Midori arrives in Sandpoint, riding back with Sheriff Hemlock and any help he was able to get. She slides off her horse, wincing slightly. It's been a while since she rode this much and her body is commenting on the fact.
"Thank you for the escort, Sheriff. You said my cousin will most likely be at this inn, the Rusty Dragon? Should I find a stable for Haya or is there one with the Rusty Dragon?"
A tall, lean elf, dressed in shades of green, with long, dark hair swept to one side, stood before a post outside a small town on the Varisian coastline.
Welcome to Sandpoint. Please take a moment to see yourself the way we see you. the signpost declared. Below the sign, a mirror had been hung.
Amusing. the elf bent down and backed away a bit, in order to accommodate the sign's request. His trip from Magnimar had been fairly leisurely, and he only had to brush a slight amount of dust from his pantlegs.
He turned to the large beast of burden accompanying him on his journey through Northern Avistan. Tremorfoot, come. he said, and the beast approached. From within one of the many packs the beast carried, he withdrew a fashionable cloak, some fresh boots, and a folding chair. He took a few minutes to polish the boots, sitting in the chair, ponderously gazing at the sign and mirror as he did so.
How, indeed, will they see me? The humans of Varisia are a diverse lot. Those who fled Cheliax as Thrune rose to power are of a more serious mindset than those of native descent, the Varisians, but less so than the frequently hostile Shoanti. I imagine many will be intimidated by my height. It might be best to stow my blade on Tremorhoof. Of course, he will be a bit of a curiosity to them as well. he rubbed a dirt-stained spot on the boots, polishing it as best he could. Naturally, they will benefit from my knowledge and experience. However, past experiences have led me to conclude that gratitude for such comes only after a period of recalcitrance in the face of truths. Fortunately, the more adept among them will adapt sooner and reveal themselves as potential equals.
He finished, putting the boots on, standing, and cinching the cloak in place, Folding the chair, and reinserting it into its pack, he straightened his shirt and did his best to apply a smile to his face, although, in truth, his smiles appeared more as smirks.
Simelien Cutanryl (Portrait) crossed the bridge into Sandpoint, ready to show the town who he was.
Rafael headed into town from the north, having passed signs of goblin movement on and off the road. So the rumors were right he thought. The town was the target of goblin attacks.. Usually they contented themselves with scavenging garbage around town. Something isn't quite right here.
He passed the devastation around the cathedral with some curiosity and shock as well... helped some townsfolk move some charred wood into a pile before moving on to the home of his son and daughter-in-law.
After a lengthy visit and some play time with his grandchildren and a fine meal, assuring himself that all were safe and well, he left to see if there was anything he could do elsewhere in the town to help out.
He stopped at a home with a broken lintel, and helped the owner repair it. Then helped rethatch a section of burnt roof on a small workshop. He stopped to heal a goodwife who'd been hurt by falling debris from a fire. And finally, he made his way to the Rusty Dragon, where he settled in for a drink and a chance to listen to rumors and learn what he could from the locals themselves.
Midori sighs and heads into the Rusty Dragon, hoping that her unexpected arrival will not upset Ameiko, especially after what the sheriff had told her about the recent events. She'd met Ameiko briefly, when her cousin was staying in Magnimar with their mutual grandfather. She'd also met Tsuto -or rather- heard him as he burst into a family meeting, claiming to be Atsuii's son, declaring that Lonjiku had murdered her, and demanding that the family DO SOMETHING about it. Grandfather had had the servants chuck him out, though later Midori could have sworn she heard her mother mutter the name Arinellus.
"Is Ameiko here? Could someone please tell her Midori is here to see her?"
Korbin Steelsoul continues his march south, following Lost Coast Road. In the distance, Korbin spots the town. Sandpoint. Smaller than I'd thought. Still appears standing. He follows the road, his feet bare, thick and calloused. The beard is lively, working itself up in a hustle. It stretches, upwards, taking a couple jabs at the air. The beard attempts to crack the knuckles on its "hand" to no avail.
