Dog Leg McGee nods and expertly pilots the small craft back to the docks.
He appears to recognize Lictor Octavio but doesn't say anything as the Hellknight stares at a large 3-masted Chelish Warship moored in the Old Harbor just west of Salt Gate.
Aye, that one be the Scourge of Belial. Been there a few days. Ain't no one seen her captain yet. Proclamations and all, no doubt.
Octavio nods silently. A bit later, Dog Leg calls out.
Alas, here we be. All set and ready for bed. It is a pleasure ta do business with you folks. But I ain't gonna ask questions I don't be needing to know. Have a good night. he holds out his hand for payment.
Octavio nods to the old captain.
Your prudence is as adept as your sailing. May the sea be kind to you, captain.
After you disembark and are away from the docks.
The Armiger turns to your group. Will Benjen and I accompany you to the Tooth and Nail or are you staying elsewhere in the city? I would prefer to avoid any patrols on the way, as I am not exactly unknown, even if Benjen is unarmored. The history of the Lucky Bones I will share tomorrow.
Lubella observed the Scourge of Belial. We'll want to pay her a visit tomorrow, and talk to the captain. Let's see if the rumors are true.
Lubella told Captain McGee as she paid him, "The pleasure is mine as well. You handle your craft superbly!"
She answered Octavio, "We're staying at the Tooth and Nail. I'll go ahead and keep a look out for patrols."
She cast her Message spell on her fellow Ravens and moved ahead stealthily, keeping and eye out for dottari.
Casting Message on the party.
Stealth: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
3 GP each for the payment.
Fhingle stays close to Octavio while they walk through the swamp, seeing as it is his job to rescue people Fhingle figures if the swamp tries to eat him the best person to be by is a Hellknight of the Torrent.
Once they are on the boat Fhingle looks out to the water, never really having traveled this far out of the city as his own master kept him most in their tower. "We aren't staying at the longroads? I left my painting stuff there." Fhingle says as they travel to the Tooth and Nail
How about since I am a fellow Halfing we make the taller folk pay more since they take up more space? :)
Lubella replied to Fhingle, "We don't want to try to cross the bridge after curfew. We'll a couple of things to do on this side of the river in the morning. In the afternoon we can go across to Long Roads — we need to work out this week's team assignments."
We want to contact Cassius Sargaeta, captain of the Scourge of Belial, and have Octavio show us the Lucky Bones.
The groups make it to the Tooth and Nail without incident or dottari interference.
Octavio and Benjen salute as the Lictor addresses your group. We owe you a great debt of gratitude. We will support your cause, as we have lost all confidence and loyalty to the government. In the morning we can discuss risks and opportunities.
You can make your plans tonight, otherwise the armigers hide out at the Tooth and Nail and wait for your meeting in the morning. Tomorrow will be team-building day...on both sides of the river.
The next morning arrives with the pale dawn. Another cloudy day, but no signs of rain yet.
Reaching the Tooth and Nail for breakfast before the morning crowd, you find the doors locked, but Setrona opens them to silently let your group of Ravens into her pub, before she locks the door.
You see a couple tables, the armigers eating tarts and danishes, undoubtedly freshly baked from the aroma.
Octavio stands to greet you. Good morning friends and allies.
He motions you to the open table. Please be seated. My armigers seem to have succumbed to their weakness from imprisonment and took out their revenge on the breakfast platter offered by my dear cousin. But now time for business. Armigers, guard the doors.
The Hellknight Lictor of the Order of the Torrent continues with the serious tone as if briefing troops before a mission or battle.
He will wait for any prep spells or questions before continuing.
