Falcon’s Hollow is a logging town, through and through. Most buildings have log walls, or are finished with wooden siding. The roofs are covered in wooden shingles.
The town is rough-looking for the most part, but some homes feature lovingly wrought ornamentation that shows their owners’ pride: decorative molding, carved cornices, window mullions, and delicate inlays on furniture.
At least, that was how they were, once upon a time. Years of use and being passed down through families leave much of this craftsmanship dinged, dented, and worn - tragically, yet another mirror of their owners.
Sawmills and lumberyards are the main evidence of the town’s industry, along with dusty, exhausted cutyards filled with stumps.
Sawdust invades nearly every home, bed, and meal in the community, like sand in a beach town.
Around Falcon’s Hollow, the forest flourishes, dark and impenetrable, seemingly eager to claim the lives of those who endlessly assault its borders.
The town huddles upon the banks of the River Foam, where the mechanical whine of the sawmill fills the air day and night.
Logs float through the river like a herd of petrified beasts, and sawdust coats the water like brown algae.
Sawdust chokes the town like a fog, clinging to everything and everyone like a brand. Most residents are restricted to shopping at the “Low Market,” only able to buy the leftovers passed down from the “High Market” atop the Perch, the hill overlooking the town proper.
Yesterday, you watched the most powerful man in town, Gavel Thuldrin Kreed, hold his monthly lottery to grant a handful of employees passes to visit the High Market for up to 3 days. Their prize was the privilege of buying produce that hadn’t spoiled and meat that hadn’t begun to rot.
Today was supposed to be First Cut, a festival marking the return of spring. However, the logging season had never really ended around Falcon’s Hollow. As Brickasnurd told you, whilst he dusted the petrified pseudodragon sitting upon the shop counter, Gavel Kreed had long since mandated that the logging crews had to work even through the bitter winter months.
”No one’s got time to celebrate,” the gnome said wistfully. ”Everyone’s only ever got time to work.”
The latest blow to the town was Blackscour Taint. Some sort of contamination in the local well, demonstrating that the locals couldn’t even trust their water. Painful, hacking coughs had become part of the town’s background sounds, as much as the birds, river, and the sawmill running day and night.
The local herbalist, Laurel Gebre, had announced she was now offering a cure. While that is certainly a solution to one pressing problem, it seems unlikely that, on the whole, life in Falcon’s Hollow will much improve for its downtrodden residents.
As the Consortium’s loggers hack away at the forest, their “civilization” consumes more of the wild each day. Thus it felt like due justice when a disease fell upon them. You recognized the effects of Blackscour, an invasive fungus that causes terrible health problems when it contaminates drinking water.
On your trips into the town, under the guise of a simple woodsman, you often trade with the local herbalist, Laurel. Owner of Roots and Remedies, she frequently depended on you to keep her shop stocked, especially with some rarer, more unusual ingredients. Although the snake-oils and aphrodisiacs that form the bulk of her business left you with an initially poor opinion of her talents, you soon learned that she was also knowledgeable of particularly esoteric and effective curatives gleaned from her grandmother’s old book.
Among those recipes was one to treat Blackscour Taint, and during one of your visits, Laurel again asked your help as she sought the necessary ingredients. It was no simple task, as she sought Elderwood Moss, which of course only grows on the oldest, tallest tree in the forest. In exchange for braving a site known to be a haunt for fearsome tatzlwyrms, she offered to share with you a secret you had long been curious about: the source of her grandmother’s knowledge.
When you returned with the moss and begrudgingly saved the town, Laurel revealed that her grandmother had been an apprentice to Ulizmila, the legendary witch of Darkmoon Vale, and supposedly had even traded her eyesight to the witch for some of the secrets inscribed in the old book Laurel now possessed.
She didn’t, but she would have one soon.
Laurel had contacted some of her sources to secure the rare ingredients needed to concoct a cure. This should have been good news for the town, but you knew better.
Although Laurel was one of the few residents of Falcon’s Hollow who was not a direct Consortium employee, she still paid a hefty series of taxes and fees to extortionists working for Kreed or the allied Redrock Guild. Almost as an extension of that, Gavel Kreed intended to confiscate the cure and “properly distribute it” to afflicted employees.
This, of course, means he would sell it to employees at an inflated price.
”That shop and every plant she harvests sits on Consortium property,” Kreed insisted with a pounded fist, ”So that cure is automatically company property.”
Word has reached you that Laurel had begun mixing the cure, and now you worry what will happen when Kreed sends his men to take it right out from under the sick and dying residents of Falcon’s Hollow.
Before you could cajole any rumors and stories from the reticent locals, a disease struck the town. Although you were not infected, something called Blackscour Taint left many locals with terrible hacking coughs as their bodies tore themselves up from within. A local herbalist named Laurel put out a call for ingredients to concoct a cure. One of them, Ironbloom Mushrooms, was very familiar to you.
A staple of dwarven cuisine and medicine, the mushrooms grow in dark places rich in metal, and you had brought some among your traveling provisions. As the other ingredients were gathered, you found yourself an unexpected hero for the town. Hopefully now the local Valers will be more apt to aid your study of the local ruins - or at least let you have a look at the sawmill mechanisms.
