Shadow over Riddleport

Game Master Joana

"We cornered his drunken ass in the Goblin last time. This time, we won't show any mercy. We'll kill him for what he did to Larur, and then he'll tell us where Lil is." -- Braddon Hurst


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Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Running a hand through his mop of shaggy hair and then smoothing out his mustache Phillip aims his steps towards the door and worries not as to canine aggression, moving within smoothly as he arrives. Letting his eyes take in the shop's interior for a few moments, and lingering upon Ethel for some of that time, he addresses Betta "Madam, two days have passed and in anticipation of beauty I have returned to you. Hopefully it would not be too much of an impost to see the garments properly draped and paraded?" The affectation given to the word beauty allowing for Betta to interpret it as attached to the clothes, and Ethel attached to herself.


Gristav wrote:

"I didn't go to the lobsterman's, I went straight to the arena, sans notes. Won as much as I lost, though I didn't stay long. Did some studying, a small mission of mercy, and fretted throughout that something would arise, to keep me from my duty here. I'd complain about the sunset rule, but I expect it allows you home with family, and that, would be a good thing. If a bachelor may judge."

"Was there, anything of blueberry, that I might take, as well? It's the favorite flavor of a favored friend, and I'd fain fetch, if fortune favors?"

"I've wrapped up some tartlets," she reassures him, handing over a warm and aromatic bundle. "You mustn't get too used to my cooking, now," she goes on flirtatiously, "or some poor young woman is going to have a hard time measuring up to your expectations when you put an end to your bachelor days, if I do say so myself."

-----------------------------

Having served his purpose as the artist's pack mule, Piccolo finds that Williplunnet readily dismisses him, unpacking the sketches he made at the arena and arranging them across the drawing surface. His only response to Piccolo's polite farewell is a distracted grunt. It occurs to Piccolo as he shuts the older gnome's door behind him that Will's flat is far too small for him to produce the oversized paintings he saw hanging from the arena walls; he must have another workspace somewhere that allows him to create on a grander scale.

Reorienting himself by the top of the Cyphergate visible above the rooftops when he emerges onto the street, he bends his steps Goblinward. As he nears the Velashu, he spies the half-elf Gristav heading in the same direction, carrying a large and rather cumbersome bundle.

Fiating you two together, as you're both heading back to the Goblin. Gristav, assume you'll be going that way once you've taken leave of La Crispin.


hp 36 / 38; AC 16; Init +2; 3 Str damage Male Half-elf Ranger 4
Gold Goblin wrote:
As he is approaching the door, Anya walks out into the street, does a double-take as she sees him, and demands, "You haven't been just waiting out here the whole time I was sleeping, have you?"

Braddon waves cheerfully.

"Nope. Don't worry, Lexy told me if I wanted you I should ask for you by name at the temple. I'm okay with that. I was busy working. I've had no time off at all. But I'll come see you if I get some free time. Is Lexy back yet?"


Anya looks at him for a long moment. "No, I imagine I'll pass her coming home on my way to work," she replies at last. "I'll tell her you're looking for her, shall I?"

-----------------------------

As Phillip enters Betta's shop, both Betta and Ethel look startled and a little afraid before they see who it is. Malthus alone is unaffected, greeting Phil with the same dislike he showed on his last visit.

"Oh, it's you," Betta says ill-manneredly, though with an undertone of relief. "Yes, your garments are ready. If you still haven't brought the recipient in to try them on, however, I can't vouch for the fit being exact."


Female Halfling

"Oh, Phil," Ethel murmurs quietly as she passes by to retrieve the finished garments, "we've just had the strangest people in. Betta wanted to close up early to keep them from coming back, but I reminded her you were to come for the dresses today."


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Phillip gives Ethel a wink and murmurs "Indeed? We'll talk of the them later... for now..." addressing the owner of the shop and placing a hand to his chest as though wounded "But milady that would betray the very reason for having it commissioned in secret would it not? Fear not, I shall hold you to no failing should the cut and stitch not fall as it should... Which do you think bears seeing first?" eyes earnest enough for Betta, though Ethel knowing better would see a puckish bent at work.


M 1/2E Magus 4 :2223a1: BAB3 CMB/D:5/17 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1?3(F:9) HP36/36 FRW6,5,3(F:6) UMD11 Scft10 Alch/K:Arc/K:Lcl/Appr7 Ride/Climb/Swim/Dance:6 Dipl/Intim/Acrobatics5 Sense Motive3(F:6)
Gold Goblin wrote:
Gristav wrote:
"Was there, anything of blueberry, that I might take, as well? It's the favorite flavor of a favored friend, and I'd fain fetch, if fortune favors?"
"I've wrapped up some tartlets," she reassures him, handing over a warm and aromatic bundle. "You mustn't get too used to my cooking, now," she goes on flirtatiously, "or some poor young woman is going to have a hard time measuring up to your expectations when you put an end to your bachelor days, if I do say so myself."

