Nogglegrop passes along to Kwen that no one, save the gods themselves, can speak to the dead once they are beyond the veil.
Jakab holds his daughter in his arms, seeming as if he will never let go again, and speaks through the veil of gobsmacked and over-the-moon tears, "The bottle, at the very least, the bottle."
The farmer is true to his word, and he opens up his stores with enough corn whiskey to get everyone absolutely plastered.
After Revery has finished literally rolling on the floor of Jakab and Avvie's room in pain, holding his arms and sobbing for it to stop, and after he's had some, no, a great deal of relief from the ministrations of Nogglegrop's divine healing, Revery has the wherewithal to finally speak.
"I don't know if Rahn will do as predicted, but the effects might be more subtle than that. It could be like the effect of a mosquito stinging the rear end of a page, who thereby fails to deliver his message in time that the general needs his helm, and thus the general decides to go to battle without, and thereby gets killed when he takes an arrow, no, let's say a javelin, to his eye, and thus the battle is lost. If the mosquito had stung another, the battle were won and the world a different place. In the sight of oracles and seers, who knows what cause leads to what effect?
In any case, even if Swenj played us well, I am satisfied with the result." He looks at Avvie and her father and smiles.
"Give me that!" he tries to take the bottle out of Sajeek's paws, because this time, one time only, he does wish to drink too much.
Thanking Jakab when he hands over the jug of corn whiskey, Sajeek awkwardly removes the stopper. Which is doing it's best to be difficult for the vah shir. Finally unstopping the jug, Sajeek takes a deep pull, relishing the fire liquid.
"Ahhh, now that's a burn I can live with," Sajeek says after a few coughs. The whiskey had blazed in his throat on the way down to his stomach, perfectly. The screaming pain in his left hand dulls just a fraction of a little bit. It was still screaming, now it just felt a little more removed from his mind.
Teasing Rev with the jug by holding it a little out of his outstretched hand, the young Beastlord laughs, takes another small pull and hands off the jug to the enchanter. Sajeek didn't want to get completely hammered. Just buzzed enough to take the worst of his pain away. After he rested a bit more, he would healing, much like Gwen and Noggy. Not really sure how being completely drunk would help that, he wisely stays fairly sober.
"While I'm not sure I love being considered a blood sucking bug, I think you might be on to something," Sajeek taps his chin as he thinks. "Or perhaps we might be doing a version of trying to stop leaks from getting worse and have only a damaged dam holding back the swelling waters. While the task might be immense, it can be done, and beats a flood."
'Of course, in this case the flood is the armies of Shissar pouring across Norrath, destroying all in their path.' The vah shir thinks to himself.
"Oh, while we are all sitting here," Sajeek gestures around where they had all collapsed after being dragged out of the fire. "I know that we are eventually heading to Feydwer to look at good land to start the town we were discussing. We are still planning on swinging by Halas correct? So Gwen can see her folks? And so I can renew my... friendships with her cousin and friend...., Brinna I think it is," Sajeek grins. He had practically been a saint around the mothers that they had been guarding.
Chuckling to himself, Sajeek leans back against Bast, to have the tiger lick his ear. "I'm alright you worrywart," he says, patting the big tigers side.
"Oh, right, where I was going with bringing up or plans," Sajeek shakes his head to refocus. The vah shir looks around the farm. "For example, what do any of us know about the best type of land for growing crops. I mean, I know enough to plant some herbs and get them to survive until curing time, but I think their might be more to it then that. So, what I am trying to say, is that we should talk to people who know what they are doing before we just start trying to throw this town together, hoping our ideals keep it in on piece," the vah shir says as he tugs at his right ear.
Having helped himself to a few more shots to "ease" the pain from his horribly burned hand, Sajeek had resumed leaning against Bast. The big reddish-orange tiger was snoozing contently, happy his spirit-brother was still alive. Looking at his friends, Sajeek blinks owlishly.
"Sort of an odd message if you think about. "You is doomed". Honestly, I was kinda hoping for a little bit more," Sajeek holds up his hand. "Not that I am complaining about the results. Seeing Jakab and his three kids almost makes me rethink having little ankle biters." The vah shir looks off in the night. Looking back at his friends, he grins roguishly. "Almost that is."
