Fair enough :-)
Iskandarr, finding where the wizard is staying, knocks on his door. Once the door is opened, he says with a smile "Good morning, are you ready to send that message?"
|Tholan the Drolleye|
With a yawn and a grunt, Tholan rolls out of bed. His mind plays over the carnage of the day before, and he smiles. Strapping his gear on, he steps outside, letting the sun wash over him. The day is always more beautiful when it has been fed with blood. He draws his falchion, pausing to look at the reflection of light in the damascene metal. Entranced, he steps to the side, the shimmering in the metal dancing in the morning light. He steps and swings 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19 and his feet follow the dancing pattern in the light, but he misses a step and the reflected light vanishes. The light in the metal has a rhythm. There is a dance in the blade. This... I will learn your war-dance, Gorum.
He raises his blade, searching it's reflection until he again catches the sun on the blade. He begins to move, swinging his blade 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18 and moving so that he keeps the reflected sun in his eyes, the pattern of ripples and waves in the blade leading his steps until he trips on the root of a nearby tree. He staggers, catching himself but loses the reflection of the sun and the rhythm in the blade.
He sighs, murmuring, "Gorum aid me, may I learn your war-dance this day." He takes his stance once more, finding the light more quickly this time. He draws a deep breath and begins to swing the blade again 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27 / 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27, this time cutting perfectly through the air, a quiet ringing hum starting from the blade as he steps, each reflected mote of light on the blade spinning in another step of the dance. The blade swirls around Tholan's head, his weakened eyes closing as he finds the rhythm through the handle of his weapon, the hum growing louder now, pulsing as each swing cuts through the peak and trough of it's arc. "Gorum be praised, thank you for giving me the War Dancer to guide my steps in battle." He falls silent, still spinning and cutting, the pulsing hum emanating from the blade as it resonates through the air for a few quiet minutes.
Finally, he slows to a stop, his breath coming quickly but evenly. "Gorum be praised, may I ever continue to cut." He sits, leaning his back against a tree, closing his eyes to meditate on what he learned in his dance, War Dancer across his legs.
The wizard opens the door with a serious expression, his mind working on the many things to do that day. Upon the man-beast’s request, he nods silently, reaching into a pocket of his cloak and produces a strip of paper bound into a miniature scroll.
Targ’s island is retaken from rebel slaves and Amerysi freedom fighters. One hundred and twenty trained slaves are recaptured, send ships to transport them. Targ and his entourage missing, presumed dead.
~Chief Agent of the Rudianos
“Please have your raven send this message to Sorcha of the Rudianos house in Lehrehn. The most reliable location to find her will be her chamber in the Rudianos castle…” Thaegrin gives a detailed description of which window in the castle the messenger should alight, and then a detailed description of Lady Sorcha’s appearance. “Thank you,” he nods with pleasant tone to the tiger lord. “Now, if you’ll excuse me…”
Repacking his belongings into his backpack or onto his person, the old Feraweni makes his way down to area where the slaves were kept for the night. Assuming he finds them docile, compliant, and alive…
He asks for those who worked in the kitchens of Targ’s villa to step forward. When they do, he ushers them away from the ears of the rest of the slaves before ordering them to return to the kitchens and larders to prepare a meal enough for one hundred and twenty five… well, one hundred and forty, he amends, considering the two Thelkonlanders with them. The court wizard orders dishes of meats, cheeses, breads, fruits, and nonalcoholic drinks. He warns that he will be watching them with magic and will roast the lot of them if they consider any insurrection or escape.
Bluff 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30
He returns to the remainder of the captured slaves, standing high on a nearby rooftop. He claps twice, “Attention,” he calls out in a booming voice, “Yesterday, we fought on opposing sides, and unfortunately, many slaves and soldiers were killed. It was a difficult day for both of us. It was a result of the lies whispered to you by treacherous Amerysi, who sought to master you under the guise of freedom. I tell you now, even I am not free, not fully.”
