Nestled atop the cliffs that rise from the Sword Coast, the citadel of Candlekeep houses the finest and most comprehensive collection of
writings on the face of Faerun. It is an imposing fortress, kept in strict isolation from the intrigues that occasionally plague the rest of the Forgotten Realms. It is secluded, highly regimented, and for some of you...it is home.
Within these hallowed halls of knowledge your story begins. Some of you have spent your lives within Candlekeep, being amidst a sea of
knowledge. Others have recently arrived, their admittance bought by a Tome of Knowledge, or tales of the outside world. Others have been invited within, or work with Candlekeep and the surrounding countryside. Many of you have met the man named Gorion, a scholar and mage of power. To some, he seems fatherly. To others, a friend. And to a few, simply a source of employment. To each of you he has proven to be a man worthy of respect, and he treats all of you as close friends, students, even as his own flesh and blood. He shares his knowledge freely, and seems to genuinely respect and admire each of your skills.
The only knowledge he will not willingly share for some of you, is knowledge or aid in determining your parentage. Specifically, your Father.
For those who have spent much time around Gorion, as of late he has been growing distant from you, as if some grave matters weighs heavily upon his heart. Those who have asked of his concerns, no matter how gently or subtly you try, your queries are in vain. The only comfort is that you know Gorion is a wise man, and you can only presume he will share his burden with you when the time is right. Nonetheless, his silence is troubling, and you cannot help but feel that something is terribly wrong.
Rasp, Gorion's visits with you have been few and far between, and as of late his questions and stories have strayed from the usual. He seems
keenly interested in your memories, especially of your childhood, and focuses on dreams and tales of their import. He seems concerned, and you cannot help but feel that perhaps part of what weighs upon him involves you in some way...
Dagoliir, as of late Gorion has taken an interest in your training, and at times can been seen watching you from afar, studying your intently.
He has asked to speak with you privately from time to time, always focusing upon your skills and knowledge of the lands around Candlekeep, and safe travel routes to the surrounding settlements. He always respects your answers, and despite obviously being a man of great knowledge, Gorion never contradicts your answers, simply seeming to accept your responses as fact. You have also noticed him speaking with your parents from time to time, but the conversation always ends when you come near, and they will not speak of it further.
Garrick, in the weeks since your wife has passed, Candlekeep has been largely a place of solitude. What few visitors that come keep to
themselves, and only kind, jolly ole Winthrop, an astoundingly obese and massive man, keeps you much company in the Candlekeep Inn. The Watchers of Candlekeep are not associated with the Flaming Fist, but recognize you as a skilled warrior and respectfully leave you alone. However, for the past couple weeks, the scholar Gorion has also kept your company if allowed. He does not talk much, and when he does the questions are always of your past, and what you remember of your parentage. He does not pry, and in exchange, tells you many a grand tale of the larger Realms, tales that are obviously meant to comfort or inspire you. He buys your drinks, and seems content to listen, and perhaps, be a friend.
Kemek, as a resident of Candlekeep, and perhaps the closest person to Gorion in the keep, you have most keenly noticed his change in mood. It is hard to track the exact time when this happened, though as of late he has been recieving a large number of messages, and is constantly sending letters out to associates in the Harpers, an organization you have long suspected he is part of. One letter in particular stands out. You were not able to read it, but you do know he keeps it upon him, and when he got it, grew distant, and began making preparations to leave Candlekeep.
Torrinaraxis, your infrequent visits with Gorion have been pleasurable, if sparse. As a follower scholar and gather of knowledge, your evenings
together have always been spent exchanging tales, or perhaps scouring the shelves of the vast library for forgotten knowledge. Though Gorion's request for seemingly mundane knowledge have often puzzled you, the obvious rapport and respect between the two of you grown over the weeks. Now though, Gorion has stopped visiting at all, and when you ask, is indisposed. The cause of this is as of yet, unknown...
Qorin, you have enjoyed a profitable, if sometimes unusual, career of bounty hunting, and a respectful working association with Gorion. Though his request for mundane facts of the lands you travel through are often puzzling, he obviously respects your prowess, and calls upon you often, even arranging for a couple of high profile bounties courtesy of the Flaming Fist mercenary company. You have returned from your latest hunt, bearing the news of the roots growing in the valley, but as of yet Gorion has not been reachable, and you have been waiting to collect upon your bounty.
