We shouldn't lie to this guy, I agree with that. And I like the character trait, don't worry. It's just that at some point, it is likely to put us in serious trouble, and I would like to see how we can get ourselves out of that (for fun). We did it before, at the former tower.
Ringeirr sat and stared at you for what felt like a long time. Then he seemed to come to a decision. He glanced over to Nadya, who nodded encouragement.
"I had a wife and child once. After they... died, I was lost for a long time. I don't remember how long; years at least just fishing and selling my catch."
He stood up and peered out through a dim window.
"Then. Then I was contacted by an underground resistance group called the Heralds of Summer’s Return. They're resistance fighters in Whitethrone; part of a secret cult of Milani who have a hidden shrine to the goddess somewhere in the city.
"I found a new purpose then. Helping the oppressed people of Whitethrone in their fight against the White Queen. I am an agent of the Heralds now; smuggling the desperate out of the city and bringing in needed supplies to the resistance."
He turned and smiled.
"Looks like you came to the right boy for your little problem."
You talk until long after the sun had set over Glacier Lake.
Ringeirr made it clear how difficult it had become recently to get in and out of the city.
He affirmed what you already learned from the Black Rider—that Queen Elvanna has seized power from her mother, Baba Yaga, and intends to remain on the throne on Irrisen.
He also added that she has removed the Iron Guard from power and instituted a new military force in its place, the Winter Guard, loyal to her alone.
Elvanna has also declared martial law in Whitethrone, making it extremely dangerous to go through the city’s primary gates.
Traffic still passes through the city gates, but it has a slowed to a crawl, with large contingents of the Winter Guard performing thorough searches of anyone entering or leaving Whitethrone.
Entering the city isn’t the only problem—citizens are routinely checked even within the city.
You will need papers authorizing your movement throughout Whitethrone, not just through its gates; but Ringeirr thinks you might be able to exploit a loophole.
He describes a privileged group of Jadwiga called Stilyagi, young nobles known for their outlandish behavior and styles of dress.
Like-minded Stilyagi form gangs that adopt the cultural and stylistic trappings of other lands and peoples—even pretending to be adventurers from other nations.
With their wealth and indolent lifestyle, Stilyagi are also notorious for the recruitment of foreigners (even those of other races) to Whitethrone to act as companions, teachers, and advisors—at least until they grow tired of them.
Ringeirr suggests that you could take the roles of Stilyagi and their foreign guests to move about the city.
While you might want to forge your own identity papers, Ringeirr also knows an eccentric forger in Whitethrone who not only can prepare the correct documents, but also knows the secret household symbols of many of the city’s Jadwiga clans and can reproduce them with arcane marks for added authenticity.
Forging your own papers require ranks in Linguistics.
The forger, a man named Mortin, lives on the borders of the district known as the Howlings, which is predominantly controlled by winter wolves, but it is the one district Ringeirr feels he might be able to get you through and into the city.
Thanks to an ancient pact with Baba Yaga, winter wolves can assume human form in the Howlings.
The “Howlings Gate” is not a gate at all but rather a hole in the city wall that gives the wolves unrestricted access to their district.
The wolves are responsible for security of the district, and Ringeirr knows they’re often lax about it and susceptible to bribery.
In exchange for his help in entering Whitethrone, Ringeirr does ask for your assistance in a side mission.
If he is going to get you into the city and take you to Mortin, he wants to do so while bringing food to desperate humans who are going hungry, and he’d like your help in making the delivery.
Once you’re safely inside the city, with you in possession of your forged papers and Ringeirr’s food delivery made, Ringeirr will take you to meet his contact with the Heralds of Summer’s Return, a woman named Solveig Ayrdahl.
Solveig is the leader of the cult of Milani in Whitethrone, and she can give you shelter in the city and more information on the current conditions there.
"I don't mind making a delivery of food in exchange for you being our guide and introducing us to the forger. What does the rest think?"
Ten-Penny then sits down at a table and gathers some writing equipment.
"What I do mind, however, is entering the city without a back-up plan. Although I prefer the forgery made by a pro, we can't get that before we enter the city somewhere. Therefore, I will try to make us a one which wil have to make due before we reach this "Mortin". That way, we might have more of a chance."
Ten-Penny takes up her quill and ink and redies to write.
"Ringeirr? Do you have a some sort of example of such a document, or do you know how it looks? Or perhaps a sample of an important person's signature? It could help me to create a more convincing forgery which we can then temporary use."
Linguistics for Forgery: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22 with a signature sample providing a +4 bonus if available.
Giacomo listens to the whole story with furrowed eyebrows, trying to keep up with all the information.
"So, you're willing to help us out, and the only thing in return is the fact that we need to deliver some lunches? That sounds too easy to be true. Not that I'm complaining, of course.
We'll need to think of some form of entertainment. Back at the church, Father said I was pretty good at delivering sermons, I could perhaps tell a tale or two from Erastil's holy book."
