well. The eagle is a proud bird and follows its own instincts but Queshem respects that and they soon form a bond together. Key particularly enjoys flying among the rigging of the ship, mildly harassing the sailors. Most nights she comes back to Queshem's cabin, clutching a plump fish which she messily eats, often covering Queshem's cabin floor is blood and bones.
Box: Draflo has no idea what the runes mean but on her close inspection the box doesn't appear to be very old. Her wild guess is that it is magically sealed somehow.
Carpentery: Queshem can hire both of them, but one must be put in charge and paid more. Equality doesn't work on board ship. Someone must be in control of the supplies and directly answerable to Queshem.
Workers: A well thought out plan.
Rumors: Queshem's own rumors (which happen to be true) are soon the talk of the town. These stories are soona dded to by refugees and others coming from Bag Island. The halfling island is close by and usually there is much trade between there and Quent. Now however, traders and travellers trickle into the seaside taverns and brothels of Quent, telling the story of a bloody struggle for control of the island. The Norgerber/Raffles alliance has taken many of the towns and controls the sea. Slipcove is still holding out under Greenbarrow management, and the wild inland is full of rebels. It does appear that Gnarea will gain control over the island. They are openly declaring their faith now and vow, once this fighting is done, to declare total war on the slavers to the north.
Maps: Good maps like that would 100 gold a piece, such things are rare in the Shackles. Draflo also found a former inhabitant of the region who may or may not know about the caves. He is a dwarf named Targund Thorsson and acts as a prospector. He is rumored to be a very greedy man and prefers exotic objects and art to gold payment.
Key: Unwilling to break the growing bond with the eagle Queshem neverthess tries to insist the bird eat outside the door and then come in to sleep if it wants.
Handle Animal: 1d20 ⇒ 8
Handle Animal: 1d20 ⇒ 13
Blessed Correction Using best of set.
Map/Guide: Since Quent seems like a pretty decent center of trade, and at the very least, a very good clearing house for pirate booty, Queshem searches through the markets for some sort of valuable that is in comprised of multiple pieces, such as a set of jewelry, or a paired pendant, or an amulet that can break into multiple pieces. Her budget for this is 400 gold max and she'll bring Parcell along to help haggle it down. After all, it's far better to just liquidate something in Quent rather than have it shipped off elsewhere for a middleman to make the real money....
This is what she'll use to negotiate with Thorsson. He gets one piece up front to come with them and show them how to get into the caves under Bag Island and then on to find where the persecuted half orcs may be. If it works out well he'll get the other parts. Also of course he'll get paid officer wages on top for any riches they acquire themselves .
Box: Talking to Draflo Well Starra would want the box, that be fer sure, but I don't know if we want to give it to 'er... fer one thing that might let Starra know about what we've been up to that we don't want 'er to know, fer another, we don't know what this whole rune business even be, I would love to have her as an ally but until we know what she be about let's hold off... what would ye need to research these runes or break the seal safe? Quent be a wasteland fer this stuff as ye've said.
Refugees: Queshem made a bit of a splash on her week or so on Bag Island so she avoids the refugees. She sends Xiakon, who had stayed well out of it, to talk to them though. As a cleric it's something he might wnat to do anyway and see if he can get anything useful. Any leaders besides the Greenbarrows? How about the rebels in the interior? Any word of what's happening in Beachcomber? Another question: What faiths on the island would be particularly opposed to Norgober? Does Besamara care?
Carpenter: To Parcell, in a spot where she knows Tound is listening in Right, both of these seem good. Thing is that they be good fer different things. I do no want the gnome to be using their brilliant ideas when I just want somethin' fixed and Tenkac don't seem like the sort that can give us any sort o unexpected edge. Here be what I'm thinking. Tenkac be Master Carpenter working closely with ye to keep things in high order while the gnome be Head Engineer working with Draflo to make new things. Who knows they might even become friends but if not they stay out of each other's way. If one of 'em gets knocked out of commission, the other takes over both roles. Think on the plan and let me know what ye think.
Key: Queshem manages to feed the bird outside, although the task of swabbing the deck under her favorite perches is not a very desired job. Still, the eagle is considered a good luck omen by the crew.