To all of you, the day is the 13th of Mirtul, the first month of Spring. The day has begun as any other, a beautiful clear day overlooking the great fortress of Candlekeep. The smell of the Sea of Swords is heavy in the air, and the day seems bright with possibility. Around midday, each of you recieves a sealed letter, with Gorion's seal upon it. The letter reads...
My friends, please forgive my abrupt leave of absense, and repeated refusals to meet or exchange pleasantries. Matters have arisen of a most grave and dire nature, and I feel that perhaps the less people who know, the better we can prepare. And prepare we must, for terrible events are coming, and the world as we know it shall forever be changed from this day forward. I cannot speak of what is to come, but ask that you place your trust in me, and agree to meet with me tonight at the Candlekeep Inn. I have arranged for a private room, and will be their waiting by the 8th bell. Please, I implore you, meet with me, and hear what I have to say. I have need of your skills, but I can see no more. I shall pray to the Gods that I will see you there.
Your Friend and Mentor,
It is midday. You have approximately 8 hours if you choose to attend the meeting. What do each of you do?
Feel free to interact with each other, or describe bumping into each other throughout the day. You all stand out amidst the common folk here, so it would be hard not to notice each other.
Kemek reads and rereads the letter, his analytical mind trying to match its import with his own experiential information.
Regardless, I will know soon enough.
There is a place on the ramparts Kemek finds comforting, an exposed landing open to the grand sweep of the Sea of Swords. Kemek feels sure it will be a time of leavetaking - he wishes to gather the wild strength of wind and wave - store it within his being.
Once on the landing, Khemek closes his eyes, feeling the whip of wind and hearing the crash of wave. He loses himself to a reverie, passing from this world to an interconnected myriad of twisting and turning possibilities and eventualities. He calls it the matrix.
Of a sudden, something startles him - a presence here on the landing with him. Is there someone here with him, or just an inquisitive bird?
|Rasp the Rogue|
"You're getting better at that." said Rasp in a harsh whisper from behind a column.
Rasp's eyes squint at the sight of the letter in Kemek's hand.
"I see you received one as well. What's the Old Man on about? What's he up to?"
"One, two...4...8. Hmmm, hardly a warband, but still unfavorable odds." He tracked a small caravan crossing in front of Cloakwood. Perched on the branches of a think oak, he kept his bow drawn aimed at the passerby's the entire time. Suddenly, a shrill whistle called out to him disguised as a bird. It was a friend from Candlekeep needing to get in contact. Dagoliir left the caravan to their own desires, figuring them for merchants or something equally harmless. Skipping from branch to branch, he made his way to edge of the forest and the designated meeting spot. There his friend stood, another elf, with a parcel outstretched. "It's from Gorion. I found it half tucked under your door." His friend was a servant at Candlekeep, another wood elf like him. Dagoliir grabbed the note and peeled it open immediately, thanking his friend. After a quick read, Dagoliir looked up at his friend, "Gorion's been acting strange lately. Where are my parents? I need to speak with them immediately." The elf relays the location of his parents, and Dagoliir thanks him as he departs. When he finally meets up with his parents, Dagoliir keeps the letter tucked away, "Do you know anything about Gorion's recent activities? He's been acting very strangely lately."
Another mug appears before Garrick, as has become the standard. With a nod to Winthrop, he begins to take his first gulps. He drinks with intent, as if only stopping to breathe like a frog coming up for air as it swims. And swim he did. The ale swirls around the mug, the head comes to rest comfortable above his lip. Winthrop watches on with worry, the kind that signals dire portents for men with lesser stomachs. A moment passes, after which Winthrop recalls something of importance.
Oi, Garrick. Gorion left something for ye. He made it clear that it is for your eyes only." He hands him a sealed letter. "Make of it what you will, but he seems to have taken a liking to you."
The old fool would write me a letter? I hardly know the fellow.
Garrick tears at the seal, taking no care to open the letter. He reads it. He wipes his face and reads it again, making sure to take in the details in his mild stupor.
I am at best a stranger and he would trust me with a letter such as this? What is the man planning?
Garrick stands from the bar without a word, quaffing the remnants of his current drink. After leaving a few coins at the bar, he makes his way out of the inn, intending to grab his equipment. The sounds and sights of Candlekeep fill his senses, much to his annoyance.
