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)

Phillip looks over Braddon, noting his expensive weapons in plain view. He considers warding him to get a cloak so that he didn't look as profitable a mark... before biting his tongue and realising With one bright star it should at least draw gaze away from the others.

He lets the most of the story pass over him before the mention of the gems "I've a weather eye for the worth of rocks if you care for it."

Offering his Appraise skill for use


"'Vials from a scribe'?" Snake looks around at the others. "What the heck is he talking about?"


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)
"Snake" wrote:
"'Vials from a scribe'?" Snake looks around at the others. "What the heck is he talking about?"

"While we walked in the rain, they captured an agent of our enemy. He had phials of healing and of warding against Chaos. Braddon ought carry an earlier healing phial, as the stoutest of us. The other healing phial ought be carried by Phillip, as the fastest of foot and mind, both phials carried against your possible need, given your... gift for healing. Your ability to heal many makes the maths work so."

(Is Sam in the kitchen?)


Gristav wrote:
(Is Sam in the kitchen?)

No. Just the four of you atm.

Phillip, if Braddon agrees to let him appraise the gems:
You see a dark and lustrous metallic bead, a spotted blue lapis lazuli, and a pinkish stone with bands of milky white. You judge the first bead, which appears to have been removed from a setting, to be the most valuable of the three; the other two are unworked stones, whose beauty requires the craft of a jeweler to be liberated from their states of nature. You would say the bead is worth approximately 12 gold coins, the banded stone perhaps a little less, and the lapis lazuli somewhere between 5 and 6 gold coins in worth.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

The halfling refuses Gristav's offer of the philtre "I'll not have need of it. Keep it or let Serpe bear it himself."


The four men exit out the back door of the casino into the dark alley. The sky is aglow above the rocky ridge to the east, but the sun has not yet risen high enough for any of its rays to spill down into the river valley that cradles the city proper. Most of Riddleport seems to be waiting for the sun before venturing forth; the streets are quiet and deserted, although the sound of rough voices and cargo being shifted can be heard from the wharves. Phil supposes that the Deceitful Mermaid must be weighing anchor or already sailing out of the harbor beneath the Cyphergate.

Respecting the Wharf District's dangerous reputation, the party heads north and then east, past the looming Mystery of the Gate, and then between the dark windows of the Bazaar of the Seafaring Peddlar and the towering walls of Zincher's Arena on the opposite side of the street. There is plenty of opportunity to admire the garish placards depicting scenes of gladiatorial violence as they circle around the east side of the arena, passing between it and the large unmarked building opposite, which Phillip knows to be the dormitory and training facility for Zincher's stable. Ahead, the chimneys of the Gas Forges belch smoke into the sky. Passing that building as well, the four enter the shabby and run-down neighborhood known as Rotgut for the cheap and unsalubrious liquor whose sale and manufacture is the chief legitimate business of the district.

Here, Gristav takes point, leading the group toward the once-boarding house, now-mission known as Rag's End. They pass the nondescript storefront where Phil bought liquor for the gladiators; it is closed in the pre-dawn hour, a heavy chain and padlock securing the door, but among the detritus of the alley around to the side, a few slumbering bodies are visible, passed out in the dust, that might well be the same unwelcoming regulars whom the halfling saw sitting on empty crates in the afternoon haze.

Gristav hesitates a time or two as he tries to locate the building, having come and gone via the wharves before, but he directs them to the right street just as the first hints of direct sunlight touch the crooked weathervane on the roof of the dilapidated tenement's cupola. Behind the main structure must be an enclosed garden, identifiable by a sickly-looking tree whose branches droop over the top of the wall. Gristav's keen eyes can pick out the flat deck where Padraig said the pigeons lived. The flagstone steps leading up the stoop where Father Kreun's militia had challenged him on his first visit are deserted at this early hour. Windows on either side of the double doors and above the entrance are filthy, grease-smeared, and cracked; hand-written parchments block vision through a few of the panes, but they are unreadable in this light at this distance.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Once outside of the Goblin, Phillip lets his pace fall slack and takes up the rear upon their journey. He turns up his collar and his scarf is wrapped a little higher upon the neck so as to cover up the jap betwixt chin and chest. His hands are empty, oscillating between his sides and the occasional trip towards his head to be warmed by breath, smooth a mustache or attempt to tame his rampant locks. The halfling's eyes are almost never forward, instead sliding to the flanks of their advance and appraising bodies, doors and alleys as they pass.