Map: Thorsson agrees to come along on the journey (it takes 300 gold). The dwarf seems confident he can guide you, but mentions the caves are dangerous and full not only of natural hazards but hungry creatures of all sorts.
Box: Draflo seems unsure where to find a magic user of sufficient power and wants to know how obvious she should look. Can she show off the box ?
Refugees: Xaikon treats several of the refugees and gains a fairly clear picture of what is going on. The Greenbarrows are holed up in Slipcove, the last settlement to be free of the Norgerbers. Whatever else you can say about them, they are tenaciously attached to power. As for the interior rebels, there isn't much. Some reports have them as glorified bandits while others paint a picture of anti-greenbarrow fighters.
Faiths: Quent isn't a very devote place. Few like the Norgerber however. Loyalty is a very valued trait among sailors, and forthrightness considered a great virtue. Those who win by cleverness are admired but backstabbing is considered bad form. The Besmara church is so de-centralized that it is hard to guard feeling, but she frowns on the political schemes Norgerbeites tend to favor.
Carpenter: The gnome, named Pokimbell accepts the post. The little red-haired female gnome seems very excitable to the point Queshem wonders how she will hold up trapped on boardship for long periods of time.
I figure after your next post, we'll get back into things. The month is almost up. The ship repairs are coming along nicely and Pokimbell is already proving quite handy in cost saving ideas, although is already driving the workmen nuts
Key: More training!
Blessed Correction Handle: 1d20 ⇒ 20
Blessed Correction Handle: 1d20 ⇒ 6
Best of set.
Map: Welcome aboard Thorsson
Box: Nah, not here, Starra got eyes here. Maybe some other place be better to investigate this. Sit on a while longer.
Extra Meeting with retired pirate: The Pirate desperate to improve his reputation? Queshem sets up a meeting to go there with Draflo and ask for funding for the incredibly worthy cause of keeping Norborgerites from taking over Bag Island from a halfing as worthy and well loved as Raffles! Think of the honour that would bring you! (Roleplay it, Roll for it, or can Quesehem just get free money for the idea? She's got a silver tongue!) She'll do this right before she sets out though, hopefully outrunning rumours of the guy funding an anti Gnarea ship.
Extra Draflo and Xiakon: Look we'll be going up against mind meddler, I want ye two to come up with ways that we can protect ourselves from that horror and disrupt others under his spell. If we need wands or scrolls or such like, let me know and we'll see if we can afford it.
Extra Parcell and Polos I want our holds to be filled with rations and equipment fer resistance fighters. Decent quality, but let me know what our options be fer price. We'll be runnin' a blockade, hopefully stealthily
Carpenter: Welcome aboard Pokimbell and Thuvac. Thuvac! Get to helping with the overhaul! Pokimbell can ye make crossbow bolts that do the fancy things arrows get to do? What'll it cost?
Oh and Queshem will also hit up Starra and see if she is willing to fund Queshem a little. Queshem will say she's going on an expedition and some up front funding will get Starra right of first refusal on any treasure that Queshem finds and wants to sell.
So you want to meet Crowther and Starra? Who do you want to meet first? That meeting seems a good chance to put it back into RP.
As for the magical items, do you have anything in mind? Quent is a decent sized city so there is plenty to choose from. As for provisions for the rebels, I think buying good stuff will knock you down from 'Cash Reserves- Medium' to "Cash Reserves- Low'. Do you want to do that?
As for arrows, I'm willing to let you buy off the SRD lists of cool arrows for half prize, since Pokimbell can craft it. Sound fair?
Crowther first, then Starra
I guess I'm relying too much on the other crew members, I'll look over srds and see if there's anything in there that looks good
I'm hoping good meetings with Crowther and Starra will mean that it's their money going to supplies for the rebels
Sounds good, more shopping to do!
Please tell me who is coming with you. I'll retcon them in
Queshem felt happy to be moving toward her goal again. It had been a long month. Productive yes, and everyone had enjoyed the rest, but she was restless. A war was burning to the north, a war she had helped start. Hopefully this meeting would help make her next involvement more successful.
She walked along Spendthrift row again, enjoying the well-laid out pelasent street. The broad boulevard was lined with leafy trees, casting a merciful shade and hiding the burning tropical sun. Unlike the mud streets of most of Quent, this road was cobble-stoned and well-maintained. No piles of manure of garbage here.