I have a good number of hours. Plenty of time to sober up and look presentable. I must take care to get home without much of a scene, as I tire of the guards' questioning. A man imbibed is not a man happy to answer a guard's inquiries.
He begins to walk towards his home, slowly as to not draw attention to himself.
Candlekeep's gates came into view, and Qorin gave a smile that could give a child nightmares. He paused to shift his pack, sighing at the sight of the mounted merchants in the caravan on the road ahead. One day. He'd learned to ride, but the places he went were never kind to horses. It seemed that he always ended up on foot.
He only paused for a moment, though, before resuming his march. He had a long stride, and covered ground quickly. His face was dark and green, betraying his orc blood, and the little fangs that pushed over his upper lip made him look far more savage than he was. Anyone looking at him would see a typical half-orc mercenary, thickly muscled in battered armor, with a huge sledgehammer over his back as a weapon. His battle scars were marked with red ink, badges of honor in the hill-tribes where his father had come from. Not that he had ever met his father. Mostly, Qorin was met with caution, occasionally he found a warm welcome, and sometimes outright fear.
An hour later, he reached the Candlekeep Inn. The midday crowd was starting to thin as he pushed open the door, and more than a few faces turned his way. Some even gave him a smile of recognition. The inn was one of those places where Qorin was known and the innkeeper smiled when he saw the big half-orc. Qorin stayed at the inn whenever his travels brought him back here, and he'd done a favor or two for the innkeeper and his family. He sat on a stool, dropped his pack at his feet, and took the mug of cider that was set before him.
"Welcome back," the innkeeper said. "Got something for you here. Just left this morning."
Qorin looked at the letter for a moment and then shrugged. He would collect the bounty for the bandits he had killed, see what else the local law would have for him, and then meet Gorion here, tonight, instead of in the morning. First, though, he would have another mug of cider. He nodded, and the innkeeper poured. Life was good here.
Your Father, steps towards you, embracing you warmly, as does your Mother. At the mention of Gorion, a frown creases your Father's face as he answers your question.
My son, I fear some unhappiness or worry weighs heavily upon our friend Gorion. He stays to himself here lately, and even the Library cannot entice him out. Something strange is happening, though we know not what. Why is it that you ask? You have never seemed overly curious of Gorion before.
Your Mother listens to what your Father says, then speaks herself.
Gorion is a quiet one, and keeps his own counsel. I have even heard that he is sometimes seen with members of the Harpers! If he is involved in something serious, I can only trust that he is wise enough to handle the situation. He is no stranger to conflict.
Kemek turns suddenly, facing the burn-scarred rogue.
"Rasp! You were likewise summoned? By Lathander, I feel something... in the air!? I wonder what awaits us."
|Rasp the Rogue|
"I had hoped you might have an idea, since you are closer to him. But I suppose he's kept this from everyone. For a man so obsessed with knowledge, he seems to like his secrets more."
The burnt man, covered with bandages and hidden behind a hood, walked closer to the edge of the rampart, looking over the side.
"He got like this before, when we were in Bauldur's Gate. Then he disappeared. And he never did explain all the blood I found in his room back then."
Rasp sighed, as he remembered that dark moment in his life.
"I'll leave you to your contemplations, Kemek," he said with a small bow. "But be sure not to be late. I'll be waiting in the tavern to make sure The Old Man doesn't skip out early."
Kemek blinks once. He is still for a moment, then:
'Your thanks Rasp. I shall meet you there." His unnatural voice carries strong in the wind, like the dragging of metal through hot coals.
Kemek has a little trouble following Rasp - not because he does not understand the words, but because there are emotions and motivations attached to those words. He cogitates momentarily, replaying the conversation in his mind. Secrets... blood....
And was Kemek closest to Gorion? He supposed he was. Perhaps that was the point for Gorion - to have a nascent, unworldly being like himself closest, like a bereft child - unable to perceive what was before him and allowing Gorion space from intrusion and the demands of questioning or even the perceptions of friends who might be familiar.
For I am not familiar... With anybody. Kemek shivered within his hide armor, a course of bio-electricity sharpening his spine and weaving its way through his frame. He looked up to see gulls wheel about in the coastal air, spray from the waves meeting the ramparts. All elemental interactions. Unlike emotions, or desires, or eventualities.