" 'We owe to them, those that we love, to measure not, against perfection' ", Gristav quotes, then wonders aloud, "If I remember correctly? It's been a very long time. But thank you for the caution! I pledge, I'll not return until I've tormented another poor lamb saddle, or similar. Say, if I might shelter in the willow of your experience..? It turned out alright, for the courseness of the company, the rare noble there being unlikely to praise even the dawn, after a winter's night... I had a saddle of lamb, dredged it in herbs, gave it the very hottest oven I could, until the herbs showed char. Then I had the pan out, onto a blanket, another heated pan over it all, and the blanket bound round... I'm told, a half-day, is not too long, and the hour I gave it, not too little, it turned out. Again, perhaps the forgiving palates of the more pedestrian of the party were... undiscerning. But did I have the method right?"

-----------------------------

Quote:

Reorienting himself by the top of the Cyphergate visible above the rooftops when he emerges onto the street, he bends his steps Goblinward. As he nears the Velashu, he spies the half-elf Gristav heading in the same direction, carrying a large and rather cumbersome bundle.

Fiating you two together, as you're both heading back to the Goblin. Gristav, assume you'll be going that way once you've taken leave of La Crispin.

Stronger than many, Gristav laments not the weight of the bundle, nor overmuch the bulk, but mostly the need for both hands. He nearly could imagine his staff, slung on his back, lamenting its immobility, for any similar walk would have the staff travel twice the distance Gristav did, the half in either hand.


Male Gnome Bard (Negotiator) 2

Piccolo sidles up to Gristav falling into step with the over-burdened half-elf, "Seems you've been busy. Is that bundle something tied into the business you were attending to earlier?"


Gristav wrote:
"I had a saddle of lamb, dredged it in herbs, gave it the very hottest oven I could, until the herbs showed char. Then I had the pan out, onto a blanket, another heated pan over it all, and the blanket bound round... I'm told, a half-day, is not too long, and the hour I gave it, not too little, it turned out. Again, perhaps the forgiving palates of the more pedestrian of the party were... undiscerning. But did I have the method right?"

Mistress Crispin gives a motherly cluck. "Oh, I wouldn't leave it that long, dear. Lamb's a tender meat that can easily be ruined by overcooking. I'd have browned it first with some butter and herbs in a skillet and put it in a moderately slow oven, served it with some potatoes and zucchini and a nice red wine. But, as you say, your guests were pleased with it, so that's what counts," she finishes a little smugly.

-----------------------------

Phillip Hargreaves wrote:
"Which do you think bears seeing first?"

Betta gives a rather unladylike snort. "I shouldn't think the frivolous one bears seeing at all: Can't imagine what a decent halfling girl should be getting up to in a town like Riddleport that she couldn't do in a sober dress." Phillip notices that she crosses to the front door behind him, peers out the etched window panes, and quietly turns the key in the lock before returning to the settee with its low table and pile of tea cups.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Noting the fact that the door had been locked, Phillip allows the insulting tone to slide over him and simply nods "At your word then, let us see the grey." cheerfully shifting himself to the settee and awaiting the promenade.


M 1/2E Magus 4 :2223a1: BAB3 CMB/D:5/17 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1?3(F:9) HP36/36 FRW6,5,3(F:6) UMD11 Scft10 Alch/K:Arc/K:Lcl/Appr7 Ride/Climb/Swim/Dance:6 Dipl/Intim/Acrobatics5 Sense Motive3(F:6)
Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
Piccolo sidles up to Gristav falling into step with the over-burdened half-elf, "Seems you've been busy. Is that bundle something tied into the business you were attending to earlier?"

"Well, I attended to this same business earlier... but... you know, it could be? I had thought it dinner for the Goblin, but it could go to the chapel, either first or second... Second, I think, leaving time for a proper weighing of the day's events. I know there are... differing opinions. Here, could you take this bundle? It's been threatening to slip off for the last several blocks, and it's all tarts. You can tell the table you saw me overburdened, and took some tarts off my hands."


hp 36 / 38; AC 16; Init +2; 3 Str damage Male Half-elf Ranger 4
Gold Goblin wrote:
Anya looks at him for a long moment. "No, I imagine I'll pass her coming home on my way to work," she replies at last. "I'll tell her you're looking for her, shall I?"

"That'll be fine," Braddon grins, casually gesturing with open arms and upwards palms.

"I'll walk part ways with you."
He takes a few steps towards the Temple.
"What's it like, working at the temple? I hear they're after half elves."


Male Gnome Bard (Negotiator) 2

"That bundle seems a difficult load for you, which means it would be a near impossible load for me. I do not often like to use my stature as an excuse to avoid work, but in this case it seems sensible. If you wish to separate the portion into a bundle I can manage, I will convey that portion to our destination. But I do not wish to wander the streets with a bundle larger than I am that might perhaps cause me to spill it dirtying tasty tarts meant to tantalize taste buds with sweetness rather than street grime."

Gristav wrote:
"Well, I attended to this same business earlier... but... you know, it could be? I had thought it dinner for the Goblin, but it could go to the chapel, either first or second... Second, I think, leaving time for a proper weighing of the day's events. I know there are... differing opinions. Here, could you take this bundle? It's been threatening to slip off for the last several blocks, and it's all tarts. You can tell the table you saw me overburdened, and took some tarts off my hands."


Braddon Hurst wrote:
"What's it like, working at the temple? I hear they're after half elves."

"Shorafa values the mixed races," Anya admits somewhat reluctantly. "Of course, Calistria does, too: They're undeniable evidence of desire overcoming social standards. She'd love to have a half-orc in the House, but Boss Croat won't allow it. That's why she -- Oh, here's Lexy!"

