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Vesh wrote:
...and then turns his attention to his breakfast. He eats hungrily.

You finish your breakfast in silence, washing the savory sausages and thick bread down with a hearty ale that finishes with a delightful hint of berries. Engrossed in your meal you are startled when, as you push the empty plate away, a meaty hand grabs you by the shoulder. "Alright, Vesh, is it now? Let's get going," says Ven as he leads you out into the street.

You follow him across the nearly deserted market square, keeping an eye out for your Chelaxian shadow, and unto main street.

One of the first buildings you come to is a two-story brick structure with "Vinder's General Store" painted in plain letters on a wooden sign above the door. A donkey is tethered near the street and, as you approach, a pretty girl with long brown hair and deep green eyes pushes an empty cart from behind the store. Seeing you she pauses, looking you up and down, before saying to Ven, "Daddy, its about time you came home. We have everything ready to go. Who's this?"

Ven smiles broadly, then his smile turns to a scowl. Ignoring her question he replies gruffly, "Shayliss, where's your sister. Not off with that half-wit Harker again, by Desna's wings!"

"Daddy, Katrine...", begins the girl, but she is interrupted by a woman standing just inside the store, "Ven, she went ahead to the festival with Bethana to help set up booths. Now where are your manners! I won't have you yelling and cursing on this of all days! Introduce us to the young man there." The woman is a tall Varisian. Her dark hair is turning grey and a few wrinkles line her face, but her eyes are full of fire. She reminds you alot of your mother.

"Yes dear," replies Ven a little sheepishly, "Solsta, Shayliss, this here is Vesh. Ameiko asked him to help move her things to the square. Vesh, this is my wife Solsta and my daughter Shayliss. My other daughter Katrine has apparently gone ahead with Bethana; that's Ameiko's barmaid - you might have missed her with all the people there earlier."

Remembering your manners, you bow slightly to Solsta and Shayliss in the traditional Varisian manner. Solsta returns the gesture then disappears back inside the building. Shayliss, abandons her cart and grabs you by the hand pulling you towards a pile of tables, chairs, linens and other things stacked neatly by the side of the house. "Come on Vesh," she says, giggling slightly, "I'll show you what we need to do." For a brief instant, you feel Ven's angry stare burning into the back of your head. Then he turns away to hook the cart Shayliss was pulling to the donkey and make ready for the trip to Church Square.


Female Human (Shoanti) Druid 3, Sorcerer 1 6,000 XP

I have to agree. JSL has to be one of the most well-written GM's I've ever had the pleasure of PbP-ing with, and all of you others, I'm loving reading your posts! Never before have I seen such consistent writing quality in a group of gamers before! Well done all!

Now, on with the show...
-------------------------------------------

Spoiler:

As the young man before her continued to speak, Naelah smiled to herself. He was like a gale, constantly blowing about - he reminded her of her youngest brother with the way he flitted this way, and that. Like a bird almost, or a leaf on the wind.

When he bowed to her the second time, Naelah returned the gesture, showing him the respect due to one who bothered to learn of her people. "Tae si shol tasia o maraelia."* She said, using the traditional phrase. "I am called Naelah, and also Snow-Child. For my hair, and being born during the winter snows." She said, touching her pulled-back hair to draw attention to its platinum-blond color. Gesturing to the wolf companion by her side, she spoke again, her voice growing in confidence as she continued to use the common tongue as best she knew. "Veren is his name. Wise-eyes, I call him." She said, wondering at the meaning of the Raven's name.

"Yes. I travel. I am on my walk. My Shol-shar."* She said, agreeing with his assessment of her presence. "You are a wise man? A leader for your people?" She asked, as he spoke about who he was. "Mastery cannot be gained by wishing. You must chase the wind for it. Or make the wind chase you."

From this point forwards, anything Naelah says in Shoanti (see above) will be marked with an '*'. At the end of each post, I will place a spoiler with the translations of what she says, for those who understand Shoanti.

Spoiler:

"Tae si shol tasia o maraelia." - May the winds carry you safely.
"Shol-shar." - Wind-Walk.


Male Human (Varisian) Spellthief 4 (XP = 6405) as of 7/28, Wrathspawn and Shrine (10,000xp = 5th level)
JSL wrote:


...Let's get going," says Ven...

Vesh gives his bundle of equipment (along with his cloak) to Ameiko for safe-keeping and insists on donning his chain shirt before exiting with Ven--in the middle of the common room if necessary.

This pretty much leaves Vesh with the clothes on his back, chain shirt, short sword--which he straps to his back so that it is out of his way as he works--and a dagger he stashes in his boot. Everything else is left at the Rusty Dragon under Ameiko's watchful eye. He loses his bow and arrows, but he also loses any penalties for encumbrance.

As Vesh leaves, he gives one last glance towards the fighting man and woman he was sitting next to. Perhaps I should have introduced myself, he thinks with regret.

JSL wrote:


You follow [Ven] across the nearly deserted market square...

What have I gotten myself into? Vesh thinks to himself as he follows the thick man. He must think me a fool to be armed so. But, he will not defend me from the Chelaxian, either!

JSL wrote:


...Shayliss, abandons her cart and grabs you by the hand pulling you towards a pile of tables, chairs, linens and other things stacked neatly by the side of the house. "Come on Vesh," she says, giggling slightly, "I'll show you what we need to do."

Vesh follows the girl, bemused by her obvious attraction. Cut it out, Vesh thinks to himself reproachfully, she's as old as my little sister! Or, is she?

Vesh works quickly, diligently, and as directed. While doing so, he makes occasional small talk, trying to get to know Shayliss and her family more, asking for stories of Solsta and the Varisian side of the family in particular. In return, as he becomes less self-conscious, Vesh offers a story or two about his own family.


Male Human Wizard 2/Sor 1

Yes, this is quite fun!
WARNING: This one is a little long, I was on a roll! Hey, do you have any idea how hard it is to have a conversation with someone with at least a 6-hour time difference?!? I promise to start writing shorter as we get going. Until then, "On with the show," Indeed.

Spoiler:

Naelah wrote:


When he bowed to her the second time, Naelah returned the gesture, showing him the respect due to one who bothered to learn of her people. "Tae si shol tasia o maraelia."* She said, using the traditional phrase. "I am called Naelah, and also Snow-Child. For my hair, and being born during the winter snows." She said, touching her pulled-back hair to draw attention to its platinum-blond color.

"Naelah, a lovely name." Slidell observed. "And Snow-Child, very appropriate", he grinned.

Naelah wrote:


Gesturing to the wolf companion by her side, she spoke again, her voice growing in confidence as she continued to use the common tongue as best she knew. "Veren is his name. Wise-eyes, I call him." She said, wondering at the meaning of the Raven's name.

"Veren, Veran" Slidell murmured to himself, "Very similar. I wonder if the meanings are related?" He said, wondering at the meaning of the wolf's name.

Naelah wrote:


"Yes. I travel. I am on my walk. My Shol-shar."* She said, agreeing with his assessment of her presence. "You are a wise man? A leader for your people?" She asked,

"A WISE man?!?," Slidell blew a burst of air through his lips, causing them to vibrate. "Not hardly. A Leader? I don't know." He admitted thoughtfully. "I never tried to be."

Naelah wrote:


as he spoke about who he was. "Mastery cannot be gained by wishing. You must chase the wind for it. Or make the wind chase you."

"Oh, I'm hardly wishing Naelah. That WOULD be powerful magic!" Slidell responsed wryly.

"I'm just disappointed beacause I've never failed at something I've put my mind to before." He explained. "Not that I'm a failure!" He quickly amended, "There are plenty of potentials out there who never even master basic cantrips. I can easily cast conjurations of the 1st order, I can even alter the originals spells to some degree, which is something that some archmages can't do!" He said emphatically. "I just feel like I should be farther along by now."

""Chase the wind" indeed". He continued softly. "That's exactly what I feel like I've been doing. Or make the wind. chase. YOU!" He exclaimed suddenly, lunging forward to look her full in the face, drawing a growl of warning from the throat of her up-til-now silent companion. "Are a GENIUS!" He grinned.
"Yes!" he leaned back and continued in his normal voice. "Make the wind chase me. I wonder. I'll have to think on that."
"Thank you," he said, facing Naelah again. As his nightime-dark blue eyes met her daytime-sky blue ones, she felt an small spark of connection. Judging by the sudden blinking of Slidell, it was a connection he may have felt as well. What was it about this odd, chatty, flighty stranger that made her think of her own connection the wind? Why had the wind chosen to blow this skinny whirlwind of a stranger into her own path?

Her musings were interrupted by Slidell.
Again.
"In the meantime," he was saying, as he waved his arm like a windmill, attempting to catch Garridan's attention. "It is breakfast time. And you are going to love this!"
"Garridan," he said more calmly after getting the big Shoanti's attention across the room. "Can we get some of those,...oh, those things from yester-morn!" He asked loudly enough for Garridan to hear across the busy inn. "Yes, for two please!" he smiled in response to Garridan's unasked question.

The large Shoanti could say as much with a raised eyebrow as Slidell could with a lungful of air.

"You are going to love this!" Slidell repeated as he sat back down. "I don't know if they are a traditional Shoanti recipe, or his own invention. But they. Are. GOOD."

"Thank you Garridan!" Slidell beamed as the large innkeeper promptly arrived with a plate of, something. Some sort of a roll, Naelah observed as Garridan deposited it on the table. It was certainly not any Shoanti recipe that she had ever seen. But they did smell good. Slidell promptly used the wooden serving spoon and his own belt knife to serve Naelah first.
"These alone are reason enough to stay at the White Deer Inn." Slidell said as he helped himself.

