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Shalkeshka

Shadowborn's page

RPG Superstar 6 Season Marathon Voter, 7 Season Marathon Voter, 8 Season Marathon Voter, 9 Season Marathon Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 9,367 posts (11,198 including aliases). 10 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 14 aliases.


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The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Jon:
Pliska sighs, sopping up stew with a crust of bread and wolfing it down, before downing a swallow from her mug and stuffing two more pieces of black bread into her satchel. "Awright then. I don't tout without cash up front, but you paid well for the first trip so I'll ignore that rule this once. Where to?"

Auric:
She catches the silver coin and makes it disappear after giving it a quick glance. "Name's Pliska. Ye run with a tall, scraggly plant-wizard name o' 'Jon Commoner.'" She snorts. "Cheeky thing ta call yerself when ya can make plants grow and choke the life outta people. 'Commoner.'" She makes a rude noise before continuing. "Anyway, story is that yer pal Jon came inta the Six early this morn, guided by yers truly. Happened to overhear an exchange 'tween him an the mistress o' the house. The missus sent yer pal to warn Ceryl, so he won't take what it is yer carryin' if ya give it to him. Means yer stuck wit' the cursed thing. Jon's waitin' on you ta show, but he don't know nothin' bout any of this. Jus' carried the letter from the missus warnin' Ceryl 'bout it. I asked 'round 'bout it. Seems whatever yer carryin' ta give ta Ceryl is bewitched. Some dark thing what puts a curse on the one that carries it."

Kalaya:
"Only two Brightblades in the world: me and my sister. I'm told I've a bigger heart than Marza, but that's not true. She's just got a gruffer exterior. Speaking of which, make sure the bird don't make a mess of the room. She'll have a fit. Rest well." The night passes without incident unless there's anything else you wish to do during your time here.

Stilgar:
Master Mancino's face takes on a sad air as he shakes his head. "Alas, no, unless my staff has been lax in informing me. I've passed the description of good Auric's companions to them with orders to notify me should someone matching them enter the establishment. The gnome...Magnus? He would be most easily spotted. Not many of their folk come into Fardusk. The kobolds in the Undercity are not kind to them, and they have sway with the Lower Council, so the gnomish folk tend to avoid...ah, but you aren't here to listen to me ramble on politics. Your friend Auric should return soon and I'll bring any others of your companions to you should they be made known. Meanwhile, sit! I'll have any refreshment you require brought. Consider this your home away from home. My prices are reasonable and I strive to be a gracious host. When Reef rolls his lazy carcass off his cot, I'll check again to be sure none came in late after I retired."

The Exchange

Snorter wrote:
Anthony Adam wrote:

Ok,

Top 7 writer credits...

20 credits Spicer, Neil
19 credits Lee, Jeff
13 credits Turner, Ian
11 credits Costello Jr., Ryan
11 credits Crenshaw, Paris E.
11 credits Fox, Guy
11 credits Gimmler, Christoph

So...close...must...type...faster...

Can we get a doping test, on Neil and Jeff?

I'm actually surprised. I hadn't realized I'd written that many pieces for Wayfinder, especially since I didn't get anything into an even-numbered issue until...#6, I think? Possibly #8.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I was intrigued. If this gets picked up for a season, I'll definitely be watching. I like how it's more strongly tied to the story and characters from the comic and the animated series. Jackie Earle Haley as the Terror cracked me up.

The Exchange

Erethrin wrote:
its a npc book or also contain a pc class ?

Hi, Erethrin.

The Demon Cults series provides material for the GM to use. Each one features a different cult, including its goals, organization, and stat blocks for its leaders and other prominent members. Not much in here for players, unless your GM is looking to run an evil campaign.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey
Shadowborn wrote:
Well that was weird. I previewed the post and couldn't get Jon's spoiler to open when I clicked on it. Had to place it in its own post.

So I had the same thing happen to Auric's spoiler in this last post. Adding an extra couple of returns between that one and the one above solved the problem.

I'd just like to observe that this group has an amazing facility for avoiding trouble. That could come in handy in a place like Fardusk.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Kalaya:
Kess nods. "That I can understand. Sleep well. We brook no trouble to our customers. If you see those rough types again, tell 'em you work for the Brightblades. It might not sway them, but then again it might. If it does, then maybe you'll do some work for us in the future to pay back the favor."

Auric:
She palms the coins and makes them disappear somewhere. When you ask your question, she nods. "He's an oily, powdered ponce. He's also doing the deed with yer landlord's missus. I also know more than that, but it'll cost you extra, including some head-coin...information, that is." She gives a quick glance over her shoulder, her face a mask, then looks back in the direction of your walk. "I understand if you want to keep to yerself, but know it's the only time I'll offer. You don't do the exchange, things might get a bit confusing later."

Stilgar:
The man makes an extravagant bow in return. "Well met, Stilgar, Worthy of Baal! It is an honor to make your acquaintance. I am Hansi Mancino, master of this house, and I bid you welcome to the Six with Eight Tails! Your arrival has been expected. Good Master Auric is currently staying here and has asking after you and your companions. He'll be relieved to hear that you've arrived safely. I'm afraid he stepped out this morning after breakfast to run a small errand for me, in gratitude for my hospitality. I'm sure he'll return shortly. In the meantime, allow me to see to your needs."

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Well that was weird. I previewed the post and couldn't get Jon's spoiler to open when I clicked on it. Had to place it in its own post.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Jon:
Pliska looks up from her plate, an obvious look of displeasure on her face. You note that her horns don't move when her brow furrows. "I just dragged you across a third of the city to the place you wanted to go. Now you want to run off again? You just got here. You got another handful of clink to offer me?"

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Kalaya:
Your hostess takes the necessary coin from you and gets you set up with food and drink, then leaves to take care of the room arrangements. She returns a few minutes later to top off your tankard.

"Convinced a couple of merchants to share a bed. Here's the key to your room. Top of the stairs, last door on the right at the end of the hall." She hands you the key, eyeing your owl. "Make sure you clean up after the bird, or I'll charge you extra," she says, giving a smile that ends up somewhat crooked thanks to the scar tissue on her face. "If you need anything else, just ask me or my sister, or one of the help. I'm Kess. My sister is Marza." She looks at Kalaya a bit more and the smile vanishes. [b]"Are you all right? You seem a bit more than just tired."

