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I like to imagine that as Pinnochio's version of "drinking" is just splashing liquid into his mouth. Choon how emotive is he? Like does he have muscular style motion on his face and not just blink or are we talking like full on locked features like an old Thunderbirds episode (though come to think of it THEY could blink)
Even if it is through a sort of tethered fascination Pinnochio is not cast out of the bar or away from the table and the night passes. Stories are shared and details exchanged as new companions and old pass the night with drink, food and other diversions.
When Ameiko and Cam have had their time together sharing their own set of stories, diversions and unspoken truths, they rejoin the rest. The night passes and the day comes all too soon.
The group reconvenes in the morning at various levels of readiness. Steaming plates of food and various drinks are served to prepare the party for its travels.
Morning time. Anything else in Sandpoint before you hit the road?
Ameiko gently guides on of Kithian's hands to the cask on the table as though to remind the barbarian to pay attention. Shaking her head to her self she pulls Bethana and another servant aside who then move to combine table to accommodate all those present.
The proceeding are briefly interrupted by a shreiking Bethana who pratically lights the tavern on fire with her words as she chases a large black raven from one of the liquor cabinets.
The bird lands near Vidar with a thimble in its mouth and starts hammering the small metal object against the table in an effort to get the wizard's attention. The halfling barmaid meanwhile can be heard from the back, When I murder that bloody bird it won't be ME who nurses you back to health from the familiar sickness you bloody rumscrubber. Keep that beast out of my spirits!
Ameiko cocks an eyebrow at the wizard, WEll if you are going to get yourself into the same kind of trouble you have been you might get your numbers back up. With Rullis and Kerrec gone and my brother doing Desna knows what I would say you could wait for Shalelu but Kristiel and her are running into troubles of their own...that said there are always new friends to make.
Jutmerlum can certainly make out the conversation and as another ale is poured Bethana, having a tall stool on the other side of the bar to put her at eye height with most sitting patrons at least, offers a flat look at the half-orc. I'd be careful with that lot. The thin one is reasonable but the rest are drunken louts or prone to stern lecture. You want to talk to them you best do it open and honest, they find you skulking thy'ell likely make you fight...then drink...and then fight again...but that might be to your liking I suppose. The halfling descends and moves elsewhere before Jut can really get a word in.
...Jutmerlum looks at the grizzled veteran, What do I have to do? The half-orc listened and took the job, simply guarding job to Riddleport. From Riddleport it was another guard job to Magnimar. In the City of Monuments Keppish took ill but not before passing on a tidbit about a small town north with big trouble. Goblins and what not, might be just the score...except Sandpoint was quiet. Apparently the goblins were dealt with. Horrific murder? Resolved. The town had a group of heroes watching its back and they were due back any day. Lacking in options and at a dead end Jutmerlum nurses a drink in the Rusty Dragon...
...Pinnochio couldn't be lost because that implied a specific destination but Sandpoint didn't strike the construct like the most exciting place on first glance. Another stop over to greater finds it seemed at first that this was another sleepy town with little to offer except a few exotic ruins.. However the STORIES these people tell are another thing. It seems the towns been a bed of craziness lately but luckily all in hand by some local heroic sorts. Despite that the town retains an edge of wariness or maybe it was mistrust of the seemingly little wooden boy amongst them. It was hard to tell any more but at the Rusty Dragon the owner, a tall woman named Ameiko, seemed content to ask few questions, take the coin offered and present the sorcerer with a table to bide the time...
...Ameiko was no stranger to the great tales of the ages so she takes the presence of outsiders in stride and the chance arrival of her friends and lover in stride. It was her gift and her offer to the world - to take the exotic she discovered out on the road and create a safe haven for it in her hometown. The half-orc seemed a mercenary type, the wooden boy (?) was something else altogether but things she has seen lately give her no reason to pause at their presence and to be unsurprised that these strangers would herald the arrival or her friends.