"Calm down, dun' need to impress no one." The arms form a meditating motion, hands locked knuckle to knuckle. The hair rises and falls, pretending to breathe deeply. Korbin reaches the town's gate, peering at its towers over his thick brow.
He makes his way down Church street, looking at the damages, but noting that the threat seems to have been dealt with, or at least pushed back. He looks at the men tending to the rubble, muscled laborers. Korbin approaches them, his beard forming a large hand, lifting debris into large piles. The men seem hesitant to ask about the facial hair but accept the help.
Korbin is largely silent. He pays more attention to the task at hand than finding any sort of authority. While it takes a bit of time, the job is finished. The beard returns to shape two smaller hands, picking up what scraps remain of the wreckage. " I need a place to stay, point me in the right direction."
He looks over the streets while he awaits a reply. Seems to've been quite the assault. Whoever staved 'em off did a good job.
|Draken Caladran Lorrimar|
A man in white armor with black leather patterns enters the room, his wide-brimmed hat containing a feather in it. His dark black hair shows out under the hat and around the scarf like face covering he has covering his most of his face, only his eyes are showing and they are a vibrant red. A long red cape flows out behind him as well and on his side is a pistol in seemingly well condition. on his left wrist rests a buckler made of the same white material most of his armor is made from. The outfit certainly draws attention to the man, but many pass him off as some noble seeking that attention, a closer look however, reveals something a tad off. Around his neck hangs a holy symbol of Iomeade when greeted he merely nods his head, and makes his way towards the bar. Once there he speaks in a hushed voice.
I need a room. Also, what do you know of the attack on this town? Who should I speak to to learn more?
Rafael looks up at the newcomer's entry, notes his unusual white armor and shield. When he asks about the attack on the town, Rafael smiles and speaks up with a good-natured tone. "Apparently goblins attacked the town during the ceremony to open the new cathedral. They used fire and steel. There were a few deaths, but even more injuries. Thanks to some folks standing up to them, most of the little green vermin were thwarted from doing even more damage. I've been around town since I got here, and it seems most of the damage is already being cleaned up and repaired. Still, I fear Sandpoint is not ready for another such incursion without assistance. By the way, I'm Rafael. Interesting weapon, that gun you wear. Are you skilled in its use? I've never actually fired one myself, being more inclined to a quieter weapon myself." He leans his bow forward for a moment.
"Like you, I'd like to learn more, if there's more to learn, so mind if I listen in if any locals volunteer more information about the attacks?"
Idril flounced into the Rusty Dragon and made a beeline for Alkaid in the common room.
"Alkaid! Alkaid!" She squeed as she tackle hugged her.
"Cyrdak agreed to create a play based on our adventure! But he won't do it without all of us!
"Please say yes!
"Please say yes!
"Please say yes!
"Please say yes!" She repeated over and over yanking on Alkaid's arm while jumping up and down.
Rafael helps out where he can around town, and is rewarded by several families. By the time he drops in to the Rusty Dragon, he has a basket full of fresh baked bread, apples, pears and a wheel of cheese.
At the Rusty Dragon, he takes a seat at the bar and is served a pretty good pale ale.
Looking around, he sees a normal lunchtime crowd, just a seat over, a grey bearded farmer (people called him 'Grump') raved something about the 'Sandpoint Devil' making off with one of his sows.
Across the room he saw a dark haired girl jumping excitedly and yanking on the arm of another girl stoically trying to eat.
But most peoples attention is on the beautiful girl on the stage, singing a Varisian folksong in a thrilling voice.
One of the waitstaff spoke to a woman who could be a sister to her, and he overheard her saying "Ameiko is on stage at the moment..."
Simelien smirks Naturally. Drawn to the most popular tavern in town. I suppose I might next witness some kind of brawl around alcohol.
He heads towards the Inn, taking note of the Tie-Style dragon hanging outside it's door. He straightens his shirt and enters, ducking under the door frame. At 6'6", it's something you get used to.
Upon entering, he looks around for an open table or a place at the bar. Hearing the music on stage , however, he decides instead to get closer to that. He notes the Tien features of the singer. Something strikes him as familiar, but he's unsure of exactly what.