“The Lucky Bones was, to the public, a gambling hall and opium den. In truth, the building was a front for a guild of
thieves and abductors known as the Gray Spiders. When my order learned the Gray Spiders were involved in a kidnapping and slavery ring tied to the cult of Norgorber, we confronted them. They responded by assassinating Lictor Reya, our heroic founder. In turn, we brought the full might of the Order of the Torrent down on them, and when we were done, the Gray Spiders were no more. But then Lictor Reya’s successor, Lictor Yehl, made the curious choice to seal the Lucky Bones rather than fully explore it. It was shortly afterward that others in the order discovered that Yehl and some of his subordinates had sought to preserve the Gray Spiders’ ill-gotten gains for themselves and had planned to return to the complex to loot it. Yehl and the others were charged with corruption and expelled, and command of the Torrent passed to Lictor Arcamo Hyrmagus, but no one ever followed up with the Lucky Bones. Lictor Arcamo was ashamed of the entire episode and forbade any of the rest of us from investigating it, and in time, it all mercifully slipped from memory. But those chambers still exist below the ruined gambling hall—chambers that were never mapped or officially reported. For all intents and purposes, they do not exist. Sounds to me to be the perfect place for a rebellion to set up shop... provided someone first scouts the place out to ensure nothing unwanted has moved in!”
Lubella told Octavio with a wink, "A good breakfast is vital for their recovery!"
She helped herself to some breakfast, and took a seat. She listened intently to the Lictor's description of the old gambling hall. Once he had finished she commented, "I'm sorry the Lucky Bones was part of such a painful part of your order's history. But it does sound like a good location for our headquarters. As I understand, it's quite close to here, is it not?"
I'm assuming that with her rank of Knowledge Local, Lubella would be aware of the rough location of the ruins, given that it's listed in the Player's Guide (location O7 on the map).
"How long ago did all this happen? Given our experience with Hocum’s Fantasmagorium, we can't count on it being uninhabited."
Talvek listens attentively, filing away all the details in his memory. It did sound like a potentially good location, but he would have to see it with his own eyes first.
At Lubella's remark, he shrugs. "Oh, undoubtedly there's something nasty living there now. Nothing's ever easy."
Knowledge local on Lucky Bones: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (9) + 12 = 21
Sidius shrugs, "Likely so, Talvek... but it could also contain resources to fund the cause."
Fhingle seeing the pastries moves over to the table quick and sets himself up with a plate, "If we need I can always go and get us some more breakfast." Fhingle says listening to the story. "So the Grey Spiders were just normal people? Not run by the Thrunes or Devil Worshipers?"
Octavio answers the questions in order to the best of his knowledge.
Aye, it is fairly close to here. The ruins of the Lucky Bones stand at the southwestern edge of the city, surrounded by warehouses. Seldom visited these days. At least from the upper floors. Down below, Talvek is probably correct. he nods to the two human men.
Finally to Fhingle The Grey Spiders were not Thrune supporters, but also not devil worshipers. 'Normal people' might be a stretch. One was a tiefling, one a lyncanthrope and the last, a dreaded halfling. he says the final name with an almost imperceptible smile.
And that is probably all the history of the place. Octavio has regretfully little more to provide. I have the address to the ruined building that once served as the complex’s above ground extension. Little remains of this site but rubble today, he warns, but the entrance—once uncovered—should still be accessible.
Lubella smirked at the mention of the "dreaded halfling". "Thrune's sure going to be dreading these halflings!", she declared, indicating herself and Fhingle.
After Octavio had finished she said, "Let's at least have a look at the ruins this morning. Then we should pay a visit to the Scourge of Belial. And lastly, I should return to the Long Roads Coffee House, and talk to Laria about Silver Ravens organizational matters." And that was not even mentioning meals and snacks; there was just so much to do!
Sidius asks, "Given all the things we're meant to do, it might be wise to break up the list and maybe meet, purely by accident, at the ruins just before noon?"
Fhingle smiles at the Dreaded Halfling 'You are right Lubella, he will be dreading us soon. Maybe I should take that on as my Moniker it would sound much better I think." Fhingle eats a bit more then looks up at the comments of jobs. "You will still have to help me out with that."
"And I can accompany you to the Scourge of Belial." Talvek thinks for a moment. "An interesting name. Hopefully prophetic."
