|GM My Bright Morning|
Welcome players to the Reign of Winter campaign. Please dot and delete on this thread, and head over to the discussion thread to sort out any pre-game changes you want to make and finalize any character details. We will begin as soon as possible once everyone has arrived.
|GM My Bright Morning|
As all of the PCs have lived in Heldren for some amount of time, all of the following information would be available to you without needing to seek it out or roll any checks. Numbers match those on the map of the town.
A dirt path winds its way up a low hill west of town to the single door of this square stone tower. The tower is 30 feet high, with battlements on its roof and arrow slits along its walls. It is completely open on the inside, with no interior floors—just a wooden staircase running along the walls to the roof.
The tower serves as Heldren’s armory and a place of refuge for the villagers in case the village is ever attacked. In times of peace, the tower is usually unoccupied, but a selection of simple arms and armor—crossbows, bolts, spears, javelins, as well as a few suits of leather armor, padded armor, and light wooden shields—is stored inside for the militia.
Although he spends most of his time shoeing horses and repairing farm tools, Heldren’s blacksmith, Isker Euphram, is quite skilled in battle. A veteran of Taldor’s army, Isker served in Zimar and on the Qadiran border for years before retiring to Heldren. His chain shirt, pike, and short sword are still in good condition, oiled and wrapped in a chest kept in his house behind his shop, and Isker has taken it upon
himself to oversee the training of the village’s militia. He keeps a few weapons for sale in his shop, and could craft suits of armor if needed.
His daughter, Xanthippe, works as his apprentice. When not at her father’s forge, Xanthippe’s likely to be found at the Silver Stoat, holding court with her numerous suitors. Although widely considered the village beauty, Xanthippe is as proficient with her fists as with her hammer, and those few of Heldren’s young men who have tried to woo her too aggressively walked away with black eyes for their troubles.
Heldren’s general store carries everything a villager needs, as well as most gear an adventurer requires. Heldren sits on the road to Zimar, so plenty of trade passes through the village. The store’s proprietor,Vivialla Steranus, takes advantage of this brisk trade to stock
her shelves. In general, Vivialla does not carry much in the way of armor or weapons, though she does currently have a few magic items in stock
Rather grand for a village of this size, Heldren’s town hall boasts a clock tower overlooking the town square. Its clockworks were imported from Qadira some time ago, and are kept in working order by Orillus Davigen, who can usually be found up in the tower tinkering with the machinery. The clock tower’s bells ring every hour from 6 am to 6 pm (the villagers prefer to keep things quiet at night), and can be used to sound the alarm if there’s a f ire or to muster the militia in case of attack.
The town council meets in the hall every week on Starday, though there’s usually little to discuss beyond minor disagreements between
neighbors. The hall is big enough to host almost the entire populace for monthly village assemblies and large social gatherings, such as the annual Longnight dance. On the wall outside the front door hangs a notice board, where flyers are posted with local news, job openings, and goods for sale.
A well-tended garden sits in front of this equally neat house, the home of Tessaraea Willowbark, Heldren’s resident apothecary. Tessaraea is a relatively new transplant to Heldren, having arrived in the village only 25 years ago after a failed adventuring career up north in the River Kingdoms.
She is a quiet and somber elf, and most of the villagers believe she suffered some great tragedy in her past, such as the loss of her one true love. Tessaraea sells a variety of herbs and alchemical substances as well as a limited selection of potions and a surprisingly large stockpile of alchemist’s fire
An artist with razors and scissors, the dwarf Argus Goldtooth offers shaves, haircuts, and dentistry, as well as “leechery and other surgical proceedings.” Argus is a fair healer, though he’s prone to prescribing leeches (which fill several jars on high shelves in his shop) for most maladies, from stomachaches to broken bones. Argus also offers gold teeth to replace extracted ones, and is his own best customer—his easy smile reveals more gold teeth in his mouth than original ones. It’s not uncommon to find Argus helping tend Tessaraea’s garden on Sundays or sharing a pint with her at the Silver Stoat in the evenings.
Heldren’s only tavern, the Silver Stoat, stands right on the town square across from the town hall. A fixture of village life, the tavern f ills up with patrons in the evening as they gather to share gossip, hear news, and reward themselves for a hard day’s work. Anything that’s worth knowing in Heldren gets talked about here, and if asked where he got a particularly juicy bit of gossip or information, a villager will likely say, “I heard it from the Stoat.”
Husband and wife Menander and Kale Garimos run the Silver Stoat as if it were their family kitchen—there’s always a seat at the table or a space by the hearth for a guest, or a warm bowl of Menander’s hearty stew for an empty belly. Menander works in the kitchen, cooking up his famous venison flank steak and numble pie. Kale tends bar, serving up the tavern’s signature brew, Three Devil Ale, which she brews in-house using imported Chelish hops.
Heldren doesn’t get many visitors, so there is no true inn in the village, but travelers are welcome to a spot on the floor of the Stoat next to the fireplace for a night, as long as they’re up early and on their way. Those who linger risk a rude awakening from Menander’s wet mop in their faces.
At the stable next door to the Silver Stoat, Sophia Imirras offers horses (and a single pony) for hire or sale, as well as stabling and grooming. Royal couriers on their way to or from Demgazi or Zimar often change horses here. None of Sophia’s horses are combat trained. Sophia also has two carts, a wagon, and a carriage for hire. A traveling noble gave her the carriage as a reward when she managed to calm the newly broken stallion he was riding before it could trample him. Both luxurious and ostentatious, the carriage sees most of its use at village weddings.
The most notable feature of Heldren’s town square is the large statue of a beautiful woman right in the center of the town. Usually just called “the Lady,” the statue has been here for as long as anyone can remember, and no one knows who it actually represents. Some believe the Lady was the founder of Heldren or some ancient, forgotten Taldan noblewoman or even a mysterious fey forest goddess.
Others have more sinister theories—an evil witch turned to stone for her wickedness or a magical statue through which the satrap of Qadira can spy on Taldor. On any given day, a few entrepreneurs selling goods or produce can be found on the square, and a market is held on the last
Fireday of every month.
The leader of Heldren’s village council, Ionnia Teppen, lives in this simple two-story house just off the town square. Ionnia’s family has had a place in Heldren’s politics for generations, and her membership on the town council was all but assured. She is by far the most influential member of the council, and most villagers consider her the de facto mayor of Heldren.
