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Maxim raises an eyebrow at Kikinnin's retort, but begrudgingly nods at the black beard's words.
"Aye loose ends make for bloodier ones. Tho' I'll not be shifted on my opinion on our esteemed Mayor, nor any of them sham do-gooding politicians an' their honeyed words."
As talk turns to the Brotherhood and how the assassin's knot operates, the gun-mage settles to hear what their captives might say, and wonder what they cannot...
JJs already pale face drains further at the hard words of Maxim.
"I-I acted to ss-stop murder ta-taking place.." he stammers.
The halfling negates with his head "You just leave a note at our guild with the coin for the work. Then we waited for the man that had to met us with the initial payment and the map at the Lucky Monkey "
"He was a servant I guess. A halfling of soft voice "
"E-even if our h-hands aren't r-red, w-we're s-still in it until s-something h-happens," Marigold mumbles. "Wh-whoever w-wanted the M-Mayor dead p-probably won't g-give up s-so easily."
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Arghh! Abadar grant me discernment with their words vs their interests.
Ryan listens to the discussion being had between the halfling and Kikinnin and Juraan. Torn between the desire to do what was right and he wasn't sure what other feelings he fought right now.
Finally coming to a decision he addresses the halfling.
"Reassuring words you give us. How you'll return to the Brotherhood and never return here again. Telling them we are just too strong." Letting the rogue nod along in agreement.
" Yet the fox will chew it's own foot off to escape the hunter's snare, only to steal chickens off the roost when recovered."
As the rogue digest the last little bit Ryan buries his dagger in the rogues heart and in the same breath reaches over and snaps the mage neck. "Pharasma judge you on you good as well as the evil you have contributed to."
Turning his back on the two he goes to his horse and retrieves a shovel to begin burying their bodies. Trying to hide the fact it bothered him to do what he'd just done.
bluff: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
JJ shakes his head.
"I didn't see the Halfling. These two did. We have to take them back to Cauldron. They can identify the person in town. They didn't actually do any harm.."
He pauses, thinking of his own wounds and those of his companions.
"They don't appear to have actually killed anyone. And it sounds like the Scarlet Brotherhood is probably not forgiving of failure... so I can't see them heading back to " starts JJ.
Then he see's what Ryan is doing.
"E-even if our h-hands aren't r-red, w-we're s-still in it until s-something h-happens. Wh-whoever w-wanted the M-Mayor dead p-probably won't g-give up s-so easily."
Kikinnin rubs his hands together, trying to dry them as best he can. "We were given only one task here, and that task is complete. Don't beat yourself up if the Mayor still ends up dead. We can't be in all places, all the time. If the Mayor and his learn how much he's marked for death, he'll need to take steps to protect himself, and his family."
"We did well here, folks. We overcame a tendril of evil, for now."
As Ryan steps up to press his dagger again, Kikinnin waves him off. "JJ's right. There are connections in Cauldron, Ryan. Their sentence may be reduced, if they can help identify who lent them the map and initial payment. There's a halfling servant that might be 'encouraged' to talk. If the culprits can be convinced the Mayor was, in fact, murdered, these two could also wait out their final payment. We could use them as bait." Kikinnin hopes it sounds convincing enough to appease the priest.
Juraan also tries to keep Ryan from executing the last two prisoners.
(Even if it means brandishing the Wand of Color Spray in his wrist sheath)
"I agree with Kikinnin! We've killed the fanatics already. And good riddance to them!"
"These two are surely worth more alive than dead."
"They can help us fight the Brotherhood, which is always bad for any honest business dealings."
"And business is a speciality of Abadar, yes?"
Trying to run rings logically around Ryan.
May or may not be worthwhile, though.
"H-Haven't we d-done enough?" Marigold adds her small voice to the others. "Th-the b-biggest th-threats are d-dead...a-and even if th-they're j-just t-telling us wh-what we w-want to h-hear, K-Kikinnin and J-Juraan h-have a p-point. Th-they c-can s-still b-be useful...m-maybe th-their h-help c-can even s-save m-more lives th-than j-just the M-Mayor's."
"A-and m-maybe th-that's w-worth th-the t-trouble of k-keeping th-them alive, even if th-they d-don't feel any r-remorse for wh-what they w-were p-planning to d-do," she adds, a bit of resolution finally creeping back into her voice.