He keeps his tongue his own and waits for those that championed the expedition to speak.


hp 36 / 38; AC 16; Init +2; 3 Str damage Male Half-elf Ranger 4
Phillip Hargreaves wrote:
He lets the most of the story pass over him before the mention of the gems "I've a weather eye for the worth of rocks if you care for it."

"Sweet. Thanks. I think I gave them to Gristav when he... No it must have been... Did I...?"

Braddon pats himself down before pulling out a handkerchief knotted around something hard. He tosses it carelessly to Phil then starts checking his backpack.
"Do I still have that vial?" he mutters.
"I must have. Remind me to split those coins later," he addresses Gristav and Snake before returning to Phillip.
"We got attacked by a trio of muggers... hiru ergela?... last night heading out of Lubbertown. They were carrying the gems and a vial of something. There's good money to be made beating up muggers. I'm surprised there's not more law enforcement around."

As they make their way towards Rotgut Braddon continues to chatter to Phillip. "Haven't seen much of you. You been doing secret stuff for Saul? Have you heard of this secret mine investment of Lil's? Are we gonna speak with Bellamy and Dagger about those spiders? Or does Saul have other plans for them?"


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)
Braddon Hurst wrote:
"We got attacked by a trio of muggers... hiru ergela?... last night heading out of Lubbertown. They were carrying the gems and a vial of something. There's good money to be made beating up muggers. I'm surprised there's not more law enforcement around."

At Braddon's experimental Varisian, Gristav listens in, and of course, comments, "Mugging may not have been their only pastime. They may have a superior, if not better, calling, by day. Or by night..."

At the door to the building, Gristav pauses a long moment, listening, before rapping softly on the door, with his staff.


As they head out, Snake looks over his shoulder, "Alright, Luck, you're free to roam." The mongoose quickly makes his way out and down the left side of the tall man, scoping out the area. "Don't wander too far." The mongoose chitters at him before making his way everywhere, all at once.

Catching the conversation between Braddon and Phillip, "We got the spiders taken care of, Braddon. Not to my liking, but, it is what it is I guess. I can promise you we won't see a single copper for 'em." Looking to the halfling, "By the way, thanks for the tip, Raccoon." He nods. "It's just too bad I couldn't take better advantage of it," he says, shrugging, yet obviously irritated at the fact.


Feel free to retcon in any conversation along the way.

The mongoose, at first, roams widely, ranging from one side of the road to another, poking its nose inquisitively into crevices, and disappearing into tufts of weeds growing between cobblestones, but as the party enters Rotgut, it begins to stick more closely to Snake, weaving between his feet intrusively as he walks and finally leaping onto his leg and climbing up his clothing to a perch on his shoulder.

Snake:
You feel a sense of danger and foreboding from the tiny creature. Come to think of it, you feel a little on edge yourself. You have no memory of ever having been in Riddleport before, but something about this neighborhood feels familiar, in a bad way.

As the group approaches Rag's End, the mongoose dives back inside Snake's almost-empty backpack, peering out beneath the flap. As Gristav climbs the steps to the front doors, he gets close enough to read the signs in the windows. One reads in fading copperplate Flophouse: Upstairs and take a left, but the word 'left' has been crossed out in much more recent ink and 'hike' scrawled in its place. The other reads, in a similar scrawl, All rooms taken.

Phillip:
As Gristav climbs the steps, you catch a glimpse of movement behind the windows above the door, as if someone has just moved away from the glass.


As Lucky quickly crawls back into his pack, Snake takes a quick look around through narrowed eyes, wondering what it is about this place that's got him and his companion on edge. "Hold a moment. There's something about this place, something... familiar. I can't put my finger on it but I think I've been here before." He glances around, taking in the scenery, hoping to jostle something more from within to try and recollect. After a few moments and gaining nothing more, "I don't know, I can't remember. But this place is bad news, I can tell you that. Something is seriously wrong here. Luck NEVER gets in the pack voluntarily. Never. Be ready." He looks around to each of them, "All of you." Snake then grabs his staff and prepares for what may come as he brings forth a magical barrier of protection upon himself. Cast Mage Armor


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

With Braddon and the Gems - back at the Goblin

Phillip unwraps the gems and holds them one by one up to the light rolling them side to side appraisingly. Pursing his lips a moment he asks "Do you collect or would you prefer the clink of gold?" holding gaze neutrally with Braddon "I can act on your behalf to facilitate sale..." implicitly offering his services to convert the stones.