The houses were equally unusual. Every home seemed to go out of it's way to announce the ego and wealth of the owner. Queshem spotted some that were silk and bamboo pagodas, strange and exotic. Some were vast manor homes, surrounded by elegant gardens. Others were natuical themed, complete with fake masts and flags.
The house she was searching for was at the end of the long street. Crowther's home was unusual even by Spendthrift standards. It looked for all the world like a small castle. It had heavy gray walls, topped with a parapet, round towers at the corners, a metal gate and even a small moat surrounding the entire structure.
Out front was a guard/footman, idling playing with a deck of cards.
Draflo for this one I think. How's she recovering?
Not using Blessed Correction Yet
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (11) + 17 = 28
Queshem takes a deep breath before approaching the guards with a smile. Hail. Do this be the home of the great and famous Crowther? I do be the captain of a small ship and it would be an honor to meet such a great man. I do be having a mission of great nobility that I be going to embark on and I thought it right to come to him for advice and any other support he could provide on this charitable venture. That I will be heading out on very soon. Do it be possible that we can meet?
She seems almost back to normal. A month of recovery on dry land works wonders
The large words and Queshem's flattery seem to catch the footman off guard. He drops his cards quickly and stands up straight, grasping for along awkward polearm leaning against the stone wall.
"Um, Let me check." Without another word he darts inside, locking the door behind him.
Draflo peers at the miniature castle, "Very interesting. I wonder where he found a castle mason in the Shackles?"
In a few moments the man returns, looking red-faced and out of breath.
"Crowther will see you now." He wheezes before adding, 'All weapons must remain out here and you will be searched. My master has many enemies." The man looks rather happy about getting to search two women.
Queshem snorts but hands over her weapons. Don't get too handsy now. she warns the guard though with a glare.
Intimidate to respect our persons: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (19) + 13 = 32
The man takes the weapons but Queshem's steely glare intimidate shim from doing anything more then a quick check. She could probably got away with having a battleaxe under her clothes.
The chastened footman leads them into a small sitting room, a stone chamber with tapestries and a roaring fireplace. It feels very austere and old fashioned. Queshem half expected a Taldan knight out of some old tale to come striding through the door, tall and strong in full plate armor.
Instead a bent man of perhaps sixty entered the room. Queshem instantly noted the rolling gait of a seaman, and a long time one too. It is enhanced by a limp of his right leg, which looks somewhat withered and thin. His clothes are rather overly fancy robes, like that of a wealthy Absalom merchant, horribly out of place in Quent, which admires function over fashion.
His face is weathered and pockmarked with smallpox scars. Watery blue eyes seem to swivel everywhere as if expecting danger at any moment, and his hands are never still. Queshem also notes his left hand is missing thumb and pinky, an old way to mark mutineers (before selling them into slavery). She also spots the tell-tale marks of manacles although his robes have floppy ruffs to try and hide the scarred wrists.
This man has led a rough and condemned life but probably deserved it.
he had no visible weapon.
"And..and who do I greet today?" His voice is weak, cracked and stuttering.
Queshem notes the kind of finery that would be mocked in Absalom as being garishly traditional. The Knightly trappings are interesting though, and confirm what others have said about the man pining for respect.
My name be Queshem and I do be the captain of a small ship. It be an honor to meet such a successful man as yerself. She beings with a seaman's bow towards the aged Crowther I do be having a mission of great nobility that I be going to embark on and I thought it right to come to yer for advice and any other support yer could provide. I do not know if ye have heard, but word has come from Bag Island that the Norborgerians, who be hated by all in The Shackles fer their ways, are warring to gain control of the whole island and it seems like they might just do so. I do be planning to head their to help relieve those fighting against that evil. I was hoping that with yer support I could go there with good supplies to help bolster them in their righteous fight 'gainst oppression.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (10) + 17 = 27
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (2) + 17 = 19
Using first roll
She also tries to note how Crowther is reacting to her flattery.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (10) + 13 = 23
The blue eyes seem to light in delight at her blatant flattery, and he nods at her words. That said, the crafty look on his face does not leave.
"I have heard, actually. Rumor has it that things are getting quite out of control up there." Crowther says then adds, "So you are planning on smuggling items to the fighters there? Judging from your tone, you are only helping one side?"
