Tayacet Will Save: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
Tayacet Will Save: 1d20 + 7 - 2 ⇒ (12) + 7 - 2 = 17
Tayacet withers a bit under Gilda’s evil eye before the shaman casts her spell. The Tien woman stares at Gilda for a moment before saying, “As I mentioned before, I will not disclose my employer’s identity till we’ve come to some sort of an arrangement. You clearly don’t trust me, at least not entirely, so perhaps we can talk about this? Without unnecessary magics? It’s a really poor way to begin a relationship.”
Having spent many hours on unity and what it is made of, Matiscio realizes that unity when under duress comes from within unless the threat is so big that it enforces unity. Clearly, he's the one in the group with a different opinion on the woman's threat level, but as to not undermine unity, the brawler goes along. And he won't say 'I told you so' if it doesn't work out.
Which, it seems, it doesn't. All he does offer to his companions is a sad stare aimed at the horizon. He can't help but feel deflated by the outcome. "I agree."
Celia sighs and shakes her head. She steps forward thinking maybe just talking, without any specifics just yet, may help to clarify the situation "Look, you're right. My friends are just trying to be safe. You don't seem too happy with your employer, but what kind of arrangement are you looking for here? Further, how do you expect us to trust you if you are already willing to flip on your current employer. I mean, not that we mind because we want to have a better idea of what is going on here, but it doesn't exactly inspire confidence in your capacity for loyalty should we come to an arrangement."
Tayacet sighs as well and says, “I must not look like much of a professional right now. Understandable. For what it’s worth, I’ve never been disloyal to one of my employers before. But I’ve also never had an employer with motives as… questionable… as my current one’s. So yes, it does make it hard to trust one another. Also understandable.
“I’m open to suggestions, but I do think it’s in both of our best interests to work together. Me being dead just means you’re likely to get someone else tracking you, and you won’t have any indication of who that is. Me being alive means you’re at least dealing with a known entity. If you would like to test me, or meet at a neutral location, that would be understandable. At the end of the day, though, I’m still a professional, so if we come to an arrangement, I would want some form of monetary compensation.”
Gilda's face twists in frustration as Tayacet seems to resist her tricks but nonetheless the shaman digs around in her pockets and clasps her hand around one of her pearls just in case it feels prudent to try it again.
Before resorting to magic once again, Gilda jumps in the conversation that Celia has continued - at the very least perhaps the distraction opening up the chance for her to try her charms once again.
"Ya keep sayin' yer a professional. A professional what?"
Gilda stops short of adding pain in the arse and gives the woman a chance to respond.
Next 'target' I need to remember the order should be Evil Eye, Misfortune, then the spell. But if Gilda recalls her Charm, she can Misfortune and try again, which would be a DC18 Will that if failed would be two tries to beat DC16 Will.
Gregor sneers, nothing the woman says warms him towards her. "I think bounty hunter is the term you're looking for." He growls low.
"We all do what we can to stay afloat in this mad world. Yes, the path we choose is our decision, but where we start and what paths are available to us often are beyond our choice. Without knowing who, what and why we're merely giving voice to our frustration." Matiscio swallows down Gregor's name as he was about to utter it. Staying hidden is easy enough, but when you need to do it with words? "I'm sure we can come to an agreement that works for both parties here."
Sense Motive, Inspiration: 1d20 + 12 + 1d6 ⇒ (2) + 12 + (5) = 19
Darn. One off.
Evander considers the woman, then says, "How much is your current employer paying you?"
Sense Motive 1d20 + 12 - 2 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 12 - 2 + 4 = 27 (City Mod, FE Humans)
Gregor shakes his head, "Just because you did not fire the arrow, does not mean you did not paint the target directly upon their back. You are just justifying your selling out of other people's lives to the highest bidder." He turns to the others, "You will not get where you want with her while I am here. I will excuse myself to patrol for any suspicious onlookers."
He uncrosses his arms and moves to exit, planning on keeping an eye on the building's exterior.
Gilda groans as the group continues to make little progress with figuring out more about who the woman works for or how she came to start tailing them - but rather instead were arguing the finer points of her profession.
"Look, best I see it. Ya got a choice. Ya can either tell us who set ya on investigatin' us and how they told ya us, or how ya figured it out yerself."
"Without that, we ain't sure what yer worth workin' for us. Give us some insight inta' how good ya might be based on how ya outsmarted us."
Is this a Bluff? Gilda's trying to get her to spill some details on how she even came to start following the group in order to prove she's worth paying in their employ. Otherwise feel free to use a +8 if you think it's more Diplomacy, but my read is Gilda's trying to trick her into spilling more beans.