To Serpe and Braddon prior to approach to the house

Phillip's face is neutral and blank at the talk of the spiders, but he does reply "I have no idea what you're speaking of... but the sooner you get rid of the damned things the better." before moving on to the remainder of Braddon's query wafting a hand slightly dismissively "This and that..." pausing before adding "I've not spoken to the wharfsmen... and I'm not certain that it would be to our best interest... but we can speak to that once we're done here"

Present time - when Gristav knocks

Looking to the shadows behind the windows Phillip's eyes narrow and he hisses forward to Gristav "There's company in there... and if they were friendly they'd be answering..." left hand going to his neck to shift his wrapped scarf so that it covered his nose and mouth also while his right is held near his side at the ready. He backs slightly away from the door and looks to where he might find nearest cover if the situation degraded.


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

With Braddon and the Gems - back at the Goblin

Phillip unwraps the gems and holds them one by one up to the light rolling them side to side appraisingly. Pursing his lips a moment he asks "Do you collect or would you prefer the clink of gold?" holding gaze neutrally with Braddon "I can act on your behalf to facilitate sale..." implicitly offering his services to convert the stones.

"Collect? Nah gold is best. Unless they're worth a lot. But even then, Snake, Gris and I have to split them three ways. So, yeah, gold. What are they worth? Especially the blue one? Do you think it would go well with reddish hair?

Phillip Hargreaves wrote:
"I've not spoken to the wharfsmen... and I'm not certain that it would be to our best interest... but we can speak to that once we're done here"

"Oh, okay." Braddon nods once and is suddenly silent until they reach their destination.

Phillip Hargreaves wrote:
"There's company in there... and if they were friendly they'd be answering..." left hand going to his neck to shift his wrapped scarf so that it covered his nose and mouth also while his right is held near his side at the ready. He backs slightly away from the door and looks to where he might find nearest cover if the situation degraded.

Braddon seems only too happy for the situation to degrade and marches up to the door beside Gristav, unsheathing both his swords.

"Open the door," he whispers urgently to Gristav, "or I'll kick it in."


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

To Braddon back at the Goblin

Phillip raises an eyebrow slightly as he catches the suggestion half hidden in his words before shrugging "The bead is worth about a week of your time... judging by your current employment... and if you meant to gift it you'd need to spend some of your gold to set and chain it. The lapis and banded pink would need some time with a faceter to bring out their beauty... but the both could yield about twelve in gold I'd guess."

"Hassan would likely buy them if you needed quick sale" casting Gristav a glance to show Braddon and Gristav knows who Phillip speaks of "or you could seek a jeweller to get a better price." readying to hand the gems back.


Gristav wrote:
At the door to the building, Gristav pauses a long moment, listening, before rapping softly on the door, with his staff.

Shortly after Gristav's knock, a cracked and out-of-tune bell starts to clang from the cupola as the sun rises far enough to illuminate the roofs of Riddleport. Curses and shouts of protest at the noise can be heard from the squatters in nearby buildings, but no one makes an appearance to register a complaint in person.

As Gristav raps for admittance with his staff, he notices that, as with most temples that seek to do good to all comers, the doors are not locked.

Phillip:
Most of Rotgut is littered with detritus -- broken crates, piles of trash, and the like -- but the area directly in front of Rag's End seems to have been deliberately cleared. The nearest cover would be across the street in the alley between other buildings.


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)
Phillip Hargreaves wrote:

To Braddon back at the Goblin

Phillip raises an eyebrow slightly as he catches the suggestion half hidden in his words before shrugging "The bead is worth about a week of your time... judging by your current employment... and if you meant to gift it you'd need to spend some of your gold to set and chain it. The lapis and banded pink would need some time with a faceter to bring out their beauty... but the both could yield about twelve in gold I'd guess."

