Just giving a quick check in. While this semester is kicking my hind-parts and has forced me to take a step back from PbP, I've still got my eye open on this game. I'll be checking back in every once in a while.
At the edge of the dune sea, midmorning, 24 Desnus, 4711:
"By the Golden Fist of Abadar!"
Theodric's eyes grow wide as he notices the large cloud of oblivion flying in their direction. Although inexperienced in the desert, awkward silences in the face of impending doom spell disaster in more than just one context. He tries to stay composed as he turns his camel to follow Ali.
"Zaphira, this isn't just about me anymore! Run!"
Surprisingly enough, Zaphira seems to react well to the situation, with some level of natural instinct combined with a broken will guiding her actions.
The clanging of pots, cups, and other objects hanging down from the side of Zaphira are now making quite the ruckus. Theodric pulls the turban out from the breast of his robe and slowly ties it around his face.
In the shadow of a watchtower, Dawn, 24 Desnus 4711:
"Yes Felliped, I think last night taught me a few valuable lessons that I shall not soon forget. Is it true that there are creatures here that can grant wishes?? I read it in a book once, but I've never quite understood how it works. Ah, tea is ready if you would like some."
By the time Felliped stands up and stretches, Theodric is up and about. His bag is packed and a small fire is burning with boiling water atop. He seems to have a strange air of seriousness about him, getting an earlier start than he usually does.
"As soon as the two of you are set, I'm ready to go."
In the Shadow of a Watchtower, night, 23 Desnus, 4711:
Theodric continues to stare for a few more moments. He puts his head in his hands as his vision becomes a bit blurry from the swelling water in his eyes. A tear escapes from on each end, dripping off his eyelashes as he closes them, letting out another deep breath.
"I have never been so vulnerable. I had adventure in mind, but I'm not sure I'm really cut out for this kind of work , but do I even have a choice? I had plenty of time to come up with ideas... and this was the best I came up with?
"Abadar... I need thy guidance. As the patron of the weary traveler, lend me thy aid in this journey and I shall show my worth to thy cause. Why is the instruction to thy humble interpreter?"
After a small prayer in his thoughts with his head still hung low, Theodric mutters out loud:
"Renown... I can only pray that it be the kind i'm looking for. Listen, I'm going to perform a small rite. It's more a small reading from a book, I shouldn't be long if you all don't mind."
Theodric will pull a fairly worn copy of "The Order of Numbers" from his pack, and begin reading. Without even looking at page number, he opens the book quickly, in what seems to be a mindless but very deliberate fashion. The book has obviously seen better days, and is likely the most ragged possession which Theodric is seen to posses. After a few minutes and a few mouthed words, Theodric crawls up in his bedroll and curls up tightly, falling asleep quickly.
In the Shadow of a Watchtower, Night, 23 Desnus, 4711:
"It is a pleasure to know your name, and to make your acquaintance Pazhvann. Truth be told, I suspect one day tales of your song will be told in my homeland. You see, where I am from, a name carries more value than a tool identification, it is the bridge of peace between being a stranger, and being a friend. You are correct in your presumption, I am a man who seeks learning, understanding, and most importantly enjoyment along the way. The desert is something I have learned about in books, heard about from first hand stories, and seen in art, but never experienced for myself until now. I am a native of Taldor, but do not let my origin fool you. I am not the Taldan who harbors and grudge or hatred for this land or her people, rather, I am fascinated by her rich culture and history. What I seek is simple, yet requires a long description, so I will try to be concise. I seek to turn around the fate of my corrupted homeland. This is quite the daunting task if you are familiar with the history of Taldor. This is why I take things one step at a time. This first step is simply to build a positive reputation for myself, and I hope to accomplish this with my companion Felliped. We are on an Archaeological mission, though I admit I cannot quite explain the details of this with as much eloquence as Felliped could, and so I would defer to him for more details. Ali is our guide on our current quest, and has proven to be worth every bit of his fee and more. His entertainment value and intimate knowledge of the region has allowed us to rest easy thus far. So no, this robe is simply an attempt at embracing the culture, but not indicative of where I come from."
Diplomacy (Improve relation) DC 10+Cha (assuming friendly): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20
Theodric's communication is on point, speaking very respectfully (in his own way), attempting to acknowledge his ignorance for the region, while being sensitive to the bitter history between the two nations. As he finishes speaking, he notices the strange sparkle in the mans eyes. This was more than a reflection, and his clothing did not seem right.
"I am right about this man, he is more than he appears to be, but I must level-headed in my approach."