The redhead is hurrying toward them around clumps of slower-paced pedestrians, a delighted grin on her face.

-----------------------------

Between them, the half-elf and the gnome manage to get their dinner back to the Gold Goblin safely, without any spills on the cobblestones. Gristav sets the wrapped tureen down on the woodpile on the back porch to unlock the door and carry the food into the kitchen.

-----------------------------

Betta deigns to fetch the tea herself while Ethel is changing behind the folding screen, although she seems as motivated by wanting a cup herself as by showing hospitality. Phillip notices her hand trembles a little as she fills a pair of cups.

After a few moments, Ethel emerges in the ash-gray gabardine, looking sober and proper, like a receptionist at an undertaker's. "Ah, yes," Betta remarks with approval. "An excellent and practical garment, suitable for all seasons. I trust it meets your expectations?" Ethel's expression is disinterested and demure until Betta glances away; then she pulls a face at Phillip.


hp 36 / 38; AC 16; Init +2; 3 Str damage Male Half-elf Ranger 4
Gold Goblin wrote:

"Shorafa values the mixed races," Anya admits somewhat reluctantly. "Of course, Calistria does, too: They're undeniable evidence of desire overcoming social standards. She'd love to have a half-orc in the House, but Boss Croat won't allow it. That's why she -- Oh, here's Lexy!"

The redhead is hurrying toward them around clumps of slower-paced pedestrians, a delighted grin on her face.

"Ah, Desire. She overcomes so many things," Braddon acknowledges to Anya, never taking his eyes from the approaching Lexy.

When Lexy arrives Braddon takes her hand and kisses her fingers again before reluctantly letting go.
"Anya and I were just talking about desire."
Braddon grins.
"What's yours?


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Nodding and speaking with disguised sarcasm "Oh yes, most practical... versatile even" winking at Ethel and making a twirling motion with one hand for Ethel to spin so that Phillip might see the spectacular lack of movement. The screwed up face that his paramour makes is returned with a blown kiss before Phillip adds "Indeed, my expectations are met most admirably... shall we see the other then?" with a slight sigh for Betta's benefit as though it is only with hesitation that he needs pass over such a marvellously dour outfit and view the other.

As tea is served to him Phillip takes a small sip before laying the cup back down. The trembling hand and Ethel's words combine to give him some pause, but he does not speak on the elderly hag's concerns yet; instead awaiting with enthusiasm that need not be faked what the second creation will appear like.


Gold Goblin wrote:
Snake leads his charges out of the shop and southward into Rotgut. A few straggling pedestrians give the foursome unfriendly glares as they pass, but no one gets in their way. They soon arrive back at Rag's End. The broken glass has been swept off the front stoop. Micah whimpers and cringes as they enter the building and the mosaic of Sarenrae's holy symbol high on the far wall of the chapel comes in sight. Cassey immediately dashes up the stairs, calling "Neenah!"

Snake shuts the door as they enter and locks it. "Alright, let's check upstairs to see what might've been left behind for you, Micah. C'mon." Snake heads upstairs and straight to Beltias's room, making his way toward the closest to look for some shoes that might fit the barefoot man. How these people have survived this long is beyond me.


M 1/2E Magus 4 :2223a1: BAB3 CMB/D:5/17 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1?3(F:9) HP36/36 FRW6,5,3(F:6) UMD11 Scft10 Alch/K:Arc/K:Lcl/Appr7 Ride/Climb/Swim/Dance:6 Dipl/Intim/Acrobatics5 Sense Motive3(F:6)
Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
"That bundle seems a difficult load for you, which means it would be a near impossible load for me. I do not often like to use my stature as an excuse to avoid work, but in this case it seems sensible. If you wish to separate the portion into a bundle I can manage, I will convey that portion to our destination. But I do not wish to wander the streets with a bundle larger than I am that might perhaps cause me to spill it dirtying tasty tarts meant to tantalize taste buds with sweetness rather than street grime."

Dropping himself and his burden, to a knee and a thigh, respectively, Gristav lets a sudden shift of the stew do deliberately what he'd been trying to keep from doing accidentally - and the bundled tarts fall from the top of the wrapped tureen, toward, nearly onto, Piccolo.

"Be sure to traffic the tale, of the time you kept some tarts from a bad end in the street.", Gristav says, grinning.


Male Gnome Bard (Negotiator) 2

Piccolo takes up the tarts, "I shall."

He walks quietly for a time, then says "You like a good fight, Gristav? You seem a man willing to play a dangerous game with life and death odds. The key question being what might be gained by winning such a game. Does gold drive your mastery of spell and staff? Or perhaps power?...Or something more existential or moral? What might inspire you to engage in a game of war for a city?"

Gristav wrote:

Dropping himself and his burden, to a knee and a thigh, respectively, Gristav lets a sudden shift of the stew do deliberately what he'd been trying to keep from doing accidentally - and the bundled tarts fall from the top of the wrapped tureen, toward, nearly onto, Piccolo.

"Be sure to traffic the tale, of the time you kept some tarts from a bad end in the street.", Gristav says, grinning.


