|Azrael the Avenger|
Azrael watches Lyda leave and gives a little shrug... Perhaps her heritage makes her uncomfortable around me. No need for that, but she doesn't know I'm not the sort to make assumptions based on an accident of birth. He considers scanning her for alignment, and decides against it in the spirit of the gathering.
He listens quietly as the other converse for a bit... nods as others arrive acknowledging each of them, and introducing himself with a friendly smile. "I'm Azrael of the Gilded Dawn. I am so pleased to meet you," or some semblance of that greeting is how he speaks to each person as they arrive.
He listens intently to the ebb and flow of conversations around him, not contributing much but showing avid interest, especially when the talk turns to weapons and styles.
To Darvan's arrival and 'challenge', he greets his fellow holy warrior with a smile and nods. "Well met. I don't know that I would be able to offer much of a challenge to one of your probable skill, but I will be glad to spar with you, when time allows."
Overhearing some parts of the conversation, Tomas can't help get a bit closer and adress the group he's focused on.
-Excuse me, mesdames et messieurs... My name is Tomas Dusek, at your service.- He bows gently. -I... couldn't help but to hear by chance a bit of what you were saying, and I was amazed at the fact of finding someone using two swords at a time.
Tomas looks at everyone involved, but focuses his attention on Theodric and Darvan.
-Are you by chance looking forward to be accepted in the march? If so, and we both get to be at it, I would be very pleased to witness such a feat.- Tomas smiles, and is about to go on but hesitates at the very last moment.
-Na, let's not mention testing or anything related. There'll be time for that.
Sadly, his sense of competition is too high to avoid replying to Danvar's proposition, a fact that he uses to somewhat make-up his interruption in speech.
-Sir, it would be a pleasure to spar with you. If we're going to settle a new nation together, we should by any means be close to each other and, in my humble opinion, nothing strengthens ties better than a good sparring, don't you agree?
Cassandra looks over her shoulder again and notices the paladin has not pursued. Good. Chalm's subordinates that did the interview knew both her heritage and unique ability to change alignment and remained professional. Might have been too cautious here but she didn't want another paladin to loose their powers because she wasn't good enough at diplomacy. And a scene right before the revelation of the groups might have spelled disaster. Better to be too careful in this case.
"Well, he didn't follow. That's a good sign. Feel free to go chat," she says to Kyras. "But all the same I think I will stay away from him and his group for now."
"Aw." Deneb pouts.
"You can go. Just stay on the opposite of them or make up an excuse."
"No. No. Can't very well abandon a friend. Getting close anyway. I think."
Darvan blinks for a moment, as though unable to believe what Tomas has said, but soon a smile splits his lips. "Truly, for how else can we know who among our companions can stand unaided against the might of those arrayed against us, while others need our strength as a bulwark." Face bearing an expression of mingled hope and barely suppressed excitement, he waits for Tomas' response to this. Behind Darvan, Theodric's voice can be heard making an impassioned plea.
"Gods above and below, please, not this. Not two of them in the same damn city, I beg it of you," Theodric implores to any power whom he thinks can--and hopefully will--answer his desperate prayer. He's had years of exposure to Darvan, and knows full well just how intense the Vudrani can get about his challenges and tests. And the prospect of someone else with a similar mindset is enough to make Theodric despair. Hands pressed firmly against his mask, he can be heard to mutter. "I've had nightmares about moments like this, but I never thought for an instant that it could actually happen."
For those that are actively keeping an eye out only. You don't roll if your not, as modifier and conditions change considerably.
Stealth: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (3) + 17 = 20
You notice a glimmer in the air for a moment. As if something was moving beneath the very surface of your vision.
Nakir pops up beside and behind Aolis.
"Well isn't this a grand party. If I may interject as I know my friend here never would."
He pats Aolis on the shoulder.
"Swords around here are like grains of sand in the desert. You want to stand out or get considered, better bring something else to the table. If swords could tame the stolen lands, well they wouldn't be called stolen now would they."
They were in a land of sword obsessed warriors, blade craft could get you far here. But out in the wild, all that dueling stuff was dead weight. You have to have raw power or cunning to make it, best to have a bit of both. You don't see wolves playing at hunting, at least not unless their pups. They didn't need pups on their journey.
|Azrael the Avenger|
Azrael turns to the newcomer who just popped up and gives him a wry smile. "One sword alone, perhaps not, but against an array of united blades, who knows. And I'm sure we are going to bring to bear much beyond just steel. Sparring is a way of learning and judging each other's abilities so we know best how to fight together against a common foe later, so it serves a purpose. It isn't just for fun, you know. Dueling however is another topic entirely. Dueling is to settle things - grudges and to rank superiority, little more. I have no use for dueling, personally, though I'm sure proponents would have a different opinion."
As he finishes speaking, a tanned half-elf looking fellow with pale hair and brilliant green eyes walks up to Azrael's side and greets Corwin, the large dog with a familiar scratch behind the ears. Closer observation reveals he is not exactly a half-elf, despite the similar appearance. "Hello Corwin, I hope you're treating this youngster well today." he says, nodding in Azrael's direction.
The newcomer, Hareth, looks to the gathered folk and gives a little smile to all. "Hello Amavin, you're looking especially pretty today. Aolis, good to see you again."
At Darvan's challenge, Aramil says, "Perhaps we'll have the opportunity, although I am unsure if I will have the time. No doubt some of my time will be spent in training my job who are traveling with me."
Aramil shakes his head at Nakir's entrance. "I see you still enjoy popping up out of nowhere, Nakir. Some day, that might actually get you into trouble."
At Hareth's arrival, he nods in greeting. "Well,met, Hareth."
"Ah, Aramil, well met again indeed. Today should be exciting, yes? What, no Porablum today? or is your little friend out exploring the town?"
Nearby, a feminine, musical voice inquires of someone near her, "Sparring?"
A cat's-tongue-rough masculine voice responds. "Martial-speak for 'Let me try to kick your ass,' or so Tirov always said."
The woman laughs. "Tirov never said that to me."
"He knew you weren't serious about fighting, and he never used the word himself; always said that someone serious about the arts used 'work out' or 'practice'. What's that?"
"That" is a disturbance in the crowd, along the route that would be taken by someone coming from the Citadel to the table that is the center of Red Table Square. A couple of minutes later, the roar of a cheer swells amongst the four-thousand-strong crowd as onto the platform itself mounts a handful of people. One is clearly a Swordlord - The Swordlord, Master of the Aldori School Rytier Kanimir Khavortorov himself, looking as lemon-drop sour as he ever has. The second is someone you've all met in person, His Majesty's Captain of the Guard, Sir Nikita Alexeyevich, looking grim and tense. The third is either an elf or a very slender human, who walks to each of the four directions and makes mystic passes while the last individual, a herald wearing the livery of the Mayor of the Free City of Restov, waits patiently for the wizard to finish.
Once the wizard concludes his work and gives the herald a bow, that worthy extracts from under his arm a scroll. "All pay heed," he calls out, and no matter your distance from the Red Table, you can hear him clearly, as though he were calling out in his expertly-trained voice an introduction from the door to the twenty-foot-long room you were waiting in. "All pay heed to the declaration of the Mayor of the Free City of Restov, given support and succor by the Swordlords of Restov ..."
Well, it's entertaining for about two seconds. And then he blathers on for about two hours (okay, okay, five minutes) with a repetition of the Declaration issued by King Noleski, followed by something annoyingly elaborate that boils down to 'King Chalm Kowalskiy has decided the following companies shall accompany him to the Stolen Lands.'
And yours is one of them.
- The Auram Chain
- The Black Company
- The Brilliant Sword School
- The Bronze Seal
- The Cenobitic Order of the Silver River
- Dashing Harvesters
- The Frozen Flame
- The Gilded Dawn
- The Golden Alliance
- High Bounty
- The Reckless
- Requiem of Wolves
- Shivering Exiles
- The Silver Star
- The Steel Fist
- Swords of the Legion
- Voice of Mountains
- Voice of Trees
Another several will be permitted entry to and residence in the Stolen Lands should they care to advance into the territory at this time, but will not be granted the aegis of being under Chalm's banner. In essence, they can help build the place, but they won't be considered 'founding fathers' the way the others will.
- Companions of Armgaard
- The Grey Torch
- The Jade Legion
- Swords of the Legion
The remainder - about 25 groups - are thanked for their proposals, but have been turned down.
Once done reading the declaration, the herald rolls the scroll back up, gives a respectful bow to both Rytier Khavortorov and Sir Alexeyevich (who each give a courteous nod back), and the four of them head back to the Citadel.
When he hears the name of his company, Tomas can't help showing a sign of relief. "Yes!"
Immediatly after it, he tries to discern who of the ones around him show that same sign, and thus relate their faces to their groups.
1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
Diplomacy to get to have a look at the spoiler:
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
Theodric is readying a response for Tomas when a sudden stirring in the crowd, along with Lillana's painfull tight grip on on his arm, bring him to a stop. It seems that the time for which everyone has been waiting is finally arrived, and Theodric turns to fully face the center of the Square, with a bit of aid from Lillana. Listening to the opening portion of the herald's announcement is somewhat tedious, but Theodric manages to keep his impatience in check until that part is finally done with, and the list of names belonging to those accepted is begun.