He sat longer, thinking perhaps it might be an idea to approach emotion and social constructs as mere elemental interactions. Kemek pondered long, rearranging and classifying all he had seen, heard, felt and read about social interaction, codifying and qualifying his observations within a new taxonomy and devising his own mnemonic nomenclature.
He looked up. The wheels of the heavens had passed. It was time to go and meet the furtherance of his destiny.
|Rasp the Rogue|
Rasp weaved his way through the streets of Candlekeep, pretending to ignore the whispered murmurings and pointed stares he had engendered since his arrival. People had stared in Bauldur's Gate as well, but never more than a passing glance here or there. In that city, even with all his burns, his odd limp, and his harsh, raspy voice, he could still hide behind a shield of anonymity.
But Candlekeep was different. All the citizens noticed him here. And it kept him on edge constantly. It also meant that he couldn't engage in his traditional means of employment. The city watch would have been on him in moments. In fact, he suspected they were looking for any reason to throw him either in chains or out of the city.
But, as it was, before he had received Gorian's letter, he had already been contemplating leaving anyway. He was running out of money, and there weren't many legit ways for him to make any. It wasn't as if a shopkeeper was going to hire him to tend customers.
He thought about bounty hunting briefly, but he didn't know the first thing about tracking. He considered hiring onto a merchant ship, but he didn't have the back for it. And even something as simple as hiring on as a guard for a caravan was beyond him. With his frail frame, he was often underestimated, which was handy for a thief, but not so helpful if you wanted to look menacing.
But now Gorian wanted something from him. Something that involved his skill set. He wasn't sure what that meant exactly. Gorian never struck him as a man that would need a thief. And even if he did, he knew Gorian could afford a much better one than him.
He thought Kemek could shed some light on the subject. But that had been a bust. Although, at least he now knew that whatever Gorian's mad scheme was it also involved the Gondsman.
Rasp looked up and somehow found himself in front of a small temple. It wasn't to any particular God or Goddess. It had shrines to many of the goodly gods. He had never gone in before.
He walked inside and soon found a small shrine to Tymora. It had become a habit of his to leave a single copper piece offering to the Lady of Luck before a job – more superstitious ritual than worship, really.
He thought about the contents of Gorian's letter, and the chill it had sent up his spine, when he read it. At first he retrieved a copper bit from his purse, but then he thought better of it. Instead he took a gold coin and placed it in the slot at the base. His face lingered on the face of the shrine for a long moment.
"Bring me luck, My Lady. I think I'm going to need it."
He walked out without so much as a glance backward. He arrived at the Candlekeep Inn just after 5 bells. He had felt the need to pace around the city for some odd reason.
Once there, he went about scouting the place.
Search (Int. + Prof. + Expertise): 1d20 + 0 + 1 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 0 + 1 + 5 = 19
And just in case you need one.
Stealth (Dex. + Prof. + Expertise): 1d20 + 2 + 1 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 2 + 1 + 5 = 22
Rasp, as you enter kind Winthrop greets you warmly, seemingly not noticing or not caring of your deformities. The Inn is beginning to bustle as Watchers and scholars take their meals. You do not notice anything particularly unusual, and can blend into the shadows easily and remain unobserved. Around 7th bell Winthrop unlocks the door to a private room and begins setting a table for 7.
The only other thing to happen of note is observing the others whenever they arrive.
Unsatisfied with his parents' answer, Dagoliir knows it's the best response he will get. Now left with more questions, he heads out to the practice range to clear his head and calm down. After running it through in his head, he settles on the fact that Gorion knows what he is doing, and is making the best of all possible choices. Determined not to let him down, Dagoliir prepares himself for the meeting and heads out to the inn.
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
By the time the others start coming through the doors, Qorin is feeling much better. He shoves off from the bar a few minutes before 8th bell, shoulders his pack and maul, and makes his way up to the private room.
Indeed. Yesterday was a surprisingly busy day.