Auric:
Shields are apparently the copper coins. The silvers are called Towers. Gold coins are Drakes. Each named for the designs on them--a coat of arms (possibly that of the city), a three-turreted tower, and a dragon-like creature with two legs, two wings, and a long tail. No one seems to pay for anything here with the ceramic chits, but they apparently have value, as you've seen a few of the wealthier-looking customers trading them to other patrons for coin to use in purchases from the inn.

Stilgar:
The inside of the inn certainly looks and smells like others you've been in, though with a slightly fishy odor you're not used to, possibly from some of the food. It is much larger, with many trestle tables and a rather impressive bar. It isn't very full at the moment, just small knots of people scattered here and there.

A hatchet-faced man, thin but sporting a belly, is speaking with a couple of workers at the bar. He spots your entrance and raises his eyebrows. A broad smile comes across his face and he gives you a welcoming wave.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

I've only named one gun in F4 thus far. Picked up this little pipe pistol that shoots .308 rounds and has its AP cost in VATs reduced by 25%. Which means I can aim and fire up to 10 shots at a time with decent damage. I decided it needed a less clunky name, so I just went with Lulu Belle.

In other news, I'm back on again after a rough week dealing with a partner recovering from oral surgery. She is not a happy camper. I was going to post yesterday when I had a quiet moment, but the page was apparently down. On with the game.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dal Selpher wrote:
I think Roy's reaction makes it pretty clear that his dad's mass-suicide idea is any but reasonable and is, in fact, utterly wrong and terrible.

Actually, it's perfectly reasonable. That's the problem. It is an answer wrought of pure reason, with no empathy for any of the lives involved.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Jon:
You note that Pliska is sitting at the end of a long table, busy stuffing food into her face, a tall stein sitting beside her bowl and plate.

Auric:
She seems young, but there's a hardness to her you're not familiar with in lasses from the Marches. Plus, she's got horns.

"Ye keep lookin' around with what we call the 'yokel stare.' It invites grifters, pickpockets, an' also gets more bugs in yer open maw than most folk like."

She eyes the offered pies a moment, then snatches one up and takes a bite. She chews thoughtfully a moment, then swallows the morsel and answers you.

"This pie plus a pair o' shields. I'll get you there by the quickest route."

Stigar:
Weasel Dodd's busy brows raise as you hand him the coins. He gives a gap-toothed grin and takes them, giving you a bow.

"Most appreciated, m'lord! I'll be happy to extend my service to ya, if'n needs be, should you wish to go anywhere else. Know the city like the back of me hand. Get ye where ye want to go faster 'n a greased quickling."

The Exchange

That first question is a tough one, as I had fun designing all the races. If I had to choose one though, I'd have to go with the hybrid. Humans with animal genes spliced into their DNA, they have a versatility to them that can be a lot of fun. Want an ex-soldier who's part bear, with the ability to take a lot of punishment and keep fighting? Take the tough hybrid race. Need someone more focused on staying unseen and untouched? Perhaps a little cat DNA in the mix? The stealth hybrid is your answer.

The one that most departs from the standard rules would likely be the cyborg. They're the race with the most obvious advantages. You're more machine than human at that point. Lots of resistances. Practically nothing more than a brain and a simplified digestive system in an armored shell. You're essentially a thinking construct.

However, there are the disadvantages. A cyborg body can't simulate tactile sense well. You don't physically feel much. That makes it hard to do things requiring a fine touch. You're reduced to eating what amounts to baby food. Getting caught in an EMP blast will not be a good time.

The Exchange

As am I. If anyone has any questions regarding the setting or mechanics, I'm sure people on the team would be happy to answer them.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Auric:
Hansi gives a smile more reminiscent of last night's demeanor as you take the box from him. "I am most grateful for your assistance. Ceryl's stand is easy enough to find if you know what to look for."

At your request, he sends one of the serving girls to the kitchen, who eturns with a cloth wrapped around a pile of grist, cast off from hand-milling some grain or another. "Will this do?"

As Auric gathers his things, the same serving girl holds out a basket to him before he exits. It smells of baked goods. "Master Mancino said to give you these. On the house." Inside are three freshly baked meat pies.

Exiting the Six with Eight Tails, a voice pipes up to Auric's left.

"New to the city, mister? Need a guide? This tout will getchu where you need to go."

Leaning against the wall of the inn is a short, lean woman with short, dark hair. Her brow is crowned by a pair of small horns. Cradled in one arm is a short staff with a light green scrap of cloth tied to its tip.

Jon:
Madame Mancino nods approvingly. "His name is Ceryl. He's a rug merchant. Finding his tent will be easy enough once you get to the Wharf Market. If you leave now, you should be there before he opens and will surely find him when he arrives to prepare for the day's business." She gives you concise directions to the market, as well as a loaf of bread, a baked turnip, and a wedge of cheese. "You're already going without sleep. Might as well get something to eat on your way."

Stilgar:
"Right off, straightaway, Goodman," he replies. He makes a noise halfway between a groan and a grunt as he heaves himself up off the bench. Then grabs up his staff and leads you out the door.

Weasel Dodd is a verbose man. On your trip you think he might have spoken more words to you than your lost companions did the entire trip across the Marches and the Tindal Sea. He chatters non-stop about whatever crosses his mind, which appears to be whatever is in front of his face at that moment. You get a jumbled picture of the city of Fardusk on your tour, some pieces of which might come in handy later. (Details of the useful info you receive to follow.) Other than having your ears talked off, nothing disturbs you on your walk. Eventually, Weasel brings you to a large two-story building on the edge of the harbor. If this is truly an inn, it's the biggest you've ever seen. The entirety of the Huntsman's Rest, including the yard, could fit in this building. Hanging over the double doors is a large, wooden plaque, with an unusual symbol burned into the wood. Sign of the Six with Eight Tails

"Here we are! That'll be four Shields for my time, if ye please," says Weasel with another gap-toothed grin.