M 1/2E Magus 4 :2223a1: BAB3 CMB/D:5/17 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1?3(F:9) HP36/36 FRW6,5,3(F:6) UMD11 Scft10 Alch/K:Arc/K:Lcl/Appr7 Ride/Climb/Swim/Dance:6 Dipl/Intim/Acrobatics5 Sense Motive3(F:6)
Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:

Piccolo takes up the tarts, "I shall."

He walks quietly for a time, then says "You like a good fight, Gristav? You seem a man willing to play a dangerous game with life and death odds. The key question being what might be gained by winning such a game. Does gold drive your mastery of spell and staff? Or perhaps power?...Or something more existential or moral? What might inspire you to engage in a game of war for a city?"

"In order? I very much like a good fight, as the sort of fight that even if I lose, I've gained something, just in the fighting. Now if you meant a strenuous sparring, I like that too. Or if you meant setting stands in the arena... rather less than the other two."

"I think you're asking after my motivations. You should not imagine I had any grand life or purpose, before discovering Larur'd been lied to, poisoned, doomed, and contracted to Saul. His purpose: to earn his share in his remaining time, for his clan in perpetuity. Mine: his hope and comfort."

"Meantime, a fey sensibility, or lack of sense, I'll stipulate to both, guides my steps, if not my path."


There is no lock on the front doors of Rag's End.

"Snake" wrote:
"Alright, let's check upstairs to see what might've been left behind for you, Micah. C'mon." Snake heads upstairs and straight to Beltias's room, making his way toward the closest to look for some shoes that might fit the barefoot man.

Snake follows Cassey up the stairs and into the room that, until this morning, was claimed by the Norgorberite priest. She has seized her abandoned doll, left behind when she was forcibly removed by the Gendarmerie. Micah follows obediently, and Finnie brings up the rear, not wanting to be left alone on the ground floor. The premises look somewhat the worse for the soldiers' intervening presence, but Snake can easily come up with a pair of secondhand boots and enough clothing to make an outfit. When he presses them on Micah, however, the broken man trembles. "No," he moans. "I am a penitent. I dare not... I dare not. She will punish me."


Female Human (Chelaxian)
Braddon Hurst wrote:

"Anya and I were just talking about desire."

Braddon grins.
"What's yours?

She smiles. "First, something to eat," she replies. "Then, getting off my feet. Then ... we'll see."


Anya rolls her eyes. "If he gives you any trouble, just remember we work for the goddess of revenge." Her words are addressed to Lexy, but her gaze is on Braddon. "Don't see why you want to take work home. See you in the morning." She gives Lexy a quick kiss on the cheek and leaves Braddon with a final admonitory gaze.

Will leave Braddon with Lexy until Dave's return.

-----------------------------

Inside Ladies' Attire and Necessities, Phillip sips his tea while Betta sits stiffly on the settee beside him. From his cushion on the floor, Malthus bares his teeth silently at the halfling.

Ethel emerges from behind the screens in the indigo silk, cut with a square neck, cap sleeves that bare her arms, and a full, flouncing skirt. She twirls demurely, displaying a few inches of lace petticoats. Betta snorts. "That will do, Ethel! As you can see, the dress is suitable only for warm days and will require a heavy shawl or overcoat outside of the summer. A pencil skirt would have been warmer and more practical, without your good woman running the risk of immodesty with every gust of wind off the harbor. But I cut the pattern to your specifications! If you want it altered, you'll have to pay extra." She glares a challenge at Phillip.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Phillip does not hear Betta's words, and the nascent threat of the mutt is ignored. Standing from his place upon the settee, he calls upon the Halfling's tongue "Como o vira-lata sarnento descobre o son dentes, a flor se desdobra ..." pausing for a few moments to ken if Betta understands what was just said...

Halfling:
"As the mangy mutt bares it's teeth, the flower unfolds..."

On the balls of his feet the halfling scoundrel and raconteur approaches, left arm tucked in the small of his back and right extended open palm towards Ethel. His eyes are flecked with danger though his countenance is one of appreciation of the sights he sees... both of the dress as well as the woman filling it out. Further words flee his lips as he posits an invitation "Tome miña man señora"

Halfling:
"Take my hand my lady"


That's fine. There was no way I was gonna remember that. I'm not even sure I knew about it initially. :P

Rolling his eyes, "She will not punish you. Put the boots on and stop being ridiculous. Isn't Sarenrae a good diety? You act like she'll punish you for breathing. Look, I'll set the clothes here on the bed and you can put them on when you feel like it, okay? But for now, I need you two to follow me 'cause I need to talk to all of you." Making sure they follow, he makes his way out of the room looking for Cassey. When he finds her, he lowers himself to her height. "Hey, darlin', here's the keys back to the building." He hands them to her. "Now, I'm trusting you to take care of these folks, okay?" He gives her a wink and a slight grin. "And let's not forget about the old man in the room down the hall, okay?" He looks to them all making sure they understand who he's talking about. "And I'll make sure a certain someone doesn't show back up here and screw everything up again. Now, if you ever need me for any reason, you can find me at the Gold Goblin. Just ask for 'Kane'. Or possibly 'Snake' - it's a nickname," he claims, shrugging. Rising, he looks to them all. "Well I'll be on my way." Then turning to Cassey, "Okay, kiddo, take care of 'em well, okay?" He winks, lowering the tip of his hat a bit and nodding as he turns and leaves - making his way downstairs and out the door and back to the Goblin.