When you first arrived in Falcon’s Hollow, some of the loggers fearfully chased you into the river, mistaking you for a fey druid. Unable to travel further north to the Darkmoon Woods as you would have liked, you made do living among the copses of pine and fir that grew along eastern hills. Eventually you began eking out an existence on the fringe of this logging town, and one of the locals even took to trading with you.
Called Laurel, she is the town herbalist, and she has often traded with you to keep her shop stocked. Thus, when a deadly disease - Blackscour Taint - fell upon the town, she immediately sought you out to help locate the unusual ingredients needed for a cure. Much to both of your surprise, you had one of the ingredients already: a very salty marsh root known as Rat’s Tail. Not only had you brought some with you from Verduran Forest, but you had taken to cultivating some around your new home.
Laurel must have given you due credit among her customers, as one day a small band of local children wandered downriver to meet the “frog who helped save the town.”
You talked to Laurel Gebre, the herbalist who runs Roots and Remedies. She was working on a cure and had asked come contacts to collect the rare ingredients she needed. You asked if you could help, but you’d never heard of Elderwood Moss or Ironbloom Mushrooms. Laurel could get impatient and would often take an attitude when stressed, but she was a good woman. If anyone could cure this disease, it would be her.
She said that the disease had been traced to a fungus that contaminated Brookman’s Well. With the well now closed off to stop the spread, most of the folks in town had to either drink the sawdust-laced river water or buy water from the Consortium’s rain barrels. Seeing something you could do to help, you began offering clean water from your farm’s well to your neighbors in town.
Too bad that didn’t sit well with some people. You weren’t sure if they were Kabran Bloodeye’s men from the Redrock Guild or Boss Teedum’s own enforcers, but they made it clear that you were to stop offering free water. Of course, you and your quarterstaff made it clear that they couldn’t stop you.
Today is First Cut, traditionally marking the return of spring and the start of the logging season. Although most Valers don’t celebrate it much anymore, since the Consortium works them even through the winter months, at least the day brings a bit of good news: Kane and Sindi have come running home, shouting how “Miss Laurel had worked up a cure for the sick folks.”
The thought strikes you to stop by Laurel’s shop. While no one in your family came down with Blackscour, a rare blessing in your life, you can’t help but worry about your neighbors.
Thuldrin Kreed runs the town as the local gavel, a foreman who oversees operations on behalf of the board of directors. He descends from a long line of lumber barons, and he is a cruel man just like his late father, Thalsin.
Kreed’s right-hand man and lickspittle is Boss Payden Teedum, known as “Pay Day” thanks to the way he doles out painful “due” to anyone who fails to follow commands quickly enough.
One of the few people willing to stand up to these two men is Sheriff Deldrin Baleson, who maintains some semblance of justice in the town with the help of a handful of deputies drawn from local loggers and retired adventurers.
Darkmoon Woods are home to many animals, but the most dangerous denizens are giant mosquitos, moorsnakes, and especially wolves, known to be particularly aggressive here on the frontier.
The River Foam, upon which the town sits, runs down from the Five Kings Mountains and splits the Vale into Darkmoon Woods and the Darkmoon Plains. South of Falcon’s Hollow, the river cuts through the Wolfrun Hills before pouring into the Andoshen River.
Helgrim sits on a wagon dock behind one of the ramshackle buildings of the town. He thumbs through his worn tome looking at the fine type and checking the hand-scrawled notations in the margins. Absentmindedly his unencumbered hand pawed at his chest pocket looking for his absent pipe.
Know History: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
"Dagnabbin-town doesn't even have ahhh <<<mumble mumble>> pipe shop let alone---Ah, Here it is!"
Finding the section, Helgrim reads aloud,
"Falcon’s Hollow is a young town established in . . . "
He strokes his beard.
"Lets see that makes it only---140 years old."
The dwarf begins to read again, his finger following the text.
"It is only the latest in a line of logging towns settled to utilize the northern forests of Andoran."
"HA!" That's rich, more like exploit!
. . . established before Falcon’s Hollow came Falconridge and Northsap."
The dwarf wets the tip of his quill on his tongue before adding the note:
(Both of which remain only as ghost towns to the south)
Helgrim closes the book and sighs.
"Nothing mentioned though about how those towns died out, or the illness, or a source of heavy metal deposits . . . in that section at least. Might as well bookmark it though."
He carefully stows his book back in his well worn and oiled pack.
"I've got to find a way to keep the damn sawdust out of this thing."
Northsap, settled in 4452, followed the same pattern - although it survived a bit longer, lasting about 120 years until the loggers and residents moved on to found Falcon's Hollow.
Local rumors have also spoken of what currently resides in these derelict towns, north of Olfden. While Falconridge is purportedly a haunt of ghostly apparitions and wild beasts, Northsap has provided conflicting sightings of kobolds, holdouts from the Goblinblood Wars, and packs of ghouls.
Your readings make it clear that these three towns highlight an almost cyclical pattern of forest depletion. As the logging towns moved northward, transitioning from the Arthfell Forest to Darkmoon Woods, the forests that once covered northern Andoran have shrunk to a shadow of their former selves.
Mining and quarrying were never interests in these endeavors. Side notes mention Piren's Bluff, a small town crouched between the Arthfell Forest and the Aspodell Mountains, where a local mining concern taps the mountains to supply Andoran with iron ore.
|Sir Wulf the Wise|
Wulf came walking into town with his coins ready to purchase some needed supplies for the coming spring. He also wished to see how well the town was fairing with the fallout and the benevolent Laurel.