As they shared breakfast, which turned out to be rolls filled with some sort of meat and pleasantly pungent seasoning, Slidell continued chatting amicably. But to Naelah it seemed less, frantic, than before. As if, without realizing it, he had found something that he had been looking for. It may have only been someone to sit still long enough to listen to him she mused wryly. But somehow she doubted it.

After making sure that Veren had a serving, and Slidell had (after many furtive glances over his shoulder to ensure that Garridan was not, actively, watching,) tossed up a few bites into the air for his fast-snatching friend, they both began to gather their things.

"Well", said Slidell, as he briskly brushed the remaining crumbs from his fingertips. "Since you are even more recently arrived than I am, I am presuming that you have not yet a proper tour of the town." He smiled again, shyly. Naelah realized that he was embarrassed. "It just so happens that I, ah, have a few errands to run before the festivities start. If you don't mind the company, it would be my honor to give you the two-copper tour." He finished quickly.

"Ah, Garridan." Relieved, Slidell began patting his many pockets, looking for his coin-pouch, as the large Shoanti ambled over to take the now-empty plates. "I have a few questions about some recent events. Is there a place in town that keeps information of events on record? A local scribe? Librarian? The Sherrif's office, or maybe an archivist for the Town Hall?"
As he finally fumbled his coin pouch out of a pocket, he looked expectantly to Garridan for his answer,...

That's it! If this is HALF as much fun to read as it is to write, when we are done I am SO compiling this and writing a book! Everyone in the group gets a free copy, of course!:)

Shadow Lodge

Male Human (Sometimes) Gamer 10/ Writer 7/University Student 5.
Slidell Stormraven wrote:


"Veren, Veran" Slidell murmured to himself, "Very similar. I wonder if the meanings are related?" He said, wondering at the meaning of the wolf's name.

"They are." She responded. "Veran means wise-heart."

Slidell Stormraven wrote:


"A WISE man?!?," Slidell blew a burst of air through his lips, causing them to vibrate. "Not hardly. A Leader? I don't know." He admitted thoughtfully. "I never tried to be."

"If the wind speaks to you, then it is your duty. Like it is mine." She said, continuing to dispense her little wisdoms.

Slidell Stormraven wrote:


""Chase the wind" indeed." He continued softly. "That's exactly what I feel like I've been doing. Or make the wind. chase. YOU!" He exclaimed suddenly, lunging forward to look her full in the face, drawing a growl of warning from the throat of her up-til-now silent companion. "Are a GENIUS!" He grinned.

Surprised by his sudden movement, she leant back away from him, placing a calming hand on the ruff of her wolf's neck, as she realized he was simply excited.

As Slidell continued to speak, Naelah felt a bond growing between them. The wind had whirled them together, like loose little leaves, and together they would twirl for a time. When the food came, she nodded in agreement at the excellent taste, and gave Slidell a treat - her shy smile, reminding him of the morning sun breaking onto snowfall.

At his suggestion, she nodded her agreement. "I thank you for you offer, Stormraven. I would like to see more of this...city? I will admit wishing to see the rites that I understand are to occur later today." She said, tossing the last portion of her breakfast to Veren.

A book?! Awesome! Can I help you write it? I suppose a good start would be starting a Campaign Journal on the appropriate board...


Female Human (Chelaxian) Knight 1/Fighter 1/Paladin 1 (2)

"Mish bredf- (gulp), I say, this bread is really scrummy, Corran. You better take it away from me!" says Ehlissa, and then her ears are drawn to the sound of an excitable mam gabbling away to a much calmer woman with unusual tattoes. You really do see all sorts out here! she thinks to herself, This Corran chap seems alright, I suppose, I wonder... oh no... oh why not?

The young noblewoman turns to her companion and asks, "This is going to sound sort of, well... silly I suppose, but... have you ever, I don't know, ever thought of just one day leaving everything behind? Going out to see the world?"

She then goes a shade of pink, "Oh no, I suppose not, you have your family tradition to uphold and whatnot. That's a big responsibility. Sorry; I know what that's like." she finishes quietly.


Male Human (Varisian) Spellthief 4 (XP = 6405) as of 7/28, Wrathspawn and Shrine (10,000xp = 5th level)
Ehlissa Briez wrote:

then her ears are drawn to the sound of an excitable mam gabbling away to a much calmer woman with unusual tattoes.

Hold the phone! Were Naelah and Slidell in the Rusty Dragon? I thought they were in the White Deer. If they are in the Rusty Dragon, I apologize. I would have tried much harder to "get with the party" so to speak. Now I'm off on my own schlepping tables. Sorry!


Female Human (Shoanti) Druid 3, Sorcerer 1 6,000 XP

Yeah, Slidell and I are in the White Deer.


Slidell and Naelah are across town at the White Deer... No problem, though...

Slidell and Naelah:
Garridan bows politely as he accepts payment for breakfast. Turning to Naelah, he beings, "I am well pleased by your presence, Wind-daughter, it is good to see a sister of the people who keeps the traditions of the old ones. If you do stay for the festival, the new cathedral has a place where you may make offering to Gozreh." And to Slidell, "The Chelaxians keep many houses of records, as you say. Both the Town Hall and the Sandpoint Mercantile League have many skins upon which they carve their history." Please tarry not long, though, the festival starts at the high sun - in a couple of hours by the Chelaxian reckoning.

Garridan gives you directions to the Town Hall (#11) and Mercantile League (#40); for reference, the White Deer is #3. It is now mid-morning, the festival begins at noon in the large square to the west of the church, so you have about two hours to explore.

As you make your way though town you see a number of people hard at work setting up for the festival. Tents form a sea of bright fabrics lining the perimeter of the square. Elsewhere, men are hard at work placing hay bales to serve as makeshift seats and putting the final touches on a speakers' platform abutting the new cathedral. Those who are not too busy to notice you coming give you a wide berth and you feel more than a few curious stares directed your way. Weaving between people, animals, and carts you make your way towards Main Street and the Sandpoint Town Hall.

Vesh:
As you and Shayliss work, she tells you that her father is half-Varisian, but her mother is full-blooded and comes from a family that has lived around the Sandpoint area for generations. Together you load three large tables and a number of chairs into the donkey cart and set out heading north on Main Street.

Making your way through the crowds is difficult, but together you manage to keep the donkey steady and the cart upright. Shayliss continues to talk on the journey, but you are only half listening as you take in the scene around you, looking carefully for the tall Chelaxian. As you arrive at the square, however, another strange sight greets you: making their way across the square towards you are a thin Chelaxian man and a white-haired Shoanti woman. The man's pale skin is decorated with a Varisian tattoo and a raven is perched nervously on his shoulder. The woman wears the simple hide garments favored by her people and is accompanied by a wolf. The man is talking incessantly while the woman nods occasionally in response.

"Vesh, quick help me," yells Shayliss in alarm, "that wolf will spook the donkey!"

You feel your grip reflexively tighten on the harness and your heels dig into the ground as the donkey senses the nearby predator and nostrils flaring, kicks at the cart and strains at its bonds. Neither the wolf nor its human companions seem to have noticed the stir they have caused.

Since I don't think you have Handle Animal, make a DC 12 Strength check. You get a +2 bonus because Shayliss is helping you.

Corran and Ehlissa:
As you visit, you notice that the background noise has died down considerably. Most of the folks in the common room have finished eating and made their way out. Even Bethana, the barmaid, has disappeared somewhere. Ven and the young man who brought the note to Ameiko just left and Ameiko has just returned from storing the young man's gear in the pantry.

She settles down across the bar with a plate of sausage and eggs, "Today is going to kill me - and it's still two more hours until noon.", she sighs.

"Well, I see you two have hit it off. Are you going to join us at the festival, Ehlissa? This is by far the biggest event we've had here since the old church burned down. I think you will both like Father Zanthus, he is a sweet, peaceful man. Father Tobyn would be proud, I think, of what we've done here, rest his soul. All of the tavern and inn owners, yours truly included, are offering free food all afternoon. I sent that boy - Vesh, wasn't it? - to help set up tables for my booth. I'm serving grilled salmon and fruit skewers. I'll try to save some for you."

Father Zanthus is the new holy man. Father Tobyn was his predecessor, who died in the fire. This is pretty common knowledge.

After eating her breakfast, Ameiko makes some final preparations and locks up the Rusty Dragon to head to Church Square. It is mid-morning and you still have about two hours before the festival starts if you want to explore further.


Male Human Wizard 2/Sor 1

AH! "The game is afoot!",...
As our intrepid heroes leave the White Deer Inn,...

Spoiler:

Slidell thanked Garridan again, effusively praising the breakfast as he fumbled his way into his overcloak. As the couple made their way toward the exit, (miraculously unimpeded by the wolf-wary patrons), Slidell glanced toward the ceiling. "OK Ver',...Let's go." And the raven once again emerged from the shadowed rafters, landing on Slidell's shoulder right before they made the doorway.

Outside, Slidell glanced around trying to get his bearings.
"I really want to swing by the "Curious Goblin" bookstore, and see if they have a Varisian prayerbook." He said, settling his wide-brimmed hat onto his head. "But,...I THINK if we follow Garridan's directions to the Town Hall, we can catch the next street over from there."
He smiled at Naelah and began to stroll, his long legs forcing the wolf to trot to keep up with him, though his mistress showed no visible effort keeping pace.