Torrinaraxis had tried not to let Gorion's dismissals upset him as they became more frequent. The man was a scholar and while his interests in the mundane confused him, the Dragonborn felt like the man knew something to help him in his quest. He was sure his mother would like the man too, something that elevated the man even higher in the bard's regard. To have the man so abruptly cut off all contact with him had made the dragonborn do something rare for the confident minstrel; He examined his own actions. Fearful that he had upset the man, Torrinaraxis spent the first half of his day on the 13th in a state of melancholy worthy of one of his own songs... until he got the later.
The dragonborn was a known sight around the library and it hadn't taken the monk long to find the letter's recipient. Torrin practically ripped the letter from the man's hand when he heard who it was from and only just remembered the tome he had balanced in his other hand. The bard ignored the disapproving look he received when he set the tome on top of a small pedestal nearby in favor of the letter, which he hastily opened and scanned its contents with a growing smile.
The letter relieved and excited Torrin and he fled the library as if he didn't have almost eight hours to meet his friend. He practically smelled the adventure in the letter and ignored the small chance that Gorion simply wanted his expertise as a minstrel. Terrible events needed heroes, all the stories said so, and he wanted to be ready.
When Torrin arrived at the Candlekeep Inn he arrived early and milled anxiously in the common area until just before 8th bell. He'd left his pack in his own room but had his lute across his back and his rapier at his hip. Heroes were always prepared for anything after all, the stories said so.
Perception: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (16) + 0 = 16
Didn't see the check posted as I was writing my own post during lunch. Whoops.
Everyone can describe themselves as you enter the private room. It is a large, well furnished room with a liquor cabinet, wide fireplace, and a long, comfortable table. Each place has been set with aglass of chilled elven wine, though no food has been brought yet. Those who beat a 22 Stealth notice Rasp hiding in the shadows.
Roleplay amongst yourselves as you wait for Gorion.
Kemek enters the tavern around the 6th bell. At the 7th bell he shows his letter to Winthrop and enters the private room.
Dressed in hide armor, but no clothing to speak of, Kemek is indeed an interesting sight. His physiology consists of a a vague approximation of a humanoid form, in a fusion of what appears to be metal and living wood - the strength and durability of iron and the suppleness and resilience of living wood. Thick tendrils of vine-like material complement rods of fine-wrought iron, large bark-like plates are reinforced with iron studs, strips and smaller plates some of which are articulated to move with the Gondsman's activity. His hands are things of rare beauty, even more finely wrought rods, wheels and gears entwined in and partly encapsulated by ropy tendonesque botanic matter.
A faint pulsing emanates from Kemek's whole frame, as if just breathing created an exertion from within.
Kemek's head is the most alien thing about him, angular and almost completely metallic, with little regard given to aesthetics. Nose-less, earless apart from small holes and with a brutal looking jaw reminiscent of a man-catcher than a chewing aid. Small bolts and later of other metals detail his eyebrows, chin and encircle his skull.
Nestled in the deep cavities above his cheekbones are the eyes, burning bright with intelligence, akin to living flames. How Kemek perceives the world is anyone's guess, but perceive he does.
When Qorin enters Kemek looks over to the half-orc, his stiff manner evident as ever.
"Qorin! I am good to meet you!"
"Kemek," the half-orc says, baring his teeth in a savage grin. "You're in this too? Should be interesting." He looks at the table and the number of places and raises an eyebrow. "Very interesting."
He spots the rogue as he surveys the room, but does nothing to call attention to him, other than to make sure his pockets aren't empty. He sits at the table and takes a sniff at the wine, setting the glass down with a look of distaste curling his lip.
Sorry for the late post. I've been without net access for two days. :(
Garrick makes his way to the private room, a slight stumble still in his step. Spotting people that he never recalls meeting before, he is a bit defensive while moving about. Keeping to himself, he moves over to an empty chair. His armor clanks as he takes his seat. He examines the glass of wine, taking a moment to breathe in its scent. With a smile, he takes a sip.
"Well, then. What are you all in for?"
|Rasp the Rogue|
Rasp continued to observe the gathering throng of people. Kemek he had known about. The half-orc was a surprise. He had seen him before around Candlekeep, checking the bounty board. But beyond that he was never in town for very long.
It looked as if Kemek knew him. But it seemed that somehow the gondsman got to know everyone at least a little. He was the key to an audience with Gorian, after all.
The new-comer was a drunkard. He had seen him about once or twice. Rasp probably would have robbed him blind by now if he had been in Baldur's Gate. But, alas, the quiet life...