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if the group's choice is to stay Ryan's action so be it but....
As the others are questioning his intentions, Ryan reaches in his tunic retrieving two slips of paper handing them to Kikinnin.
The first piece of paper is the assassination request the second reads Congratulations on your tonsure, you have made the Taskerhill family proud. Uncle. the writing is the same on both.
"They are not sorry for anything they have done, only that they were caught doing it. Besides Jj, can you really say if the soft spoken halfling is the one that works for my Uncle, the one collecting alms for the church, or the one that brought tea to the major?"
They had stated their intention. To return to the Brotherhood, which could not allow the slight of turning one of their operations by an upstart adventure group pass. Their reputation at that reality would drop like a rock in deep water. Then they would have sent two teams one to finish the contracted job and they other for us, Maxim has a point there."
With a look mixed with sadness and determination he looks to Kikinnin as he reads both notes.....
"Clemency for those that deserve it... they ain't deserving..."
The gun-mage shakes his head at the rest of the groups' words;
"This ain't a business deal. This is political mummery. Killin' the precious Mayor ain't goin to bring Cauldron to its knees... so its deeper reasons for ending that weasel that drew out the Brotherhood. As for these two; I've stated my notions clear as day..."
He steps back, then nods toward Ryan;
"Iffen we kill them. Leave em all where they lie. Crows an' worms gotta eat too Taskerhill..."
"As I see it, waste not, want not."
"None of us would refuse to use spells or weapons just because the Brotherhood does likewise."
"Prisoners aren't quite the same thing, of course."
"But why not use the Brotherhood's own resources against them?"
Maxim once again cocks an eyebrow and mutters a wry aside to Juraan;
"You sure you got black drake blood in them veins o' yours sorcerer? They ain't renowned for their merciful qualities an' such..."
Kikinnin looks questioningly at Ryan as the young man hands him paper to read. The black-beard squints a little at the first paper, his mouth forming the words as he reads. When he gets to the second piece of paper, he does the same, failing to register the association between the two pieces, until he looks again. His eyebrows raise, then lower to furrows.
He hands the papers back to Ryan, nodding silently. It takes him a moment, before he speaks.
"We're known here. Our names, and our faces. And these two have them both." He points at the halfling and sorceress. "For what I know now, I can't argue that our safety here was more at risk than I thought to start. There are things still hiding from the light, and it'll do us no good if our success here was known to more than only Val and his lot."
Kikinnin squats in place, picking up some dirt, and rubbing them between his hands.
"You know, we did make ourselves known to those fine folk in the Lucky Monkey. To Orin, especially. He knows our business, and may share it with those of the Brotherhood who come calling, if they can trace their brothers to the inn. Do we have a responsibility to him to let him know anything more of today?"
JJ shakes his head.
"I think the less Orin knows the better off he is. At most he knows that a group of us .."
he tries to remember how much he told the innkeeper.
"thought that this lot was up to no good. Can't see him moving his family out of the Monkey. If we go back and tell him any more he and Sara and the others will just be in more danger. He told us to git, and we got. I'm sure even if the botherhood send someone or someones after this lot, they'll be circumspect in their inquiries."
Edits, as we have established in discussion they are dead.
He looks at the other two's bodies and the blood on his own sword.
"I started this... but it was not supposed to end like this..."
Ryan looks at the others sure that what he has done is a complete surprise to some of them.
"I had told you that I recognized the writing but wasn't sure whose it was, that was true at the time. I found the note from my uncle congratulating me on my tonsure late this morning while going through my morning prayers, and realized why the writing was familiar. And I really didn't know how I felt about it, other than completely disillusioned in my family."
"However the individuals were all part of an assassins guild, we thwarted this plan, but each of them had a part in this plan making them all equally guilty of attempted murder, the bard, sorcerer, and rogue all worked well together and were at ease with each other, bringing the fact to light they've been together for some time. I can't believe this was their 1st job together, to kill the leader of a major town in the area."
"Maxim as for you comment, the worms will eat well but the crows will draw unwanted attention, attention not needed at this time."
Having said more than he expected, and still conflicted in soul, he turns to go dig a shallow grave for the morning's gruesome work.
