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The next day dawns much as the last with Krant waking the heavy sleepers at the crack of dawn. It proceeds with the same routine of the day before.
Faunra: Fort save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Cha check: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (14) - 1 = 13
Elvar: fort save : 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
Cha check: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (6) + 0 = 6
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
Quinn, as you creep up the stairs you notice two priests standing in alcoves on the landing. They're obviously on guard duty of some type, you've seen that pose plenty before but they haven't noticed you yet. It would take a good distraction to slip past them or an invisibility spell. Directly ahead of you at the top of the stairs a large golden mask rests upon a marble pedestal, with a green gemstone set into the mask’s forehead, and smaller gems set around it. A stained glass window in the wall behind the pedestal depicts a similar mask.
Your position and the position of the guards is shown in the Temple of Razmir map level 2 (link is at the top of this page.)
Quinn Garside wrote:
it's possible one of the other acolytes have thieves tools you could "borrow" or you could try to sneak up to the second level where all the grey and black robed priests have thier quarters.
I've no problem with retroactive spell casting/ Markus helping Quinn.
Quinn, deciding to do a little exploring you head towards the area to the northeast of the basement level. Only to find the door that leads from the main hall into the stone passageways is locked. The lock on this Iron door looks like a pretty good one.
Ok You're standing in area T7 at the door that leads to area T11. You've been through this door before when the preists led you out of the cell block. Area T12
As you still haven't had your gear returned to you, you are unfortunately without thieves tools at present.
Quinn Assist : 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (9) + 0 = 9
After another hour Markus manages to copy out his sections to Donovans satisfaction. He dismisses you all telling you to head down to the acolyte quarters.
It's late, about 9pm, as you walk out of the small room that Donovan had you scribing in. The halls are quiet and empty.
Krant rests the end of his club on the ground pausing for a few beats watching your reactions. After a moment his pose relaxes a little more.
" No one shirks their chores, clear? If I catch anyone else trying to sneak of for a little nap the punishment will be worse than today. "
For the next two hours you're drilled on walking as a group, correct posture, lines to say to elevate Razmir above the other gods, and how to encourage towns people to 'donate'.
After that you return to the dining hall for dinner, a simple vegetable stew, some unidentifiable meat, coarse bread and a cup of ale or wine.
After dinner you are escorted back to the temple proper for evening prayer. The other half of the congregation attends this session. Evening prayer resembles the afternoon prayer, except Egarthis usually leads the procession, and those in attendance must participate. Those who try to fake it or pay little attention are swiftly punished afterward.
After the prayer, Krant leads you into a small room near the temple (area T4). Plush, gilded chairs, a fine table made from highly polished Andoren darkwood, and a painting on each wall—each depicting the Living God as he battles all manner of foul beasts and bends them to his will—adorn this well-appointed room. The staircase in this chamber is covered with a simple silk curtain.
" I need to get a little shut eye, but I'll leave you with Donovan here. " he says gesturing to another grey robed priest. " You'll be making copies of Razmir's holy texts. We've got a certain quota that needs to be filled before you can turn in, enjoy. " he says, the last word dripping with sarcasm. Then he leave you to it.
Donovan hands out texts, parchment, ink and quills and motions for you each to take a seat.
" Well get writing. I'll be checking all your work and if it's not right you'll need to do it again. Everyone stays till I have enough copies, got it? "
Everyone please make a DC10 linguistics check/Profession scribe check or if you are not proficient in those skills a DC 15 Intelligence check. You may take ten. Once you are successful you may roll to assist others until everyone has succeeded.
Just under the edge of the carpet lies a piece of parchment detailing the schedule of the watch that patrols the neighborhood around the temple, with specific times circled, but no other notations.
Elvar Int check : 1d20 ⇒ 15
Sense motive : 1d20 + 1 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 1 + 10 = 19
" Don't stand there and sir me all innocent like! I know you snuck off for a little nap. To good for cleaning are you? A cut above the other acolytes hmm? " He circle around you as he talks clearly enjoying singling you out. Then he addresses the rest of the group. " Sometimes the city folk here in Tamran need a little convincing that it's right and proper to give the correct tithe to Razmir. Now it's important that you don't convince them to hard or they won't be able to tithe next time, if you get my drift... So, " He swings his massive cudgel at Quinns left thigh.
