GM Neirikr's "The Dragon's Demand"

Game Master Neirikr

"Come not between the dragon and his wrath."

Loot

Maps
Monsters
NPCs


1 to 50 of 1,752 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

Dragon's Demand Maps | Dragon's Demand Monsters | Dragon's Demand NPCs

"Come not between the dragon and his wrath."

Dot in and delete to have the game show up in your campaigns.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragon's Demand Maps | Dragon's Demand Monsters | Dragon's Demand NPCs

1 Erastus, 4713 AR

The summer has been uncommonly hot, with little to no rain. For the senatorial and noble classes, this has meant extended retreats to country homes and pleasure barges, but for the vast majority of Taldans, there are only hours upon hours of hard work under in the scorching heat. As you pass their humble farmsteads, the serfs look up from their plots with uncertainty drawn across their sun-burnt features. Parched fields mean no grain, and with no grain to feed their cattle, a lean winter seems all but certain. There are news of drought in the southern reaches of the empire, and on the road there are even murmurings of Qadira—Taldor's age-old enemy—turning to their hateful sun-goddess in order to scourge their enemies with her pernicious radiance.

The lush shade of the Verduran Forest offers welcome respite, both from the merciless rays of the sun, as well as the grim mutterings of fellow travellers. Not many seem to make the trip to Belhaim, and the rare few who do seem to do so mostly en route to other locales. Under the verdant canopy—untouched by the axe, as per the ancient accord known as the Treaty of the Wildwood—one could almost forget about the stifling heat of the plains to the south, were it not for the plumes of smoke from far in the west. Forest fires across the border in Andoran, you hear from a passing druid. The heat is pushed back further as the road joins up with the Verduran Fork, the waters of which are ever languid and murky from silt. The noise of frogs and dragonflies fills the air, lending a mellow score to the slow and uneventful journey deeper northeast.

As Belhaim finally crawls into view, one is struck with a vision of rustic tranquility. Even the finest pastorals, penned by the brightest pupils of the Kitharodian, would hardly do it justice. Nestled in the bosom of two slow-moving rivers, the town is surrounded by woods dotted with small farms and pastures. Most buildings are single-storey affairs built from local wood, with moss-covered roofs and foundations of limestone. The same pale stone features in the few larger buildings, including the distinctly Abadaran edifice next to the central square, as well as the baronial mansion on a hill overlooking the rest of the settlement. People in the surrounding farms stare at your approach, turning to whisper at their neighbours as you pass. At the sight of Nyzaj, many seem to shift from cautious excitement to wary glares.

Beldraim:
As you glance up from your charts towards Belhaim, you feel a strange pull further northeast. You look back down at the map of the surrounding area, but closer inspection reveals nothing of interest. Beyond the town there is but a blank stretch of swamp amidst the woods, with the ominous moniker Dragonfen drawn across its expanse in big, bold letters. Try as you might, you cannot shake the all too familiar feeling of pressure building behind your temples. There is a metallic taste in your mouth, and a peculiar feeling of emptiness in your gut—a hunger. None of the others seem affected, save Nyzaj, who looks similarly disoriented by your environs...

Lukas:
Before your departure, Lord Bartomeu informed you of a contact he has in Belhaim: a smith named Marcus Chance. According to your uncle, the man owes him a favour for something that happened before he moved into town, or before he was a smith at all. You got the impression that you might be able to cash in that favour for better armaments or—if need be—less savoury services. However, Lord Bartomeu also noted that Chance is not to be trusted, and that his assistance should not be relied on, save in the direst of circumstances. Should he become a hindrance rather than an asset, he would have to be taught a lesson in loyalty...

Mia:
Through your connections amongst the faithful of Sarenrae, you are aware of an ally of the church who resides in Belhaim. She is a Qadiran expatriate who has been accused of spying on Taldan military actions, and is living under an assumed identity to avoid capture by the authorities. She is something of a healer herself, posing as an apothecary by the name Xemne of Demgazi. Friends in Cassomir asked you to check up on her while you were in town, and make sure that everything was alright. It might also be worthwhile to see if she knows anything about your own condition, or how it might be cured...

Nisany:
Suddenly, it occurs to you that one of your grandaunts—your grandfather's sister, to be precise—lives somewhere in Belhaim, though you are not exactly sure where. Her name is Bassy, and she is considered to be something of a hermit by gnome standards, choosing to live amidst humans instead of her kin in Wispil. Though you have barely met, it might be polite—and potentially quite exciting—to pay her a visit. As you recall, your grandfather mentioned that she is a historian of some sort, and might know a lot about the surrounding area, having lived there for just over four centuries...

Nyzaj:
There is something odd about the area surrounding Belhaim, though you are not quite sure what it might be. You feel drawn to it, almost, though there is little to indicate it is any different from anywhere else in the Big Forest—or the Verduran, as humans call it. Something simmers in your blood as you draw closer to the town, pulling you further north, or east, or northeast—it is hard to tell, exactly. It is a flame in your gut you cannot extinguish, looking for a way out. None of the others seem affected, save Beldraim, who appears to be referencing her maps with an uncharacteristically puzzled expression...

At the southernmost bridge stands a skinny Taldan youth with messy reddish-brown hair and a pimpled face. He wears an ill-fitting chain shirt under a worn tabard, on which one can barely see the outline of an oak tree, brown on green. He looks to be wilting in the heat, pulling at his collar and leaning heavily against his spear. At your approach, the young guardsman seems to straighten up somewhat, doing his best to appear authoritative. His gaze moves between Lukas and Mia, before settling on the latter. This is who he chooses to address, while still stealing suspicious glances at Nyzaj in particular.

"Hello and welcome," he calls out nervously. "What's your business in Belhaim? Uh... if you don't mind me asking, m'lady!"

Go ahead and describe your character, as well as how the trip has been for them, before you react.

Also, feel free to check out the maps I linked in the description. You are currently at the southern bridge, just above Hardglow Farm (#2).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Male Kobold Snakebite striker brawler 1/skald x/dragon disciple x

As the guard steps forth, one of the travelers seems hardly to notice - a tiny fellow wrapped in a cloak six inches too long and far too deep in the hood, carrying a slender tree limb with a red handkerchief tied around its end. It's only when he sees the spear's butt come snapping outward that he stumbles to a sudden halt, his gaze to the northeast broken by the sweltering teenager. The deep hood falls away, revealing a strange face, long, narrow, and covered in golden scales that scintillate in the bright sunlight.

S-sorry! S-sorry! Di'n't mean ta... Nervously (and with more than a hint of embarrassment), Nyzaj cringes backwards, ducking behind the party's mapmaker when he sees the guard's suspicious glare. It's only after he has a barrier between himself and the guard that he straightens up slightly, his long tail flicking out from past the cloak's hem. Even still, though, it's clear the little kobold is distracted.

Why's this bit o' the Big Woods feel so weird?

After all, he'd been in this place - what the soft-skins called the Verduran Forest - all his life. That's where they'd found him, his new companions. He'd been preparing to jump the caravan in an ambush with three of his brothers when a nervous tail twitch and a gleam of gold in the sunlight had given them away. The others had run, but Nyzaj had frozen in surprise, and the big one - Look-us, what a weird name - had grabbed him before he'd even been able to think about following.

At first they'd kept him as a prisoner...because to them, his gold scales were a distinction, not a hazard. They'd thought him special, blessed even, and assumed the others would come back for him. It wasn't until he'd overheard the mapmaker - Bell, like in the towers - talking one night that he'd figured out why. Gold dragons were the noble ones, she said. The kindest and the most regal, the goodest. Nyzaj didn't feel like one of the goodest...but the humans thought he was. And certainly he'd grown up surrounded by nothing but cruelty and trickery, and hating every moment of it. Maybe this was a chance...a chance to make something of himself, to be like these gilded regents of legend. To be better.