"buu... but... people make mistakes... We don't know those two were killers..."
The youngster just shakes his head, tears in his eyes and a sinking feeling in his stomach.
"What have we become?"
"Th-the wr-writing w-was f-familiar?" Marigold asks, still looking a bit green around the gills after everything that had just transpired. "B-but wh-why..." her voice trails off and her eyes grow to the size of saucers as the implied connection between the two pieces of paper becomes clear.
"No..." she whispers, unable to believe it. "Th-that c-can't be r-right...wh-why w-would...?" She flinches, realizing that if this revelation was shocking to them then it must be doubly so for Ryan. "I'm s-sorry. Wh-what w-will you d-do?"
And what do *we* do?
Maxim looks at the forlorn JJ, and reaches up to clap the lad on the shoulder;
"Ain't always about being the hero Surabar. Sometimes it ain't even about what's right... it's about doing what needs to be done."
The dwur's voice softens a little and he presses his flask to the young swordsman's hand;
"Better you feel something than not feel anything... Someone sager than me once said - Cold heart leads to a colder grave... So warm them bones with a snifter of the good stuff eh?"
It takes the group some time to recover from the recent event, but eventually you make your way back to Cauldron.
Once on the road you listen horses running. When you get sight of the knights you recognise the Stormblades.
They dress travel clothing and Cora Lathenmire is carrying a big rounded bag at his horse. Annah Taskerhill smiles at your sight and closes by to you with a greeting "Still working with the rabble cousin? I thought your taste would improve after the tonsure. Your perseverance is admirable"
Annah looks up to down all of you taking note of your wounds and ragged cloths "What happened to you? Did you fought for a meal at a tiger nest?" The three men laugh while Cora looks at you very serious.
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"So you consider yourself a rabble rouser, then, woman? Because you're rousing my anger every time you refer to me and my friends as rabble. Find a better word, or shut your mouth." Kikinnin looks on Annah with irritation, both from her words, and from the saddle below.
He leans towards Ryan. "Sorry. It's the sores under my cheeks that spur the short temper. You go ahead and talk, and I'll just sit here and hold my tongue until the next time she slights your taste or our worth."
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"The jungle is full of baboons." notes JJ.
And these look like another pack of them. I had hoped the noble families would bring up their children better.
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Maxim too eyes the men chuckling like hyenas at Annah's jibe, then offers a retort in dwarven;
"Jeg undrer mig. Ville de griner så meget, hvis vi krakket deres kæber og forlod dem kun i stand til at die hende hun-tæver til fødevarer?"
I wonder. Would they laugh as much if we cracked their jaws and left 'em only able to suckle their she-b1tches for food?
As he speaks the gun-mage's hand settles on the handle of his pistol.
"I'm s-sorry. Wh-what w-will you d-do?"
Not turning to answer MG's question the conflicted cleric continues towards his self appointed task. "I wish I knew, I really wish I knew"
The jingle of harnesses and clop of the hoof warned the companions they had company coming, so Ryan roused himself from his thoughts to see their new arrivals. A smile coming forth unbidden at the sight.
A slight raising of his hand at Kikinnins retort to settle the tensions rising.
"Ha! cousin the same could be said for you, seems you have a small pack of baboons traveling with you. And they're about as pretty." Ryan says deflecting the slight and indicating the laughing men. "What do you have in the sack, Cora?"
The men abruptly stop laughing with JJ and Ryan intervetion.
"Forgive me dwarf" says Annah with a smile "I just do not know the word for those that pursue rats for a meal."
Cora pads the bag and stares at Ryan "A bugbear head. Someone has to clean the roads for the people to enjoy their leisure walks around. Don't you find?"
Annah makes a gesture and says "Ok, let's keep going, there is some money to claim"
"Jeg siger dig, det er alt hvad jeg fik at bo i sadlen, uden at skulle høre hyæner 'håne. Jeg kunne bruge en god seng lige nu. Kunne sove bedre, hvis min hjerne kunne afspille nogle kraniet banker."
"I'm telling you, it's all I got to stay in saddle, without having to hear the hyenas' taunt. I could use a good bed right now. Might sleep better if my brain could replay some skull knocking."
Kikinnin broods from his higher position on the horse, debating falling from the saddle to relieve his discomfort. Instead, he stews, and waits for the others to continue on.
