The more polite drake looks at Song, and nods towards the unconcious one.
"Well, I could, but I don't think my brother here can. I'd rather not leave him here. You can keep my sister, if you wish, though."
The wounded drake stops licking her wounds momentarily and glares at Song and the other drake before saying something that Song recogonizes as Draconic but does not understand. Which is probably just a good thing, since cursing at dragons isn't really a smart thing to do.
Lianhua sighs at the drakes comments.
"Who has the wand? I'll need to see it for a second."
Directing a question at the rest of the group, the girl then turns to the drakes.
"Look I'll heal your wounds so you're well enough to fly off. We were just told to come get this wagon, I don't care what you do as long as you leave us alone. We'll just need a few minutes alone to get everything together and be on our way."
Sure, why not?
Imperia leaps up onto the wagonside and cracks one of the crates open with her bare hands. "Bet these are empty 'r' full o' squirrel carcasses or some dumb s*$@ like that."
Lianhua waits till the drakes clear some good distance before opening her mouth.
"I can figure out what's worthwhile and what's not. Though I'd like if one of you could load two of the drake eggs onto the wagon. Put a tarp or something over them and I'll cover it with perfume to hide the scent."
After speaking, Lianhua begins scanning the objects to figure out what's useful and what's not. Though any valuables she might still consider even if they aren't magical. After all their employer wouldn't be too happy if that stuff wasn't there.
You pull the cart into a more secluded place and start going through the contents of the crates. All of the items are accompanied by labels explaining what they do, so you don't need to guess or use magic to reveal their secrets.
- Four crates full of alchemical ingredients, empty scrolls and other magical crafting materials.
- Two crates of magical ammunition. Most of them are arrows, but you find also a small pouch containing ten tracer bullets and a bundle of ten magical crossbow bolts. (+1 flaming)
- A crate containing magical daggers,short swords and long swords. (+1 each)
- Two magical hand crossbows. (+1)
- Three magical bucklers.(+1)
- A magical cape, able to deflect ranged attacks on command. (Catching Cape)
- 20 potions each of Disguise Self and Vanish.
- 20 scrolls of Charm Person.
- Elixirs of Swimming, Tumbling, Hiding and Vision. (Three each)
- A pouch of Dust of Darkness.
- A crate full of squirrel carcasses.
Try to find those things by yourself, if you can't, tell me and I'll provide a link.
After going through the crates, Song examines the pouch from which she detected the strongest magical aura. Most of it is filled with normal gemstones, but one in particular cathes her attention: A gem identical to what Isidora (the necromancer lady) had asked the group to bring her. She confirms that the gem is indeed magical, and whenever she touches it the Tien bard feels a surge of magic darting around right under her skin. In addition, she spots a letter on the bottom of the bag.
The letter is written in an elegant handwriting. It reads:
My dearest friend:
Markwin means well, but this time his plans have gone too far; I can not see how what he's planning could end in anything other than a tragedy. As soon as you arrive to your destination, take the "gem" to the local temple of Abadar. They'll know how to deal it.
Imperia sighs and pulls her cloak up on her shoulders. "I could use a drink after that. Hell, the dragons might too. That was mighty embarassin' for 'em."
Shooting a one-eyed glance over her shoulder, she looks to Gorvy. "Think they're chasin' us?"
Lianhua looks over the items, reading the letter and taking a mental note of the other things.
"Look taking these items into a near by town probably wouldn't be the best of choices. I can't guarantee there aren't going to be others looking for this very same gem."
Taking the box with the squirrel carcasses Lianhua dumps out its current contents and loads one of the drake eggs inside of it. Taking out a vile of perfume she covers the eggs with it to mask the scent and closes the crate.
"None the less, it was accompanied by this letter."
As Lianhua speaks she pulls out the magical gem, radiating with its mystical prowess.
"It told whoever carried it to take it to a temple of Abadar. Normally I would just want to take it back to camp, but considering that the witch we ran into earlier was after it as well I don't think that would be a wise idea to leave without at least finding out what it is."
Putting the gem safely back into its satchel she looks around to get a sense of direction.
"If gods and devils are after this thing then we might be risking our lives just by carrying this thing. That's find the nearest temple of Abadar and head there. No drinking and no inns. Just straight there. Put the tarps back over these things and that's get going."
"Good idea, let's find the nearest inn and ask for directions to that temple."
I grin and start packing stuff away, after claiming a buckler, the bullets and a couple of potions for personal supply.
GM Coluber: how much can we carry? Or do we need to cart around the... um, cart.
We can take the cart if that's the case, but Lianhua would insist on spending as little time around other people with it as possible
Moving things forward...
After taking a long, good look on the map, our brave heroes come to the conclusion that the nearest place to have a proper drink, is the city of Skelt; The other settlements nearby are only small hamlets and probably very distrusting of strangers. You soon locate the nearest road and start pulling the cart along with you. Perhaps for the first time on your entire journey, you manage to spend a day just traveling, instead of having to fight your way through undead hordes or angry drakes.