When he hears the name of the group he is representing, Theodric keeps his visible response restricted to a simple nod, his expression well-hidden by his mask. Darvan manages a similarly-restrained "Excellent," accompanied by a broad grin, though Lillana's own reaction amply makes up for the both of them as she jumps in place while excitedly squealing "We're in, we're in, the Harvesters are in," until Theodric finally claps a hand over her mouth. Flushing, the young noblewoman stops her enthusiastic display while peeling the hand away, letting Theodric catch the remaining names as the herald reads them off.
Diplomacy Check: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Something about the wording of the declaration sounds off to Theodric's ear, but he can't quite figure out what it is. And before he really has any chance at all to thoroughly think it over, a stout clap on the shoulder from Darvan rocks him on his feet. A moment later, a surprisingly powerful hug from Lillana catches Theodric from the other direction, and further thought of the declaration's words are washed away by her excited babble, of which he can't hear single word clearly under the swell of chatter from the crowd. After letting her do her best to pulverize his ribcage for several moments, he pries Lillana loose long enough to substitute himself for Darvan, who endures the assault with a laugh. Turning to face the others, Theodric then bows and, with voice raised to be heard above the crowd, says, "Well, I believe we are all to be companions on this great venture, as I'm quite certain representatives from a number of those named by the herald are to be found in this little gathering. May our association be long, successful, and bring us what we desire out it."
Perception on musical voice: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
Diplomacy DC 25: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (13) + 18 = 31
Now if I spot musical voice I'll know what this person looks like, but not who they are (probably) due to my utter lack of Knowledge Local. I might be able to Gather Information it though - or just chat if this person is relevant and shows up at social event
Amavin inwardly smiles to herself at her groups inclusion, before also being pleased some of her old friends were also selected. Interestingly enough, the Jade Legion had also managed to sneak in (in a fashion), which Amavin considered interesting on its own merit. One thing Amavin immediately wanted to do was sit around, analyse and talk with the people who HAD been selected, but she knew she had little time, she had to ensure she and Ishana were ready, and besides, if she wanted a little background information, her fiends could help out. Ishana was also giving her a significant look, so Amavin nodded her head at each individual member of the impromptu group that had formed, before flashing a harried smile and stepping through the crowd, into a quieter area.
Ishana tugged lightly on Amavin's shoulder to get the other women's attention.
"The Jade Legion? Isn't that the group that you met with days ago while I was roaming the city?" Ishana asks curiously, knowing the name but not remembering much of the specifics.
Amavin frowns slightly before replying, happy that her friend was showing a healthy interest into the political movements that must have gone into the decision, but also irritation - it wasn't as if the Jade Legion were horrible people - but Amavin knew that at least 25 applications had application's fully turned down - So what did the Jade Legion have in that application that the others didn't. Quickly, she relayed her (minor) interaction with Ishana.
"Amavin darling, I think Aolis was right, if it was just the old man with the eye on you - then you clearly need to be drinking some of those heavy red wines that he mentioned more often - surely you would be having much more of an impact with your discussions" Ishana remarks with a grin, amusement showing as she teased - always willing to push the boundaries.
"Ishana dear, leaving the diplomatic events and how they get approached to the professionals, a la me. I'll leave the seduction tactics to someone else more qualified - and don't think you are getting off easy either, I'll be ensuring that your outfit is every bit as gorgeous as mine, I want you at the dinner with me, and already there is so much to do and so little time to do it in." Amavin retorts quickly, taking Isahana by the arm and strolling back to the lodging.
Spellcraft vs Stage Wizard: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (5) + 16 = 21
Diplomacy DC 25: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (15) + 19 = 34
Sense Motive Hunch vs Kanimir: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (7) + 12 = 19
Sense Motive Hunch vs Nikita: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15
Aolis watches carefully and pays attention to everything that is said and how they say it. When the time comes for the group announcements. He merely inclines his head in acknowledgement of his groups admittance. After all their were very few that had what they could offer in this land of swords. Even if he would not have phrased it as Nakir had. Again with little surprise he notes his old comrades admittance as well.
"It seems congratulations to all of us is in order. Except for Aramil, my condolences on having that name made so public."
He says with a smirk towards the other elf. He catches the tail end of the declaration and does not miss the subtle threat. He grows more serious as he could see where this would lead or at least possible lead. Sometimes he wondered if humans had no foresight or simply let their ego come before their head more times then not. Perhaps it was more a symptom of positions of power, he would philosophize later. He whispers to his old comrades before any can disperse.
"We need to talk, all of us. Privately as soon as we can."
He had nothing against the new comers and other groups that were accepted. But it was a simple fact that he did not know them, as such he could trust them anymore then a stranger.
Aramil shakes his head at Nakir's entrance. "I see you still enjoy popping up out of nowhere, Nakir. Some day, that might actually get you into trouble."
Without missing a beat he replies with a smile.
"Oh it does, plenty of times. Like just now, but really sometimes isn't that the point. We could all use a little trouble in our lives. If mine is all you have then you should be thankful."
His black eyes take a slight unnerving quality with his smile if not his words. As the center stage starts he winks and blanks his face. At the declaration of the groups he rolls his eyes but says nothing.
|Azrael the Avenger|
diplomacy dc 25: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (14) + 16 = 30
Azrael smiles when the Gilded Dawn are included in the list of those headed to the Stolen Lands. He turns to Hareth and says softly "Seems we are taking a little trip. We'll have much to prepare.. and more supplies to buy as well... Good thing we already bought most of them, because prices on anything to do with such travel will skyrocket after this announcement... wagons, feed, adventuring equipment, I'm sure all we be more expensive now. I wonder what a third wagon will actually go for."
"I do feel honored to have been selected. Did you hear the herald's words though? I mean really heard... about those who didn't make the cut? It seems rather harsh to me, but I guess it makes some sense to keep the area from becoming even more lawless."
When Aolis mentions the need to meet privately, he lofts a brow curiously, wondering what he might have to say, but nods. "Alright, Aolis... when and where would you suggest? I have a small townhouse in the city, we could meet there, if you have no other private place to suggest."
Aramil groans softly as the name is read. Though pleased to know they made it in, he was most displeased the name was public.
Rolling his eyes at Aolis's teasing comment, he says, "Yes, well, with luck everyone will forget it."
Growing more serious at Aolis's request, he says, "My parents' house is secure, and not in neighborhoods frequented by the adventuring sort. My mother will most definitely ensure servants don't listen in."
Upon hearing the announcement, Darivan and Sylvia turn to one another joyously and share a huge hug.
"We did it!" they exclaim as one.
"Oh, Aballon will be so happy! I'll send a message immediately!" Sylvia whistles, and a hawk swoops down from the sky. Sylvia quickly scribbles a note and ties it to Gwaihir's leg. She gives the bird a small piece of meat, winces as the hawk "playfully" nibbles her ear, and sends her familiar off.
Darivan, in the meantime, ponders the words carefully. There's something special in the wording, but he just can't figure out what.
Auto-fail on account of his diplomacy bonus. While trained, he only has a +3, meaning he'd need to roll 22.
He shrugs off the feeling, hoping it won't be important. He is a bit more concerned about what the herald didn't say. Everybody in the city knew of The Party, of course, but should the guests know anything special? Should they come early? Arrive at a different entrance? Would weapons be allowed? If not, would his ceremonial dagger be allowed? Would the entire group be at the same place, or would they be split up? There was just so much left unknown....
Yes, I do know the answer to most of these OOC, but Darivan has no idea. We're these included in the *two hour* speech?
Darg nods upon hearing the proclamation. He then turns to Marlovaur and smiles. "The Steel Fists are in! Look's like we're returning to the frontier, my friend. This will be a grand expedition indeed. With the elite companies of Rostland accompanying King Kowalskiy, the stolen lands will surely be returned to the rule of law and virtue. This is a truly historic event and, I believe, the dawn of a new era for Rostland. I thank Erastil for the opportunity to serve our King in this noble endeavor - let us pray to him for strength in colonizing the trackless lands of the Green Belt."
Darg then lowers his head and leads the others in prayer.
"May Erastil empower his soldiers to smite those who would oppose us. May Old Deadeye protect our families during the long months of the coming expedition. May Erastil protect and guide King Kowalskiy on this noble mission and may he grant our liege everlasting glory in His eternal domain."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Marlovaur studies the herald without emotion. He carefully notes the nuanced meaning within the proclamation. The King is correct to be leery of foreign interference. He would also be wise to beware internal treachery. Can these people all be trusted? He warily sweeps his eyes over the gathered mass and looks for any sign of danger.
He then sighs and joins Dargaryen in prayer.
"Praise be to Erastil! The Steel Fists are ready and eagerly await the expedition. I will finalize our preparations. The men will be ready to depart at first light."
diplomacy: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (16) + 15 = 31
perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
"Yes! We're in!" Sylvara exclaims, doing a little hop. Kaellin has to shift to avoid tumbling.