Male Gnome Bard (Negotiator) 2

"You have a soft spot for Larur. Or perhaps for the injustice he has suffered."

"I too have an intolerance for injustice. So often heroic stories of dragon slaying are told for the entertainment of the people, while they suffer under the cruel tyranny of monsters in their midst. Monsters that bear a likeness to themselves, yet these monsters walk in the open preying on their own. Why aren't there heroes willing to spend their time opposing these destroyers of sentient innovation and high-mindedness."

"We see the bitter example of this behavior, yet we swallow it grimacing, but not attempting to remove the bad ingredient from what might be a better meal. For example, this ban on competition in the restaurant industry. Couldn't this high boss of Riddleport serve better food rather than forbid others from competing against his business? What is he afraid of? A little competition. I myself have never met a strong individual that feared competition. Cowards fear competition because they believe they might lose. These folk that run this city seem cowardly, stacking the deck in their favor so that no one else has a hand worth playing. If they should have a strong hand, they break the it. Fear of violence is no way to run a city."

"I've always been of the mind that prosperity breeds more prosperity. The more prosperous the people, the more prosperous each individual. I love gold and all that it buys. Yet I've always felt I could make more gold in a place where people are flush with it. When people are poor, everyone is fighting for a paucity of coins. That leads to situations like Riddleport. Too much wealth concentrated in too few hand with most of it spent on violence rather than competitive commerce. Thus does corruption bloom like a black weed watered by blood spreading its pollen until the city is an ugly land of weeds. Perhaps this city could use a gardener to get rid of the weeds and plant a few flowers. Wouldn't you say?"

Gristav wrote:

"In order? I very much like a good fight, as the sort of fight that even if I lose, I've gained something, just in the fighting. Now if you meant a strenuous sparring, I like that too. Or if you meant setting stands in the arena... rather less than the other two."

"I think you're asking after my motivations. You should not imagine I had any grand life or purpose, before discovering Larur'd been lied to, poisoned, doomed, and contracted to Saul. His purpose: to earn his share in his remaining time, for his clan in perpetuity. Mine: his hope and comfort."

"Meantime, a fey sensibility, or lack of sense, I'll stipulate to both, guides my steps, if not my path."


M 1/2E Magus 4 :2223a1: BAB3 CMB/D:5/17 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1?3(F:9) HP36/36 FRW6,5,3(F:6) UMD11 Scft10 Alch/K:Arc/K:Lcl/Appr7 Ride/Climb/Swim/Dance:6 Dipl/Intim/Acrobatics5 Sense Motive3(F:6)
Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
"You have a soft spot for Larur. Or perhaps for the injustice he has suffered."

"He was my friend, long before he was ever a victim... Well, no, perhaps not. The Dwarves of the Gas Forges all labor under the delusion they are protected from Carbauxine, a delusion supported by Zincher, and the linchpin of his right to negotiate on behalf of the dwarves."

"That persons still labor, at risk, deceived, is a broken thing, to be fixed. That will thwart Zincher, which might be regretable, even though Zincher has demonstrated himself to be a most unpleasant sort (when he checked on his delivery of spiders). But, that it's Larur, dieing from a long-term lie... makes it all personal to me. And I was raised not to suffer personal affronts, an early training I've done my best to train against, but as the twig is bent. Besides, I'd like to think it true, like to make it true, that I'm the sort of man, might take an interest, in any case."

Quote:
"I too have an intolerance for injustice. So often heroic stories of dragon slaying are told for the entertainment of the people, while they suffer under the cruel tyranny of monsters in their midst. Monsters that bear a likeness to themselves, yet these monsters walk in the open preying on their own. Why aren't there heroes willing to spend their time opposing these destroyers of sentient innovation and high-mindedness."

"I think such heroes are, but must needs be dressed for fowling, rather than parade. I've seen more justice done in shadows than in courts, with the rare exception of populist crown-polishing. We're provided with separate words for 'ruler' and 'leader', perforce."

Quote:
"We see the bitter example of this behavior, yet we swallow it grimacing, but not attempting to remove the bad ingredient from what might be a better meal. For example, this ban on competition in the restaurant industry. Couldn't this high boss of Riddleport serve better food rather than forbid others from competing against his business? What is he afraid of? A little competition. I myself have never met a strong individual that feared competition. Cowards fear competition because they believe they might lose. These folk that run this city seem cowardly, stacking the deck in their favor so that no one else has a hand worth playing. If they should have a strong hand, they break the it. Fear of violence is no way to run a city."

"Thuggishness ill behooves and unbecomes a leader, unless he wish to lead more thugs, bred by his example. But the close-of-business order has several wisdoms, even if it is most simply understood as a protectionist measure. I was just discussing with a local mechant, how the cashbox curfew allowed her home to her family. They do not seem to be overly burdened."