Kalaya:
The woman notes your hesitation as you sift through the handful of coins and ceramic chits. She reaches over and begins pulling coins and laying them on the bar before you, first copper, then silver, then gold, then finally a chit, explaining as she does so.

"Shield, for the coat of arms on one side. Tower, likewise for the image on it. Drake. My sister says its more of a wyvern, but everyone calls 'em drakes. These are used like money. The markings show you what value of coin, and how many the marker can call in. Just about any merchant will take them. Only types I know that don't are low-life crooks who won't risk cashing them, and old stuck-in-the-muds that insist on trading in coin. This one's worth...well.

She quickly picks it up again and returns it to your hand. [b]"Don't be flashing that one around. You could buy yourself a carriage with that, plus the team to pull it around town. Since it's too late to get you a room, you want to rent a box to lock up your things? Probably safer that way." The chit's worth 250 gp. I'll give you a total value for the wealth you're carrying later.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Jon:
Madame Mancino reaches out and pats your arm in a reassuring gesture. "Oh, no! You'll be helping my friend and giving my husband a well-deserved come-uppance. If anything, my husband using your friend in this is an ill turn. A bad joke that could cause hard feelings, possibly toward your friend Auric since he'll be unintentionally delivering the punchline. You get the message there well before he arrives, and Ceryl will have ample warning about what's going on and all will be well."

The Exchange

I'll let Loren know she's got questions to answer. Meanwhile, I'll give you my take.

My favorite monster to write was the nian. It's a new offering taken from the mythology behind the New Year. I grew up with a lot of Chinese traditions and the New Year celebrations always stick out in my mind, so it was fun delving into the tales and legends.

I think I did the most research on the jinmenju. The monster from the Bestiary 4 basically doesn't exist in Chinese mythology. There's a tree with this name with head-like fruits, and the fruits are said to laugh. This sound is unsettling, so in the myths they're always as far from houses as possible. So I came up empty. I looked at how Paizo's writer had engineered the creature, and then looked at ways I could build on that using a bit of flavor from the original myths.

Hands down, the mythic hundun is an absolute terror. Those things are beastly as they were, but with 10 mythic ranks, that thing is a walking TPK.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Jon:
"A pleasure, Jon," she purrs, her eyes running you up and down in a way that might be slightly uncomfortable. "Such a rugged looking fellow, yet so well spoken. Your big, muscular friend...Auric, was it? He's been looking for you. If you'd be so kind as to do me a small favor in the morning, I can arrange for the two of you to reunite."

She reaches into her bodice and produces a folded piece of heavy paper, wrapped in a thin, red ribbon.

"My husband, bothersome little imp that he is, is planning on using your friend Auric to make some mischief. Poor lad doesn't realize it. Hansi is sneaky that way. What I need you to do is go to the Wharf Market to a friend of mine and deliver this letter. I'm afraid you won't get much sleep, as I need it to arrive before Hansi sends your friend out on his delivery. When you're done, you can either wait around and meet Auric when he arrives, or return here and rest. If you do this for me, I'll get you a good room and your first day's stay and meals will be on the house. Do we have an accord?"

Kalaya:
The woman nods. "Four shields for a spot. Straw's fresh. Anyone gets grabby with your things, or you, just give 'em a poke with something sharp, then let me or my sister know in the morning."

Auric:
Sense Motive: Judging by his stance and demeanor after mentioning the delivery, despite an attempt at calmness, Mancino seems tense, possibly angry, and perhaps slightly nervous as well.

"He's a rug merchant by the name of Ceryl. Just tell him Hansi Mancino wishes to pay him what he's owed. No worries about the delivery," he says, going behind the counter and retrieving an item, which he brings over and presents to you. It is a wooden box, about five inches long, three wide, and three deep. The box has seen better days, as much of its veneer has worn away. However, set into the box's lid is a blue-green gem of considerable size and the box hsi held shut with silver wire. "Simply ensure the box remains unopened. Part of its value is that it remains intact. I doubt anyone will accost a an of your size and bearing in broad daylight, so aside from keeping it out of the hands of pickpockets, it's a simple enough task."

Stilgar:
"Call me Weasel," he says around a mouthful of food, before washing it down with a swallow from his mug. "Everyone else does. We can get started whenever you're ready."

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Hey folks,

I'm going on staycation on Wednesday, which means I'm spending the early part of the week trying to get writing projects finished so I don't have to worry about them. Will get posts up late tonight or early tomorrow. I'll try to post on Wednesday, but since I'm starting Fallout 4 on my new computer, I might forget to post...and possibly eat.

The Exchange

MMCJawa wrote:

God the casting of this show is amazing. Still really looking forward to Gillian Anderson as Media

I do wonder though...is there any idea how they are adapting this? is season 1 going to cover all of the first book, or are they going to stretch it out more?

I caught a clip of Neil speaking about this on the panel (it might have been on the Nerdist, can't remember for certain) and he said that the show will stretch beyond the boundaries of the book. He seems excited for this because he'll get to see what happens with the characters when they're not in the narrative of his story, and he'll get to see what happens to Mad Sweeney and Laura outside of what was written in the book.

So it's not a mini-series, which means we'll get more than one season, and get stories about the gods and other characters that weren't included in the book.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Jon:
Your smile sends Pliska's attention quickly elsewhere, as if she's afraid people will see. The big brute steers you in the direction of a door across the room. Before you reach it, you and your escort are intercepted by a stout woman of middling years, squeezed into a bodice that threatens to give up its hold at the next good sneeze. Her red hair, shot through with gray, is piled atop her head. She favors you with a smile from a face that may once have been attractive, before settling a serious gaze on the large man behind you.

"Reef, you must be tired. You have my permission to retire for the morning. I'll make accommodations for our guest."

The huge man's bristling eyebrows meet as his brow furrows.

"But the Master said to--"

"I'm well aware of what the Master said, Reef. Am I not Mistress of this house?"

"Yes, Mistress."

"Then do as I say. I'll tell Hansi you were most helpful. Now go on. Off with you."