Kaellin's Diplomacy: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
Sylvara's Diplomacy (using Performance (oratory): 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (17) + 15 = 32
Done cheering, Sylvara turns to Kaellin. "By the way, did you catch the herald's subtle meaning on that last part?"
Kaellin raises an eyebrow. "That... latecomers get the scraps?"
Sylvara rolls her eyes. "No, silly..." She explains to Kaellin what the herald really meant. Kaellin was taken aback.
"Wow, latecomers really get the scraps."
"I thought you had a nose to pick up on these things?"
"Yeah, but not the brains to figure out all this legal backtalk. Why can't folks just please plainly? See, this is why you should be the face, this is more your arena."
"Nonsense, you're perfectly capable of surviving this," Sylvara reassures him, before muttering under her breath, "...you just have to listen everything I tell you to do."
"Nothing! Besides, *I* am the chronicler. Can't record history if I'm the one making it!"
"Riiight. Anyways, better let the others know to get ready. But stay around, so I can 'listen to everything you tell me to do.'"
"Eep!" Sylvara has the good grace to blush.
Kaellin taps his ear, while giving the girl a smirk. "My nose might not pick up legalese bull, but these ain't just for show."
|Azrael the Avenger|
"Your mother's house is fine with me, Aramil... as long as it can accommodate all of us in one room, it sounds perfect and private. Whenever everyone is ready to convene?" Azrael ends with a statement that is as much question.
Hareth takes note of the Erastil worshipers of the Steel Fist and nods in approval, half closing his eyes in prayer along with them.
"Ray, do you want me to see about last minute supplies while you meet with the rest of the veterans, or shall I come to the meeting as well?"
Despite having remained confident and optimistic throughout the application process, Acaciano breathed a sigh of relief as they announced his band, Voice of Trees, last in the list of accepted parties. He and Tai shared a jubilant look and grasped each others forearm in a mostly silent celebration.
Acaciano noted that they'd guessed correctly in talking to the colorful and busy group. As they made plans to retire, he politely bid them farewell.
"Well I suppose we'll be seeing you lot quite a bit more. Congratulations to you all. Enjoy your reunion, perhaps we'll see you later this evening."
Tai Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16
Acaciano Diplomacy: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (17) + 0 = 17
While Amavin tries to look around and locate whomever it was, by that point the crowds have made certain that everyone is on quite friendly (or, in a couple of places, unfriendly) terms with each other, making spotting all but impossible.
The herald's reading (only 5 minutes, really) does not include any information in regards to the specifics of The Party, nor would it; that sort of courtesy is relayed in a far more personal manner - though the herald does state that fact during that time, that 'invitations to the Mayor's Merrymead Gala shall be delivered within the hour to the significant members of such groups ...' Which means the invitation for tomorrow night's soirée will be arriving at whatever location you informed the chamberlain and the captain of the guard was your residence-of-moment. Of course, later on there is a statement that the Mayor's Merrymead Munificence (i.e. his alcohol giveaway) will still take place in the Citadel courtyard almost as usual, an announcement that received quite a generous cheer; specifics as to that giveaway can undoubtedly be had in any tavern, public house, inn, grog den, or restaurant in town.
The announcement having been made, and copies of it undoubtedly going up on message-posts and -boards all over town, the crowd begins to break up as people return to their jobs, or their training, or their plans, or whatever it is they happen to be doing - though a few specific instances might be worth mentioning ...
:: Dargaryen ::
There are five in the Steel Fist that, at least in the opinion of four of the five, are the only ones who matter: yourself, Vitez Dargaryen Blanc, House Khavotorov; Vitez Ksawery Munaich, House Garess; Żonka Roksana Garess, House Garess; Vitez Gregorz Tuniztia, House Medvyed; and Barunet Bartok Kendfila, House Medvyed. The other four, extremely well-dressed and with their own personal assistants and toadies (only Bartok doesn't have a batman and assorted hangers-on) by their sides, came with Darg to Red Table Square to 'enjoy the experience' - which, to be entirely honest, seems to be exactly how they're approaching the entire situation.
The four of them - actually about twelve of them, counting 'amusement of the hour' and such - send up a boisterous cheer when the name of their group is called out; after, they watch Dargaryen and Marlovaur bow their heads and pray. Gregorz turns to Bartok and says, with a touch of acid inside the humorous attitude of his voice, "You didn't tell me he was a temple's man."
Bartok, title-rich but somewhat impoverished and an old childhood acquaintance of Darg's (which connection is how he got invited into the group), nibbles a roasted chestnut that some sharp food-cart proprietor has been selling by the handful (well, bagful, but that's about the size of the bag) on the fring of the crowd. "He has his moments," replies the baronet, watching Darg with the same sort of amusement that the others have.
When Marlovaur promises that 'the men' will be ready to leave at first light, all four of the other primary members of the Steel Fist burst into laughter to one degree or another - Roksana grinning and laughing mildly, Gregorz laughing so hard he almost falls over. "Dargaryen, my love," calls Roksana - she calls every male friend of hers 'my love' - "best disabuse your man there of such delusions!! Tomorrow is Merrymead - we should be lucky to be out of bed by this time on Fireday!!"
"I plan to be nursing an absolutely towering hangover," agrees Bartok.
:: Tomáš ::
The reactions are various, but for the most part there are cheers here and there (such as the shout thrown up by the members of the Steel Fist) as particular group's names are called. Due to the, err, betting pools, though, it certainly can be tough to say with absolute certitude who is a part of which group ...
:: Azrael, Aolis, Aramil, Amavin ::
By Azrael's side, Corwin continues to intermittently give a low growl that just barely stays on the polite side of a snarl.
Amavin's conversation with her old comrades is interrupted by two of the would-be merchant-princes who, pushing through the crowd with the able assistance of four burly bludgeon-armed bodyguards, greet her with hearty approval. "Żonka" - the female counterpart to 'Vitez', basically a way of being very socially polite to someone of relatively unclear rank but clear power - "Zephyra!! Excellent, excellent, well done indeed!!"
One of the two stout merchants claps Amavin on the shoulder, grinning just as widely as his equally-bundled-up compatriot. "Quite pleased with your work so far!! We'll be having a working lunch, so please make sure we can get a hold of you sometime around, mmm ... fourth bell?" The second nods his head judiciously. "Yes, very good, sometime after the fourth bell after noon. We'll send a runner to summon you so that we can give you your instructions for the party. Yes, very well done indeed, plans to be made, people to be influenced. Ha! Ha! Ha!"
And with that jolly declaration, the two continue onwards, their quartet of mooks making sure they aren't molested by anything so grimy as a crowdsperson.
Today is Wealday 1st Calistril; The Mayor's Merrymead Gala, aka The Party, doesn't take place until 2nd Calistril (Merrymead). It falling on an Oathday, it seemed appropriate to have it all happen that night. So you have approximately 30 hours to look into things, get ready, etc.
The invitations will be very specific; one will arrive for each of you and each of your cohorts, no 'plus one' to muck things up, for the Gala's start at 6:00, oathtakings to occur at 9:00, dinner to be served immediately upon its conclusion. Other invitations will arrive for the other primary members of your groups (those at level 6-7); if you really need the information, I can provide you with numbers. The invitation 'requests-and-requires' (i.e. instructs) you to carry your primary weapon(s) to the Gala, though they will be 'checked at the door'.
As well, the invitation to your PC will request that you bring or send to the Citadel your 'standard expedition equipment', to be set up upon mannequins for the reference-use of the assistants of the artist who will be executing the grand painting commissioned by Noleski Surtova. The invite requests that these items be sent to the Citadel no later than noon tomorrow.
Between now (Noon 1st Calistril) and Party-Time (6 PM 2nd Calistril), you can let me know what you and/or your cohorts and/or your followers might be doing. Get together with other PCs or go meet other leaders, whatever.
I will break this down into 4-hour blocks - 3 from now until 'end of day' at midnight, one for the morning of the 2nd, one in the afternoon. You and your people can go out to collect information, come back to analyze it, go get more, take a meeting, whatever. You can't do multiple things in one 'block'; that includes 'collate and analyze information', so if you want to cast your followers-net wide and have them collect information in Block 1 (noon-4pm), your PC and Cohort won't have the information until you take the time (i.e. a block) to talk to them to find out what information they've gained, the rumors they've heard, and put it together.
A special rule for this - if you go to visit someone who has gone to visit someone else, unless that person has specifically given orders in regards to who should be told where they went (or that everyone/no-one should), there will be a randomized chance of you finding out where they went so you can follow them.
- If you meet a follower (2-in-6 chance), they have a 5-in-6 chance of knowing where their leader went and a 4-in-6 chance of knowing where a cohort went. However, they only have a 1-in-6 chance of telling you the information.
- If you meet a servant of the locale (4-in-6), they have only a 1-in-6 chance of knowing where the leader went, but a 2-in-6 chance of knowing where a cohort went. They have a 3-in-6 chance of telling you that information, which chance can be increased by 1 point per 1 gp bribed. ;)
Diplomacy (DC 20) or KS: Nobility (DC 15) will inform those with inquiring minds (or those who ask those who have knowledge in such matters) of a number of things.