"Hassan would likely buy them if you needed quick sale" casting Gristav a glance to show Braddon and Gristav knows who Phillip speaks of "or you could seek a jeweller to get a better price." readying to hand the gems back.

"I was hoping to revisit Hassan", Gristav bubbles, "Even better to have real business, as an entre'..."

Braddon Hurst wrote:
Phillip Hargreaves wrote:
"There's company in there... and if they were friendly they'd be answering..."

"If they were unafraid, they'd be answering...", Gris offers as correction.

Braddon Hurst wrote:

Braddon seems only too happy for the situation to degrade and marches up to the door beside Gristav, unsheathing both his swords.

"Open the door," he whispers urgently to Gristav, "or I'll kick it in."

With an eyebrow raised to Braddon, Gristav turns the latch handle, and swings open the door. "I suppose you have your hands full.", he allows with a heavy glance at the drawn blades.

Knocking clearly on the opened door, Gristav calls, "A friend of Padraig... of Geezer Pidge, here to meet with the Father. I understand First Light is an important time for him, so I'll wait here, then, shall we, my bodyguard and I? We could take the first watch on the steps. You could linger over breakfast... Although I'd rather have word and be gone...? Hello?"


The door opens onto a large open room. Scratched and stained wooden tables and benches stand to either side of the doors. Deeper in is what appears to be a font, a dented tin cup tied to it by a frayed length of twine. To the left, a staircase leads upward, no doubt to the occupied rooms referred to by the sign in the window; past the staircase is what appears to be a communal dining room through an open doorway. The stagnant air within reeks of mud, sweat, vinegar, and stale alcohol.

Directly ahead, past the lobby, the room spills into a modest chapel. A dozen worn-out pews and mismatched benches are arrayed in front of a plain wooden pulpit. Huddled forms are visible, stretched out on some of them in lieu of a proper bed. None of them move in response to Gristav's tentative hail.


Glancing around, Snake remains wary. Grabbing the door, he modestly swings it back and forth, listening for the creaking sound. Not really hearing much of nothing, he shrugs, turning his attention back to the task at hand. Taking a sniff, "Well this place stinks. Both literally and figuratively. Watch your backs, people."


As the echoes of the bell's clamor fade, heavy footsteps are suddenly heard from the second floor. A large man comes hurrying down the stairs, a predatory grin on his face. "What purpose do you have to come so heavily armed into a refuge of peace?" he demands, cracking hairy knuckles, and then stops in his tracks, bemused. Gristav recognizes the man introduced to him as Badeye, a sobriquet undoubtedly earned by the lazy eye that makes him appear to be staring simultaneously at both Snake and Gristav with a look of surprised recognition.


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)

"Deacon's duties, Badeye? As to our arms, it was your own warning, pressgangs and such, on my previous visit... We're no threat to you, or mean none. Admittedly, some of us are in bad habits, hands too full to shake on greeting, warm smiles covered as against cough... But if you'll take my word, or even just carry it to the Father...? 'Gristav has returned, with a bodyguard. He sends greetings and asks to speak with you, and with Padraig.' Or similar. May we be seated, or ought we wait without?"


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

Braddon takes a step towards the large hairy man to cut him off at the bottom of the stairs but stops short as Gristav greets the guard. Braddon steps back again uncertainly, lowers his weapons as Gristav continues his introduction and shamefacedly sheaths both weapons by the time Gristav requests seating.


A few other men appear at the top of the staircase -- Gristav recognizes Rasper and Brandy among them -- and stare curiously down at the new arrivals. "Fetch the Father," Badeye orders them, and they quickly retreat. "Er, aye, have a seat," he goes on, continuing down the steps. "We're just getting ready for morning services." He notices the people lying on the pews for the first time and strides toward them. "Here! You lot! You can't be sleeping in the chapel at service time! Show some respect!"

Directly addressed at such a volume, the prone forms begin to stir, a few sitting up and furtively gathering their few belongings. There appear to be a woman, two children, and a man, all dressed in tattered and ill-fitting clothing.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

With little interest to step inside the flophouse and still holding suspicion Phillip beckons Braddon close to whisper "I'll keep watch outside... you hear me yell you re-draw that steel"

Phil then retreats into the alley opposite, giving a good check for other inhabitants before settling into a crook with ample view of the flophouse front... and equally ample cover against other eyes.