Although Elder Natharen Safander is a cleric of Erastil, he tends to all of the village’s f lock regardless of their faith. Though most of the villagers follow the teachings of Old Deadeye, the temple also contains shrines to Abadar, Gozreh, Pharasma, and even Sarenrae.
Natharen doesn’t much care for the Taldan government’s intolerant stance on the faith of the Dawnflower, and believes that in a village like Heldren the sun goddess is as important as the god of agriculture. Natharen’s wife, Zaarida, is a Qadiran transplant and faithful worshiper of Sarenrae, and assists him during services and with the temple’s upkeep. The temple also has some minor divine magic items for sale
Heldren’s foremost woodworker is Tengezil Frimbocket, a gnome with a wild shock of electric blue hair. He decorates his creations with delicate and elaborate trim he calls “gingerbread,” a style that has proven quite popular among the well-to-do of Taldor’s southern cities. Tengezil claims to be from a town called Wispil.
Heldren’s sawmill stays busy day and night cutting timber harvested by the village’s woodcutters into planks for shipment to Zimar and other
cities, and stacks of lumber are always heaped outside. Partners Alexius Demetri and Lycio Vallant oversee the sawmill’s operation, which makes them two of Heldren’s wealthiest residents. Their large house on the north side of town is easily Heldren’s largest private home, nicknamed “Sawmill Manor” by the town.
The name of this butcher shop refers to the supposed nickname of its proprietor, Perkin Tarimm, who claims to be a retired Zimar corsair. In fact, Perkin was nothing more than a common river bandit who took up the safer trade of butchery when the real Zimar corsairs almost caught him, and he has never butchered anything beyond the chickens and pigs that inhabit the yard behind his shop. Customers are welcome to enjoy one of the pickled sows’ ears in the large jar on the counter while they wait for Perkin to prepare their cuts of meat.
Every village has its resident wise woman, and Heldren is no exception. No one in the village is sure just how ancient Old Mother Theodora (as everyone calls her) is, but she’s been around as long as anyone in town can remember. Old Mother Theodora is Heldren’s most skilled midwife, and she helped deliver just about everyone currently living in the village. She’s also a soothsayer and hedge witch, and villagers come to her to have their fortunes told or buy love potions or herbal remedies. Among the jars of dried herbs and strangeingredients in her hut, Old Mother Theodora also has a few scrolls and wands that she might be willing to part with for the right price.
Once arriving in Heldren, Easlis found himself in a predicament: a long journey was ahead of him, and he was lacking many of the provisions needed for survival and comfort and most importantly, his money pouch was the emptiest it had ever been.
In order to save as much gold as he can, Easlis sleeps in the same accommodation as his trusted and terrifyingly stubborn companion Ol'Dusty, at the Livery Stable. There's nothing wrong with a bed made of hay, aside from the smell, the bugs and the noise from the mounted travelers that would arrive late at night, he thought to himself.
He hopes that some of the villagers would take pity on him and would sell some of their goods for lower than the market price or that he might fool one of the visitors into a duel and be winning some of their supplies.
|GM My Bright Morning|
The sleepy village of Heldren has rarely seen so much excitement or concern. Hunters from the nearby Border Wood speak of unnaturally cold weather at the height of summer that descended on the forest just days ago. Heavy snow followed, and those who returned spoke of an uneasy presence in the woods, as well as new, dangerous predators. No one knows what this event means, but the town’s soothsayer, Old Mother
Theodora, claims dark times lie ahead.
Rumors fly in the absence of any real information. Everyone in town is unsettled by the unnatural weather, and blame is pointed at any available foe. Perhaps the weather is the work of Qadiran agents. Maybe an angry god or goddess? Maybe a disgruntled fey playing tricks? Or a mad wizard's experiment gone wrong? Whatever the cause, the townsfolk cast fearful eyes toward the snowy forest, worried what might emerge to threaten their peaceful village
You awake this morning to a pounding on your door. A messenger greets you as you open the door.
I'm sorry for the early call sir, but I was sent with a message from
The town council via Ionnia Teppen. A mercenary has arrived in town with strange injuries, babbling about an assault on his caravan outside the border wood. Please, would you come and see if there is anything you can do to aid him?
What do you do?
You come to quickly as a wet mop smacks you in the face, dripping water down your neck. You are in the common room of the Silver Stoat, head pounding slightly from too much ale the previous night.
All right, off with you! I told you that you could sleep here but had to be out early! The owner, Kale Garimos says sharply but not without warmth.
As you gather your things, your memories slowly come back of the night before, when a local hunter named Dryden was spinning tall tales about seeing a massive white weasel in the border woods. No one believed him, but he was worked up and was willing to buy drinks for anyone who would listen to his tales. You obliged and heard all about his plans to go track down the beast and prove everyone wrong.
You ask the barmaid where Dryden ended up, and she tells you he left very early this morning looking very determined about something.
What do you do?
You are interrupted in your morning ritual by a loud voice calling your name from outside the stables.
I KNOW IT WAS YOU! YOU AND YOUR KIND BRING NOTHING BUT TROUBLE!
A second voice replies to the first
Father, stop. This isn't going to help anything! Easlis, I'm sorry to bother you so early. My father is convinced that you have something to do with a problem we're having at the farm. Can you please come out and talk to him?
If you look outside, you see Old Man Dansby (a local farmer and ex-adventurer) and his son.
What do you do?
Walking around town this morning, you feel the unease and fear around you. People have been out of sorts for days, but things seem to be getting worse. But where trouble increases, so do chances to earn a little bit of gold by providing the security that people lack.
As you walk, you see some new notices posted on the outside of the Town Hall. One of them catches your eye. The Village council is seeking to hire extra muscle to deal with recent bandit raids.
A middle-aged man you don't really recognize is also eying the notice board.
"Odd that they need more soldiers here. What happened to those rangers? Those lads calling themselves the High Sentinels or some such rot. They must not be doing much good if bandits are still prowling our woods…"
What do you do?
As you often do, you spend fireday morning at the monthly market in the center of Heldren, booths and blankets spread out around the large statue of a woman in the center of town. No one really knows who she was, but that's not so important to the folk living in this quiet town.
The gossip around the market is all about a foreign noblewoman who is supposed to be passing through this area.
Curious, and with a good reason to talk about something other than the unnatural cold in the air, you ask one merchant for details.