" Rrggh! "
To hit : 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17 Hit, assuming no shield
Please state how you all react as Quinn gets hit.
Hey guys, just wanted to say, anytime you want to step off the rails, sneak off to explore parts of the temple you haven't been to/ aren't allowed in just say the word ;)
Fort : 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
1d20 ⇒ 15
Krant Perc : 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28
After the afternoon prayer Krant leads you all back out into the courtyard.
" Right, the next two and a half bells are set aside to train you how to interact with the public. How you'll be expected to walk in a group, how to properly conceal your identity and so forth, but first... " he turns his masked face to look at you each in turn. " A little lessen in what happens when someone skips chores! " He snaps his fingers and one of the older acolytes quickly hands him a large cudgel. Then he points at Quinn. " Step forward you! " a little glee evident in his deep voice.
@Quinn please roll me a stealth check for your dark corner cleaning nap :)
Middle of the night Perception DC 18:
You stir in the hours just past midnight, the room is almost completely dark except for the burning stub of a candle somewhere. You hear the sound of footsteps, and someone's bladder being emptied...
1d20 ⇒ 15
1d20 ⇒ 13
1d20 ⇒ 7
1d20 ⇒ 8
1d20 ⇒ 10
1d20 ⇒ 16
1d20 ⇒ 8
1d20 ⇒ 20
Early in the morning as the sunlight filters in through a grate near the roof, Krant, the large grey robed priest comes through the door. " Get up! And Get ready! " he yells at anyone still in bed. ( The time is roughly 7am)
Elvar scrambles to shove on his white robes and don his mask. Krant stands with his arms folded grumbling under his breath. " Hurry up! " he exclaims.
Krant then leads you into the dining hall across from the acolyte rooms (T9) for a simple breakfast of bread, water, and old fruit.
This chamber contains two long, wooden tables, with chairs arrayed on either side. Scraps of the morning meal litter the floor and the smell of stale wine hangs heavy in the room. A green everburning torch provides light.
After about half an hour Krant takes you all up stairs and out into the courtyard. (T1)
Crenellated walls surround this broad courtyard on three sides, with a stout barbican set in the south wall, its doors and gate closed to the outside world. On the east side lies the imposing face of the temple itself, with a grand staircase leading into the structure, ending in a pair of gigantic gilded doors, each one emblazoned with the mask of Razmir. A pair of statues flanks the stairs, each carved in the likeness of the Living God.
Here he assigns each of you simple chores to complete. Cleaning the stables, splitting timber, and unloading deliveries for the kitchen. Krant stands close by the whole time threatening to backhand anyone that's shirking. He takes great pleasure in assigning Cora and Markus to move the heavy crates from a wagon to the kitchens laughing as you awkwardly carry them between you.
After these tiring chores are completed Krant takes you into the main temple room.
After that you at given a short break for lunch, half a loaf of bread, some fatty meat, a thin slice of cheese, and potato stew.
Krant then presents you each with a bucket and a hand sized scrubbing brush. " New acolytes are on cleaning duty after lunch. You lot have to clean the entire first floor! Get to it! "
This is hard and time consuming work especially on top of the manual labour of the morning. Please roll a DC 10 Fort save.
Next is afternoon prayer. Half of the congregation attends this session in the main hall, all acolytes must attend. One of the black robed heralds leads the prayer, which includes a number of rather pompous litanies and psalms to the Living God. It is long and dull and after all the hard work you've been doing it's tough to keep your eyes open.
Please roll a DC 5 Charisma check.
1d100 ⇒ 51
You make your way back up to the temple climbing the same stairs you took before on the way to the ceremony. As you reach the top of the stairs coming out into the waiting room you see two grey robes standing between the benches talking. They stop as they notice you approaching and look you over.
" Your one of the new ones right? " One of them says pointing at your hands. " What do you want? " he asks his voice a little aggressive.
@ Marcus: which way do you go in your search for a grey robe? You're currently in the acolyte quarters, T8 on the basement level.
