Just like you. My memory is shot. I have no idea what angry hussies can be found under what rocks. Considering my exquisite taste in the finer things and in women -- depending on the opulence found in Riverton; there could be trouble or there could NOT be trouble.
Resuming course, in a looping winding manner, the Sellen Starling continues its crossing of the lake and reaches Riverton the next day around noon. As the sailors tie off to a pier at the south end of the town, a small group approaches.
A wide-eyed elf, his patched robe and mud-spiked hair swinging around his rail-thin frame strides across the rickety planks of the pier, a coterie of women following a few paces behind. The man thrusts his hands into the air and shouts.
“The Water Rat delivers, but in his own time! I, Naerel Twice-Born, have seen you in murky reflections and I would impart Hanspur’s sodden wisdom to you with private words—let us speak of strange dreams, red sails, and dead fisherfolk!”
Cats looks at the coterie of women, then he looks at Brother Butterfly, a scowl on his face. He tries to decide which ones Brother had not spurned, and which probably don’t want to kill him.
He doesn’t like the odds.
I knew it.
Cats looks at the elf with his Cat’s Eyes, though clearly knowing that some murderous-cultists are non-evil.
Fearless throws his hands in the air as he sees the strange look on Cat's face. "They all want to kill us anyways Cats. May as well accept it." Fearless plods forward. "What is it you wanna talk about, just don't let the large one near any of your women."
right when he sees the ship coming closer to shore - assuming that a dockmaster needs to be charmed - he asks Desna for some "clear and resonating vocal pipes). It's even better that the head honcho is there to meet us.
That's three subjects that we can certainly speak about.
With the exception of Red sails, as you can see, ours are perfectly white.. but they can have their color changed if that is the law of the land!
diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 14 + 2 = 22
Also, if subject to charm spell, I get two saves and take more favorable result.
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Naerel’s coterie areyoung, pretty, and probably pretty crazy.
Just Brother Butterfly’s type.
Naerel ignores these suspicious glances from Cats, Mariner, and Fearless and continues speaking with the one man that seems to be in charge. Leading the way to one of the tumbledown shacks by the pier, Naerel drops his the overdone pretense and speaks a bit more reasonably - although his eyes hold a mad gleam that never disappears.
“One of the Hanspur’s blessed swam into town last night, demanding river justice upon your ship. Have no fear though, for his group was misguided, and frankly, annoying. So I put him in a cage to teach him some manners. You see, I want travelers visit Riverton willingly, not avoid it.”
”But that is not the true reason for my interest in you. Just before midnight many nights ago—has it been two weeks? Three?—a red-sailed ship came to Riverton. Its captain was dressed in thick clothing, designed to cover an unnatural appearance I am sure. He passed me a large ruby and asked whether any travelers matching your description had been in Riverton. I swore by my drowned soul that no such visitors had arrived and that his ruby was ill-spent, but the captain merely chuckled and gestured for me to keep the gem. The chuckling continued and I realized it was not coming from the captain, but the ship itself, as strange as that may seem. The vessel looked to be of ordinary wood and cloth and iron, but there was something sinister and alive about it. I had nothing more to add, so I left the pier. By morning, the red-sailed ship was gone. Now I see you arrive, and I have to ask: who was that man, and what was that ship? It has gnawed at my mind ever since, like a rat gnaws a bone. I’ll pay for whatever knowledge you have.”
With this, the wild-eyed prophet produces a glittering ruby the size of a child’s fist.
Hmmm. red sailed ship... red sailed ship.
knowledge planes: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12
knowledge religion: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (8) + 15 = 23
I'm certain we can get you answers to what you seek, especially since the Red Sails are seeking *U-S*.
Mimic ship would be kind of terrifying.
Fearless peers over at the ruby. "Mind if I take a look at that gem?" Seeing the obvious signs of mistrust, fearless recognizes them as he often shows them himself. "You can hold onto it I just want to make sure nothing is strange about it."