Sorry I missed joining the banter.
I was out and about since yesterday morning.
Earlier, answering Maxim:
"Mercy has nothing to do with it."
"They might have had useful information."
"Doesn't matter now that they're dead."
"Good riddance to the lot of them."
"If it makes you feel any better, Kikinnin, I'm no horseman either."
"This horse riding lark is a lot less comfortable than it looks!"
"Aye, I'll be glad to be done with it." Kikinnin nods to Juraan, accepting his inadequacy in all things horse.
"We due to report to the Mayor's office, then? Let's share news of our success, and be done with some part of this trouble." He looks sideways at Ryan, unsure about the young man's continuing troubles.
"Should we follow up on the matter of the 'soft spoken halfling'?"
"Might have been some truth to that one."
"I th-think w-we sh-should report f-first and th-then s-see if the M-Mayor wants us go-to f-follow up," Marigold suggests, still trying to choke back the surprised laughter that had bubbled up at Maxim's earlier retort. But Ryan's troubled expression sobers her own thoughts quickly.
"H-He's...going to w-want to kn-know who ordered th-this," she continues gently. "A-and we'll h-have to t-tell him s-something. B-but wh-what?"
Hopefully I'm not misunderstanding; I'm assuming that everyone knows Ryan's uncle apparently ordered the hit even though Ryan stated it a bit obliquely in-game, right? If I'm wrong, ignore the last part of my post.
"Ahh, the great stormblades. Killing for gold. Seems that we are on good company" sighs JJ, disillusionment rife on his face.
Once the others have gone he approaches Ryan.
"You know, your uncle is a famous and well known man. He could have enemies, and destroying him would also destabilize Cauldron."
He gestures for one of the notes, and then the youngster takes out a piece of paper and a quill. With a bit of effort, he transcribes a note in a pretty close approximation of the same hand writing.
"The bearer of this note is on a personal mission for me. Please render what ever aid you may in the name of house Taskerhill."
Takes ten on linguistics for a 17 on the forgery (+4 for a sample signature)
"[b]See... this is just me out of the road. Given time and a good desk, decent pens and such, even I could do much better. And there are others much, much better at this than me."
Back at Cauldron you soon get an audience with Vhalantru.
The man seems impresedly surprised you are back.
He looks at the map and the mission letter "That's interesting. So a group of five you say? And probably a halfling servant is involved?"
He takes the notes and carefully stores them at a strong box from where he retrieves a bag of coins "We did not talk about your payment but you have demonstrated you diserve so. Here you have 500 golden coins. Also, you will be granted a free adventuring license. You can pick it up here, at the Major's Office, just you will need to provide a name for your group"
Vhalantru pushes the bag next to you then adds "I will make sure the halfling hint is pursuit without calling attention... althogh there are plenty of families with halfling servants in Cauldron"
"If there is nothing else you want to say, you can leave now. Thanks for your services. I will talk with Captain Terseon Skellerang about you. He might want to charge you with work now that you have an adventuring license"
Maxim remains quiet, measuring the man as he speaks;
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
Seems surprised by our return. Knew we we're mere puppets in all this, and 500 gold suns buy seal our part...
The dwur's scowl deepens as he watches Vhalantru stow the map and papers.
Hell's Teeth. Hoped to keep 'em... My Uncle would no doubt have sprung some coin for such information...
The gun-mage turns to the others;
"Guess our merry band needs a name then... Maxim's Marauders has a ring to it..."
Thanks JJ was trying to remember last night if you'd mentioned before his being able to pass off some forgeries."
As JJ takes the note and makes a somewhat passable copy of his Uncle's writing, a bit of the depression lifts from Ryan's countenance. "Thank you JJ, you are right, there could be a third party at work here, I can hold onto that for the moment, however I will need to feel my Uncle out somehow. With the group's agreement I'd like to keep this part to ourselves. I do not condone the actions if true, but as JJ mentioned someone could be trying to frame my uncle. Thoughts?"
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
"Thank you Lord Vhalantru. Not sure in the short time we've been together, we've come up with a name for ourselves; although there does appear to be at least one vote for 'Maxim's Marauders'. That might not inspire the confidence in the population of Cauldron that you were looking for. Give us the night and we'll send you word of it."