He'd tried his best to help, since that. Offered to fetch water, offered to build fires, offered to take watches - he'd even defeated half of a pair of thieves before Saw-knee the tiny human (no, gnome...right?) had had a chance to get her cloak on! His new friends knew that, and smiled when he carried the thief's silk handkerchief bound to a stout oak branch. But this guard didn't know that - and at that one withering glance, all his fear had rushed back. He looks up to Bel from behind...and notices her poring over her map, deep in thought. He'd seen that look before. And her glances were drawing to the left-of-the-waking-sun, where the kobold's own nerves were pointing...

Bell...Bell, whatsit? Whatsit y'see? But, of course, he keeps his voice down, so as not to disturb the fire-haired stick-walker (doesn't she know her own name? Just keeps sayin' "me, uh..." when I ask) talking to the guard. He'd made enough trouble on that front already.


Human Fighter 1 | Stamina: 3 | HP: 3/12 | AC: 16 (12 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: 3, R: 2, W: 0 | Init: +4 | Perc: +0 | Active conditions:

Lukas takes the opportunity to lean on his bardiche, slouching almost as he considers the boy then dismisses him. Necessary albeit unimportant protocols. The others could handle him. The bridge itself was interesting. The sole point of entry to Belhaim from the south. Had they designed it so that it could be collapsed in an emergency?

After briefly examining the support beams, he considers the town that's stretched out before them on the far side of the river. What looks like a livery is arrayed to the right of the bridge, a broad paddock along the river. He tries to get a sense of how many mounts are grazing, and what that might indicate about visitors to Belhaim.

Then a larger building, flush with the far end of the bridge, a small enclosure to its left. One of the larger edifices in town. Given its location, an inn? Tavern? Either way he felt like they'd be stopping there once they past this lad. The image of a tankard of frothy golden ale fills his mind, and for a moment he allows himself to imagine his boots up on a table, perhaps out under the eave of this tavern, in the shade, resting in a comfortable chair...

He dismisses the image and continues his examination. A smaller building on the other side of the far path. Squat, right up against the bridge. Defensive looking, perhaps, if that word weren't laughable here in Belhaim. A constabulary? More buildings along the river sweeping off to the left, and then some kind of small island...

A sleepy town. Drenched in moss, the smoke barely eking a path out of the chimneys as if too lazy to reach for the sky. Even the Verudran river seems sluggish here, as if stunned into a sense of lethargy by the very backwardness of this location.

Golden ale? Lukas lowered his expectations.

With a sigh he shifted his weight, still leaning on his bardiche, and considered the kid again. Chain shirt. Unexpected, that. Doesn't fit him though. Might, one day, if the kid lives long enough.

Lukas hears Nysaj whisper something behind him to Bel, but can't be bothered to turn around. If it's important, they'll let him know. C'mon, Mia. Work your charms and get us to that tavern.


Female LN witch (wyrmwitch) 2 | HP: 16/16 | AC:16* T:16* FF:14* | CMB:0 CMD:12 | Saves F:+1 R:+2 W:+4 | Init:+4 | Per:+7 | SM: +1 | Spell Hoard: 1/1 | Active Conditions: none
Spells Memorized:
1st: cure light Wounds, mage armor, ray of enfeeblement | 0: daze, detect magic, light, read magic

Bel feels the tug of power in her. The urgency of it, threatening to devour her, overwhelm her, pulling, clawing, tearing at her chest, her muscles, her soul.

Pum...pum...pum her heart sounds in her ears.

She had been traveling these long days with several known acquaintances. The Taldan courts were, after all, a limited group of people. Everyone knew everyone. Lukas Neidhart, the soldier. Nisany Blim, the tinkerer, trap breaker. Mia Vanderholt, the faithful healer. The only new acquaintance was Nyzaj, who had joined several days earlier. When they had been been about to be set-upon by kobolds, Lukas had grappled the golden kobold to the ground and Bel had called on her hoard nestled deep in her backpack to put the creature to sleep while they figured out what to do with it. She'd argued against letting it join the expedition. "They are too unpredictable," she'd said. But he proved a capable team member, able to hold his own in combat, and was eager to help with the daily chores. More than most things, Bel hated being wrong. But she was, this time.

She looks Nyzaj's way for the briefest of moments and sees him eyeing her, golden scales catching the daylight. He has a similar expression to what she imagines is on her own face.

He can't be the source of this, she thinks.

Pum...pum...pum. Another pulse.

After a minute, her mind orders itself. Fights back the chaos. She has to think of something else. Nyzaj is not the source but he seems as connected to it as she. Perhaps more. She ruminates on this connection until she realizes Nyzaj is whispering to her.

She whispers back, "I do not know, yet. It's clear there's more here than some rustic village. Do not let your guard down."


female CG Gnome Oracle of Life 4 HP 22/32|AC-16 T-13 FF-14 | F+2 R+3 W+6 |CMB+2 CMD14 | Init+2 | Perc +8 | Channel 2d6, 2/4 per day, 30ft, DC15, neg 3 square | Spells (1st - 6/7, 2nd 4/4)

Keeping towards the rear of the little line she and her companions. Do I like these new ones that much? Fun does not seems to be a big priority. Occasionally stopping in her walk to pick up some new potential decoration form the ground or off a bush and shoving it in one of the many pockets littering her clothing. Though the flowers are quickly inspected then added to a braid.

Knowing better than to start whistling again, no need to get yelled at despite the boredom, instead Nisany laces her fingers behind her head while walking. Ideally playing with the beads, random baubles, and any flowers she thought were worthy twisted into her verdant green hair. Turning her head back and forth to take in the surrounding forest.

Though her large green eyes quickly lose focus, a reoccurring problem when there is nothing to be. Her mind is a far more fascinating place to wonder than with people that do not want to talk with her at the moment. Its not my fault. I had no idea that would happen. It is good to know that they are that flammable though. Honestly you should never startle someone with bombs. And it not like I set any of them on fire. And I did apologize. I worked just as hard as they did putting out the fires... I wonder if there are as many lycan's as back home? Merciful Gods this is taken forever. Hmm, gramp's did mention that I have family here. With any luck I won't have to sleep outside tonight. Really should not have had that last night out.

Lost in thought and not even realizing that they have arrived at their destination. Walking right into the back of Lukas's legs. Shaking her head and quickly looking around, "Sorry Lukas."

Peering part Lukas to stare at the town. "Aww, it's so quaint."

Focusing on the young human in-front of them and smiling, "Hi." Wow, this place is screwed if they let people like that do the guarding! Unless they have some weird protection like Fusil they are so gonna get overrun. Gramp's boss is dumb. Rich but dumb."


Female Human Oracle 1

Mia tries not to lean on the staff she walks with, but the trip has been long for her, taking for more effort to keep up with the others without slowing them down more than neccessary. She runs a hand through her wind tussled red hair and smiles around at her companions and friends, reassuring to those who look nervous.

The oracle keeps her symbol of Sarenrae firmly tucked under her studded leather armor and her cleric vestments are of no discernable faith if well made. A sheen of sweat of has built up on her face from the last leg of the trip to Belhaim.

She thinks back over the past journey, how she had set out from her home in Olfden with Nisany, slowly making their way across Andor and into Taldor, meeting up with others, taking in the beautiful golden kobold. Even with conflict that they had met on the road, it still seemed a grand adventure to her. Even this town of Belhaim could have been lifted right out of the stories she'd grown up reading, so peaceful and idyllic. Even looking at the youth in his ill-fitting armor, she doesn't notice anything strange about having him guarding the way in as opposed to someone older and perhaps better equipped.