Thaegrin continues, with a tone of a caring parent admonishing a child, “You must be wary, and vigilant, against such falsehoods. We are all destined to labor and toil, in our own way, against our will. And each of us must accept our place in this wide world, this world of gold and blood and cruelty.” He puts on a wistful smile. “It is because of the harshness of our world, that we need to trust one another, and find solace in that trust. I often envy the slaves of kind masters, for they need not worry for their safety, and their earnest efforts are sometimes met with small reward.”
Diplomacy 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (13) + 12 = 25
He sweeps a hand over the direction of the island where yesterday’s battles took place. “The first step of beginning anew is the cleansing of what clove a rift between us. Today’s work will be light; I task you to collect the bodies of those fallen to a central, open location, so that disease and filth does not saturate the island. Do this before midday, and I will gift you a bit of bread, water, and a brief rest. Afterwards, we will set to repairing the buildings damaged and clear the streets of the barricades until sundown,” the former slave pauses to make sure all of the instructions sink in, “You may begin.”
He watches the slaves as they file out to their tasks.
Sense Motive 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (5) + 12 = 17, hopefully they feel a bit more optimistic about servitude? Trying to play up a "kind master" sort of role.
|Ezkal the Ordo Hereticus|
Ezkal spends the night scrawling on his scrolls and updating his containers. He communes with Gorum, and prays for the ability to use his enemies weapons to bring glory to Gorum. He hefts the large greatsword and swings it - once, twice, getting a feel for the heavy blade. His blood pulses through his thick arms as they strain with the weight, but soon the euphoria of battle lust takes over and the blade seems to weigh nothing. For Gorum's glory he smiles grimly to himself.
Nodding his farewell to the wizard, Iskandarr heads to the kitchens of the villa to locate some bread.
Finding what he needs, he takes a little extra for future use and goes to roam about the island to find a place secluded enough for wildlife. Calmly, the bird whisperer casts his spell and places the bread in front of him, sitting cross-legged and eyes closed. Cast animal messenger
Soon thereafter, his calm his interrupted by a small, curious chirp. With a small smile, he opens his eyes to a young swallow staring at him. "Hello friend, I have a mission for you today." attaching the message to the bird and impressing the location on the creature's mind, he watches it fly away and then heads back to the group.
As the slaves carry the bodies to a central area, Thaegrin supervises from a safe distance, satisfied very little direction is needed from him. Further, he receives word that the kitchen slaves are finished building the feast. At midday, he approaches the heap of bodies while a majority of the slaves are still nearby. By his orders, the pile of corpses are soaked in lamp oil and laden with dry wood. Before the bodies are set ablaze, the court wizard speaks over them. “Your lives ought to have ended peacefully and without incident. I regret that they did not. Find now your Long Rest...” He lobs a glass vial, which breaks open on the mound and bursts into a chemical fire. The flames ignite on the fuels and sizzles the dead flesh.
He lingers in silence for a moment. Though he feels nothing, the manipulator holds a solemn face for the slaves around him. Before the smell of burning bodies grows too strong, Thaegrin addresses the slaves. “Follow me to Targ’s banquet hall. You all exceeded my expectations with your diligence, so you will find more than bread and water on the tables. A gesture of my appreciation.” He smiles kindly.
Diplomacy 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (6) + 12 = 18
He leaves the slaves for them to find the feast for themselves. There was much to do this day. On his way back to his makeshift office, he runs into one of the Thelkonlanders. The old scholar asks that they task the remaining slaves to repair any buildings damaged and clear the streets of the barricades, two hours in the future.
Closing the door behind him, the Feraweni arrays parchment, ink, and a quill on the simple desk. Peering at the afternoon sun in the window, he estimates that his work might take him past sundown. He rests an unlit candle on the desk, for that eventuality.
Scribing a scroll of Fireball (337.5gp deducted). Spellcraft 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (8) + 18 = 26, DC 18. Scribing this scroll will take him 8 hours, after which he will probably go straight to bed. Edit: I feel like we rolled "on-table" to know how long it will take to sail from Veir to this slave-trade island? How much time do we bad guys have until the slaves get picked up?