Knowledge (nobility) 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15; Knowledge (local) 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
Sorry for delay
The large half giant returned from his negotiations to convert the goblin fortress into an inn. His business plan was simple, give the local goblins jobs, host visitors outside Sandpoint in a neutral environment, and provide a healthy, safe place for those wanting to let of steam outside of Sandpoint.
As usual, Brin was interested in seeing how the best inn in the area operated, the Rusty Dragon. After a few hours, Brin realized that a top-notched entertainer like Ameiko was essential. Sure, goblins could be easily entertained with a few fire tricks, but to land the gold coined nobles, Brin would need a headliner like Ameiko.
The huge half man, half giant moved with a little clumsiness, but had a discerning look and a ready smile. Brin quickly looks around and sees some capable looking adventurers in the Rusty Dragon. He makes a note that attracting adventurers gives the inn a built in defense/security force, an advantage for an inn outside the reach of the city watch.
Brin nods to a few locals and sits down. "Killing devil dogs has made me thirsty."
As an afterthought, because he didn't want to have to fight while he was drinking and eating, he casually announced: "I am going to drink and eat. If anyone is gonna start trouble, do it now. I don't want my food to get cold or my ale to get warm after it comes out of the kitchen. We have about two minutes if anyone feels a need to prove something."
Brin moves his eyes over the crowd and waits to see if anyone's gaze lingers as he waits for his dinner and drink order to be filled.
"Rusty Dragon. Much obliged." Korbin doesn't ask for directions, instead wandering about the town. He heads south-east, observing a smithy at the end of High Street. He looks for dwarves, possible borthers and sisters of Janderoff, making note when he sees them for later. Korbin follows Festival Street, reaching the Market.
While lost, the wandering wasn't without gain. He learns from the idle banter of the marketplace that heroes saved the town from a goblin raid. He asks directions now. Can only be headstrong for so long. He keeps the beard tame, and while it dances and flickers, it is largely unassuming. He follows the directions he was given. Korbin spots the sign, "The Rusty Dragon." He enters.
A large man perhaps twice as tall as Korbin is the first to attract his attention.Trouble. I can already tell. He looks around the bar, looking at the strange variety of guests. A red eyed fellow in white armor. A large, muscular giant-man. And here I was 'fraid I would be an outcast. He finds a seat at the bar, gravitating towards a monk-dressed fellow and his red-eyed friend while keeping a wary eye on the giant.
Korbin speaks loudly, not ignoring the singer so much as accepting it as a background performance. "Oi. A drink bartender. And five gold pieces if ya point me to ya heroes." Korbin's beard returns to shape twin fists, resting their "elbows" on the counter. One of them twists behind Korbin, taking off his satchel and placing it by his stool. The other arm lowers to the backpack, pulling out a small fistful of coins. It places them on the counter, stacking them.
When Alkaid broke Idril's armlock and demanded to be allowed to finish her meal first, Idril backed off with a pout.
Then she saw Brin come in.
"Brin! Brin!" She squeed as she expertly danced around the tables to tackle hug him.
"Ooff!" She grunted as she hit him. It was like running into a tree.
"Cyrdak agreed to create a play based on our adventure! But he won't do it without all of us!
"Please say yes!
"Please say yes!
"Please say yes!
"Please say yes!" She repeated over and over yanking uselessly on his arm while jumping up and down.
The bartender finished laughing with a cluster of locals and slid down to where Korbin sat at the bar.
"Yer in luck sir! We happen to specialize in drinking; What'll ye have?"
When asked about heroes, he nodded at the common room behind Korbin.
"The big guy? That be Brindolfin; I hear he's got big plans fer construction in the future, if'n yer lookin' ta hire on."
He gestured again.
"That little slip of a girl tuggin' on his arm? Thats Idril; she's a Varisian dancer tryin' ta get some kind of production goin' down at the Theater."
He gestured again.
"That big red haired girl over in the corner? That's Alkaid. Haven't heard much about her lately after they got back from Thistletop.
"There were others who went out with 'em, but never came back." He shook his head sadly.