Bluff: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (15) + 16 = 31
To Evander, Tayacet says, "As I mentioned before, two thousand gold. Depending on what I discover, I may receive a bonus, or at least an additional amount for time spent."
Tayacet sighs, seeming to come to some realization.
Looking at Gilda, she says, "I was hired after your little incident in the monastery. After you broke out the hellknight armigers, I deduced that you likely had access to their knowledge. Since I have access to city records, I found out about the Lucky Bones and its history with the Torrent. It was a simple matter of staking out the place after that."
The investigator pauses, then adds, "And since it seems we're not going to make any progress without you knowing... my current employer is Barzillai Thrune."
Gilda reddens once Tayacet makes the Lucky Bones but bursts when the woman confirms what they all already suspects.
"Of course it's Barzillai! Ugh, how could you even consider takin' a job from someone so wretched?! For gold?! Some things are more valuable than a few hundred coins!"
So, it was Barzillai. Evander had known in his gut who it was, but it was nice having confirmation. The only question was why. Tayacet likely wouldn't tell them without having a deal in place - and she very well might not know the answer.
Of course, the obvious answer "Why" was that, after they'd killed Nex, they'd proven themselves a threat to him. But if he knew who they were, why not just arrest them in the middle of the night? Why had the coffee shop and the Lucky Bones not just been stormed by dottari and the Order of the Rack?
Thinking things through, he said, "I think we might be willing to make a deal. Have you reported your findings to Barzillai, yet?"
Celia stays quiet as the others talk and considers everything being said. She finally speaks up to ask "So, you haven't reported back anything specific and you seem to understand that we are on the right side of things. With that in mind, what kind of deal are you looking for to switch sides and help us instead? I mean, you know what we are doing and what we are up against. We don't have a massive coffer like Thrune does to pay you thousands of gold, at least not up front. We could use someone on the inside feeding false information and possibly gather counter intelligence. What kind of cost do you think that would incur?"
Sense Motive (not told Barz much?): 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (20) + 17 = 37
Gilda holds her breath, her eyes searching the woman's face for any signs of falsehood as she suggests she hasn't told Barzillai much of anything yet. Maybe things could be salvaged without resorting to magic, or worse...
Tayacet nods, seeming to agree about the Ravens' financial situation. She says, "Yes, I suppose it is unrealistic for me to expect the exact same upfront payment. Assuming you end up winning, I would guess the city's governance would change. At that point, your coffers will be a bit more full. Two thousand gold - the same as Barzillai offered to start - plus one percent of whatever is left in the city's treasury when you retake it. That seems like a fair deal to me, considering the danger of what you're suggesting I do in return. I will, of course, need a per diem in the meantime, to cover living expenses. I can't exactly stay with you and maintain my cover. Ten gold a week should suffice."
Gilda believes Tayacet is telling the truth. In fact, it seems like the investigator already knows enough that she could have provided incriminating details to Barzillai already if she had wanted to do so.
Matiscio can't wait for this to be done with. With no judicial system to back them, their only option is to compromise ... or murder. And the latter definitely isn't an option for him.
This works for Matiscio (and me)!
Celia looks to the others still present in the room for their agreement or descent. She seems to be optimistic about striking a deal with the woman.
Evander raises an eyebrow. While he wasn't averse to dealing with her, the prices seemed a little steep. He supposed they needed to match Barzillai's up front cost, but perhaps there was a little wiggle room on the per diem...
"Would a slightly lower per diem be sufficient? Say, 5 gold a week?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Gregor grumbles to himself outside on his patrol, knowing that he will most likely not agree with whatever deal the others arrange with the untrustworthy spy.
Gilda leans forward, staring into Tayacet's eyes but sensing they may just have gotten themselves an insider to do some reverse intelligence gathering. The whole thing would probably fail spectacularly.
She glances towards Evander.
"Five gold?! Are you crazy?! Why that's a fortune! You could eat real good fer weeks on that!"
Standing up, she brushes off her smock and moves closer to Tayacet, drawing her dagger as she does so.
"We ain't gonna give ya a choice in this, miss. Just hold real still, right there..."
With a slash Gilda grabs a handful of hair from the Tien woman's head and quickly stuffs it into a pocket.
"Just so we uh, can see if ya get inta' any trouble and need our help, ya know?"
Smirking Gilda heads outside to give Gregor the "good news", knowing at the very least the two of them could probably come up with an angle for their new "agent's" assignment to minimize their risk.
Tayacet shakes her head at Evander's counter offer. "No, ten gold was already being generous on my part. I need to maintain my same housing situation and mostly the same lifestyle to avoid arousing suspicions. And, if you hadn't noticed, costs haven't exactly been going down since Barzillai took over."