"Yes, Mistress," replies Reef, hunching his expansive shoulders in what might be a bow, then turning and striding off. The woman gives an exasperated sigh and the smile returns as she regards you.

"Well, hello there. I'm Vitkoria Mancino. My husband, Hansi, and I run this establishment. You must be one of the companions of that strapping young fellow Hansi found wandering around downstairs."

Stilgar:
The older fellow swallows another bite of his pancakes and smiles a gap-toothed grin. "No worries there, sirrah. Been to the Six plenty of times. Bit of a hike, but I can get you there before lunch. No worries about getting piked on the street. We'll run the Merchant's District. Worst thing to worry about there are pickpockets, and they'll steer clear of you so long as you're with me," he says, picking up a walking stick that leans on the wall, giving it a shake to emphasize a pair of scarves, red and yellow, tied to the top of it like makeshift pennants.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Kalaya:
The woman nods. "Rooms are full-up, unless you can convince another patron to share. Still have space in the common room."

Jon:
Pliska stops at Jon's compliment. She gazes at him a moment, face inscrutable, then seems to change her mind and enters the Six rather than leaving, moving to the bar. The serving woman escorts Jon inside. The place is large, but only about a quarter full at this late hour. Most people still awake are clustered in small groups about the place, either drinking quietly or having hushed discussions. Jon doesn't see any of his companions among those in residence.

At this point, Jon can't decide whether he's more tired or hungry. However, as he makes his way in following the serving woman, a large, heavy hand falls on his shoulder. Turning, he looks up into the square-jawed face of an enormous man. Lank, black hair frames a dark-eyed face with an unpleasant jaundiced color. The hand not resting on Jon's shoulder carries a large billet of wood with three long nails driven through it.

"You. Master sent me to find you. Come. Now." says the great brute.

Auric:
Hansi's eyes light up at your words, and a smile touches his lips. "Well, Master Auric, I am a man of means in this city. My inn is a hub of commerce and many people come within its walls to do business, just as many if not more than those simply seeking a drink, a meal, and a warm bed. I try to accommodate them as best I can, but I am only one man. My staff is often inadequate. Not their fault. They are merely common folk, not used to dealing with things of a complex or unusual nature." He pauses to sip from his cup before continuing.

"If you decide to head to the Wharf Market, there is a small service you could do for me. I would happily forgo payment for last night's meal and room in exchange. I have agreed to deliver an item of importance to a merchant in the Wharf Market. However, I'm short on help--some sort of nasty ague going around and some people are too sick to work--and I cannot leave myself, too much to do. Perhaps you can deliver this thing for me?"

The Exchange

In Flashpoint Paradox it is specifically mentioned that the ripples from Barry's decision to save his mom went in both directions. Hence the Thomas Wayne Batman, as that event happened prior to the death of Nora Allen. So the possibility is there to mess with all sorts of things. That said, I hope they don't go too crazy. I'd like the storyline to be somewhat coherent.

I'm just hoping to see Citizen Freeze.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Kalaya:
Behind the bar are two women, bronze-skinned with short-cropped black hair, shot through with gray. They are identical in appearance, save that one has the shiny scar tissue left by burns on the left side of her face. The other appears to have a withered right arm, swathed in cloth and gloved, and folded against her stomach. As Kalaya waits, the one with the burned face strides up and looks her over with eyes the color of steel.

"Out late. Not the best neighborhood to be walking in the dark. What do you need?"

Stilgar:
Jess listens as you describe your companions and stows the letters behind the bar. "Bowl o' oats comes with the price of the room. Anything else will be extra. Weasel! This dwarf needs your services!"

The old man looks up at his name, giving you a gap-toothed grin and waving you over to the table while piling another forkful of cakes into his mouth.

Auric:
The master of the house looks a bit bleary-eyed, and for once has no words, simply giving you a welcoming nod over a clay mug of some steaming liquid he grips in one hand. There's a smell, not altogether unpleasant, coming from it that you don't recognize. He takes a long sip and sighs before answering.

"Good morn, Master Auric. I'm afraid Reef had no luck finding your friends on the premises last night. The Wharf Markets might be the place to look. Lots of people off the ships from the docks, and plenty of new blood in town set up shop to sell wares or services there. Keep a hand on your purse while you're there. Plenty of sticky fingers in the lanes of the Wharf Market."

Jon:
Pliska stares at Jon in the manner seen when listening to someone speaking in a foreign language. She makes a strange hand gesture over her heart, then turns and continues on out of the square.

"C'mon then. Let's get you where yer goin'. Just be ready with those killer plants o' yers. Night's even more dangerous the further East in the city we go."

Despite her warning, you encounter no other trouble in your journey, though you see many a strange sight on the walk. The night streets seem to teem with things that would send the folk of the Marches screaming into the nearest dwarven fastness for protection. Small bands of goblins roam the streets. You see a looming shape easily half again as tall as you lurking in the shadows of an alley over a brazier. Pliska stops a moment to talk to two small, scaly creatures you recognize as kobolds before moving on.

Eventually, as the sky begins to lighten perceptibly, you stop in front of a large building, mostly constructed of stone, weathered and spotted with lichens, sitting at the edge of a large wharf. A large wooden sign hangs above the door, bearing a strange glyph burned into the wood. Sign of the Six with Eight Tails

Pliska raps on the door with her staff repeatedly until a bleary-eyed looking woman answers. Your guide gives her a nod, then turns to you.

"All set and delivered. I'll be on my way."

The serving woman explains that there are no rooms ready, but you can grab a spot to sleep in the common room.

The Exchange

Thank you both for the reviews. I'm glad people are enjoying the book.

The Exchange

The Legendary Assassin is still a 10 level prestige class, but I've opened it up so its a viable option for just about any class. Also, no alignment restrictions.

My favorite thing would be the inclusion of assassin talents that allow you to customize your character to the style of killing that best suits your style of play.