As Sayniek, Kithian, Cam and Vidar enter the Rusty Dragon there is the scattered greetings and cheers from the regular townsfolk while Ameiko moves to leave the bar. She gestures to Bethana and others to set a table and in short order the woman has crossed to the entrance and dragged Cam to a corner to celebrate his arrival while the staff of the dragon lay out the usual fare for the Heroes of Sandpoint...except for Sayneik whom the staff are still unsure of so there is a breif moment where the halfling bartender confers with the halfling like oradin to see if anything is needed.
In short order Ameiko drags Cam back to the table, somewhat mussed from the interaction in the corner, and sits down across from the rest as she pours drinks from pitchers and casks, Returned from the City and all in one piece but I can tell you are not meant to stay... The bard offers a defiant grin as though to challenge the group how she might know that but otherwise is quiet...
Meh play what you want to play. if Kumo comes back with another archer then you will be archer heavy. Jut seems fine as is and I don't want anyone to retool unless they want to.
I just got the pace on the game back up so I don't want to delay too much more. Take today to think it over but if Jut stays the same, I will introduce those two and Kumo will come in when/where he comes in.
Kenrick nods, The woman made her way to that infamous hole Cam mentioned, but the note says that Orik has flourished with a more forthright purpose, I agree with Cam that he should be judged on the merits of his character. He was judged and serves under the notion of justice. I recognize that might be at odds with your lord's desire to punish with vengeance but Sandpoint follows Magnimar's lead in aspiring to a notion of redemption in the right circumstances.
Hemlock strokes his chin, I haven't seen or heard much of anything in regards to adventurers or sell swords but you know that Ameiko is ten times more likely to know about it than I am. I practically am drowining in reports still from the Shalelu in the wilds and my folks spread all over the countryside working at the sanitarium and around Thistletop.
Which REMINDS me, that oh so long ago you talked about commissioning a new bridge to Thisteltop under the auspice of developing it/exploring it more. Does that still sound like something you want to be doing in the background?
Lets assume I am nuts and have us back up to seven...which we were actually doing at one point and I have a plan for... (Split the party? MARVELOUS idea, heh)
I see spaces for supports and mixed roles. Don't really need more out and out muscle, one sorcerer and one wizard covers the bases on standard casting so I would say:
Divine oriented full casters (Clerics/Druids)
REcruit thread is good for build info, scaled to 6.
20 point buy
For gear assume average wealth by level. Please be sure you are outfitted in a sane manner, I would not appreciate your character coming in with 2 magic items and no clothes. ;-p
Is what I said the last time I recruited so that seems fair. Level 6 now. Most official sources are game, anything from Occult or later I need to look at before I sign off on it.
For you Chiroptera I would recommend not being a survivor as...well...they may not get there straight away. *cough cough* so I reccomend motivations that would bring people to Sandpoint and be willing to lend a hand (making money a fine motivation).
Yeah Lothryin just check back in on your return and we will see where things stand.
So I might have a couple more folks show up from other sources to show interest. My current recommendation for Choon and anyone else who gets over here in the next couple of days is to finalize a rough concept (race-class-basic bio/personality) and then I will let the players pick the top 2 if there are more than 2. Hopefully that sounds reasonable.
The mayor cocks an eyebrow, Rannick was it? She turns to her desk and rummage through some papers and pulls out a scroll, That mercenary you turned over...Orik. He's been dipatched to that Fort as part of a deployment of the cities "redemption" squads. I just got word but a couple days ago as I had requested updates on his status as you had sued for a lesser sentence for him.
Oh my stars that avatar is terrifying.
Funny enough this party has some experience with creatures that are possessed by others...I'm not sure that ingratiates them to your proposed idea or not. I'm honestly sort of intrigued by the ring but the kinda evil part might be a problem with a paladin around.
I'm fine with Pinocchio in principle. Getting him into Sandpoint should be amusing. The name makes me roll my eyes a little, but in good humor, lol.
Sayneik and Choon you played together in the amber isle game, fyi.
@Vidar - If you refuse to murder for no reason that leaves me no choice but to...er...find a reason for you to do it? How about for treasure and the greater good? Yay D&D! Rehabilitating the murderous since 1974!