As they walked, Slidell pointed out the various buildings that he had examined earlier, telling Naelah about the histories and influences on the building's styles. And trying in vain to capture busy and wolf-scared passerby to ask about the buildings he hadn't yet visited.

As they approached the square where the Town Hall was located, Slidell's constantly busy fingers withdrew something wrapped in paper from one of his cloak's many pockets.
"Rock candy?" He asked, extending the open paper to Naelah.
"It's a brilliant Varisian recipe, they boil sugar for a specific length of time, at a certain heat, flavor it with berries and fruit, and when it cools, it resembles rocks! Like Quartz."
The Shoanti looked sceptically into the open paper, and saw what did indeed appear to be small, clear rocks. Most had a reddish hue, but there were also some blues and greens.
Noting her look, and also noting that Garridan was not the only Shoanti in town that could say a paragraph with a raised eyebrow, Slidell laughed.
"It's only called "rock candy" because of how it looks, not how it tastes. It's really quite good!" He explained, popping a piece into his own mouth to prove his point. "Goo aheod," He continued speaking around his treat, "Troy a peoce."

Distracted by the unusual confection, even the usually perceptive Naelah seemed as unaware as Slidell of the couple struggling with a wide-eyed and fearful donkey almost directly in their path.

About the candy,...

Spoiler:

BTW-yes, this is real recipe, made by indians in the Oklahoma tribes. I know that the Cherokee make this, I'm not sure about the others. It's usually removed from the pot on small wooden sticks, but when it cools, it really does resemble quartz. It was the wild west's first lollipop!


Male Human Ranger 1
Ehlissa Briez wrote:

"Mish bredf- (gulp), I say, this bread is really scrummy, Corran. You better take it away from me!" says Ehlissa, and then her ears are drawn to the sound of an excitable mam gabbling away to a much calmer woman with unusual tattoes. You really do see all sorts out here! she thinks to herself, This Corran chap seems alright, I suppose, I wonder... oh no... oh why not?

The young noblewoman turns to her companion and asks, "This is going to sound sort of, well... silly I suppose, but... have you ever, I don't know, ever thought of just one day leaving everything behind? Going out to see the world?"

She then goes a shade of pink, "Oh no, I suppose not, you have your family tradition to uphold and whatnot. That's a big responsibility. Sorry; I know what that's like." she finishes quietly.

Sorry for the delay, I had to work today :-(

Corran finishs a bite of his own meal. "Yes... its a tradition generations old to serve in the military, first for Imperial Cheliax, then for Magnimar after the Godfall."

Corran looks around, then lowers his voice. "But I don't know if I want to spend the next twenty years chasing bandits and walking the walls. Its honorable work, and it needs to be done. Iomedae knows we could use more soldiers here in the hinterlands, our farmhold has been raided more than once by goblins or bandit scum. Not that we didn't see them off, but others aren't as well equipped or trained as our farmhold."

His eyes light up, and his voice becomes more animated "But I want to travel, and see places I've only read about. And have people read about my adventures, not just travel the same roads on patrol every week."

"Have you ever read the Pathfinder Chronicles?"


Male Human Ranger 1
JSL wrote:

Corran and Ehlissa:

After eating her breakfast, Ameiko makes some final preparations and locks up the Rusty Dragon to head to Church Square. It is mid-morning and you still have about two hours before the festival starts if you want to explore further.

I'd say we just go to the square and get spots up front for the festival.


Female Human (Chelaxian) Knight 1/Fighter 1/Paladin 1 (2)
Corran wrote:


Corran looks around, then lowers his voice. "But I don't know if I want to spend the next twenty years chasing bandits and walking the walls. Its honorable work, and it needs to be done. Iomedae knows we could use more soldiers here in the hinterlands, our farmhold has been raided more than once by goblins or bandit scum. Not that we didn't see them off, but others aren't as well equipped or trained as our farmhold."

His eyes light up, and his voice becomes more animated "But I want to travel, and see places I've only read about. And have people read about my adventures, not just travel the same roads on patrol every week."

"Have you ever read the Pathfinder Chronicles?"

Ehlissa regards Corran with a new appreciation as his enthusiasm becomes infectious, especially when he swears by Iomedae, "No, I haven't read that, but it sounds ever so exciting! I want to do those things too! But not to be famous or anything, but to make a difference, to stand for something greater than myself, for as it says in The Acts: "And Iomedae said unto the people of that place 'When the darkness surrounds thee, Let thy faith be as a lamp, to guide the lost and to give hope where there is none'" - I'd like in a small way to do that."

Sorry for the mix up guys, I just assumed it was the same inn, as I didn't see anything to the contrary anywhere. Ah well, maybe there are several excitable men talking to young women in pubs? Let's go and take a look at the festival...


Female Human (Shoanti) Druid 3, Sorcerer 1 6,000 XP

Following her excitable companion with an inhuman patience for his consistent chattering, Naelah was almost overwhelmed by the sights that assaulted her as they wandered through the town. Never before had she seen such a variety of people, all moving about their appointed tasks and chattering, always chattering.

She was beginning to realize why her companion talked so much - you never got to talk to anyone unless you talked faster than they did.

When he offered her the 'candy' she curiously took a green piece, wondering at its sticky coating. As she popped it into her mouth an explosion of sticky sweetness covered her tongue, and she smiled in pleasure.

Just as she was about to verbally express her enjoyment, she noticed the horse-like animal that was clearly having trouble at the presence of her companion. Gesturing to Veren, he stayed where he was, and she held out a stilling hand to Slidell, silently asking him to do the same.

Slowly, she approached the donkey, using her body language and slow, gentle movements to communicate her benign intent. With an aching slowness, she extended a hand towards the animal, every ounce of her being radiating calm. As she approached, she flickered her eyes in acknowledgment to the pair moving with the skittish animal, beseeching them with her bright blue eyes to do nothing, and let her and the donkey focus on each other.

Spoiler:

Handle Animal check to calm the donkey:

1d20+6=24


Naelah wrote:

Slowly, she approached the donkey, using her body language and slow, gentle movements to communicate her benign intent. With an aching slowness, she extended a hand towards the animal, every ounce of her being radiating calm. As she approached, she flickered her eyes in acknowledgment to the pair moving with the skittish animal, beseeching them with her bright blue eyes to do nothing, and let her and the donkey focus on each other.

** spoiler omitted **

The animal submits to Naelah's gentle caress and calming words. As Shayliss and Vesh look on in disbelief the donkey at first relaxes its pull on the harness slightly, then settles into a nervous skittering dance. You have improved its attitude from Hostile to Unfriendly. If you want to remain there for a few minutes, you can try to further calm it down.

"By Desna! How did you do that, ... whoever you are?" asks Shayliss recovering slightly from her shock.


Male Human (Varisian) Spellthief 4 (XP = 6405) as of 7/28, Wrathspawn and Shrine (10,000xp = 5th level)
JSL wrote:


"Vesh, quick help me," yells Shayliss in alarm, "that wolf will spook the donkey!"

<Link> Vesh strains to keep the animal from bolting.

JSL wrote:


The animal submits to Naelah's gentle caress and calming words. As Shayliss and Vesh look on in disbelief the donkey at first relaxes its pull on the harness slightly, then settles into a nervous skittering dance.

"By Desna! How did you do that, ... whoever you are?" asks Shayliss recovering slightly from her shock.

"She is Shoanti," says Vesh, finally finding his tongue, "that is how she did it." Turning to the Shoanti woman, Vesh bows in accordance to the traditions of the Shoanti that he met as a lad on the Velashu Uplands. In the dialect of the Velashu Shoanti, he tells the woman:

(For those who speak Shoanti)

Spoiler:
"Thank you for calming the animal. It was all I could do to keep him from running away! My name is Vesh of the Camelo clan on the Velashu Plains. This is my companion, a local of this town whose name is Shayliss. I would be honored to learn the name given you by your people."

With a glance to her thin Chelaxian friend, Vesh flashes a frown as he contemplates how the Chelaxian has come to sport the tattoos of his people--tattoos that Vesh himself has been given. How the markings stand out on his pale skin! Remembering himself, he bows again to the Shoanti woman.

@Naelah and Slidell: Vesh's physical description can be found under his profile. He is currently not carrying his gear, just a chain shirt (that does not conceal his Varisian tattoo on his arm) and a short sword strapped to his back, dagger in his boot. Explorer's outfit. Yada, yada.

@JSL: Can I make a Knowledge (Arcane) check to figure out which kind of Varisian tattoo Slidell wears? If so, here is my roll. <LINK>

Dark Archive

Vesh's Shoati sounds stilted as a re-read it. But, perhaps it is stilted because he is speaking a dialect that he learned growing up from a different tribe than the one Naelah is from. Just a thought.


Vesh wrote:
@JSL: Can I make a Knowledge (Arcane) check to figure out which kind of Varisian tattoo Slidell wears? If so, here is my roll. <LINK>

Vesh:

Spoiler:

The DC would be 15 (average), but since you also have a tattoo, that should give you a +5 bonus, so you make it.

The paleskinned man's tattoo marks him as one whose magic draws creatures from the realms beyond. He is a summoner, and according to Varisian legend, may hold congress with strange and fantastic creatures.

EDIT: I'll get to Corran & Ehlissa in an hour or two - need to do a write-up so they can see a little of the town...


Male Human Wizard 2/Sor 1

Here is the action from Slidell's point of view,...