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 14 + 1d6 ⇒ (2) + 14 + (4) = 20
Knowledge Arcana: 1d20 + 14 + 1d6 ⇒ (13) + 14 + (1) = 28
The ruby is neither magical or evil, and Naerel seems unconcerned with the idea that you might steal it.
Your group has encountered a red ship before.
In addition, the Mariner has vague memories of one.
Knowledge planes might offer more information. Butterfly botched his roll, but if Fearless has it, he could make an attempt.
Brother slow plays his hand.
Hmmm. Red Sailed ships using the fog for cover... and Voorniths.
He drops the Voorniths to see if the prophet recognizes the term or not.
sense motive: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (15) + 14 = 29
He'll probably drop more hints depending on the reaction and more information.
"She's the red leviathan" the Mariner murmurs as he pulls out a silver dagger and pokes at the ruby; not menacingly at Naerel, more as if in fear to handle the crystal. He leaves it to Brother weather to take the ruby.
"We saw her in the fog behind us outside of Illmarsh. Weiralai was on that ship - who was also twice-born and twice-killed. Maybe she's come back for round three." Turning his attention back to fellow, "What dreams have you seen madman and what wisdom have you?"
Diplo Assist: 1d20 ⇒ 2
”Vooniths?” Naerel scratches at his shaggy hair. ”Little buggers have a howl that gives one the heebie jeebies. Rare, but not impossible to find along the Sellen.”
When the Mariner offers up more, he looks to him with wide eyes. ”Leviathan... hmmm... Illmarsh? Seems to have been following you for a while then.. another twice-born? No, no.. twice killed is a totally different thing altogether. Once was enough for me. So.... what’s a Weiralai?”
The Marine gives Cats memory nodding look, You loped her head off remember?
Cats’ eyes go wide as if something just occurred to him. Something...wow...uhm...something he really wanted to forget.
”Oh yeah...*her*” Cats oomphs out. ”I totally forgot about cat.” Cats sucks in his breath, forgetting everything he would want to say as he recalls that fight.
”What name? Weiralai? I’d never heard it before if came out of your mouth. Is that a person, place, or thing?”
Naerel seems eager to continue trading information, and offers some insight into the other names given by the Mariner.
”Sturge was a pirate. Maewin was a pirate hunter. Heard both were dead. Rifjir is a Katapesh merchant captain that used to make the Sellen trade route. Haven’t seen him in a few years though.”
Fearless is extremely confused as more and more strange names are thrown about. "Someone care to explain what all of this means? Pirates, Pirate Hunters, traders, does it matter when they are all probably dead. Here let's add Aroden to that list." Fearless points to the strange gem-carrying man. "Look we just need a rudder and we will be on our way."
Since Naerel is freely exchanging information.
Let me recall Weiralai..... Let me recall....
She was certainly alien. Not of this world, but wore a head scarf and robes. Like a Keleshite might wear. A denizen of the desert. Similar to the terrain encountered at the Caravanserai is a... another place...She was female and used magics to both create duplicates of herself to throw off our attacks and dazzle us. I remember that she was linked to a type of people that would accept the trading of Harrow Cards for passage aboard these "black ships".
BB certainly tries to avoid saying "Dreamlands" but he's certain he's already given up the ghost.
@ Gm Is is appropriate to do another diplomacy check or a sense motive? This guy is crazy after all. We are certainly wary.
”Well, I didn’t give him the sniff test, but I’m familiar with the female form.” Naerel grins and gropes one of his girls. ”But then, I couldn’t see a face beyond a pair of black eyes, and if he, or she, or it, wasn’t human, then all bets are off.”
Naerel and Brother Butterfly compare some notes and come to agree that the visitor to Riverton was dressed very much like Weiralai, but had with some marked differences, including had a raspy masculine voice.
Having little else or learn, Naerel offers the ruby to the group again, and sweetens the deal with help to repair the rudder of the Sellen Starling.