First, the time given for the start of the Gala is meant to be a 'soft arrival' time - show up any time within a half hour before or after, and all will be well. Showing up more than a half-hour late either expresses a lack of a need to care about social niceties (the king could do so, for example, if he didn't care about insulting the host), or a deliberate affront to the host and whatever individual(s) is/are being honored at the party (i.e. the new king).
Second, in a situation like this (where there's a king present), the only people likely to be armed are the king, the king's personal guard, maybe a token number of the host's guard (kept to the fringes), and those who have had a long-standing right to be armed. Of the last, only one exists in Restov: the Aldori, aka The Swordlord, the acerbic-looking fellow who'd just been up on the platform, Rytier Kanimir Khavortorov. Considering the request-and-require-everyone-brings-their-primary-weapon bit (OOCly done so that the cohorts can at least be armed when the fit hits the shan), King Chalm undoubtedly understands the bone-deep wariness of an explorer and adventurer, and is doing this to assuage their tension.
Third, considering the size of the party-to-be, the only way they could have 'people in seperate places' would be to have seperate parties in seperate locations, which certainly doesn't seem to be in the cards.
As an aside/favor request - just use one spoiler tag for the post, drop everything in there. Otherwise it gets cluttered...
After getting clear of Red Table Square and finding a relatively quiet spot out of traffic, Theodric turns to Darvan and Lillana and begins relaying instructions. "Much to do, only a little time to do it in," he begins. "Darvan, I'd like you to head back to camp, inform the others of our selection, then see to getting all but what we absolutely need out packed away and ready for the journey. I'll also need you there to greet any of our fellow travelers who come visiting." Hearing Darvan's wordless noise of assent, Theodric then turns his masked face toward Lillana and address her. "While he handles that, you and I will attempt to find me some respectable clothing that I can get the use of for tomorrow evening. At the very least, something I can pin to this robe to make it look acceptable for noble sensibilities," he concludes with a faintly annoyed tone. With Darvan wasting little time in returning to the Harvesters' encampment, Theodric takes a few moments to rack his memory for where in this city he could find a clothier specialized in wares of sufficient quality for a party attended by the city's elite.
Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18
It takes little time for Darvan to reach camp after clearing the city gate, and he quickly informs the other leaders of the Dashing Harvesters of their inclusion in the expedition. This news is greeted with cheers from the assortment of arms-men, camp followers, and hangers-on that make up the bulk of the Harvesters' membership. Leaving the other captains to see to their retinues, Darvan ensures that Theodric's own small following is ready to go at any time. During the process of overseeing the final checks on their animals and supplies, Darvan finds himself receiving the invitations for the Gala to be held tomorrow, and he finds it hard not to laugh at Mikos' palpable disappointment when the young man learns that only the group's leaders are invited. "Mikos, even if these invitations weren't restricted, you still wouldn't be going," he says as he directs the despondant younger man back to his tasks. "Your proclivities regarding women are far too troublesome for your cousin to take any chances with. Should you get into that party, there is no doubt in my mind that it wouldn't be but a candle mark before you find yourself enmeshed in a duel. A duel your cousin or myself would have to fight on your behalf." Darvan smiles briefly at the prospect of such a test before continuing. "And we cannot afford the trouble that would arise from that duel, especially not now."
Hearing Mikos mutter something, Darvan makes a rather accurate guess as the gist of the unheard complaint. "Yes, actually, you are that bad. Or has it slipped your mind why you are in our company to begin with, hmmm? A not-so-little matter of outraged fathers, brothers, and husbands back home, all of whom would dearly like to introduce you to a set of gelding irons." Mention of the gelding irons has Mikos wincing and reflexively curling inward briefly, a reaction that draws a chuckle out of the other members of Theodric's retinue. "So you do remember those, good, good," Darvan says with a sympathetic pat to Mikos' back. "And that is why you are confined to camp. Because any outraged people here will resort to a sword's edge to seek redress for your actions." That matter handled, Darvan resumes his duties as Theodric's lieutenant. Once all but the essentials are stowed on the wagons, Darvan takes a seat at the fire and engages in a bit of light meditation while awaiting the arrival of Theodric or any callers who may seek out the Harvesters in the wake of the morning's announcement.
|Azrael the Avenger|
Azrael inquires as to when we should all meet at Aramil's and directions to his mother's home. Then he turns to Hareth and says, "Why don't you head home and let everyone know we will be leaving for the wilderness soon and to get all in readiness. Time to pick up a third wagon as well and more supplies as we have more horses to feed and followers as well."
Hareth leaves to take care of business as suggested, while Azrael remains behind.
Azrael kneels down next to Corwin and inquires softly in Celestial, "What bothers you today, my friend? Is there evil nearby? or some threat I need to be aware of? Can you lead me to it? or at least point it out to me?"
Azrael will spend the rest of his block 1 searching out what troubles Corwin... He's especially concerned that there might be evil afoot to threaten tomorrow's gathering.
Amavin nods in acceptance of the offer given to her by The Golden Company, before turning to Aolis.
"If you want a gathering of the old guard to talk and discuss matters, then I would recommend pushing for a discussion now rather than later - I have pressing engagements that I need to attend to - and couldn't promise much at a future time"
Amavin waits for a moment (ideally for an answer), before turning to Ishana with a serious expression.
"I know that its your birthday, but everything just kicked up a gear and I'll need your help. Firstly, I'll need you at my side around 4:00 - I want us both present for the meeting - anything they say to me I want you being around for, both so we are on the same page and also because I value my insights. In the meantime however, I want you to see if you can talk with the Jade Legion. My own meeting with them was cut short last time, and I'm aware that as an organisation they tend to be more...protective. Stop by, make sure you offer our congratulations - as it would be rude not to after meeting and eating with them earlier - and check to see if they want a talk with me. If they don't that's fine, it means i can enter into the dinner later tomorrow with a clear head - if they do I'll either need to sort out a meeting before the dinner or during it. Anyway, get an idea as to what they might be looking for. If there is still time, feel free to then ask some of my friends to go searching for information - you know how I run things, you can organise them, but if there is no time, then as I said earlier, meet up with me at 4:00 and we can go see our sponsors together."
"Gotta admit, I didn't think we'd get in," Lenciel remarks.
"So what's next?" Jacqueline asks.
"Well, we'll be getting the invitations soon," says Sylvara. "The party is tomorrow night, so we have some time to prepare."
"In the mean time, let's make sure we got all the supplies we need," Kaellin tells them. "We have most of what we need, but if you still have gold from the last job, now's the time to use it."
"Are the clothes I got you still good?" Sylvara asks Kaellin.
Kaellin sighs. "Yeah. I don't know how you can tolerate those things. You can hardly move in them."
"Tut-tut! This will be a formal affair, we need to put on a good impression. Speaking of which, we'll go over proper etiquette for the party later."
Kaellin groans. "Joy..."
"Oh, quit your whining," Sylvara teases him. "Before that, though, I'll see what I can find out about all the other parties that will be joining us, especially King Chalm. I'll head out and make some inquiries."
Sylvara departs, and the rest of the reckless break up to gather their final supplies.
Darg smiles and winks at Roksana, "Zonka Garess, I've always admired your passion for life. Yes, but of course we will properly celebrate Merrymead! I pledge to match you cup for cup in your choice of ales or spirits. I would also extend the challenge to you, comrades Bartok, Gregorz and Ksawery. Sirs, you will then find that my faith in Erastil fortifies me not only on the battlefield but in the bar room also!"
He smiles at his fellow steel fists and slaps Gregorz on the back, "My friends, do not begrudge Marlovaur his eagerness to return to the field. He may be overly serious, but you will be thankful for his discipline and attention to detail when we make first contact with the enemy. I assure you that I've served with no better soldier or staff officer during my years in the army."
Darg then takes on a more serious tone. "We must make what preparations that we can prior to Merrymead. I suggest that we better understand the companies that we will be operating with. For us to work effectively with them, we must establish relationships with their leadership. Let's spread out and try to meet with five other groups. Its best to start with our fellow martial groups. Marlovaur and I will seek out the leaders of The Brilliant Sword School. Roksana, why don't you talk to the Nighthammers. Gregorz, you have the Swords of the Legion. Bartok, please meet with the paladins of The Gilded Dawn. Ksawery, why don't you see if you can find one of the monks of the Auram Chain?" He hands enough gold to each to assure a successful bribe, if necessary. "This may help open some doors."
Darg Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
Marlovaur Diplomacy: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (3) + 15 = 18
I will give you four d6 rolls to reconcile each search.
Darg: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Darg: 1d6 ⇒ 6
Darg: 1d6 ⇒ 2
Darg: 1d6 ⇒ 5
Roksana: 1d6 ⇒ 5
Roksana: 1d6 ⇒ 1
Roksana: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Roksana: 1d6 ⇒ 5
Gregorz: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Gregorz: 1d6 ⇒ 2
Gregorz: 1d6 ⇒ 5
Gregorz: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Bartok: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Bartok: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Bartok: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Bartok: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Ksawery: 1d6 ⇒ 1
Ksawery: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Ksawery: 1d6 ⇒ 2
Ksawery: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Darivan and Sylvia spend most of the early afternoon asleep, exhausted from the sheer stress of waiting. Before, they were too tense to relax, but now they find themselves barely able to stand. Darivan wakes when the courier arrives however, and gratefully accepts the letter given to him. He looks over it, mildly concerned. His headband, while it appeared to be a simple braided leather cord, had cost a fortune, and sharpened his intellect. What made matters worse was that if he ever took it off, it would take a whole day before his mind fully recovered.