@ Quinn: There are a few masks hanging on hooks or sitting on beds but every time you go to make your move and whisk one away you find one of the other acolytes watching you or at least looking in your general direction.
@Cora: noted ;) I'll skip to morning after I've resolved what Markus and Quinn are up to. As you look about you see that most of the other acolytes are keeping to themselves. Two men stand beside a bunk in the corner having a whispered conversation.
Elvar lets out a loud sigh and plonks down on a bed rubbing at the dark circles under his eyes.
" All Hail Razmir! " the crowd chants.
The black robe on the stairs holds up his hands and the rest of the priests fall silent.
" Welcome into Razmir's fold new initiates! " He says. " Krant? " A large, wide set, grey robed priest steps forward from the crowd. " You will be in charge of these new initiates and teach them the tenets of Razmir! " The grey robe bows.
With that, the ceremony comes to a close and the other cultists file out of the room. Krant waits for everyone to leave before explaining all of the rules that an acolyte must follow in a deep grating voice.
" • Razmir is the god above all other gods. Those who would claim otherwise are jealous of His glory and spread lies in an attempt to tarnish his mask.
After this, Krant leads you out into the yard for a series of exercises, drills, and other relatively boring manual labor.
" Tomorrow I will show you your chores teach you your prayers Anderson you further in the ways of the Living God. Follow me and I'll show you your quarters. "
Krant leads you back down the stairs into the basement but instead of back to the cells he leads you to a large room 15ft by 40ft.
Eight wooden double bunks rest in this room, each outfitted with simple straw mattresses and a thin blanket. A communal table sits in the center of the room, flanked by four chairs. Two chests lie open between the bunks, each one loaded up with fresh white robes. Pegs are mounted to the walls above the chests for the acolytes to hang their masks on when they are not wearing them. An everburning torch rests in a cloth-draped frame hanging from the ceiling above the table.
" Pick a bunk, I'll be back for you in the morning " then he marches out of the room leaving you to settle in. Several other acolytes watch you from their places around the room.
1d6 ⇒ 2
Marcus still has his hat of disguise. Are you still keeping up the Drow disguise?
After about ten minutes or so a white robe opens the door and waves you through into a hallway to double door immediately to your left. The white robe opens the doors and leads you into the temple proper.
A large crowd of masked priests waits in the temple. While white robes shroud most of them, some wear gray, and a few wear black. In the center of the chamber rises a gigantic staircase, atop of which glitters a porcelain and gold mask, the holy symbol of Razmir. On the eighth step of the stairs stands a black-robed priest, who says gravely,
Priests part to form an aisle towards the stairs.
"Ascend to the first stair! " The black robe continues pointing at Elvar first.
Elvar steps up shakily,
" All Hail Razmir! " The entire congregation chants as a priest hands him an iron mask. Indicating that he should don it and step down.
The black robe on the eighth stair now points to you each in turn.
Yeah sorry Cora. The module actually stats that the poison is tasteless and odourless.
Secret GM roll:
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27 So close!
One by one you slump over slipping into blackness.
The next thing you know is the feeling of cold hard flagstones as you come to and the sound of footsteps approaching. You have been stripped of armour, weapons and anything else you were carrying. Cora still can feel the comforting weight of her holy symbol inside its concealed pouch.
You find yourselves in separate cells as you wake having slept off the poison. The footsteps get louder and then a black robed priest and a grey robed priest walk down the hall of cells.
The masked, black-robed priest paces down the narrow stone hallway, looking in each of the cells. “I must apologize for the way that you were brought here,” he begins with a calm, even tone. “We must be sure that you are pure and properly prepared to join the faith. Today you shall fast and meditate on the glory of Razmir. On the morrow you shall be sworn in and given your masks, made one with the body of Razmir; one piece of the greater whole. You shall become acolytes, and be allowed upon the first step of enlightenment. Rejoice! The path of glory and fortune shall be open to you.”
They present you each with a set of white robes and a bowl of water. Then they leave.
Some time later, your not sure how long a black robed priest comes in and offers everyone another bowl of water. You hear Elvar's voice: " How long are we gonna be stuck in here! " followed by the slosh of water on stone as the priest empties Elvar's bowl onto the floor.