Also, the Assassin's Avatar feat, which allows an assassin with summoner levels to transfer her assassin abilities to her eidolon while sharing senses, for a number of rounds equal to her assassin class level.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Spoiler:
Kalaya moves away from the alley and towards the door. As she swings open the heavy wooden portal a bell rings. The noise inside dims as those inside turn towards its opening. Two large, brutish looking men sitting on stools to either side of the door are half out of their chairs before you step through the doorway. They give you a head-to-toe glance, then settle back on their stools, each cradling the club he carries back in his lap. One gives you a nod and cocks his head towards the bar. The chatter in the room goes back to its previous volume.

Jon:
"I ain't got you to the Six just yet, so I ain't done what you asked o' me," she replies. "If I'm lucky, Grint will take some clink an' not look at me crosswise. Otherwise, he'll take it out on me next time our paths cross. Meanwhile, you get to do whatever your business is an' go on back up to the Heights, lookin' down on us gutterfolk like usual, without a care for the likes o' him." You note that despite her argument, her hand moves back to the satchel with teh handful of coin and chits.

Stilgar:
"Ah, that'd be why Weasel Dodd turned up so early," Jess says, nodding towards a wiry, white-haired human male who is busy working his way through a stack of pancakes as tall as his head. "He's a tout. Creed likely sent word there was work. He knows the city well. He'll get ye where you need to go. You give me names and faces, and I can get these letter to yer friends if they happen in. Will you be wantin' to break yer fast?"

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Kalaya:
The orbs move down, illuminated the alley until it meets the corner of a third building about 40 feet away, forking in two. Rats and other vermin scatter as the light falls upon them. She can now clearly see a stone cap, pierced with holes, sitting upon some type of entrance into the ground. A trickle of gray-green water, or what she hopes is water, drains out of one side of the alley to the cap and she can hear it trickle through one of the pierced holes into the empty space below. Drag lines in the muck of the alley show that the stone plug was removed, then dragged back into place. She sees nothing else lurking amid the trash.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Kalaya:
The lights reveal a narrow alley, made nearly impassable by piles of refuse mounded against the walls to either side. In a clear spot lies a short, thin man of middle years. You would almost think him asleep, until you see a halo of dark wetness around his head. Sitting to one side is a strange, fuzzy dome. Kalaya isn't certain what it is at first, until she gets close enough to see that the top of the man's head has been removed, set beside him, and the contents removed.

As your lights float further along there's a flurry of motion further back in the shadows, and the sound of stone scraping on stone, followed by a loud thud.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Jon:
"Aye, right. I got a crazy nan says her plants unnerstan' her when she talks nice to 'em, an' that's why they grow so good. She can't make vines sprout outta bare ground and strangle the life outta her enemies. Yer a bleedin' wizard."

She fumbles a hand into her bag, scrabbling up a handful of coins and ceramic chits, thrusting them at you like they were some sort of warding talisman.

"Here. Take back yer clink. I'll give ye directions to where yer wantin' ta go, but I won't be bound in any deals wit' ye."

Stilgar:
"I'm Jess. Creed's my husband. He's still sleepin' off the rounds he had with the boys after we closed. I can help ye if you're needing anything."

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For the sake of enlightenment, I'd like to mention that a proctor is also defined as "an official charged with various duties, especially with the maintenance of good order."

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Kalaya:
As Kalaya gets closer to the tavern her lights shine part way down the alleyway, revealing the soles of a pair of boots, then the legs they are attached to, as she can see a figure lying on its back amid the refuse.

Jon:
Jon and his guide make their way through the square to a street emptying out from it on the far side. He dismisses the spell and hears retreating feet and more cursing fading into the night. When he turns back to Pliska, she gazes at him with a mixture of anger and fear.

"Mitra's t!#s! You didn't say you were a wizard! What's the game then, hiring a tout like me when you could just fly your way wherever yer goin'?"

Auric:
Auric makes his way through the common room towards the stairs, seeing nothing untoward except for the Madame Mancino eyeing him like he would a roast chicken at suppertime. He feels a bit relieved once he is up in the room with the door locked behind him.

The room itself is nothing spectacular. The small, narrow window provides a view of the harbor, as well as an avenue for its fishy stink to enter the room. The straw mattress is lumpy and smells a bit moldy. The blankets are rough and scratchy. Once the small lamp on the bedside table is extinguished, the scratch and scrabble of mice on the floor can be heard.

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Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Stilgar:
You get your letters written and then lie down in bed, once you get used to not rocking and rolling with the motion of water any longer, you drift off to sleep. The sounds of the inn awaken you the following day. By the time you dress and head downstairs, it is relatively quiet, with only a couple of patrons in the common room. A woman stands behind the bar where Creed was stationed last night, polishing the bar top to a nice sheen.

Auric:
You attract no attention from the yellow-robed figures, who seem intent on heading to the back rooms. You do get some casual questions and conversation from the fellows at your table, who are apparently workers from the docks and nearby warehouses. They're friendly enough, but their accent and some of the local slang keep you from following some of the conversation. The meal is filling, if not delicious. The sausages are hot and greasy and the stew is a bit salty but palatable. The ale is more hoppy than you're used to, but not bad.

Hansi Mancino returns to the common room after a time, and spends much of his time moving about the place, speaking with this or that person, patting shoulders and shaking hands. He is rarely without a drink in his hand. His wife spends much of her time scowling at him when she isn't chatting up large, strapping male customers. Eventually, as the night wears on, the tables clear. Some leaving in groups, others bedding down for the night in the common room, a few heading upstairs, presumably to private rooms. When the serving girl comes to clear the table, she hands you a key and gives you directions to an upstairs room, mentioning that "Master Mancino wishes you a good night's rest. Says to tell you Reef hasn't found your friends, but the Master will speak with you in the morning, first thing."

Jon:
Snarling, Grint says "Off wit' ye then! Let my dogs outta yer witch vines!"

The Exchange

In the Global Bestiary Index, the underworld dragons are listed as "Dragon, Imperial Underground."

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Jon:
You cast your spell and catch three of the toughs on the left side of the semicircle, who cry out in pain as they are wrapped in the growing vegetation. Grint manages to jump clear as thorny vines erupt beneath his feet, but is caught in the area of wild growth. The other three draw daggers, but back away rather than rushing forward. Pliska seems surprised, watching things play out with a wide-eyed fascination. Grint curses and raves, spouting threats, but pushes backwards away from the two of you rather than forward. Following his lead, the three free toughs likewise back away, skirting the area of your spell.