Quote:
"I've always been of the mind that prosperity breeds more prosperity. The more prosperous the people, the more prosperous each individual. I love gold and all that it buys. Yet I've always felt I could make more gold in a place where people are flush with it. When people are poor, everyone is fighting for a paucity of coins. That leads to situations like Riddleport. Too much wealth concentrated in too few hand with most of it spent on violence rather than competitive commerce. Thus does corruption bloom like a black weed watered by blood spreading its pollen until the city is an ugly land of weeds. Perhaps this city could use a gardener to get rid of the weeds and plant a few flowers. Wouldn't you say?"

"I've never shirked from pruning any thorn, made itself known, or steming stuff sensed as noxious. But there are roots beyond a single strong arm's leverage, even equiped with a staff, or a company. I'm not opposed to gardening, but I am, to wasted effort. I'd not gladly suffer the scrapes of pulling a thorn-hedge, if it were to be allowed to grow back, or some other creeper claim the space. But if a farmer stands by with good seed, I'd be inspired to do my part of the clearing."

"What tool are you holding, in this garden scene we're painting?"


Betta betrays no comprehension of the Halfling tongue, only frowning with annoyance at Phil's impertinence in speaking it in her presence. Ethel flushes a little, nervously, but complies with Phillip's request, giving him her hand with a brief, anxious glance toward Betta.

-----------------------------

Snake leaves Cassey once again queen of the flophouse and heads back out of Rotgut District. Walking alone, he feels the stares of the locals loitering on the street corners more keenly, and the black spaces beyond the empty doorways and broken windows give him the prickling feeling that they are filled with more watching eyes as the shadows lengthen across the town. Still, he reaches the relative safety of Leeward District unaccosted.


Male Gnome Bard (Negotiator) 2

"An aspect of sentient nature I have always found fascinating is their adaptability. Even the most heavy of burdens the sentient learn to bear to remain alive. Not all, mind you, but most. Those that cannot bear it often find themselves on the wrong end of a conflict. I'm quite sure that the High Boss has already laid to rest any that were over-burdened by his policies."

"Though I see the wisdom of your insight that some may enjoy returning to their home at an early hour, others are held within a boundary that limits their potential...or dare I posit...the potential of the entire city. I believe that is the intent of these bosses. Fewer wealthy personages competing within the city makes for an easier place to control. I have always found that tyrants find a cowed and impoverished populace dependent upon their capricious generosity to be more easily shepherded with a strong blade than one full of wealth and vigor brimming with a desire to better their lot in life."

"My weapon...any that I need use to win the day. Though I must assure you before you ask that I do not believe amoral acts to be necessary to a successful venture. I do not ever intend to involve those that do not willingly participate in the game. Should we win, the lives of Larur and thousand like him will be much improved. Of that, you can be sure."

Gristav wrote:
Quote:
"I too have an intolerance for injustice. So often heroic stories of dragon slaying are told for the entertainment of the people, while they suffer under the cruel tyranny of monsters in their midst. Monsters that bear a likeness to themselves, yet these monsters walk in the open preying on their own. Why aren't there heroes willing to spend their time opposing these destroyers of sentient innovation and high-mindedness."

"I think such heroes are, but must needs be dressed for fowling, rather than parade. I've seen more justice done in shadows than in courts, with the rare exception of populist crown-polishing. We're provided with separate words for 'ruler' and 'leader', perforce."

Quote:
"We see the bitter example of this behavior, yet we swallow it grimacing, but not attempting to remove the bad ingredient from what might be a better meal. For example, this ban on competition in the restaurant industry. Couldn't this high boss of
...


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

As his hand is taken the corner of Phillip's mouth curls into a smile, but he continues to speak in passionate phrase "Non precisa ollar para ela, é só ti e eu..." circling Ethel with her hand still held in his to place himself between the halfling lady and Betta upon the settee. "Pecha os ollos e escoitar o seu corazón ... este é quen é vostede, a seda, e non o gris. Dáme a honra de camiñar ao seu lado meu amor ... escolle o auto, seleccione perigo ..."

Raising her hand to his mouth and delivering a chaste kiss to the knuckles, Phillip keeps his eyes upon Ethels. Hope, danger and puckish intent swirl in the depths of his eyes, as he awaits the acceptance or rejection of his inamorata...

Halfling:
"You need not look to her, it is just you and I..."
"Close your eyes and listen to your heart... this is who you are, the silk and not the gray. Give me the honour of walking beside you my love... choose the self, choose danger..."


Betta frowns and gets to her feet. "Here, now, stop manhandling my shop girl! This is quite indecent. I'll call for the guards."


Female Halfling

"Oh, Phil," she breathes, "claro que eu vou."

Halfling:
Oh, Phil, of course I will.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Drawing Ethel towards him and into embrace with their clasped hand Phillip whispers "Só así" and touches his forehead to hers. A moment is given to the joining, before he releases his right hand from hers and swings his left from behind his back to hook around Ethel's waist. Turning to Betta the halfling's face gives way from appreciation to scorn.

Halfling:
"Just so"

For the first time addressing the lady with true feeling he spits "She is not yours hag... the lady is her own and I do nothing that she does not wish." taking a slight pause to allow his right hand to secrete a blade "I believe we are done here?" glancing to Ethel for positive reinforcement...

Sleight of Hand at +11 to secrete the blade (out of view of Betta or Ethel)
The key was turned in the door lock earlier - is it still in the door? - or did Betta keep it?