"Well, my dagger is hardly 'primary gear,' and it's absolutely not my primary weapon-
You bet it isn't. A voice said in his head. It was Ardafax, naturally. His Black Blade could be amazing, but sometimes the bastard sword really lived up to his name.
I can tear you, you know.
Yes, yes, of course, now let me finish thinking this through.
You mean saying? Speech is so cumbersome. It takes forever to communicate anything worthwhile, and-
I can control the very fabric of reality with the right words. Besides, you're just jealous.
But they needn't be out loud! If you'd just let me teach you the art of telepathic casting, it would be great! You'd never have to talk again! Also, I am not at all jealous!
Not interested. And you are so jealous.
No. End of discussion. Now where was I?
"So, my dagger I might be able to get away with. That's good. I hate going unarmed. But my headband is an issue. Maybe I should just send a note, explaining the situation? Or just not send it in for inspection, and hope nobody notices? Chalm does seem to be assuaging our fears in his invitation, not making us worry, so perhaps a note? And, of course, I need to be ready for The Party tomorrow. What were the Surtovas' house colors again? I feel like I should remember this.... Ah well, it'll come to me. No real rush, after all. I'll just ask Sylvia when she wakes up. She remembers everything, after all."
K (Nobility) for common knowledge : 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
K (Nobility) for info on the Surtovas: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
I can't remember the house colors. I feel like it was said somewhere, but I can't remember where nor find it. It's not major, but it will be RP'd a bit. But wow that was a bad roll. Trying again with Sylvia.
K (Nobility) Sylvia's knowledge of the Surtovas: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
Meh. Not the best, but wouldn't the colors be common knowledge, so DC 10 or less?
Also, I won't be posting a lot for the next few days. While I will try to keep up, the holidays are a bit of a crazy time for me. Sorry about that. I'll try to check in at least daily, but there's a lot planned for the next week.
Darivan is happy to chat, though. If anybody can find him (he'll be at the inn nearly all day), he's happy to talk with them.
Lyda breathed a sigh of relief as a great weight lifted off her shoulders. At her side Deneb was a lot less concerned. "Ha. Never doubted. I mean the only other group that sounded like they had our kind of experience was the Voice of the Trees. And maybe the Wolves. But that isn't a lot. Time for new wilds, new trees, new skies." He looks up into the air wistfully.
"Let's head back and give the others the good news then. I am sure Garuda and Kasha would like to stretch their prospective limbs," she says smiling down at him. As much as he enjoyed people, Deneb's first love was the sky.
Together, the duo pick up Charlotte, who has gotten quite lost in the crowd, before heading back. They manage to beat the crowd and do not get stuck at the west gate when leaving. An hour later and they are back at camp. The normally reserved group of survivalists, loners, hunters and druids explode in cheer at the good news. Several animals are frightened by the sudden noise but with so many nature oriented individuals, they are calmed quickly. And with the news, another party is well underway. This one is a little more subdued than the last though. A lot of friendly banter turns into planning as most experts at survival are wont to do. Much information is shared and lot a of ink is used.
Deneb disappears at some point in the day and Lyda sees two forms flying about in the sky in very unnatural but amusing loops, dives, and barrel rolls. Lyda, having responsibilities now, sticks around to mediate some minor arguments and learn some as well. Before the festivities get to rambunctious, Winnie surprises Lyda with a sudden departure. "Charlotte and I would are going into to town to get a few things and maybe find a temple to pray at for a safe journey. I think we might need some more supplies after a second big meal." Lyda nods in understanding and the two depart.
Diplomacy Winnie: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Aid Charlotte: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
Diplomacy Winnie: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Aid Charlotte: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23 Well s&!&. Maybe it should be the other way around.
Having politely taken their leave from the group, but not before catching the numerous people praising Erastil, Acaciano and Tai worked their way out of the square through the crowds, neither rushing nor wasting any time.
As they made their way out the gates, they began chatting:
"Well, here we go then," Acaciano started...
"Yup. Here we go. You ready for a fancy dinner affair?" Tai replied quickly. "When would you say the last time you did that was?" He smiled and laughed.
Acaciano laughed back, confident for some reason. Maybe it was the excitment of their selection still buoying him.
"Honestly? Years. Couldn't yell you the last time. And with the King? Never."
"Yeah, well I'll keep you on track to the best of my abilities, Master Acaciano." Tai jokingly mocked his friend with the end of his sentence, bowing down as if he were a servant. "Make sure to wear only your very best flowers."
"Well, that is the plan after all," Acaciano replied, leaving Tai to figure out if he was joking or not. The younger man had a better sense of people and the workings of this type of thing than Acaciano did, or at least he seemed to care more about it.
After they'd made it back to the camp Acaciano greeted the rest of the company, who'd been eagerly awaiting their return. They could tell from the smile and bounce in his step as he called them together that they news was good.
After a bit of celebrating, they got down to business. Acaciano, Tai, Jem, and Pine worked out a plan for the next few days, allotting enough time to shore up their supplies, and to take care of the numerous small things that needed to be done, while leaving time some immediate information gathering. The trio of Druids agreed that the Erastil worshippers earned further investigation, with anything but the worst luck they'd share many of the same values, and so they agreed to send Tai to find out what he could. Jem and Pine would stay back at the camp to supervise preparations, and field any questions.
Meanwhile, Acaciano with Heartwood in tow, would seek out Voice of Mountains- they'd seemed like a promising group, but they'd left the quickly and without obvious reason. The others questioned bringing Heartwood at first, but Acaciano figured their reaction to him would be as good a first impression as any-- and they certainly wouldn't be perceived to be sneaking up on them.
DC 20 Diplomacy for Tai gathering info on The Steel Legion: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12
"Now will be excellent time for a meeting. My father is busy working in his study. I will likely end up dining with my parents afterwards, so later will not be convenient for me, either. Azraeal, I would ask you to join us now, as this seems to be the best time for us to do so."
Just at that moment, slipping through the crowd, a blue-haired gnome with a lute on her back walks up to the group and says, "Well, here I thought I'd find Aramil moping to himself over the fact that Mageford got announced to the world, and instead I find the whole gang. Good to see all of you." The gnome, Porablum Flapzit, smiled and greeted each of their former companions.
"So, now that we're in for the expedition, what's the plan?" Porablum looks at Aramil, a questioning look on her face. Thoughtfully, the elf responds, "Head back to the Swordlord's Rose and let the others know that we have been accepted, and that our invitations will be coming forthwith. Have Calaida receive them, since once you've done that, I want you to learn what you can about two of the groups here - the 'Voice of the Trees' and the 'Voice of the Mountains'. The names suggest some ties to nature, and possibly could be used as negotiators to keep my cousins from doing something foolish in their goal to reclaim Sevenarches. I doubt King Chalm will want to risk a war for an isolated, standoffish nation of Elves. I'd also like you to have Kennet investigate the Dashing Harvesters. Have him take Kartok with him, in case he needs some extra help. Their leader, Theodric Valtrava, eavesdropped on our conversation slightly, and his interest in bandits has made me wonder if he could be an ally - or someone we fought in the past. I'd also like you to have Bolys, Eldara, and Carsava verify our supplies. I think we have everything, but if there's something we're missing, I'd like to know now so we have time to get it as opposed to later, when we do not. I will be at my parents, and will return to the inn either later this afternoon or this evening."
Aramil will meet with Aolis, Amavin, and (hopefully) Azrael during Block 1.
Porablum nodded at Aramil's instructions before leaving the square for the inn that Mageford had rented out, the Swordlord's Rose. Upon arrival, she found the other magi of the group in the common room with eager looks upon their faces. "Well, the group has been accepted. We're going to the Stolen Lands." The Elves immediately began clapping each other on the shoulder and embracing as they celebrated with reserved exuberance - as befits Elves from Kyonin.
Stuffy fools think they're getting a nice, easy task. This is likely a far more difficult task than they realize. Finding those who had chosen to follow Aramil, she gave each of them their instructions, then headed out to find out what she could about the Voice of the Trees and the Voice of the Mountains.
Porablum Diplomacy (Gather Information) on Voice of the Trees and Voice of the Mountains: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Kennet Diplomacy (Gather Information) on Dashing Harvesters: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Let me know if I need to make separate rolls for Voice of the Trees and Voice of the Mountains
|Azrael the Avenger|
Azrael, about to leave following Corwin's lead, gets distracted by Aramil. "Now? Oh alright.. "
He switches seamlessly to Celestial and continues speaking, "Corwin, we will have to finish this after the meeting... don't be angry with me, but I am torn in two directions and I fear this meeting will be important... would you like to follow the evil yourself? I don't think it wise. Come with me now and we will return to track it later, you have my word... I'm sure we can get by with little to no sleep for one night, if that's what it takes."