Riverton is mostly safe. Many lesser items can be purchased here, though the limit on spending is around 5000gp. Naerel also insists the group attend an evening prayer at the water’s edge, and turning him down is not received well.
Value is the ruby is 10,000gp, making it too expensive to exchange in this Riverton.
The Watchmen will be attending your evening prayer wearing out "church" best for the event. It will be special indeed.
Brother goes shopping! Fine clothes and alcohol.
I'll check if I have raw gold, but BB is willing to pawn an item for 20% of it's value to get some coin in his coin purse. He wants to look GOOD for tonight. No drinking yet. The booze will go back onto the ship.
Cats moves up to Mariner, confused after the party leaves the guy and his harem. ”Catiner? Hey Catiner? What was the deal with the women there? Do you know anycat about them?” Cats looks back over his shoulder at them.
”And what about Weiralai? You don’t think...you don’t think she’s still alive, do you? Not really alive alive, right?” Cats asks. ”I catted her dead and took her head. I. TOOK. HER. CATTING. HEAD. She can’t be alive, right?”
Cats looks forward to a relaxing meal and some mead, but hopes to be back on the ship again, setting sail, soon.
"Them floozies?, the Mariner looks back, "Not a clue. But I suppose it could be Weiralai or someone dressed the same, or maybe there's a whole hatchery of deformed undead lepers in the belly of that pregnant leviathan. I mean, it can't be Lowl - he's in front of us, and ship had been in chasing us."
Quietly to the Watchmen, "Feels like this Naerel is stalling for time, let's get back to the ship and set sail if the rudder is fixed.
Brother's ears perk up from his arms full of purchased goods.
His goals until dinner are too drop off the supplies and then go searching for floozies. If the rudder is fixed, and they can escape, Brother doesn't mind as he begins drinking as the Starling flees.
Fearless and the Mariner return to the Sellen Starling and find the boatsmiths of Riverton hard at work work repairing the ship's rudder. Spotting a tavern nearby on the riverfront, Cats takes a table with a view of the lake and eats a hot meal prepared by a woman who cooks as a profession, rather than one of the Starling's scurvy dogs who more often than not serve in the galley as punishment or by the fate of gambling dice.
As food goes, it's about average, but in Cat's memory, it's about the best meal he can remember.
Meanwhile, Brother Butterfly wanders the shops of Riverton for the afternoon, pawning old treasure for alcoholic beverages, a fancy new outfit, and food at the "Divine Au Jus" - the most popular restaurant in Riverton. He is offered a choice of overcooked meat or fish, drowned in a bland sauce. Salad seems a foreign concept, but they do have endless dinner rolls, which won't break any teeth as long as they are dipped into the sauce first.
The sun nears the horizon as Brother Butterfly gnaws on his fourth roll, eyeing the waitress and working on a pickup line when a bell sounds from somewhere in the town. Slow and ponderous, like the warning of a fog bell, it clangs a dozen times.
As the last clang fades in the streets the distant sound of women singing rises in town. The residents of Riverton quietly cease their work, close their businesses and homes, and file out into the streets, joining in the song as they make their way toward the waterfront.
The waitress smiles at Brother Butterfly and gestures for him to follow.
A patron of the tavern takes an extra moment to gulp down his mead before his drinking partners hurry him off.
On the Sellen Starling the boatsmiths depart, their job unfinished.
Fearless hangs on the bow of the Starling as the bells begin to toll. The distance sound of singing drawing closer and closer. He gets an uneasy feeling in the pit deep in his stomach. "This isn't normal. Can't be good." He looks to the Mariner. "Those two should be back by now."
Cats watches the people attend to the music, their jobs forgotten. He looks around for Mariner and Fearless, certain that Brother is probably borking the minister's wife under the reliquary.
"Hey Catiner, is this what they do in wharf towns? Just drop everything and cat things around, huh?" Cats asks, ready to finish his meal and see what is going on. "You wanna go check it out? Is it worth it? You know, hot chicks with good voices?"
