The girl smiles at Leandro and a faint blush rises to her cheeks. "You have a way with words, sir."
She seems reluctant to take her eyes off the strapping (and charming) paladin as Res asks his question. She finally turns to Res to answer, "Do you have an appointment with Monsieur de Monte? That is usually the best way to make arrangements for special orders." She turns back to Leandro, as if awaiting what response he may have for her.
Nathaniel finds his way to the alley that runs behind the row of buildings. The passageway is cramped and choked with rubbish. A few well-fed rats scurry into the shadows as you approach. Making your way down the alley, you arrive at what you expect must be the rear of the shop. An unassuming door leads into the building, as well as a grimy window looking into the alleyway. Nathaniel's sharp eye notices that the window is secured by a rickety shutter that would easily open from the outside.
Volidrian observes the many passersby in the market district. A few have remarked with wonder at the magnificent dolls on display in the window.
Through the grimy window, Nathaniel can see what looks like a storeroom. Crates filled with parts, broken toys, and unremarkable excess merchandise are scattered about. The room is unoccupied, but a flight of stairs descends to a cellar. Light streams faintly up from below, along with the faint sounds of hammers and tools. Another staircase leads up, but he can see naught above but shadows.
In the shop, the girl smiles coyly. "I could see if he's available. Let me just call up one of his assistants to mind the shop floor a moment." She curtsies faintly and walks to the interior door. Opening it, she pokes her head inside and calls out, "Felicité! Can you come up?" She looks back at all of you and says apologetically, "Monsieur de Monte does not like to leave the shop untended."
Nathaniel sees a door open in the storeroom as a girl pokes her head through and calls out a name. A drowsy woman with a blank expression slowly lumbers up the stairs, her brow glistening with sweat. Her movements are effortless, but nonetheless even and slow. At a plodding pace, she reaches the showroom door and passes through.
Leandro, Res, and Tybalt see a matronly woman enter with a practiced smile on her face. Her brow is beaded with sweat and her hair tied back tightly in a scarf. The shop girl tells her, "Mind the shop a moment, Felicité. I must speak with Monsier de Monte." With another curtsy, she slips out the door and leaves you with the taciturn workshop assistant.
Nathaniel sees the girl slip back into the storeroom and skip energetically down the cellar stairs.
"It would. Angalia's good with doors and locks. I'm not but maybe that is where our next move will be." The emotionless magus flicks a look at the back door and looks upwards to see whether there are suitable windows open.
Felicité looks dourly at Res. She responds in a husky voice that is almost comically baritone. "I do the joints. Pinning the parts together so they move life-like. Marcel makes the limbs and bodies. We're not allowed to do the heads. Only Master Gerard does the heads." She displays no joy or pride with any of this.
In the alleyway behind the shop, Andrzej looks up to see a few windows in the levels above the shop, but they are shuttered, evidently to block a view of the grimy alley.
Leandro greets the newcomer with a courteous bow. "Greetings, Lady Felicité. It is an honor and pleasure to meet one of the geniuses who creates these amazing dolls. Tell me, how long does it take to create one? And have you ever watched Monsieur de Monte create one of the doll's heads?"
As Leandro speaks to Felicité, Res discretely turns his back to the dollmaker's assistant and tries to determine if the dolls are magical and what kind magical item it is.
spellcraft w/detect magic: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
Unfortunately, his efforts to hide his activities hinders his ability to identify the item. (Can he at least tell if the dolls are giving off a magical aura?)
The dolls do not emit an aura of magic.
"We do about two each week," Felicité says joylessly. She mops her brow with a rag, appearing to inadvertently smear something on her forehead as she does so.
Andrzej and Nathaniel see the perky shopgirl ascend the stares into the back room, with a stooped older man following behind her. He is wiping his dusty hands on his dirty apron.
"Surely it must be happy work, creating works of art that will bring joy to children, is it not?" Leandro scrutinizes Felicité closely as she answers. Something seems off with this woman, but what?
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17
"I wonder Nathaniel if that dollmaker has any children of his own? Or if there is a hidden curse here. Something is not obvious here. Well hidden." Andrzej rubs his face and scratches his chin again unthinking.
Then the vistani realises what he is doing and adds in a humourless voice, "..if I start asking for cheese then...."