Gold Goblin:
Phil intends to keep a lookout, feel free to roll Stealths (+13) and Perceptions (+9) as appropriate


Well that's good. For a moment there I thought they may all be dead. "Hm." Snake remains leery of the place, keeping an eye out for anything. Turning his head to where he can be better heard by Lucky, "Alright, Luck, at least keep an eye out with me; I don't trust this place," he tells him. The mongoose peeks his head out, unwilling to come too far out.


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

Braddon nods at Phil and takes up a position inside not far from the doors. His eyes dart about from place to place and person to person, but he watches quietly and from out the way, letting Gristav handle the pleasantries.


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)

Gristav notes with welcome the appearance of support for the defender deacon's duties, even while he judges the losses already taken, to a determined assault. Useless tactical maths, but the brain begged business, and old habits died, well, hopefully not at all.

"Badeye", Gristav preambles, making note of the needs he sees, "How is Padraig? Any lingering effects of his ordeal? I know he didn't appear it; I had magicked him dry and clean..." Gristav calls his firefly mote from within an opening closed hand, smiling at one observant child, "But he was submerged, at least the instant, and if accounted by cough, drew a lesser part of a lung's portion of the brackishness of the bounding bay..."

"I hope to see Jaelle again, and I would like to report him well. Truthfully, of course. Will he be attending services, or are the stairs down, above him? I would go to him, if I'm welcome?"

"Oh yes, and about services...", Gristav closes to a whispering distance as if with some urgent discretion, "I would not offend any Great Power, by claiming to be worthy of Them, though Desna flits across my mind... I mean, I'm unclear... unsure... well, I'm not a Sarenraeite. I'll step without, or up to Padraig?, or wherever serves respectfully...?"


"Who?" Badeye asks, seeing distracted by rousting out the sleepers before the service. "Oh, Geezer Pidge, you mean? Far as I know, he's fine. Upstairs with the birds, no doubt. Aye, step up if you've a mind to."

Braddon and Snake:
Except for one bright-eyed boy, the people sleeping in the chapel appear bleary-eyed and listless. The woman has a bruised face and an anxious expression; the little girl simply stares at the wall, tightly clutching a one-armed rag doll. The man is not old in years but appears already wrung dry by life, the flesh on his face slack and his eyes despairing; barefoot, he keeps up a steady stream of mutterings under his breath as his hands twist compulsively at his robe of rough sailcloth.

Phillip:
You feel fairly certain that you haven't been spotted by anyone in the mission as you crouch behind an empty crate with a stove-in side. Once the inharmonious tintinnabulation of the bell has faded away, silence redescends on the immediate vicinity, the squatters in the neighboring buildings apparently returning to their alcohol-haunted lethargy.


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

"Yeah." Braddon tosses the words to the brute with the lazy eye.
"Speaking of great powers, which one does this place serve? I've yet to see a church without their beloved god plastered on every wall."

Braddon makes no move until Gristav mounts the first few stairs, whence he'll peel himself from the wall and follow.


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)

Rising the first of the stairs, Gristav pauses and turns to Snake. "Mr. Kane? Inquiring after the old gentleman's health; it's you who're our best therein... Would you join me?", Gristav asks. Then, seeing Braddon's tension, adds, "...Us?"

They'd have to trust the halfling to his own safety, just as with the ferret if it were loosed. Gristav hoped each were as blessed by nature, and by fortune.


Snake leans in nonchalantly near Braddon, "You seein' what I'm seein'? This place ain't right." He leans back out, lowering the tip of his hat as he takes one last quick look at the sickly looking people - ideas running through his mind.

His attention immediately drawn toward the conversation at hand, Snake nods affirmatively to Gristav's invitation. "Right behind you," he responds as he falls in step behind him and Braddon.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Gold Goblin:
Phillip settles in to watch and wait, hands tucked into armpits opposite. The only part of his appearance that betrays him as something more than another insensate inebriate is his active scanning eyes.


Braddon Hurst wrote:
"Speaking of great powers, which one does this place serve? I've yet to see a church without their beloved god plastered on every wall."

