Arcos says, ”Ah, a tailor. I’m a scribe, at least trained as one. We’re a small artist’s group, you know, doing commissions various of sorts for those who can pay for it. Having a room on this side of the river is quite handy if we’ve got a more complex project that will take a few days.”
Bluff: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
Sidius says, "I am a healer - or would have been, if not for the death of my master before I finished my certification. I would have looked to hang up a shingle anyway, but in the current climate, not having all your paperwork lined up can be an issue. But, papers or no, I have the skills and there are people with the need."
He pauses, then adds, "But let's keep that to ourselves - if only to make sure there's not a line of people looking for help and bringing trouble to your apartment."
Diplo AA: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Aldren remains suspicious of the situation, now beginning to wonder if the mother was somehow responsible. If she was alone with the boys when they disappeared, either she knows what happened but she could innocently be blaming herself. But first we need to get her talking... I should have kept that spell to calm emotions.
In a calm, reassuring voice, he tries to backup Kyda. ”Mrs. Shellet, we only want to help. If you were the last to see them, perhaps you know where they went, what they said, anything that could help.”
As you encourage the Mrs. Shellet to speak, she wipes her eyes and stands, fighting back more tears.
If...if you are serious and want to help. I have lost all hope. But the boys deserve a chance. I need to know what happened to them so we can move forward. she sobs for a minute, her husband comforting her.
The boys were wearing their blue play clothes. They went out after breakfast. I told them not to go to far since the rumors of the Slasher or whatever. They promised me they would stay close! Why did I let them leave? more tears.
We never had problems before. They were just going to be gone for a few minutes. I asked them to get flour and sugar so I could bake their birthday cake next week. They only had a few small coins. They didn't have anything else valuable to steal. And it was broad daylight! Why them? Why? she loses control again.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16 Everyone lies. Aldren knows this because he lies; ergo, everyone lies. She’s lying!!! What? She’s not lying? Damn it.
Aldren watches the mother to see if he gets any hint of dissembling or deceit. When she’s done talking, and seeing she’s probably said all she can at this point, he asks the father, ”If they went to get sugar and flour, where would they have gone? And do they have any places they like to play along that route?”
I’m not sure how much Aldren knows about this “slasher” thing. He’ll probably need a rundown on that, but in front of these folks probably isn’t the time or place.
Lubella held the other woman's hand and told her, "We're going to find your boys!" This was perhaps a rash promise to make, but she truly meant it.
After Aldren asked about the baking supplies, she followed up, "I'm presuming that you've already asked around yourselves. Who did you talk to, and what did they say?"
Trying to be quick, so we might have a chance of speaking to the merchant, if they haven't closed up already.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18 In case they're leaving something out.
Mr. Shellet responds when his wife can only nod and sob softly.
After calling for them ourselves, we spoke to the dottari next. After that we went door to door to the neighbors and shop owners around here within a couple blocks. Nobody saw anything. The dottari took notes, but only for their form. I could tell they weren't going to do anything but file it.
He thinks a bit.
The building manager said she saw them start walking west. There are a couple bakeries that way. The Owl and Sweet Tooth or something past the general shops. My wife bakes most of our breads and food, so we do not tend to visit such places.
"The Owl Bakery?" Aldren asks, remembering Julessa, the bakery's proprietor and somewhat dour priestess of Milani. Despite having polar-opposite personalities, Aldren had grown quite fond of her in the short time she was actively with the group.
After he answers and the others' seem to have exhausted their line of questioning, Aldren says to the others, "I can't think of anything else right now."
Bluff to Convey Secret Message: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (12) + 11 = 23 Success
Through the subtext of his words, Aldren indicates he hasn't sensed any dishonesty or deception from the Shellets.
After confirming the date and time that the twins were seen last, Lubella put away her notepad and said, "Curfew is approaching, so it's time for us to be on our way. We might have time for a couple of inquiries this evening."