"We look forward to hearing from Captain Skellerang"
To the others... "I for one could use a drink, a bath and some sleep, probably in that order. Shall we go to the tavern and discuss our name over lunch?"
Belaying comment on Uncles handwriting for the moment
Before the audience
Addressing Ryan about his Uncle's note:
"If that note is genuine, it would be out of character. At best."
"What would your Uncle gain from the Mayor's death?"
"JJ is right though. Someone could be putting your uncle in the frame."
"My first thought would be that note is a back-up plan if the assassination went awry. Which it did."
sense motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21 (huzzah!)
Watching Vhalantru take all the maps and notes, Juraan ponders.
"Next time we better make copies of all documents we find!"
After the audience
With a bit of a scowl, Juraan says.
"Yes, we should discuss our plans."
"Best where we can't be overheard."
Sense Motive v DC 20: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Something itches behind Kikinnin's left ear, but he can't quite place the feeling. When the gold is offered, he doesn't decline it. He'll need it for the time spent away from his work, and he's fixing on helping those helping Gemma.
When Ryan suggests they part for their respective beds, Kikinnin doesn't argue that either. He hears where and when to meet, then goes directly to visit his sister.
He takes his share of the gold 500/6 = 83gp and heads directly to the ward where his sister rests, oblivious to the world. He gives over 50gp to see to their expenses, anything they need to see to her comfort. It slows dawns on him to ask about others in similar states of poor health, but he does.
Maxim grimaces and shrugs at the talk of conspiritous framing;
"Could be on to something... Wouldn't put it past any of the leech politicians to sell anyone down the river... Least us merchants don't fleece you for empty promises and political mummery."
He nods in agreement at Ryan's suggestion of rest and relaxation.
"Reckon we should call it a day. Rest up, and meet for grub an a drink at the Tipped Tankard"
The dwur looks to each of the weary group with a hard smile;
"Meantime my fellow Marauders, I'll head to my Uncle's an' sell on what we have... so if anyone wants a last pick o'er the loot then have at it..."
Maxim gestures toward the Bag of Holding at his belt.
No idea what time of day it is - presumed mid-day? I'll touch on Loot thoughts in the OOC thread
Later at the Tipped Tankard
Ryan buys the companions in attendance the first round, opting for the stronger touch of whiskey today rather than ale.
"Maxim, I like the Marauders but typically that is bad for the home team, so to speak, what about Nightwatch? Seems we're always tasked to find those operating in the dark."
After a wash and a bit of a lie-down, Juraan joins the others at the Tipped Tankard.
"How about Cauldron Watchers?"
"A bit of a pun, I know."
"Like people watching out for our town, or like cooks watching a stew."
"After what we dealt with recently, 'stewing' seems appropriate somehow."
"But this our town, and we watch out for it."
"As far as the items we found is concerned, I think I'm fine with the wand (of Mage Armour) I fancy."
"There really isn't much else there I can use. Aside from the cash, of course!"
Juraan will also discreetly tell the others that Vhalantru was surprised we came back.
It doesn't sit quite right with him; like we were all expendable.
As Vhalantru invites you to leave a voice is heard at your back "My work is done then and my services not longer needed"
An elven female of jade green eyes and long, midnight-blue hair held back by an ornate silver headdress appears from behind one statue. You would have sworn there was no one there before. She is the typical pale-skinned elven beauty.
"So it seems Kyan Winterstrike." says Vhalantru who looks back at you "I hope you do understand. What kind of responsible person would I be leaving all our hopes to a young group yet to be proven?"
The Sun is at its zenith when you leave the Major's Office and you walk to the Tipped Tankard.
Post with private actions incoming later for after the tavern
At the Tankard Maxim slumps in a chair and enjoys a strong measure of whisky. He shoots Ryan a wry smile at the mention of his suggested nom-du-guerre for the group;
"Hells Teeth Taskerhill I was yanking yer chain on the name! Maxim's Marauders indeed ya eijit! Har!"
He grimaces as the strong liquor burns his throat, then nods toward Juraan;
"Not a bad stab sorcerer. The Cauldron Watchers does sound like an adventuring company sure enough. I like it..."