M 1/2E Magus 4 :2223a1: BAB3 CMB/D:5/17 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1?3(F:9) HP36/36 FRW6,5,3(F:6) UMD11 Scft10 Alch/K:Arc/K:Lcl/Appr7 Ride/Climb/Swim/Dance:6 Dipl/Intim/Acrobatics5 Sense Motive3(F:6)

"You don't need to sell me on improvement of the lot of the common folk. Nor on violence against villains caught in the act. But an active campaign is not in the cards; too few jacks among the faces, or too many would-be kings. Still, we could win a hand or two, perhaps force a new deal? Be aware, the current deck is most deliberately stacked against. So, caution, and patience, and 'check' be our call, until we can call the ante?"


Male Gnome Bard (Negotiator) 2

"Verily! I don't place bets until I rig the game. Recall that I am a gnome. Patience is not necessarily a part of my character, yet my timelines are not like those of races with shorter lifespans. So it may seem I'm very patient."

"Discussions such as these wet my appetite," Piccolo pulls a tart and takes a bite. "Tasty."

Gristav wrote:

"You don't need to sell me on improvement of the lot of the common folk. Nor on violence against villains caught in the act. But an active campaign is not in the cards; too few jacks among the faces, or too many would-be kings. Still, we could win a hand or two, perhaps force a new deal? Be aware, the current deck is most deliberately stacked against. So, caution, and patience, and 'check' be our call, until we can call the ante?"


Female Halfling
Phillip Hargreaves wrote:

"I believe we are done here?" glancing to Ethel for positive reinforcement...

The key was turned in the door lock earlier - is it still in the door? - or did Betta keep it?

The key is still in the door. It was fairly clear that Betta's intent was not to keep you in but to keep someone out.

"Oh!" Ethel suddenly remembers, ducking back behind the folding screen in a rustle of petticoats. "My other dress!"


Betta draws herself up to her full height, seeming rather to lengthen than to puff up with her indignation. "I see all now," she pronounces balefully. "The pair of you have conspired to deceive me. For shame, you thankless girl!" she addresses Ethel as she emerges from behind the screen with an armful of garment. "To turn so on your benefactress, who has done so much to elevate you! Such is the gratitude of an empty-headed young wanton! I should be more angry, but I am only very, very sorry to see a heedless child throw away all her advantages with both hands!"


Female Halfling

"I did nothing but bring you custom, for which you were paid, in advance," Ethel points out with dignity. "And now I am resigning my position, which I also have the right to do. This isn't Cheliax, and I'm under no obligation to serve out an indenture. But do call the guard and explain to them the horrible crime Phil's committed by paying you the price you agreed to for your wares." She flounces self-righteously. "Come along, Phil; we still have to pick up your new clothes."


M 1/2E Magus 4 :2223a1: BAB3 CMB/D:5/17 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1?3(F:9) HP36/36 FRW6,5,3(F:6) UMD11 Scft10 Alch/K:Arc/K:Lcl/Appr7 Ride/Climb/Swim/Dance:6 Dipl/Intim/Acrobatics5 Sense Motive3(F:6)
Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
Gristav wrote:
"You don't need to sell me on improvement of the lot of the common folk. Nor on violence against villains caught in the act. But an active campaign is not in the cards; too few jacks among the faces, or too many would-be kings. Still, we could win a hand or two, perhaps force a new deal? Be aware, the current deck is most deliberately stacked against. So, caution, and patience, and 'check' be our call, until we can call the ante?"
"Verily! I don't place bets until I rig the game. Recall that I am a gnome. Patience is not necessarily a part of my character, yet my timelines are not like those of races with shorter lifespans. So it may seem I'm very patient."

"Fey patience... I suppose distractability is the thesaurus heading. If I judge by my own faen, not so much the patience of a hunter in stand, as the lack of care of the cat, with an entire pond of fish."

Quote:

"Discussions such as these wet my appetite," Piccolo pulls a tart and takes a bite. "Tasty."

"And uncounted, even as yet unobserved. You're surely welcome, but if you'd a bent toward fairness... or sycophancy? They're Larur's favorite filling, and it's never clear how many we are for dinner."

Whenever we arrive at the Goblin, Gristav suggests the warming shelf for the tarts, "It seems only a cook would think to look there...", while he gets a decent fire going to warm the large tureen.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Weighing Ethel's words in his mind for a moment Phillip gives a slight mental shrug and follows his lady as she makes her way towards the street. With measured step Phillip keeps his eyes on Betta and her rangy mutt as he does to ensure that they don't do anything foolish.

However once in the street, a smile sits comfortably on his lips as he sidles up to Ethel to put an arm around her waist and keep pace as they seek further sartorial splendour. He does not speak, instead allowing Ethel to soak in the enormity of the step she has just taken.


Gristav wrote:
Whenever we arrive at the Goblin, Gristav suggests the warming shelf for the tarts, "It seems only a cook would think to look there...", while he gets a decent fire going to warm the large tureen.

Whenever in your conversation you want to get there, you can. I narrated your safe arrival here ... but then you guys got the conversation going so I just stayed out of the way. :)

Having arrived back in the kitchen of the Gold Goblin, Gristav and Piccolo set down their respective burdens; Gristav sets about the business of reheating the stew while Piccolo claims a blueberry tart as his reward.


hp 36 / 38; AC 16; Init +2; 3 Str damage Male Half-elf Ranger 4
Lexy wrote:
She smiles. "First, something to eat," she replies. "Then, getting off my feet. Then ... we'll see."