Addressing the Shellets, she told them, "Thank-you for speaking with us — I know this is a difficult time for you. Rest assured that we're on the case. We'll be in touch."
After leaving the apartment, she located Arcos and Sidius, telling them, "Time for us to get going."
Once they were outside, she suggested, "Let's go to the Owl Bakery. The missing boys were last seen headed in that direction."
How much time do we have before curfew?
Lubella replied to Fhingle, "The twins are 12 years old. They're taller than us, but not as big as an adult human man — about five feet. They were on their way to buy sugar and flour."
As they depart, Aldren pauses by the father, resting a hand on his shoulder, and says, "As she says, thank you both. We will do everything we can to find them and, failing that, we will bring wickedness to the wicked. তার নামে, আমি দুষ্টদের জন্য দুষ্টতা আনব," he repeats in Elven.
In the street with the others, he asks, "What's the plan? Search for any clues or have someone pretend to be a kid? Maybe check with Julessa to see if they made it to her?"
I'm presuming that we don't have a lot of time before the 9 pm curfew.
Lubella replied to Aldren, "Let's talk to Julessa first. She knows the neighborhood, and meets quite a locals at the bakery. She'll probably have some good suggestions. It's close to her bedtime, so we'd better hurry!"
I imagine a baker would start baking around 4 AM or something, to have freshly-baked goods ready for the morning, and would need an early bedtime!
The disguised half-elf nods slightly, "Agreed. If they made it to her, she may know where they went after that. If they didn't, then it seems more likely something happened between here and there." Of course, they could have wandered off somewhere entirely, but you started with what was most likely and then worked out from there. Guess I'm not making it to the Three-Legged Devil tonight after all.
Curfew is actually a couple hours after sunset...9pm, so you have about 3 hours.
The parents do not seem to have much more information to offer as the sun starts to set. But you have given them hope when they had none.
You heard the occupant enter his apartment downstairs and outside more tenants are returning from work. Most are single men, dressed as craftsmen or artisans tired from work.
Nurla watches as each of her tenants return, and greets them and bids them good night.
She calls up. If you be staying in your new room tonight, get inside. Otherwise, you best be on your way before I bar the door for the night. Ain't takin' no chances.
Any of you can post actions before/after departing. Assuming you head to the Owl Bakery before it closes.
The walk to the Owl Bakery is not too far away. Actually close to the Tooth and Nail as well, as you have become fairly familiar with the streets and traffic patterns in this part of Kintargo.
You spot Julessa as she appears to be locking her shop and flipping the open sign to closed for the evening.
I am sorry, we are closing. You are welcome to ret....hey, is it you again? she seems to recognize parts of your disguises from before.
When Nurla says she’s going to bar the door soon, Aldren mostly shrugs internally — given his druthers, this wasn’t where he’d be spending the night anyway — but he does pause to ask a quick question, ”Ma’am, you seem pretty observant and on top of what’s happening. By any chance, were you here watching the front of the building that day and do you remember the Shellet boys coming through the front door?” Aldren’s suspicious mind is now turning towards the neighbors as he watches them file their way into the building.
However she answers, he thanks her and follows the others to see Julessa. Once there, he gives her a wink but let’s one of the others explain why they’re there.
Lubella greeted her favorite baker, "Hello, Julessa! I know it's too late for one of your wonderful scones. I have a couple of questions to ask you:
"First, have you seen Rexus is the last two days? He's dropped out of sight, and I think he's planning attack on Barzillai Thrune, the Church of Asmodeus or both! He was trying to buy explosives at the Alabaster Academy, and he wanted to get a scroll of Lightning Bolt from Nandy Crissali. We have to find him and talk some sense into him, before something terrible happens to him!
"Second, have you heard anything about the disappearance of the Shellet twins? Angus and Phenio Shellet are twelve year old human boys who disappeared very recently from the Ludeimus tenement. I think they may have been headed this way to buy sugar and flour. They never returned home, and their parents are worried sick about them. The dottari aren't showing much interest, as you might expect."