As he made his way in he let his trusty old staff lead the way as he horridly whistled a tune one of his ex-military pals sang. It was off key but it was a jaunty tune that if performed right made you want to get up and dance. Which was what First Cut was all about.
As he passed a few people he tipped his hat politely until he found the shop he was looking for."There we are. Hope Laurel is doing well. Might buy some of those herbs from her to grow in a flower bed just in case." He said before turning and heading to the shop's door.
|Liam the Wanderer|
Knowledge(Nature): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
Knowledge(Geography): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
The incessant noise of sawing was everywhere, at all hours of the day and night, it seemed. "Does this damned racket ever stop?" Liam mumbles to himself as he walks along the street toward Roots and Remedies. Shaking his head, he kicks another pile of sawdust, drifts of which seem to pile up like snow in winter all over town. To think that this is all that remains of ancient denizens of the great forest. Alas. He shakes his head again and continues around the corner toward the shop, a few trade items in his pack.
Timothy is a little perturbed by the Gavel's quest; clearly, the disease would ravage the town anyways, and with the Gavel confiscating it, most of the lumbermen wouldn't be able to get well. This wouldn't have bothered Timothy a year ago; but, well, things were different now.
So, he does as his "boss" asks. Laurel Gebre might not have had a cure yet, but she would soon, and that gave him a perfect excuse to go and visit her.
He approaches the door to her shop, and knocks loudly before entering. "Ms/Mrs. Gebre, it's Timothy Lawrence. I've come to pay you a visit."
Boggel had heard the noise coming from far away. Whoever was making that racket, either they weren't trying to be stealthy, or they were incredibly bad at it. He hoped the geese he was following hadn't heard it, but they did. He was still 50 yards away when they took to wing. Ah well. I have plenty of roots and tubers for a decent stew. He let the pressure off his bowstring and put the arrow back in his quiver.
He quietly moved toward the noise to investigate. It was a small group of human children. The children of the loggers often had free time in the afternoons. You could always tell them by the sawdust that clung to their clothing. Sometimes they would come near his bog to look for turtles or ducks or whatever. He crept close (he was all but invisible in the swamp), to less than 20 yards, to hear their conversation. Frog-man? Why, they're looking for me. Hmm.
He backed up a bit so as not to startle them. He had spooked a few people in the past by walking right up to them. It wasn't his fault if they weren't paying attention. He rustled some cattails to grab their attention as he appeared from the swamp. "Hello, children," he called. "Is there something I can do for you?"
The logging community hadn't been overly friendly in the past, but they were becoming more accepting, particularly the herbalist. He was glad that Laurel wasn't the suspicious type.
Helgrim snapped the second book closed with newfound resolve.
”If I can find an entrance to the holds, I can find more of the Ironbloom mushrooms. However, in the short term, maybe Laurel has a contact in Piren's Bluff. If there is ore there, there may be mushrooms. . . Maybe she knows a local that can help me.”
He pulls a sheet of paper covered lightly scetched diagrams and crossed out chicken scratched equations from from the document tube lashed to the outside of his pack.
”So no source of nonporus ceramics or efficiently produced activated charcoal so that leaves . . . putting the water through layers of mycelium/straw, sand and gravel, before leeching into the pipe and out a spigot on the outside. <<<Sigh>>> Can I even get enough black iron pipe?”
Looking it over once more he gnaws on the end of his graphite stick, before putting the sheet back away in frustration.
He gets out his small journal and recorded his findings and thoughts for the day. His closing paragraph in the entry reads:
I continue to try and work out the water problem, but so far a viable solution evades me, but Dwarven will and mountains are known to have one thing in common: It takes an almighty hammer and a tremoundous amount of persistence to overcome them. I suppose I could add time to that thought, but time is one thing these humans, especially their sick younglings, are not much blessed with. I will seek out Laurel and speak to her about my hypothesis. My quest may hold a solution to their crisis.
The dwarf gathers his belongings and walks towards the herbalist’s dwelling hoping to catch her at home.
Taking 10 on History and Local.
’The people back in Olfden have no idea what it’s really like here.’ Smiling and shaking her head as she continues dusting the shelf. Speaking in Gnomish to ‘practice’ but really so no one could overhear what she was really saying. in gnomish ”Well we should take a little time to celebrate, Maybe go over to Jak-a-Napes and eat. I’ve got a hankering for pancakes."
Naomi stops dusting for a minute and looks at Brickasnurd In Gnomish ”I realize people need to work, but they need a reason to celebrate as well. I still don’t understand why Kreed won’t let everyone shop at the high market, I mean if they have the money why can’t they spend it. Of course it’s Kreed that keeps them from having the money.”
She winks at her employer and nods, in gnomish Come on, lets go see Jak, or do something. We’ve been working hard, no reason not to celebrate a little ourselves. If nothing else lets go ask Laurel if there's anything we can do to help.”
So are Brickasnurd and Naomi considered the same class as the lumberjacks? Or can they move about freely, or go to ‘high market’ whenever they wish?
Oh, come on, you know someone was going to Play It!