Anga watches the sun rise the morning after the confrontation between the agents of Rudianos and the Amerisi soldiers. The spy hadn't been able to sleep well throughout the night. Visions of shadow and light played through his mind as he tried to get comfortable. It left him ill-rested and anxious. And ill-rested and anxious was how he met the sun.
Nonetheless as he rose to begin his morning stretches he felt his tired body surge with power and vigor. Drawing rapier, the gray-eyed man spins and parries, practicing the long-memorized sword forms of his training.
The night previous was a stepping stone, though a significant one. Ultimately it was all simply a means to an ends; and Facion knew that with this success it was only a matter of time until his goals would be met.
Slash after slash and form after form the man of shadows practices until the sun is high in the sky and sweat beads on his brow. This marked the second time the spy-master had lost track of time during the blade dance. Breathing steadily but deeply, he looks to the day-star midway through it's daily arch through the heavens. The light hurts his eyes and burns his skin.
His expression ever unchanging Anga lifts his hood to cover his head, sheathing sword in the same liquid motion. He steps quickly, seeking the shelter of one of the commandeered buildings. Finding a secluded corner he draws forth the dusty old tome lent by the wizard Variel. He opens to where he'd last left off and begins to read.
The wizard wakes to a quiet morning, and after a few moments of reflection, silently moves to the table to read the book he has read a thousand times. An hour later, he pulls fresh parchment and quill from his pack, and transcribes a recently memorized spell to written form.
Scribes a scroll of Greater Invisibility (CL 9, 450gp deducted). Spellcraft (DC 19) 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (16) + 18 = 34.
The scribe is seen once in the evening, in the kitchens, before returning to his office. He nearly forgot to eat that day. Before the sun is fully set, he finds the Man of the Lake. “Not tomorrow, nor the day after, but very soon I intend us to travel west for Amerys. Their raid on the this slave auction dealt a blow to the house coffers, and I am laying plans to return the favor. However, unlike them, we will leave no trace or clue for them to track us down. Before we embark, I need your help gathering information. Tomorrow, be ready to use your ability to scry over a calm surface of water. The person you must observe is the Amerysi Major General Penelope Trimak. Pay close attention to where she is, and what she is doing. Listen for the names of her associates, for we may need to watch them next. Given that we only know her by name, the attempt to observe her from afar might fail. I suggest you meditate for a deeper insight before making the attempt.” He is about to leave, and then adds, “Speak of this to no one but me. You know where I will be when you are ready to report your findings on the morrow. Thank you.”
Thaegrin's protip: casting Owls Wisdom on himself will raise the Will save DC for Iskandarr's Scrying attempt.
Talking to DSP in-person yesterday, it sounds like we might have more like a six to seven days of free time? Thaegrin would write more scrolls, but I’m waiting in case the arrival of Rudianos ships changes anything. If they arrive on the third day, they will find Thaegrin in his office, working on a scroll of Wind Wall (CL 9, 337.5gp). Spellcraft 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (17) + 18 = 35, DC 18.
Iskandarr nods, "I will be ready as you request. I can scry today, but if you think this person may be able to prevent it, I can take some extra measures to strengthen my abilabilities. Secrecy will not be a problem."
Leaving his room, Iskandarr goes in search of a secluded pool, away from the civilized parts of the island. Once he finds one to his liking, he prepares and casts Owl's wisdom on himself, then takes the form of a tiger. If this goes wrong, no sense in showing them my face...
Focusing now on the pool, the tiger casts scry on the pool to see Amerysi Major General Penelope Trimak DC 21, if my calculations are correct
1d20 + 14 ⇒ (5) + 14 = 19
The pool shimmers and an image ripples into being.