"I don't mind you asking at all," Her smiles warming even more. "We are here about the royal lodge being built nearby." Mia looks around again, "I don't suppose there's an inn nearby where we can find lodgings and perhaps freshen up from our journey?"


Dragon's Demand Maps | Dragon's Demand Monsters | Dragon's Demand NPCs
Nisany Blim wrote:
Focusing on the young human in-front of them and smiling, "Hi."

The guardsman smiles back and waves awkwardly, before remembering that he is trying to look tough.

Mia Vanderholt wrote:
"I don't mind you asking at all," Her smiles warming even more. "We are here about the royal lodge being built nearby." Mia looks around again, "I don't suppose there's an inn nearby where we can find lodgings and perhaps freshen up from our journey?"

The young man blushes slightly, and is clearly having some trouble looking straight at Mia. At the mention of the lodge, however, his face lights up with recognition.

"Oh, that business!" he says. "Yeah, they've been expectin' y'all. The Wise Piper is just across the river to the right, if y'all need a place to bunk down. They've got rooms ready. I was told that you need to talk to Lady Origena as soon as you can, though. She lives in that there mansion, up on the hill. Don't worry, she's really nice as long as you know how to act respectful-like..."

He clears his throat and looks awkwardly at Nyzaj, still blocking the way to the bridge. "Uh, I don't mean to offend or nothin', but we ain't supposed to let in any kobolds. Y'know, sheriff's orders and all that..."


Male Kobold Snakebite striker brawler 1/skald x/dragon disciple x
GM Neirikr wrote:
He clears his throat and looks awkwardly at Nyzaj, still blocking the way to the bridge. "Uh, I don't mean to offend or nothin', but we ain't supposed to let in any kobolds. Y'know, sheriff's orders and all that..."

At the guard's words hit home, Nyzaj's tail suddenly stops flicking, and his head spines flatten backward slightly in embarrassment. I ain't gonna keep 'em outta gettin' a proper human bed...right? They were so grumpy about sleepin' on the ground... 'S okay... he mumbles slightly, readjusting his stick on his shoulder and trying to smile. (With the toothiness of a kobold smile, however, it likely does little to allay the guard's concerns.) Go on 'n go in - I can kip up in...a tree or somethin'... Though he's clearly dejected at the prospect of spending the night alone, he genuinely tries to allay any guilt from his allies.

After a moment, though, his eyes go wide. Wait...if they're keepin' kobolds out on orders... ...'Scuse me? he ventures forth timidly. You ain't...are you havin' trouble with other dragon-heirs? I mean, kobolds? 'Cause I can help - I mean, I know how they fight and stuff. I could...I dunno, tell you stuff about 'em, so you can fight 'em better...

Diplomacy with trait bonus - can I please come in?: 1d20 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 6 + 2 = 9 Ahaha, his career is starting out auspiciously. XD


female CG Gnome Oracle of Life 4 HP 22/32|AC-16 T-13 FF-14 | F+2 R+3 W+6 |CMB+2 CMD14 | Init+2 | Perc +8 | Channel 2d6, 2/4 per day, 30ft, DC15, neg 3 square | Spells (1st - 6/7, 2nd 4/4)

Grinning widely when free lodging. "Wonderful!" I will save the visit to family till tomorrow then.

We brought him here.. damn. He looks so sad. Watching Nyzaj with wide guilty eyes. Shooting a quick glare at the youthful guard before stepping around Lukas, "He is our traveling companion and I will take responsibility for him if that would make you feel better."

Moving over near Beldraim and Nyzaj, "If you need to get your superior I can wait." Crossing her arms and staring at the youth expectantly with her arms crossed.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21


Human Fighter 1 | Stamina: 3 | HP: 3/12 | AC: 16 (12 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: 3, R: 2, W: 0 | Init: +4 | Perc: +0 | Active conditions:

The Wise Piper, thinks Lukas with a mild sense of satisfaction at having guessed what was really quite readily apparent. Wonder if there's a story behind that name. I'm guessing not.

He straightens as everything seems to be resolved exactly as he'd expected; the youth is tongue-tied in Mia's presence, the locals are anticipating their arrival with rooms prepared, and some local noble is awaiting their arrival so as to wine and dine them and tell boring stories about their illustrious great grandfather.

Then the young man hesitantly, reluctantly, most apologetically bars Nyzaj's entrance. Lukas doesn't so much tense as simply pause, half turning to Mia, eyebrow raised, waiting to see how she'll handle this impasse. Nyjaz himself tries to interject, but the kobold's words barely register.


Female LN witch (wyrmwitch) 2 | HP: 16/16 | AC:16* T:16* FF:14* | CMB:0 CMD:12 | Saves F:+1 R:+2 W:+4 | Init:+4 | Per:+7 | SM: +1 | Spell Hoard: 1/1 | Active Conditions: none
Spells Memorized:
1st: cure light Wounds, mage armor, ray of enfeeblement | 0: daze, detect magic, light, read magic

Bel spares a look at the village. What chaos. The roads, the haphazard arrangement of buildings. She imagines picking the buildings up and placing them where they need to be, little, expanding circles with the mayor’s manor in the center. Her manor house, eventually. She imagined her election, the way the crowd’d cheer.

She notices the guard continuing to bar the kobold access and clears her throat and says, ”I’m sure your village is well protected. You have more than enough men to safeguard the villagers from a single kobold I would think. We also have a military escort from a lord. If you would like, you can send a letter to him explaining why his survey team was denied access to the village.”

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2 And so it begins...


Female Human Oracle 1

Mia gestures to the party and smiles her most winning smile. "As you can see, we are quite willing to keep our friend with us and as such he is a member of the group come to help with your problems. And you don't have orders to show inhospitality to those who have journeyed long just to help out here, have you?

Such foolishness, we come arriving in broad daylight to help and we are met with suspicion at the entrance to town. Still the youth is probably just following orders, perhaps his superior will see reason if he won't or can't.

She sighs a bit, she had been so hoping to get cleaned up and a chance to sit down after the long journey that had to led to this.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24


Dragon's Demand Maps | Dragon's Demand Monsters | Dragon's Demand NPCs
Nyzaj Bandit's Bane wrote:
After a moment, though, his eyes go wide. Wait...if they're keepin' kobolds out on orders... ...'Scuse me? he ventures forth timidly. You ain't...are you havin' trouble with other dragon-heirs? I mean, kobolds? 'Cause I can help - I mean, I know how they fight and stuff. I could...I dunno, tell you stuff about 'em, so you can fight 'em better...

The guardsman blinks slowly at Nyzaj, flabbergasted by the fact that a kobold can speak Taldane. When he finally gathers his wits, he seems to have missed most of what was being said. His eyes immediately widen at the mention of violence, however. "Fight? Oh no, we're just tryin' to stop them from sneakin' in and stealin' stuff. They haven't hurt nobody or nothin'. Best you stay outside, or folks might get all worked up..."

Beldraim de Codice wrote:
She notices the guard continuing to bar the kobold access and clears her throat and says, ”I’m sure your village is well protected. You have more than enough men to safeguard the villagers from a single kobold I would think. We also have a military escort from a lord. If you would like, you can send a letter to him explaining why his survey team was denied access to the village.”

He shifts his weight from one foot to another, looking very uncomfortable with Beldraim's imperiously cold mien. "Well, beggin' your pardon m'lady, I don't know about no lords, but Sheriff Benhovy would surely smack me over the head if I let a kobold into town..."

Nisany Blim wrote:

Watching Nyzaj with wide guilty eyes. Shooting a quick glare at the youthful guard before stepping around Lukas, "He is our traveling companion and I will take responsibility for him if that would make you feel better."