Two weeks ago, Lady Argentea Malassene traveled past here on her way from Oppara to Zimar to
meet her betrothed. But, my sister told me the two didn’t get along and Lady Argentea caused a scandal by
calling off the engagement! She must be returning home now. I wonder if she'll pass through here again?
What do you do?
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You awake this morning to a pounding on your door. A messenger greets you as you open the door.I'm sorry for the early call sir, but I was sent with a message from the town council via Ionnia Teppen. A mercenary has arrived in town with strange injuries, babbling about an assault on his caravan outside the border wood. Please, would you come and see if there is anything you can do to aid him?
What do you do?
Bazikian nods, and responds with a flurry of words, as gnomes often do. "Strange injuries, that can't be good. An assault? Oh dear, that is a worry. Let me dress properly, and I'll be there as soon as I can. Where is the man now? The Town Square? The Hall?" He dresses as he talks, grabbing his overcoat, and attempting to push down his springy mop of hair so he can get his hat on. "There, that ought to do it. Lead on!"
Seeing as there was no escape out of this situation, as there was no other door out of the stable, he took a deep breath and opened the door:
Look, believe me, or not, I have not been to your farm. If I've caused you grievance with my presence in this town I am deeply sorry, but I am not ready to depart just yet.
Keeping his temper in check, by looking mostly at the boy, he continued : If you'd care to explain what happened and how I am connected to all of this, I'll see what I can do, if it's in my power.
Nyalis walks slowly about the market, stopping occasionally to inspect a merchant's wares or inquire about the price of unusual items. At one particular table, he is drawn into conversation with the proprietor.
With the mention of the Lady Argentea, Nyalis tries to think about what he might have heard about that name or to whom she was betrothed.
Know(Local): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
After thinking for just a moment, Nyalis continues the conversation with the merchant. "Well, let's hope that the Lady and her betrothed get everything sorted out. When nobles have problems, strange things can happen. I've heard of wars being started over less."
Then he continues, "Did your sister say if she heard whether the Lady would stop in Heldren on her way home? I might want to present myself to her and see if she needs the services of a court wizard."
Turning his attention to the merchant's table, Nyalis asks "Do you have any rose petals or hair from wild wolves? I'm a bit short on both of those things today."
Moving through town, the young Ulfen man wears a weak frown, visibly uncomfortable. "This place is starting to feel bad. I'm going to have to find a way to move on soon, unless it gets better."
Slowing down and scanning the board, partially looking for opportunities to move on, Grim sees the post asking for help chasing bandits. "Hunh." he grunts as the stranger starts talking. His frown becomes a lopsided-grin at the strnger's question. "Not much for mercenary work, are you? The paid troops are off doing something important to the ones with money and power, like always. They hire people like us when they need it done but expect it to kill too many of their own men." He chuckles at the reaction he expects the stranger to provide. "Not your thing? Fair enough."
The young man walks into the Town Hall building, looking to see if anybody's in there right now, or if he should head for the Stoat.
Posted from my phone over a tiny bandwidth connection from an Ozark mountain's-based BSA Summer camp.
|GM My Bright Morning|
The barmaid turns back to her work, sweeping out the area that you had been sleeping in. She doesn't seem to pay you any more mind now that you are not in her way.
As you step outside, it feels like the general demeanor of the town is more tense than it has been for the past few days.
To your right is the stable. Outside of the stable is an older man you recognize as a farmer from just outside of town and his son. The older man is yelling at someone inside the stable. You can make out:
"You and your kind bring nothing but trouble!"
Directly in front of you as you leave the Silver Stoat is the town center where a small market has been erected as is always done on the last fireday of the month. Through the crowd you see your friend Bazikian walking very fast trying to keep up with a young man. They seem to be heading towards the town hall.
The young man seems a bit overwhelmed by your fast speech and just chooses one question to answer. "um, yes, the man is at the Town Hall now. Please follow me if you are ready."
He leads you down the street towards the largest building in town. It is not a far walk as the town is pretty small, but the young man is not used to working with smaller folk, and his long legs make it tough for you to keep up.
As he walks he says "I'm sorry sir, I don't know much about what happened. I've never seen the man before, he is not from here. I have no training in medicine so I couldn't say what might be wrong. You'll have ot see for yourself"
He leads you through the town center, which has been converted into a small marketplace, as is tradition for the last Fireday of the month.
Old Man Dansby is visibly very upset as you come out, but holds his tongue when his son puts his arm on his father and says something quietly to him.
"I am so sorry to bother you sire. I am quite sure you're not to blame, but as you know tensions are very high right now. My father is convinced that this unnatural weather is due to sorcery and he is upset because we just lost half of our crop. The cold weather is spreading, and frost took one of our fields. To make things worse, someone has been stealing from our good fields."
"Look son," the elder Dansby cuts in "I know you don't have much. If you would just ask we could arrange something to give you the food you needed. There's no need to go stealing! Just tell me what you need, I'll do what I can so that you can move on and take your magic with you!"
The younger man rolls his eyes. "I'm sorry. This town is full of superstitions. People see something they can't explain and they blame the first magic user they can find. But until someone can find the source of this foul weather, it may be best if you layed low for a bit.
You remember hearing that Lady Argantea stopped in Heldren briefly as she passed through Heldren several weeks back. She is the daughter of a minor noble in Oppara, the capital of Taldor. She was engaged to another minor noble in Zimar, a border town near Qadira. You don't know the name of the man, but his house is definitely not as well-renowned as the Arganteas.
"I would imagine they would pass through here again. Not a lot of other choices for a place to swap horses or resupply. I do hope this cold weather doesn't affect them too much"
In reply to your question:
"Why yes I do have a small bag of rose petals, and two nice wolf pelts. Though these are both from apparently albino wolves. I've never seen such pure white hair on a beast around here."
As you are talking you see a familiar gnome walking behind a man towards the town hall pushing their way through the market stalls.
"no, not for me the man replies "No amount of coin is worth my life. Gods keep you if you go chasing after bandits for a pittance…"
As you are talking to the man, you notice several members of the village council filing into the town hall, sour looks on their faces. Following shortly behind them you spot a certain gnome cleric you have met while building connections at the church. Bazikian is walking quickly to keep up with a taller human man who seems to be leading him towards the town hall.
No worries, thanks for giving a heads up. post when you can. if you have trouble getting signal i may keep things moving without your posts this week.