Knowledge religion Belial: 1d20 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (18) + 8 + (6) = 32
Ok, sorry for the delay. Now that Christmas Day come, I should be able to get a bit more on track, but will have some travel mixed in.
The meeting with Octavio adjourns and you have your tasks for the day.
I have Arcos (and Sidius?) potentially heading to ruins, and Tavlvek and Lubella heading to the Scourge of Belial. I will lump Fhingle in with Lubella and Talvek at the Scourge. Let me know if anything needs to change prior to rendevous at the ruins at noon.
As the halflings and tiefling head to the river docks to seek a way to the Scourge of Belial, they round a corner of an alley and they are stopped in their tracks by a dark-haired half-elf woman standing in their path.
She is dressed in the red-andblack uniform of a Chelish naval officer with rapier and pepperbox firearm sheathed at her sides.
She nods with a thin-lipped smile and a twinkle in her eyes.
“Good morning! I am Lieutenant Elia Nones of the Chelish warship Scourge of Belial. Captain Sargaeta requests the company of those citizens who so ably liberated a certain gathering of wrongfully imprisoned Hellknights from unjust incarceration. I’m afraid attendance is compulsory.”
She seems to imply she knows something of your involvement the Holding House or Dog Housing events in addition to the asking of questions. Her hand is resting nervously on her belt, near her pistol.
After leaving the Tooth and Nail, Arcos and Sidius follow the directions provided by Octavio to the ruins of the proposed Lucky Bones. Keeping off the main streets to avoid patrols, leads them down a few alleys.
What appears to be a drunken sailor staggers toward the two caster, singing an old Chelish sailor’s song in a terrible off-key voice as he stumbles along:
“She promised me/To faithful be/But all that changed by morning/I went a-deck/A drunken wreck/Her new red smile, a warning.”
He looks up as seeing you both. With a haggard smile, he holds out a hand. Gents. Spare a bit o' coin fer a poor sailor down on 'is luck?
He seems to have more in mind than begging coin, and his other hand is not in plain sight.
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17
Knowledge Nobility: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Lubella was taken off guard by the sudden appearance of the woman; she had to hope that she wasn't in league with the local authorities. "Well, I can't say that I know which incident the captain is thinking about, but I'd be happy to meet with him." This was definitely a misleading statement, but could she be certain that the armigers of the Order of the Torrent were the group that Captain Sargaeta was referring to? She hoped her goddess would forgive her evasiveness.
Sense motive: 1d20 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (15) + 8 + (4) = 27
Talvek is on his guard, and doesn't miss the undertones in the lieutenant's words.
"Good morning, lieutenant. What a coincidence! We were just on our way to speak with a certain captain who we hear is being vexed by certain... mm, rules and regulations. Please, lead the way."
He is not nearly so pleased as he affects, however. They had been easily recognized, and while this time it may be to their advantage, they needed to be more careful in the future, especially now that rumours were circulating about their exploits at the Holding House. From now on, they will not venture out on the streets without a disguise.
Perception 1: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
Know Local: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
"What Hell Knights were taken prisoner?" Fhingle asks genuinely "Does your Captain allow Halflings on their boat, I have met a few captains who don't." Fhingle wants to clear that first.
Her hand over to her pistol relaxes. "
As she smiles.
” Excellent. Halflings are welcome indeed. A sea voyage may not exactly be what my captain intends. Captain Sargaeta is impressed with you, and merely wants to ask for your aid in a delicate matter. It’s not often the Captain displays this amount of respect. I suggest you come with me, if only to marvel at a sight few people ever see—my Captain’s restraint."“
Just as she finishes her sentence, she's already turning to leave.
"The Scourge of Belial is moored in the Old Harbor just west of the Salt Gate. As I'm sure you know, captains who aren't native Kintargans cannot set foot in city boundaries."
She rolls her eyes.
” Come on, please, follow me and I'll take you there. “
Lubella replied to Lieutenant Nones, "Yes, we saw the ship moored there yesterday. I must say that I don't understand the purpose of that proclamation. It must be terribly inconvenient for the Captain Sargaeta!"
