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Does Iscarel have any specific 'trouble' in mind? - does he linger to meet up with the rest of the motley bunch from last night or does he forge off solo?
Looking over the proceedings you've a fair thought that you could either feign drinking or slip away unnoticed without too much furore.
The crowd begins to surge and flow as the orcish bouncers begin to let people come forward to take their slug. Many came pre-prepared with a mug of their own, but for those that didn't there is a small brass cup on a chain dangling... and getting less and less appealing as time goes by. The time honored tradition of sucking strait from a brass teat seemingly not yet making the cultural jump from Freeport to Lilywhite.
As you see peoples various draining their measure... you're struck by the fact that from tall to short, fat to broad and all shapes inbetween - they are all driven to some kind of reaction. A huffing, grimace, panting, sloppy grinned or howling all... the bloodgrog is speaking to them in many ways.
Those that cycle through either continue on... or in some cases linger and leer. It looks as though the 'grog will flow until there's no more remaining... but the orcs and priest are holding all to a single draught to start with, and decorum is being relatively well maintained. Those that depart are unfolding into song, horseplay and bravado... not unlike a graduating group of militia cadets. Larger than life, fearing none... and likely only a few skins from all sorts of trouble.
It strikes you, as you shuffle forward towards the fore... that after taking a drink you'll need to make a choice of either joining the malingerers... or seeking another place in Lilywhite.
Feel free to narrate your approach to the bloodgrog vessel - the kick of it is like overstrong whisky that's the consistency of maple syrup and warming. Searing from mouth to stomach it gives a rose to your cheek... and already you can feel your nostrils start to flare a tad and your emotions run a mite hotter than they usually would.
Bloody Bek's approach is undoubtedly effective... but given some of the looks that follow his wake towards the foreground, time will tell whether it was worth antagonizing a crowd that's soon to be knee deep in Bloodgrog and likely itching for a fight.
Back upon the outskirts of the crowd Quillin easily finds himself raised onto the railing of a house and with a markedly improved view of the center of the presentation area.
Not long after, the Mwangi priest at the crowds core holds out his hands and is relatively soon after offered a quiescence large enough to bid him to speak through it. "Welcome all and one, to the Drunkard's Day. Here..." gesturing to the vessel behind him "is the bloodgrog, once gifted to Lilywhite in thanks to what this town offers... and beloved of Cayden for it washes down the barriers of society and lets the energy of life flow through us."
"So come, join me in taking a draught and show the Drunkard himself what desires burn within... let your passion writ large and free. Sate your thirst, whet your whistle, let fly your voice and see what comes. Trust in the lads to stop you going too far..." gesturing to the cudgel bearing orcs "but otherwise... To the Bloody Stump!" raising a mug and draining the contents in a single swallow. He then howls to the sky gestures the first to come forward and take the ceremonial draught...
Will have a bit more tomorrow
Tipene, Quillin and Bek form a small knot at the outskirts as Rackham and Iscarel set their sights on separate destinations further to the depths of the crowd. Tipene doesn't find any reason for explicit caution yet... as those colonially inclined persons he sees show no double take at his appearance, instead focused towards the core of the crowd.
Iscarel slips his way in and through to near the core... but his attempt to draw near to the priest of the drunkard is forestalled by a large orc putting a firm hand to his chest. With narrowed eyes and a sneer he delicately suggests not testing him by moving further forward. The Mwangi gent catches a sight of you and waves off any attempt at questions "In due course and at the right time lad... there's all day to follow."
As a Freeport native and without Knowledge (Local) outside of there, you'd probably not recognize those of Kepre Dua personally. But if you handwave checked with a Shackles person:
Kepre Dua is an enclave of insular elves within the Shackles that worships Calistria, they're known to be xenophobic and most sailors steer clear of their waters.
Rackham finds that his offers of spirits is looked down on with a "Why would I want that when tha 'grogs comin?" but a kind disposition and gentle query sings sweetly enough given that they see he's not forcing his way straight to the fore of the line. Once you get close you spy the halfling standing just in front of the half-orc, the larger ones bulk providing a bit of a free space to stop the smaller getting trampled. His query gives them a bit of confusion though "What are ye interested in the names for now when ye had all last night to ask for em?" but after a short pause he gets "Krathok (the half-orc) an Bostarg's tha monikers anyway... an aye, we're fer the drinking."