Kalaya:
You notice nothing over the inviting sounds and light from the tavern, but Whisperwing puffs up on your shoulder, feathers ruffling, head swiveled toward a dark alley across the road from the inn, where the yellow light of the lamps does not reach. Talons grip more tightly on your shoulder as you share your familiar's sense of warning and danger.

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Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Kalaya:
The guards nod as you pass through, the snik of the bolt after the gate closes gives a sense of finality your passage. Beyond the gate, the city looks different. Here the buildings rise high, often leaning out into the street and choking off the moonlight. There is more trash in the streets, and also more sound. Those here do not fear the night as much, or perhaps you hear the ones that you were told to fear.

The Charred Barrel is found easily enough. A large building on the left side of the street sports an iron brace on the wall. Hanging from it by chains attached to its top and bottom is a large barrel. The side of the barrel nearest the ground is blackened, as if exposed to a large fire, then rescued before completely burning. The familiar sounds of a tavern full of people come from beyond its closed door. Perception check.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Jon:
It's an open market square, with mostly frameworks for cloth vendor's stalls standing around. There is a rather scraggly looking tree growing in a walled off area. Two of Grint's "dogs" are standing in front of it.

Moonlight catches Grint's teeth as he gives a smile that's more of a snarl. "Got us a big man don't know how to hold his tongue. Might maybe we'll hold it for ya. Tell you what, Pliska. You give us your ferry to play with, an' you walk on out. No toll. We'll have him." At this the other six men begin fingering visible dagger hilts, or moving hands beneath cloaks, probably to weapons unseen.

Pliska shoots a glance at you, scowling. She spits on the cobbles. "Got a rep to keep, Grint. If'n I drop my ferries, ain't no job as a tout for me."

"S'fine, girl. I got work you can do for better clink, won't have you roughin' up yer feet stompin' the cobbles like. Savvy? Easy work on your back, eh?"

Stilgar:
At the sight of the coins, the boy's eyes widen and his face breaks out in a huge grin. "Thankee, sir! You need anythin' else, just call for me. Name's Boyce."

Auric:
Given their similarity of dress, you first mistake them for perhaps some type of guardsmen, but you see no obvious weapons on them. However, the reaction of those that notice them makes you recall when dwarven soldiers come into human inns and taverns in the Marches. People try very hard not to be noticed. Whoever these four are, they make people nervous with their presence.

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Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Auric:
"Please, call me Hansi. I'll send a girl over. Relax for a time. I'll be by to speak with you later." His attention is drawn to a group coming in the door. Four figures in mustard-yellow hooded cloaks walk in. The innkeeper notices their arrival and excuses himself. He greets the group and escorts them back to the door through which you entered the common room. Sense Motive check.

Stilgar:
The boy gives you a blank look. "This is Fardusk," he says simply. He lingers a moment, looking at you, then turns to leave with a slight sigh.

Kalaya:
The female guard's look softens slightly. "I recommend entering the doorway of the first one you see after you pass through the gate," she replies.

"The Charred Barrel is just down Tradesman's Way," adds the other guard. "They should have space, at least in the common room." He unbars the gate (which you note bars this side of the city from the other) and moves to open it.

Jon:
The man looks at Jon with a bit of surprise, almost as if he'd forgotten you were there. Then he grins again. "He can't see you, my dogs. Let 'em hear you." At that, the circle of men begin a raucous chorus of howls and barks.

Pliska's grip on her staff tightens, but her voice loses its edge, taking on a persuasive tone. "Go easy, Grint. Ferry's pay on delivery. Let me get gone, I'll double back right quick with some clink once job's done, eh? Or I can make a stop and bring a skin fer you an' the boys, what hey?"

The man she called Grint stands quiet a moment, staring at her. "Seem pretty clutchy with that bag fer one wit' no clink, girl. Might be yer givin' a gamon ta leave my boys hungry. Bad play. Toss over some clink, or I let 'em off leash to root around for what they can take."

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Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Stilgar:
Creed takes your coins, taking a moment to look them over, before biting one and accepting them. He hands you over the key and gives you directions. The room itself is small, with barely enough room for the cot and its straw-ticked mattress, and a small table bearing a pitcher of water, a bowl, and a candlestick. A small, shuttered window sits on the wall above the head of the cot, opposite the door. A young boy arrives a while later with a bottle of ink, pen, and several sheets of paper.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Kalaya:
The two guards stand staring at you for a moment, then one, a rather square-faced woman with short-cropped hair, lets out a barking laugh. "I'll say you did! You're near halfway across the city in the wrong direction!" Her face loses its humor as she considers this. "How'd you get halfway across town without thinking about it? Not to mention into the Red Eaves. Not exactly the part of town for folks that frequent the Six..."

Meanwhile, her partner, a long-faced fellow with a scraggly beard, eyes you as well. "Hey, Marta, she looks like one of them...what do you call 'em? Soothsayers! Yeah, that's it. Even got an owl. They say them birds is a sign of wisdom." His fellow guard seems unimpressed.

"Whatever she is, she's no business in this part of town. We'll let you through the gate to the Merchant's District, but you'd best find yourself a place to kip until the night's over. There's a lot of ground to cover to get where you want to go, and some of it you don't want to be crossing in the night, trust me."

Auric:
Reef stares down at you, unblinking, from wide-set, hooded black eyes as you describe your companions. He stands quietly for a long second before giving a single nod, then striding off towards the door you used to enter the common room.

"No worries there. Reef is a vigilant fellow," says Master Mancino. "If your friends are about, he'll collect them soon enough. In the meantime, let's find you a table and see about getting you fed. I'll start a tab for you and we can settle up in the morning once you've had time to rest. What will you have to drink with your meal?" He sits you at the end of a bench on a long trestle table with several other individuals, many of whom he knows by name. The innkeeper makes introductions, but it's hard to keep the names straight. Most are dressed similarly to the sailors aboard the Flounder while others strike you as laborers. A large window has its shutters open to the night, allowing a bit of coolness in the hot and crowded room. You can look out at a large wooden sign that hangs over the front door of the place, seeing that it bears nothing more than a strange figure that's been burned into the wood. Sign of the Six with Eight Tails

Jon:
You follow Pliska as she moves down the street, then turns off onto another. Then through an alley, across a square, and down another street. She keeps a lively pace. After a while you note the position of the moon and figure you've been walking now for near half an hour, probably more. She avoids people on the street, though for the most part she keeps to lit areas except when cutting through the occasional alley, though all of them are wide and open to the sky.