Hemlock cannot help but conceal a smirk behind a hand at Kithian's matter of fact admission of the groups activities while the mayor seems to play at frowning but finally she shakes her head, I cannot deny your results, burned down buildings to the contrary. So are you men back to stay in the town? On to other adventures? I hope the threat to Sandpoint is ended.
The group walks into the Mayor's office only barely refreshed from days of travel on the road from Magnimar. No real issues presented themselves and the group arrives to many an enthusiastic nod and welcome as has become common of their status in the town.
As the group enters the Mayor's office they find Hemlock is also present as they are waved to sit. Greetings once more. What word from your efforts in the great city?
I am going to Star Wars screen wipe you to Sandpoint. Assume you are able to find whatever level of privacy you require. The envelope contains two letters, one is a letter of credit which stipulates you are t be paid a sum of 6000gp each for services rendered. Any number of places in the city can pay you on your way out of town. The second is basically a letter of introduction that says whoever bears it is on official business for the Lord-Mayor, thus putting a bit of "oomph" behind your inquiries. Let me know if there is anything else you need in Magnimar
Krinst looks somewhat pleased at Vidar's train of thought, I would prefer it. Politics in Magnimar are complicated and sometimes even my staff and I do not see eye to eye. If the Lord-Mayor is to succeed in the long term more...diligence is at times required. I appreciate you taking steps to minimize eavesdropping.
Going to Sandpoint will add a few days but I can't fault you for staying connected to your community. As for the bodies, yes there were such markings, as I noted in our first meeting we had awareness of the cult, we merely did not make the linked circumstances public. Appropriate steps were taken to renumerate families and losses at the time, the susbtance of the creature's leavings are yours as is.
The man fishes into his coat and pulls out an envelope and passes it to Cam, For your work. The contents should aid in your endeavors, don't lose it. Go to Turtleback on your best perceived course and send word when you know more or on completion. I'll assume if I don't hear from you in 5 weeks or so that you have failed.
The man smooths the front of his coat, Is there anything else to discuss?
Krinst manages a slight smirk as the wizard pipes up, I'm not so foolish to think I could use her nature to deny you reward. Merely to embolden my request. Yes, let's move on to somewhere more comfortable.
Krinst waves the group to follow and has the group winds it way out of the Pediment buidling to a carriage that is waiting. A few short minutes later the lot of you are escorted in the Usher's Hall and then guided to a large state room with a table, refreshments, and a number of chairs all framed in a room with large glass windows and various tapestries and stately decorations.
Krinst speaks to a steward who runs off and returns with a large parchment which Krinst unrolls on the table as he gestures to the group to sit and partake of the food and drink. Alcohol in the form of mead, wine, and a cask of amber ale are available amongst a variety of finger foods.
Krinst waves at the map. WE are here. Turtlback is about two weeks to the East of us on foot or by sailing barge. The Yondabakari and Skull rivers can get you all the way to the town itself though your approach will be well made and easy to see. By land the paths vary in quality but there is a well traveled road often called "The Dry Way" that follows the river and then of course there is a path that would take you via the new and old Sanos forest trails. The Dry Way is very often muddied, especially this time of year. The Sanos trails...well...we do our best but the forest is exactly the kind of place bandits and other threats like to hide...
Krinst's expression darkens as he reads the letter and a frown deepens on his face as he hands the letter back, No clearly not alone. So there are more of these creatures engaged in this plot. Her observations are not wrong though, if greed is what they are after the Lord Mayor would be an ideal target.
Krinst takes a moment to sit and run his hands through his hair, I had hoped that this would be finished. If this letter is right then the town is already compromised. Its a small place, little in the way of official contact. What's more is I sent a team through there not to long ago to help at Fort Rannick, rumors of giants and trolls. This is the last thing we needed.
Krinst gaze falls on Sayniek with a narrow expression, Evil...I know you have loyalty to Sandpoint but this plot...evil. I could send guardsmen but they wouldn't know how to handle such a creature...what would it take for Heroes of Sandpoint to serve Magnimar in this matter?
The guard takes a step forward, clearly irritated and flips up the canvas sheet only to stumble back a bit and then yell, Captain!
There is a flurry of activity as the group is accompanied by a gaggle of guards who take over the body and various items and escort the group to a nice room in which to wait.