Will put the main blessing / commencement up tonight when I've a window of opporchancity.
It is a very good film, shows and doesn't tell, has all the Mad Maxisms that you'd expect and is generally balls out insanity condensed. Where else in the world could you get a bald cancer bearing V8 worshipping warboy being pimp slapped by a flame throwing guitar he took off a blind mutant whose sole purpose is to rock out on a converted missile launcher that's now been laden with speakers and turned into the Doof Wagon.
If you liked Mad Max 2 (Road Warrior) then you'll like this.
Rackham's thoughts of approaching the half-orc is forestalled by the field of rough and ready naval folk between him and his target... who were unlikely to cede le passage to a queue jumper lightly.
For clarity - the half-orc is in the middle of the scrum of people that you'd need to force / brag / otherwise pierce to get near to.
Rackham manages to catch a glimpse of the half-orc near to the wooden statue that's the central attraction... and can only assume the halfling's there also. The ginger and trio don't leap out to him though.
Rackham does spot Lanteri though, distant from the crowd and standing apart from those that are looking to involve themselves in the festivities. She appears to be alone.
The rest of the night in the Crusty Fiddler passes without any real incident. The half-pair keep to themselves, and unless you stay until closing when Kreer insistently gives you a shove-off you will have left before either the halfling or the half-orc moved from their cups. The night also is relatively quiet... except for the occasional screech of fighting cats in the distance.
Morning comes and sees you rising at your usual time. Breakfast is served in the usual manner as well, taverns and boarding houses putting on a typical spread... but soon after the energy of the town shifts from the standard and takes a more pensive and unrestful edge. People seem to be gradually receding from the city center, and there's as many ships bringing disreputable sailors and pirates into the city as there are ferrying those more urbane back out to safe haven at sea.
The fishermen are putting out to water with extended provisions, women and children withdrawing to the outskirts of town and behind solid oaken doors and window shutters... and those that remain are those either stout enough to take a drink, or too stupid to guess when they might have had too much.
The crowd is multicultural, with a smattering of all races and colours, creeds and degrees of shaved-ness in amongst. Some natives from the Razor, elvish iron-fops of Kepre-Dua, toothless navigators with dry lips, colonials of the Razor, Freeport colours and locals alike. The only ones that look like they don't quite belong are those of the drunkard's cloth - Caydenites or those who instead follow the innumerable and unnamable of Fool's Market. The religious bent to their eyes showing stark contrast to the veneer of lustful wrath that coats most of the others.
Activity is centered around Lilywhite's Founder's Square the southern point of this small island boots tracking over the hard-packed earthen paths. Over the heads of the intervening you pick out the fifteen-foot-tall wooden statue of a grinning man armed with a rapier, hoisting a mug into the air. At the foot of the Lucky Drunk's image is a large brass vessel that you can just pick out the top of. Next to it are half a dozen rough and ready looking orcs - well scarred and brutish with cudgels hanging from their belt-loops... and a Mwangi man you know to be Anyabwile Saabwa, the local Drunkard's prophet.
The position of the sun in the sky indicates that you've roughly a quarter of an hour before the peg gets kicked loose and the boulder starts to roll... but given the press of people unless you look to impose yourself you'll be stuck to watching from the rim of the crowd.
Happy to watch from the periphery, or do you want to get a tad closer?
Shrugging the fiddler puts his fiddle to shoulder and leaves Quillin with the thought "Could be the Captain wants to see if you can make it through by keeping clear of the worst of it... but I've never been a fine scholar of the female mind" beginning to saw away again.
On the cards unless otherwise stated is a fast forward to about 11:45 or so the next day?
The fiddler leans forward to set eyes on the coins that Quillin loosed before weighing them mentally, smiling slightly and easing back into a restful pose in his chair. Pursing his lips in the mien of a storyteller he begins to divulge some of what he knows "In a word.. no, I won't be playing tomorrow... and I'd wager there won't be too much dancing going on."
"The day kicks off at midday in the square, Cayden's priest will see the bloodgrog blessed... and from there it gets interesting. Anyone who wants to stay the course shuffles through for a quaff and colour... and everyone else either gets out to sea or battens down at home. There'll be orcish muscle to keep the lines from getting broken... but the borders of good behaviour bend a wee way.