Seven chairs. One for Gorian, one for himself and Kemek. And now a chair each for these two. That left two more.
There was a dragonborn milling about -- a bard named Torrinaraxis. He'd heard him play his lute at the Inn the other night. Perhaps he was one of the two?
The merry mood of the inn is a foreign concept to Dagoliir. He has been exposed to the intoxicated misgivings of many tavern-dwellers in the past, but the thrill was something he just never understood. Happy to get out of the ruckus on the main floor, Dagoliir asks one of the bartenders where to find the private room and quickly makes his way there. When he enters the room, he shuts the door behind him. The sound of voices coming from the room ahead upset him as it was a private meeting. Storming in he shouts, "Excuse me! I am well aware that spirits and booze can make one act irrationally, but this is a private room. Now I must ask you to leave before..." His voice trails off as he scans the table, noticing letters in front of each individual. "Oh...I see. You were called here too. Pardon me then, a poor introduction that was. I am Dagoliir, ranger of the surrounding forests. You may not see much of me, but I have certainly seen all of you. It is good to finally meet you in person." He takes his seat at the table, and places his belongings on the back of his chair.
Perception for Rasp: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
|Rasp the Rogue|
Rasp rolled his eyes when the elf closed the door. He supposed he had learned enough by hiding.
He moved silent as the night to the door, and slowly opened it. The door was in need of oiling and squeaked loudly. He locked eyes with Kemek for a moment and nodded. He made eye contact with no one else, lest he notice their reactions to his scars, and then sat down next to the half-orc he had seen earlier.
In a soft whisper he muttered, "Du har gode øyne, kriger."
He then poured himself a glass of wine and sipped it.
By the way, can I just say again how awesome you guys have been so far. Honestly, great stuff.
Kemek turns to Garrick. The man's informal vernacular confuses the bondsman momentarily.
"Evidently we are all here to meet Master Gorion to help him prepare for some terrible event. I am in for anything. Or up." Kemek seems to have puzzled himself.
Dagoliir's brash entry startles Kemek momentarily:
"Ah, Dagoliir, I am good to meet you as well! It is too long since we enjoyed the woods and vales together!"
Kemek notices Garrick and Rasp drinking. He considers the wineglass before him, sniffs it as Qorin and Garrick did, then tips its contents down his mouth. He hesitates for a moment then examines the glass, the bottle, and then looks to the others to see if they notice anything untoward about his behavior.
|Rasp the Rogue|
"Indeed, the letter mentioned our individual skills. Perhaps it would be best if we introduced ourselves, and more importantly, what we do. I'll begin. I am Rasp. I -- procure things from time to time."
Torrin latched onto a familiar face when he entered the private room. He grinned widely, a disconcerting sight on his draconic features, and dropped into an empty chair near Kemek. His slouch was perfect, a practiced blend of casual ease and confidence that he might have practiced in a mirror, as he greeted the room like he wasn't the last one to arrive.
"Torrinaraxis, bard extraordinaire. I know Kemek, who does himself a disservice with his typical stoicism, and I think I recognize the man who gave me escort to Candlekeep when I arrived. As for the rest of you, its good to meet you! I assume we all have a letter about dire tidings from Gorion?"
My posting should speed up over the weekend now that my tests are done with.
Kemek is momentarily taken aback. He had not intended his brief introduction to be stoic. But now he knew it could be interpreted as such. He stored this information for future reference.
He murmurs in assent to Torrin's question, as he has seen others do.
"Två av dem. En jägarens verktyg, he says to Rasp, failing to mention that it was dumb luck that drew his eye to the thief. His orcish is thickly accented and clumsy.
"I am Qorin, a hunter of criminals," he says, switching to the common tongue. He speaks loudly enough to include the room in his introduction, as he extends a hand in greeting to Rasp.
As he speaks, he looks around at the others, giving a nod where his eye is met. An elf, a clockwork, a dragon-child, a drunk, a thief and me. What in the nine hells is Gorion up to? He sets his letter on the table in front of him.
Garrick sets his glass down.
"Garrick. Simply Garrick will do for now. I'm not sure what the old man is scheming, but I prefer to keep information on a need-to-know basis."
He opens his letter and gives another read.