His long nose, broken many times, sniffs as he adds, "May be unwise. The followers Norgerber rarely forgive a slight. What if they win? They would not look kindly on you, or those that aided you."
Queshem nods There is risk of course as ye've so keenly seen. she says smoothly But I daresay that even those blackhearts would think twice before coming after one of yer stature. She does pause though as if thinking before continuing But yer prudence does credit to the yer famed wisdom. If ye were to provide the funds to supply the rebels then I can see to it that news of yer generous and righteous aid would only come out if they should prevail and throw BlackFinger's chains off Bag Island. If they should fail? Then it would be our secret and none would be the wiser!
Queshem essays another grand bow Why I can see it now. The hated followers of the Skinsaw defeated! Bag Island freed of injustice! And then news comes out that while t'other famed Free Captains of the Shackles stood by and watched the travesty occur, it were Crowther of Quent were the one who stood up and took a stand to prevent it! In fact the news will come that ye didn't even want it to be known that ye were the mysterious benefactor of the scrappy rebels fighting fer their lives and freedom against The Gray Master, but in their overwhelming gratitude the citizens of Bag Island, their freedom won, would demand to know! Can ye not see it yerself?
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (8) + 17 = 25
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (11) + 17 = 28
Using Second roll
Lay it on with a trowel?
Queshem watches the man stand a bit straighter, a far away look in his eyes. It is obvious he is imaging himself being proclaimed the Liberator of Bag Island, revered by all and respected (and more then a bit feared). .
'Aye, it could work." he says thoughtfully, not even seeing Queshem at this point, 'As you said, it would have to be done carefully but it would be good....for the islanders." he comes back to himself, 'How much do you intend to take? Do you have any idea how much supplies you will need? Even I do not have an endless hoard of gold, although it is considerable." he adds, flattering himself.
Well I only be having one ship, so a ship load it would be in terms of amount Qeushem says The only question be the quality of the goods that I would get across. O'course the higher quality of arms and rations the more likely the rebellion would be to succeed and the greater glory would come to the benefactor. But Queshem bows again I leave that decision up to yer famed generosity, Lord
Sorry about the delay. We hosted Thanksgiving this year...
The old sea dog, convicted slave, mutineer, thief and murder ponders this.
'One ship? We'll fill it to the bildges. I'll have some men from Coopers and Son's come by in a few hours. Bacon, saltpork, seabiscuit, we'll feed these heros. It si the least we can do of course, int heir struggle for freedom from evil force."
The man says sanctimoniously before adding, 'Will you, and your friend dine with me? It is a new bird, imported from foreign land. Turkey, I think the tradesman called it. Strange name, but it smells good. Will you stay?"
I were thinking some weapons and armor as well as the foodstuffs Lord Crowther Queshem said before glancing at Draflo I would not wish to impose on yer any more than we already have, but if ye insist..
If Crowther insists Queshem will go along with dinner. Got to keep the guy happy. And Queshem did lay it on thick but, sadly, world events are showing that some people in power can't get enough of flattery
As they sit down to eat Queshem tries to eat quickly so they can be off to their other appointment of the day. She does take the opportunity to steer the conversation towards the other famous Captains of Quent. Focusing on Fairwind and Starra
I do have spent some time in this city and I do see t'oher Captains. What be yer opinions of folks like Fairwind And Starra?
With all yer good works I'm sure ye be doing things fer the orphans of the Shackles. I be an orphan meself and ye be a shining star fer that in my eyes. Who be the folks who yer money goes towards fer that cause?
Queshem steers the conversation, much to Crowther's dismay. It is obvious he'd rather talk about his adventures at sea and attempt to impress both of you. From the little he gets in, Queshem is dismissive of his seamanship but he does appear well traveled in the waters around Garund.
As for Fairwind and Starra, "Women." He shrugs then says apologetically, "No offense meant, you understand, but men are better able to handle a ship and city both. Fairwind is a good sailor, don't get me wrong, but a female Hurricane King?" He snorts into his turkey, 'Don't make me laugh."
"As for Starra..." He looks a bit crafty then, "She has more depths then she lets on. I don't know much about her, but her history is very well hidden. Impressive, considering how much I paid in trying to find out her past."