A bare, stone room sports a single table: the kind used for reading maps. A relatively young woman stands hunched, fists balled up upon the polished wood. Heavy bags sag beneath her eyes, her mouth drawn tight as a cat's ass.
"What do you mean the flank is routed." She hisses at an unseen subordinate. "You were ordered to reinforce Colonel Glokta's position, and yet here you stand before me. EXACTLY WHY IS THAT CAPTAIN!?" Iskandarr can almost feel the heat of her rage beside his quiet pool.
A muffled voice drifts apologetically toward the Major General. "Begging your pardon sir. The line was routed even as I had the orders. I sent a messenger to confirm I had received the order, and my other immediately took an arrow in the eye. I did the only thing I deemed appropriate and I acted as messenger and deliver to your direct control 300 men ready for fighting."
Trimak sighs. "Sound retreat. I want a full withdrawal so we will need time to move camp. Captain Wilkes, you will take command of the rear guard and if I see so much as a hair of the enemy, I had best find you among the dead afterward. Dismiss!"
Footsteps retreat and the Major General slumps into a chair. She sits in silence for a long while. Finally she sighs to herself.
"3 years of these damned Thelkonlanders and barely 100 miles to show for it. I'm beginning to think a new stratagem would be gainful here in the north."
"Indeed." A man's voice purrs from the shadows behind the Major General. "I was thinking just the same thing in fact. These north men only ever seem able to come together against a common enemy. So, do not fight them. Let them fight one another and back the one whom you can most reliably control. Besides, my feeling is that your forces will be needed elsewhere sooner than you may think. A mighty blow was dealt to Erenon and it seems they are none too pleased. Among them is a wizard of considerable experience. Even now he plans to move against Amerys."
Trimak's face slackens. "You know this? How?"
"I have my little birds everywhere. The sing such lovely songs."
The pool blurs suddenly and soon is as placid as a polished mirror.
See? Now I know you're reading spoilers you shouldn't.
Iskandarr's ears fold back as he turns and quietly leaves the pool behind him. As he gets father away and closer to civilization, his form returns to its human origin. As he gets closer to Thaegrin's room, he finds himself watching his surroundings with a more critical eye.
Knocking and entering when allowed, he gives a concerned look to the wizard and begins.
"Môj priateľ , myslím, že sme sledovaní. Nie som si istý , či je to z diaľky, alebo v prípade , že sú medzi nami, ale faktom zostáva . Ak existujú nejaké, ktoré potrebujete na obsadenie pre zabezpečenie miestnosti kúzla , urobte tak teraz.
He does not show it, but the wizard is pleasantly surprised to hear the magical, dead tongue spoken by another. But the pleasantness quickly evaporates at the warning the ancient language brings. Thaegrin holds up a hand to signal that the Man of the Lake should wait. Firstly, he doffs the newly crafted, pointed hat from his head, and uses a minor spell to make sure it’s magics are functioning properly. Detect Magic.
Then, he rises from his desk and makes a thorough search of his room, muttering a simple incantation to scour the room and surrounding area of any unfamiliar magic. Taking 20 to search the room and the area outside of it, yields a 29 in Perception. Cast Detect Magic again. As last, he removes the Silver Tabby mask from his belongings, eyeing it with distrust. He quietly unrolls a scroll, and calls forth the utterance that masks it from any remote viewing. Nondetection, lasts 7 hours.
Satisfied for the time being, he draws the window curtain, and tells Iskandarr to close the door behind him. Motioning for the man-beast to approach the desk, Thaegrin sits and lights the candle. He sets aside the scroll he had just begun, and lays out blank parchment between the two of them. The scholar silently indicates that their conversation is going to be written, and hands Iskandarr the quill.
Thaegrin waits patiently as the scryer scribbles his account, listening for any footfalls outside the window or door. Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17
When the druid is finished, the wizard reads and commits the information to memory, though he writes down questions for detail in certain parts of the story. Many silent minutes pass as the two say not a word and jot down every question and answer until Thaegrin has all the information Iskandarr can relay. Lastly, he requests that the Tiger Lord watches this Captain Wilkes, in hopes of ascertaining where in the wide world Major General Trimak commands from. Thaegrin also asks that he scry on Vice Admiral Jonathan Trinton.