She related the parents physical description of the boys to Julessa.
"Sorry to bombard you with questions, but we're in a bit of a bind."
How many day ago did the twins disappear? Presumably the parents would have told us.
Nurla will respond to Aldren's question without hesitation.
Of course I am observant. No way to succeed in this business if you don't keep an eye on people. The boys definitely left after breakfast. They were clowning around more than I like to see, and should have just went straight to the store and back for their mom. But overall they were good boys from a good family. They would have been hard workers. But once they got around the corner, I couldn't see where they went. Shellets were awfully shook up by the whole affair. But since you are asking me, I ain't sure it is no slasher like many say. Doesn't seem to fit his motive.
Sidius nods, "Well, that's good news... Means they might still be alive to be saved."
So I think Lubella posted her questions to Julessa at the same time GM posted the old woman’s answers to Aldren, so the questions to Julessa might have gotten lost. Aldy really doesn’t have anything to add right now. So...
Aldren looks about the bakery, idly hoping for some unsold cinnamon rolls or poppy seed muffins. Or a rum cake...without the cake.
Religion: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
"What corner did they go around? Back towards their home or further away from their home?" Fhingle asks. "Also do you have any sweets or rolls you were going to toss away that I could purchase?" Fhingle follows up
Arcos shoots a sidelong glance at Aldren. While also intrigued by the potential of free baked goods, he chimes in, ”Did you happen to recall seeing any suspicious characters lingering around them?”
He’s quiet for a moment, before nodding towards Fhingle.
Julessa looks surprised to see Lubella and the others
”Hello again . More disguises? I guess I should not ask. That is very strange of Rexus to go rogue all of the sudden. He didn’t seem the type to me. You know with all those books. “
She looks to Fhingle with a bit of disappointment
”Sorry I am sold out but will have more in the morning. But as far as the missing boys, I heard about them but I didn’t see them. I heard it happened in the middle of the morning. Horrible. But sadly I would have been working. What makes you think they were this far from their home? They probably could have found flour closer. I thought they were from one of the tenaments like you said. But I Was paying more attention to the slasher stories to be honest. Have they found...any bodies? I sure hope not. “
She turns to Arcos with a grin.
”Other than all of you, I can’t recall anyone too suspicious looking. But I tend to be inside working the bakery during the day and well... at night I have more devotions to my other interests if you get my meaning.“
Lubella replied to Julessa, "The mother says she sent them out to buy flour and sugar for a cake she was baking. She thought they might be heading to a bakery with 'Owl' in it's name — that's why I thought to ask you. Do you have any ideas about who to ask?
"I heard rumors of slasher victims, but no details."
Ah fudge. They went this direction but probably for one of the other shops. Crafty GM...shifty GM. ;-)
Aldren sighs when he hears Julessa’s response and looks back down the street towards other shops and general stores. ”of course... Where would be the closest store to the Tenement along that path that sells sugar and flour?” The slasher story so far had little interest to him. None of the Ravens seemed directly affected, no one had directly asked him for help, and it didn’t seem like the targeted community was particularly ripe for Calistria’s teachings. Im sure someone else will ask though. Always more sorry souls in need of saving.
Julessa considers the question
”well there are a few shops in this area. The Tooth and Nail is the best known but different bakers, candy makers or dessert shops or pubs. Catering to the craftsmen and artists common in this area. I have flour delivered in bulk but I use much more than a single family.“
Lubella consulted with the others, "Looks like we'll have to ask around tomorrow. But we also need to find Rexus, and we're no closer to doing that! I think we'll have to try our spell Aldren, and see if we can locate his cane, and hopefully him."
I'm assuming that all the other shops are closed, or am I wrong? How mch time do we have before we have to be back at the Tooth and Nail?
"There was a bakery next to the Tooth and Nail, wasn't it? The one with the... erm, average-tasting tarts?" He glances at Julessa, wary of praising a competitor in front of her.