Moving over near Beldraim and Nyzaj, "If you need to get your superior I can wait." Crossing her arms and staring at the youth expectantly with her arms crossed.

Mia Vanderholt wrote:
Mia gestures to the party and smiles her most winning smile. "As you can see, we are quite willing to keep our friend with us and as such he is a member of the group come to help with your problems. And you don't have orders to show inhospitality to those who have journeyed long just to help out here, have you?"

Between Nisany's glare and Mia's smile, the youth quickly loses the remainder of his reluctance. For whatever reason, it does not seem to take much to guilt him into complying.

"Fair enough," he mutters while looking at his feet. "I mean, I'd take you to see him, but.. well, uh... the sheriff is out of town, so me and Letha are left to handle all of the watches. Well, I guess Bellett is in charge, but he ain't much of a talker... so I s'pose it's up to me, right?"

He bites his lip, glancing back and forth between the kobold and the others. "Okay, fine. Just make sure that he doesn't cause no trouble. That'd be on my head, y'hear? And look that he doesn't go wandering about on his lonesome, either. There are some folks out here that won't think twice about... well... he might get himself hurt. Got that?"

The young man furrows his brow and nods firmly, doing his best to look like he is still in control of the situation. Then he steps aside. "You're free to go. Uh... anythin' else I can help you with?"

Feel free to ask for directions or goings-on, or let me know if you'd rather be moving on to the inn. It is currently late afternoon, in case that affects your decision-making.


Human Fighter 1 | Stamina: 3 | HP: 3/12 | AC: 16 (12 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: 3, R: 2, W: 0 | Init: +4 | Perc: +0 | Active conditions:

"You're free to go... says the youth, and Lukas needs no further invitation. He kicks the butt of his bardiche with his heel, causing its wickedly sharp head to spin down and around, only to be pinned suddenly under his elbow against his side and coming to an abrupt stop.

Even as it does so he's moving forward, a slow, almost lazy walk, feet almost dragging as he crosses the bridge, as if he's still half asleep, lethargic and still rousing himself from sleep. It's a deceptively slow manner; his companions have already seen him explode from his slow walk into an almost shocking speed when necessity calls for it.

Necessity doesn't. Not yet, at any rate. So Lukas ambles past the youth, giving him a mocking salute as he goes by, and sets his eyes on The Wise Piper. Over the bridge, past the squat building to the left, and up to the inn's front door.

He's content to let his companions ask any questions they deem important; he feels no compunction to guard their shadows in the quiet town of Belhaim. If they wish to remain behind and converse, good for them. He's intent on putting his feet up and ordering his first tankard of cold ale.


Male Kobold Snakebite striker brawler 1/skald x/dragon disciple x

Nyzaj only nods wide-eyed as the guard gives consent for him to enter, scooting closer to Lukas like a child falling into a line in the schoolyard. As Lukas makes his way into town, the kobold follows close behind, leaving questions to the others. I made 'nuff trouble for everyone already...best leave the talking to Me, Uh and Saw-knee. It takes four steps from Nyzaj to match every one of Lukas's long strides, but gamely he keeps up. Look-us? It okay if I stick to you? I don't want to make no one no trouble, an'...well, you bein' one that's kinda got a way of makin' trouble come to stop 'round him...I'll be quiet, I promise. Won't even know I'm there.


Human Fighter 1 | Stamina: 3 | HP: 3/12 | AC: 16 (12 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: 3, R: 2, W: 0 | Init: +4 | Perc: +0 | Active conditions:

Lukas looks down with amusement at the near-skipping kobold, and then raises his face to the sunlight once more. The prospect of a cold ale makes the heat suddenly welcome; where before he'd resented the sweat trickling down his back and the road dust that had caked his frame, now the golden warmth serves only to whet his thirst all the more.

"What's your favorite beverage, Nyzaj?" Lukas pauses at the entrance to The Wise Piper and there kicks the iron-tipped toes of his boots against the doorstep, more by habit than any expectation that any mud will fall off on this dry day. "You kobolds have some special drink you all love? Whatever it is, I bet it don't compare to cold summer ale. C'mon. Stay close. I'll score us both tankards and then we can wait in comfort till the others catch up."

So saying, he pushes open the front door and moves on in.


female CG Gnome Oracle of Life 4 HP 22/32|AC-16 T-13 FF-14 | F+2 R+3 W+6 |CMB+2 CMD14 | Init+2 | Perc +8 | Channel 2d6, 2/4 per day, 30ft, DC15, neg 3 square | Spells (1st - 6/7, 2nd 4/4)

Shooting a quick glare at the young guard then quickly striding across the bridge to catch up with Nyzaj and Lukas. Freaking racisit humans. Not paying any attention to short people. Hating on Kobold's. Doubt he would be able to answer any of my questions cause he is dumb.

Catching up with her current quarry, "Do I get one of those Lukas?" Damn should have asked about Lady... Someone?

Smiling over at Nyzaj then looking up at the deceptively easy going man, "Are we waiting on the others before we talk to that noble?"


Human Fighter 1 | Stamina: 3 | HP: 3/12 | AC: 16 (12 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: 3, R: 2, W: 0 | Init: +4 | Perc: +0 | Active conditions:

Lukas holds the door open so that Nisany can enter first.

"You old enough to drink, Nisany?" There's just enough of a hint of amusement in his tone to betray his teasing. "Sure you get one. I'll save us all the trouble and order a pitcher."

Once Nyzaj has scooted in after the gnome, Lukas steps into the comparative coolness and gloom of the inn. His voice grows softer so that only his two companions can hear. "As for nobles, I don't rightly know. I'll leave those weighty decisions to Bel and Mia. I'm just a simple man with simple and easily achievable goals. C'mon."

That said, he steps to the fore, and ignoring any looks his companions may draw, leads the way to the bar, his genial smile daring someone to make a comment.


Female LN witch (wyrmwitch) 2 | HP: 16/16 | AC:16* T:16* FF:14* | CMB:0 CMD:12 | Saves F:+1 R:+2 W:+4 | Init:+4 | Per:+7 | SM: +1 | Spell Hoard: 1/1 | Active Conditions: none
Spells Memorized:
1st: cure light Wounds, mage armor, ray of enfeeblement | 0: daze, detect magic, light, read magic

Bel watches the faces of the villagers. Wonders what they would look like at her mayoral commencement speech. Sobbing? Hopeful? Likely. These people, reaching out for someone to guide them. Still, she thought, they may not all be what they appear. She remembers the hoard under the orphanage, and the coins in her pack jangled as if in response.

When she gets to the table where the others sit, she places her pack beneath the table at her feet and she sits. Her hand gingerly rubs at the side of her neck. "It's been a long journey. Let's relax for a time, but use this opportunity to ask for rumors about the surrounding area."


Male Kobold Snakebite striker brawler 1/skald x/dragon disciple x

Favorite...drink? The question takes Nyzaj back slightly - the kobold tribe he'd been a part of had had little skill (or patience) for the brewing arts. That's right...you humans have lots of 'em. It was usually just river water for us. There was one I had once, though - the human markings said it was made of bee-nectar, I think. But boy, it didn't taste like it no more! Tasted of fruit what'd been in the sun too long, but it made me feel like I really could breathe fire! 'Twas a lucky day, when Arrijz and Sruthsa picked off those merchants and got us that barrel...

Too late, he realizes that talking (boasting, even) of fiery breath and thievery might not go over well in a human-run tavern, and his words suddenly fall off. This "ale" sounds tasty, from your sayin', he finally goes on, trying to cover his indiscretion. What's it made of? How's it taste like?


female CG Gnome Oracle of Life 4 HP 22/32|AC-16 T-13 FF-14 | F+2 R+3 W+6 |CMB+2 CMD14 | Init+2 | Perc +8 | Channel 2d6, 2/4 per day, 30ft, DC15, neg 3 square | Spells (1st - 6/7, 2nd 4/4)

Smiling at the enthusiaum is Nyzaj's voice, "I will have to see if we can track down some of the honey mead they make in Bellis. That is some divine liquid."