If needed: Diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
"By the stars! What seems to be the trouble here? Maybe I can help."
My gaze flashes for an instant to the doorway of the stable and sees the half-elf standing there. Aware that I may have just made matters worse, I say nothing else but try to read the faces of the three persons before me.
Again, if needed, Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Though he got slightly irritated on hearing that he was suspected for thieving from the man's field, Easlis didn't let it show on his face.
What self-respected magic user would use his powers to steal and summon unfavorable weathers on the crops of an old farmer?
He decided it was for the best to change his approach. "You have a quite a clever lad. I'm sure that if he puts his mind at it, he will get in high places."
Then he turned to the boy smiling and patted him on the head, got to his height and looked the boy square in the eyes : "But your father is right. One should be wary of strangers. I'm not sleeping in a stable just because I enjoy the smell of hay. To tell you the truth my father resented magic, so what little scraps I've learned, I had to do it in secret. That is not to say you should not listen to your parents."
Easlis rose to face the elder Dansby and addressed him with confidence in his voice. "Though your proposal sounds tempting as mentioned earlier I am not yet ready to depart. I'll make you a counteroffer: There are others in this village who can wield magic. When I first arrived in this village I was not sure if it would be a safe place to camp so I've checked for magic especially the persons who were not from this place. The gnome staying at the woodworker might be even more magical adept than me.
Also, I've had a talk, the other day, with an elf that was capable of creating magical elixirs. I'm unsure what are the limits of his power.
And let us not forget Old Mother Theodora, why didn't ask her about the weather?
I reckon all this information is worth a warm coat or a proper pair of boots."
I think the spoilers are only necessary while we are apart and that we'll move to normal posts as the group gets together. If this isn't where everybody is going, let me know and I'll get in alignment with what the group wants.
That's weird, Nyalis thinks. I haven't seen Bazikian in a day or two and figure he would be at the temple. I should go see what he is doing. It looks like he has some important task on his mind the way they are moving through the market.
Not wanting the gnome to get too far away, Nyalis tries to finish the transaction with the merchant quickly. "Sure, I'll take the bag of rose petals. They do look like they were picked by delicate hands. Here is a silver for your efforts, " he says as he lays the coin on the table and grabs the bag of rose petals. "Thanks! These will be very useful in my studies."
Leaving the merchant, Nyalis tries to move through the market as quickly as he can without attracting too much attention. Once he gets within a few feet of the gnome, he calls out "Hey, Bazikian, where are you off to this fireday? I thought you'd be helping Elder Safander with rites."
Then, realizing he might sound a bit forward, Nyalis tries to make smalltalk with Bazikian. "Here at the market buying supplies for the temple?"
bluff: 1d20 ⇒ 2
Bazikian smiles as Nyalis approaches. "Hey there, friend! Yes, I normally would be helping him with the rites, although I seem to have slept in a bit late today, I don't normally but it does happen sometimes. Anyway, it seems there is some trouble with a caravan, and a wounded mercenary, and ooh, maybe we shouldn't be talking about it here, but it seems the council thinks I can help some, I'm sure you could help too?" he rambles, double-time.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
So what's that bluff roll all about, friend? :)
LOL, I debated with myself whether or not using bluff here would be out of bounds. More in the discussion thread on that so we don't clutter this up too much.
Nyalis arches an eyebrow at the mention of trouble. "Caravans and wounded mercenaries, " Nyalis repeats slowly and quietly. "It seems you have impressed everybody with your dedication if you got asked to help so soon after our arrival. I'd be happy to come along too if you'd have me. Either way, your confidence is safe with me."
Odd weather, caravans, mercenaries, and an ask from the local council. There is no shortage of odd happenings in this village, thinks Nyalis.
As they continue to push through the market, Nyalis asks in a more conversational tone, "Bazikian, who is your new friend?" Then to the stranger, "Greetings! I am Nyalis. What is your name?"
|GM My Bright Morning|
***At The Stable***
As a new person arrives and it is clear that no one is siding with him, Old Man Dansby gives Easlis one more sideways glance and then walks off in a huff, muttering something about keeping an eye on all these magic users.
The younger Dansby stays and talks with Brominate and Easlis
"I am sorry about my father, he's really not normally this mean. We've had a tough year, with last winter being a bit harsh and now losing so much of our crop when it should be the best time of year… I don't know what we're going to do if we don't get a proper harvest season this year."
He shakes himself out of his thoughts
"But that isn't your concern I'm sure. I will see about finding you something warmer sir. And as much as others might distrust magic, I think whatever is causing this can only be stopped if we have some magic on our side as well! Perhaps your expertise would be of use to Councilwoman Teppen. If you are able to help find out what is going on, she would of course pay you for your trouble."
***At Town Hall***
"I'm sorry, how rude of me. My name is Adrian Dimitri. My father runs the sawmill. I am acting as an aide to the council. Well, here we are, please come in. Madam Teppen will be waiting for us."
Upon entering, you are greeting by Ionnia Teppen. Even those of you who haven't been around long have likely seen her before, as she is the most influential member of the village council and is often seen around town checking in on any number of minor issues.
The two of you that just arrived also see Grimgisli who is standing just inside the doorway
"Thank you for coming. I know this is an unusual call to make, but we thought perhaps your broader well-traveled experience might be able to help us.
She brings you into a back room, where a human male is laying in a cot, bandages on much of his body. His nose and fingers are black.
The man is suffering from severe frostbite on his extremities.
Frostbite occurs when a person’s bodily fluids begin to freeze from the effects of cold temperatures. The condition typically occurs in high-altitude locations or when temperatures fall below 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Frostbite can be superficial to severe, depending on the immediate and long-term effects displayed.
Body extremities commonly affected by frostbite include the feet, nose, hands and ears. The skin turns pale yellow or white after frostbite and takes on a waxy or hard appearance. Once warmed the tissue turns black and becomes hard, typically requiring amputation or removal.
"He told us his name is Yulin, and that he was a guard for Lady Argantea's caravan. It came under attack, and he is the only one that made it out. We have not seen this particular disease affecting his hands and face. But what really made me send for you is that he claims to have been attacked by strange creatures that we have never seen in these parts"
Relieved the situation cooled down, looks at the lad and tousles his hair. "Ah, how fortunate that I was heading there anyway. Good day, sirs."
As he turns to leave, he looks at boy.