At the dawn of the next day, you arrive to the entrance of the complex system of ramps and drawbridges that is the only entryway open for the common visitors. There are already several other carriages present, probably traders waiting to enter the city.
After about an hour of waiting, the first drawbridge is lowered, and the caravan of travelers slowly starts moving forward. Two pairs of guards watch over the entering folk, looking for anything suspicious.
Everyone make a Bluff check. I hope this post is readable, I'm half-asleep...
K Bluff: 1d20 ⇒ 11
The guards give you some mean looks, but you manage to slip past them and into the city without getting stopped.
Skelt isn't the largest city around, but its narrow streets make it look more crowded than it is. After your time in the wilds, the smells of a city seem stronger than you remembered. There are a lot of people on the streets; Traders, common folk minding their own buisness, storekeepers opening their shops. Your cart is far from the only one around, so it doesn't really stick out that much in the crowd; Most people don't pay you much attention.
You take a look at a big map near the gate. It doesn't take long before you find from it the temple of Adabar and the magic shop were you are supposed to meet your contact. Isidora had asked you to meet her at the main market, but you can reach both locations without passing through that place if you so wish to do. Of course, you could also go get a drink; There are several very good taverns and inns in Skelt.
Sorry you posted after I checked on Friday and I was out all day Saturday
Lianhua looks at the map and then to the rest of the group.
"I still stand by going to the temple first, unless any of you have some other plans?"
Imperia shrugs. "Don't mind a temple. Should be clean there at least. Think they got seats? After pullin' this wagon for the last few days, I'd appreciate a seat, or two. Y'know?"
As you arrive there, you notice that the temple of Abadar is actually a repurposed guard tower, probably made obsolete when the walls expanded the last time. It is sparsely decorated from the outside, but has an majestetic air around it. You push open its large double doors and step inside.
The side of the building at your left looks like a rather typical place of worship; A few lines of pews and an altar. The only thing out of ordinary is the huge amount of gold used in the decoration; The altar glitters like a vampire in sunlight. At your right, however, you see many doors lined up on a wall, people sitting on benches with tiny papers with numbers written on them in hand, and an odd machine with a big red button on it. The looks on the faces of the people sitting on the benches range from "slightly bored" to "falling comatose any moment now".
Lianhua looks around to see if she can find anyone who looks like they are a priest, or at least involved with the church.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
I Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (12) + 12 = 24
Imperia smashes the red button, and the machine buzzes for a few seconds before spitting up a small paper reading: "236" Right then, a voice calls out from behind one of the closed doors: "Two hundred!" and one of the waiting people rises up and leaves the room through that door. The situation looks grim, but then Imperia notices that there is a guy asleep sitting nearby, with a paper reading "203" limply held in his hand...
Lianhua thinks things over a for a minute before walking off to the side where no one is. She slips her sleeves of many garments on and off, giving her the appearance of a priestess of Abadar. Walking back over she attempts to enter in through the doors.
Knowledge Religion: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Disguise: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
Knowledge religion to get the right clothes, then making a disguise check.
Song enters the room and sees a man dressed in the grab of a member of the Abadarian clergy sitting behind a large table and filling some very important looking papers. The man seems annoyed at the sudden intrusion. "Hey, you can't just barge in- " he says, but visibly tenses upon seeing Song's flawless abadarian clothes. "Oh! My apologies, sister! We weren't expecting visitors." The man stares at Song for a moment, then speaks up again. "But of course! You must be here to meet the Archbanker, aren't you? Please follow me, I'll show you his office."
Haiving said that, the cleric rises up from his chair, and after motioning Song to follow exits the room from another door.
Oops, seems like the party is splitting up. Don't worry, I'll try to find a way to get you all together again. :P
Lianhua nods at the man's remark and gives off a warm smile. Giving a slight curtsy she makes sure to show her manners and utmost respect.
"Yes if that wouldn't be too much to ask."
Urgh, sorry for being late again. I had a deadline to meet, and that left me very little time to be posting.
Song is led through a corridor and up some stairs, before the cleric showing her the way stops before a pair of large, ornate doors. The man knocks a few times, then slowly pulls the heavy door open and signals Song to go inside.
The room she steps into is slightly unsettling; It is large, around the same size that the main hall, but it is sparsely decorated with office furniture no larger than the norm, leaving a lot of empty space around the small table in the middle of the room. The walls are covered in murals decipting Abadarian teachings. The room is much darker than the rest of the temple; There is only one small window providing light, and no lanters or other artificial light sources.
Behind the table on the middle of the room sits a middle-aged man in the same clothes as the rest of the clergy, the only thing indicating higher status being a bunch of large keys hanging from his neck. He watches Song inquisitively for a moment before speaking. "Welcome, my child. I must admit that your arrival caught me by surprise... Would you be so kind to inform me from whose behalf were you sent here?"