Any one else who speaks up or asks questions gets a similar treatment.
Another long wait and another bowl of water, then another span of time and another bowl.
Finally hours after the last bowl of water a group of priests (one black robe, and five grey robed priests) walk down the hall of cells.
" The time has come for each of you to ascend to the first step. Follow me to the hall of worship. "
Each of your cells is unlocked by a grey robed person and you are led down a hall at a t intersection you are taken left then through a door down another hall to the right and up some stairs. You find yourselves in a room 20 feet by 15. Two plain wooden bench seats are the only furniture.
" Wait here until you are summoned. " The black robed man says and then the priests leave you and Elvar to sit on the benches.
sorry for the massive post.
@Cora: You don't smell or notice anything wrong with the food.
Cora 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Faunra 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Markus 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Quinn 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
The priests and Elvar raise thier cups to Jovil's (Markus's) toast.
Elvar swigs his ale back and takes a few more mouthfuls of lamb. As he chews his food his eyes glaze over and his eyelids droop and slowly as you all feel a wave of nausea and fatigue.
Just after Elvar slumps off his seat. Jovil (Markus) slumps forward onto the table unconscious.
Quinn, Faunra, Cora: You all have one round to do something if you like. Please roll a Fortitude save as the last roll of your post
Elvar stands up from his seat in the corner, " Me too, I'd like to join. "
" Excellent, you've all made a wise decision! " The black robed priest says. " Join us in a celebration, have some wine, some food. Barkeep?! Some food and drink for these people on the temple! " He indicates the large table at the back of the room. Another priest moves to the table and evicts a softly snoring drunk who seemed to have slumped under the table.
Elvar moves to take a seat as do the grey and white robed priests. The Barkeeper comes around and takes orders from everybody and platters of roast meats and vegetables are quickly brought out along with ales, wines and spirits depending on what each individual orders. The atmosphere is somewhat merry and the priests talk of the many blessings that await you all.
So... Who's partaking of Razmir's wonderful bounty?
Elvar orders another ale and starts tucking in to some roast lamb and baked potatoes. He eats a little greedily like he hasn't had a good meal in a while.
Hey everyone, wow, rough weekend. It was my birthday and my eldest sprained her ankle. None of the littlies slept well last night and then this morning I had the staff meeting from hell. I'll try to get a post up tonight.
Ps: I've also been training a new guy at work leading to less time for extra curricular activities ;)
" I'm in it for the money like your friend Quinn there. " he says and then he moves back of to the corner and sits avoiding your gaze.
Over the next five or so minutes a few more people drift in quietly taking seats.
Soon after, a group of six masked cultists arrive, three dressed in white robes, two in gray robes, and one in black robes. They look about the room and move toward a small stage (North East Corner)
After stepping up onto the stage, the figure in the black robes turns to the audience, his face hidden behind an iron mask. With a strong voice, he calls out, “You have come here to seek the power and glory of Razmir, and I am here to tell you that he has found you worthy!” At that, all of the other priests chant in one voice, “All praise the Living God!”
“He is proud of you,” the black-robed figure continues, “for taking this, the first of 31 steps to enlightenment, the path of righteousness, the stairs to power and glory. Razmir is the one true god. What other god so richly rewards those who follow him? What other god lives among his people, guiding them with his wisdom and his might? What other god can lead you to true salvation? None of them! Only Razmir can offer you the power, the fortune, and the glory that you desire. Will you join him?” He folds his arms and looks about the taproom waiting for an answer.
The barkeep looks a little wary of having a Drow in his establishment but he pours an ale for Quinn and responds to 'Jovil' " Here to see the Razmirans huh, don't worry you're in the right place. These nights can sometimes be a bit quiet, sometimes they are not. The Priests will be along shortly. "
The half-elf looks at Quinn, and after a moment shrugs and walks over. " Are you here for the meeting too? "
Haha, pay no mind to the map. I've just included it so you can get the layout of the place.
" Oh, I brew my own ale and I've got some imported wines and some Dwarven spirits. There's a dark ale that I tapped just this afternoon, gave it a try and I think it's particularly good. "
You find the young Half-elf a little hard to read. He sat down in the corner furthest from the bar and has just been looking about and tapping his fingers on the table occasionally.