"Try to keep your father out of trouble."
then, to the half-elf, but still staring towards the Town Hall,
and he leaves without seeing whether or not his racial brother would follow, heading towards the town hall, and thinks to himself,
Okay, Zeke, I'm coming. Dryden can wait... I hope.
Heal untrained: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
"The black bits Look familiar, somehow, but I can't place it." Maybe if he could smell the rotting dead flesh after it gets thawing . . ..
"So, what kinds of critters are we talking about?"
Bazikian beams at Ionnia, and then Grim when he sees him. His smile slides off his face as he looks at the man on the cot and listens to Ionnia's words.
Heal: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Bazikian looks at the guard's damaged flesh without recognition. "Yes... What sort of creatures?" he asks with uncharacteristic slowness.
** outside the town hall **
"Well, it is good to meet you, Adrian. The whole village has been most pleasant and accommodating since we arrived. If there is something we can do to help, I'm sure that all you need do is ask. " Then, realizing that he might be causing a delay on an important matter, he cuts himself short. "Lead on, Adrian."
** Inside the door to the town hall**
Nyalis takes a second to brush the dust off of himself and try to be presentable. "Councilor Teppin, pleased to meet you. The village has been good to us so if there is something that you need, we would be happy to help as much as we can."
Once introductions have been made, Nyalis gives a quick wink to Grimgisli and speaks quietly with him, "Hey Grim! It's like a traveler's reunion in here. Have you been told anything about what the council needs from us? "
** In the back room **
Once they are lead into the back room, Nyalis starts to come to terms with the gravity of the situation. It's not every day that he sees people covered in bandages like this.
"Do you mind if we examine him more closely? " he asks.
Heal, untrained: 1d20 ⇒ 1
After taking a few minutes to examine Yulin, Nyalis shakes his head slowly. "I've not seen injuries like this before but it doesn't look good. I could perhaps try some magic on him but without knowing what caused this, it could very well do more harm than good."
After failing to diagnose anything, he starts to ask lots of questions. "How long has Yulin been here and who found him this way? What did Old Mother Theodora say about him?"
Based on how Ionnia is referring to Yulin, I think that he is unconscious or asleep. Is that the case?
Easlis nodded and followed Brominate towards the town hall after saying goodbye to the smart boy.
He looked at Brominate with curious eyes. It seems the man was in his serious moods again. He met him the very first day he arrived in town. It was very early and when he knocked at the Silver Stoat Easlis and that's when he noticed his brethren improvised bed on the floor.
Up ahead was that gnome Bazikian probably getting himself into some trouble together with the alchemist. He wondered how would ol'Dansby feel if he saw all three of them at one place right after he was informed they were all some kind of magic users. It was probably for the best to not find out and enter the town hall as well.
"Good day! What's all the fuss around here? Did I hear correctly? Are there venomous or infested creatures lurking outside your village?"
After seeing all those people checking the health state of the poor fellow in the bandages, he wanted to offer his own opinion but changed his mind when he saw the black fingers and nose.
He turned to the Nyalis: I would advise not touching the fellow until we know for sure what caused that. It could be contagious. I also don't think pumping the lad with magic is a good idea either. If indeed he got that from a wild animal, why not track it down, kill it and formulate a hypothesis based on the source?
Brominate remained silent, not sure why he felt uneasy. When Easlis caught up Brominate allowed him to take the lead and followed him until they found themselves in the backroom of the Town Hall. Brominate's eyes immediately fell on the ill-fated fellow covered in bandages. His eyes widened slightly at the sight of his blackened nose and fingers.
Heal: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
"I've seen this before. He might be a mummy posing as an injured townsperson! Zeke, keep your distance."
Gotta love those crit fails! (false!) I figured a nat 1 means he should conclude something ridiculous.
"Good day to you, Easlis! Happy to see you here. We sure could use another learned opinion on this. We're a bit stumped about what could be causing Mr. Yulin's condition. "
Then, after listening to Easlis' input.....
"Drat!" thinks Nyalis as he wipes his hand on his pants, "I should have thought of that. I'll have to be more careful the next time I deal with unknown diseases. I hope my fingers don't end up looking like that."
Then, responding to Easlis, "You know, Easlis, that is a good point. If this is the result of some sort of venom or poison, capturing or killing the creature responsible may be the best way to heal Yulin. It should also keep other villagers from getting attacked by the creature or pack of creatures."
"You've heard what I've heard. Sounds like they want a hunting party, but they don't know what to hunt. Or where, really."
He shakes his head. "I feel like I should know what he's got, but I just can't remember."
"If we don't know what might have attacked him, bringing back random creatures probably won't help."
|GM My Bright Morning|
***At Town Hall***
I believe everyone is at the town hall now right? If not please correct me
You hear a noise coming from the cot. It starts as a cough but then is clearly a rasping laugh.
"You silly southerners! You've never seen a real winter have ya?"
Yulin has woken up with all of the talking and new people around his bed.
"This here malady is what we call 'frostbite' up north where my family hails from. He chuckles again wryly "I never once caught frostbite in 20 years of living in the frozen north. I come down south and get soft, and get it bad in the summertime in Taldor! Ha!"
He suddenly grows serious
"But don't worry so much about me. You have to save lady Argantea! She was taken by bandits!"
"I was one of the guards hired to escort the Argantea caravan. We were on our way back to the capital and skirting the Border Wood. I thought these woods were patrolled by a ranger organization, so assumed we would be safe.
Next thing I know, there are bandits attacking, along with some necromancer. We could have handled that, but then the real threat came."
He leans in closer, as if he's afraid of being overheard by someone
"The winter-touched are here. Little folk, with the power of winter. Ice shoved clear through their hearts to make them loyal."
Fairy Tales Councilwoman Teppen cuts in. "There are no such thing as fairies, or little folk, or fair folk, or whatever else you might call them up north my dear Ulfen. We are not quite so superstitious down here in Taldor!"
He just looks at you as if to say You see? She doesn't believe a word I said to her
"Oh, come on lad. You can't leave the story hanging right when it got to the good part."
He whispers to Nyalis "I think he's delusional from the pain."
"So let me see if I got to this correctly: there were these frostbite-inducing creatures, the bandits, the necromancer and little folk with popsicles on their torsos.
He turned to Bazikian: "No offense."