Spoiler:

Slidell stopped chatting suddenly, brought to a sudden halt by his new friend's upraised hand. When his familiar opened his beak to protest, he promptly raised his own hand and used his thumb and forefinger to clamp Veran's beak closed.
He watched intently as the blond Shoanti closed slowly with the frightened donkey, calming it, somehow communicating with it until it was no longer in danger of bolting.

JSL wrote:


"By Desna! How did you do that, ... whoever you are?" asks Shayliss recovering slightly from her shock.

"Yes, how did you do that?" Slidell murmured so quietly that only Veren and Veran could hear him. "I saw no outward evidence or application of mystic force. I would have been forced to stun the poor creature." He continued to intensely observe her actions as she turned the frightened animal once more into a calm, domesticated beast of burden. "It all seems so , instinctual, as if she is projecting some inner part of herself." He rubbed his chin with his free hand, "Hmm,...I wonder,..."

Vesh wrote:


"She is Shoanti," says Vesh, finally finding his tongue, "that is how she did it." Turning to the Shoanti woman, Vesh bows in accordance to the traditions of the Shoanti that he met as a lad on the Velashu Uplands. In the dialect of the Velashu Shoanti, he tells the woman:

The rest of the comment was in the language that Slidell now knew to be Shoanti, but he had no earthly idea what the man was saying. (Other than from the body language and inflection, which indicated that the youth was asking her a question. But the youth seemed on edge, more so than having to deal with a panicked animal could account for. And for all Slidell could tell, he could have been giving her his recipe for roast donkey.)

Slidell looked down at the furry fiend that had started all of this commotion to be sure it was still obeying it's mistress's last command. It sat there, it's tongue lolling out the side of it's mouth, decidely un-interested in the well-being of the donkey.
"Good boy", he said unnessacarily, "Stay".
With a final mental admonition to the raven on his shoulder to behave and not re-startle the beast, he began slowly approaching the group around the donkey as Naelah began to respond to the youth,...


Actually, Slidell's tattoo should be hard to see completely, though it covers almost his entire right arm, it is currently hidden by his travelling cloak and shirt. BUT, I have no problem with his sleeves being rolled up as the day is warm, and he is certainly animated enough that his arms never stay under the cloak for long. :)

As he appoaches the group, Slidell wonders at the Varisian patterns on the young man's bare arms,...

Slidell's own attempt at identifying Vesh's tatto is HERE


Ehlissa Briez wrote:
Let's go and take a look at the festival...[/ooc]

Corran leads Ehlissa towards Church Square by a roundabout way passing through the nearly deserted market square...

For Corran:

Spoiler:
Your family has bought and sold goods at the Sandpoint market many times

... and up Festival Street. The Sandpoint Theatre #23 stands out here, a tall stone and wood building garishly decorated in festive colors. The bill announces that "The Harpy's Curse" opens tomorrow, with a surprise star from Magnimar...

For Corran:

Spoiler:
There is a spoiler for you about Theatre owner Drokkus back on page 1 if you missed it earlier.

For Ehlissa:

Spoiler:
You saw "The Harpy's Curse" in Magnimar a couple months ago. It was a passable performance, but you were not overwhelmed. The lead was a wisp of a girl named Allishanda. Afterward, you overheard a pair of brash gentlemen wondering if she had displayed more "talent" in the director's suite.

... continuing leisurely, you pass through an older, more industrial part of town with the Carpenters' Guild #24 and the Red Dog Smithy #15 both typical of the neighborhood. An old mastiff lying in the shade of a poplar tree watches you warily from the smith's yard...

For Corran:

Spoiler:
Das Korvut, the smith, is a mean, small-minded man, but when it comes to the trade, there is none better. Your family has relied on him without fail for many years.

... The old rundown buildings give way to a small clearing as Festival Street meets Undercliff Way. The Undercliff bridge crosses the Turandarok River to the east. A lone guard leans lazily on his spear, casually eying a man approaching town with a donkey-drawn cart.

Here you can smell the harsh chemicals wafting out from the tannery #14, and also admire the new Cathedral built on the hill north of you overlooking the town. The new building is all stone and it is immensely tall by Sandpoint's standards. Each stone appears meticulously carved and shaped to fit in, like pieces of a puzzle, forming the gracefully curving walls of the building's three chapels. A couple of monunments from the graveyard are visible to the east of the cathedral.

Admiring the cathedral, you head down Undercliff Way, passing several houses and businesses before emerging in Church Square ...

For Corran:

Spoiler:
One of these is Risa's Place #13, an out of the way spot known for its spiced potatoes.

...The square is bustling with activity in stark contrast to the mostly deserted surrounding neighborhoods. Men and women are everywhere swimming in a sea of tables and bright tents. Near you is a pile of wood for tonight's bonfire. Up ahead, you see where workers are finishing a platform for the welcoming speeches and dedication. Others are placing hay bales in rows forming a semi-circle around the platform for people to sit on. Children are running and playing. People are laughing and gossiping.

Here and there you see some townsfolk you recognize: somber Gaven, the brewer, is unloading kegs from a cart; Sheriff Hemlock is directing workers in the center of the square; Father Zantus and Mayor Deverin are everywhere at once, attending to a multitude of small details. And right through the middle of it all, a curious old man is leading a troupe of young boys and girls, each carrying a box, cage, or other unsual object.


For Slidell:

Spoiler:
The young Varisian's tattoo suggests he is a form weaver: a transmuter.


Female Human (Chelaxian) Knight 1/Fighter 1/Paladin 1 (2)

Ehlissa beams, feeling the almost tangible excitement and revelling in the small town feel. People have been so welcoming, and she almost feels like a part of a family.

She turna and grins at Corran, "This is so nice!" she exclaims, "Everyone seems so happy and full of life; this is the sort of thing that makes life worth living!"

She spies the old man and his entourage and is immediately intrigued; she grabs Corran's hand and makes to go over to see whats going on, "Come on!" She cries, for all the world like a little girl at the fair.


Sorry about my absence. My posting should return to normal in a few days. Did Fenster respond or did I miss that post?


Sir Malcolm of Riddleport wrote:
Sorry about my absence. My posting should return to normal in a few days. Did Fenster respond or did I miss that post?

Good to have you back. Fenster's response is on page 1 somewhere.


Female Human (Shoanti) Druid 3, Sorcerer 1 6,000 XP
Vesh wrote:


"She is Shoanti," says Vesh, finally finding his tongue, "that is how she did it." Turning to the Shoanti woman, Vesh bows in accordance to the traditions of the Shoanti that he met as a lad on the Velashu Uplands. In the dialect of the Velashu Shoanti, he tells the woman, "Sal o thys talol si eilostar. Air shar eir Ai tyr pai sai caer cos thys velol eirdae! Tia basti air Vesh os si Camelo tal ol si Velashu Val. Sor air tia tystalol, ei jhylar os sor syrn shyri basti air Shayliss. Ai shyr shi cylysaer sai jhaes si basti kolael o shia os vaedi."*

Looking at the young Varisian in surprise when he speaks her tongue, if haltingly, she replies kindly, keeping much of her attention on the donkey. "Ai eis cyrn eir Myrn Tor, eistyl tia vaedi. O tia tar ti Naelah. Shol tasia o maraelia."*

Recovering from her surprise, she replied to the question the girl had asked. "I am Shoanti. I speak to the wind. And I am Naelah." Her reply was simplistic at best, but whilst she was distraced with the donkey, she didn't have much brain power for conversation.

I'll continue to try and make the animal calmer. Should I make more rolls?
------------------------------

As promised:

Spoiler:
Thank you for calming the animal. It was all I could do to keep him from running away! My name is Vesh of the Camelo clan on the Velashu Plains. This is my companion, a local of this town whose name is Shayliss. I would be honored to learn the name given you by your people. These words used are the translation of Vesh's words into Shoanti via the language converter I am using.

Ai eis cyrn eir Myrn Tor, eistyl tia vaedi. O tia tar ti Naelah. Shol tasia o maraelia. I am known as Snow-Child, amongst my people. You my call me Naelah. Winds carry you safely.

Oh, and sorry that you guys hate waiting for people to post - I know how it feels. I'll try and be quicker....


Male Human (Varisian) Spellthief 4 (XP = 6405) as of 7/28, Wrathspawn and Shrine (10,000xp = 5th level)
Naelah wrote:


"Ai eis cyrn eir Myrn Tor, eistyl tia vaedi. O tia tar ti Naelah. Shol tasia o maraelia."*

"Naelah," repeats Vesh, more to himself than anyone in particular, "Naelah Snow-Child." I can see why they call her that, he thinks to himself, her hair is magnificent.

Making certain that--between Naelah and Shayliss--they have the donkey under control, Vesh turns his attention to the thin Chelaxian man with the Raven.

Purposely using the proper greeting that one Varisian would give another (I think it was a slight bow???), Vesh addresses the pale man. "My name is Vesh. If you don't think that your bird would spook the donkey further, would you help me make sure the load in the cart is secure?"

Without waiting for a reply, Vesh glances around the area, and as he turns back towards the cart--giving Naelah a wide birth so as not to disturb her--he remembers himself. Addressing the Chelaxian again, Vesh quickly adds, "Oh! This is Shayliss. I am assisting her and her father in making preparations for the festival."

------------------------------------

Naelah wrote:


Oh, and sorry that you guys hate waiting for people to post - I know how it feels. I'll try and be quicker....