Seeing that the room's fallen silent and that there's little point to further lingering Lanteri puts her hat back atop her locks and tips it "Gentlemen... I'll speak to at least the some of you tomorrow." turning with a flourish and exiting.
Soon after the half-pair order another bottle of rotgut, while the red-bearded man and his companions settle up with Kreer and sidle out of the inn without further words or challenge. The fiddler re-emerges from the back room and settles back onto the small stage, sipping at some wine and looking as though he's ready to play another set.
For the purposes of the PbP you can assume the half-pair is out of earshot if you want to discuss any more topical matters.
The quartet in the corner with redbeard seem to take the Captain at her word... or perhaps they're saving any bargaining for after taking the job.
The half-pair gets just a single question in, the half-orc asking "Hur, hope you not got nothing against drinking, hur." which gets a light chuckle from Lanteri and simple tip of the head.
Any other questions? - or are you ready for Lanteri to exit for now?
Lanteri takes the gnome's words in her stride "Aye I'm for hiring... but I take it you've not lived through the Bloodgrog if you think it's all knivies, checkers and square dancing."
Shrugging she eases back to lean against the doorway "Up to you boys honestly... you make it so there's only a half-dozen left standing then my job's easy then innit?
The red bearded man takes his half-full cup of rum, drains it, swirls it about in his mouth before leaning forward to squirt it out between his teeth unto Rackham's boots. His three companions chuckle in deep timbre as he adds "Feck off." to the gesture.
Drawing attention back to herself Captain Lanteri coughs "Unless you've any questions I'll keep the specifics to those that it's worth explaining them to..."
If the ginger bearded man and his friends take any offense... they don't show it. The men stay seated, though a perceptive man might pick out their hands inching closer to where their blades lie. Elsewhere in the bar the half-pair kick back in their chair to watch.
The captain chuffs a short somewhat dismissive laugh before raising an eyebrow "Oh you've a silken tongue on you lad... but I've reason enough to not trust to words alone. And take a thought before you put hands to blades and throw down..." clearly reading the temperature of the room and the potential for a short and bloody resolution to the numbers at play.
"There's two reasons why you should be thinking on that a touch...
Peacemaking and offering an alternative she suggests "It's Bloodgrog tomorrow night, and my crew and officers'll be soaking the sights and taking in the games. Show 'em what yer made of in those and you'll rank higher in their eyes and mine... just depends if you're in for a wage or a journey."
The room is filled with the sussurant hiss of quiet conversation punctuated by the occasional outbreak of braying laughter or bullish claims to prowess with blade held in hand or thrust from loins. The four in the corner keep to themselves, speaking quietly, while the halfling and half-orc are more crass in their verbal exchanges - but still don't look to be starting anything.
Kreer keeps a steady thump-shuffling pace going back and forward from the kitchen with drink and vittles at request. A calm "Aye aye" is given as affirmation each time, the half-orc not getting excited unless Iscarel looks to be shaping up for any more whittling practice. The fiddler plays a tune, stops to sip at his wine or chew an end of bread... before soon taking up another tune. The longer he plays the more respect you get for his repetoire and ability... but none of you are here for the bloody fiddling.
A half-hour or more passes since the odd couple joined the group in the commons and the fiddler finishes up a jaunty shanty tune with unsung lyrics of rosy breasted women before he stops, stands, stretches and moves into the kitchen. As he passes from the room though, the curtains flutter and a new figure enters...
Lithe and sinuous, bearing a weathered overcoat that hangs open at the front to prominently display a blackened steel rapier and widemouthed pistol, she takes the tricorne off her head to let free shoulder length locks of dark hair. The lass is a beauty that no doubt in safer ports would have suitors lining up at a chance to buy her drinks and loosen her britches... but if they looked in her eyes they might see reason for pause. Her face shows the flushed blooming that sun exposure brings, but it's the hollow deadness in her eyes and a scar left by blade across the left cheek not yet fully healed that chill any potential candour rising in your own smalls.