She made ready to follow the lieutenant, "Lead the way."
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20
Sidius pulls a coin for the sailor, then stops short, "Aye, we've coin, though I can't help but think you're looking for more."
"It does seem odd but then it keeps those who might complain to other cities or leaders about what is going on in this city." Fhingle adds as he follows the woman. "What is that thing on your hip, not your Rapier but the other weapon?" Fhingle asks pointing to the pepper box
Group 1 - See Slide #2 (Lubella, Talvek, Fhingle)
You three are escorted to the Scourge of Belial by Lieutenant Nones.
She seems affable and polite, and is genuinely interested in learning a bit more about your group as you make your way to the Old Harbor.
She asks Do you have a preferences of wine, culture, and song? after waiting for a response with a nod she follows with Where have you traveled? I was born into a Corentyn naval family. I've been in service for 10 years, under Captain Sargaeta for half of that time, and
now serve as his first officer.
She obviously serves the captain with admiration. He is a rare individual, eccentric, but a man of refined tastes, from a noble Ostenso family.”
Your destination is moored at the southernmost pier in the Old Harbor. The Scourge of Belial is a sleek, three-masted warship that dwarfs the common fishing vessels. Busy activity on the ship’s main deck isn’t slowed by the your arrival, though the crew do eye you newcomers with surly suspicion.
The ship is obviously undergoing extensive repairs following its recent adventures. As Elia leads you up the gangplank and aft to the entrance to the captain’s cabin, she explains Captain Cassius Sargaeta has had a short fuse lately, and so I recommend that you avoid interrupting him when he’s speaking.
Captain Sargaeta’s cabin is richly appointed, with windows of stained glass and walls hung with seascape paintings and nautical antiques. The cabin is large and spacious, taking up the entirety of the aft quarter of the ship’s deck, and smells of pleasant spices and rare incense. Three halfling slaves are about the cabin—one plays an elegant piece on a violin, another sews buttons on a white shirt, and a third cuts up a pineapple. Two colorfully plumed tropical birds perk up in golden cages, and a small monkey in a miniature Chelish sailor’s suit shells peanuts atop a large desk of rare wood.
Before the desk stands a man in a pristine captain’s uniform, with light brown hair and a neatly trimmed goatee adorning a well-defined jawline. He sips tea from a delicate porcelain cup decorated with a graceful floral design. There is a superior air about him, and he scrutinizes the PCs silently with a cool and dispassionate gaze. This is Captain Cassius Sargaeta.
The captain appraises you in silence for an interminable period as he sips his tea—the primary source of the exotic scent in the room. Lieutenant Nones stands near the door at attention, also silent. When he finally speaks, his voice is deep and cultured.
“I can’t deny my disappointment. I expected more... towering giants out of myth, someone more... grandiose. Alas, this is what the waves have washed up on my shore. Wencella, see if our guests would care for some of that delectable fruit.”
Group 2 - see map slide #3 (Arcos, Sidius)
As Sidius offers the coin to the shambling sailor, he stops short with a hiss, as he looks over his shoulder, pulling a longsword from his cloak.
Where are the short ones? Bah! I will find them soon enough.
Initiative (Arcos): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Initiative (Sidius): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
Initiative (Thug): 1d20 ⇒ 20
mwk longsword: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12 for dmg: 1d8 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10 miss
slam: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9 for dmg: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5 miss
He slashes and lunges with a fist at Sidius, but neither connects with the the wary Raven.
=== Round 1 ===
Lubella replied to Nones, "I'm partial to tavern songs, myself. I would have liked to hear the opera here in Kintargo — it's too bad that the opera house seems to be closed for the moment. As for drink, I like a good ale, but I have a sweet spot for Thileu Lager.
"I grew up in Katapesh, so I've traveled a bit. I've been to Absalom, and that place is really something!"
She did her best to make sure not to say anything to contradict the cover story that she gave the Chelish authorities: that she was a Katapeshi merchant.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26 To judge if there's any ulterior motives for Nones' questions.
