"Freeport? Is that off the Backlunish coast? I am sure I spent a fortnight there, after the sacking of Tyre-Ra. Interesting burial rites and customs, a veru hospitable peoples." James replies as the move down the street past vendors in various exotic ephemeria.
"Adventuring sounds like a dangerous occupation, but exciting. Personally I have been with a mercenary company, which is lots of marching and logistics culminating in, if you are unlucky a battle." he goes quiet for a second, thinking of the last battlefield and the ragged remnants of his company fleeing for their lives.
The screams of dead comrades still reverberate in his ears. "Leaving friends dead and dying before a host of frenzied warriors, it's no way to live." His words are not meant for the others, but staying in his apartment alone for the past few days has affected his internal monologue.
"No mind, madam." he responds waving away Raya's apology at not introducing herself. "A noble name and profession. I am sure you have warded the heart and dreams of many a hopeful suitor."
Sir James clasps Thom's hand, his shake firm but Thom can see that the young man has at least a few weaknesses despite his seeming confidence. "Agreed, Thom, names are like clothes something to wear as the occassion dictates. Though pride in a title earned is magnificent, words have power as a wizard like yourself knows. Curses and incantations..." the man obliquely implies his research and occupation.
"Lanthair. Good to meet you." His inclines his head respectfully; "The strong silent type."
"They are all rather skilled in their work. Barel and I take the lumps, Lanthair has saved us several times already by his timely interaction. Thom's versatility is as useful as his attack spells, and Arishat here...well...no one can belittle you like she does." Keeping her back to the tiefling, she can't help but smirk for a moment. "I jest of course, I've no idea how she can stay so tactical in the mess that is hand to hand..."
"One use the gifts one has been given, of course. Anyway. Well met, Sir James. I am Arishat Prioska Kutrigur, of an ancient and noble house. There's a variety of titles attached, which mean less than they sound."
Have a lovely time & I am sure the performance will go well, everytime I end up in Gateshead (for the athletics) I get lost.
James winces at the description of Raya & Barel's roles; followed by a smile at the guardian's joke. "Lady Kutrigur, your bearing and actions do your family proud I am sure. A noble way to venture out across the world and make your own titles rather than relying on hereditary." his diamond cufflinks glimmer in the torchlight of the decrepit buildings they pass.
"Certainly, when I am bored, they show signs of battle, power and money." he replies with an honest tone. "Information is power, and the more information I can get for free the better." he says with a wink.
Raising an eyebrow he adds; "However if you want me to be crass and pedestrian. I carefully craft curious concoctions." he pauses with a smile. "So if you wish Tracking Dust, Holy water or Universal Solvent, I am your gentleman." he leans towards the guide "Sorry, Hester not trying to queer your pitch."
"Although you adventurers probably require Lockbusters." his words are cheeky to match the glint in his eye. "However, I would not wish to hawk to the unreceptive. Especially when I have much more to offer..."
'How do I say it delicately....' he muses, inwardly smiling at her naïveté.
"Well, they burst locks. So if you accidentally lock yourself out of your building you can enter." James words are innocent, presuming from the symbol that the guardian would do nothing nefarious. With the tone level and not mocking as he smiles gently.
He nods approvingly; "An astute query; well the paste works by mixing a amalgamation of chemicals. These expand and visibly break a lock, it is not a discrete process." he pauses "The main problem is that the applicant must ascertain the appropriate position for the reaction. Thus we see it enhances a portal opening ability, though significantly. I apologise for sounding like a cheap hawker, but I could improve success rate by 20% at least." he says confidently
"This would be for some basic chemicals, increased efficiency ones would be more expensive. However, if you would like my dear I could give you a tutorial, I am quite skilled."
Barel has been plodding quietly behind...perhaps still uncomfortable in the bustling crowds. But finally, the mention of lockbusters and Raya's seeming innocence cause him to stir from his quiet.
"Alright SIR JAMES, what is it you ARE trying to sell then? I am Barel and am not happy that our previous thief had to stay behind. And I am doubly not wanting to pick up another thief who just happens to strike up a conversation with such as us. I am not nearly as trusting as young Lanthair here. What is it you want from us? Just to sell a few trinkets and concoctions of astounding power. If so, lets see your wares and be done.
Barel may seem a bit edgier than his normal gruff but quiet demeanor, but he has lost a teammate, gone through another confounded portal, and is now traipsing around this Sigil place without much clue as to where he is headed...he gets unhappy without a dungeon and might not mind a bad guy to beat up on (or perhaps another drink). Thinking to himself, When did I have my last drink...is it too early for another? Maybe I should break out the barrel again for a swig...no, it is too early still.
Welcome James! Barel may seem rude or at least unwelcoming, but that is only until he gets to know you (and trust you, which is not particularly easy to gain). Another reason this is setting his nerves on edge (although he will not acknowledge it anytime soon) is that he seems to be developing a drinking problem. It should develop in-game somewhat slowly, and this is only because I need to develop his character a bit more.
Rev DM, sorry for the slower posts the past little while. I have started teaching a summer class that is quite accelerated and is taking up a large portion of my time in June. I should be able to get back on track now that it is progressing--there was a lot of prep work, and now comes the relatively easier part of actually teaching and stacks of grading over the next 3 weeks.
Raya's surprise at Barel does not hide well, she even says his name in surprise, though not with rebuke. "Barel...."