When I was looking at Naomi's page for knowledge checks I realized I forgot her spell list, I will include it shortly :-)
Three of them react with some shock as they first see you. The tallest one offers a wide-eyed, smiling look of awe, while the second tallest - you think it might be a female - briefly assumes a defensive stance, clutching a thick stick like a club.
"There really is a frog man," the round-faced one with pale hair gasps in surprise.
"Yeah, I told you so, Jurin," says the girl with the club, slapping the other on the arm. "I heard Miss Laurel talk about him when I went to ask if she needed me to go on a quest to retrieve the medicine."
"No you didn't," the boy with hair the color of swamp peppers sneers. "Stop trying to act like your old man, Kimi."
Those two children seem to lose interest in you as they begin to argue, with two of the others stepping back to keep clear of the conflict.
The tallest boy, with hair like burnt wood, walks right up to you, though.
"Mom was sick. You helped Laurel make her better. Thank you, Mr Frog," he says. While some human gestures remain tricky for you to fathom, his kind, beaming smile leaves you with a feeling of pride and appreciation. [b]"But Miss Laurel said she was scared of...something. I can't remember. Could you help her not be scared?"
Naomi is flat out banned due to not being a Lumber Consortium employee or affiliate, similar to the local priestess of Iomedae.
You can scarcely get close enough to Roots and Remedies to even see the creeping ivy and window boxes dominating the front of the rugged-looking building due to the large crowd assembled outside.
The past few days have seen orderly lines stretching down the crooked street from the herbalist's door as residents clambered for whatever teas or tinctures could soothe their painful coughs.
Now, however, the shop is swamped by throngs of people clustered in three distinct groups, almost like concentric circles.
Sheriff Baleson and two of his deputies stand at the shop door, barring entrance.
Opposing them, a very coarse man with a piggish nose stands accompanied by five men in leathers, who all carry maces and cudgels.
Finally, the outer and by far most numerous group is a motley mob of Falcon's Hollow residents, all of whom are clearly upset at the situation.
A disorderly chorus of shouts and arguments fill the morning air, and the entire street seems on the verge of riot.
Boggel smiles kindly at the child (hoping it doesn't look like he's bearing his teeth). "If Laurel needs help, of course, I'll check in on her. And I'm glad your mother is feeling better. You help her out at home now. She may still need rest." With that, Boggel waves to the children and sets off toward town. if they choose to walk with him, he's okay with that; if not, no problem
He's only been to Laurel's shop once, but he's pretty sure he knows where it is. All these human structures all look so damn similar. As he gets closer, he sees the mob of people outside her shop (at least he's pretty sure that's it). As he isn't well known here, he tries to stay as unobtrusive as possible. He ducks behind a couple of rain barrels, peering around to see what all the hub-bub is.
perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
local: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
|Sir Wulf the Wise|
Wulf pinches his nose as he looks at the crowd and the armed men. he walked into the crowd walking about them keeping a eye out for any other possible Kreed goons. The whole thing reeked of a setup.
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Out of habit, Helgrim reaches for his missing pipe. Finding it missing he silently mouths a few minor curses as he scans the crowd and looks to see if Tabrik Splint is among the deputies. He tries to judge the likelihood of violence.
Sense motive: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
I can't let this get too out of control if I can help it.
Keeping his hands away from his weapons he moves to an opening in the outer circle and takes a resolute step inside it. He addresses the crowd in an agreeable tone.
"Look now, I respect that you have your own local matters at hand here, but is any of this going to help these good people with sick family members at home? Especially the younglings? Laurel has enough people to patch up without you gettin your noses all bloodied up."
"What could be the problem be now? Another plague of some sort? Certainly it can't be that bad."
"Whatever it is, I am sure we can work it out without comin to blows. violence is never good for business and it cuts into one's drinking time."
"Besides, I was hoping to get into the shop to purchase some eye-drops, seems there is a lot of dander in the air around here."
Seeing a dwarf draw the attention of the crowd, Boggel tries to circle around the Roots and Remedies, to see if there's a window or something he can peer into. keep in mind, he has a climb speed so he can climb up to taller windows if needs be. If there is one, he'll knock on the window
His thoughts are interrupted as a customer enters the store.
"Oh, but it looks like it will have to wait," Brickasnurd says, clapping his hands together in glee at the newcomer. "Why don't you pay Miss Gebre a visit? Find out if she needs anything for her shop? Who know what I may find for her on my next hike? I will catch up with you at Jak's place."
The customer asks about a few sundries, such as bedrolls, sacks, and torches. You do not recognize him, although you are still getting to know many of the locals. Judging by Brickasnurd's reaction, though, this visitor - a half-elf no less - is a traveler rather than a resident.
Outside Roots and Remedies, you recognize Boss Payden Teedum as the one leading the armed men confronting the sheriff. Very early in your stay, Brickasnurd warned you about "Pay Day."
"He's Gavel Kreed's top thug," the gnome had explained, urging you back as the pug-faced man once passed in the street. "Folks call him 'Pay Day' because he likes to dole out beatings as though they were wages."
Aside from the many people assembled out front, you also notice what could be the greatest peculiarity of all. Some sort of frog person is sneaking around the back of the shop, and he seems to be surveying the wall as though gauging whether he could climb it.
You were hoping to arrive before Kreed could dispatch Pay Day, but it seems the Gavel wasted no time seizing upon the opportunity.