Badeye glares at the half-elf ... or maybe the font; it's hard to tell with him. "Sarenrae, of course," he replies indignantly. "That's her up there." He points into the chapel, and by leaning down and to the side a little, Braddon can see a crude but lovingly and painstakingly crafted outline of a haloed woman with wings and a sword hanging on the back wall of the chapel, above the pulpit; it appears to be a mosaic of broken pieces of orange and yellow glass set into mortar.

Knowledge (religion) DC 10:
The mosaic is, in fact, a depiction of the holy symbol of Sarenrae.

The boy, a shaggy-haired tyke with a too-large cap, had come over to watch Gristav's parlor trick with delight, coming close to stare at the mote casting its flickering light on the half-elf's cradled fingers. As the men begin to climb toward the second story, he appears to come to the conclusion that the magic show is over and, showing no greater interest in sitting through a service than Gristav did, slips out the front doors with a grin up the stairs at the newcomers.

Phillip:
You have barely settled in to wait when a young human boy perhaps eight years of age comes out the doors the others just went in. Skipping down the steps, he ducks around the corner of the building and opens a tightly clenched fist he pulls from his jacket pocket. From across the street, you can see the glint of gold in the morning sun. Awed at his prize, he carefully looks around to be sure no one has seen him, not spying the halfling in the alley, then tucks the coin away in his ragged clothing again as quickly as he can.


Male Human (Chelaxian)

Gristav has just reached the second floor when he practically bumps into Beltias Kreun, emerging from a door near the top of the staircase and smoothing his white and gold robes. Some more of his makeshift militia are milling about in the hall, waiting for him. He smiles at the half-elf. "My friend, I've been told you've returned for services and brought some companions." His gaze travels over Gristav's shoulder to Braddon and Snake, then continues to the empty space past the tall man. "Where is the lovely Jaelle? Is she downstairs?"


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Gold Goblin:
Phillip's eyes harden, but he does not yet move nor make a noise. Not much call for gold in a sh1theap like this... and surely Gristav isn't fool enough to spend yellow where grey or copper would suit. He keeps a weather eye on the lad... wondering which direction he'll take next.


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

Knowledge(Religion): 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (8) - 2 = 6

Braddon shrugs. "Sarenrae? Could be Besmara for all I know in a place like Riddleport? How do the Callistrian's take to having a church of Sarenrae around? I guess, they all kinda get along don't they."

He follows Gristav up the steps with a decided lack of enthusiasm.


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)
Beltias Kreun wrote:
"My friend, I've been told you've returned for services and brought some companions." His gaze travels over Gristav's shoulder to Braddon and Snake, then continues to the empty space past the tall man. "Where is the lovely Jaelle? Is she downstairs?"

Sighing sadly at the absence, Gristav then grins. "I seem to have a habit of disappointing. Braddon, too, when we met, looked for beauty in my train. I suppose a man can do worse than to be the herald of beauty.", Gristav said, aware of the phrase's applicability. "But you are a bit misinformed; I've returned for your services, and I've brought a bodyguard. Companionable, though they may be. But I... I see you have duties. I was thinking, to visit Padraig, who I'm told is not attending the service. Is it, the many stairs?", Gris asks regretfully, rhetorically. "Well, I'd bring him fellowship, while you have yours, and then speak of business? Not crass, simple business, Father, there is Mercy and Justice rolled in with the profit. I would not speak for Her, or for you, but I judge the matter worthy of myself, and of these fellows." Gesturing more clearly than before, Gristav introduces, "Mister Hart, whom I called Braddon, and Mister Herepus Kane, who's been called Snake."


Know Religion: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8

Snake just stares at Badeye as they walk past, wearing his typical scowl. He stops a moment, peering at the mosaic of Sarenrae. Shrugging, "Looks fine to me," he says, continuing on.

With a raised eyebrow at his newly given name, Herepus Kane? Hm. Clever.


Male Human (Chelaxian)

"Mister Hart and Mister ... Kane, is it?" the priest replies with a smile, looking first at the half-elf, then at the human. "Of course, all are welcome within these walls, whether they join in our rites or not. Brandy, you'll show our guest to Padraig's room? Where the birds are kept? And you, gentlemen?" he asks Braddon and Snake. "Will you visit our resident bird-keeper or join us for the service downstairs?"