Looks like GM narrated for Fearless and Mariner together but Cats close by and Brother in a separate spot. I'll just speak more generally.
Foreboding looks towards the approaching sound and the Mariner answers, "Seems like it's coming to us."
"Hey buddy,the rudder still looks like a foot dragging in the water - where the hell are you going?" the Mariner tries to block the boatsmith's path.
Brother follows the procession. An event like this tugs at his curiosity. It tugs at his desire to see, and paint such an event. Lastly, it tugs at the desire center two inches below his waist - that waitress was HOT.
He's not much of a singer, so he looks and watches.
I wish the others were here to see this.
He asks Desna for a bit of protection, as he knows he's in a strange and dangerous city under the religious fervor of a wack-a-doo god.
perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30
As Brother Butterfly follows the procession through town, the other Watchmen back at the docks seem conflicted about participating in the event.
The Mariner tries to stop one of the boatsmiths, but gets a wary glare from the man.
”The sunset service is about to begin.” The boat smith says, trying to get around the Mariner. ”I’m not one for missing it. And if you’re smart, you’ll attend too.”
Naerel mentioned the evening service and offered. You don’t think attendance was optional.
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Oh Desna, Then continuing a bit louder as if talking with a bar bloke walking near him that waitress puts starch in the pants. Gives a man a longer stride, and sort of frees me from a "certain bondage".- if you know what I mean! And Brother gives a pervy (Ala Harvey Weinstein) smile and a wink.
Cast Longstrider - duration 7 hours. Cast Freedom of Movement (Domain)- duration 70 minutes. FYI. I have another FOM prepped for 4th level slot. Contingent-- When others are near and around, he wants to put his arms around them and cast water walking on the Watchmen.
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Overlooking a stretch of sand on the north side of town is a fairly simple, round building of local stone and timber, with its own small pier flanked by a carved pole that flying Hanspur’s banner. Here Naerel's coterie awaits, some lined up upon the pier while others stand thigh-deep in the lake, singing and swaying, staring across the water with eyes glazed over in a zealous haze. Singing along, the faithful strip to their undergarments, leaving piles of clothes and footwear behind as they wade into the shallows.
A ripple spreads in the water a hundred feet out and Naerel Twice-Born rises from the lake, emerging fully to stand upon the surface.
"Witness the power of our Lord!" Naerel walks across the lake, preaching to those assembled. ”For he is the water rat that cannot be drowned... the steersman of the Styx... and mariner of the Maelstorm.”
”Let us honor His holy decree by reciting the Six River Freedoms.”
Naerel calls out: ”Say what you will...”
The crowd replies: ”We live FREE!”
Naerel: ”Walk any road...”
Crowd: ”Float any RIVER!”
Crowd: ”Are for KINGS!”
Crowd: ”Is an ABOMINATION!”
Naerel: ”You have...”
Crowd: ”What you HOLD!”
The last word echoes across the water while those assembled bow their heads in reverent silence.
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Water Walking. I was waaay ahead of him. I just want it noted. It's Desna's blessing, so I don't take credit for that part.. but I take credit for being brilliant all the time.
And he anoints the others with the same ability that Naerel is doing.
when he hears that Hanspur is the *Mariner* of the Maelstrom, he elbows his co-watcher Mariner. Maybe you're related?
and he smiles.
knowledge religion: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18 Brother is trying to recall any other decrees that he might know about upcoming ceremony events, or see how long this might last so he can properly predict the duration of his ongoing spells.
Active Spells = Longstrider and FOM (me), Water Walking (Watchmen). 4 total 70 minutes duration)
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Fearless cups his hands to his mouth adding to the chant as he doesn't realize it is done. his voice sounding out loudly during the reverent silence.
"WHEN ARE WE LEAVING?"
Fearless urges his companions to leave this madness with haste.