You're not sure about Baleson's deputies, but Pay Day's men look ready, even eager for a fight.
Gripping the rough bricks and thick ivy, you scale the wall and knock upon the window - spooking the scrawny orange cat that was previously napping inside one of the window boxes.
The cat hisses at you once then leaves you with a glare, but there is no response from inside the building.
Baleson and the woman look reluctantly ready for a fight, while the logger appears quite nervous judging by how tightly he clutches his weapon.
Pay Day's men, on the other hand, look almost impatient for the opportunity to inflict pain upon Baleson. However, the mob around them seems to leave them more uncertain.
Lastly, despite the crowd's vastly greater numbers, there is no unity and the residents, some of them still sick, currently lack the will to fully stand up against the Consortium mercenaries.
|Boss Payden Teedum|
"Don't get your beard in a knot," the piggish leader of the mercenaries says, dismissing Helgrim with a wave of his thick hand. "This is Consortium business, and there don't have to be no violence so long as this misguided sheriff lets us conduct Consortium business."
He turns to address the crowd, raising his broad arms with fists balled.
"Mista' Kreed sent us down here to collect the cure from Miss Gebre to make sure it's properly distributed to Consortium employees. Nothin' more."
His snorting words sound less like an appeal and more like a threat.
Hmm. Distressing. And this fat human seems grumpy. It would appear that the 'sheriff' is protecting her shop though from the fat man. He ponders this as he climbs back down and around the side of the building. He alights to the ground and moves to the corner of the house. If violence breaks out, he will see if he can aid the sheriff and those who would protect the establishment. Hopefully this can be avoided.
Helgrim maintains his easy tone.
"Oh, I see. Well then, you may not know that I happen to be the source of one of the main ingredients of the cure. My property . . . dwarven property, paid for with dwarven gold, brought here from dwarven lands."
he lets is sink in a moment before continuing.
"I know there were other ingredients that could only be sourced from outsiders like myself that went into the cure."
He holds up his pointer finger and tilts his head in a "truth be told" fashion
"In fact, I think I made it explicitly clear that my property would be used to be given to the sick, the wee ones first of all. I'm not a consortium employee, the others are not consortium employess, so this doesn't seem to be company business at all."
he splays out his open hands and shrugs.
"If Mista Kreed is concerned though, you can tell him I am working on getting everyone in town more of what Laurel needs so he won't have to worry about any more of his valued employees falling ill under his care."
He strokes his beard a moment hoping the villagers would hear and remember his next words and they would be spread.
"I think I am the only source of a key ingredient---to tell you true."
"I appreciate the Sheriff and his men protecting my private property rights. I apologize if I add to the confusion, but I am not aware of any ingredient donated or supplied by the consortium towards this cure at all?"
He looks pleadingly about at the parents in the crowd.
"But, as you folks are facing off we have children dying . . . Why don't you let the healer be about her work?"
"Mista Kreed can't be meaning to let these dying babies wait even another few hours. Laurel has already identified who will be needin it first."
|Liam the Wanderer|
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
Liam halts outside the crowd, uncomfortable with such a great mass of humanity. It's like a bloody solstice celebration out here. So many people. But this looks like trouble. Swallowing his discomfort, he tries to push further into the crowd to hear what's being said.
Hearing the hill-dweller speak of his assistance in providing the cure, Liam nods and speaks up. "Aye, and what of me? I am no logger. But I brought goods to trade with Laurel, which she assures were instrumental in the cure." he looks around at the larger crowd. "This cure is not the Consortium's to take. What gives the Consortium the right to take what does not belong to them? It is unnatural. In nature no hierarchies exist. Only in man's society do some men think themselves nobler than others, able to give and take as if they were kings."
|Sir Wulf the Wise|
Wulf looks at those gathered and then at the ones standing up for Laurel. Wulf shakes his head and makes his way through the crowd.
"Pay Day, I think it would be easier if you let Laurel conduct her business and come back at a later time. These people seem to be in no mood, and To risk these men, Whom I assume the Benevolent Mr.Kreed hired from the loggers it would waste money and potential workers from making you and the Consortium Money. Which now that I said it, I think about what is Kreed paying Ms. Luarel for the medicine. I mean it's her business so what right does the Consortium have to take it? I mean that is how business is done here in Falcons Hollow. We buy goods and services from each other using money or barter. If not I believe that is theft? Are you saying that Mr. Kreed ordered you, law-abiding men, to steal from Ms. Laurel?Cause if I remember right the punishment for that is paying for the items stolen, and if you can't afford it you work it off? Not sure though I am an honest man, one who has fought for Andor.I do know the good Sheriff would rightly explain the finer points of our towns laws better than me." Wulf said standing in front of the crowd his hand holding his old quarterstaff, dressed very much like the farmer he was.He wasn't ready for a fight but if need be he would defend Ms. Laurel and the people of Falcons' Hollow from the likes of Pay Days' men. He hoped the man saw reason and would wait until the close of that day. He personally wanted the medicine to remain in Laurels hands but he also knew that if Kreed wanted it, there was little one could do to stop him. Heck, he barely fought off the men threatening him, and that was only because he was well trained and not afraid to stand up to the likes of Kreed and his hired goons.
’I don’t believe I know this. Pers… oh their a half elf, how exotic.' As she leaves she turns to the new customer., extending her hand , ”Hi I’m Naomi, It’s a pleasure!”