Moving over the self conscious Kobold and lightly bumping his shoulder. Keeping her voice low, "Keep your head up and never let them see that you are afraid they are gonna judge you. That makes them feel like they can. You have every reason to be here Nyzaj."

Smiling at the open door and that grin quickly fades. Shooting Lukas a glare over her shoulder before proudly sauntering into the tavern. I need a wig or a mage and I will get him back for that. Waving her hand dismissively, "Please do so Lukas." Her poorly hidden grin taking out any bite from her behavior.

Sauntering over to a table and crawling up onto her chosen seat. Reaching out and patting the seat next to her and looking at Nyzaj expectantly, "To answer your other question, it kind of depends on the ale. It is the warm and relaxing feeling it gives you that matters more than what it tastes like."

Grinning almost maniacally, "Drink enough and all your troubles fade away. It is even better when it is one someone else's coin." Casue I have none!


Dragon's Demand Maps | Dragon's Demand Monsters | Dragon's Demand NPCs

The Wise Piper is one of the largest buildings in Belhaim, both in terms height and surface area. As with most of the other structures, it is built out of sturdy logs on a foundation of limestone. All the doors and windows have been opened for better ventilation, with multiple colourful curtains swaying in the warm summer breeze. Behind the building there is a picketed yard with a small flower garden and a veritable barn of a storage building. The sign above the entrance depicts a troubadour in motley, so absorbed in his piping that he is failing to notice that he is about to step off the edge of a cliff.

Inside, the main hall extends all the way to the ceiling of the second floor, with the ground level being encircled by a balcony. The walls are decorated with various musical instruments, as well as some simple paintings of local landscapes. There are tables and chairs arrayed throughout the space, both on the ground floor and the balcony. There is also an enormous fireplace in the center of the room, but it is currently not in use. The inn seems to be mostly empty of clientele, save for a couple of old men playing cards at a table in the corner. They barely look up from their game as you enter, murmuring something amongst themselves.

Behind a counter to your left stands a young Taldan woman—not much older than the youth guarding the bridge—wearing a colourful summer dress. She has her wavy brown hair loose down to her shoulders, with a red flower behind one ear. As you enter, she seems to be absorbed in tuning an old fiddle. When she notices the group, however, she smiles and nods, quickly turning to ring a bell. There is sudden movement behind her as several even younger servants start moving things from the back up to the second floor, as well as preparing the kitchen for use. Several of them bear a strong familial resemblance to the bartender.

"You must be the surveyors," she says with a friendly grin. "Welcome to Belhaim! I'm Talia Orem, and this is my inn. Your rooms will be ready shortly. Baths, fresh sheets, and all that."

She sets aside the fiddle and dons an apron, starting to gather mugs for all of you. To her credit, she does only the slightest of double takes at seeing Nyzaj. "You're probably parched from your trip! What'll it be?"


Human Fighter 1 | Stamina: 3 | HP: 3/12 | AC: 16 (12 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: 3, R: 2, W: 0 | Init: +4 | Perc: +0 | Active conditions:

Lukas leans one elbow on the bar and slowly sinks into a comfortable slouch. The posture causes the rounded muscle of his deltoid to swell under his chain, and there's a boneless, almost languid ease to his slouch that hints at his negligent athleticism. He gives Talia an amiable smile, glances past her at the suddenly bustling staff, then back to her.

"Morning. Lukas Neidhart, hired muscle brought on to make sure the surveyors keep smiling no matter how dark the corner their maps might lead us. At the table over there are Nisany Blim, who keeps our lives exciting and fixes the occasional potion, and Nyzaj Bandit's-Bane, a recent recruit and official team mascot."

His smile widens just a tad. "We've been tramping all across the Verduran Forest, and would kindly appreciate a pitcher of your finest, coldest beer. You wouldn't happen to have any Three Devil Ale, would you Mrs. Orem?"


Dragon's Demand Maps | Dragon's Demand Monsters | Dragon's Demand NPCs

"Pleased to meet ya," says Talia in response, also waving to the others. "You sure look like you can handle yourself in a scuffle. Not much of that around these parts, though. Thank Shelyn!"

The young proprietress takes stock of all the bottles lining the wall behind her, as well as the various barrels under the counter. "Hmm... Sorry, can't rightly say I've ever heard of Three Devil Ale. Whereabouts is that brewed? We've got Andoren beers, mostly. Barley Stout, maybe? There's also some Bellis Mead, in case any of you have a sweet tooth. If you're interested in trying a local speciality, we've got ciders from the Willoway Orchard. And applejack, but it might be a tad too early for that, eh? You may need some after your meeting with the baroness, though..."

She winks knowingly at Lukas.


Human Fighter 1 | Stamina: 3 | HP: 3/12 | AC: 16 (12 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: 3, R: 2, W: 0 | Init: +4 | Perc: +0 | Active conditions:

Lukas sighs with mock resignation. "Three Devil Ale's brewed down south in the village of Hrelden. The landlady uses hops imported from Cheliax, hence the name, but it's a devilish brew and I've not tasted its like since. Still, Barely Stout'll suffice for Nyzaj and I, and I believe Nisany'd appreciate a glass of Bellis Mead."

He looks over to the pair where they're waiting at the table and pitches his voice to carry. "Nisany, you like honey, don't you?" That's when Bel walks in the door, and he watches as she sits and says something quietly to the others. "And Bel there... I'm guessing she'd like something with a little more kick to it. You got a thimble of Taldan Fire-Brandy you can spare?"

The orders set, he watches Talia as she busies herself pouring the drinks. "So how have things been faring here in Belhaim these past few weeks? Everything as peaceful as it appears?"


female CG Gnome Oracle of Life 4 HP 22/32|AC-16 T-13 FF-14 | F+2 R+3 W+6 |CMB+2 CMD14 | Init+2 | Perc +8 | Channel 2d6, 2/4 per day, 30ft, DC15, neg 3 square | Spells (1st - 6/7, 2nd 4/4)

Sucking in a breath and offering a reply to Lukas, "Yes sir I do! Though I am not opposed to anything." He will still suffer.

Spotting Beldraim and waving her hands in the air, "Bel! Bel! We are over here."


Dragon's Demand Maps | Dragon's Demand Monsters | Dragon's Demand NPCs

Talia starts delivering orders, expertly pouring drinks with one hand while going through the shelves with the other. "I'm sure we have a thimbleful of brandy around here someplace. My late mother—bless her heart—wasn't too orderly with the expensive stuff. Don't get much orders for that sort of thing, y'know?"

Picking over a few dusty bottles, she fills a mug with dark beer and slides it over to Lukas without as much as glancing at it. "Well, there's always something going on, isn't there? Some folks go missing, but the story's always the same. Children wander into the hills and fall down a cave or an old mineshaft. They're all over the place out here. The last one was Lil' Bophre, just over three months ago. Her mother, Isadorer Malak, still hasn't given up on her, poor thing. There's a reward for her return and everything. Two hundred gold since last week, I think. That'd be most of her life savings..."

"After that... well, our local druid—Azmur Kell is his name—and his wife we're due back by more than two months ago, but no one's seen them either. Can't imagine they'd wander into a pitfall, or get accosted by some beast. Both of them can handle themselves well enough, even if Rima was pregnant. They knew the surroundings better than anyone, too—Azmur especially. Since you're going to be out there anyway, keep an eye open, in case you do find any trace of them. Might give their loved ones some peace of mind knowing what really happened to them, at least..."