When they are finished, he holds the parchment sheets over the lit candle, reducing their conversation to smoke and ash. He thanks the Iskandarr for his invaluable help, and indicates that he may leave.
Alone again in his study, the wizard clears his desk and resumes writing his magical scroll. His old hands infuse the written word with magic, but his heart is not in it. Rather, he broods on the unwelcome news of the man-beast’s watchings. His eyes flit to the metallic cat mask. Little birds… The court mage considers meeting with the spymaster on this unexpected complication. But then again, Halfblood may be the informant that Trimak’s shadow spoke of... The old Feraweni wears a troubled scowl as the quill dances over parchment.
Barring any other interruptions, Thaegrin finishes his scroll and says hi to the Rudianos ship captains if they get here today.
A servant slave pokes her head into Thaegrin's study in the late afternoon/ "Beggin' yer pardon, messer, but I thought you'd be wantin' to know that a couple a ships been spotted in the bay. They should be here in n'more'n a few hours."
She ducks out and shuts the door.
Can I get a check in from everyone? Tell me what preparations you take for the boats landing, if any.
|Tholan the Drolleye|
Standing in the market square, Tholan passes the time practicing with War Dancer, the vicious blade spinning in his hands as he moves through the increasingly familiar and comfortable steps, blade ringing as it slices through the air, the buzz in the pommel guiding him, 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14 but loses the rhythm and missteps, the momentum of his blade pulling him off balance. He sighs, measured but frustrated breaths heaving in his chest. He turns as he notices a commotion and noise among the slaves, moving closer to the water to see what it is. His clouded eyes gaze out across the water, but the cause of the commotion is still too distant for his weak eyes. Warily, he moves over to a nearby slave, War Dancer still in hand. "What stirs this restless air? Why the commotion among you?"
Assuming the slave tells him about the ships sighted
"What flag do they fly? Are the Rudianos finally coming to join us?"
Thaegrin completes the scroll within the hour, and repacks his possessions into his backpack. The leather pack had been with him for many years, a true testament to the skill of its maker, and every strap, pouch, button, and stitch was familiar to the old Feraweni hands. Still, all that time surely left its mark, and the wizard knew that if the House continued to send him on errands rather than keep him on retainer in the castle, that he would need something with a greater carrying capacity. I could simply enchant this one with magic that folds space within itself. Though I currently lack the incantations to do so... Thaegrin muses as he hoists his belongings onto his back.
Along the way to the bay, the wizard stops by the room where the Wembley commander lays preserved by the sihedron medallion. Not wanting the valuable bauble to vanish during the commotion of loading slaves, he hangs it back over his neck and tucks the medallion under his robes. For a moment, he regards the body of the immense warrior before closing the door behind him. The Feraweni recalled days of his youth, a mere decade into his studies, when his master Cervantes lectured him on the benefits and hazards to possessing an empty body.
But the wanderings of the wizard’s mind fade when he looks on the ships in the bay, and flurry of activity among the slaves on the island. The Chief Agent of the Rudianos watches the passersby near and afar for any that might turn him undue attention.
Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25, Sense Motive 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (15) + 12 = 27, looking for anyone who might appear to be one of these “little birds”.
Thaegrin adjusts his wide brimmed grey hat to shade his eyes from the sun as he notices Tholan at the water’s edge. He begins to make his way to the docks, instructing a few able-bodied slaves to take the cast lines when the ships drew near enough.
As the ships approach, the old Feraweni peers at the prows in hopes of spotting any official or dignitary that he might recognize.
Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11, Kn: local 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (16) + 12 = 28, Kn: nobility 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28
Near the old Wizard, a slave with pad and pen makes tally of the supplies and goods as they are hauled to the docks. He flips pages back and forth as new items usher forth from buildings. His eye are a bit too interested in the positioning of people though, especially that of Thaegrin and his companions...