Aldren thanks Julessa for her help, then says to the others, "For Rexus, I agree. Asking for Calistria's guidance will seem to be our best bet, though given Rexus is trying to avenge his parents, She may not want us to intervene. Still, I will ask Her for help tomorrow. As for the twins, it sounds like they would have gone to a general store, not a bakery selling finished goods. They're likely closing soon, so..." He shrugs, "Unless we want to try searching the street for any signs while dodging the dottari, which I don't necessarily object to, it may be time to retire. But I'm open to other thoughts."
Julessa shrugs I wish I could be more help. I am sure you will have better luck in the morning.
As you depart the Owl Bakery and make your way back, past the closed shops and towards the Tooth and Nail, you notice the side streets are unusually quiet this early in the evening, despite the pending curfew. Apparently news of the Slasher has people staying indoors.
Aldren and Talvek what appears to be a older gentleman or minor noble out for a walk with his two twenty-something nieces. The man has the gate of someone that perhaps has had too much to drink.
Come my ladies. We should not be out on the streets at night with all the strange business. I know where a warm bed awaits. to which the two respond with giggle.
They stop when they see your group. The man calls out from 40' away.
I dare say. Are you a bunch of common cutpurses prowling in the night?
I do not have anything of value. I was robbed earlier this morning. Leave me be. I will call the guard if you come closer.
Lubella was immediately suspicious when the man challenged their group. She whispered to her friends, "Keep you wits about you — this could be a setup!"
She looked around to see who else might be lurking nearby.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28
Still appearing as a simple human merchant, Aldren gazes at the man and takes a look at the women, seeing if he senses any subterfuge in the scene or if he recognizes the women as local ladies of the night.
SM: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28
Prof Courtesan: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28
"Just out for a stroll like yourself it would seem, trying to find a 'warm bed'." Indeed, Aldren had every hope of making it to the Three-Legged Devil before the doors were barred.
Bluff to Convey Secret Message (DC 15): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21 Aldren will convey to the party if he senses anything off based on those checks
Actually, it’s relatively pathetic but I just realized I have Know nobility, too, so rolling to see if I might recognize him...
Know-N: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14 Yeah, can’t imagine that’ll turn up much. Aldren’s knowledge is pretty limited
Likewise; Lubella's current single ranks of knowledge skills are pretty much all she's ever going to get. :)
Knowledge Nobility: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Lubella and Aldren, even at this distance and in the dim, are able to spot something is not right with the trio. Lubella notices both women oddly have one blue and one brown pupil. The man's eyes are both gray. All of their hands are not in plain sight.
Aldren doesn't recognize the gentleman and he is pretty sure the 'nieces' have not been to the temple and their hidden leather armor is more than a typical strumpet would wear.
Map updated, buildings outlined in black. Center area is mostly clear, but if it looks cluttered, consider difficult terrain.
Dim lighting is in affect if no alternate light sources provided.
3d20 ⇒ (15, 14, 9) = 38
Initiative (Aldren): 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (19) + 0 = 19
Initiative (Arcos): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Initiative (Lubella): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Initiative (Talvek): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Initiative (Fhingle): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Initiative (Sidius): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
Initiative (Nobel): 1d20 ⇒ 15
Initiative (Ladies): 1d20 ⇒ 7
The 'gentleman' draws a sword as his face dissolves into a visage dominated by grotesque and unsettling whorls and slits instead of actual features. The now hairless, leathery biped creature hisses as it points to Sidius with malice.
Bah! Forget the short ones. Get the one in the middle!
It springs forward in the alley, with blade in hand.
Bold are up...dim light unless light provided.
12-Purple Lady(), Pink Lady()
9- Lubella(), Fhingle(), Talvek()
I'll roll my knowledge checks now. You can tell me the results on the 'nieces' turn.