Oh, please don't take my ramblings seriously. I'm being more than a little facetious. Work is slow right now, so I have plenty of time to "complain," but my (busier) time will come. *Sigh*

BTW, are you using that Aerenal translator for the Shoanti language? Whatever you're using, it's pretty cool (D&D cool not iPhone cool, mind you), and maybe we could use it to fire Shoanti banter at one another!
------------------------------------
@Everyone else besides FabesMinis: take a look at the discussion thread and weigh-in on the "Perception" and "Sneak" skill discussion that JSL started.


I sigh "Alas, the Blackfire was captured by the Chelaxian navy. She's been impounded and most of me old mates are in shackles. I barely escaped and stole a little boat and sailed down here. I'm gonna try to get my ship repaired and then sail back to Riddleport and put together a crew to recover the Blackfire." I laugh and ask "Who'd want out of Riddleport eh? Its been a long time since I was home. How are the winds of fortune treating ye? I see you're the master of your own ship now. Come on. I'll buy you a drink at the Rusty Dragon." I start to walk towards the Rusty Dragon and notice the odd fellow in the blue tunic. I turn and mutter to Fenster "Who's that fellow? I noticed him hanging around your ship earlier."


Sir Malcolm of Riddleport wrote:
I start to walk towards the Rusty Dragon and notice the odd fellow in the blue tunic. I turn and mutter to Fenster "Who's that fellow? I noticed him hanging around your ship earlier."

"Aye, I'll join ye for that drink, though I shan't tarry. Me mates is young an' still a bit green in the cheeks; with strong ale they be loosin' their lips. Given the nature of me cargo, I hope to weigh anchor and hoist sail 'ere the sun be o'er the mast an' they be gettin' to trouble."

"Sorry to hear o' ye Blackfire. Though I may be of some aid to ye - I'll be meeting with a fellow in Magnimar to discuss a business opportunity, but I expect to be on my way back north in a fortnight an' if ye'r still here, I'll see to it that ye have first class accomodations to Riddleport - even if it means me crew be sleeping on the deck!"

"Eh, what a curious fellow. Has the clothes of a town guard, but not the look: too old in the tooth, me thinks, to be one o' the good Sheriff's men. Alas, he is off (and good riddance), to the festival, perhaps."

You walk up the hill to the Rusty Dragon. As you enter, the crowds are thinning and you find a small table with a good view of the common room. Bethana, the halfling barmaid, recognizes Malcolm and soon has a pair of tall steins brimming with one of the Two Knights' finer ales and a plate of bread before you.

"Not to be rude," she says, "but we will be closing for the festival soon, so if you need anything else, please let me know now. And if you don't get enough to eat, there will be food at the festival all day. Hope to see you there." She smiles, curtsies, and makes her way towards the kitchen.

Looking around, you see Ameiko talking to some folks at the bar and a few other townspeople milling about or gossiping. It sounds like most of them are on their way to the festival as well.

Malcolm is now in the Rusty Dragon perhaps half an hour before Corran, Ehlissa, and Vesh leave.


Vesh wrote:


Purposely using the proper greeting that one Varisian would give another (I think it was a slight bow???), Vesh addresses the pale man. "My name is Vesh. If you don't think that your bird would spook the donkey further, would you help me make sure the load in the cart is secure?"

Slidell Returns the bow with an casualness that belies the intensity of his swiftly searching gaze. "Greetings Vesh, I am Slidell, sometimes called Stormraven." With a warning glance to the indifferent raven on his shoulder he continues,... "That shouldn't be a problem, I'll be glad to help."

Vesh wrote:


Without waiting for a reply, Vesh glances around the area, and as he turns back towards the cart--giving Naelah a wide birth so as not to disturb her--he remembers himself. Addressing the Chelaxian again, Vesh quickly adds, "Oh! This is Shayliss. I am assisting her and her father in making preparations for the festival."

Realizing that he addressing Vesh's back, Slidell raises an eyebrow and turns his attention to the young lady. "A pleasure Shayliss, rock candy?" He smiles and deposits the heavy paper containing the afore-mentioned sweets into her surprised hand. Noting Vesh's glance, he follows it, trying to determine if he can see what Vesh is looking at, or for. He then continues to move around to the other side of the cart from Vesh.

"So Shayliss, what is it that you and your family are contributing to the festival today?" Slidell asks as he works. It is quickly obvious that he is no expert on knots or ropes, but he does his best to make sure that the cargo is in no immediate danger of falling off of the tiny, overloaded wagon. As he works, it is obvious that Slidell's attention is focused as much on his new acquaintances as it is on the cargo.

It finally becomes obvious to Slidell that the cargo is as secure on his side as he will be able to make it. So he ambles back around to the front where the ladies are. "AH! Rock candy!" He says delightedly, noting the crumpled paper still held in Shayliss's hand, and helps himself to a piece. Winking, Slidell then relieves her of the paper. After making sure that the ladies have another piece if they want it, he then turns to Vesh, who is returning from his side of the wagon, and holds it out to him. "Rock candy?"

@JSL

Spoiler:

Slidell is examining his new "friends", and doing the detective thing to see what he can tell about them. Instead of just blurting, I thought I would play this one "straight" and see what my rolls might actually tell me. I am trying to see if my character can actually find and put together the clues that Vesh is fresh off the boat, etc. Basically trying to see if this will really work now, or if i need to change my approach to the character for game mechanic reasons.

------------------------------------
Naelah wrote:


Oh, and sorry that you guys hate waiting for people to post - I know how it feels. I'll try and be quicker....

No worries, I was just vamp'ing till you replied, Slidell is many things, but he is not COMPLETELY rude, didn't want to butt into the conversation without you getting to answer first! ;P

"Vesh wrote:


BTW, are you using that Aerenal translator for the Shoanti language? Whatever you're using, it's pretty cool (D&D cool not iPhone cool, mind you), and maybe we could use it to fire Shoanti banter at one another!

Hmmm, I might have to find another translator then, if that's the same one I've been using for my "Elvish" & spell quotes!


Male Human Wizard 2/Sor 1

Sorry, posted as Rags by mistake. Didn't catch it until the EDIT option was gone.
I'll pay closer attention in the future ;P


Male Human (Varisian) Spellthief 4 (XP = 6405) as of 7/28, Wrathspawn and Shrine (10,000xp = 5th level)

As Slidell works on his side of the cart, Vesh busies himself with his own. Not particularly paying attention to what he is doing, Vesh's thoughts are a-swirl with the activity of the last few hours.

I have been dock-hand, prey, messenger, and laborer in the span of a morning! Vesh thinks, his face again forming an unconscious frown as he half-concentrates on his ropes and knots. This Chelaxian is odd--perhaps he is in league with the other one. The thought hits him like a punch to the stomach as he turns to the front of the wagon.

Ragadolf wrote:
...he then turns to Vesh, who is returning from his side of the wagon, and holds it out to him. "Rock candy?"

"What is this?" Asks Vesh, his eyes widening in surprise at the medicinal-looking things in Slidell's outstretched hand. Poison!

Vesh takes a step or two backwards. "What are you about? Were you following me?!" his eyes narrow, and he spares a quick glance around as he quickly draws his short sword from its scabbard. His voice drops to a growl, "where is your friend, eh? Speak!"

-------------------------------------------
I just want to make very clear that I'm NOT trying to pick a fight with Slidell. I don't do the intra-party fighting thing. I'm looking for role-playing interactions here that are appropriate to Vesh's mental state, and I thought that this'd be fun to play out with Rag's character...and PsionicFox's too. Just hopefully not her wolf. *Gulp*


"The nature of yer cargo? I figured you hadn't gone legit. Yeah, its a shame but if all goes well I'll free 'em and we can be sailing and liberating goods by the beginning of winter. I might wait for ye and take ye up on that offer. It'd be nice to go back home in something a tad more impressive than a fishing boat." I say quitely as we walk up to the Rusty Dragon. Once inside I lead Fenster over to a table and thank Bethana with a smile and a few silver coins. "We won't be long. Thank you."
"So old friend, what're ye up to these days?" I ask, tearing off a chunk of the bread.


Male Human Wizard 2/Sor 1
Vesh wrote:


"What is this?" Asks Vesh, his eyes widening in surprise at the medicinal-looking things in Slidell's outstretched hand. Poison!

Seemingly bemused by Vesh's initial reaction, Slidell pops another piece of candy into his own mouth.

Vesh wrote:
Vesh takes a step or two backwards. "What are you about? Are you following me?!" his eyes narrow, and he spares a quick glance around as he quickly draws his short sword from its scabbard. His voice drops to into a growl, "where is your friend, eh? Speak!"

This quickly changes to genuine surprise. When Vesh draws his weapon, Slidell takes a step back himself, his raven hissing in defiance at the unexpected threat.

Recovering, Slidell quickly puts up a hand to still his familiar. He then, slowly and calmly, closes the paper and puts it back into his pocket. If you don't LIKE candy, all you had to do was say so. He thinks to himself.

Slidell gives the bared blade before him the same scrutiny he did the unlikely couple a moment ago. "I was about," he replies, much slower than Naelah had ever heard him speak, "to offer you a piece of candy. But I'll take that as a NO."

Relaxing a little, Slidell continues. "As far as following you, no. Sorry, but I've never seen you before now. Hardly surprising as you just arrived by boat, and I haven't set foot on a ship in a long time." He smiles, "And I'm afraid the only friend I have in this town is this young lady right here. And I've only just met her this morning."

Slidell makes a placating gesture as Vesh opens his mouth in apparent anger. "And NO, I did not have to follow you to tell that you just arrived by ship." Unable to contain a small smile at Vesh's look, Slidell's irrepressible personality takes over and he continues, warming to his subject as he once more becomes the human whirlwind of speech that Naelah first met.