Its only a half hour until a well known thin aide to the mayor, the political agent Krinst arrives. He considers the group with a neutral expression, I'm not sure bringing the body of a giant snake to the Pediment was...the quietest way to handle this matter.
"Bob" grunts and starts to wind the cart through the various narrow streets that mark the poorer section of the city eventually opening up into more robust actual "roads". Moving along and through the various throngs the group finds itself arriving at headquarters as the light of the day starts to make its final move to fading.
A guard approaches the cart, No parking here! and the driver hitches his thumb at Vidar with a shrug.
Moving the body out of sight the group takes its time and thoroughly looks over both the lamia and her lair in the shadows of the clocktower's overlook.
They find a number of items of interest:
Xanesha herself wears a medusa mask and a few minutes of inspection reveal her weapon to be an impaler of thorns . She also wears a medallion of the Sidedron mark, much like the one found on Foxglove and is garbed in a snakeskin tunic
While worn, a Sihedron medallion grants its wearer a +1 resistance bonus on all saving throws. Once per day, as a free action, it may be commanded to bestow the effects of false life on the wearer. Placed on the neck of a dead body, a Sihedron medallion preserves the body indefinitely via a gentle repose effect.
Keys found on the lamia open the seven chests noted earlier.
A letter is also found amongst the stones and dust, crudely crumpled as though, perhaps in anger. It reads:
I trust your little band of murderers is doing well, gathering the greedy souls for our Lord's rise? Has Magnimar proven to be as sinful as you hoped? It may interest you to know that my play to nurture greed amongst this ignorant backwater has blossomed - the quality of greed in a soul is so much more refined when given the proper care. Are you still simply carving the rune on them as they expire? Crude, for for sure dear sister, you should try my much more elegant practices some time. In any event, I'm sure that your plans to harvest greed "in the wild" are progressing well enough, I just hope that your raw, ungroomed, and inferior victims don't spoil the purity of mine own effort. If you tire of your project know that you are always welcome to come to Turtleback Ferry and serve as my assistant. Fort Rannick should be in our control by the time this reaches you in any event, so there will be plenty of room for you if you wish to come crawling back.
Oh! I forget! Poached the Lord-Mayor yer? By all accounts he might be the cream of that crop over there, and he might be at least as good as what I am harvesting here. Something to consider.
Apologies I lost the post at one point (not in the browser but in the app I was writing in to not lose it in the browser) so I sorta through my hands up in frustration Saturday...
Ragathiel brooks no escape for those who require punishment in the fires of vengeance and her servant follows through to the letter.
Despite the distance and the difficulty both of Sayniek's arrows find home and the lamia stumbles in her escape. These prove to be her final movements as the unerring missiles of glass like force streak from Vidar's hands and make a spectacular collision that renders the lamia dead and collapsed just as Kithian and Cam move around the building to get a bearing on the escaping creature.
There is some stirring in the nearby street but most of the denizens of this district are content to leave well enough alone and the group doubts and guards will come anytime soon...
Okay. I thought I was waiting for a post but then I realized I was wrong...
Sayniek lands another telling blow but the lamia is not dead. Gazing up at Sayniek from a distance the lamia then gestures and disappears from sight.
Cam barrels down the tower nimbly but is still a few feet behing Kithian with his enhanced speed.
Group is up. Perception checks for anyone trying to spot the now invisible lamia...
[Ok ok....post hoc arrows and then round...[/ooc]
Sayniek lands a hit against the lamia while others try but fail. The snake woman hisses in irritation but reminas on her feet as she stops her fall...etc etc etc
Sayneik lands a strong blow at longer range and the lamia screams as she is clearly simply trying to escape. A moment later the magic missiles collide and she is obviously injured but not yet unconscious.
Kithian under the effects of the haste bounds down the stair, his natural higher speed further pushed by magical means. Hopping, jumping and barreling down the steps, many more planks and section fall but well after Kithian clears them and get all the way down to the main landing and out the door, but on the opposite side of the building from where the lamia should be...
Sayniek has one more shot in this round. Cam has actions this round.