"I am free now. Lead the way Aramil. Your fathers home would seem ideal in fact, I expect a mage such as himself has suitable protections in place to keep our privacy."
I leave the arrival and description of the place to Aramil. :)
:: Theodric ::
Finding ready-made clothing appropriate to the mayor's gala is ... well, difficult. Half the places Lilliana escorts Theodric into are pits of chaos that sound like they're attempting to prove rivals to the Abyssal Courts, so busy they are in engaging in last-minute alterations for recent purchasers and otherwise-favored clients; the other half are quiet and contained, but equally preoccupied and unwilling to take on a new client who has so clearly had the lack of foresight when it's come to preparing for the possibility of successfully joining the new king.
Eventually, however, he can track down a somewhat-less-than-scrupulous tailor who will put something together for him for only three times the worth of what he's getting, including the needlework necessary to make it fit with some amount of competence, or only twice as much if he foregoes the fitting - though Lilliana will warn Theodric that an ill-fitting outfit can be almost as bad as not having one at all ...
:: Ishana ::
While the Jade Legion is courteous to Ishana stopping by, and the halberd-wielding female (Aimai) requests that she pass along a thank-you to Amavin for thinking of them, they ask to leave it at that, and perhaps speak with her at the dinner; the five of them apparently have a lot to discuss.
:: Azrael, Amavin, Aramil, Aolis ::
The hip-height heavy blond mastiff with the winter coat gives a shiver, the weird sort of sub-dermal ripple of muscle that animals give to spike up their fur and trap some air within, to be warmed and held as a barrier against the cold - but then Corwin gives a very canine snorting sneeze before shaking himself all over, as if having just emerged from water. "No, let's go with," the dog says under his breath, looking up at Porablum and giving her a friendly sniff before looking at each of the old members of the White Blade with as much caninicity as he can manage.
Aramils' parents' sizeable townhome is indeed comfortable; it takes fifteen or twenty minutes to work your way out of the crowd and travel there, but once the servant goes to fetch Aramil's mother and she comes to greet her son and his old compatriots in the library, she nods acknowledgement to Aramil's request and ensures that the four (five) of you are left alone.
:: Dargaryen ::
Figuring out where one specific Southern school is amidst the thirty-plus that make their home in the buildings on the island called 'Riverside' is like tracking down one particular stink in a fish market - it can be done, it just isn't particularly pleasant. You'll eventually wind up in a cul-de-sac that has about fifteen townhomes in it, three of them (technically four) housing sword-schools in them; all three of these are in a massive uproar, as the largest (occupying two townhomes) is busy frantically packing up, deciding what has to come with, and having a 'fire sale' for what gets to stay right there on the cobblestones. The other two schools are going back and forth between scrounging up enough money to cover the 'outrageous' prices being hawked by the surprisingly adept con-man selling the furnishings and other items, and nearly coming to blows trying to determine which of them is going to be moving into larger quarters in the next few days.
Pushing past the auctioneer and his double-brace of student bodyguards, you and your cohort manage to grab a swordless older man in the hallway and state the reason for your visit. He looks at you blankly for a minute, as if the entire idea of visiting someone to converse with them isn't something that should be taking place now, but eventually leads you up a dangerously narrow and steep flight of stairs and into a still-mostly-intact social room of some sort - a couple of couches, a trio of seats. "I'll let Zámoždom Duchovný know you're here," the man says as he scratches the back of his neck, then walks out.
A few minutes later, in sweeps a man you can only presume is Zámoždom Duchovný, sans duelling sword, backed up by a lean, amused sword-bearing man who steps inside the door, then to one side to free up room for his weapon arm. Zámoždom pauses for a moment, entirely aware of the figure he cuts in the warm, fur-lined scarlet cloak over his breastplate, to examine his two visitors with a swift but meticulous eye. "Well," he says in an aristocratic drawl, "I suppose someone had to come interrupt me before the Gala." Stepping across to one of the chairs, he settles himself down like a king assuming a throne. "And you are ... ??"
:: Lyda (Winnie and Charlotte) ::
The Gilded Dawn are wide mix of paladins - Sarenite, Iomedaean, Toragdan, Adabaran, Erastilian, and (in Azrael's case) Ragathielan. It is said, not without justice, that they are relentless in exposing evil, but the generous mix of gods in the group's makeup has, according to rumor, resulted in a fair number of 'those on the wrong path' being redeemed - or, for several others, destroyed utterly, when they spat the offer back into the group's face. Amongst the group, theological debate is almost as lively as their weapon-work, and in the past number of months they have learned to blend their various techniques together into a very powerful machine.
Specifically in Azrael's case, however, he is a firm believer in Ragathiel's paladin code, and despite some severe temptation with his prior group (the White Blade), has not swayed from it. One old man says that if he's like other followers of the General of Vengeance, his ideal would be to never have a reason to draw his sword again.
:: Theodric and Lyda ::
90 gp and another time-block (probably tomorrow morning's, #4) for a properly-tailored courtier's outfit; 60 gp for just what the tailor has on hand, which will impose a blanket -1 to Diplomacy rolls for the evening. Don't forget the jewelry, which you'll be able to find for only 25% over price (63 gp instead of 50 gp).
Alternately, Theodric can lean on his reputation or honor, spending 1 PP or 4 Honor to get someone bumped and get both clothing and jewelry at the standard costs (80 gp total, 30 for clothing, 50 for jewelry); it'll still have to be fitted, costing him another time block. See also Lyda's portion below.
:: Darvan ::
You can respond and interact with any PC (not NPC) who comes to the camp; leave the NPCs to interact with other NPCs. If a PC/Cohort/PC's follower does show up there, it's all you.
:: Azrael, Amavin, Aramil, Aolis ::
Corwin will explain, once you're out of the crowd and he can talk somewhat more freely (because 'scaring the norms' is not on his list of Good Things To Do), that he'd been trying, but was simply unable to pin anything down - as if trying to track down a thread of ink thirty feet downstream from where you'd dropped in the bottle. It's there, but it fades, it disappears, it isn't really able to be pin-pointed. Either they're using concealing magic, or else it's just the nastiness that is unfortunately relatively common to any gathering of humans over five.
Madame Wellys is as good as her word, and though the get-together is not magically secure (you'd have to do that yourselves, because Aramil's father is not actually that powerful), after a go-round of snacks and drinks or something more substantial, she'll leave you to your conversation and make certain you are not bothered by the staff.
:: Kaellin and Sylvara ::
Considering how wide a net she's thrown, Sylvara will get essentially only the information described in this post and in the campaign information regarding Chalm and his primary assistants.
From what I can see, Kaellin isn't doing anything else; if there's anything else you think you need, specify. The only thing I'm gouging people on right now is clothing and jewelry. ;)
:: Dargaryen ::
Please inform me (and deduct from your cash) of how much money you're giving to the other four. What they do from this point on, find out, etc. is not up to you, and sha'an't be told to you until y'all manage to get back together.
:: Tomas ::
Packing, gotcha. Won't be leaving for at least a couple days, though.
:: Darivan ::
The knife won't be allowed. You can try to sneak it in if you want.
"Their crest is a gray ship in front of fields of blue on the lower half and black with silver stars on the upper half." So grey, trimmed primarily with blue (lighter blue, representing water) and with a secondary trim of black. Sylvia will add that she vaguely remembers the more militant of the Surtovas wearing black trimmed with silver, but it may have just been a thing among some of the military folk the two of you have been around.
:: Lyda ::
Hey, I'm willing to go in the other direction; stuff like this, I say 'both of you roll, lesser aids the higher'. ;)
Winnie and Charlotte are going to run into as many problems as Theodric - moreso, in fact, because a) they're not her, which means unless they get her to spend time in the morning (or come back during the second block to talk her into making a late night of it) it simply won't be able to be fitted, and b) they're not her, so they'll have to guess what kind of clothing Lyda would be willing to wear, whether a skirt's going to be involved, or something more woodsy, militant, or what. She might actually be best just getting some basic, straightforward work clothes as clean as she can and wearing that.
However, again like Theodric, Lyda can spend reputation or honor, spending 1 PP or 2 Honor (in her case) to arrange for a rush job and bump someone 'down the list', getting both clothing and jewelry at the standard costs (80 gp total, 30 for clothing, 50 for jewelry); it'll still have to be fitted, costing in her case two time blocks.
Lyda and Theodric: If you both opt to get clothing made (i.e. spend the gp, the PP, or the Honor), and if you are willing, you can both be fitted in the same shop at the same time, and have the opportunity to have a conversation with each other.
:: Acaciano ::
There is no 'Steel Legion'. There's the Steel Fist, the Swords of the Legion, and the Jade Legion; which did you mean?
:: Porablum ::
Voice of Trees / Voice of Mountains - not much to be said. "Druids and rangers, livin' a ways outside the city, this side o' the river. Dunno why they'd wanna go with, plenty of nature around here." Truth is, there isn't much to be known, unless you actually go talk to them.
Dashing Harvesters - Having made a name for themselves as bandit-hunters along the border over the last year or two, they're looking to study combat - battle - in a much more comprehensive manner. They've joined the expedition in order to not only gain more experience, but also a higher profile, so as to be able to attract both students as well as others who wish to study, learn, and teach the art of war.