Sorry was watching the LoL regional tournament with my BF the last 2 days and forgot to check in.
Lianhua smiles warmly as she is greeted by the priest and she speaks with not just warm words but also with the utmost respect.
"My apologies I would have sent notice had I intended to stop here myself. I was on a pilgrimage for my faith when I had a run with some drakes. Upon fending them off I felt I strong source of magic coming from their nest."
As she speaks Lianhua reaches into her bag and pulls out the note and gemstone.
"While it was unfortunate that the original owner didn't make the trip here themselves I felt upon finding this object that it was my personal responsibility to take care of whatever quest needed to be fulfilled. After all I doubt me stumbling upon such a thing was merely just a coincidence."
The Archbanker reads the note with a stoic expression, then looks back at Song. "A pilgrimage is good in itself... But with the date of the Market's Door coming closer, shouldn't you be helping with the preparations?" The Archbanker rises from behind her chair and starts to slowly walk in circles around Song's chair. "Besides, as much as appearances can decieve, I have my doubts about a lone young person like you having an encounter with a group of drakes and ending up anything other than lunch." He takes another look at the note. "I happen to know the "L" who wrote this letter, and he is a very influential man. Influential enough that I would find it very odd if nobody would be sent to recuperate the gem before some innocent traveler finds it."
Having finished his circle, the Archbanker stops and looks directly in the eyes of Son. "Please, child. What are you not telling me?"
Lianhua's face doesn't budge in expression even as the man begins to circle round her chair.
"In Tian Xia there's a thousand different fables telling how even but a single man can manage to trick even the cleverest of beast. Now sir I'm sure you already know, but drakes tend not to be clever nor cunning."
As the girl finishes speaking she stands up and looks the man dead in his eyes. Not blinking for even a moment she allows the seriousness of the conversation to reach its climax.
"I apologize, but I've told you all I know. I don't think me finding this gem was anything subject to chance, but I have brought it here seeking your guidance. If you don't not wish to offer any, then I will be on my way. I have no doubt in my mind that Abadar has trusted me with this object's fate; whatever it may be."
The Archbanker seems taken aback by Song's retort. "You're... Right, I guess. I apologize, someone in my stature needs to-"
His speech is cut short when the sole window of the room shatters into millions of pieces as something large crashes through it, spreading pieces of glass all over the floor. The large figure, ridden by two ominous figures, crashes onto the room, black hooves making large cracks into the floor. Eyes glowing red, the beast turns its terrifying visage towards Song and the Archbanker and lets out a bloodcurling sound: "Moo!"
It is then that Song realizes that the vicious beast is in fact a common cow, whose face someone had painted to resemble some kind of a terrible monster, and that the ominuous figures are in fact Gorvy and Imperia.
Meanwhile, the Archbanker's calm and collected behaviour starts to deteriorate. "This isn't happening, he repeats again and again, until he fishes a small bottle of something borderline toxic from his clothes and swallows it in one try. "My world, this is happening, isn't it?
Cool enough? :P I'll leave it for you to decide how exactly did you end up crashing through the place's window on a war-cow.
I bellow at Song and level a pistol at the priest, "You were gone too long! Are we rescuing you or kidnapping him?"
Seeing the look on Song's face, I speak again, "It had to be the cow: Imperia punched the horse's lights out."
Lianhua is just as taken back as the Archbanker by the sudden intrusion into the room. As she sees exactly what's going the girl lets out some curses in a Tian before looking over at her host. Not even sure what to do in this situation she glares angrily over at her "allies".
"What in Cayden Cailean's stinking rancid rum is going on here?"
"We were looking for you. Imperia was climbing a wall and I was with this hot minotaur broad, which turned out to be a great distraction for the guards, but then these damn adventurers showed up!"
I look down at the war-cow, "And c'mon: this is great!"
Then I squint down my barrel at the priest, "So, has he been talking yet?"
Imperia stoically throws a thumbs up and then crosses her arms. She sits atop the war-cow with all of the majesty she can muster, too excited to not smile.
All she can think is that this is the best plan ever.
Archbanker downs another bottle of Cayden Cailean's Stinking Rancid Rum™, and starts to recover his nerves, though he still seems a little jumpy. "Your friend came here of her own volition, and I'd strongly discourage kidnapping me. I can become quite annoying when taken hostage," he says, and looks straight into Gorvy's eyes. "Now, before you interrupted me, I was having a rather important discussion with this young lady here. You two can either close your mouths, take a seat, and listen closely like your more intelligent companion does," he points at the cow "Or you can leave, bones intact or not."
The Archbanker crosses his arms and looks expectingly at Gorvy and Imperia.
Lianhua just holds her head down and puts her fingers over her face quietly. This wasn't a situation she'd run into before and it wasn't exactly one which she had a way of articulating.