"Did they start a brawl, did they draw sticks or formed an orderly queue? Seems to me that the Rangers had the right idea of going on vacation."
Easlis got closer to the crowd of, out of earshot of the injured man and tried to reconstruct the events in a more logical pattern:
"Seems to me that more likely something caught the poor guy with his breaches down in the middle of the night. Whatever it was, spooked him into a run, shoeless, and then he might have tripped falling head first, with the nose in the snow.
He’d left the poor lady defenseless. The only reasonable thing to do is to form a group, get into the forest and retrieve the lady." He continued in a somber tone Or more likely corpse for a proper burial."
Nyalis startles a bit when Yulin wakes up coughing. He maintains a small distance between himself and the bed, just to be safe.
After hearing Yulin's story, Nyalis responds to Easlis quietly. "Don't be too hasty. At least part of his story checks out. Most people in the village agree that the Lady Argantea was expected to return through the village any day now. "
Returning to the subject, Nyalis holds up a finger a foot or so in front of Yulin's face. "Can you follow my finger with your eyes? Now, about those little folk. What did the look like?"
Sense Motive on Yulin: 1d20 ⇒ 16
Doing additional diagnosis on Yulin and trying to see if Nyalis thinks he is telling the truth or not.
Brominate steps up and grabs a chair or kneels next to the cot, facing the group.
"Hmm. This may be unrelated, but I sense it's connected somehow. I don't know how many of you know Dryden; he's a local hunter who was raving last night about having seen..."
He swats Nyalis' hand out of the man's face, annoyed by the distracting wagging
"Would ya stop, please! ...having seen a... how did he put it? 'A massive white weasel' in the Border Woods. I figured he'd seen something, but I highly doubted it was a weasel. Could he have seen one of your 'winter-touched?'"
Sensing motive on Yulin.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
Bazikian looks surprised by Ionnia's skepticism. "Oh no no no no no... I don't mean to contradict you, dear Councilwoman, but the fey are not figments of the imagination, no they aren't. My people and I are in fact fey folk, who long ago came to this world, and even now have not really become part of it properly, if you know what I mean. This world is full of wonders, and while it is possible that this man isn't telling the truth, we cannot ignore what he is saying just because we haven't seen what he describes ourselves. I for one believe Yulin, and think we should most definitely head out to find the missing lady." He finally pauses, very briefly, to take a quick breath before continuing on.
"Now, I haven't prepared all of my prayers for today, give me some time in a quiet room, and I will return and shine the healing light of Desna on this man. Regardless of the source of his injuries, it cannot hurt him, even if it fails to heal him completely."
If the Councilwoman agrees, he will retire to a quiet place and pray to Desna for an hour, preparing spells, then return and cast cure light wounds on Yulin.
Brominate meets Bazikian's eyes and slowly nods in agreement.
"Settled then. One hour, then Zeke and I, and anyone else who wants to come, will head out for the Border Woods to find Lady Argantea, or find out what happened to her. And if we uncover any truths about the creatures mister Tulin's described along the way, we'll make sure to report to the council. Bazikian, we should keep an eye out for Dryden, too. The last thing I remember about last night was him telling those nearby that he was going to go back out there to find his weasel, to prove he wasn't spinning tall tales. He's probably out there now."
He stands up, crosses to leave; in the doorway he says,
"I'll leave it to my Ulfen friend here to negotiate the reward for our civil services."
With that, he raises his hood, then exits.
He walks until he is outside and crosses opposite the Town Hall where he leans against a wall, checking his blades and waiting for Bazikian to emerge.
Grim watches the exchange more amused than insulted. He fails to keep his trap shut and openly laughs when "the lady" openly doubts the existence of the fey.
His expression changes to shock as the others plan for immediate departure, and then leave him to negotiate their price of service.
"Say 10 gold for each animal we bring back as potentially involved? 100 for any magical beats? 1,000 for any Fey, aberrations, or any other unexpected parties? All expendable supplies, like food and ammunition, covered for a week minimum, longer if necessary to provide the desired evidence, but only on presentation of said evidence? Those terms work for you?"
Not being entirely convinced the story Yulin spoke was real, Easlis pondered for a while if he should go chasing magical creatures, but when hearing the offer made by the Ulfen his eyes turned big and spoke with a calm but firm voice:
"I will be joining the rescue group. If only half what that man said is true, it will not be an easy job.
Though it will be important to know how many people are missing, both from the caravan and from the town. Where have they been sighted last time, if the caravan was transporting anything precious, or of note, and what would be acceptable proof for slain creatures and bandits? Also, what should we do with the members of the caravan that have gone beyond the realm of the living? ".
|GM My Bright Morning|
Yulin grimaces slightly at the outburst from Easlis.
"You may be laughing now, but that's just because you've never dealt with the evils of a real winter.
We were skirting the edge of the border wood when they attacked. Bandits led by a man in black robes. But as soon as we started fighting back, several little fairies swarmed us, stabbing us with their magical weapons. They are only the size of a man's forearm, but don't let that fool you. They are dangerous and wholly evil"
Both of you believe he is telling the truth, at least he believes he is. He is clearly afraid of whatever these winter-touched are
Yulin shakes his head at Brominate's questions. "no, these winter-touched are not animals. And no one has ever described them as 'massive'. They look like us in many ways. We often call them the little folk. Tiny and with wings, but with two arms, two legs, and a body just like us."
Councilwoman Teppen listened to the discussion closely. You can tell she doesn't buy the stories of fairies, but she backs down at Bazikian's words.
"Whatever it was that this man has seen, it is undeniable that something attacked his party and kidnapped a Lady of noble blood. We must do what we can to rescue her. Perhaps the High Sentinels will be able to assist you. We do not have a militia in this town right now, and I have not received a response from the Sentinel commander in several weeks.
You all appear to be well-travelled folk, perhaps you would be able to assist our town in this?"
She is a bit surprised as everyone moves off in their own directions, but listens to Grimgisli's offer.
She rolls her eyes at the prices he lists. "I'm sorry my dear man. But here in Taldor we don't solve our problems by putting bounties on bandits' heads or goblin ears like those savages in Varisia. I believe you also overestimate the wealth of this tiny town.
We will supply you with rations and ammunition for a week, along with a cart and donkey. We will give each of you a set of warmer clothing if you require it. I believe we have some sitting around here somewhere.
This is not a hunting trip, but is a rescue operation. We also would pay for information on what is causing this winter and how to stop it.