You reach a small postern gate in a wall that cuts off this section of the city from another. Pliska moves up and exchanges quiet words with two bored looking guards at the gate. She reaches into her bag and hands one of them something, possibly coins, and they open the gate allowing the two of you to pass through. The gate shuts behind you and there is the pronounced snik of a bolt being drawn as you continue on your way. A few minutes later you pass through another square. As you do, there's a sharp whistle that stops Pliska dead in her tracks. You see figures move out of the eaves of a nearby building.

"Oy, Pliska! Watcha got 'ere den? Bit o' warm fer de bed den?" The speaker, a humanoid figure in a hooded cloak, chuckles. The six other figures with him echo his laughter.

"Ferry," replies Pliska shortly, shaking her staff so the blue rag tied atop it shakes. "Bit o' hurry. No time to jaw," she says, making to move around the group, but the figure steps into her path.

"Toll," he says, holding an open palm and pointing into it with his index finger.

"Sod off! I'm under flag," she replies, shaking the staff again.

"Not my flag, morsel. Not your flag's cobbles, neither. Toll," he says again. "Hard or soft, your choice, but me n' the dogs are hungry." More laughs from the others, who have moved into a half circle in your path, but the humor does not seem to reach Pliska, or your ears, for that matter.

Stilgar:
"Right enough. Got a private room upstairs. I can send up the paper and such," says Creed, producing a key. "That'll come to four Drakes."

The Exchange

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Quatloos.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Stilgar:
The barrel-chested fellow mops at his bald head with a rag, raising bushy brows at your statement. "Why, this here is the Brazen Bull. Finest tavern and inn in the Trade District. No riff-raff allowed in here, only honest, upright folk. If'n you've lost your way, I'm sure I can help set you straight. Get you a guide at first light to lead you where you need to go. As for your friends, if they wander in here, you could always leave a message for them, and for the right price I'll see it delivered."

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Damn it. That second Jon spoiler is for Auric. This next one is actually for Jon.

Jon:
She watches you dump the coins and assorted chits into her bag, stands there a moment, just staring at you, then blinks slowly and smiles, shaking her head.

"All right then, Jon. If that's where you want to go, we'll get you there. It's a bit of hike from here, but at least it's all downhill. Just stick by me." She settles her bag, grabs up a staff leaning against the wall that has a blue scarf tied to one end, and begins to stride off, using the staff as a walking stick. She doesn't look back to see if you're following.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Stilgar:
5 pieces of copper later, and you have your ale. It's not bad, a little hoppy for your tastes, but it helps settle your nerves. When you ask the server about a guide, she frowns. "Most people get a guide at the docks when they disembark, or after coming in one of the gates. Have you been wandering around lost since you got here? It's a wonder you haven't been robbed. If you'd walked into the Shades after dark... Well, not my business. Check with Creed. He's the big, bald fella at the bar. He might know someone. You'll be wanting a room, or a spot on the floor. He can help you with that too."

Jon:
The figure steps out into the light. She's lean. Short, but wiry. A small pair of horns crowns her brow, above eyes that seem fixed on the pile of coins and chits in your hands.

"Aye, I'll do it. You'll need to tell me where it is you want to go. I'm a tout, not a mind-reader. Though if that's what you need, I can take you to one."

She takes hold of the bag slung over one shoulder and opens it. "Just go ahead and put those in here and we'll be on our way. You'll have my services until the sun comes up, should you need them that long. Name's Pliska," she says, smiling to reveal rather long, pronounced canines.

Kalaya:
Whisperwing glides down off the rooftop and settles on your shoulder. You note a light in one of the other windows on the second floor of the house you just left, indicating it is not completely empty. The street, however, is at the moment, though you can hear noises from further off--the echo of hooves, a shout, faint singing--coming from various directions. This appears to be an area of residences, as there are many houses similar to the one you just left, all large and fairly fine, though they look a bit old.

You wander down the street for several minutes, meeting several cross streets that cut through the lane you're on. The street continues to weave downhill, until it reaches a wall. The wall stands some 12 feet high, with crenels along the top. Another street parallels the wall. There is a gate here where the street you followed ends. Two guards, both human, stand leaning against the wall, passing a wineskin between them.

Jon:
At your words, Master Mancino's smile grows even larger, and he moves close, patting your back. "Ah! A juicy story! Don't fret, I'll keep your confidences, and call me Hansi. I am familiar with Captain Wilde. Quite the character. Now, Darendahl was a wealthy man, and paid well to have that room and his magic circle kept quiet and private. However, it has been locked up since the Captain last left port, and only he and I have keys to that door. So if your friends arrived, they either had the Captain's key, and locked up after they left, or they haven't been here. However, I shall do my very best to assist you."

As you pass through the rather crowded common room, patrons shout the innkeepers name. He favors them with a smile, a few words, and the occasional handshake. At one point a rather stout woman, squeezed into a dress that has much of her pushed out the top of it, red hair shot through with streaks of gray piled in a mighty tower atop her head, moves into your path. Hansi Mancino has no smile for her. She, however, bares her teeth as she eyes you up and down, much as if you were a hot meal just brought to the table. "My...who is your new friend, Hansi?"

The innkeeper rolls his eyes. "A traveler in need, and I am attempting to set things to rights so he can enjoy the rest of his evening. Once things are sorted, I'm sure you'll find the time to make his acquaintance," he says, steering you around the woman and towards a door. "My wife, the Madame Mancino."

You reach the double doors and not an immense figure in the shadows of an alcove nearby. At first, you think it standing, but then it rises and steps forward. The fellow must be seven feet tall, with the broad build of a dwarf. His skin is appears jaundiced, and his square-jawed face is broad and flat, with black eyes framed by lank, black hair. The innkeeper addresses the hulking brute.