She shakes her head sadly, and glances at the table where the others are sitting. Leaning over, she lowers her voice so that only Lukas can hear her. "Other than that, there's also been more kobold sightings lately. Some folks are worried they might be planning something. I don't put much stock in that, but you might want to keep an eye on your little friend there..."


Female Human Oracle 1

Mia Vanderholt had been lost in her own head a bit, considering how quickly she should seek out her contact in town. Certainly before they went to actually survey but she didn't want to blow their cover by accident. She follows absently behind the party into the tavern and takes her place, her lame leg stretched out for as much comfort as she can possibly manage.

She listens with interest to Talia's words and ponders it for a moment. "We'd be glad to keep an eye out for them while we are out there. Do you know of any areas they were likely to frequent, a special grove or anything?"

She rubs her leg a bit, unconsciously and ponders. I wonder just how extensive the caves around here are if they are an easily accepted answer for people disappearing. I'd have thought that bandits or wild animals would be a more likely culprit.


Male Kobold Snakebite striker brawler 1/skald x/dragon disciple x

Nyzaj accepts the glass from Talia, flashing a smile he hopes comes across as grateful, instead of unnerving. The chair he's sitting in isn't designed for someone so small, and his tiny arms can barely clear the tabletop; finally, after a few moments' struggle, he scrabbles to his feet on the seat and pulls the mug toward him. In the shuffle, he doesn't quite catch the waitress's last words, but he decides against asking her to repeat herself. Instead, he reaches into the pouch hanging around his neck and withdraws a golden coin, holding it above his head to make sure she can see it over the table. Thank you, Tally! he half-squeaks, still smiling and hoping the coin was right to cover his bill; he still didn't quite get this money thing.

I just realized I never did my equipment shopping! I'll get that done now, of course with the gold coin spent. :)


Human Fighter 1 | Stamina: 3 | HP: 3/12 | AC: 16 (12 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: 3, R: 2, W: 0 | Init: +4 | Perc: +0 | Active conditions:

Lukas is in the process of heading back to the table, but when Talia leans in low and whispers her warning, he pauses. Slowly turns back, and considers her. "I appreciate the information, Mrs. Orem. That's exactly the kind of warning I'm interested in." He makes no effort to keep his voice low.

He sets the drinks down and rests both fists on the bar. "What more can you tell me about these kobold sightings? How many? Where? How frequent? What've they been doing that's given folks the notion the might be up to someaught?"


Female LN witch (wyrmwitch) 2 | HP: 16/16 | AC:16* T:16* FF:14* | CMB:0 CMD:12 | Saves F:+1 R:+2 W:+4 | Init:+4 | Per:+7 | SM: +1 | Spell Hoard: 1/1 | Active Conditions: none
Spells Memorized:
1st: cure light Wounds, mage armor, ray of enfeeblement | 0: daze, detect magic, light, read magic

Bel sits down and after a bit takes a ginger sip of the brandy and wrinkles her nose. "We used to have a game at the orphanage, whoever could sneak in and pilfer the best thing from the headmistress's quarters won the pot. I always went for the darkest liquid I could find."

After awhile of listening to conversation, she walks over to the bar to get another and asks the bartender, "Tell me of the Dragonfen. What dangers can be found there, and are there any experienced guides familiar with the area?"


Dragon's Demand Maps | Dragon's Demand Monsters | Dragon's Demand NPCs
Mia Vanderholt wrote:
She listens with interest to Talia's words and ponders it for a moment. "We'd be glad to keep an eye out for them while we are out there. Do you know of any areas they were likely to frequent, a special grove or anything?"

"No groves that I know of," Talia says with a shrug. "They lived on Druid's Isle, just south of Kingfisher Road, but spent most of their time out in the Dragonfen. I don't know what business they had out there, exactly. Druid stuff, right? No one else really goes out there, since there isn't anything to hunt. Just constant fog, hidden quagmires, not to mention the mosquitos. Believe me, they're everywhere..."

Nyzaj Bandit's Bane wrote:
Thank you, Tally! he half-squeaks, still smiling and hoping the coin was right to cover his bill; he still didn't quite get this money thing.

Talia smiles back—somewhat awkwardly, but earnestly enough—waving her hand dismissively.

"Oh, that's not necessary!" she says. "The baroness paid for your stay, this night at least. Remember to thank her when you meet!"

Her face drops a little immediately after, but she leaves her next thought unsaid.

"...if they'll even let a kobold into the manor..."

Lukas Neidhart wrote:
He sets the drinks down and rests both fists on the bar. "What more can you tell me about these kobold sightings? How many? Where? How frequent? What've they been doing that's given folks the notion the might be up to someaught?"
Beldraim de Codice wrote:
After awhile of listening to conversation, she walks over to the bar to get another and asks the bartender, "Tell me of the Dragonfen. What dangers can be found there, and are there any experienced guides familiar with the area?"

Talia pours Beldraim another glass of brandy, shaking her head apologetically at both her and Lukas. "Sorry, but you'll need to ask someone else for more details—someone who actually goes out there. All I've heard is word of mouth, y'know? Eudomas would know better, I think. Eudomas Biton. He keeps a lodge on the northern edge of town, where all the hunters go to tell their tall tales. That's where you'd find a guide, too, if there's one to be found. But as I said, not many of them go as far as the Dragonfen. Biton also knew the Kells better than I, in case you want to ask about that. They all follow the Old Faith—most of the hunters do."

She stops to think for a moment before adding, "Biton might not be too happy to see you, though. He ain't no Abadaran, but competition is still competition, and you're here to set up another lodge..."


Male Kobold Snakebite striker brawler 1/skald x/dragon disciple x

Settling down with the beer mug between his legs on the chair seat, Nyzaj bends over and dips his snout into the drink, sucking up the beer enthusiastically. While the taste of it is off-putting at first, he can feel the warmth seeping into his toes and fingers already; no wonder Look-us likes it! As he drinks, occasionally pausing to lick drops from his nose with his forked tongue, he listens to Talia's conversation with the others, occasionally nodding. For now, he seems content to let his friends take the lead in finding out more about Beldraim's happenings; it's only after the barmaid departs that he speaks up again.

We gotta talk to the Chief Orry-gee-nuh, right? If she's buyin' our drinks, that is. He pauses to enjoy another sip of the Baroness's generosity. But I think we oughta ask this Buy-Ton guy a bit, too - we're supposed to explore out here, right? Gettin' some know-how seems smart. But...maybe we just don't tell him why we're here, if it's like to make him steamed.


Female LN witch (wyrmwitch) 2 | HP: 16/16 | AC:16* T:16* FF:14* | CMB:0 CMD:12 | Saves F:+1 R:+2 W:+4 | Init:+4 | Per:+7 | SM: +1 | Spell Hoard: 1/1 | Active Conditions: none
Spells Memorized:
1st: cure light Wounds, mage armor, ray of enfeeblement | 0: daze, detect magic, light, read magic

Beldraim says to Nyzaj, "If he's as good a hunter to lead a lodge out here, he may already know why we're here. In any case, I think presenting ourselves to the leadership here--however slight that authority might be--should be the priority. We can visit the hunter before we depart."

-Posted with Wayfinder


Female Human Oracle 1

Mia leans back in her chair and closes her eyes, "Even if we are competition, making it safer one lodge might have the affect of making it safer for the other. Unless we end up making something dangerous move closer to other, I guess?" She ponders her own supplies for a moment, "I don't suppose there's an apothecary or the like in town, where we can purchase healing supplies before we journey out to the lodge?"


female CG Gnome Oracle of Life 4 HP 22/32|AC-16 T-13 FF-14 | F+2 R+3 W+6 |CMB+2 CMD14 | Init+2 | Perc +8 | Channel 2d6, 2/4 per day, 30ft, DC15, neg 3 square | Spells (1st - 6/7, 2nd 4/4)

Quietly enjoying the wonder of free alcohol though the small Gnome does remain attentive to the conversation. "Pretty sure we should met Lady Origena first. But any of the rest of that would be a good idea after speaking to her. The young man at the bridge said she wanted to talk to us and she did pay for our rooms."