At her question about orphans he looks confused, 'Orphans? In the Shackles? Why they are recruited for ships of course. Powder monkey, kids to climb the rigging, cabin boy, all need doing. Plenty of places on shore that gather up the unwanted children and train them. Good money for them too. I used to pay quite a rate for goodly trained orphans."
Think more slavery then apprenticeship.
Seeing how the conversation is going Queshem allows Crowther to take charge as they finish up and endures his grand tales politely.
This were a pleasure Master Crowther. And, as we agreed, should the rebels succeed, they will know who it was that came to their aid in their hour o' need!
Move on to Starra. I think.
We can give 'im something he craves that the Norborgerians can't and gold be gold no matter how black the heart be that gives it Queshem says So that's somethin'. But as I've learned sometimes there's more goin' on than can be seen. Queshem sighs
We'll go over what he sends us Queshem says And we'll look into the folks who he has sending us the goods to be safe. No need to not be cautious.
As for Starra Queshem says as they draw closer to the other mansion We'll no bring up the box. But no reason not to bring up the runes. Har. Sometimes being direct be all that be needed. After all Crowther didn't get nothin' on her by skulking about and I be certain that he be much better at that than us.
They find Starra's home easily and are escorted in. The short female captain is leaning over a board table covered in papers. She is wearing classic sea leather and cloth, and would not look out of sight on a ship's deck (except she is a bit too clean).
Glancing up, she spots Queshem and smiles, 'Ah, excellent. I need a smart brain." She waves a hand at the papers in front of her. 'How would you explore a well that is full of water so cold it'll freeze your skin right off? Rumor has it that there is a pile of jewels at the bottom but no one can reach the bottom. Any ideas?"
Warl, since ye be a woman of resources with foreknowledge it should be simple enough to bring along magic that makes one immune to the elements, and add fast healin' on top o' that if need be and send a good swimmer with those enchantments down to see what be there. Or summon an ice elemental or somesuch to do the work for ye Queshem comments.
Now if this water be so resistant that even such magic don't do the trick than it be like an artifact in and of itself. Queshem grins I'd forget the treasure at the bottom and make coin by bottlin' the water itself and sellin' it to wizards.
Starra grins, 'I like the way you think. Remind me to be careful if I ever have to hire you for something. You'll be making side deals the entire time."
She stands straight up, ignoring the papers for now. 'So, do what do I owe the pleasure of your company, Captain Queshem? I hear your ship repairs have come along nicely. Congratulations. A long time ashore isn't always easy, doubly so if it is forced."
Queshem waves her hands Nah, Fair trade fer all be what I aim for. No good to me if yer get pissed off and don't hire me again.
She grows serious though My next expedition be what I be here about. I'll let ye in on a secret. Bag Island were where I got that star metal from. Now as a part of doing it I had to leave more behind. And the only way to get the rest of it would be a whole heck of a lot of magic or minin'. Considerin' how valuable the stuff turned out to be though it'd be worth it to get the rest, but it ain't going to be if the black hearted Norborgerites take control of the damn place as I'm sure ye've heard. I'm headin' back there to help fight those bastards.
Queshem takes a deep breath Any help ye could give would be 'ppreciated of course
Queshem watches Starra to gauge how she's taking her opening salvo.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (10) + 13 = 23
Starra taps her fingers on the table for a few moments, obviously deep in thought. Out of a pocket she takes a small cube that looks like a die, rolling it in her other hand. A few times she idly glances down at it, rolling it over and over.
Finally she looks back up, "And of course deafening your own supply of star metal. You find is worthless if it is the int he hands of Gnarea's type. Let us not pretend this does not serve your own goals as well. Still, Gnarea in charge of Bag Island, or Gods forbid a Pirate Lord, would be a disaster for everyone."
'What do you intend to do, assuming you beat Gnarea? Set up shop as hero of the Revolution on Bag Island? Take over from raffles and start your own anti-slavery crusade? I hear you have a strong stance on the subject. Something you and Norgerberites agree on at least, I hear they are sacrificing slavers as we speak."