If you return Lady Argantea unharmed, we will grant a reward of 500 gold, plus whatever is given by her family for her return. Returning the bandit leader alive will grant a bounty of another 500 gold. And if you are able to stop whatever or whoever is causing this unholy weather, we will give you 1000 gold. It will stretch our treasury, but ending the threat of this winter is worth it."
While they are discussing things, Yulin tries to answer Easlis' questions.
"You don't understand my friend. The only one missing is Lady Argantea. I'm not sure why they took her alive, but they slaughtered the rest of the caravan. I barely made it out.
We were not carrying much of note. We were running low on funds because this return trip was not entirely expected. We had the Lady herself, her jewels and clothing, and our own weapons armor and supplies.
I can show you on a map where we were ambushed. It was just outside the Border Wood, where the road passes almost inside the edge of the forest.
Do not concern yourselves with the dead. They will be taken care of. By me once I get up if no one else in this town is willing to do it before then. But my main concern is still my Lady. If she is still alive you must save her. Leave the dead alone." He pauses. "But be sure they are actually dead. That necromancer raised two of my companions who turned and gutted poor Saul…
When Bazikian returns, he casts a spell on Yulin, but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference. Some of his more superficial wounds seal up, but the damage from frostbite remains.
Clearly not satisfied with how the negotiations are heading Easlis whispered to Grimgisli "This lady is driving a hard bargain. And here I was preparing to bring a cartload of potentially involved squirrels. I hope you won't mind if I add a couple of demands."
He turns his attention next towards Councilwoman Teppen:
"Excuse me, my dear madam, I understand that your utmost concern is to bring the Lady Argantea in a perfect state of health and for the town to prosper under good weather conditions. However, there is no guarantee that Lady Argantea is even alive, let alone unharmed. As for bringing the bandit leader alive, I can offer no assurances, fights can be as you know quite unpredictable. I do not even understand why his state of health should be of concern to anyone. In most towns, I've visited they would hang a person for these crimes."
"You can settle the prices with my friend here,he pats Grimgisli on the back showing that he has confidence in his negotiation skills but I'm not going to risk my life and of the whole rescue expedition only to find lady already deceased and return with a dead bandit."
What trace of a smile he had before faded from his lips.
"So what I am suggesting: if we bring the Lady Argantea ALIVE we get the full reward for her return. If we bring proof of her demise, we get a lesser part, let's say 30%."
"As for the bandit leader, it seems you only stand to profit if we get into a fight which would put our lives and reward in jeopardy. If you really wish to get rid of the bandit leader I suggest you pay the whole reward in whatever state we bring him: live, dead or undead."
If Grimgisli settles on the right price, Easlis would ask for warm equipment, a cart, a friend of Ol'Dusty to pull it and for any who is willing to rescue the lady to meet at town gate at first light.
Nyalis rubs his hand where Brominate swatted it and tries not to make it look like it hurt too much.
After Ionnia speaks, Nyalis nods his head in agreement and tries to get everybody in agreement with the plan. "Councilwoman Teppin is right. We may not know exactly what caused this but there is at least one noble Lady that is missing and needs accounted for. We should go look for her. Rewards aside, it would be the right thing to do."
Fairly certain that he believes Yulin, Nyalis makes one last attempt to learn what he can from Yulin before they go. "Yulin, we've heard your description of the Fey and the Necromancer. Is there anything else we might want to know before we leave? I'm sure you will be much stronger and ready to get out of bed by the time we return but right now we probably need any edge we can get."
What time is it? Trying to figure out what time of day it will be if we leave in 1 hour. Assuming that everybody is in agreement, Nyalis will get his gear and meet the rest of the group.
Bazikian frowns as his healing attempt falls short of what he was hoping for. "So sorry friend, that normally does the trick," he apologises to Yulin.
The gnome looks somewhat bemused as some begin negotiating prices for doing good deeds, but he beams as Nyalis speaks up. "Yes yes indeed, certainly the right thing to do. You can count on us, Councilwoman," he smiles, standing next to the alchemist. "Your town has been very kind to me since I arrived. And maybe this is the True Beginning to my Very Important Quest!" He looks around as he says that, knowing that visions of Desna's blue butterflies will reveal themselves to him at such auspicious turning points in his destiny.
Nyalis smiles when Bazikian throws himself in with the rescue party. "Well, that makes three between Bazikian, Brominate, and me. Shall we make it five? "
Turning to Easlis, he makes an appeal. "We could certainly use your smarts and spell power. There will be plenty of opportunities for gold once we complete the rescue."
Then, to Grimgisli. "I'm sure there will be plenty of game to hunt and we can do good in the world while we are at it. We have come this far together, let's go a bit farther."
After that, Nyalis waits for a response. I hope they both join us, he thinks.
Easlis, disappointed that so many of the adventurers accepted the terms so easily leans towards the elf and says:
"It's not about the money... well, not entirely. It's about ensuring we're not being cheated with impossible recompense conditions. I know how these so-called village leaders treat strangers in their town, giving them the hardest and the riskiest jobs that no sound villager would take. Taking advantage of the emotions of easily fooled adventurers."
He continues with a much softer voice such that only the members of the rescue party will hear him.
"Look, I don't want to sound like a cold-blooded mercenary. I do care for the well being of the lady and will do everything in my power to see her returned safely including joining the expedition on unfavorable terms."
Bazikian smiles as Easlis explains himself. "Oh I knew you would care Easlis, and now that you say that it makes a lot of sense, I mean we don't want to undersell and ruin the market for the next bunch of adventurers that come along, do we, fair pay for fair work and all that, I mean bakers get paid for good baking, healers get paid for healing..." the little gnome rambles on in hushed tones to the magus.
Nyalis nods his head slightly and keeps talking among the rescue party. "Tis true, Easlis. Good thinking and you're looking out for our best interests. I'm just worried about taking too long while we negotiate. Yulin looks quite tough and see how badly he has been injured. I'd expect the Lady Argantea to fare worse than he would. She might be dead or severely injured already but she also might not. If we have to, we could always take the Lady back to her manor and avoid sticky issues here at the village."
Brominate reflects and considers his morning so far,
By the stars, this day is not going as I would have expected. A wet mop to the face... and it's pretty much gone downhill from there. What was it that farmer's boy said? They lost half their crop... to frost? Dansby farm. Dryden and his larger-than-normal weasel. A caravan guard well acclimated to northern wintry weather, extremities turned black? He called it frostbite.