The gun-mage raises his glass in salute of the suggestion, knocks it back, then speaks in whisper (whether from the harsh spirit or by design you are unsure);
"I noticed Vhalantru's reaction too. Like Juraan tells it, reckon he was a might surprised at us walking back in. An what y'all make of the pet elven assassin then? Ups the stakes knowing them politicians have an ice-cold killer on the books..."
I've written up a post for when I visit my Uncle but will belay dropping it in until we've resolved the Tavern scene
-=-=-=-=- Earlier -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
"I'm not saying your Uncle did write that note Ryan... just that first appearances can be deceiving. You might even want to visit him and see if he wrote that note congratulating you on your tonsure.... that would be an elaborate set up, for sure, but a good sting takes time..."
-=-=-=-= at Vhalantru -=-=-=-=-=-
JJ looks somewhat surprised at the presence of Kyan.
Wow, she is good, I'd heard that elves walked as quietly as a leaf falls, but I had no idea she was around
He thinks back about anything he may know about her
know(local): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
sense motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
-=-=-=-=-= names -=-=-=-=-=-
"How about something that recognizes what we have done. Either Jazarune or Machalite something or other... Machalite Knights? Though real knights might take offence at that..."
The night passes and finally each of you have some private time for the first time after a whole week.
The stars are seen from the ceiling window and the waters are warm, but there's none to share the bath with this time. You think about the elven female, Kyvan, but you have never heard about her.
That said the most strange of all are the multiple graffiti written at the walls with dirt and blood. They are indiscernible and look more like symbols rather than actual characters.
No one at your building had noticed anything out of normal but your neighbour who claims he heard a strange noise of glass breaking a couple of nights ago.
Ike Iverson, second in command approaches you "It is a sad task but someone has to make sure the souls are properly conducted to the other life and they do not remain here harassing the alive ones." and he offers you entering into a side room "I guess you are here for your sister. She is still under comma. We have tried to wake her up, but for some reason she refuses to bring back to consciousness. Embril thinks she's trying to protect herself from something. She might have gone through intense stress. But come in and see her by your own"
Gemma seems well cared and her wounds fully healed. Ike Iverson accepts glad your coins " The souls of the other world will thank you for this relevant contribution"
You stand surrounded by white winged angels within a pure white cathedral made of marble and ivory. Great stain glass windows welcome warm golden light into the chamber while a chorus of heaven fills the cathedral with beautiful song.
At the front of the church, a glittering diamond altar rests on a raised platform. Flanking the altar stands ten blue skinned angels wearing golden robes. Each angel’s attention and furrowed brow is directed at you.
Your attention is turned to the rafters and the circular opening in the rooftop above you. A bright golden light pours from the opening and a golden angel slowly drifts down to gently rest behind the diamond altar.
You don’t understand why but you know her name is Celeste, arch angel of the heavenly choir, but your heart breaks when you see her eyes filled with tears.
‘You have lost your way my beautiful child’ she whispered. ‘I had hoped with all my heart that you would turn away from the sins of ambition and pride ….’
Looking to first her left then her right she turns back to you, lowering her head in sadness, ‘You have been cast from heaven, never to return….’
Your heart roars with unbearable pain, your soul screams in anguish and your mind descends into rage.
‘Kill me instead Haloen!’ You hear yourself weep, ‘If I am lost to heaven then heaven shall be lost to you all.’
And the blue skinned angels change into slobbering demons and swarm towards you to feast upon your soul…
When you wake up you are strongly grabbing the sheets, the dream still feeling real. Too real perhaps.
"I have been working our influence at the Malachite Fortress. That Davked Splintershield is obsessed about his son. Fortunately the dare need for resources and defense of the place has softened him and I managed a contract to use the Malachite forges in exclusivity. And we have them already working and producing money aplenty" Adrick winks at you and offers a cheer with his cup full of rum.
Later on he offers good coin in exchange for the party sells.
The next day you gather again at the Tipped Tankard with the idea to finally settle a name for the group.
As talk turns to other things and Ryan mentions looking for a well made dagger; Maxim muses about his being able to do so within Malachite's halls.
"That would be a work indeed, Maxim. Could you do the same with Nightshade? It's a beautiful weapon of dwarven make that one day I wish to pass down. Could you, nay would you take it and work with it, within Malachite's hall would be the place for it to see it's potential realized."