Marking that info away, Thaegrin quickly scans the prow for any recognizable party, but the bright sun brings the water to his aging eyes and he is forced to look away.
Iskandarr, hearing talk amongst the slaves of the approaching ships, heads to the docks as well.
|Ezkal the Ordo Hereticus|
As the ships draw closer, Ezkal scans the slaves to see how they were reacting to their masters coming (any signs of rebellion).
Perception 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (2) + 20 = 22
He then looks back to the ships to see if they really were the Rudianos, or if something was off with the ships (battle damage, etc, wrong flag)
Perception 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (16) + 20 = 36
|Ezkal the Ordo Hereticus|
Iskandarr nods at the Thelkonlander's warning with a somewhat perturbed look on his face. He whispers back to him, "Later I will have to ask you the significance of that title."
The aged Feraweni blinks away the sun spots in his vision, thankful that the Thelkonlander seaborne lifestyle allows the Warbringer to easily spot Thaegrin’s old friend.
But the court wizard doubted that his visit brought good tidings. His thoughts turn to what the slave spy might overhear.
“Ezkal, Tholan, I leave you to greet our esteemed guest. I will meet with him later.” He turns to leave, and appears to notice the notetaker for the first time.
“You, slave,” he points to the suspected informant, “with me. I have need of your ledgers and ability to write.”
He leads the slave away from the bustling docks, toward the storehouses containing foodstuffs. “I see that you can read and write,” Thaegrin states as they walk, “In what else are you trained? Accounting? Contract drafting and proofing? Scribing for Minor Magical Service? Were you taught other languages?”
The manipulator carries an air of casual conversation, but his sharp Feraweni ears listen for any undertones that might betray fear or suppressed alarm unbecoming of a slave.
Sense Motive 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (13) + 12 = 25, hoping that Thaegrin’s efforts toward a “kind master” image negates any suspicion for the casual interest he is taking in this totally unimportant slave.
The slave falls into step seamlessly with Thaegrin and, apart from darting his tongue over his top, right incisor repeatedly, appears completely at ease.
"Master, I am pleased to tell you that I speak every language used in the world today and am an accomplished lawyer and administrator. I am highly skilled in contracts, quartermastery, and animal husbandry. That last is a favorite of mine: horses you know. What can I offer from the ledgers?" He asks thumbing through them.
“I need compact, nutritious foodstuffs for the travel at sea and on the road. Rationed for five individuals, over two weeks. Hm, add a barrel of mead; two of them like to drink. In addition, a crate of any luxury potables we might have in storage -aged Thelkon whiskey, Isterothi kumis, or fine Erenese wine- the rarer the better. The type of drink suitable as a lavish gift.”
“Husbandry...” Thaegrin turns a sideways look to the ledgerman. “It is good find enjoyment in one’s work. And do I detect a bit of ambition, in those list of accomplishments?” He smiles knowingly. “Admirable, since a slave’s capability directly affects their value. Purchasing one’s freedom is possible, but not easy...”
He pauses to let the unspoken question hang. The wizard looks to the storehouses they approach, but uses his peripheral vision to watch for body language.
Sense Motive 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (6) + 12 = 18, Thaegin isn't listening for lies, but more trying to guess the goals of this agent. Is he one who would observe and report from afar, or welcome the chance to be closely included in Thaegrin's dealings?
The slave smiles. "Ambition is too lofty a term for a slave, but I do admit to trying to make the most of my given purpose. If my diligence pleases my master, then I am justified in my drive. Yes? A diligent and capable servant: that is what I strive to be. If I am rewarded for a job very well done, then I will accept my masters wisdom in that decision too."
"I will see to your requests personally. When shall I have them ready and should I remain with you as you greet your guests?"
He is careful to say 'my master' to keep that identity ambiguous. He seems eager to be included in Thaegrin's plans. Every bit the willing servant.