The curse of 1 skill point per level. I have absolutely no Perform skills, but I have a +3 Charisma, that's the best shot I have.
Gondork puts his armor back on.
"There, that feels better."
A vigorous nose mining effort follows that seems to last for ages including sound.
"Anybody want to go for a spar outside? Always helps me feel more comfortable in my grandfather's armor."
He scans the room and his gaze rests on Giacomo.
Bluff for passing a hidden message, Sudden insight: 1d20 - 2 + 2 ⇒ (10) - 2 + 2 = 10
What I do mind, however, is entering the city without a back-up plan.
"Well Miss High and Mighty, what is YOUR ingenious plan to get into a city guarded by high walls, Winter Witches and Winter Werewolves? I've been in and out dozens of times and MY way WORKS!" Ringeirr snapped with irritation.
When Ten-Penny tries to forge identity papers for the city using one of Ringeirr's.
"Hunh. Yer... not bad lassie. Maybe even better than me. Still only good enough for slave status, but now I don't have ta do 'em!"
Say Ringeir, what about familiars and other agents of the queen? Is there anything we should be paying extra attention to?
"Hm. Can't say I'm familiar with that kind of thing. If'n anything needs hunting down, they usually use their were winter worgs."
Sense Motive: 1d30 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
"Ohh, I can be your punching bag! I can heal myself in between hits, so I'll never tire!"
You're not entirely sure if Giacomo got the message or if he truly wants to be beaten up.
Gondork lets the others do the shopping while he practises his axe swinging on an improvised dummy outside Ringeirr's hut. When the others return, he is covered in sweat and seems even grumpier than the last night. When he spots Ten-Penny, his eyes soften a bit.
"And? Find anything useful? I suppose they don't sell fancy dresses here?"
I always ctrl-a, ctrl-c my posts before posting. I think the site mainly eats posts if you've been in a separate screen for too long. My reviews have been eaten that way, as well.
I don't have anything really to do. I'll buy a bundle of regular arrows. Are alchemist fires available, or do they count as magical?
"Well Miss High and Mighty, what is YOUR ingenious plan..."
"I meant that I want to have some sort of papers if we get checked before we make it to forger. Not another plan to get in, 'cause that is why we have you."
I do not have any purchases, for as far as I know.
"Why would I want to wear that underneath my armor?? I have perfectly fine undergarments. I can't channel my grandfather if I'm not wearing the armor. No armor equals no help from me."
Ringeirr shook his head.
"Not even gonna happen. What you're ALL gonna do is take off your old clothes and equipment, ESPECIALLY your armor, and conceal them in the two day old fish along with the supplies I'm already smuggling. You'll don these old peasant clothes, also smelling of old fish, and you'll help me push the carts through the checkpoint. The smell of decaying fish will prevent the noses of the Winter Wolves from detecting you from being other than a slave.
"Hey Ten-Penny;" Called out Arwyn. "I grabbed that little guy's treasure chest while you were yelling at him, but it's locked." She said, serving the bowls with the rich savory stew. She looked over towards the chest by the door where she dropped it.
"Can you open it?"
I already thought that he must have had something to loot, but decided against it while portraying Inquisitor Jala. It would have seemed quite awkward to do at the moment, but I'm happy to have teammates that find their inner rogue when I distract someone.
"I can do that. Let's see what that weasel was collecting, shall we?"
Disable Device: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (3) + 14 = 17
"Huh, that is peculiar... This lock should have opened by now..."
I'm assuming that it isn't enough. If I'm allowed another shot (aka, didn't ruin the lock), then I'll try again.
Disable Device: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (9) + 14 = 23
Gondork puts on his armor, then tries to wear the smelly fisherman's clothes over his armor, to no avail.
"Fine! I won't wear my armor! But no spells, either! You find out whats in that box you found yourself!"
After which he grumpily sits next to the fire and mumbles:
"Ringeirr, you don't happen to have any javelins lying around we could use?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (12) - 2 = 10
With plenty of time to work on it, Ten-Penny opens the lock.
Inside Marcian’s locker is an assortment of the gang’s valuables that Marcian has been holding onto for “safekeeping.”
The locker contains:
*A Wand of spider climb (17 charges)
*A small pouch holding four uncut rubies
*379 gp in assorted coinage
*A curious silver mirror engraved with the image of two lovers embracing
* The locker also contains all of Ringeirr’s equipment
*A pouch containing 3 Dustburst Pellets (APG)
*Three potions of Cure Light Wounds
*Two oils of Grease
*Two potions of undetectable alignment
*Two flasks of alchemist’s fire
*An Amulet of Natural Armor +1
*A set of Masterwork cold-weather gear
*A set of Masterwork thieves tools
"Hey my stuff!" Exclaimed Ringeirr as he pulled out a set of masterwork leather armor (with glamour), a couple of daggers, a masterwork sap, and a belt pouch.
"Ringeirr, you don't happen to have any javelins lying around we could use?"