Kikinnin allows his countenance to fall into a sadness, as he finds his sister in the same condition, albeit well attended. He holds her hand for a while, patting it at slow intervals. He finds himself talking to her, about the events of Malachite, about losing their Far, and keeping their Mor. While he talks, he looks up every so often, hoping to find her looking at him, but his gaze turns down again and again, quietly disappointed. He promises her to look in on her regularly, and not take so many risks while he's out, so he can return, again and again.
He's glad his coin will serve the Church, and provide the means for various services, not only for his sister, but others as well. He thanks Ike for not forcing his sister from her place here, and doesn't press his fortune by asking how much longer they will tolerate her presence.
Returning the next day, Kikinnin is comforted by the familiarity of the Tankard and its patrons. The smell of the city, the noise of the people, is the contrast he needs to set his mind at ease. The isolation of the Lucky Monkey is a distant memory.
He listens to the others discuss their licensure, realizing he doesn't have a full grasp of its extent. "Does this mean we're only allowed to take jobs as a team, or are we separately licensed? Is there a jobs board for us to look over? Can we make up our own jobs, and just get the city to pay for it? Why do we need a name? Seems silly, if you ask me." The black-beard looks the table over for the pitcher, seeking the light wine to ease his thirst.
"Names are for street gangs."
Weary, the rest of the day - including the meeting with Vhalantru - passes by in something of a haze for Marigold. Admittedly having not realized that someone could simply be trying to frame Ryan's uncle for the attempted assassination, she keeps to the group's prior agreement to leave that part out until they can look into it further.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18
Although something niggles about Vhalantru's response to their return, she dismisses it as just her imagination. The surprise appearance of the quiet elf Kyan at the end of meeting only reinforces her conclusion.
See? He's just happy we got the job done and he didn't have to resort to his backup plan.
When they settled in at the Tipped Tankard Marigold stifles a yawn as she attempts to follow the discussion on what, if anything, they should call themselves.
"B-but aren't they a-also f-for g-groups that do g-good things, like the kn-knights JJ mentioned?" she asks. "D-don't get me wr-wrong, it d-does seem a little silly, like ch-children p-playing m-make-believe," she admits "b-but it s-sounds like we h-have to calls ourselves s-something, at l-least s-so they c-can keep b-better track of us."
She stifles another yawn and takes a drink out of her glass. "And if we h-have to p-pick a name, I l-like Cauldron Watchers - though M-Malachite Kn-Knights has a n-nice ring to it t-too," she adds, with an apologetic glance at JJ.
Wrote a short reaction to Marigold's spoiler; will post it later when appropriate :3
JJ relaxes into the bathtub.
His body is sore from the unusual experience of riding, and his soul weary from the bloodshed on the road.
Yes, they would have done the same to the mayor, and probably worse to us. But it seems a shame we couldn't get the last two around..
He sighs, young shoulders dealing with burdens he didn't want to carry.
For a while he thinks of heading off to one of Cauldron's churches. The church to St Cuthbert always seemed to offer some comfort.
I'm not sure how they would take to hearing about what went on. And I'll not rat out Ryan to his own people.
He wonders about the other churches in town. But going up to a stranger to talk about the weight on his soul didn't feel right either.
Maybe I should talk with mamma... but that is hardly fair to her, and what would she think, having brought up a killer at the orphanage?
Eventually the young man emerges from the hot tub, feeling not at all rested. He slinks through the streets, heading off to his new lodgings for a restless night.
Then he will clean up the mess. And see about getting sturdy bars for the window!
And he's quite miffed about HIS office being messed up.
He really wants to find out who did this and why!
And make them pay (one way or the other); even if it does take a long time.
Juraan comes to the Tipped Tankard in a sour mood.
"Someone burgled MY office at the academy two days ago!"
"There was nothing valuable for them to take, but they made a mess!"
"Whoever it was, used blood and dirt to put THESE all over my walls!"
He shows the others the copies he made of the graffiti or symbols, or whatever they are, from his office.
"Does anyone recognize any of these strange symbols?"
"I am curious about what they mean … AND who did this"
Then he mutters:
"Mostly so I can make them pay for the mess."
"Out of their ass; one copper star at a time!"