"I assume the fool has found himself under the eye of the guard and is needing his skin to be saved. Considering the 'variety' of individuals, he seems desperate. He's looking for help where he can find it. I doubt anyone would ask the likes of me for any true assistance. I'm obviously not the noble paragon of good and cleanliness that one would run to in this situation. From the looks of it, none of you appear to be a paladin either. Who knows what may be happening?"
He takes another sip, with a smirk.
I'm fine either way. As you can tell, Kemek is more the idiot-savant. He doesn't have much to say that's useful in social situations, but he has some knowledge and ability.
|Rasp the Rogue|
Rasp took a slow sip of his wine, while staring daggers at Garrick.
“The Old Man isn’t the type to go to war with Candlekeep. And even if he were, frankly, he could afford better muscle than us.”
Rasp looked pensive for a moment, before he spoke again.
“And if you insult the Old Man without cause again, Simple Garrick, I’ll put a blade in your throat,” he said nonchalantly.
Garrick gives a heavy cough, some wine caught in his throat.
"Apologies, my friend. It's just, I don't the man very well and I find it strange to ask of me anything. He and I are practically strangers, let alone friends. I did not mean any offense and I'll be sure to keep my thoughts to myself from now on."
He gives Rasp a slight nod, before returning to his wine.
|Rasp the Rogue|
Rasp returned the acquiescing gesture with an accepting nod of his own. There was no need to make enemies after all.
Certainly not yet.
Taking in the speculations, Dagoliir feels the need to chime in, "Well, I don't think there's any danger in the woods that he would need us to deal with. At least, nothing so obvious that I would have seen in my days there." Uneducated in the etiquette of drinking wine, he grabs his glass and takes a few hefty swig. It wasn't his first time with alcohol, but it was certainly more potent than he remembered. Dagoliir sits back and begins to share stories of various misadventures in the woods to anyone who would listen, trying to pass time until Gorion's arrival.
Torrin didn't like the mood set by the two bickering humans and he leaped in after Dagoliir's observation to divert the discussion further away from the individuals in the room and more towards the -reason- they were there. Taking a sip from his wine glass (a perilous maneuver for someone with a snout instead of a mouth) the copper dragonborn produced his copy of the letter and opened it.
"He says something about terrible events coming to the world and to trust him. While he has certainly gained my trust, I am not quite sure what would change the world. I haven't heard any rumors of anything quite so dire, have any of you?"
"I am uniquely placed to have heard no such rumors." suplies Kemek, feeling very proud to be so useful. He thinks further.
"Nor has Gorion alerted me to any untoward eventualities."
Nor would I have alerted thee, though through no fault of thy own. The time was simply not right, and the burden of worry I did not wish to press upon thee.
A man steps through the now open door, though no one seemed to notice it opening. His bearing is strong, though he is obviously a human coming well along in his years. White hair and beard frame an angular, regal countenance, whilst his piercing gray eyes take in each of you, as if measuring you for some unknown task. His clothing, though humble, is tasteful, reflective of his position as more than a mere scholar here at the Fortress of Candlekeep. He walks with the aid of a staff, simple oak with an emerald mounted upon it. He comes around the table and takes a seat a the head, facing all of you at the same time.
Gentleman, though many of ye know me, let us proceed anew. I am Gorion, mage and scholar, and am well met to each of ye. I ask pardon for the hasty summonings, but information has come to my attention that required for me to act upon it, and thee as well. I understand you must have some hesitancy...after all, why should you listen to anything a crazy old fool has to say?
At the end of that statement he throws Garrick a knowing wink and takes a sip from his own glass.
Alas, I wish I could reveal to thee all that I know, but knowledge is power, and must be guarded well. Suffice to say that I have chosen each of ye for a specific purpose, which only time can truly illuminate. You are all tied together, though I cannot reveal more. Each of you stands out amongst the common folk of the Realms in your own way. Each of ye possess a gift, a skill unique to thee. And I have need of those gifts, great and terrible need.
At this point Winthrop marches into the room, flanked by servers carrying platters of food. In front of each of you a platter is placed, and when uncovered, reveals your particular favorite meal served here at the Candlekeep Inn, no matter the cost.
Please describe your own meals if you choose too, as I do not want to presume what your characters may or may not enjoy.
After ensuring everyone's food is to their liking, Winthrop thanks Gorion for the custom, and leaves, closing the door behind him. A moment later, Gorion continues.