Korbin looks at Brindolfin. A giant hero? What's he playing at. He uses his own hand to take a few coins from the stack he made. He pushes them forward for the information. He hops off the stool, the beard-hands picking up his bag. The man next to him catches his eye however.
Korbin looks at the man, looking closer at the blue feathers in his hair. Im not the only one with a hair problem it seems. Where have I seen this before? Korbin shoulders the satchel, making his way between the two men. "Not to pry," he starts, looking towards the man with his bow out. "Ya look mighty familiar. Been to Windsong Abbey?"
"Several times... " He tilts his head to one side with a smile as he thinks back... It HAD been some time since he was there last... "You look mighty familiar as well... That beard reminds me of someone... only one dwarf I ever met with a living beard... Corwin was it? Is that you?" He peers closely, squinting in the dim light of the tavern. "You look so different out of your abbey robes... Rafael's the name if you've forgotten, which is fine, don't blame you at all, it's been a while since I've seen you. My last visit to the Abbey WAS some time ago."
He was not oblivious to the bartender's list of the local heroes that he's heard so much about town. "These three folks, the giant fellow, the bouncy girl and the redhead, are the talk of the town. My son spoke quite highly of them, and my grandkids chattered on and on about how they saved Sandpoint from the goblins." He laughs a little. "I came to help out, having heard about the attacks, but I came to late to be of much assistance, just a little clean up of the aftermath." He shrugs. "Ah well, too little too late, it seems. But the rumors I heard seemed to indicate there was more to this than just a few goblin skirmishes. Maybe I can still be of some help."
Korbin gives a hearty laugh. "Varisia is too small. Heard word of the goblins too, 'fraid I came too late." He looks over to the heroes that Rafael mentions. Too wee lasses and a giant? They'll need all the help they can.
"Seems I fer-got me manners in the abbey. Korbin, friend." A beard hand goes out to shake, but Korbin's hand swats it away, replacing it with his own. "Dun' mind them, they forget whose in charge sometimes." He looks towards the man with the red eyes. "Here fer the attack too?"
|Draken Caladran Lorrimar|
Water and steak please. Rare, that is.
After overhearing about the attack the heros Draken makes his way towards the giant of a man. He speaks in a fluid voice,
My good man, Brin was it? Folks here say you stopped a goblin attack with the help of the girl there and a few others, then went out to clear the area near thistletop and the like. Tell me, when you left here to hunt them... what did you find?
His eyes stare out like burning embers, looking through you to your soul. Although they aren't actually glowing.
"Thank you. Tea please. And some of Ameiko's special stew."
Midori sits at the bar, looking around the room, studying the people and trying to guess who's local, who's not...and which ones are these 'heroes' Sheriff Hemlock talked about.
As she sits, the small case she has slung over her shoulder begins to rattle. She opens the top and speaks to the miniature -creature?- that pokes it's head out. "Hiro, behave. Wait until we get settled."
The silvery dragon-like head turns to look at her out of a whirring bronze eye. She laughs and says "Oh, all right, come out. But stay on the table."
The creature emerges, revealing a diminutive construct resembling a silver pseudo-dragon with bronze trim. Hiro also looks around, flitting to sit on her head. When it -he- spots the half-giant he gives a startled, musical chirp and ducks back into his carrier.
"It looks like those are three of the heroes who saved Sandpoint...and Ameiko."
She stands up and walks over to the table where the red-head is sitting. "Please excuse my forwardness...are you one of the group who saved my cousin Ameiko? Please accept my thanks."
She bows politely, then chuckles. "Oh, I'm sorry. My name is Midori Masaki. Ameiko's mother and mine were sisters...well, half-sisters, but still." she blushes, then is interrupted as her diminutive homunculus scrambles out of it's case and flits back up onto her head.
Hiro tilts it's head, studying Alkaid intently, gives a musical wolf whistle then chirps "Hi. My name's Hiro. Who are you?"
Midori blushes to the roots of her hair and says sternly "Hiro! Bad boy. Back in your case!"
Brin puts down his mug and wipes the froth from his mouth to speak to the man with the glowing eyes.
"Well, there was this goblin druid with a pet that could pop in out through the brambles. I hit him so hard, I thought I had killed him. But he turned out to be a decent sort, so we killed the King that incited the goblins and made him the boss."