Snake looks at the man through narrowed eyes, "A part of me is interested in this 'service' you're talking about. The other part of me is curious about this 'bird' room." I also don't trust you or this place. Turning to Gristav, "I'll let you call it, bub. If your comfortable going by yourself, or with Braddon, I'll sit in for the service. Otherwise, I say we all go see the bird man."


Phillip:
The boy keeps his back to the wall of the flophouse for several moments, finally peeking back around the corner at the front doors. As the front stoop stays quiet, he grins and ambles out into the street, heading south between the warehouses of Wharf District and the seedier locales of Rotgut. Before long, he will be out of your sight.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Gold Goblin:
Bereft of any direct evidence that the boy is up to foul deeds and with some degree of duty of care to those within the compound... Phillip chooses not to follow. Taking a mental note of the boy's features just in case he needed to track him down later, the Calistrian resumes his silent and shadowed vigil.


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

Braddon tips his head in Gristav's direction and grunts once helpfully.


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)

A storm of conflicted causes clouds Gristav's countenance. "If you'll tell me he's well, Father, we'll visit with him later, and attend your service in the meantime. Providing a dithering Desnan baptised to Erastil is a suitable sort to stand in your observance? And these other gentlemen? I can speak to their worth, but again, not on your, or Her, behalf."


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

Braddon's eyes go wide.
"A service?"
Braddon makes no attempt to hide his displeasure.
"Aren't we in a rush?"
He glances around as if looking for a means of escape.


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)

Gristav chuckles at Braddon's discomfiture, sugggesting "Well then, up we go, and Father, please, if we're not returned by your service's close, bring or send word. Braddon is correct, our time is limited. Well remembered, Braddon. Mention of Jaelle, carried my wits in her wake. Her grace; my failing."


Brandy, singled out from the knot of men at the top of the stairs, grins, showing yellowed and crooked teeth. "This way to Geezer Pidge, gentlemen."

Father Kreun steps aside to let the three visitors file up and past him in the narrow corridor before heading down the stairs himself, followed by the rest of his mission's defenders. Brandy leads Braddon, Gristav, and Snake alongside the railing looking down over the stairwell, takes the first right, and then turns right again. The floor of the hallway is bare wooden planks, well-worn by many years of foot traffic; the walls are the same material covered with an anemic coat of cracking plaster. They pass three doors as their route folds back on itself in a cramped 'C' before abruptly ending in a blank wall beside the last door to the left.

"Here!" Brandy shouts, rapping on the door emphatically. "Geezer Pidge! Some men here to see you!" He offers Gristav an obsequious smile. "I'll just get out of your way so the door'll open without hitting someone in the nose. These hallways ain't made for a crowd." Indeed, the three men have to put their backs to the wall to let their guide slip past them out of the dead end.

Phillip:
Just before the lad disappears from view behind the next block, you see him suddenly stop and back up a few steps, peering down an alley leading toward the wharves. He glances around him again and then creeps slowly into the narrow walkway between the buildings. Although you're too far away to hear anything but the cry of seagulls from the harbor a few blocks over, it seems clear that the boy is attempting to move silently.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Gold Goblin:
Intrigue deepening, and with little else to occupy his thoughts at present, Phillip adds the narrow walkway to his short list of places to monitor from his lurk. However he stays the course and keeps still and silent at his present vantage.


Snake backs up to let Brandy through, then straightens his coat as he looks to the others and shrugs before opening the door. Peering in and deeming it safe, he steps within, making his presence known. "Hello?" he calls out, looking around for anybody.


The dank room stinks of mildew, and the morning light creeps feebly through a grease-stained window and around the ill-fitting edges of a warped wooden door on the opposite wall. An aged man lies under a threadbare blanket on a worn cot. The only other furniture is a makeshift desk and chair made of stacked crates. In contrast to the shabbiness of the surface they are lying on, some fresh quills, a vial of ink, a ream of fine parchment, a spool of twine, and a stand holding an oversized brass magnifying glass look to be the newest things in the room by decades. A sack of birdseed rests beneath the cot.

Despite the loud knock and Brandy's shout through the door, Padraig has not roused but is wheezing raspily in his sleep; Gristav remembers how deaf he is.

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