Braddon blows a kiss to Anya as she leaves before turning to Lexy.

"Food? Sure. I've had a couple of breakfasts and a huge 3 course lunch, but that was hours ago. I dunno this place too well, so where would you like? Price is no problem. I... umm, recently came into some cash."

Braddon grins and takes Lexy's hand, letting her lead him where she may.


Female Halfling

"Oh, Phil, the look on her face!" Ethel laughs as they walk away from Betta's shop. "I almost felt sorry for her, the horrible strait-laced old thing with her awful little dog." She half-dances around Phillip with excitement on their way to the tailor where she ordered his suit a few days ago.


Female Human (Chelaxian)
Braddon Hurst wrote:
"Food? Sure. I've had a couple of breakfasts and a huge 3 course lunch, but that was hours ago. I dunno this place too well, so where would you like? Price is no problem. I... umm, recently came into some cash."

"If you want a real meal this late," Lexy says, "we'd have to cross the river to Free-Coin. But it sounds like you'd do just fine with a quick bite from one of the vendors. They sell things cheap this time of evening before they have to sell the leftovers to the fishermen, and the ones around the temple will usually give me a discount, too. You should watch what you eat," she admonishes him with a teasing slap at his belly. "I've seen too many men who were trim and muscular when they were young and active go all paunchy when they get a little successful and don't have to work for a living anymore. Retired sailors, ugh," she shudders.


Gristav has just set the stewpot atop the stove over his newly-kindled fire when he and Piccolo hear a knock at the back door.


M 1/2E Magus 4 :2223a1: BAB3 CMB/D:5/17 AC/T/Ff:16/12/14 Init2 Perc1?3(F:9) HP36/36 FRW6,5,3(F:6) UMD11 Scft10 Alch/K:Arc/K:Lcl/Appr7 Ride/Climb/Swim/Dance:6 Dipl/Intim/Acrobatics5 Sense Motive3(F:6)
Gold Goblin wrote:
Gristav has just set the stewpot atop the stove over his newly-kindled fire when he and Piccolo hear a knock at the back door.

Gesturing Piccolo to an out-of-sight corner with tactical potential, Gristav goes to the door. Knocking in echo to the caller, he grins at the whimsy, then asks with a gruffness he doesn't feel, "State your name and purpose."


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Revelling in her pleasure, as reality would be sure to bite in the days to come, Phillip chuckles and smiles "Aye, and think you've thrown away all her hard work." tutting with a waggling finger after the sarcasm. Eyes still watchful of shadows he lowers his voice to add more meaningfully "Though I did not lie when I said that the silk suited you... the sight of you was a welcome one after the trials of the day." before he remembers "Oh, but you had some words to say of some late arrivals to your ex-employer?"


hp 36 / 38; AC 16; Init +2; 3 Str damage Male Half-elf Ranger 4
Lexy wrote:
"You should watch what you eat," she admonishes him with a teasing slap at his belly. "I've seen too many men who were trim and muscular when they were young and active go all paunchy when they get a little successful and don't have to work for a living anymore. Retired sailors, ugh," she shudders.

"I watch what I eat. I had half a dozen pastries when I woke up. I had a couple more after we killed those murdering cultists. I had some griddlecakes for a breakfast meeting. Went to the Publican for a drink. Had a three course meal of toast and fish soup, then fish and vegetables, with cake and lemon sauce for dessert at Shoreleave. Then came to find you working, so waited at the arena for you."

Braddon counts off the meals on his fingers.
"So, lead on to your favourite vendor. How was your day?"


Male Gnome Bard (Negotiator) 2

Piccolo removes himself to a shaded corner, silently sliding a well-polished rapier from its finely crafted scabbard. He holds it point down, wrist ready to flick into an en garde position.

Stealth1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26

Gold Goblin wrote:
Gristav has just set the stewpot atop the stove over his newly-kindled fire when he and Piccolo hear a knock at the back door.


Female Halfling
Phillip Hargreaves wrote:
"Oh, but you had some words to say of some late arrivals to your ex-employer?"

"Oh." Ethel sobers, having forgotten the earlier incident in the recent excitement, and settles to a slower pace at Phillip's side. "That was ... odd. There was a man who knocked at the door, like he thought he was at someone's house instead of a shop. Or maybe like he was collecting for the rat catchers. I think that's what Betta thought it was, because she had me go see. They don't like her at all since she got the dog and stopped paying them. There were three of the filthiest people with him; maybe they were rat catchers. A woman and a girl and a man dressed in nothing but what looked like a piece of sailcloth. The one man said they wanted to buy clothes. I let them in because I knew it would discomfit Betta. But the woman ... I had thought her dress was just dirty, but when she came in, I realized she was covered with blood, just covered. And the man in sailcloth started rattling on about blood and vengeance. I don't think he was in his right mind. The first man bought a ready-made work dress each for the woman and the child, and we bundled them out of there as quickly as we could. But Betta wanted to close up in case they came back; she thought they were dangerous, up to no good, said they might come back and cut both our throats." She shivers.

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