Monster Knowledge ('noble'): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Monster Knowledge ('ladies'): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Arcana, Dungeoneering, Local, Planes, Religion: all have the same modifier.
Sidius says, "Why I am a magnet for these things, now?" He quickly reaches into his pouch with one hand, throwing powder at the opponents as he traces an arcane pattern with the other hand. If nothing else, this should make sure that we can see our opponents...
Glitterdust - Will DC 17 or blinded; either way, bright and sparkly, which should negate any dim light penalities..
Aldren growls, "I was serious... I just wanted a warm bed, and you had to go and mess that up. Alright then..." He dismisses his disguise with a mental flick of a finger, takes a step forward to open room for the Ravens while drawing his whip, and calls to Calistria for her protection. "Stay close to me and the Savored Sting will protect you!"
Magic Circle Against Evil. Stay within 10' of me, and you'll get the benefit of Protection from Evil. +2 Deflection Bonus to AC and +2 Resistance Bonus on Saves
Aldren's Status: Buckler on arm but not readied as he cast a spell, so, with prot from evil, his AC is 19/12/19 (he already has a +1 deflection bonus so it doesn't stack); scorpion whip in hand, has 10' reach, he will try a Trip CM against any opponent that leaves a threatened square
Trip CM AoO with mwk weapon: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 5 + 1 = 9 Ah! There's the RNG I know and hate!
Arcos summons forth an arcane shield of invisible energy.
Assuming Sidius targets glitterdust as I have shown just to keep things moving.
will man: 1d20 ⇒ 1
will pink lady: 1d20 ⇒ 16
Both the man and his pink-clad escort are covered in the glowing mites. The man-creature grasps at his eyes, while the woman seems unfased.
AH! I told you to get him.
The two women instantly become four, as their identical doubles wink into existence.
The pair in pink heed the warning of the glowing man and aim a wand at Sidius. But when she speaks the command, the effect appears to bounce off the ward around Sidius.
The other two women in blue stride forward while pulling a net from behind her back. She stops ready to cast it.
Well, come my pretties and offer yourself as a willing victim!
Bold are up. Prot vs Evil in effect
=== Round 1 ===
9- Lubella(), Fhingle(), Talvek()
=== Round 2 ===
24+Nobel(glittery, blind, readied...)
12-Blue Lady( net ready), Pink Lady(glittery)
Did Lubella learn anything about the women with her knowledge check?
Lubella moved up and cast a spell, causing five duplicates to appear around her! She taunted the opposing women, "Three can play at that game — you're outnumbered!"
Casting Mirror Image.
Mirror Image: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
The ladies are changelings (humanoids)
The creature is a faceless stalker (aberration)
Lubella duplicates herself and recalls a she knows a bit about these strange women. She has no idea on the noble. (+1 question)
Fhingle(), Talvek() are up...
Talvek quickly downs an extract as he moves in front of Arcos protectively. His arms lengthen to unnatural dimensions as he draws his rapier and prepares to face their assailants.
Extract of Longarm, move, draw weapon as part of move. Talvek now has a range of 10', so enemies approaching him will likely provoke and AoO.
AoO: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11 Damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Talvek drinks an extract and Lubella recalls a bit of lore.
Fhingle considers his options (delays)
The noble continues to blink his swirls for eyes then stands where he is, sword in hand.
1d20 ⇒ 9
Curse you all! You will pay and you will fear her!
Bold are up. Prot vs Evil in effect
=== Round 2 ===
12-Blue Lady(2x net ready), Pink Lady(2x, glittery)
9- Lubella(mirrored), Talvek()
Lubella taunted the blind man, "She'll punish you for your failure!" She was trying to keep him talking; maybe he would slip up and reveal who he was referring to.
Arcos slings a bolt of lightning at the noble, trying to take advantage of his inability to defend himself adequately.
Attack vs. Flat-footed touch: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
Damage, Sneak Attack: 1d6 + 2 + 2d6 ⇒ (1) + 2 + (2, 1) = 6