With Boggel Samm
Aside from the many people assembled out front, you also notice what could be the greatest peculiarity of all. Some sort of frog person is sneaking around the back of the shop, and he seems to be surveying the wall as though gauging whether he could climb it.
’Should I find out what ‘Pay Day’ and the sheriff are haggling about or help this poor lost soul.’ Making her decision she moves toward the ‘Frog Person’ as the creature alights to the ground and moves to the corner of the house. Naomi approaches the Frog Person calling softly ”Hey, Hi, I’m Naomi, you must be knew around here.”
She walks a little closer, her hands clasp in front of her so the Frog Person can tell she means no threat. ”That fellow over there is called ‘Pay Day’ and he is really mean, why don’t you stick with me so you don’t stand out in the crowd as much.”
Looking toward the conversation with 'Pay Day
She then realizes that three people in the crowd are standing up to ‘Pay Day’ a Dwarf with an unusual axe, a man dressed in unassuming brown leathers and green cloak and fellow dressed in leather armor and a staff. ’Well these men are either brave or stupid, I wonder which it is.’ She turns to her new friend, ”Come on, lets get closer, I would like to meet people willing to stand up to ‘Pay Day,’ Kreed and the consortium.”
Timothy smiles as he watches the men stand up to Pay day. Unfortunately, that's not exactly how the big boss operates, and he questions the wisdom of standing up this early. He momentarily debates joining in to help, but decides against it- it doesn't pay in his line of work to draw attention to yourself.
Instead, he ducks around the back, passing a young woman and a frog person A frog? How strange... and attempts to find a back door or a window he can duck into.
Assuming no back door, he'll make certain no one is coming, climb into the window Boggel did, and knock again, seeing if he gets a response.
Climb check: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
It is unusual for a human to simply approach Boggel and introduce themselves. Even a "relatively" small one. But she explains something of the situation and seems to be interested in protecting the shop. "Yes. I am new here. I hope that situations like this are the exception and not the rule." He gives her a salute of greeting having found that many humans are apprehensive to shake his hand. He considers her offer of companionship only briefly before agreeing.
"Very well. Thank you for your assistance, Naomi. I am Boggel, a friend of Laurel. Pleased to meet you." He shadows her closely as she moves toward the crowd.
Helgrim Diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 8
Liam Diplomacy, Aid Another: 1d20 ⇒ 19
Wulf Diplomacy: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Pay Day is dismissive of Helgrim and Liam, scoffing at the visiting dwarf and vagrant woodsman. However, Wulf's addition gives the stern man pause, especially as the local veteran's words seem to galvanize the crowd.
Although these locals must know that the Consortium men are ready, willing, able, and even anxious to dole out painful lessons on company loyalty, they regain their nerve and many voices rise to insist that this is too far, emphasizing their furor with colorful invectives.
As you reach the upper story window, a cat settling back down for a nap in a neighboring window box arches its back with a hiss and futile swipe at the air in your direction.
There is no response at the window, which is unlocked and opens onto the single room loft that dominates the second floor of the building.
However, he seems to think better of it, and turns back to face you.
"Say...you wouldn't happen to know anything about Raseri Kanton, would you?
Naomi, Knowledge (History): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
The name rings a bell. Raseri Kanton was a dwarven surface city, a companion to Jernashall, that was ruined during the Rending. The remains of the city should be just northwest of Falcon's Hollow.
|Boss Payden Teedum|
"Pretty words, Wulf," Pay Day sneers. "But the fact'a the matter is Miss Gebre rents this land from the Consortium to run her shop. Well, the terms'a the contract changed, so if'n she wants ta stay in business in this town, she's gonna have to turn over that medicine."
Pay Day unloops a sap from his belt and tamps it against his calloused palm for dramatic effect.
Timothy will quickly open the window, climb into the room, and close the window again, all the while dodging the swipes of an angry cat.
"Shh, girl, shhh," he offers gently, as he tries to calm the cat (though likely without too much affect).
He'll quickly scan the room, noting details of the room and its inhabitant. He's hoping to get a good understanding of who Miss Gebre is, as a person, before meeting her.
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25
He locates the stairs, and moves to go down them, hoping not to frighten Miss Gebre too terribly, before introducing himself. He moves swiftly, though, as he definetly wants to talk to her before Pay Day and his men barge through.
Stealth: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
The cat, still hissing, destroys any chance of moving quietly, however.
sense motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
Boggel gently tugs on Naomi's pants leg. "The fat man is nervous. He came looking for a fight, but he will probably back down given sufficient discouragement."
Extending her hand in greeting, seeing Boggel salute instead, Naomi looks at her hand, shrugging then gives a salute, smiling, ’A pleasure Boggel. You say your Laurel’s friend. I haven’t met her yet. I work for Brickasnurd Hildrinsocks the owner of The Goose and Gander, but I don’t know a lot of people in town yet. I came over to see if I could help somehow. Could you introduce us?”
perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19 Did Naomi notice ‘Timothy’ going past and then attempting to climb in a two-story window?
sense motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
Nodding her head, ”I think you right. So if they leave should we go out front and see what we can do? Or do we try the back door.”
Looking from the three men out front back to Boggel, "Do you feel comfortable being out front near all the humans?"