She turns back to James, "I suppose they have a point, I'm sure Sigil has a huge ware of shops and goods that would be an easier place to sell."
A few thoughts on Passive Insight:
Since Raya's got a quite high passive on Insight, I'm trying to pick up more on details of people. My rule of thumb is that if someone is trying to restrain themselves but not actively doing so, then I consider it a passive Bluff ie: 10+Bluff score.
James earlier actions of frustration and his tired appearance gave me the earlier assumption that he's lost someone dear to him.
"Let me see...you sought out a motley party with a guide, so you recognize we've a mission of sorts, and that we don't know the area, so that narrows down things. You don't seem a bad sort, so my best guess is that you need a favor from us." She offers a sad smile, "Apologies if that is the case, we've our hands full in our quest to destroy Acererak."
"There, I dropped the name, now let us see how he responds."
James nods his head; "Honesty is good. You name me a thief, in some ways I am... a thief of mediocrity, lives, hearts and boredom." he laughs harshly and self-depricatingly. "What pretentious twaddle."
He starts over, there is a feeling Barels' words have cut through some of the defenses he puts up to keep people out. "I have been in the city a few weeks since my unit was disbanded, my brothers run off to another pleasure palace or something. Being alone in the city, I just thought to make more acquaintances."
Religion (RE: Aecerak) 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (13) + 14 = 27
James blanches at Raya's words; "Aecerak! His spawn...." he says quietly looking down the street. "The spirits quail at his name, is he coming back? Is that why she is waning? Are his servants active once more?" his words tumble out rapidly; a look of distress upon his face. The diamonds upon his cufflinks and hat-band seem to hide an unnatural light and faint faces upon them writhe slowly. He almost physically reels from the revelation.
"There are certain things happening which make us suspect the possibility," Arishat rather dryly comments, "Though I suggest speaking about them in a public place would be a little unwise, even if our current guide is as discreet about it as I can afford to pay him to be."
How much to make the guide we hired go retrospectively deaf, do you think?
"Hester is only a slip but to mistake her for a lad...wait 'til I tell the others." James words hold false brevity.
"Ever made a choice so bad that it changes your whole life? But at the time it seems that it is not a choice at all, but a neccessity." his voice is low but purposeful. "Milady Kutrigur is correct in her ascertation, this is not the ideal place for such words."
'She maybe gone, but I don't want to lose her.' James thinks slowly. "May the Goddess protect us." he mutters.
"Indeed she (Arishat) is, I believe you need to come with us, until we can discuss this further in private. Hope you're handy with a blade or some such, trouble seeks us out as if we were indebted to it."
As the party trudges along, Raya falls back in line discreetly, then gives a subtle, knowing smile to Thom.
He looks down the street, almost looking for an escape, uncertain what is happening as Raya speaks. He then looks to the group and with a strange look of acceptence; "I am quite accomplished with my blade" he jokes subtly.
Nodding to Arishat and Lanthair he continues down the street, "So I am to be a prisoner again, at least I have charming warders?" the soft gallows humour makes you realise that his experiences hold hardship, if not the terror and exhilaration of the group.
'They intrigue me, nearly as much as they are unsure of me.'
"You sought answers, answers that should be given in security, all that keeps you beholden is within you." She adds, after a moment's thought, "Good to hear in your expertise though, while you travel with us, my duty is to keep others out of harm's way. Do not make me suffer needlessly."
Mission objective complete, ready to move on and to stop dominating the game.
"Good kid that. Always seems to be there when you need her... for a price of course." James remarks; moving over to the shop. He looks around to see if there is a side entrance up to a flat (apartment).
Passive Perception 19
If not he moves over to the tobacconists shop and holds open the door for the rest of the group.
James knows little of Acererak beyond the whispered late-night tales of a demi-lich who built a deadly tomb for himself. Small rumours have been slipping through of trouble in Acererak's former capital of Skull City, but there is little hard evidence.
Lu puts her cigars aside and takes out a small snuff box. Inhaling deeply, she shakes her head.
"That Chloris. She's getting real uppity. Going to have to have a word with her. Well, I can find you keys to any place you want to go. Question is, where do you want to go? Looking at y'all, standing there purposeful, I'm taking a guess it's not a pleasure trip you're after."
She smiles. "Of course, some folks don't know where they need to go just immediately. They might have a few questions they need to ask beforehand. Might need to find folks first. Is that the way of it with you?"
Raya gives a sideways glance at James' interruption before turning back to Lu. "It is true that we don't necessarily know all the details of where we need to be, only that she recommended you to us. I do not know about the keys you reference as well, so the purpose here is cloudy..."
She glances about the shop discreetly, Using passive perception of 23 "Unless you can guide us to one called Vocar."
"Well now, don't you have purty manners?" Lu looks admiringly at James.
"7 gold sugar. It's expensive stuff as you know, being young and smart-alecky"
Business concluded, she turns her attention to Raya.
"Everyone in Sigil knows old Lu has the keys to all the portals, sweetheart. You find where you're going, and I'll get you there. Now, what do you want with that crazy old man Vocar? If you're meaning harm to him, well, I'm not helping. Old man like that and down on his luck, I'd be ashamed. Talks plenty mind you and some say it makes sense if you listen hard enough."
Lu seems genuine enough in her concern for Vocar's well-being.