She pauses at the entry curtain and slowly regards the room, taking a moment to let her eyes cross each and every one of you before speaking "Captain Lanteri... you've come at my invitation, and I've need for about a hand of fresh salt on the Corvid's Bride. That means I don't need half of you." letting the bald and honest proclamation sit in the air to see what response it engenders initially...
Roll once, take all you get
Knowledge (Local) DC10:
The Corvid's Bride is a chelish warship that's at harbour.
Knowledge (Local) DC15:
There's a strong rumour that the ex-privateering vessel recently changed Captains by way of a mutiny.
Knowledge (Local) DC 20:
The previous captain of the ship was also Captain Lanteri... though a male and the last words to wend Lilywhite's way was that he was due to be married...
The club footed barman moves away from the table of four to the kitchen again as the fiddler finishes up on his first tune of the evening. A draught of wine, a hunk of bread and cheese put to mouth before the fiddler takes up another tune. Mournful and quiet this time, all low tones and hearkening to lost loves. Kreer re-emerges with a bottle of rum, some cups and the roast hindquarters of a hare with accompanying root vegetable chunks for the table of four - before moving to attend to Bloody Bek.
"She'll be along... aye aye, she'll be here. Food or drink master? Take a seat, she'll be here." waiting expectantly for an answer first before attending to it.
After another short span another couple of salts enter the room, making the once empty tavern seem a bit more full and lively. A filthy looking halfling with yellowed teeth, scraggly hair, bare skinned and tattooed with sigils of a few different qualities and vintages. Beside him is a leering and hulking half-orc with scarred neck and bearing a heavy curved blade. After a short eyeing of the competition, the halfling chuckles, thumps his half-orcen friend on the arse and motions towards a last table away from any occupied. Calling out through the room he bellows "Oi Kreer, rotgut an some o' whatever stew ye've got festerin away"... which is echoed by a call from the kitchen "Aye aye, coming up"
Looking up for the first time to flash Quillin a wink the fiddler states "I think I can manage" before beginning to play. The tune is lively and sharp performed with spicatto strokes, flowing from verse to a chorus that features a legato refrain across minor notes... giving the distinct impression of a braying donkey. The man is undoubtedly good, while simultaneously managing to keep the volume at a level that doesn't restrict casual conversation.
Kreer sneers slightly, offering a "Long as ye don't mark me tables ye can do what ye wants" to Iscarel before holding up a hand to attend to the freshly arrived square-jawed man. "Aye, aye - on it's way." thump shuffling towards the kitchen again.
While the half-orc is drawing Rackham's brew, a group of men make their way through the curtain and into the confines of the Crusty Fiddler. Four they number and share enough in dress to identify them as Shackles natives and men of the brine. At the head is a slight man with ginger beard who regards the room with narrowed eyes before waving the rest of them in and towards a corner table opposite where the fiddler still plays.
The other three with him are scarred and have a fighting build, but it's clear they defer to the ginger one. All wear weathered leather armor and bear sword-belts that are weighed down with cutlasses. They spend no words to any other guests of the tavern - instead taking their seats and waiting.
Kreer re-emerges with a foaming wooden tankard to set before Rackham (a stout porter within), before being called over by the ginger man.
Iscarel enters just as Tipene receives his tray and Kreer nods away "Aye aye, wine it is." thump shuffling off to get the elf a pitcher and cup of his own.
The fiddler doesn't look up to Iscarel or respond to his brayed suggestions upon the playlist apart from quietly adding "Question is with the gnomish master..."
Kreer re-emerges just as Iscarel starts stabbing his tabletop, and the property damage is enough to make him raise his voice "Oi! Leave off me table!" huffing as he thump-shuffles over quickly to lay down the elf's wine and cup... in contrast to the other patrons not taking the step of pouring for the table assaulting raconteur.
Sense Motive DC 15:
There's a hint of a growl to Kreer's voice, and the fiddler has tensed slightly as well...
The half-orc with a clubbed leg narrows his eyes momentarially at the sight of Tipene... but that doesn't stop him nodding as if by rote "Aye aye, bread and cheese and wine... give Kreer a moment" thump-shuffling out to the adjoining kitchen before returning with another wooden tray for the tulita.
Kreer responds with an eager nod, making his way back towards the kitchen. He emerges a short while after with a wooden tray bearing the hearty and spartan fare of bread, cheese and a bottle of red wine. Setting down the tray he uncorks the bottle and pours Quillin a measure of liquid sanguine into a ceramic cup.