Cora, what a great idea!
1d20 ⇒ 18
With Quinn's sense of the streets and Markus's negotiating skills you manage to find what your looking for and not pay and exorbitant price.
You find a man who fashions special equipment usually employed by pick pockets.
2gp for a small pouch that can be worn on the thigh. It's not exactly skin tone though. +2 to slight of hand checks made to conceal small items.
You have plenty of time and may take 20 also one other person can assist you. I think that a holy symbol would be smaller than a dagger but larger than a coin or ring so have a +2 bonus for the size. Basically 26+your slight of hand or dexterity.
I'm aware that I didn't specifically say this but in my head the Library research took place the morning after your meeting with Reginar.
That evening the party approaches the Rangers Lament.
Sitting in the shadow of the Temple to Razmir, the Ranger’s Lament is a simple establishment. Made from solid wood timbers, the one-story building is comprised primarily of a large common room, with a bar and a kitchen off to one side. Although open for business, very few people appear to be inside, despite the fact that many of the other local establishments seem quite full.
Assuming you go ahead and enter:
" Welcome! " The barkeep booms. " Seems to be a slow night... Take any seat in the house as doesn't buck you off. Can I get you any drinks? "
The barkeep is a middle aged man, bald with a black goatee and a big beer gut.
Shortly after you're seated another young man arrives. His slightly pointed ears give him away as a half-elf. He has short blond hair and a little downy fluff resides on his chin. He's frowning as he enters and takes a seat in a corner ordering an ale.
Reginar gets up to leave.
" There are libraries at the temples to Erastul and Iomedae. I suppose they might have something there on other faiths. Remember meet me back here in one week. "
You spy some well dressed men that seem to be having some kind of celebratory feast and you manage to overhear them toasting the profits they've made on their trip. Tomorrow they plan to buy up some trade goods and set sail again on the lake. By the time Reginar leaves, these merchants are all looking very drunk and two of them get up to leave, shaking hands with the others and stumbling out onto the street.
The Temple of Erastul turns out to be a bit of a waste of time. You're greeted by a plump middle aged man wearing plain brown robes with thinning brown hair. Brother Grant. He shows you to the library but their section on other faiths is quite small and you're quickly able to search through and find nothing on the faith of Razmir.
At the Temple of Iomedae Cleric Kiana greets you. A young lady dressed in white vestments. Her blond hair is cropped short. She shows you to the temple library which is much bigger and after lighting some lanterns leaves you to your research.
Perception DC 22:
After a long search you manage to find a small scroll tucked away at the back of a shelf. It appears to belong to a larger work and the page isn't signed by any author.
There is a small paragraph about The Living God Razmir that is very vague. Talking about how he ascended to god hood by completing a test through the Starstone around 50 years ago.
Then there is a list of some of the faiths tenets:
Razmir is the god above all other gods.
Those who follow the steps of the Living God will be rewarded with glory and riches.
Razmiran, the realm of the Living God on this world, is sacred ground, and it is the duty of every believer to protect and enrich this sacred place. Every temple to Razmir is an extension of this sacred realm.
Those who have ascended the steps speak with the authority of the Living God. Failing to obey them is akin to disobeying the will of Razmir Himself.
Tithing to the faith is a holy responsibility.
Those who do not believe must be converted to the faith of Razmir by showing them the glory and wealth that awaits them in His service.
The mask of the Living God is a divine vessel. Behind its protective embrace, His followers can speak the will of Razmir without fear of rebuke. His followers must wear the mask whenever they deal with nonbelievers.
The followers of Razmir act as one. Through anonymity comes solidarity, with each part working together to further His glory.
" I'd like to know more about them, a good count of thier number, what thier plans for the future are. Any hard evidence that could discredit them in the eyes of the town something that would force the guard to act. I'd be very grateful if you could meet back with me here after a week to go over any information you've found on the inside. "
He chews a few mouthfuls of deer and then wipes his mouth.