The investigator looks at Gilda in horror once she's done the deed. With her hands still restrained, Tayacet can only guess at what her hair looks like now, but she grits her teeth and says, "You had better hope no one asks why I'm suddenly missing a fistful of hair when a few strands would have sufficed. If we're going to be working together, it would have been nice for you to at least discuss it beforehand.
"I'll just have to wear a hat all the time now..." she mutters to herself.
Evander shrugs. "I figured it was worth a try. I think we're agreed, then."
Looking at Gilda, he sighs and says, "That was rather inconvenient on her part, I know. I'm terribly sorry about that. 2000 gold now, a 10 gold per week per diem, and 1% of whatever is left in the treasury once we reclaim the city. That is our agreement?"
Celia rolls her eyes and sighs as Gilda walks up and cuts off some hair and then goes to talk to Gregor then as Evander recounts things she holds up her hands "Wait, wait, wait. If you are still going to be working for Thrune, even if it is as our agent, won't you still be getting paid by him too? So your income and lifestyle shouldn't be effected right? I mean unless you don't think you will be able to maintain the ruse and stay in his employ which makes this whole prospect a bit less worth while..."
She taps her finger to her lip as she considers "Since that is the case, when we win we give you the 2000 gold and 1% then, but your per diem should still be covered by Thrune right?"
Gilda didn't butcher the poor girl, just a small chunk from the long section!
Gilda waves her hand and smiles half apologetically.
"Eh, give her an extra ten gold bonus this week for this!"
Gilda shakes her fist with the dark hairs swaying from it as she finally departs.
Tayacet looks about to agree with Evander when Celia speaks up and Gilda follows after. She sighs and says, "Yes, I suppose you are correct. 2000 gold and 1% will suffice. I'll still take that ten gold for this week, though. I need to buy a hat."
Wiggling her restrained hands, Tayacet adds, "Do we have an agreement? I would like to at least stretch a bit. And we also need to decide what you want me to tell Thrune about your whereabouts and appearances. He knows I know something."
Celia Evander and Matiscio since Gilda and Gregor have both gone and assuming they nod she goes to remove the ropes binding the woman and pulls out 10 gold to give the woman.
"Appears we are agreed. Please stretch and we can discuss our next steps."
Thoughts from folks on what sort of information we should give. I figure we have some of these safe houses we could give up as locations. Maybe make it clear that we move around a lot so we can keep setting up safe houses and she can keep giving them up with them *just missing us* every time? Maybe she can tell them that we use diguises frequently so she isn't sure who we are exactly. I know that gives us away a bit but not sure of a better means to cover her not knowing who we are. Thoughts?
I was thinking the same thing - we give up the location of a couple of safe houses. I'm okay with revealing that we use disguises frequently, as well - I change them up every time we use them, so it's not like we're using the same disguise over and over again.
Once we give up a couple of safe houses, we should stake those safe houses out and see if Barzillai sets people to watch them. If so, we may have to "get caught" going into one in order to make Tayacet's information look good - provided we have an easy means of escape.
"Seriously?" Gregor asks Gilda, "One percent of the city's treasury? That is an indeterminate sum. Quite a hefty mercenary turncoat tax on Kintargo." He scowls.
"I do not like it Pigeon... Hey, could you manage to talk that annoying dragonling into spying on her? She probably does not know about it, since it has not left the base visible."
Gilda and Gregor should be far enough away there's no change of Tayacet hearing them.
"Little Miss One Percent certainly thinks highly of herself. I certainly don't trust her, but I'm not sure I trust us in catching whomever Barzlebum would send next. Might be if One Percent goes missing, he might upgrade to someone at a higher pay grade who'd be harder for us to catch."
Gilda considers the dragon for a moment.
"Yeah, for all we know he's followin' us right now, eh? When I've been sleepin', the City's been telling me some stuff so I think I might have a better shot at sensin' if we're bein' watched."
She holds up the clump of Tayacet's hair and shares a crazy grin.
"Worst case, witta' mirror we cans see whatever Miss One Percent's upta whenever we want."
Celia goes out and calls Gregor and Gilda back in, updating them on the status as they come. "Let's figure the best way we can turn this to our advantage."
Figure we need to get them in the room, but guess we can discuss OOC just to get through it quicker. Sounds like Evander and I are pretty much in agreement anyone have any other thoughts or suggestions?
False leads only work so long as they lead somewhere sometimes. To do that, we have to have people get caught. To this end, maybe we use her to get Thrune to do our work for us. Always lead him to any trouble or criminal elements that need to be dealt with. Kill two birds with one stone.
Agree with Evander on watching the targets we feed, to keep an eye on the force brought, and the response time.
That's why I suggested that we let ourselves get seen going into one of the safe houses, but only if we have a way of dramatically and narrowly evading capture. I like the idea of pointing them at any troublesome elements we find, though - especially if we can find ourselves another corrupt Asmodean priest like the dwarf in the salt works.