:: Everyone ::
Anyone looking at or handling an invitation not addressed to them will see that it has an inked seal of some sort laid over its envelope flap; anyone handling an invitation that is addressed to them will see that seal fade slowly (technically to invisibility) over a period of ten or fifteen seconds. Please inform me if you, your cohort, or your followers open an invitation not addressed to them.
Learning just what this clothing will require of him, in coin and time both, is very nearly enough to make Theodric pound his head against the nearest wall in frustration. He's quite earnestly considering just showing up as he is and to the Hells with any sneers aimed his way, and he says as much aloud. However, Lillana manages to calm him and convinces him to try a bit of charm and negotiation before resorting to such extreme measures. Taking a deep breath to steady himself and wipe away his emotional turmoil, Theodric approaches the clothier and begins his attempt to coax and flatter his way into a more reasonable arrangment. Complicating things is the knowledge that Theodric will be negotiating for two sets of appropriate outfitting; Darvan will surely need to look his best as well tomorrow evening.
He begins by pointing out that he's not looking to buy for a lifetime, merely use for an evening. Surely that could bring the price down a goodly ways to start? And what of the prestige to be had in outfitting some of those chosen to accompany the new-crowned King on his grand venture? Theodric would certainly be agreeable to name-dropping the source of his evening's accoutrements in various ears, which could be quite beneficial to the clothier's own prospects. And then, Theodric isn't looking for the full kit, merely a little something tasteful applied to his robe to make it look just a bit less... well, him, than it currently does. Finally, Theodric is more than willing to repay a measure of consideration with a bit of his own in turn. Possibly a favor of commensurate value to be repaid at a later date, or perhaps even harvested furs and pelts that the clothier would normally pay a considerable amount to gain hold of through the usual sources?
Theodric does his best to bring the clothier around to an arrangement that makes them both happy, doesn't finish off Theodric's brutally depleted purse--or require a rather embarassing loan of funds from elsewhere--and doesn't make any promises that Theodric won't be able to honor in due time. Lillana does her best to aid the negotiation, talking up Theodric's reputation, making references to his status as a co-captain of the Dashing Harvesters, and whatever else she can think of to paint Theodric in an agreeable, trustworthy light. Honestly, she's so smooth and convincing that Theodric is tempted to let her handle the matter entirely, but the nature of what he's negotiating for is something that he feels requires a personal touch.
Theodric is looking to get--for himself and Darvan--the bare minimum of accessorizing needed to not look like complete bumpkins at this ball, and do so for the bare minimum price as well (that being, ideally, nothing). Leaning on his reputation for this is definitely worth 1 PP (for Hero's Luck to add +4 to his Diplomacy check). And Lillana's assistance adds an additional +2.
I'm willing to spend a bit of Honor as well, to represent the promises he's willing to make--name-dropping who he's wearing at the event along with a favor of equal or even slightly greater value, or something nice in the way of a useful gift from the Stolen Lands--to get the loan of something fashionable for himself and his cohort. However, I'm not sure what amount fits the situation.
Lillana's Diplomacy Check (Aid Another): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20
Theodric's Diplomacy Check: 1d20 + 5 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 5 + 4 + 2 = 28
What about the headband? Should he send a note, explaining the situation? Might that work in his favor?
Also, after watching the seal fade, Sylvia casts detect magic on the envelope and letter.
Aramil warmly greets his mother, and once his friends are comfortable and refreshments have been served, he says, "Now, it seems to me we have two important things to discuss. The first, and most important in my mind, is this thread of evil that Corwin senses. The second is what Aolis wants to discuss. Which shall we start with?"
Corwin changes form, since as a dog he can only speak with Azrael... and he transforms into a tiny flying planetary system. In Celestial, which Azrael will translate for the uninitiated, he explains what he saw and felt in greater detail.
Aolis takes time to divine the room their in for a few moment before speaking. Searching for anything strange or out of place by way of his magic as much as his eyes.
"No offense my friend. But if you chase ever trace of evil in this city you will never leave. Even if you did find it, what would you do? Magical detection alone is not valid proof of anything concerned by the law. Your detection is not flawless, it can be fooled and mislead. Their are spells to hide evil and spells to lay a false evil upon others. Even something as simple as a certain item may taint a person with it's evil without their very knowledge. Honestly any evil powerful enough to warrant our attention rather then the local guard, would be cunning enough to stay hidden from such simple means of identification. Or it would have already been exposed by now. While I admit it's behavior is odd, I do not think it worth our efforts with what we already have on our plates."
Not that it mattered, he never really let down his guard. Not unless he was at home surrounded by people he trusted, perhaps with some nasty surprises for any uninvited guest. It had been many years sense then. Even so their were more then a few paladins and holy people in the city now. Any true evil would be wise to wait until such persons left or they possessed enough reinforcements to counter it. In which case any interference would be met with all force. Nothing ruins a well laid plan like a leak, in that case it would be best for them to stay out of it. It was easier to survive on a battlefield then a hunt as the prey.
I expect any wizard of even simple means, with intellect enough to earn the name, to know that lead lining and cork lining effectively create a spy proof room. Power or caster level play no part in that.
"Unsurprising," said Yuri, as the results were announced, "It would have been illogical to have not chosen us. Let us return to camp, I believe I can still get some work done today. Then perhaps tonight I will try calling on the Frozen Flame or the Mageford, and maybe I will find the right elves this time. Come Tarna, come Volken."
"I think I might explore the town a bit, brother. I wish to see if there is a shrine to our lord Torag in this town," said Tarna.
"Very well, sister," replied Yuri, reaching for his coin purse and pulling out three gold coins, "If they do, give them these, and pray for Golushkin."
Yuri and Volken made their way back to camp. For a dwarven camp, it was surprisingly quiet, at least at the moment. Ingra looked up from her work brushing down one of family's many mouse-gray ponies and smiled at them as they passed. Elga was standing guard with her waraxe and shield in hand but relaxed, while Melken and Azala stood watching at other corners of the roughly triangular camp.
"Elga, you are relieved, Volken will take your place. We will speak more when the entire family is together tonight, but we have been accepted into the charter." said Yuri as they came up to her, "Why don't you go and see what's biting in the Shrike? Those catfish you caught a few days ago were a nice change of pace. Volken, you'll stand watch with Melken and Azala, I'll be working but if we get any visitors inform me immediately."
With that, Yuri headed into his tent, pulled out his spellbook and supplies, and began to work on a scroll.
Knowledge (religion), if needed: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Diplomacy to gather information: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22
Hours: 1d4 ⇒ 4
Hours spent gathering information during the first attempt: 1d4 ⇒ 4
Volken perception: 1d20 ⇒ 20
Azala perception: 1d20 ⇒ 12
Melken perception: 1d20 ⇒ 15
Volken sense motive: 1d20 ⇒ 7
Azala sense motive: 1d20 ⇒ 6
Melken sense motive: 1d20 ⇒ 4
Angrod survival: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Ori survival: 1d20 ⇒ 18
With those results, Angrod finds enough food for 1 person, and Ori finds enough for 5.
Profession (fisherman): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Darg nods his respect to Zámoždom Duchovný. "Greetings, I am Dargaryen Blanc of the Steel Fists."
He gestures to the armored half-elf at his side. "And this is my lieutenant, Marlovaur. I apologize for the interruption, but we wanted to congratulate you on the selection of The Brilliant Sword School to accompany King Kowalskiy. The King is lucky to have such skilled swordsmen at his side. As it turns out, the Steel Fists have also been selected."
He pauses and smiles. "This will be a most glorious expedition to the Stolen Lands, no doubt, but the green belt is full of danger and treachery. In battle, it is always reassuring to know that your flank is secure. I would offer that both our organizations would mutually benefit if we work together in the field. For now, I would simply like the opportunity to drink with you and your men at the Gala tomorrow night to learn more about the Brilliant Sword School. What say you, sir?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
Marlovaur respectfully joins the conversation and tries to put Duchovný at ease. "It would be an honor to drink with such renown swordsmen."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (10) + 15 = 25
”Heartwood: Down. Come on, follow me. There you go.”
As Acaciano and Heartwood made their way across the field, interspersed with tents, campfires, and carts, Acaciano made sure to keep his companion close. Out here in the fields he was certainly less likely to be provoked than he was in the city, but that wasn’t saying much. Not that they’d let Heartwood in the city in the first place. Out here at least they could move around a bit more. And he wasn’t particularly concerned with Heartwood would do- he was quite well trained. No, what worried him more was what other people would say and do.
They stopped briefly at a recently-abandoned camp site. ’One of the bands that didn’t get selected? That was fast…’ Acaciano thought to himself. Still, he took advantage of an area cleared of snow and let Heartwood spend a few minutes working his roots into the ground. Fresh soil was hard to come by this time of year. They stayed for a few minutes, then moved on.
After a good bit more walking they passed what had to be the penultimate camp. A ways out further almost up against the treeline, Acaciano spotted the camp. Glancing around, without losing pace, he continued, waving every so often, and hoping to catch someone’s attention. He expected Lyda and Deneb’s camp to be more welcoming than most of the others, but you never could tell. ”Heartwood, Heel!”