"You still have some sea-salt encrusted in your hair. You still have a faint odor of brine that your labors of the day have not completely worn away. And your armor and,... weapon," he looks deliberately to the short sword still held unwaveringly at his face, then back to Vesh, "are pitted with exposure to the sea air. All of these tell me that you are recently arrived by ship. Probably this morning."
He lowers his voice a little and leans slightly forward, "Your reaction also tells me that you are expecting company, or are afraid that you might have company. Though I confess I am completely in the dark as to why."

Slidell reaches back over his shoulder and taps his still-slung staff with a forefinger. "Now," He continued amiably, "If you'll put that away before you attract too much attention, (I understand the sheriff has a very low tolerance for drawn weapons in town,) and tell me what seems to be the trouble, I might just be able to help."

At Vesh's openly skeptical look, Slidell explains. "I consider myself a trouble-shooter. You seem like a man with a mystery to solve. And I happen to LOVE a good mystery. Perhaps, as Naelah here would say, 'The Winds of Fate have blown us together'? What do you say Vesh?"

Slidell continues to stand calmly still, awaiting Vesh's response.

(Though if looks could kill, the score would be, RAVEN-1,Vesh-0)

No worries Vesh, You just gave the human hurricane here the chance to sound off! (As if Sly would pick a fight with a guy that could obviously kick his can!) ;)


@Slidell:

Spoiler:
Shayliss is single - no ring; she's about 16 years old; she probably has an older sister - her clothes are hand-me-down and not quite fitted to her build; she is wearing a very low-cut dress under her cloak - probably indicates a wild streak and perhaps that a jealous lover or controlling father has made her cover up. She seems honest, but a little nervous at all these people (and animals) who have suddenly showed up. She has looked back down the street a couple of times as if expecting someone coming behind them.

The cart contains three tables - some assembly required - and a dozen or so wood folding chairs. These two appear to be headed to the festival grounds to set up a booth or something. But curiously, there are no goods or other things that they might be selling at said booth in the cart.


Male Human Wizard 2/Sor 1
Slidell wrote:
(Though if looks could kill, the score would be, RAVEN-1,Vesh-0)

Just making sure that everyone realized that this meant raven, the BIRD (Familiar), NOT Stormraven the character!

:)

@JSL-Thank you for the above.


Sir Malcolm of Riddleport wrote:


"So old friend, what're ye up to these days?" I ask, tearing off a chunk of the bread.

Fenster downs his ale in a single draught setting the stein carefully on the table before leaning in a little closer and speaking in hushed tones.

"I have a new acquaintance in Magnimar who goes by the name o' Ironbriar. He has given me some most profitable work of late. I don't know what his trade is, but I aim to find me out more. He has invited me to meet his 'brothers' and I think they may be lookin' fer a partnership of a more permanent standin'. That said, I'd as soon not know what he be having me transport - only that his coin is good an' fair."

He sits back and helps himself to some bread. Chewing thoughtfully as he surveys the common room he quickly leans forward again.

"See there at the bar - the pretty lass next to the big fella with the shield - she be Magnimar royalty if 'ere I did see such. Now that be a trouble I want no part of. There are dark things in Magnimar - murders and worse to be sure - but the royalty is a thing I be wantin' no part of."

He shakes his head slowly as he scratches his chin for a moment. Then standing says, "Malcolm its been good to see ye. I'll look ye up at this fine establishment upon my return - hopefully as a wiser and wealthier man. Knave's honor."

And then with a mock salute he is out the door.

By now the Rusty Dragon is pretty much empty. A few patrons linger at the bar chatting with Ameiko while a young man dons his armor, under the watchful and suspicious eye of Ven Vinder, the shopkeep, no less. If you're not mistaken, its the same fellow who Fenster smuggled out of Riddleport. As you watch, he finishes dressing and heads off after Ven.

A couple of minutes later the last two patrons - the Magnimar royal and her shield-bearing companion - follow them out the door. Ameiko is locking up the back room.

"Malcolm, do you need anything from your room? I'm locking up for the festival and I won't be back until after sunset," she says when she notices you.


Male Human (Varisian) Spellthief 4 (XP = 6405) as of 7/28, Wrathspawn and Shrine (10,000xp = 5th level)
Slidell Stormraven wrote:


"I was about," he replies, much slower than Naelah had ever heard him speak, "to offer you a piece of candy. But I'll take that as a NO."

Candy! Vesh feels the burn of embarrassment start in his stomach, and he notices for the first time that the women are eating candy. Fool that I am!

Slidell Stormraven wrote:


...Hardly surprising as you just arrived by boat, and I haven't set foot on a ship in a long time..."

How did he know? But Vesh's thought, and the protest on his lips, are cut off by

Slidell Stormraven wrote:
a placating gesture as Vesh opens his mouth in apparent anger. "And NO, I did not have to follow you to tell that you just arrived by ship..."

As Slidell launches into his explanation, the burning that started in Vesh's belly enflames his face.

Slidell Stormraven wrote:
"If you'll put that away before you attract too much attention...and tell me what seems to be the trouble, I might just be able to help...I consider myself a trouble-shooter. You seem like a man with a mystery to solve. And I happen to LOVE a good mystery. Perhaps, as Naelah here would say, 'The Winds of Fate have blown us together'? What do you say Vesh?"

The end of Vesh's sword wavers slightly as a crestfallen look washes over his face. Then, the moment broken, he turns the shortsword to better examine the blade.

"Pitted?" He says with a frown, "I honed the damned blade every night while at sea. But," continues Vesh, looking Slidell full in the face as if for the first time, "you obviously see things that I do not."

Sheathing the blade, and with calmness of voice that comes as a surprise to himself, Vesh bows low to Slidell, "I am a fool Slidell Stormraven." Rising he continues, "Apparently, the only thing I see are Chelaxians following me in the shadows. I am sorry. Your manner, your tattoos, your bird, they . . . confused me. I thought--" But, Vesh cannot bring himself to say that he thought the man was offering poison when he had only offered him candy. Candy! For Desna's sake even children are not afraid of candy!

"If I you like a mystery, as you put it," Vesh feels the heat mercifully draining from his face, and he glances at Naelah as he continues, "and if your companion doesn't mind putting up with a hotheaded Varisian, I'll take you up on your offer of help. Perhaps you will see what I have been unable to see."

"And," Vesh pauses and looks at Slidell, a slight smile playing across his face, "I'd like a red one."


I was waiting for Corran, but he must be busy.

Ehlissa Briez wrote:
She spies the old man and his entourage and is immediately intrigued; she grabs Corran's hand and makes to go over to see whats going on, "Come on!" She cries, for all the world like a little girl at the fair.

The odd procession comes to a sudden stop as you approach. Amidst jostling and bummping, the old man steps to greet you, his hand outstreached.

"Well met, good stranger, I am Ilsoari Gandethus: Headmaster of the Turandarok Academy. And these," children duck and scatter as he sweeps his hands about, "are my wards. Orphans, many of them, rescued off the street by the good people of Sandpoint; but just as many are sent to me by their parents to learn the arts and sciences. In fact, right now we are putting that study to good use - aren't we children? Each child has raised a brood of swallowtail butterflies for today's festival. Ah yes, Entomologie!"

Some of the children barely suppress giggles as they watch the effusive headmaster prattle on about the Academy and their coursework. Others have taken advantage of the momentary lapse in discipline to wander off and indulge in the multitude of sights, sounds, and smells in Church Square.


Naelah, Slidell, Vesh:

"Come on Vesh, Bethana is waiting for us - and I need to get to the festival before Daddy comes. I'll simply die if I have to sit with my parents for the whole time. You can talk to your weird new friend at the festival, I'm sure." Shayliss has taken the reins of the now placid donkey and is making to lead him onward.

"Thank you again Missus Snow-Child," she bows slightly towards Naelah.


Male Human Wizard 2/Sor 1

GRRR, I spent over an hour typing (interuptions at work) and missed posting before JSL by like ONE minute!!

Slidell returns Vesh's low bow. "'There is no fool like a young fool', or so my master says." He pushes his wide brimmed hat farther back on his head, his infectious smile revealing his own youth.

"I see the same things that everyone else does, less so sometimes. I just have a knack for putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with '22'. And that is as much a pain as it is a blessing I can assure you."
" My manners are usually inexcusable, my tattoos are easily explainable, and my bird is,...well he's usually annoying, but mostly harmless." Slidell offers no reaction as the raven turns his head at this statement, opens his beak, and lets loose the unmistakeable sound of a raspberry directly into his ear.

"You see what I mean?"

"As far as putting up with a 'hotheaded Varisian', " Slidell continues, steering Vesh closer to Naelah as he once again offers the rumpled paper and candy to him, "I think that Naelah might enjoy that as a nice break from the 'chatty Chelaxian'." He said with a quick wink at Naelah. "She happens to be a most excellent listener with unusual insight."

"Now my dear," He says as he turns back to calm the obviously agitated Shayliss, "While we walk, can you tell me whether your looking for your boyfriend, your older sister, or your father, whom I'm guessing doesn't approve of your current boyfriend?" At Shayliss's shocked stammer, he waves his hand as if shooing away an insect. "2 plus 2 is 22" He murmers, " And I wonder, is your mother preparing the food for your booth, or is this setup for one of the restaraunts in town?".