The fiddler finishes up his tuning by sounding each string by bow and then by pluck before calling out to Quillin without looking up to match eyes "Any requests Master gnome? - or will ye be trusting my judgement?"
If each poster can make a short entry post (as in how you enter the tavern) assuming you're greeted in a similar manner to Quillin. You will arrive at the tavern in the order of posting.
Bloody Bek - I'm leery of allowing swaps like that from archetypes, as while it's the same ability often the balance is wagered on the whole. In this specific case I'd have to say no, as the War Drummer archetype is focused more on the foitin arts than it is on the general knowledge implied by Bardic Knowledge.
Quillin pushes through the curtain to find the interior less than inspiring. A spartan room greets him - a half dozen tables strewn through a rectangular room with between four and six chairs a table. There's no bar to speak of, instead just an open doorway leading back to the source of the smell of game which is likely the kitchen. In one corner of the room is a slightly raised platform - which bears the fiddler upon a stool tuning up - who responds to the query without meeting the gnome's eyes "Kreer, got a guest." The fiddler himself is a middle aged man in faded clothing that might have once been grand but has since been little washed and much patched. The fiddle in his hands though is made of dark smooth wood and it's tone is pure. On the floor beside his stool is an opened and full bottle of red wine, and a plate with a healthy hunk of bread and hard cheese upon it.
From the kitchen, the thump shuffling gait brings a weathered half-orc with a club foot out - wiping his hands with a natty cloth. "Welcome, welcome - we don't turn none away we don't... special not if they've got a thirst or hunger?" raising an eyebrow over his tusk split lips by way of question. The half-orc also gestures towards a table inviting Quillin to sit wherever he wishes.
The rest of you can arrive into the inn as and when you like.
Regardless of whether Quillin or Smudge were expecting the sea or shanties to reply or not, none is forthcoming. The gnome sets off with his better half in tow - his path leading to the mainland and a couple of streets back from the water... into what serves for a bit less urbane a district.
The sun is just dipping to touch the distant brine when Quillin's eyes picks out a sign nailed slantwise to a post down the road that bears the name Crusty Fiddler. Apart from the occasional bird cry and the plaintive mewls of a cat that's either birthing or coughing up a magnus opus worthy hairball... his ears pick out the halting thready sound of a fiddle being tuned.
The inn itself is not much to look at - weatherbeaten boards, faded paint and no door to speak of. Instead a draped woolen curtain split lengthways down the center is the only thing barring the outside from within. Apart from the sounds of the fiddle, Quillin can pick up a hearth smell, a tang of roasting game and the thud shuffling gait of a fellow inside with a club foot moving about.
Sailors on a becalmed sea, we sense the stirring of a breeze.
Lilywhite... the name doesn't exactly inspire the imagination, and to your knowledge it doesn't show up in any of the old sea stories or shanties that your ears have been privy to. But... it's here you've shipped out, scraped by and ended up being dumped. Each of your own and to your own but bereft of a ship to call your home and at the least searching for a Captain with coins of gold to spare. So... Lilywhite it is.
The town itself curves along the shoreline of Motaku Isle, it's sprawl of solid wooden buildings spread across the mainland as well as some reclaimed spits of land that sit in the midst of the harbor. With the nascent threat of the Bloodgrog Festival hanging over the town, most of the ships at port have been sent to anchor a short distance to sea - with ship's boats the main means of gaining access to the town itself. A scan of the livery shows that while the most of the vessels bear Shackles colours - there are a few around from the distant Razor as well as the comparative metropolis of Freeport... but none of the colours ring out to you.
You've been a day or two at port thus far... and surprisingly though there is a tang of expectation on the air, it's been more boring than exciting. Decorations hung are spartan, most of the ships crews have stayed aboard in the harbour (no doubt avoiding the ever rising prices in the town) and locals outside of the tavern come temple Cailean's Keg haven't been much for talking.
Chance however was in your favor, as you happened to be awake and not drowned in cups when a stocky half-orc lass comes sneering through the streets. She squints eyes at you before gruffly barking "Oi, iffin yer wantin work - come to the Crusty Fiddler come nightfall. Cap'n be seein folks then." Without waiting for a name or entertaining any questions she grunts and moves on through the town.