Brin scratches his head.
"I fought a devil dog that almost killed me and smelled of sulfur, fire and brimstone and could turn invisible when he wanted to. I fought some Sinspawn, but they weren't really that tough, probably a little tougher than goblins. There was this huge crab under a bunch of treasure, he was tough. Anyway, I think what we found is only the beginning."
He whispers conspiratorially: "We were with this Ryu character who was an evil necromancer and impregnated barely mature human females. And that was after he was rehabilitating himself. I would have hated to see him before he turned over a new leaf. He may be working against us."
"Korbin! Well, I was close... sorry. It HAS been a while... How ARE you? You're looking well... I think this is the first time I've seen you outside the abbey. It seems that those are the heroes over there... shall we go introduce ourselves?"
Without waiting for agreement, he stands and walks over to where Brin is conversing with Draken and first listens to the half-giant's list of adventures. "Those are impressive deeds... and it's a pleasure to meet you Brindolfin. I am Rafael and I came to help deal with the threats against Sandpoint, but it sounds like you've already accomplished that. Well done, I say!" He leans closer and whispers... "This fellow who you think might be working against you, do you think he might prove a further threat to the city?"
"I am... but I have grandchildren who live in the town too... Should I worry about them? What is this guy's problem anyway?"
Perception 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (12) + 13 = 25
Sim's distracted thoughts are interrupted as his keenly-attuned ears pick up bits of the conversations taking place in the Inn. Right, not here to admire the music.
He approaches the gathering crowd, listening in to their conversation, his senses focused in to the half-giant, analyzing his level of threat and/or aggression after his invitation to trouble.
Not aggressive, merely used to receiving aggression. Capable of providing it as necessary.
He nods, respectfully, listening in.
As Rafael departs, Korbin place coins on the table, a small mountain of them. "When ya have the time, drinks for the table there." He points to the heroes and the gathering adventurers. "Bottle of Absinthe for the big man, two of ya finest wine for the lasses, and a gallon of mead for the rest of us."
[2x10gp for wine, 30gp for absinthe, 2gp for mead]
Korbin strolls over towards where the crowd gathers, following Rafael. "Can't complain. Life at Windsong is pleasant, if uneventful." While Brin tells his stories and while Rafael introduces himself, Korbin merely watches. He stands at the edges of the group, and notices an elf had a similar idea.
Korbin speaks in a whisper to the elf, a large bearded hand covering his mouth from onlookers. "Tryin' to get a read on the "Hero-Giant" too?" Korbin takes a pivot, angling himself towards the elf. The town folk seem convinced, but Korbin remains skeptical. He seeks a second opinion. "Trust 'em as far as I can throw 'em."
The big giant holds out his hand to competent archer.
"Rafael, good to meet you. My mom called me Brindolfin, everyone else calls be Brin. I am also an armorsmith, so if you are interested, maybe I can make you a suit of armor?"
Brin taps his suit of half-plate cut to allow some agile maneuvres. "They gave me this as a gift, but I think I want to make my own armor. I need to get a fancy metal when I can afford it."
Brin looks at the absinthe with curiousity. He had never had it before. He poured some into a glass and drank it quickly.
"I prefer the freedom of wearing no armor, but thank you for the offer, Brin. Mind if I sit down, join you?" he asks as he sits, not exactly waiting for an answer. "So how is the absinthe? I must admit, I've never tried the stuff myself, I'm not much of a drinker... but perhaps tonight I'll make an exception just to try something new. Thank you for your thoughtfulness Korbin. Next round will be on me, I guess."
He tries the absinthe, but unlike Brin, he drinks it slowly, savoring the flavor sip by sip. "Interesting taste... kind of like licorice"
"So tell me more about your adventures, Brin! What happened that the local theatre wants to immortalize your adventures in a performance of some kind?"
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Simelien nods. He did issue a challenge to the room. Loudly enough for one to hear over the wonderful singing of Miss Ameiko. However, it seems he intended it to prevent violence, rather than to engage in it. That is a place where trust can begin, yes? he speaks softly enough to keep from interrupting the main conversation, but loudly enough for the dwarf to hear.