Human Fighter 1 | Stamina: 3 | HP: 3/12 | AC: 16 (12 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: 3, R: 2, W: 0 | Init: +4 | Perc: +0 | Active conditions:

Lukas kicks out his chair and then falls into it with an obvious sight of relief. Not caring for niceties, he plants both feet up on the table, crosses them at the ankles, and leans back on the rear two legs of his chair.

"Here's to civilization," he says, raising his tankard. "To cold brews, friendly innkeeps, and an endless line of nobles willing to foot the bill."

That said, he drains a good third of his drink in one pull, and then sighs contentedly as he licks the foam from his upper lip. "Can't say I understand the appeal of nature to them druid types," he continues. "Dirt and roots, rain and worms. Give me a sound roof, a roaring fire, some good music and even better company, and I have everything I could possibly need."

He listens contentedly as the others discuss their next step, watching each person in turn, his genial smile tugging at the corner of his lips as he takes further sips. He offers no opinion. He's just the hired muscle. Wherever the others decide to go, he'll follow - as long as they let him finish his drink first.

At the last, he offers his sole opinion: "I'd appreciate the chance to ask this Biton a few questions about the environs. If he takes offense to our presence?" He shrugs nonchalantly. "It's a hard world. I don't mind if he gets offended."


Dragon's Demand Maps | Dragon's Demand Monsters | Dragon's Demand NPCs
Mia Vanderholt wrote:
"I don't suppose there's an apothecary or the like in town, where we can purchase healing supplies before we journey out to the lodge?"

Talia nods and smiles warmly, motioning in the general direction of the front entrance.

"Of course," she says. "Xemne is our local apothecary. She's a good egg, never mind what some people might say behind her back. Her shop is right across the road from here, next to the scribe."

With that, she returns to tuning her fiddle. Soon one of the servants comes over and lets you know that your baths are ready. The rooms are small but cosy, with similarly rustic decorations as the rest of the inn. They clearly do not see much use, with those farthest away from the stairs having a distinctly musty atmosphere despite the recent airing and clean-up.


Human Fighter 1 | Stamina: 3 | HP: 3/12 | AC: 16 (12 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: 3, R: 2, W: 0 | Init: +4 | Perc: +0 | Active conditions:

Lukas luxuriates in the bath until the water's barely lukewarm, sprawled out and with another ale in hand, determined to enjoy every ounce of civilization's benefits until he's forced back out into the wilderness.

Perhaps half an hour later he's back down in the common room, wearing a sober black tabard over his traveling leathers, his spiked mail armor rolled up and stowed in his pack. Bardiche propped beside him, he awaits the others by the bar, cracking walnuts in his fist and then picking out the nuts from the shattered detritus.


Female LN witch (wyrmwitch) 2 | HP: 16/16 | AC:16* T:16* FF:14* | CMB:0 CMD:12 | Saves F:+1 R:+2 W:+4 | Init:+4 | Per:+7 | SM: +1 | Spell Hoard: 1/1 | Active Conditions: none
Spells Memorized:
1st: cure light Wounds, mage armor, ray of enfeeblement | 0: daze, detect magic, light, read magic

Bel soaks in the bath as long as she is able, trying to take her mind off of things. When she is done, she folds her traveling clothes and puts them onto her bed in a neat crisp stack. She takes the scratched coin from her hoard and places it in her pocket and then slides her backpack with the rest of her hoard beneath the folds of the bed. She belts a dagger to her waist and then turns to leave.

She says to Lukas when she arrives downstairs. "I'm more used to being on the road than lounging in baths. I suspect you're the same."

-Posted with Wayfinder


Human Fighter 1 | Stamina: 3 | HP: 3/12 | AC: 16 (12 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: 3, R: 2, W: 0 | Init: +4 | Perc: +0 | Active conditions:

Lukas looks over to Bel, crunching nuts with his molars, and jingles the shell remnants in one loose fist like one might a bag of coins.

"Aye. Never appreciated baths till I couldn't get 'em. Not that I mind the stink when we're on the road - two days out and you don't smell a thing."

He cracks another walnut, its sharp retort muffled by his callused palm.

"I got a sense life's going to get interesting these next few days. Druids don't get lost. Watch this baroness ask us to deal with this kobold problem Talia mentioned while we're out there."

He pops a shard of nut into his mouth and winks at her. "Bet you a gold crown."


female CG Gnome Oracle of Life 4 HP 22/32|AC-16 T-13 FF-14 | F+2 R+3 W+6 |CMB+2 CMD14 | Init+2 | Perc +8 | Channel 2d6, 2/4 per day, 30ft, DC15, neg 3 square | Spells (1st - 6/7, 2nd 4/4)

Making a pile of her things near the tall tub and dropping her jewelry on top. Crawling into the over-sized tub and letting out a blissful sigh before completely submerging. Remaining in the glorious heat until the water begins to lose to much of its heat. Groaning at the no longer steaming water before hopping out and quickly redressing.

Trotting back to her new room and digging through her bag. I should have brought nicer clothing. Damn. Redressing and leaving her cooking supplies under her bed. Staring at the rest of her things and opting to keep everything else with her. The other things are far to important.

Bouncing down the stairs and looking about. Wondering over to Lukas and Bel. Grabbing a walnut and holding it out to Lukas, "Open one for me?"


Male Kobold Snakebite striker brawler 1/skald x/dragon disciple x

There's only one word for the bath - luxurious. Nyzaj's smooth scales didn't usually collect much in the way of dirt, and he didn't leak water out of his skin like the humans did when it got hot, so he didn't need to bathe, per se. He'd never even heard of the idea until he'd heard the others talking about it, and when he saw the faces they pulled jumping into cold streams, he'd quickly dismissed the idea. Now I get it, he muses to himself, sinking further into the tub and feeling its warmth seep into his muscles.

He'd volunteered for the farthest room back, a tiny room made even smaller by being directly under the steepest-pitched part of the roof. But that was fine - the close space and thick air reminded him of his warrens at home, and it was better than one of the humans being relinquished to such a cramped space. Carefully, he pushes the bed up on its side and lays it against the tallest portion of the wall, pulling the sheets and blankets off of it; soon, they're bunched up in the corner, creating a small nest that he snuggles into for a test, gold scales barely glinting out past the tangle as he tucks his tail over his head.

That'll do! he exclaims to himself before tumbling out of the improvised burrow. Gathering up his improvised flagpole, he wanders back downstairs, the silk handkerchief bobbing in the air above him to herald his re-arrival. We ready to go see the Burrow-ness? he asks Nisany, grabbing a walnut from the table and digging into the seam of the shell with his claws to prise it open.


Human Fighter 1 | Stamina: 3 | HP: 3/12 | AC: 16 (12 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: 3, R: 2, W: 0 | Init: +4 | Perc: +0 | Active conditions:

Lukas takes Nisany's walnut without looking down, swallowing the nobbled nut in his large palm and then slowly grinds his fingers up and down, up and down, his knuckles whitening and relaxing. The hoary shell splinters in a series of cracks, such that when he opens his hand he reveals a nest of fragments in whose heart lies the meat of the nut.

"Looks like mouse brains," he says absentmindedly, picking up one piece, then drops it back down with the others and waits for Nisany to select her choice morsels.