Boggel nods to Naomi when she asks about Laurel.
"Yes, I can introduce you." He wonders if Naomi's shop sells geese and reminds himself to ask her later. Perhaps he could earn funds by supplying the shop with geese.
"There is no back door. It is the front door only." He lifts his shoulders as though in imitation of a shrug. "Out in front is not my preference, but it is no harm. Many may not even notice me."
|Sir Wulf the Wise|
"Pay Day, I understand you work for Mr.Kreed, I understand you have your job. I do not envy such a burden you bare. I do however ask that you let the most afflicted here to get the remedy before you whisk it away. I know it's not what Kreed is ordering of you, But I do believe it will curb the attitude here. Especially since it is First Cut? What do you say in the spirit of the season you let the afflicted get the medicine and take the rest? That is if Laurel and the Sheriff here have no problem with that. How about you Falcons' Hollow does that sound fair?" He said in hopes of easing the situation and brokering a peace that should be acceptable.
When he turns back from the crowd to look at Pay Day he shifts his right foot forward and the staff slips into a different grip. If the idiot and his goons tried anything he would be ready, hopefully showing these fools it wasn't right to mess with the townsfolk.
"Are you sure you understood Mista Kreed right? It is hard to do business if your company dishonors its contracts. You were just saying Mista Kreed wanted to get it distributed."
"So we'll distribute it and let him have what's left over for safe keeping, until we can get more ingredients."
"That sounds fair on all accounts right?!"
"Mista Kreed has the safest place in town, I bet he could put it in the safe for us."
"You and your new security men don't want to have to walk around town with dead kids hanging on your consciences and Mista Kreed will have the cure in case of another flare up."
"Once people get healthy around here we can start workin on other things, like clean water for instance. There'll be a lot of business opportunities once everyone's not dyin in the streets."
|Liam the Wanderer|
"It is also difficult to do business if your workers are dying of the Taint." Liam says, turning to the crowd and pitch his voice a bit to carry. "I'm sure you men would get the cure from your Master. But what about all these people?" he asks, sweeping his arm to encompass the crowd. "What work will be done without workers? How will your Lord answer his noble superiors at the Consortium, if he doesn't meet quotas because he let his workers die?"
"I appreciate the support, friends," the sheriff calls out, "But you misunderstand what Teedum means. Kreed doesn't want people buying the cure from Miss Gebre - he wants them buying it from him. You're all appealing to a better nature that isn't anywhere to be found inside this man."
|Boss Payden Teedum|
Baleson expected the insult to fly over the man's head, but the vulgar glare that Pay Day shoots the sheriff indicates otherwise.
However, Liam’s suggestion draws his attention back with a throaty laugh.
”Is this drifter really tellin’ us how to run our business?” Pay Day laughs with his men before raising his arms and his voice to harangue the crowd. ”We been haulin’ trees out of these woods for years before you, and we’ll be doin’ it years after you. We can bring more bodies up from Oregent same as we can the axes for them to swing. You’re all replaceable!”
Pay Day pauses to search the crowd for forlorn faces in the crowd, like tragic masks hanging on a wall. With a voice that trades arrogance for sadism, though, he continues.
”Of course, you may be replaceable to us, but I doubt you see your children the same way. The sooner you let Mista’ Kreed have the medicine, the sooner you can go to bed without their hacking coughs keeping you up all night.”
On another day, this tirade would have broken the crowd’s spirit. However, owing to the inspiration the party has provided, the majority instead shows a grim determination - a refusal to be beaten down one more time.
Pay Day sees this, and a worried look crosses his face. With a wave of his hand, he signals his men to stay put, and he saunters over to Wulf and whispers just loud enough to also be heard by the rest of the party, including Naomi and Boggel who have crept closer and avoided notice as the crowd focuses on the display, but excluding Timothy as he climbs into the top floor of the building.
”You’re right, we are men of business, so let’s do business. Now, I’m the biggest problem you’re ever gonna see, but gold can make any problem go away,” he whispers hoarsely with a furtive glance around the crowd, quickly wiping his nose with his arm.
“Let’s say...one hundred sails. If we squeezed this town dry, we’d probably manage that much. Give me that much to take back to Mista’ Kreed, and this whole problem goes away. It shouldn’t be hard. Your new stoutfolk friend there probably has half’a that hidden in his beard right now,” he says, cocking a thick thumb towards Helgrim.
"What devil are you? What are you doing in my home?" she screeches.
Timothy immediately throws up his hands, as if to ward her off.
"Woah woah woah woah! No need for that! Just came by for a friendly chat, I did! No need for that here."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
"Name's Timothy Lawrence," he says, attempting to stand up (if Miss Gebre doesnt look like she'll attack him, that is).
"You've got a mighty big crowd perched at your doorstep, Miss Gebre," dusting himself off. "Good thing for you, I like the exercise." He gives his best charming smile to her.
Somehow, this isn't quite what I had in mind. Those rolls....
Did Naomi notice ‘Timothy’ going past and then attempting to climb in a two-story window?
If Naomi had noticed him, she would have introduced herself, since he's now in the building the moment has passed.
Smiling and nodding toward the front, "Well I guess that means were using the front door."