Knowledge Nobility (Captain Sargaeta's family): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
She followed Lieutenant Nones aboard the Scourge of Belial, gazing with interest around the Chelish warship. She returned Captain Sargaeta's gaze, not trying to be disrespectful, but also subtly signaling that she was not a submissive slave. She waited for him to speak, and then bowed politely in acknowledgment.
She accepted the offer of pineapple, and waited for the captain to address the purpose for their invitation.
As they walk towards the harbour, Talvek answers the lieutenant's questions.
"Ah, myself I haven't traveled much - to tell the truth I never left Kintargo. I do dream of visiting distant places and marveling at the sights, but for now I must stay here. As for song and culture, I find the Varisian music and dances most spirited and enjoyable."
Sense motive: 1d20 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (16) + 8 + (1) = 25
Knowledge nobility: 1d20 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (7) + 8 + (4) = 19
As they reach The Scourge, he cannot help but notice the repair work. "Had some violent encounters upon the seas, Lieutenant?"
After being ushered into the captain's cabin, he waits patiently, although cannot help but frown at the three halfling slaves. His time with Lubella, and more recently with Fhingle, have forever changed his perspective on that people, and he chafes at the sight of any of them in forced servitude.
He snorts at Sargeta's expressed disappointment. "Towering giants would attract rather a lot of attention." More cutting remarks come on his tongue, but he stills them, and waits.
Sidius winces, That took a turn. Time to sleep, ruffian. He narrows his eyes and draws upon his magic, throwing a powerful hex at the attacker, even as he denies the monster's accusation, "Short ones? My children are at the academy, and you shall not harm them!"
Slumber hex, DC 17 or sleep
The halfling woman cutting pineapple offers juicy slices to each of you on a platinum platter. Captain Sargaeta sets down his teacup.
"I've noticed you, but I don't know who exactly you are. Congratulations on your rescue of the Hellknights and those Salt Works prisoners, and of your investigation into that boarded up museum. What was going on in there anyway?" .
He picks up the monkey, stroking its furry head as he continues to address you. “
You do not sense any falsehood from the lieutenant nor the captain
"I do have need of a group of your skills and resources. Lord-Mayor Thrune’s proclamations have, shall I say, impacted my interests in the city. I cannot venture onto land to take care of... well, let’s call it a ‘personal matter.’ I could send my crew to attend this, but I would much prefer sending someone with whom I have plausible deniability, should they fail in their task. Would you be interested in providing me with aid? I daresay that people in your position could stand to benefit from having a captain in the Chelish navy owe you a few favors, hmmm?" “
Lubella listen to the captain with alarm. How does he know so much about what we've been doing? She tried not to show her concern. She replied, "We're a group of friends trying to make the city a better place. You seem to have been watching us for some time; care to tell us how you've been doing that?" She didn't want to get into what they were doing in the Fantasmagorium, or even confirm that they had been in there — they knew very little about this man, and where his true allegiances lay.
"I must say, the proclamation affecting your setting foot in the city puzzles me. It seems very odd that a captain of the Chelish Navy would be confined to his ship, but the wording seems to make no exception.
"As for this 'personal matter' — it would very much depend on what it is. Given that you seek plausible deniability, I'm guessing that, whatever it is that you want us to do, it's not something the local authorities would look kindly on. There's a lot of danger in Kintargo these days, without us going out of our way to find it. I can promise to keep what you tell us here confidential."
Sidius whispers to Arcos, "I've a mind to make this one vanish - he found our trail easily and seems likely to be able to do it again, and bring more help.... Assuming he hasn't already done so."
He begins to look around, trying to find any sign of support for the sleeper.
Fhingle takes a bit of the Pineapple offered to him by his fellow Halfling, being in such a richly adorned cabin is something Fhingle never thought he would get to see. Staying silent is hard for him but with this delicious new food he is able to manage and not interrupt the captain as instructed not to do.