Why problem make when you no problem have you don't want to make? If she gets fired for incompetence, it ain't our loss. She's the one who has to lie to benefit here, not us. But if a majority is in favor of setting up a fake safe house, Matiscio will go along without complaining :)
Seems like most are in agreement then
After the group has a chance to talk Celia goes to the woman "Ok, so here is what we were thinking. We have some safe houses setup. We can burn some of these so that you have some places to give up. We'll leave signs that we had been there and if it ever gets pressing we can even figure out some sort of 'show' to give as we narrowly escape capture. Tell Thrune we frequently use disguises so its hard to get a fix on who we are specifically. If he has other questions or concerns then let us know. We should probably set up some sort of dead drop as a means to communicate just so we aren't seen together frequently. Do you have any preferences for that?"
She pauses as she considers if there is anything else important "Oh, obviously any spying you can do on Thrune to let us know what he is up to or that can help our cause would obviously be helpful."
She looks back to the others to see if there is anything they want to add.
For all we know, all the troublesome elements we're likely to run across has some sort of sponsorship with/support from Barzillai. But Tayacet wouldn't know that and could certainly keep uncovering his pawns and assuming they were the Ravens.
I say good enough at this point - we should just have some regular system where she can check in or deliver messages to us. I suppose during our weekly downtime, Gilda can prepare and use Sending to get her report or setup a meeting.
Gilda leans against a wall enjoying the fresh air with Gregor as she contemplates just how much pull she'll have in getting Venny to listen to her.
Matiscio, don't forget to level up when you have time. For everyone, make sure the levels listed in your quick stats add up to 7. I know that's incredibly minor, but you'll be doing your GM a favor. :)
Tayacet nods along to Celia's words, seeming satisfied with your plan.
At Celia's question, she says, "A magical solution is always preferable to me, but if you would rather a more mundane solution, there are plenty of places in Kintargo we could use as a dead drop."
Unless you're on a mission or in a dungeon-type setting, you should have at least one down day a week, so if you want to go with Gilda's Sending idea, that would probably be the most straightforward option.
Celia nods "We can do that too, but I think we should set up a dead drop as a backup. I imagine we'll only have an opportunity to contact you once a week via magic so if anything arises between then you can use the dead drop and we'll have some of our people monitor it. Is there anything else? Otherwise, I think we are set."
Figure we can hand wave the details on the dead drop as we won't use it and just have some of our agents monitor it or reply there if needed. We might as well give up the safe house we are currently using for this first time. Figure we can spend a little time planting false evidence and the now and make it look like we recently left so she can go ahead and turn the place in soon.
That's what I'm thinking, yeah.
That works for me. We can assume you relay the details and set up contacts between her and other members of the rebellion.
Tayacet nods once you've finished informing her of all the details of your plan. "I'll let Thrune know about this place the day after tomorrow. That should give you enough time to plant whatever you're going to plant and to make yourselves scare afterwards.
"Oh, and try not to get caught. It kind of ruins our agreement if one of you gets nabbed and I have to bail you out."
We can move on unless anyone wants to do anything else here. If not, we can assume you make it back to the Wasp's Nest, so if you want to catch up Laria, Rexus, and the rest feel free to go ahead and do so.
Gilda, you can go ahead and make your opening pitch to Vendalfek if you want to.
I think this settles it perfectly, to be honest.
Matiscio scoffs at the woman's parting words. "Heh, thanks for the advice. We'll be sure to try and avoid just that." A deal, fine, sure, but the thought of having to rely on her to get one of their own out of trouble? Real trouble? She'll be asking for the entire treasury if that day ever comes.
Matiscio still has that that mithral +1 lawful outsider bane dagger - should we keep it or sell it? It is a +2 weapon (bane: lawful outsiders, not lawful & outsider bane) after all and it feels like a waste to keep it if we aren't going to use it.
After finishing up with Tayacet Celia heads back to the 'base' with the others. After filling Rexus in on the events that have transpired she takes a stroll around to meet some of the new people, partially to make sure nothing seems out of sorts and partially because she tries to be a good 'leader' and make people feel welcomed.
She is surprised though when she comes across a tiefling woman, maybe 10 years her junior. She pauses a moment and then calls out "Kira? Is that you?"
Ignore the portrait for now can't change portraits and using an old alias that has been dormant.
The tiefling spins around at hearing her name and has the same shocked look on her face when she see's Celia "Celia? I... we heard about the fire. I wasn't sure if you were there or what. I'm so glad to see you're alright!"
Celia laughs and waves her hand down her body "No, I'm still here..." her smile turns to a frown as she continues "Though my parent's weren't so lucky..."