I asked for thy presence here this evening, to advise you to leave Candlekeep tomorrow night alongside me. I cannot reveal what matter has caused such urgency, but I beg that thy trust can be placed in good faith upon me. I would not idly interrupt thy lives, but even the great Alaundo cannot know all that shall come to pass, and neither can I. What I do know is the Realms shake with urgency, and I beg you to follow me. In time I will reveal more, but for now, we must away from this keep, and flee, to a destination I cannot say.
Gorion takes a long draught of his wine, and then locks eyes with each of you in turn.
Time is short, and preparations remain to be made. Ye must have questions, and I will give what knowledge I can. Know that I do not keep secrets from you intentionally, but at this time, what thy knows can prove to me most dangerous indeed. Ask of me what questions ye will, and then I must have your answer. Will ye follow me into darkness, for the safety of the Realms?
If Kemek could blink he would. He has so many questions to ask. And so few. How to process and categorize all the permutations and possibilities of what to ask, and so little time to develop an appropriate hierarchy of importance? Where to begin? He hesitates for a moment after Gorian finishes. He has it. Sometimes, an ending is a beginning. Or, no. That's it. Sometimes a beginning is an ending. Perhaps.
"When do we leave?"
|Rasp the Rogue|
Rasp blinked in disbelief as Gorian finished speaking. His beef stew remained untouched before him. All were quiet for a moment, until finally Kemek asked when they were leaving. That shook Rasp out of his stupor.
“You want us to go with you -- but you won’t say where. How do we begin to prepare for that?
Rasp shook his head.
“Actually, no, let’s start that again. You’ve summoned me, by the sounds of things, summoned all of us here for some sort of -- quest? Why? There are others? By Tymora, this is Candlekeep, Gorian! With the aid of the clerics here you could send word to half of Faerûn with but a written request to the Keeper of Tomes.”
Qorin worked his way through a huge bowl of goat soup and then sat back, picking his teeth for a while.
"I hate to interrupt," the big half-orc says to Rasp. "Gorian is a scholar who has been living in Candlekeep since my mother was born. I'm sure he knows how to get a message out, and the proof is that we're all here. He says he chose us for a specific reason, and he says it's urgent that we flee."
"You can wonder why me and what for, or you can walk out and be here when whatever he wants us to flee comes to pass. Me, I've found him to be a good and trustworthy* man. I'm going to trust him, and see how this plays out.
* At least I think I have.
Kemek tries hard not to watch the others eating, but he does find it rather fascinating. Luckily his strange habits seem to be passed off as part of his nature, or rather lack of it. For that is in his nature to be unnatural, made not born.
Though, in a sense, some spark inhabited me that was not present in my forge brothers. Perhaps I was born, fully formed physically and only lacking social knowledge and a context in which to place myself.
As this is a context, and our connected selves - two men, an elf, a half-orc and a draconic all about to be born, or borne away by Gorion's mysterious quest. With me.
Kemek returned to watching Qorin eat. There was something primal and reassuring about the half-orc's complete lack of guile. Kemek appreciated a steaight talker. Hyperbole, innuendo, sarcasm and inference were strangers to him. Goat soup? Simple enough.
|Rasp the Rogue|
“It’s not an issue of trust, Qorin,” Rasp said. But there is a hesitance and uncertainty in his tone that indicated it could be otherwise.
He turned toward Gorian.
“I do trust you, Old Man.”
“And I’m not against the idea of fleeing from a threat. But I would prefer to know what I’m fleeing from.” He then looked pointedly at Gorian again. “Or fleeing to as the case may be.”
He then addressed the Old Man in a language of hidden double-speak that he himself had taught to Gorian years ago.
“Oy, Cap, the sissy strummers fetch ya?”
Garrick gave a brief gasp at the meal before him. Roasted chicken and potatoes. On the surface, it's nothing extraordinary. However, he recognizes the manner these are prepared. It's a very special meal to him. He stares at it for moment before he proceeds to pick at it with his knife. He remains soberingly quiet, focused on the meal.
"The only question that I have is - are we in danger?" Dagoliir fits the question in between the banter. His meal is a delicious salad topped with all sorts of fresh fruits, nuts, cheeses, and even some sort of exotic bird for the added protein.