"Reef, I need you to search the lower halls. We may have lost guests. This man will describe them to you. If you see anyone that matches his descriptions, bring them to me. Be polite. They are guests."

The giant fellow nods, then reaches back into the alcove and retrieves a club, a stout, squarish thing with three iron nails driven through one side of it. He tucks the weapon into a loop on his belt and strides away, the crowd of people parting for him as he crosses the room.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Kalaya:
Kalaya transforms and heads out the window after Whisperwing. She finds the owl perched atop a wrought iron piece affixed to the roof of the building she just exited. It appears to be a house, though it is the largest house she's ever seen, made of stone and timber with a walled garden behind it.

By the light of the half-moon in the clear sky above, the stunning view is another sight the witch has never seen. Buildings, as far as the eye can see, with hardly a stretch of open space anywhere other than the roads that meander between the structures. Lights are everywhere, from lamps on posts lining the streets to the twinkle and glow from windows and doorways from what must be thousands of buildings.

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Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Jon:
Well, if he'd gathered up the coins that I mentioned were scattered on the ground where he showed up after the teleport, he might... ;-)

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Moya, Talyn, and the Heart of Gold.

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Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Stilgar:
You walk down the side of the building and turn the corner, finally seeing a set of double doors. Hanging above them is a rather ornate sign done in brass of a rampaging bull. As you reach the doors you notice a wooden sign hung on a nail stuck in the right door that says "NO DEMONBLOODED BASTARDS ALLOWED."

The doors open onto a large common room that must hold 120 people, possibly more. The crowd is not boisterous, but there is a bit of a din as they all talk whilst eating and drinking. There's a clatter of plates and mugs as servers move about delivering orders or cleaning tables. A form looms to your right, leaning against the wall as you walk in. It bears distinctive orcish features, but is too short to be full-blooded. The creature gives you a once-over with its bloodshot eyes, then a nod, then ignores you as it moves its attention back over the crowd.

Kalaya:
Whisperwing gives a low hoot of agreement, then sidles through the window and takes flight, moving up and to the left of the window, quickly disappearing from sight.

Jon:
Jon quickly finds that most of the people on the street are extraordinarily rude. Most don't even deign to speak to him. Others give non-committal answers or nonsensical grunts and keep walking. Many blocks later and no closer to finding your goal, a sharp whistle draws your attention. A form, lean but short, stands with its back against the wall of a nearby building, legs crossed in front of it, arms folded across its chest. A low but feminine voice calls out to Jon. "You lost there? Need a guide? If you've got the coin, I can getchu where you need ta go."

Auric:
Mancino nods knowingly. "Of course, of course. Only the finest for my guests. I'll put word with the help to keep an eye and ear out for your friends or any messages from them. Just follow me, please," he says, taking the time to lock the door before leading you away. At the request for news, his eyes sparkle and he smiles.

"Ah, you're speaking to the right man, of course. Many bend my ear when they come to the Six with Eight Tails, and I've a mind for gossip like a steel trap! I can get you caught up on current events sure enough. Of course, a fair bit of exchange will be in order. I'd certainly like to hear how the dear Captain met his demise...so I can properly inform friends and acquaintances, of course. No point in letting his long absence formulate any wild rumors."

What he said about losing your way is true, as there appear to be many corridors here, and doors, and no real way to tell direction. Occasionally the corridors meet in small rooms, each with a circular hole in the floor filled with water. Eventually you make your way to a stairway up, and can hear the sounds of talk, laughter, and singing.

The Exchange

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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

More casting news...

Sean Harris as Mad Sweeney

Harris has apparently stepped down for personal/family reasons; Pablo Schreiber is now cast to play Mad Sweeney.

And the new goddess, Media, will be played by... Gillian Anderson. (Yay!)

Huzzah for Gillian Anderson, but this is the only face that comes to mind when I imagine Mad Sweeney.

The Exchange

Male Human(ish) Level 4 RPG Monkey

Kalaya:
You gather up a total of 36 cp and 21 sp, as well as 32 of the ceramic chits. You also find a tightly rolled piece of parchment, a bit waterstained and rumpled, but with a ribbon and wax seal still holding it shut. After collecting the fallen goods, you move to the door and try it, finding it locked.

Jon:
You step out of an alley and move toward a man wearing laborer's clothing making his way along the street. He tenses visibly at your approach, a hand reflexively reaching toward a stout cudgel worn on his belt, then relaxing slightly as you ask your directions.

"'At's a funny name fer a place. Can't say as I's heard o' it. Lookin' fer a room? The Oxen's Stable down the road a piece might still have--" He trails off momentarily looking you over quickly. "--some spots inna common room left. Or are you lookin' fer a job? 'Cause my cousin has a foreman's job over at a warehouse inna Merchant's Quarter could use another back haulin' goods ta get to the docks afore the mornin' tide. Pay's decent."

Auric:
You collect a total of 31 cp, 22 sp, 1 gp, and a bronze key. There are also 21 of the ceramic chits.

The man beams at being recognized and complimented and offers you an exaggerated bow. "I am he. Friend of the common person, and the not so common, as such is my lot to rub elbows with all stations of life. This is indeed the Six with Eight Tails, of which I am proprietor, though you're in a bit of a back corner. I have many private rooms on the lower floor like this one. The Captain pays to keep this one private all the time, so I accommodate him. And I can certainly understand your misgivings. I certainly wouldn't want to travel in such a manner. I trust my own two feet, or a wagon if it's to be a long journey, though I hardly have the time."

"This is the first I've had any visitors through this room in some time. Only reason I found you at all was that I'd just escorted a party to another private room and was returning when I heard you. Though I suppose it's possible. The Captain did have a key to the door, and if it was given to another of them they could have used it. We'll check once we get back to the common room. I can get you a bowl of stew. Fresh sausage, just cased this morning! Discount on account of your hazardous journey and in memory of the lost Captain Derendahl. Just follow me. The halls wind a bit and you could lose your way otherwise."

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