Having come to the town to see some mischief managed, this is the closest you've been given to an opportunity to take...
If I could get a wee establishing shot, statement of any actions you take prior to jumping aboard the railroad car - and then it's first posted first served to get the description of the fine drinking establishment you'll find yourself in...
To reach a port we must set sail –
Tipene - nothing I overtly object to in the first 3-4 levels. Will need to see how Breaking Wave works in practice to see if it needs tweaking.
James Rackham - looks good. Please add Emnity: Rampore Slavers to your traits as well.
Your personal crusade against slavers has given you an emotional blind spot that's difficult to sidestep. A deep and profound urge wells up whenever a current or ex-slave begs for your help.
In essence, you feel compelled to tangibly help the victims of slave rings, etc - despite the consequences that might come forth.
You can suppress - but doing so leaves you depressed and effectively sickened for a DM specific length of time
Bloody Bek - depends on what you want a bonus on really. Shackles Native would focus on the layout and people, and Born on the Poop would be specific to being and working on vessels.
Word of warning - being a sharky-skinwalker will have massive implications in the waters of Razor Coast; though less so in Freeport and the Shackles. My ruling is that you look perfectly human unless you shark-out; though were-creatures and those with lycanthropic interests might be able to out you without you woged (to steal a Grimm word)
Note of clarity - I'm happy for the tie to the Grand Admiral, but given that you're only 2nd level the rivalry will be general rather than specific. As in, the Grand Admiral wouldn't personally know you - until you made a point of it. Instead you'd be potentially identifiable as a runaway, etc.
I'll do the full crunch review later.
Also - a reminder the game thread is open for tagging if you want the campaign to show up on your campaign page.
Razor Coast Native:
Manaakitanga: growing up among the Tulita of the Razor Coast, you were schooled in the tribes, their sigils and the manner of greeting them. Respect can smooth the way to less violent greetings.
Essentially works as a Knowledge (Local) specific to knowing which tribe is present and gives you a leg up into any attempt for parley (effectively hostile starts as unfriendly and unfriendly as neutral).
Imihaku: there is a strength in the earth, the land and the people that is taken by and given to those that search for it. By paying homage to those who fall before you, you take their mana for your own.
If I can also get a statement of profile completeness from those that are ready for their audition? (as in that have finished them and are ok for me to do a crunch review)
The Common Rule: brought up in the egalitarian ways of your homeland, the ideal's been bred into you. To that end you've got both a way with words and a resistance to being subjugated.
+2 on Diplomacy checks and +2 on Will save vs mind-affecting spells / abilities that are attempting to compel you to do something.
Crossed the Line: having sailed the seas you've been inducted as a sailor through and through and given time with the workings a ship can be your second home. After sailing on a ship for longer than a week, you can treat it as Favorable Terrain as per the Ranger ability. You can have this familiarity with a single vessel only.
Lay of the Land: you know the ins and outs of the chaotic sprawling city that is Freeport, both the political ebb and flow as well as the mire of alleys and sidestreets. If anyone's in need of something... you'll at least have an inkling of where to start looking.
Intended to essentially work as free Knowledge (Local) specific to Freeport. Will enable you to find your way, as well as serve as a DM drip feed for city specific information.
Numb to the Madness: simmering underneath the veneer of Freeports streets is a cesspool of the unfathomable that needs but a lancet to pierce it and unleash it's festering taint. While you're not inured to it... you'll have a better chance than most of swimming against the tide when it does come forth.
The second of the background traits is above.
Warpriestess of Besmara sounds interesting, looking forrad to it.
So the final party split is:
Roight - am now firmly back in the saddle after a four day long weekend which included a wee staycation. I'll firm up on the background boons for everyone else today, and will do a cursory crunch check to make sure everything is on the up and up.
My aim is to have the opening post for the game up on Friday, which means that we all need to be shipshape in the next 48 hours or so.
We've got a Rager, a Rogue, a Buckler of Swash and a Arcane - so just need Mark Thomas 66 to firm up on his details before we move on. Don't feel shoehorned into any particular role as we can always either pick up a divine from elsewise... or make a run for it without one.