'Men, if we let them they would begin to bash each other with the sticks they are carrying.' As they move to the front, Naomi realized that Kreed's man is looking for a way out. She rolls her eyes and whispers to Boggel. "If were going in the front door, were going to have to deal with the boys."
Moving through the crowd, Naomi giggles loudly, as she nears Kreed's men. "Pay Day! You have such a sense of humor! When was the last time anyone in this crowd saw a Cap let alone a Sail. You must figure these new fellows must be rich, knowing that if they cross you and Kreed they'll have to pay double or triple for anything they want, just for the trouble."
This diplomacy roll is to Influence attitude
diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
'I need to be careful now, so he doesn't think I'm offering something I'm not.' Turning and looking quickly at the men who are now Bargaining with Pay Day. She nears the thug, speaking softer. "Seriously now, Pay Day, this crowd doesn't have any money, and I doubt if these new fellows do either. If they did why would they be selling plants to Laurel. Maybe she paid them for it. Make them give you whatever they made selling the plants to Laurel. That seems fair. Then your only taking from the mouthy ones. Not the hard workers of 'the Hollow."
This diplomacy check is to make a request
diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
well, so much for any help from her diplomacy rolls. I hope folks have more money than Naomi does :-)
"I should have expected them to just creep in the window," she sneers. "Pay Day's not subtle enough for that, though. Are you a Redrock? I guess it doesn't matter. You can either climb back the way you came, or I can throw you out."
Timothy slowly stands up towards the window, hands in the air.
"Alright," he says. "I'm going. Just thought you should know that there's a big ruckus outside your doorstep, and I doubt the Sheriff's going to be able to stop Pay Day from coming in here. So, whatever it is your going to do, I hope you have a plan. Just want to help."
He begins to exit, out the window from which he came.
|Boss Payden Teedum|
"Not blind. Just hoping I could persuade you into keeping some of the medicine here, instead of giving it all to the bosses. You do that, and people will die. I've seen enough people die."
He looks back over his shoulder. "I trust you can keep those words a secret?"
"Persuade me? I don't want to give those thugs anything! The problem is that Deldrin, I mean, Sheriff Baleson may not be able to stop them, and if that's the case, then I don't know what I could possibly do.
"If you have any ideas on how to get rid of those Consortium goons, I'm all ears."
'Well that didn't work so well.' Looking from Pay Day and his men to the sheriff and his people, Naomi Turns back to Pay Day. "Well, it still looks to me like he's the sheriff, which means the LAW is on his side."
Shrugging she then turns to the Sheriff. "Well sheriff, Baleson, is it? If Pay Day here isn't willing to listen to logic, maybe some of us know a language he does understand. Do you need some extra deputies? I certainly wouldn't want our local officer of the law to feel like he doesn't have the communities support. So sign me up. I'll stand with ya."
It seems Naomi has gotten to the party late, how many of Pay Day's ruffians are there? How many are with the sheriff? If we stand with the sheriff all legal and proper that might scare off PayDay.
Helgrim's eyes smolder and he lowers his voice.
"Even if I had 100 Sails to give ya, I wouldn't. You'd just take the cure if you could anyway. You said so yourself, contracts with you have no worth."
"You done pushed this one too far Teedum. People will live under harsh conditions, they'll struggle under heavy taxes. but they won't barter the lives of their kids. You push this one further you'll have a riot."
"You'll be the focus of their anger. You'll die first get it? You and your boys will take few, but you'll get killed in the rush."
"As your sitting here talking more villagers are gathering, Splint will be comin so will Jak."
"If you strike now, you will be at fault, you'll start the fire that burns it all down."
Helgrim's hand creaks squeezing the leather wrapped haft of his heavy flail.
Intimidate: 1d20 ⇒ 16 +3 if I can use my strength to add to the intimidate.
Timothy smiles as Miss Gebre shouts angrily.
"I've got a few ideas," he says to her. "Tell me, what are the odds Pay Day knows one plant from another?"
"Take two bags. Fill them with two plants that are not the medicine. Put them both on the table. Tell him one of the bags has the goods, and whichever bag he grabs, indicate that that is the correct bag. If the ruse is discovered, well, then he simply grabbed the wrong bag- it's Pay Day's fault, and you don't get in trouble. That being said, as long as some people are willing to buy the "cure", which they will, then the ruse will not be discovered. We'll secretly distribute the rest of the medicine to those who need it, without letting the Consortium find out."
|Boss Payden Teedum|
Pay Day warily glares at the dwarf and his weapon. He drags his eyes to Naomi standing with Baleson and his deputies, then to Wulf and his quaterstaff, to Liam, and then finally to the irate crowd.
"Fine," he growls. "But you'd best believe that Miss Gebre's gonna be payin a heftier tax this season, 'specially after this bumper crop of sales. Let's go boys!"
The Consortium men seem quite relieved to receive Pay Day's signal to return to the Perch, even if their exit is chorused by a hail of insults and curses from the crowd as it parts to allow them to pass.
The sheriff's shoulders softly sink as he watches the situation diffuse. With a sigh, he turns and knocks gently on the shop door.
"Miss Gebre! The Consortium men have gone. It's safe to open again."
The sheriff's "all clear" interrupts Laurel just as she begins to grab fistfuls of Paueliel Leaves to create a fake medicine bag.
The crowd surges forward as everyone seeks to reclaim a place in line to buy the still affordable Blackscour cure.