"And Vesh," He continued, turning back toward the Varisian, who was now tentatively enjoying his treat. "Why don't you start with why a Varisian from a sea-faring town is expecting to be jumped on by Chelaxians from the shadows, or anywhere else for that matter?"

Naelah smiled at Vesh as the young Varisian realized that he had been placed next to the soft-spoken Shoanti, where he might feel less threatened while still assisting her in controlling the donkey. Then Vesh saw that while speaking non-stop, Slidell had managed to place himself between both Vesh and Shayliss. Where he settled himself with another candy from his bag, obviously prepared to listen to both of them.

If it works better, simply edit out the part I addressed to Shayliss, she answered my questions anyway!


"Smugggling eh?" I reply in an equally hushed tone "I'll stick to plundering. "Always good policy, never trust the rich and powerful. I'll most likely still be here." I say, returning the salute and finishing my ale.
"So, there's trouble in Magnimar. I wonder what's happening now? I wonder why she's here." I think, staring pensively at the noble from Magnimar "Still best to watch her."
"No, I think I have what I'll want." I say with a smile and hand her a few coins for the bread and the ale. I wander out into the Swallowtil Festival, just looking around.


Male Human Ranger 1
JSL wrote:

I was waiting for Corran, but he must be busy.

Ehlissa Briez wrote:
She spies the old man and his entourage and is immediately intrigued; she grabs Corran's hand and makes to go over to see whats going on, "Come on!" She cries, for all the world like a little girl at the fair.

The odd procession comes to a sudden stop as you approach. Amidst jostling and bummping, the old man steps to greet you, his hand outstreached.

"Well met, good stranger, I am Ilsoari Gandethus: Headmaster of the Turandarok Academy. And these," children duck and scatter as he sweeps his hands about, "are my wards. Orphans, many of them, rescued off the street by the good people of Sandpoint; but just as many are sent to me by their parents to learn the arts and sciences. In fact, right now we are putting that study to good use - aren't we children? Each child has raised a brood of swallowtail butterflies for today's festival. Ah yes, Entomologie!"

Some of the children barely suppress giggles as they watch the effusive headmaster prattle on about the Academy and their coursework. Others have taken advantage of the momentary lapse in discipline to wander off and indulge in the multitude of sights, sounds, and smells in Church Square.

Sorry, I've been busy with my daughter as my wife just went back to work this week from maternity leave. I missed Ehlissa's post, and thought the two of us were "done" until the others came to the square for the festival to start.

Knowledge:Nature check = 13 Corran talks to the children about their butterflies, remembering not too long ago when he was just starting to learn about nature.

Dark Archive

Slidell Stormraven wrote:
If it works better, simply edit out the part I addressed to Shayliss, she answered my questions anyway!

I think Shayliss' comments could easily take place between the paragraphs where Sly says "...a most excellent listener with unusual insight," and "Now my dear..."

Will write Vesh's response this afternoon--off to a meeting in the real world. Save vs. sleep to avoid being bored out of my mind!


Naelah, Shayliss, Slidell, Vesh:
Feel free to work your dialogue around the following, I'm just moving the action along a little with a big time step. Now that everyone has had a chance to get into character, I think it's about time for that festival to get started. I've really enjoyed this so far; great role-playing on all sides. I'll catch up on the other characters as I'm able today and do the big festival color commentary tonight. Also, since everyone knows there are goblins out there somewhere, I'll post some goblin knowledge.

Shayliss recovers from her shock at Slidell's assessment of her personal life and says to no one in particular, "It's Katrine's boyfriend that Daddy doesn't like. And thanks to her, I can't even get out of the house. But what do you care? And the tables are for Ameiko's booth, like that's any of your business either."

The four of you, accompanied by your menangerie, make your way to the festival grounds at Church Square. The square is full of people setting up colorful tents and booths. You are greeted by the savory smells of fresh grilled meat and fish along with the finer aromas of warm breads and pastries. Crowds of people mill about some gossiping and some making final preparations.

No sooner have you arrived then you are greeted by Bethana and Ameiko. They thank you warmly for bringing the tables and chairs. Caught up in the excitement you help set up the booth near a fire pit covered with a metal grilling rack as you visit and make introductions. Skewers and fillets of fresh salmon are lined up ready to go on the fire as soon as the coals are hot. Somewhere in the chaos, Shayliss wanders off. Soon after, Ven arrives to retreive his donkey and cart. He and Ameiko exchange pleasantries and he is off again, muttering about "where Shayliss could be off to and has anyone seen that damn Katrine."

Again, sorry for the FF. Please fill in the details as you like. The festival will "start" sometime tonight when I have a chance to do the writeup


Female Human (Chelaxian) Knight 1/Fighter 1/Paladin 1 (2)

Ehlissa grins as Corran talks to the children, saying quietly, "A swordsman and a butterfly expert! You're full of surprises!" She turns to the old man and says more loudly and earnestly, "I must say, your academy is an absolutely splendid idea! Goodness only knows how these poor children would have fared otherwise. Truly Our Lady smiles on your good work."


Male Human (Varisian) Spellthief 4 (XP = 6405) as of 7/28, Wrathspawn and Shrine (10,000xp = 5th level)
JSL wrote:


The four of you, accompanied by your menangerie, make your way to the festival grounds at Church Square.

Vesh walks in between Naelah and Slidell. The company, even of these particularly strange strangers, puts Vesh more at ease. Perhaps my proximity to Naelah is calming me as it did the donkey. A smile plays across his face as he contemplates who the bigger ass was just moments ago, the animal or himself.

Vesh launches into his story a little haltingly at first, as if to figure out where to begin.

"To start at the true beginning would take all day and a good part of tomorrow," Vesh begins as a frown of contemplation returns to his face. "It is enough to say that the foolishness that I put on display for you just now played a large part in my having to leave the City of Riddleport--my home for last few years--quickly, quietly, and perhaps for good." His eyes become unfocused, as though searching through his own thoughts for the next thing to say.

"I escaped with my life, my limbs, and only the possessions I could carry on my back," Vesh continues more quietly. Taking a deep breath, he seems to return from his thoughts, "As you've observed, Slidell, I've only just arrived in Sandpoint this morning, a sailor on my vessel assisting me in de-boarding under the guise of a dockhand unloading his ship. He directed me to the Rusty Dragon, to Ameiko, to get some assistance from her in what to do next, but on my way to her, I noticed that I was being followed by a tall Chelaxian in blue and grey livery. When he saw that I had spotted him, he ducked behind a building, and I did not follow. Ameiko was good enough to put me to work helping her set up her booth for the festival, under the direction of Ven, Shayliss' father."

Looking up at the lanky Chelaxian, Vesh says, "And that, Slidell, is the big mystery. Have I been seeing Chelaxian ghosts? Am I going crazy? Or, am I being shadowed?"

As he finishes his story and asks the questions, the group comes to the church square.

JSL wrote:


The square is full of people setting up colorful tents and booths...
No sooner have you arrived then you are greeted by Bethana and Ameiko. They thank you warmly for bringing the tables and chairs. Caught up in the excitement you help set up the booth near a fire pit covered with a metal grilling rack as you visit and make introductions.

Vesh busies himself in helping with the preparations, but does not say much. As he helps, he listens to what, if anything, Slidell and Naelah offer in response to his story. He finds himself more at ease now that he has a task set before him and companions to converse with; as a result, he finds himself looking over his shoulder for his Chelaxian shadow less and less.


Male Human Wizard 2/Sor 1
JSL wrote:


Shayliss recovers from her shock at Slidell's assessment of her personal life and says to no one in particular, "It's Katrine's boyfriend that Daddy doesn't like. And thanks to her, I can't even get out of the house. But what do you care?

"Ah, of course." Slidell nods knowingly. "And being a concerned father, he doesn't want you following in your sister's footsteps." "Sorry," he grins sheepishly, "Sometimes '22' isn't always the right answer. But your wrong about one thing, I do care. And your lucky to have a father that does as well,... It must be nice,..." He murmurs almost to himself, becoming uncharacteristically quiet for a moment.

JSL wrote:


And the tables are for Ameiko's booth, like that's any of your business either."

"Ameiko?!" Slidell brightens instantly. "Isn't she the owner of the Rusty Dragon? Where I smell that wonderful baked fish every time I pass by?"

Slidell continues to make small talk with Shayliss as they make thier way to the square. But the looks he throws over his shoulder make it clear that he is listening to everything that is said, and left unsaid, by Vesh.


Male Human Wizard 2/Sor 1
JSL wrote:


The four of you, accompanied by your menangerie, make your way to the festival grounds at Church Square.

When it becomes clear that Shayliss is done with 'small chat', Slidell returns his full attention to Vesh, and ponders his story.

Vesh wrote:


Looking up at the lanky Chelaxian, Vesh says, "And that, Slidell, is the big mystery. Have I been seeing Chelaxian ghosts? Am I going crazy? Or, am I being shadowed?"

"Well," Slidell offers after a few moments of thought, "Ghosts are unlikely." He smiles wryly, "If even half of the stories told of us 'demon-callers' were true, then all Chelaxians would be hauled off by greedy spirits the moment of thier demise, so, no ghosts to worry about."

"Crazy. Possible I suppose, but I'm hardly the most qualified judge of mental stability." He points to the raven on his shoulder, grinning. "I talk to birds for Desna's sake!" He once again ignores the raspberry delivered unerringly into his ear from his familiar.

"That only leaves shadowed. My master once said, 'Just because your paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you!'." He resettles his hat on his head. "Blue & grey you said? Interesting. Isn't that the colors worn by deputies of the local sherriff? There can't be too many Chelaxians working for the sherriff here in Sandpoint. SO, if you DO happen to see your 'friend', point him out will you? I'd love to know how a fellow countryman ended up so far from home."