Just as he got close, he caught someone’s attention, ”Ho there! It’s Acaciano, from the square! The Voice of Trees!” he called.
:: Theodric ::
'Money for goods and services' is an arrangement that makes the clothier happy, and with persuasion from both the seeing-eye noble and the swordsman-leader himself, he becomes exceptionally willing to work for Theodric at the price of angering other, longer-historied and longer-termed clients; apparently he believes that aiding to dress one of the leaders of the expedition will go far not only in assuaging their irritation, but bringing new business to his shop. 'Borrowing', he points out, isn't something you can do with tailored clothes, because, well, they're tailored. Whether you want them for one night or for a lifetime, it doesn't matter - they're made to fit you. He does, however, point out - quite delicately and politely - that, as Theodric shall be taking an oath, and considering the wording of the declaration and the exalted rank that Theodric might well see, he might ... need the clothing again?
:: Dargaryen ::
Zámoždom Duchovný - 'Zámoždom the Clergyman', as 'Duchovný' is simply a term for a priest of some sort (this is something you'd know automatically) - shifts in his chair, lifting one leg to cross over the other, one hand rearranging the fall of the clerical robe with Sarenrae's symbol on it, while the other gestures towards the fireplace - one that Marlovaur vaguely recognizes as being that of a simple clerical orison, which sets the logs assembled there ablaze. "I do despise being cold," he explains suavely as the fire's heat slowly begins to radiate into the room, "but the opportunities presented by this expedition were ... far too significant to pass by. The Steel Fists, you say?"
He pauses for a moment, head tilting back as he looks up at the ceiling in thought, and then gives what can only be described as a creamy smile - as in 'cat got into the cream'. "Ah, yes, I recall you and your fellows. Tell me, will they be sober enough to ride on whatever day we leave? And will the lot of you have food enough to last through until we can harvest - or afford resupply? I confess that it took some significant browbeating to make my boys realize that this would be a bit more than just an afternoon's ride in the country. Have you met Kacper Lisko? One of the foremost blades of the Brilliant Sword School, and a very good friend of mine."
Lisko gives a swordsman's bow - all shoulders, but neither his hands nor his eyes move from their current positions.
"I imagine," continues Zámoždom, "we shall all be raising a glass tomorrow, shall we not? But by all means, you and all your noble compatriots simply must make sure we take a glass or two together tomorrow night; as you say, it would be ... reassuring to know that your flank is secure."
:: Theodric ::
Counter-Diplomacy, The Tailor: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
Theodric's advantage makes the tailor not unwilling to negotiate, and that he's aware of what doing this for you would mean - i.e. he's willing to take the aforementioned 'hit', in expectation that your reputation will in turn boost his. I've already indicated what spending Fame or Honor will get you, and the reduction those would take. If you don't have the money (I couldn't find your current GP on your sheet), just say so - either IC or OOC. Don't worry, it isn't the end of the world if you don't, though it may have 'additional' costs, i.e. you'd likely have to spend both a Fame point and Honor.
:: Darivan ::
You have no idea one way or the other. Theoretically, they shouldn't react too badly ... though you already know that taking it off for an hour or three, while you don't have the intellectual boost it provides while it's off, won't negatively impact your long-term use.
The seal is a minor 'security' variation on 'arcane mark', unlikely to do any damage.
:: A-Team Meeting ::
Not meaning to offend, but I cannot imagine that even in a fantasy medieval era either lead or cork to line a small room, much less a large room like the 'rents have, is cheap or easy to come by, and the more finely-made (i.e. sheets, thick or thin, as compared to lumps) it is the more expensive it'll be. A very wealthy merchant might have a small room so lined, one big enough for two or three people to stand and converse uncomfortably; a duke or king (actual, not 'River Kingdom' self-declared king) a place big enough for those people to sit down, and one or two others to stand.
Real protection against snooping is garden-variety secrecy and other basic spy stuff, such as using proxies - writing the information you want them to convey, what you want them to agree to, and having them do the interacting while the snoopers are watching you and the other primary individuals have a four-hour-long low tea.
Anyhow. Just a note. :P :)
:: Yuri ::
I don't need the details of what each and every one of your people are doing, wtih rolls, if they don't have any real affect on the game or the story. Furthermore, you do not roll for time; this is a four-hour block, and if your character or cohort or follower(s) are taking notable actions - which at this point are primarily 'find information' rolls, though certainly something else dangerous/stupid/risky/peculiar might be appropriate (like, say, trying to steal something, or sneak in somewhere like the Citadel) - you'll generally only get one roll for the time block.
Your prior rolls for Helga and Azagnar have already been used, and were responded to in this post. As you are not now, nor were before, really specifying what information they're looking for, don't bother rolling; the most they will find is general information on the City of Restov -- things such as Restov's primary church, the large building by the Fire Gate, is Erastilian, but it has a (considerably less well-attended) temple/bank of Abadar right there on Red Table Square, as well as a church to Pharasma near the Stolen Gate; the Citymarket is the primary daily market, while more elite shops are in the streets leading to Six Lane Circle (#2 on the map). Of course, there are stores, shops, kiosks, and carts scattered throughout the city.
Angrod and Ori will be headed out of town - on foot? on mule? - shortly after noon, in whichever direction (Fire Gate = east, Plains Gate = north, Stolen Gate = west) you like; Elga goes fishing down by Riverside. The former two may return to town and the latter one can stop fishing when-ever you like (meaning at the end of Block 1, 2, or 3), and I will let you know the results of their Quest For
Sky Fire Food.
Volken, Azala, and Melke stand guard; Ingra cares for the horses. Were these rolls actually necessary?
Finally, the one I had a real beef with: Yuri himself.
First, you don't have 350 gp worth of magic supplies; you have, according to the sheet and buried in the 'general' gear, 220 gp worth.
Second, I find that discovering you have 'magic supplies' that you're going to slide in under cover and thereby use to try to get around my ruling of 'purchase magic items at full price' to be a particularly skeevy thing to do. Furthermore, in a game where being away from resupply is a very real situation, covering anything-and-everything-I-might need under a blanket term of 'magic supplies' is very nearly as skeevy; do not do this again either.
Third, I personally thought that it was pretty clear that these time slots were meant to be spent making contacts, talking to people, maybe picking up last-minute gear; you apparently thought otherwise. Very well, you will spend your first block in an attempt to make the scroll.
I very specifically use the term 'attempt', because I am really irritated that you tried to get around the build rule in this manner. As a penalty, you not only lose a) the time (big whoop), but also b) half the value of the crafting requirement in your 'magic supplies' - 175 gp worth - which are now 45gp worth of 'magic scroll crafting supplies'.
At this point, I probably don't need to say this, but because it's a formal warning, I will. Do not do this again; this is your first warning.
:: Dargaryen ::
Counter-Diplomacy, Zámoždom Duchovný: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (10) + 15 = 25
Please remember to put your rolls in a spoiler.
:: Everyone ::
First, my stance on 'long-term use' magic items is that you don't wear it to bed, or when you're taking a bath, or generally whatever. Some you can, sure, and a few (such as a ring of sustenace) you have to, but have you ever tried wearing a headband or belt to sleep?? In any case, my general policy is that so long as you wear it continuously for at least half the day (12+ hours out of any 24-hr period), the item is considered to be 'in use/worn' for purposes of 'the first 24 hours' and suchlike. You don't gain the actual benefits if you aren't wearing it, but you can take the thing off without having to wear it for 24h again before gaining the benefit as a 'permanent' adjustment or what have you. Note, though, that this doesn't apply to allowing someone else to wear it for 'the other 24 hours', or even several hours; someone puts it on for longer than a couple of rounds, it 'falls out of attunement', as it were.
Next, sometimes I come up with a system-of-the-moment; the 'information search' for the Legacy players is one such. Typically it'll be only for that brief time, as it was here; I was using it primarily to determine which of the many different groups I had written up to introduce to the players. (Heck, at this point I can't even find the post where I threw the thing up; go figure that one out.) However, when it comes to a system that I put together for a scene that isn't the one you're currently in, ask first before using - because not only might it not be appropriate any more, I may have completely forgotten about it. :P
Third, Yuri's 'scroll scribing' attempt has reminded me of something I spotted on someone-or-other's sheet which gave me pause, but which I didn't bring up because I meant to do so as I went through gear during my character build / load into Hero Lab sessions: items built off 'standard' costs. It was a couple of items, either scrolls or potions, that were 'created by classes who get the spell early', such as a paladin or a ranger. In part due to it being specified, I will allow them this once, and only because attention was specifically called to the item(s) as being created by a class that received the spell early, and so the item was of lower-than-standard cost. In the future, ask whether or not such items will be available; they usually will not, but they may be, so it's useful to ask. Unless you ask, however, you must buy the item as appropriate for the standard spellcasting classes' creation of the item - simply because these class types with 'brew potion' or 'scribe scroll' are exceedingly rare things; they have better (usually combat-related) feats to buy.
A Roll I want: 1d20 ⇒ 14