Queshem shrugs I ain't the type to settle down in one place fer too long and I got no desire to take over Bag Island. Nah. If I beat Gnarea then I'll find out what the heck Jolis Raffles's doing. He ain't been seen at Pirate Council fer a long time from what I know. If he ain't gone over to Norborger worship and if he's sane and able then help him get back in charge most probably. Otherwise help someone else similar to get in charge who would of course be amenable to me tryin' to get to the supply of the star metal.
Queshem sighs And if there's no natural successor then I'll just hafta be content with rooting out the Norborgerites. That be a rough enough job in and of itself. I may not like slavers but that don't make me Gnarea's friend by a longshot.
Starra smiles, 'At least you didn't try to tell me you were ready for a quiet retirement."
'But yes, Raffles is a bit of a wild card. I've met him once or twice through the years, he used to be quite active at sea, fighting the slavers. I was surprised when he vanished from the scene so thoroughly."
Then the female explorer, adventurer and captain, looks Queshem in the eye directly, "What kind of help are you looking for from me? You have a ship, a good crew and a burning desire to win. I can see that just from looking at you. What could I, a humble sea captain, provide/" her claims to humbleness are a bit undermined by the fact they are literally having this conversation in Starra's mansion.
Queshem grins at the compliment but then grows serious Well advice fer one thing. I get the sense that nobody likes Gnarea, but also don't particularly want to get involved either in what happens on Bag Island. Would anyone of the other Captians in Quent be willing to help?
I'll be frank though Queshem continues I've already been to Crowther cause I heard that he likes contributin' to charity and managed to convince him to fill my holds with foodstuff and weaponry fer those opposin' Gnarea. Queshem holds up her hand to forestall any questions Now I know that man be a right piece of work, and I'll be goin' through what he sends me with a fine tooth comb, but supplies is supplies and I'm runnin' low on funds after refittin' my ship.
With that taken care of hopefully, the more preparation I make the better. Now I'd be very surprised that, if I were to succeed, I wouldn't come across some fine treasure. So if you were to fund my venture then I'll give ye the right of first refusal to buy whatever magical items I find that I wish to sell.
Starra considers the offer speculatively. Everyone knows a fight like this will lead to plunder, such is the way of the Shackles. Starra may be more adventurer then pirate, but that doesn't mean she doesn't know how things work.
She plays for time by answering Queshem's first questions, "Getting involved is a risk and most retired Captains tend to be cautious types. The reckless ones are long dead. I think you'll most of the others will attach strings to the deals that you may find unpleasant."
'As for your deal..."
The short woman shakes her head, 'Not good enough. A chance at some unknown plunder on an island gripped by war? I need something I can use now."
There is a pause and Starra says, "How about you give me the location of the skymetals? That way even if you end up face down in the surf, I still have something for my risk."
She smiles, 'it works out since I will doubly want you to win since if Gnarea fully takes over the skymetals will be virtually useless to me. I promise not to cut you out after the fighting ends, and we can split the proceeds. You can keep a finder's fee and I'll handle ex vacation and shipping. Easy income for you while you are off righting the wrongs of the Shackles."
Queshem grins and reaches out to shake Starra's hand. Done. It's quite a tale...
Blessed Correction Perform Oratory: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17
Blessed Correction Perform Oratory: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (3) + 11 = 14
Meh, passable using first
Qeushem relays how, on Bag Island, they heard about an eccentric professor living in a secluded tower who was looking to hire an adventuring party. They travel there and discover that Draflo was an acquaintance. The professor foisted a map and very complicated math on them which she claimed should find them a skyrock fallen on the island long ago. Unlike the previous adventurers the Professor had hired, Draflo and her scholarly abilities could keep up with the professor's calculations and they had a route to follow.
They found two guides willing to guide them into the interior of The Bag. One was useless and his nerves failed when their route took them through a part of the island suffused with necromancy. The other saved them and guided them deep into the heart of the Island to a silent pool in the middle of dead trees.
Much like Starra's well it was cold and so Queshem descended with an ex slave monk named Rabbis armed with Water Breathing spells and at the bottom discovered an ancient city frozen in time and sorrow at the moment of its death. They delved deep and found an ancient wizard in an equally ancient arena surrounded by horalcrum. His powers and the time bending abilities of the metal had allowed him to keep the souls and the buildings of the city in stasis for millenia at the moment of their destruction by meteorite. He was no match for the two of them though. As he died though the rigours of time came rushing back and the passage of thousands of years started to crush the city into powder in the matter of moments. Queshem and Rabbis grabbed what they could and fled right before getting buried themselves.