Kwen says with a wince " Yah, like having a whole litter running around." Kwen says while holding his arms slightly away from his body. the whiskey dulling the edges of his burns. " I'm sure that we might find out more; it might mean spending more time tracking down dusty books." The half elf says with a smile. " As for crops I've learned a few things from helping out Jakab but not enough so far."
Gwendalyn takes a pull from the bottle herself, though not too much, since she's been much more circumspect after the disaster in Freeport when they met Kwen. I probably shouldn't say it like that in front of him. "Well, she is just a child. I suppose we're lucky she didn't say 'You is domed,' which would only make sense for Noggy." She looks affectionately at the bare-headed gnome.
"Perhaps You refers to someone named you, but spelled differently. Or spelled the same. Or perhaps it is the letter U, and soon we will be spelling words without that useful vowel." Revery ponders. As he drinks he starts to get more silly, though his mind is still quick.
" Oi now, try not to hog th' bottle, some of us are could use it. Also we should cut Rev' off he seems to be letting the whiskey muck up his mind." Kwen says with a sly grin. " Sides if we are doomed, so what' why let that bother us; everyone is doomed at one point or another. " Kwen says with a wink; letting the others get sloshed didn't bother the rogue in the slightest.
Letting out a small sigh the rogue can't seem to throw himself fully into drinking heavily; the events of the day keep nagging at him. The answer were not in the bottom of his cup; the whiskey was tasty and it was at least able to help dull the pain.
Jarak is a wonderful host, as is Avvie, who looks up to the members of the Pravus Mortis as one might gods made human. If she's not hugging you then she's watching and emulating your every move. This was a bright child trapped in a defective body, and she is making up for lost time with a ravenous hunger for knowledge and experiences.
You find yourself ready to travel, with backpacks full of provisions strapped to your backs and goodbyes behind you. Jarak had heard enough about the group's plans, and promised to visit should their holdings become a reality.
Weeks of travel lie ahead of you as you work your way north to the city of Qeynos and then Halas beyond.
Revery's jokes help Gwendalyn relax and accept what happened, so she is able to enjoy playing with Avvie. She tosses the girl in the air, eliciting shrieks from her all-too-healthy lungs, and lets her ride on her shoulders like Noggy. She also shows her how to hold a knife, and then pretends to be a very large (and unusually aggressive) coyote, stopping to pull her hands off her eyes until Avvie is able to keep them open and keep the knife between them most of the time.
She wonders sometimes what this says about her, what it says about her life, that the first thing she thinks a little girl should learn is how to defend herself. Could she ever have the courage to bring a child into the world like Jakab did, not once but thrice? She had the courage to stand up to a giant, but the thought of motherhood scares her more than she can say. And what's the point anyway if she's doomed, and the world too, and everything in it? If even the letter 'U' isn't safe, then no one is.
They have plenty of time to think as they walk to Qeynos, and plenty of time to talk. "What are we going to do about the Shissar? I still want to check out Faydwer, but there isn't much point in making a place of our own if the whole world will be destroyed anyway."
The map (Map of Norrath) provides little in the way of detail of what might lie between your current location and Qeynos, but having traveled on the Plains of Karana as long as you have you imagine it to be weeks more of miles and miles and miles and miles....One thing is for sure, after conferring with the map, you don't want to travel by foot to or from Halas, for it is a brutal landscape that surrounds it.
Your journey is long, but you finally find yourself amongst an ever thickening number of farms, and outposts before you stand before the walls of "The City of Infinite Trade."
The Free City of Qeynos is a major city, not just on Antonica, but throughout all Norrath. It serves as the heart of the kingdom of the same namesake ans is ruled by Antonius Bayle III. The plains of Karana to the east hold hundreds of small farms and outposts and open up the rest of the continent. Regular trade flows from the docks of the Free City to the city of Erudin and vice versa. Some foolhardy captains go farther south, but only with the aid of spellcasters, since the next closest opportunity to restock their ships is on the frigid continent of Velious.
An infection of humans overrun the farms and city. They are everywhere like maggots feasting on a bloated corpse. Though humans are the norm you see people of all goodly races and creeds that pass through the city on some journey or grand adventure. Someone is always in need, someone is always quarrelling, and someone is always willing to give people paying errands or jobs somewhere within the city. Finding something interesting and rewarding here is easy to do. Doing it without making enemies is the art.