"Pazhvann, I must admit to you that I am a man who looks further into everything, perhaps even to a fault. Alas, it is my profession. In spending this short time enjoying this fire and the tales of Ali and yourself, I sense that there is more to you than meets the eye. Let me clarify, I do not feel threatened by your presence nor by your kind demeanor, rather I am interested in knowing more about you. What can you share with us about where you are from, or perhaps your intention with us here tonight, as I sense the patron of travels has had a hand in our meeting this evening. Please do not feel obliged just to satiate my curiosity. You entered our presence as a welcome stranger, and you shall remain welcome at our fire regardless."
A bit frightened by his own assertion and curiosity, Felliped purposely looks the man in the eyes, emitting the most sincere of intentions he possibly could so as to not spoil the evening. The moment of silence between his speech and that of the unexpected guess seemed to last a lifetime for Theodric. A million thoughts and emotions racing through his mind and heart all at once.
A few small edits here and there to clarify and clean up. Please reread if this ooc text is new.
In the Shadow of a Watchtower, Night, 23 Desnus, 4711:
As the conversation between Ali and the mysterious traveler continue, Theodric becomes a bit bored and leans back.
"Such customs, such conversation, such pleasantries among companions around a campfire... these are not my people. I'd better just spare them one of my stories... though perhaps the man would be interested in a riddle."
As the mysterious man unsheathes his tambur, Theodric leans back just a bit further and rolls his eyes so as to ensure that the white's of his eyes are unseen. He takes in a deep breath, and breaths out slowly, and then sits up straight in his chair to show some respect for the man's talent.
As the music begins to play, the foreign sounds captivate Theodric. The structured dissonance penetrates into his mind as he closes his eyes. Each note and chord, splitting up and restructuring in Theodrics head like a puzzle with pieces he was unfamiliar with. Before recognizing it, Theodric was completely lost in the sound of the music, completely mesmerized by the tune of the tambur.
A few moments after the man stops speaking, Theodric realizes that the song has ended, and gives a slow, quiet clap, as if slowly coming out of a state of trance.
"A rare tune indeed. You are a man of many talents and surprises. Do you have a name, traveler? We have shared ours with you, but I do not believe you have shared yours with us."
Theodric will remain quite until the man answers, or someone interrupts.
"There is so much more about this man that we do not know, and we would all be wise to keep an eye open at all times around him... not just me. There are two sides to every coin, and there are two sides to every story. Was this man a musician in a roayl court? What does he want? How could a man of his caliber stumble upon a meeting like this in such a random fashion."
Although running a million thoughts through his mind at once, Theodric keeps a very calm and humble look on his face as he awaits an answer.
In the Shadow of a Watchtower, Night, 23 Desnus, 4711:
Theodric is immediately shaken by the unexpected visitor, and stands up so fast he almost snaps his kneecaps.
"WOAH! Hello traveler, what an unexpected visit."
Theodric is a bit surprised by the almost instantaneous revealing of their identities, but quickly recovers. After the man shares his story, Theodric is already on the edge of his seat, but still feeling uneasy.
"Ahem. Man, you are a story teller among story tellers. Such fine ability is not surely learned by one master, nor by the light one fire. I would that the fortune and guidance of Abadar be upon you in your travels. If I may ask, what brings you back to this area?"
Theodric pays close attention to the man's face, gestures, body language, and tone as he speaks.
"I'm still a stranger to such travel, but this kind of encounter is not what I expected. Perhaps I aught to relax."
Theodric looks up at Ali seeking some sort of reassurance in his uneasiness, and then back at the strange fellow.
Sense Motive (Hunch) DC 20: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22
Hunch: This use of the skill involves making a gut assessment of the social situation. You can get the feeling from another's behavior that something is wrong, such as when you're talking to an impostor. Alternatively, you can get the feeling that someone is trustworthy.
Ipeq, 22 Desnus, 4711:
As the company gathers supplies for the journey, Theodric takes a long hard look at all the the camels.
"By the grandest scale of Abadar, judging the worth of a camel is as foreign to me as the mysteries Thassilon. Felliped, take a look at this. Are all these humps supposed to be crooked?"
Theodric spends a notable time inspecting the camels for sale, walking up, down, and around those available. Over time, his motions become more and more erratic and he begins to sweat.
"I knew we shouldn't have sent Ali off for supplies."
Theodric leans his head down, placing his right thumb and middle finger on his temples, rubbing them slowly in a circular motion. He lets out a long sigh and makes his way to the stable master.
"Sir, good sir, yes hello, how do you do? Quite the selection available here. I am Theodric, your newest customer."
The stable master gives Thodric a quick glance with a sympathetic smile on his face.