Oh and there were a talking alien fungus there also. Killed it too. Queshem grins And if it weren't fer the shiny rocks that I sold to ye I'm sure ye wouldn't believe a word of what I said. Draflo ye have yer charts of Bag Island right? We'll make a copy of it fer ya
Truth be told, I be worried a bit about the good Professor. I'm sure she can look after herself but the Island be goin' through a dark time. She didn't even want any of the rocks, she just wanted confirmation that her calculations were right!
That was quick, I guess I made the deal too good!
On the story, it sounds pretty fun when you re-tell it!
Starra takes in the story, laughs and looks shocked at the right parts. As Queshem wraps up she says, 'That is quite a tale. I wouldn't believe it, but I have had an adventure or two like that myself."
She grasps Queshem's hand and gives it a few firm pumps before letting go.
Queshem perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (16) + 13 = 29 In the brief moment the woman is leaning over, Queshem sees a glimpse of a tattoo on her shoulder. Before she can get a good look, the moment passes.
At her side Draflo starts to pull out a chart of Bag Island, saying, 'I thought we might need these." Dralfo is easy to dismiss as an academic but she often has a good idea where things are going.
Then Starra says, 'So what exactly do you want from me?"
Queshem only had a passing desire to get the rest of the starmetals out so she's just fine with giving them up in exchange for other things. Heck she's getting a Finder's fee!
What don't I want Queshem replies before saying If ye know anything of Bag Island or know someone who does then that would be somethin'. Other'n that while I've already procured general supplies fer the rebels it'd still be good to get more elite equipment fer their leaders and me crew. Armor, weapons, magic. I expect us to be the point of a spear and I'd like us to be sharp and hardy enough for our thrust to be deadly. Dependin' on yer generosity, I could get ye a list?
Starra plays with the die in her hand a bit more. "Let me ask around...would you be willing to take someone on? Someone to help you and, let us be honest, be my eyes and ears to my latest investment? While I trust you, having an objective person I can trust on aboard ship would go a long way."
'As for the supplies.."
A list would be good. What do you have in mind?
Man, shopping is hard in Pathfinder. I'll try and look things up tomorrow.
Well I were lookin fer a story teller of some sort to help motivate the crew and keep 'em entertained. A bard of some sort. If the person ye have in mind be havin' those skills as well then it'd be a great thing to have 'em aboard.
Ok, sorry about that long gap! I got really sick on top of the holidays...
Starra pauses and says, 'I think I might have someone for the job. If they agree, I'll send them down to your ship. As for your shopping list."
The female adventurer gives Queshem an impish smile, "You'll just have to wait and find out."
Then she sobers and adds, "This is a dangerous mission you ares setting out on, I wish you the best of luck."
I'll take the good wishes with thanks. I'll pray that I see ye again. Fer the sake of yer investment alongwith the sake of me own hide. As Queshem gets ready to leave she glances at one of the runes in Starra's home By the by. That be an interestin' pattern. Do it mean something?
Queshem Sense Motive: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (20) + 13 = 33
Instantly Queshem can see the woman's face change. It hardens slightly and her eyes become wary. It passes in a blink of an eye though, and Queshem feels most people would have missed it.
In an airy tone, she says dismissively, 'Oh, just a design I've seen in my travels. Some dead religion, I think. I've never bothered to research it."
Queshem knows she is lying.
Queshem nods Well then. I've got a lot of preparation work to get to. Thank ye Ms. Starra. I really mean that. We'll be heading out soon so we'll watch fer yer agent. I be feelin' much more hopeful about my chances of success after this right enough.
That's all I think
Queshem might have had ideas, but I think I'm out of them. Once supplies start coming in from Crowther she'll go over them with the help of Draflo and Xaikon and Parcell after they've been loaded into the holds. She'll also ask Draflo and Xaikon what their capabilities are with making wands and scrolls and the like. She'll also call all the crew back from whatever they're doing to start getting ready to leave. She'll go over the state of the upgraded Deadly Bolt with Polos and Parcell and the new engineers.