" Well good luck! "
" Getting masks and robes and sneaking in might work but there might be a better way. They hold meetings every so often to take in new members. If they continue with the schedule I've observed for the meetings, the next one should be tomorrow. The last two meetings were held at The Ranger's Lament, the tavern across the road from their temple. If you get in that way and play along with their initiation you'd be able to get a lot more information on what goes on in there. "
" It's dangerous to move directly against them, there seems to be so many of them now. " Reginar looks about the Forest Bounty, then continues. " I did ask around at the docks but no one would even tell me the name of the ship let alone where it was headed and not even I can follow spor across the waves. "
" Members of the cult go out frequently to aid the poor and proselytize. that is how they've fooled the gullible here but I know this is just a cover for more illegal activities. I've seen priests beat a man to within an inch of his life while the guards stood by. They claimed the humble cobbler had stolen from the temple. "
" A way inside? They don't hold any open services and the temple is heavily guarded day and night. The only real way in would be to pretend to join them. "
" My you are blunt, " Reginar replies to Cora. " there is a temple of Razmiran Cultists here in Tamran. They've been here for about two years now and their power here has grown very quickly. Too quickly, even the local guards now turn a blind eye towards them dismissing any reports of wrong doing. "
" Hmm, I do recall that a group of them left town a few months ago heading north. They could be the group that raided your treasure hoard? Are you from the north? They returned about a month later, minus a few of their number, hurrying through the streets back to their temple. About a week ago another group left the temple. This group was led by a blue robed female. I think she's the leader of the temple here in Tamran. They boarded a boat. "
The venture of the first group seems to line up with the time frame that the amulets were stolen from Kassen's Crypt and Kassen is north of Tamran.
She smiles back, still looking a little nervous. " Of course, follow me, " she turns and heads in, threading her way through the tables and craning her neck looking around. " I didn't see Reginar come in yet but maybe he came in the oth... Oh there he is. This way. "
She leads you over to a table near the corner. At the table sits a robust man, wearing green and brown leathers and cloaked in a large bearskin. A longbow rests against the table next to him. He looks up and with a hearty laugh says, “Welcome, friends. I heard that someone was looking for me. I am Reginar Lacklan. Please sit— I'm sure we have much to discuss.” He sweeps out his arms in an inviting gesture as another serving maid places a tray of roast boar and forest vegetables on the table before him.
Quinn ends the night 2 GP up.
Markus and Quinn, Please include a diplomacy roll in your next post.
The following afternoon you all make your way to The Forest Bounty on the northern edge of town. Made from enormous timbers, the Forest Bounty is a long hall, open at both the front and back, filled with wooden tables and benches. Dozens of people gather here, eating, drinking, and laughing. One table of patrons even carries on with a bawdy song that seems to have most of the folk smiling. A serving maid stands at the door waiting to seat people as they come in.
" Wha! I don't? Agh. " he throws a small pouch onto the table. The other sailors laugh. Clapping the man on the back, one of them says, " how about we play different game now? Dice? "
The sailors whittle the night away with laughing, games and drinking inviting all of you to join if you wish.
Anyone who joins in the games roll me a bluff, intelligence check or a straight roll of a twenty (your choice)
If no one has anything else to do after this we'll skip ahead to looking for Reginar at the Forest Bounty the following afternoon?
" My favourite drink? Try this. " he takes a bottle down from a shelf behind the bar and pours an amber coloured liquid into a small mug. " Take small sips, eh, it's strong. " the drink has hints of sweet honey but burns on the way down the throat.
Over at the sailors table one of the others pipes up. " Don't mind Aglas here. He gets like this after a run in with the damned Razmiran faith barges. "
@Quinn This guy doesn't look wealthy at all. Old stained clothes and a depressingly small coin purse...
@Markus No one here seems to fit Reginar's description. So you head over to the Sailor's table.
" What can I do you for... fair lady? " Slurs one of the men as you sit at the table. He seems very intoxicated and seems to be having some trouble maintaining eye contact. Though not all the men and women at the table are so drunk.
Puglas strokes his chin for a few seconds. " A pathfinder? You know I do know one in thier ranks. He comes in here every now and then and I've heard him mention the pathfinders more than once. What was his name? Reginar I think. I haven't seen him in over a month but I believe he can be found most nights at a place called the Forest Bounty. It's a feast hall of sorts. "