I certainly hope this day is called a good one by the end of it.
"Hmph. Unlikely," he grumbles.
|GM My Bright Morning|
Ionnia turns away from Grimgisli to speak more to Easlis.
"I was simply speaking to the ideal situation. We would much prefer to have the Lady back alive, and would prefer to have the bandit leader face Taldor justice instead of just putting out a hit on his head.
"But we will of course pay a fair wage to you for slightly… lesser results. Should you bring back proof of death of either the bandit leader or Lady Argantea we will pay half of what was agreed upon. Will these terms be acceptable? It appears some of your companions wish to help out of a sense of good"
While they are talking, Yulin answers Nyalis' question.
"I'm sorry, I don't know much else that would be helpful to you. I am not familiar with these parts, so I don't have a good guess of where they might have taken the Lady. They were a large group, though, and many of the bandits did not seem to be particularly skilled. I imagine tracking them won't be terribly difficult.
As long as the results of the game's very first skill check aren't an indication of how this game is going to go! ;-)
"I can tell you, you need to respect the danger of the Fey. They are very hard to fight, but they are afraid of good cold iron. I don't know if this small southern town has any available, but in the North we often carry cold iron as a precaution. In fact, if one of you can use it, I will let you take my own cold iron longsword. I will not be able to use it for some time, and I would rather see it used to aid my liege lady."
As you wait for the others to finish sorting things out you watch the street. You don't see anything out of place. People are going about their normal business, many fo them visiting the many small market stalls set up around the large statue in the center of town. In the distance towards the Border Wood you do see a faint line of smoke rising into the morning air.
Grimgisli, feel free to add actions that affect anything that I posted hereand I'll catch things up. I know you're on limited service right now, and there were a good number of posts since my last entry. it felt like a good point to push things forward.
Didn't we tell you, the plan is to use up all the bad rolls early on so we can get the good rolls when it really matters :)
Nyalis finishes the conversation with Yulin, "This is good information about the use of cold iron. We will certainly use any advantage we can get. I use a longsword now and would be honored to use your blade to help avenge the Lady Argantea. Does your sword have a name? I'll do what I can add to his story."
Everybody: Nyalis will take possession of the sword but if you can make better use of it than he, speak up and I will get it to the right person.
Turning to Ionnia Nyalis asks, "Can you send for Isker, please. I'd like to see if there are any other cold iron arms available from the smithy. "
"As long as good deeds do not fill my stomach with warm food, a mug with mead, and ol'Dusty's sacks with gold, I see no point in trying to collect them." Easlis replied at the councilwoman's remarks.
"The terms are agreeable, and as the elf said, the more time we waste here the less is the chance to find the Lady Argantea in good health."
The magus asks Nyalis for the sword and inspects the cord iron blade. He looks at it fairly disappointed, expecting fey killing magical sword to be much more sparkly and hands it back, hilt first.
"I haven't seen any creature avoiding the afterlife after a proper hit with a sword. If the results are not what you expected, it's not the adversary, nor the blade, it's you not aiming where you should. I certainly won't be spending my gold on one of these."
He turns next towards Bazikian:
I told you there's no point in wasting magic on that guy If you wish, we can wait an extra hour to regain that power and to have it ready when it's really needed. It would take a bit of time to prepare the cart and for all of us to gather our supplies."
He turns next towards Bazikian:
I told you there's no point in wasting magic on that guy If you wish, we can wait an extra hour to regain that power and to have it ready when it's really needed. It would take a bit of time to prepare the cart and for all of us to gather our supplies."
Bazikian shrugs. "I try to do good things, sometimes I succeed, sometimes times I fail, and sometimes the result's in between, it's not the result that's important, it's the good intent, and if everyone acted with good intent we'd live in a much nicer place, whereas if no one acted with good intent Golarion would be a hellhole, therefore, whether I succeed or fail in individual instances, I'll continue to act with good intent so that I can do my part to make Golarion a better place, consistent intent is far more important than individual consequence, my friend," he chatters in one breath.
Cold iron is a great idea. Little chance I can find a starknife made of it at short notice though :) Might get some cold iron bolts though? If the smith has any, I'll buy 'em!
With nothing left to prepare, Brominate watches the townspeople go about their daily lives.
Was I wrong in coming here? A whole month and this is the first time I've seen the residents this active. An End-of-Month-Marketplace, huh? I suppose it makes their incredulously dull lives seem more eventful. And speaking of eventful, why did I allow myself to be roped into this rescue mission. I need to find that sorcerer! This is just another distraction. And it's not my problem! ... I know, I know... you're right. Who am I kidding? I'd do it anyway. But kindness can be construed as weakness in many lands. Brominate, don't let yourself get too soft. Not again. You don't want to-
He's snapped out of his thoughts when Brominate notices the rising pillar of smoke in the distance, towards the Border Wood, his slouch regains posture as he sits up straight, then stands up altogether.
His decision made, he crosses back towards the Town Hall.
Bazikian, what's taking you long? Nevermind, I know the answer.
Brominate re-enters the Town Hall, heading towards the back room, searching for Bazikian, Grimgisli, and the other fellows he assumes will probably also be venturing on this rescue mission. When he finds Bazikian,assuming he's still in the back room, he inquires,
"Bazikian, my friend, are you ready to go? I've spotted something in the direction of the Woods and think, maybe, that's where we should head first. Honestly, it's a mere line of smoke in the sky, and could be nothing. But my morning's been too weird for that scenario to seem likely. I'm going to scout ahead and check it out, just in case I'm wrong... or in case I'm right."
If others still have prep work, Brominate will probably go ahead and check out what he saw. Stealthily, of course.
Bazikian's head turns as Brominate calls out to him. "Oh, smoke you say? We were just thinking of getting a hold of some cold iron weapons, apparently the fey creatures aren't wounded properly by normal steel, but maybe we could all come with you now? If you go by yourself and there's trouble, too much for one man, you might die, which would be horrible! Three options then, we all go now, you go by yourself while we get ready, or you wait for us."
Bazikian's a bit torn - he doesn't want his friend to go off into danger alone, but the party does need to ready itself somewhat, and he knows he could be more of a liability than an asset for Brom, given his lack of stealthy skills... Hmmm. Quite the conundrum.