He quarter-turns, offering his hand to the dwarf. Simelien Cutanryl. My compatriots address me as 'Sim'. he leans in closer as the dwarf (or the dwarf's beard) takes his hand, whispering And, if it proves to be a false path, perhaps I could aid you in that toss.
I believe you are right Midori, based on MaleNPC1's "girl over in the corner" for Alk.
"Korbin Steelsoul." He looks up to the tall man, grinning. "You look a bit easier to throw, and seem a bit easier to trust." Korbin gives a small wave to Rafael and the giant-man on Rafael's thanks. "Time to get me own opinion on the giant." The beard-hands stretch out, grabbing a mead from the table ten feet away. Korbin whispers, smiling: "Well Sim, I'll give ya the signal if we need ta toss 'em like a caber."
The beard holds onto the mead, but doesn't pull it towards Korbin. Instead Korbin approaches the table, the arm shrinking in length as the gap is closed. "Hope ya haven't had 'nuff celebration for ya heroics already. My first purchase of anything in over ten years, glad to share it with heroes. " He nods to Rafael, grinning slightly. "No need to repay. A dwarven taste for drinks are better anyways." He takes a sip, scratching at where one assumes to be his chin. "No offense."
Still assuming Alkaid and Brin are at different tables
"By the way" Midori says cautiously "Is my other cousin Ryu here as well?
Midori doesn't seem to be afraid of Ryu, just embarrassed about something.
Midori looks even more embarrassed, but somewhat relieved. "I'm not quite ready to run into him again just yet. Dad and Uncle tried to arrange a marriage between us. We both said yes, but neither of us really wanted it. When my father...died...six months ago, I sent Ryu and Uncle a letter saying Dad canceled the arrangement. It wasn't true, but I thought it was the best thing to do, under the circumstances. "
|Alkaid Ingrid Bridgette Aiba|
"Ah, Giant-Man," Korbin starts, raising the glass to his lips. He looks up to the half giant. "Hope the drinks'a to ya liking." While Korbin drinks, one of the beard-hands twirls his mustache.
"Can't say I've met a big-man quite like ya. I too would like to hear of these exploits. Not every day a new play is written." He begins to think on it, placing his drink down. "Well, maybe they are. Can't say I've seen a play before. Think they'll put a man on stilts ta play ya?" Korbin laughs to himself, taking a seat now.
Brin seems to look at the newcomers and seems to consider the strong taste of the absinthe as he looks at the dwarf. "Quite different than strong ale. Thank you for the drink."
As Brin looks at Rafael he seems to be considering some things besides his empty glass of absinthe as he refills it. He then speaks after some thought.
"I am sure we can use some help rooting out the puppetmaster behind the local problems. Someone who can fire a bow well could be useful. I typically rush up and engage threats face to face, and before the devil dog, didn't seem to have many problems. Now I realize I may need help with evil outsiders as they have some tricks up their sleeve. The devil dog was completely invisible. My first clue he was around was he had bit a huge hole in my side and he bit through a shield of psychic force, a layer of half plate armor, and stone giant hide."
He speaks to Rafael, but loud enough the others can here. "Before you sign on, you should probably know what you are getting into. First we had to cleanse an island of evil cults and their evil influence, then we find a young boy who actually had pet stirges and deal with a stirge infestation and a twisted town that killed their tax collector and did evil things to people, then we work with Shalelu the ranger to defeat goblins, then a twisted aasimar Nualia and her boyfriend Sutsoo or something like had to be dealt with so we can save Ameiko, then the evil pit that bred sinspawn demons had to be contained, then the goblin king had to be stopped so the good druid could keep them firestarters out of trouble, then we fight the crab and the devil dog."
Brin pauses and summarizes: "I guess what I am saying is we fight lots of dangerous, evil things. We don't need another Ryu that will use his status as an adventurer to prey on young girls and disappear when things get tough." He points to Alkaid.
"We need more like that priest there that has no problem taking on the nastiest of evil creatures with her bare hands."
|Draken Caladran Lorrimar|