"We also konw the city probably better than your crew so we can move about easier and faster. I understand that Thrune doesn't want no natives to see what he is doing so it cannot be reported since a Captain's word carries weight." Fhingle offers while taking another bite "What is you are asking of us?"
Captain Sargaeta clears his throat as he looks out the port window of his cabin before turning to respond.
My task for you is a covert one—I simply want you to deliver a message to a friend of mine who lives in the Greens. This friend is one Marquel Aulorian, scion of one of Kintargo’s older noble families.
Captain Sargaeta bluntly states Marquel’s father is “a grasping little prig currying favor with the new leadership in a most unseemly manner.”
I worry that my friend might be in danger, due to complicated “political views,”
He measures you each with a stern gaze.
The letter I need delivered to Marquel must be delivered to his hands alone, preferably without his father’s knowledge of the delivery. Then once the message is delivered, I ask you to return to me and deliver the recipient’s reply—verbatim.
The Captain is obviously uncomfortable sharing so much information.
In return, I promise my friendship and support, as best as I can provide under these restrictions imposed by the current government.
Arcos stands watching as Sidius looks around for other allies of the sleeper on the ground before him.
2d20 ⇒ (8, 5) = 13
You do not see any other hostiles or bystanders in this narrow alley. Probably the very reason the sailor chose to confront you here.
Any actions beyond looking around? Otherwise, he sleeps for 5 rounds?
Sidius nods, "As am I. I learned magic to heal. But there's more than one way to vanish in this town. We have about half a minute before he wakes, maybe we should set him up to get arrested. Surely he can break one of His Lordship's edicts in that time."
Knoweledge Nobility, taking 10: 10 + 5 = 15
Lubella's knowledge of the Aulorian family seemed to confirm the captain's evaluation of the family patriarch. They would have to be careful, but perhaps there was something to be gained for the Silver Ravens. She replied, "Very well, we will deliver the letter, and endeavor to keep Marquel’s father in the dark. I will make sure to either tell you exactly what your friend says, or deliver his note of reply, should that be his preference. You have my assurance of discretion in this matter.
"If you have any knowledge of the layout of the estate, information about the staff, or the best way to locate your friend, that would be helpful. If not, we'll manage."
"sounds like this will be interesting, The son does not agree with the Thrunes but the father is in the pocket more than likely." Fhingle says while still in the cabin accepting the letter and tucking it into his coat pocket.
Captain Sargaeta responds optimistically If you intend to accept this mission, I strongly recommend use of stealth,
with a delivery by night preferred.
I know Marquel is confined to his quarters, and I can provide a map of the grounds between
the estate’s secondary western gate and the second-floor room that serves as Marquel’s chambers.
I unfortunately must stress you to exercise as much discretion as possible.
Marquel’s father must not know of this message. Agreed?
He sketches a rather detailed map of the estate with the speed of a skilled tactician.
Assuming that Fhingle and Talvek have no objections:
Lubella consulted with her comrades briefly, before telling the captain, "Agreed. We accept the mission, and will make sure that you're not implicated. We will plan on a stealthy night approach; no-one but Marquel will know that we were there."
Talvek takes satisfaction in letting Lubella and Fhingle lead the discussion as he leans against a wall, arms crossed. His posture and facial expression say "they're the brains, I'm just the muscle".
Meanwhile, he is racking his brains for knowledge about the Aulorians, and pondering whether subterfuge might work better than stealth in this situation. After all, the laundry service ruse had been very successful.
Knowledge nobility: 1d20 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (13) + 8 + (5) = 26
Sidius says, "I can douse him in liquor, and I'm sure I have mint in my healing pouches... but I think that's about it. Public drunkeness with the prohibited herb is the best I can do on short notice."
Elia waits before Escorting you out, and you hear the captain.
”Superb. Lieutenant Nones will bring you back. Meet her where she found you.
You will need the message itself before you leave young masters."“
He says walking over to hand you a fine parchment envelope with a plain black wax seal and a scrap of paper containing a few notes about the Aulorian estate.