At the sight of Nyzaj he lets out a low whistle. "Looking good, Bandit's Bane. You're positively gleaming. Our new tactic should a fight break out is to send you outfront so that you'll blind anyone who looks our way."

Pushing off the bar, he takes up his bardiche. "And yes. We're ready. Just waiting on Mia and we can get this show on the road."


female CG Gnome Oracle of Life 4 HP 22/32|AC-16 T-13 FF-14 | F+2 R+3 W+6 |CMB+2 CMD14 | Init+2 | Perc +8 | Channel 2d6, 2/4 per day, 30ft, DC15, neg 3 square | Spells (1st - 6/7, 2nd 4/4)

Randomly picking out a piece of walnut and tossing it into her mouth with a grin, "Thanks Lukas."

Twisting her head to look at the now washed Kobold and looking him u and down, "Only if the sun is right though. And we could be waiting a while on Mia. That girl can be a little lazy."


Female Human Oracle 1

Mia takes a long time in the tub between getting clean and soaking out all the aches of the road. She takes the time while getting dressed to wipe as much dirt as possible from her armor and clothes before putting them back on and going down the stairs to meet with the rest of the party.

Hopefully we won't move on too quickly from this town once we are finished here. I could use about a dozen more baths like this.


female CG Gnome Oracle of Life 4 HP 22/32|AC-16 T-13 FF-14 | F+2 R+3 W+6 |CMB+2 CMD14 | Init+2 | Perc +8 | Channel 2d6, 2/4 per day, 30ft, DC15, neg 3 square | Spells (1st - 6/7, 2nd 4/4)

Grinning up at Mia, "Took you long enough lazy bones."

Hopping down and looking back, "Lets go met a Baroness."I have to use manners, I hate those. Bowing hurts my soul and is mean.
Trying to make me feel less than just cause they have importance.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragon's Demand Maps | Dragon's Demand Monsters | Dragon's Demand NPCs

The town seems increasingly lively as you leave the inn, with more and more people returning from work in the outlying farms and the surrounding woods. Each passer-by greets you with a polite nod or a wave, at least until they notice Nyzaj. Reactions to his presence range from concerned whispers to muttered curses, but no one seems to be in a hurry to accost such a heavily armed group as yours. On your way you pass—among other things—a closed-down smithy, several residences and storefronts, as well as a large livery, with several russet-coated Taldor jennets trotting around a sizeable enclosure.

As you cross the eastern bridge, to your left is a newer manor, built not of limestone but gray granite. It seems like a veritable fortress, with barred windows and a heavy iron door, and is crowned by an observatory. Beyond, one can see the ruins of a tower keep. On the opposite hill, above a small cemetery, stands the baronial estate. Built of limestone, it features large vine-choked windows, classical pillars, and soaring arches—nothing compared to the opulence of Oppara, but displaying a non-insignificant amount of wealth nonetheless. The structure is surrounded by well-tended grounds and a scattering of outbuildings.

~

Your approach does not go unnoticed. As you finally reach the main entrance, you are greeted by a non-descript man in his sixties, with a balding pate and a carefully trimmed moustache. He is dressed in a dark frock coat, with the poised mien of a lifelong servant. Without a word, the butler gestures the group inside and leads them through the foyer into a dining room. The interior of the manor is quite austere, with expensive, yet conservatively decorated furnishings. A coat-of-arms featuring a brown oak tree on a field of green hangs at several prominent places throughout the manor, along with several weapons such as lances, swords, and even the odd Qadiran scimitar. Portraits lining the walls give off a martial air as well, displaying multiple men and women in the blue-and-green dress uniform of the Taldan Horse.

The dining hall is dominated by a large table, with tall-backed chairs arrayed around it—two across from you, and five on your side of the table. On one of the opposing chairs sits a severe noblewoman in her late fifties, wearing a simple but elegant black dress. Her greying hair has been pulled back into a tight bun, and she wears only the bare minimum of jewellery one would expect from a woman of her station. Next to her is a tremulous old man, dressed in well-tailored green and brown clothing with oak-and-acorn embellishments. He seems well in his nineties, with thin white hair and a short wispy beard.

Knowledge (nobility) DC 10:
The fact that she is wearing black—instead of the colours of her house—implies that the baroness is in mourning, likely a widow. This might not imply that she lost her spouse recently, however, as one might extend the period of mourning as they see fit. One might do this to let potential suitors to know that they are uninterested in remarrying, or simply out of sentimentality.

Curiously, the old man's clothing seems oddly in vogue, instead of the dated fashions one might expect from an elderly nobleman.

The baroness nods at the butler and gestures for you to sit down, seeming largely uninterested in any bowing and scraping on your part. "Thank you, Dermot. Bring our guests something to eat. I am certain they are hungry from their travels..."

With the slightest of bows, Dermot backs out of the room. He barely makes a sound as he closes the doors behind him and strides towards the kitchens.

There is a long pause as the baroness allows her steely gaze sweep over each of you in turn, lingering slightly longer on Nyzaj, and—for some reason—Lukas as well. Only as the silence has grown almost unbearable, does she finally move on to her introductions. "Welcome to Belhaim. I am Lady Origena of House Devy, the Baroness Regent of the Verduran Fork. And this... this is my only son and heir, Arnholde."

Lady Origena glares accusatorily at the old man beside her, who in turn looks down at the table in a distinctly juvenile fashion, wringing a wooden cane under the table. There is no mistaking the fact that he is much too old to be her son, yet his mannerisms do seem to be in conflict with his apparently quite advanced age.

Without any further explanation, she turns back to address you. "Please, introduce yourselves. I certainly did not expect to be hosting a kobold..."

Even as she finally acknowledges Nyzaj's presence, the baroness stops to take another look at Lukas. "And you... you look familiar. Have we met somewhere before?"


Human Fighter 1 | Stamina: 3 | HP: 3/12 | AC: 16 (12 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: 3, R: 2, W: 0 | Init: +4 | Perc: +0 | Active conditions:

Lukas leads the way, pausing only as he emerges through the front door of The Piper to blink, gain his bearings, then turn right along Canteclure Road toward the distant Rogue Creek. He moves at an easy pace, bardiche propped openly over one shoulder, other hand on his hip. He meets people's gazes directly and has no qualms in holding them; his smile never slips, but there's a subtle hardness to his gaze that almost invites comment, seems to welcome somebody making an issue of Nyzaj's presence.

No comments are made.

Their leisurely approach affords him time to inspect Belhaim. It's to be their base of operations for perhaps a week, and as such he's got more than a passing interest in their environs. He searches for sign of why the smithy might be closed - a fire? Why such a large livery for such a small town - a mining operation close by in need of donkeys? The eastern bridge - an adequate choke point if pressed in an attack, and how easy might it be to collapse?

Lukas slows as they pass the newer manor, so that even Nisany is tripping at his heels. "Barred windows," he mutters. "Iron door. Ruined tower keep. Interesting."

When they reach their destination, he fades to one side, at ease, happy to check his bardiche in the hallway so as to not carry it into the presence of the baroness, and looking about the decorations with a muted, almost absent-minded curiosity. His eyes linger on the martial portraits and the weapons, but he makes no comment until he's addressed by the baroness.

"Lukas Neidhart at your service, m'lady." He bows, a rough inclination of the head and shoulders, and lacking all courtly polish. "I doubt we've met, unless you've seen fit to explore some of the seedier sidestreets of Cassomir." He smiles wryly, enjoying the impossibility of that explanation. "I've been told I've an exceedingly common-looking face. Perhaps it's that near violent normalcy that caught your attention."

1 to 50 of 1,752 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Online Campaigns / Play-by-Post / GM Neirikr's Dragon's Demand (Gameplay) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.