"Foreigner, welcome to my lands." He reaches his arm out to the side in a sweeping motion, as if presenting the desert in all it's glory. "Is there something this lowly camel vendor can help you with?"
"Hah! Well that is your first problem my friend. The Camel is a vastly superior creature to the horse, and very obedient. She travels well in the heat, and is built for the sands of Osirion. But I see that you are worried. I have just the thing for you."
The vendor pulls an intricately carved spike of ivory with various curves and holes in it from his tools. He leads Theodric to one of the larger camels.
"What next, a rain dance with elephant bones? I've seen about enough for for today.
"This is Zafira, my most reliable animal, does she seem pleasing to you"
Theodric gives the animal a good look up and down. "What am I looking for exactly?"
"Yes, my friend. A fine looking animal indeed."
"Ah, I am most pleased you agree. A man of good taste I see."
The vendor pushes the camels head down by the end of the nose, and then inserts his finger in what seems to be the nostril from the other side. A few moments later he pulls his finger out, and then inserts the ivory spike in seemingly the same place. After some wigging, the spike exits from a small hole behind the nostrils which was previously invisible to the untrained eye.
"This, my friend, is what we call a peg. Simply attach the rains here, and the most gentle of tugs will have Zafira bending to your every whim. Be gentle and she will make a superior companion."
"Very generous, I will take her."
Theodric gives the beast a long hard look in the eyes before leading her off to Felliped to show her off.
Southern Osirion on the trail to Kelmarane, 23 Desnus, 4711:
Theodric follows the trail a few feet behind Felliped and Ali, quite obviously struggling with his camel. Too preocupied by his own, Theodric does not comprehend a word of Felliped's complaints. The moans of frustration and pain by the camel coming from the flank are only rivaled by Theodric's version of the same.
Turning his head after hearing a sharp squeak, Theodric notices the dead hare.
"Bravo, Ali! A fine shot indeed. I must admit, I haven't the slightest clue what to do with it myself... You see, where I come from, the men... some men hunt, and the women... well some women cook. I don't suppose you'd be prepared to take on both roles this evening?"
Ipeq, 22 Desnus, 4711:
"Yes, many blessings Hamiq; may your travels be by shade, may your transactions be secure, and most importantly, may your tills always find themselves balanced. You have my thanks for your hospitality and referral."
With a jesting smile and the wink for luck, Theodric will offer Hamiq a firm grasp of the arm and be on his way with his newly rounded company as soon as they are ready to go.
"Haha, Ali, my new friend, 'supplied for the trip' hardly characterizes our preparation. We're going to need you from step one, and I'm confident that your services and company will be worth every gold piece in that bulging purse you now find in your possession. What I do have are the finest of Taldan blankets and bedding, a couple waterskins, and a reinforced silk tent large enough for the three of us, commissioned straight from the palace looms of Taldor. As you can see, I would hate to compromise all comfort during my travels. I do have Sabina, my horse, though I can tell she is not conditioned to travel in the desert. Is it true that camels make superior pack animals in this climate? Anyway, so what else do you suspect we'll be needing before we set off?"
Ipeq, 22 Desnus 4711-Ali:
After a long debated discussion with Felliped, the two make their way through the city to the Caravanners' Guild. Though pretending to keep his hand near his falcatta, Theodric keeps his hands at his side, ensuring that he can feel his gold filled purse which he kept hidden in his robe, containing exactly 20gp.
"Hamid, I presume? I am Theodric, and this is my companion Felliped. We seek Ali Al'Za... Zarid. He should be expecting us. Could you point us in his direction, or perhaps summon him here for us?"
Draw or Sheathe a Weapon - Combat:
If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you may draw a weapon as a free action combined with a regular move. If you have the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, you can draw two light or one-handed weapons in the time it would normally take you to draw one.
Ipeq, 22 Dresnus 4711:
Vonna the Huntress wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
As Theodric listens to Vonna, he becomes fascinated by her distant personality, strong mannerisms, earth worn body, and womanly figure. Without breaking eye contact for more than a second or two at a time, Theodric wonders to himself:"In another life this woman could have been a princess. There is just too much going on behind her eyes to deduce much about her right now. Everyone unravels sooner or later."
When Vonna speaks about trust, Theodric replies after she pauses:
Working off Felliped: "Compensation. The agreement is very simple and straightforward. I shall pay you 40% up front, and 60% upon completion and safe return, which comes to 20 and 30 gp, for a grand total of 50 gp. This is non-negotiable, but I'm always discuss the terms. Any resources deemed necessary shall be provided by our company, and will not be of burden to you. To answer your question, fair shall be determined by your capability."