He punctuates his last remark with a broad wink, to ensure Vesh that he means nothing sinister by his comment. Then turns his attention to thier arrival at the square,...

JSL wrote:


The square is full of people setting up colorful tents and booths...
No sooner have you arrived then you are greeted by Bethana and Ameiko. They thank you warmly for bringing the tables and chairs. Caught up in the excitement you help set up the booth near a fire pit covered with a metal grilling rack as you visit and make introductions.

Slidell helps with enthusiasm, if not a lot of physical grace. He is decidedly more quiet than usual as he helps, obviously unable to keep up his usual, steady stream while also working and trying to take in all that is going on around the square at the same time.

If he notices when Shayliss sneaks off, he wisely (perhaps due to Naelah's quiet influence?) does not say anything to stop her. He also remains uncharacteristically quiet when overhearing her father's mutterings.

Thanks for the FF JSL, as much fun as he is, even I don't want to listen to Slidell any longer than I have too! lol!


The Swallowtail Festival
You look around Church Square and are struck by the impression that everyone in town must be at this year's Swallowtail Festival. People are lined up to buy food, clothing, and various sundries at any one of a dozen tents or tables set up along the southern edge of the square. To the north, a pair of gnomish musicians entertain a small crowd with their pipes as a third gnome dances a jig while juggling half-a-dozen colored balls. Finally at noon, the crowd settles in finding seats or comfortable standing areas facing the wooden platform erected against the west wall of the cathedral.

Mayor Deverin mounts the short flight of steps leading to the podium and addresses the gathered crowd in a clear resonant voice, "People of Sandpoint and honored guests today is a day we have looked forward to and worked towards for five years. Yes, it has been that long since the fire that destroyed our old church. We endured much that summer; more sorrow than any of us would have thought possible. But, like Blessed Desna, who we celebrate today, we have overcome that sorrow and grief and built up that which was destroyed. We have repaired the damage to our beloved town and we can each be proud of our accomplishment. Although the Late Unpleasantness was a time of suffering, we have also made it a time of togetherness. For when good people work together, as we have to construct our new cathedral, no evil can stand in their way!"

As the mayor takes her seat on the edge of the platform, Sheriff Hemlock comes to the fore. Looking a little nervous at being the center of attention, the big Shoanti clears his throat in in a great booming voice intones a traditional Shoanti blessing, translated into the common tongue. He ends his moment in the spotlight with a somber reminder to all to be careful around the bonfires.

The third speaker is Cyrdak Drokkus, the flamboyant proprietor of Sandpoint's Theatre. He emerges from behind the platform wearing a hat studded with seagull feathers and wielding a knife and other wood carving instruments. His "speech" is an irreverent one-man send-up of the town's recent history starting with a rendition of Chopper, followed by a reenactment of the Sandpoint fire, and concluding with a lengthy spoof of the numerous delays and difficulties encountered during the construction of the new cathedral. Although somewhat edgy, Cyrdak is a big hit with most of his audience and gets a fair share of laughs, even from some of the people he lampoons. Finally, he encourages everyone to attend the opening of "The Harpy's Curse" at the theatre - starring the magnificent Allishanda, who has come all the way from Magnimar to play the role of the harpy queen, Avisera.

When at last Cyrdak begrudgingly gives up the stage it is to Father Zantus, who is met with warm applause. The good Father and two of his acolytes wheel a covered wagon to the front edge of the platform. Then, after he recants the parable of Desna's fall to earth and how she was nursed back to health by a blind child, who she transformed into an immortal butterfly as a reward, the Father whisks away the wagon covering and thousands of swallowtail butterflies take to the air, their wings gleaming in the bright afternoon sun. The crowd cheers and applauds in celebration as children of all ages chase after the elusive insects.

The ceremony over, the townsfolk disperse among the many booths and tents. All of the local eateries are providing lunch free of charge for the festival today and there are a variety of options to choose from. You wander through the crowd sampling the many delicious entrees and sumptuous desserts offered at the food booths or browse through fine Varisian linens and Shoanti woodcarvings offered for sale in several striped tents. Musicians and entertainers of all stripes are scattered around the square dueling with each other for the attention of passersby. Like the butterflies, the people of Sandpoint flit from attraction to attraction gossiping and celebrating as if they haven't a care in the world.

If you would like, you can try a Perception check and a Gather Information check to represent the things you hear/see/pick up on during the festival.

Perception
DC 5:

Spoiler:

A stray dog wanders aimlessly through the crowd looking for a handout. Eventually settling for someone's half-eaten lunch it crawls under a wagon near the edge of the square to eat.

DC 10:

Spoiler:

You overhear Ameiko talking to a tough-looking half-orc: "Of course I didn't believe he would be foolish enough to go through with it ... who knows what he'll come up with next."

DC 15:

Spoiler:

Through a momentary gap in the milling crowd you glimpse a tall man in the livery of a town guard in an animated conversation with a rail thin fellow with long black hair. You're not sure, but the second man may have been an elf. When you glance back in that direction they are gone.

DC 20:

Spoiler:

As you stroll along the edges of the festival you glance down a side street in time to see the back end of a cart disappear into an alley. Moments later a man emerges from the alley and, looking around, disappears between two buildings. The second man in the DC 15 item might be the same fellow.

Gather Info:
DC 5:

Spoiler:

The hagfish's clam chowder is excellent, but Ameiko's salmon skewers are the talk of the town, culinary wise.

DC 10:

Spoiler:

While Drokkus' performance was enjoyed by most, not everyone was impressed or pleased with his off-color remarks.

DC 15:

Spoiler:

Many of the local farmers in town for the festival are hoping to drum up public support for a new grain mill. It seems that several mills in the area have recently been destroyed by fires leaving the only functioning mill in Sandpoint overworked. Plus it is an extra 3-4 miles journey to take grain into town to be milled. And surely it is not coincidence that the only surviving mill is owned by the Scarnetti family.

DC 20:

Spoiler:

Goblins have been raiding the Sandpoint junkyard again. Or at least that is what people have assumed after it was discovered that some extra hardware for the cathedral that was mistakenly thrown over Junker's Edge could not be located the next day. Of course, it also could have gone out with the tide.

DC 25:

Spoiler:

One citizen who is not at this year's festival is Lonjiku Kaijitsu. He did, however, give all the workers at the glassworks the day off and insisted that they be in attendance. Perhaps he is avoiding Ameiko or maybe he has other obligations.

...

A sharp retort like a crack of distant thunder slices through the excited crowd as the sun's setting rays paint the western sky. The buzz of two dozen conversations quickly hushes as all heads turn towards the platform where Father Zantus, beaming widely, stands at the central podium and clears his voice.

Suddenly the quiet is pierced by a shrill scream followed by another and sudden commotion. Over the panicked voices of the townsfolk you hear a raucous ear-splitting squeal. Looking around and reaching for your weapons, your attention is drawn to a flurry of movement near a stray dog under a wagon. As you watch, the dog gives a sudden start, whimpers, and collapses in a pool of blood. A shadowy shape the size of a young child darts from under the wagon and sprints towards the crowd, a wicked looking blade in one hand. Several others follow. Goblins!

I've posted a map here. Please indicate your location (within line-of-sight of the wagon) and roll initiative.

Goblins:
Knowledge (Nature)
+5 bonus if you speak Goblin or have Fey as Favored Enemy, but the untrained maximum DC of 10 still applies.

DC 5

Spoiler:
Goblins are the lowest of the fey. They are simple, carnal creatures that prefer to make their homes deep in the forests, natural caverns, or abandoned buildings.

DC 10

Spoiler:
Most goblins are driven by insatiable hunger. They hate and fear horses and dogs, but have a natural affinity for wolves, which serve them as mounts. Having little industry of their own, the scavenge from more civilized races and can often be found looting or even living in junkyards or other places of refuse.

DC 15

Spoiler:
Goblins are crafty fighters possessing a cunning that belies their inherent stupidity. When attacking in groups, they are like wolves: surrounding and bringing down prey much larger and more powerful than themselves. They can see equally well in daylight and total darkness but prefer to attack at night when they often have an advantage.

DC 20

Spoiler:
Stories abound of goblins leaping out of nowhere to attack or steal and then disappearing into the shadows. Either they are much smarter and faster than people give them credit for, or they have strange unnatural powers.

DC 25

Spoiler:
The most powerful goblin chieftains ride into battle on wolf-like monsters with glowing red eyes. They spring from the shadows, attacking with blades nearly as large as themselves and can hew a man down and be gone before his comrades can even draw steel. Fortunately, goblins of such power are exceedingly rare and almost never encountered close to civilization.


I buy myself one of the delicacies offered at Ameiko's tent and wander through the crowd. I watch the man in the blue/grey livery closely, curious. I wend my way through the crowd and try to get close enough to hear his conversation.
Perception 16 (11+5). Still need to re-distribute the skill points.
I sit down on a hay bale about 20 feet from the cart and listening to the speeches, bored by all but Cyrdak's, although I do pay attention.
Made first two Perception checks and first three Gahter Information checks. Got to the second Kno (Nature)

When I see the goblin kill the dog I leap up and draw my blades. I look under the cart, trying to figure out exactly where the goblin is as I advance on it. I try to remember what I've heard of goblins which, given that I've spent most of my life on the sea, isn't much.
Initiative 18 (15+3)

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