Ringeirr shook his head."Nope. No javelins. Got a harpoon or two you can have though."
Sorry, was a bit distracted by real life
After a while, Ten-Penny gets the chest open. She decides to not stop Ringeirr with getting his own equipment back. He probably needs it to smuggle us in. Then, sparkling stuff catches Ten-Penny's eyes. She grabs the Rubies and closely examines them.
Appraise Rubies: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
"I'd say these are worth approximately 50 gp each. We have four of them, so an easy 200 gp"
She then shifts her attention towards the mirror.
Appraise Mirror: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
"Oooh, this one is nice! Silver grip, finely detailed print... I'd wager we could get 100 gp for this one!"
The potential magic stuff is placed in the capable hands of whoever can identify these.
Later that night...
He is trying to convince Nadya to rejoin her children and leave him to
guide you from here forward. He pleads with her that he has much less to lose, and even if he manages to guide you to the Dancing Hut, their journey through Whitethrone might well be a one-way trip.
She seems undecided.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Ten-Penny whispers to Giacomo: "Hey Giacomo, it seems that Ringeirr is trying to convince Nadya to stay here with her children. She seems undecided though... I rather not pull another person into this trip of ours, and her plans for revenge might become her death, leaving her kids without a mother."
Ten-Penny sinks into thoughts. "Normally, I would convince people to do something by being very direct. However, I do not want to look ungrateful towards the things she has already done for us. I think you would be able to get the concern across far better than I do. What do you think about this?"
Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (8) + 11 = 19
Gondork wakes up from an uneasy soldier's sleep with a twitch from his pointy ear. He decides to ignore what is said and lies thinking:
"Silly humans... better to leave them to their own devices. Us orcs have more honorful things to do than squabble over the fate of children..."
The next day, Nadya came to you all and hugged you.
"I'm sorry, but I can't continue with you into Whitethrone. My children and my village need me, and I... anyway, I brought you to Ringeirr and he is well able to guide you from here on out.
"I wish you the very best of luck!" She said, before taking the sled and setting out again back the way you came in.
The next day dawns.
After breakfast a grinning Ringeirr hauls out a pile of peasant clothing.
"Alright! Time ta put on more appropriate clothing ladies and gents!"
The clothing is grimy and reeks of old fish.
Once your new duds are donned, he breaks out an old pushcart and has you all push it down to the warehouse.
Things are calmer today. People are going about their daily lives, working, fixing the damage you did yesterday, arguing...
Ringeirr pays for a load of fish, then he has you push it back to his shack. There he has you wrap your clothing and equipment tightly in oilskin and concealed way under the fish.
He stops you when you (whoever has it) are about to put the Rimepelt in with the rest.
"Hold on there! You ought to keep that out. That could be handy..."
Sorry I fell off the earth, I got sick and it's hard to get back into the swing of things again.
Giacomo looks conflicted. "On the one hand, I'd love it if she kept tagging along. But obviously she didn't ask for this, and she has the option to bail out, unlike us. More importantly, she has kids to take care of. I don't think this is a decision we can make for her, she has two groups of people to look out for, it's up to her to see who needs her help the most."
Giacomo goes in for a hug, tears in his eyes. "I hope you and your family can live safely now, without any ice witches around. I hope I can still visit you sometime, when this whole ordeal is over."
THE HOWLINGS GATE
Having made what preparations you can, you all begin pushing the cart down the track towards the city.
Irrisen’s capital is a vision in white—from the snow surrounding the city to its bone-white walls, from the blues and whites of its snow-covered buildings to the shimmering silvery ice of the Royal Palace.
The walls of Whitethrone tower 30 feet high, and have the appearance of giant, sharpened femurs fused together, though closer inspection reveals only smooth stonework the color of bleached bone.
Massive skulls of the same bone-white stone top the walls, staring with blank gazes outward from the city in all directions.
A rough road of frozen mud, churned and trampled from the traffic of countless feet, leads through an opening in the wall, which appears to have been deliberately left unfinished rather than sundered.
As you approach the guard shack in the middle of the gap, a beautiful woman with white hair and in chain and leather armor came out and raised her hand.
"Halt!" She commanded. "What is your name and business?" She asked, her piercing blue eyes seeming to look right through you.
Knowledge:Arcana: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25
Gondork looks at Ringeirr, trusting him to know how to deal with the guard. He gives a sideways glance at the others, making clear this is no ordinary guard.
As we're slavefolk at the moment, Ten-Penny keeps her mouth shut, hoping that Reingirr remembers he has Ten-Penny's forgery if he need to wave with something.
Greta poked through the pile of smelly fish with distaste, withdrawing and wiping her fingers off on her cloak as quickly as possible.
She then walked past each one of you, giving a sloppy pat down and brief sniff before going on.
She did linger over Gondork, even whispering privately into his ear.
"Hey there big man. Want to get a cup of tea or spiced wine with me later?"