To her last response "If all goes as planned, we shall be second class citizens behind your expertise. I know that you can take care of yourself, and I understand that you have expectations of our conduct. By Abadar, the maltreatment of any innocent within my stewardship shall not be tolerated. Among us, you are equal"
** spoiler omitted **
At the opportune time, Theodric will go over the basic terms of agreement with Ghostclaw.
Theodric is strangly un-intimidated by the Gnoll, although respectful of his reputation and ability. Listening intently and engaging the Gnoll, Theodric shows an immediate trust and interest in Ghostclaw.
"I must be on a different plane, since when do Gnoll's communicate amongst humans with such eloquence?"
"I am a dedicated student to the Stewardship of Abadar, and shall use my expertise to offer as much protection as I can to my partner, and any associate who travels with our company. I do carry a weapon around, though sadly it is only for show... customary really.
Ipeq, 22 Dresnus 4711:
I will ask a few initial questions which I expect everyone to answer. From there, if we have any additional personal questions we'll ask them one by one
"Alright, thank you for finding us. Now, I've got a few questions if you don't mind. I don't expect you to be long winded here, just be truthful. Once I'm done, feel free to ask any questions you might have"
Now, I don't expect long, drawn out answers. Just show your personality and creativity here, and sell me on yourself
Thanks, Ludi. Fixed it, and changed the time line in text.
Tip #2 for iPhone/iPad users, but not restricted to such:
ALWAYS copy your posts before submitting. You never know when the site goes down.
Also, if you're using Chrome, wait until the site comes back up, and then hit back on your browser. It always recovers my lost text if I forgot to copy.
edit: Also, swapped out Kelish for Osiriani. Given the poetic, scholarly and historical use, and it's influence on Taldane, I think it makes perfect sense.
As Theodric arrives at the pathfinder lodge on his winded horse, he takes in a long, deep breath and closes his eyes. He exhales slowly, and opens his eyes. As the last bit of air leaves his lungs, a large smile appears on his face as he prepares himself to report.
"Not sure this smile has ever failed me on a first impression. Here goes nothing"
Theodric dismounts and looks his horse directly in the eyes, sticking out his finger:
"Theodric Stavian, of Taldor reporting." he says with a masterfully sincere smile.
When introduced to Felliped, he gives him a good look, inspecting his clothing, hygiene, demeanor, and gear.
"A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Felliped. I will be accompanying you to Kelmarane. I'm an expert in local customs, and will ensure that any interactions we may have with the Pactmasters, or any local pathfinders goes well. I get the impression you are no stranger to adventure, which brings me a great deal of confidence. So, have you spent much time exploring Katapesh or the ruins of Kelmarane?"
Theodric enters the town square on horseback, keeping a keen eye open to avoid thieves and darker alley ways. Theodric recognizes the holy symbol of his deity on the robes of various men in the city with turbans. He keeps his eyes open for one such man who seemed remotely approachable and asks, holding his holy symbol in front of him:
"Hello, brother. Where is the local temple to our mutual Benefactor?"
Zahir Arshad: Ipeq, 22 Desnus 4711:
Theodric sets off with his new ally and begins his search for a guide into the Ruins.
"Less than two months as a part of this organization and they set me up in a spot that doesn't even have proper organization or confidence in the locals. I guess this is a good opportunity to clean house and establish myself. I just hope we don't get our throats slit in search of a mercenary".
Before long, Theodric notices a large, muscular man approaching and begins to feel uncomfortable. As the man states his purpose without delay, Theodric relaxes and reaches in confidently for the handshake. He responds.
"Peace be with you, Zahir. I am Theodric, and this is my companion, though, I'll allow him to introduce himself. It's rather hot out here, why don't we take a seat at a bar, and have this discussion over some drinks?
Theodric will take the conversation to the nearest street bar and sit down with Zahir.
"So, my friend. You say you are Zahir, and a guide. Tell us more about what you do, and your experience in the ruins of Kelmarane."
Ali Al’Zahrid: Ipeq, 22 Desnus 4711:
After having traversed the town square a few times, Theodric can't help but feel like a thousand pairs of eyes are following his every move every time he steps out.
"I've had enough of this, I'm putting on my new robes." he thinks to himself
Now dressed in his uncommonly shiny robe, Theodric steps back in direction of the marketplace, looking for something to eat.
"Better, much better."
As he approaches the marketplace, he gets the strange feeling as though he's being followed. Stopping to take a look around, he doesn't see anyone, and continues into a more upscale meal house at takes a seat.