Qeynos is one of the largest cities in all of Norrath, and one of the two large coastal cities run by the humans. The docks of the city provide trade from Qeynos to the high human city of Erudin, as well as to other areas along the coast, and the occasional ship that travels to Halas and Kaladim. The Guards of Qeynos command posts throughout the surrounding terrain, providing protection to travellers as far away the the Plains of Karana. Most of the major guilds are present in this town, and it is the home of the Clanhouse of the Silent Fist. There is a seamy underbelly to this city, like other port cities, and rumors of corruption and smuggling as well as unsavory street dwellers are a part of everyday life here. There are many (some say too many) drinking establishments within the high walls of the city.
Qeynos is a major hub of travel on the western coast of Norrath. It is the only major port which receives regular traffic from Erudin, our human brothers to the west. A great deal of mystical knowledge is gained through this alliance. We are separated from our barbarian brothers in the northlands by the savage gnolls of Blackburrow, but many of them battle their way through to see the lands south of their home. We maintain a strong alliance with the rangers and druids of Surefall Glade, though they prefer to stay clear of our streets and buildings.
To the east, however, lies vast uncharted territory. The human city of Freeport might as well lie on the sun as on our very continent, for no traveller has managed to create an ocean route to that port, and overland travel either takes the traveller through the savage swamps of the ogres and trolls or through the Plains of Karana and lands further to the east, which are populated by bandits and giants, as well as other creatures that defy description. Our City Guard maintains posts in the Plains of Karana, but they are scattered and only extend into the western edge of this vast area.
The Gates of Qeynos are a bustle of activity. Many young explorers practice their weapon skills on the sewer creatures that inhabit the area, as well as on the Klikniks, which have an as yet undiscovered hive near the city of Qeynos. More dangerous creatures are fended off by the city guard, and the gnolls from nearby Blackburrow occasionally make assaults on the gates.
Further from the gates are the Hills of Qeynos, an area jointly patrolled by Guards of Qeynos and the rangers and druids of Surefall Glade. These hills are more dangerous to the traveller, and wild animals roam freely. Haunted ruins dot the landscape, and the hideous entrance to the dark hole of Blackburrow juts out of the cliff face here.
There are four main pubs in town:
This list is roughly in order of decreasing politeness of the inhabitants.
The Wind Spirit's Song is a friendlier place, being the home to the League of Antonican Bards, the songs and poems that drift out the door entice me to return home whenever I find myself singing to an unenlightened crowd.
The Grounds of Fate provide entertainment of the bloody sort, where warriors vie against monsters captured by the guards to the cries of fans. Truly gruesome.
There are many odd people in town, some of which you should hold onto your purse more tightly around. In fact, it's wisest to hold onto your purse until proven otherwise.
Qeynos is the home to a number of rude individuals, people who everyone seems to either dislike or ignore. They take this personally however, and will attack those around them, and the guards don't get involved in such fights, so they are best avoided by weaker adventurers.
(Please include a DC 15 INT and WIS check in your next post)
Nogglegrop looks like he is close to an epiphany, but it flits away before he can get a full grasp of the ephemeral concept.
INT Check: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
WIS Check: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Kwen gives a chuckle at Gwen as she tosses Avvie into the air and catches her on the way down. Of course Gwen being practical, also shows Avvie how to hold a knife; Kwen smiles at this; it was good that Gwen was doing that.
When Kwen spots Avvie trying to sneak up on the rogue; he waits until the last moment; then spins around with a wordless shout he arms raised in over exaggerated scaring motion; then chases the child around the farm. Kwen also shows Avvie how to move about without being scene; as best as he was able too. The placement of her feet; how to creep forward in a crouch; and moving to the shadows. It seems that Gwen was teaching Avvie on defending herself, while the rogue focused on more of the aspects of stealth.
Upon hearing Gwen talk without having hope for the future; the rogue digs into his pouch; pulling out a copper piece; takes aim and launches the coin at her bottom. Of course Kwen only threw it hard enough to sting slightly; when she turns the rogue has the most innocent look on his face; as if to say "What? I would never!"
" Now enough with the whole doom and gloom; sure the Shissar say that they will destroy the world; it doesn't mean that they will be successful, it's like saying I will rob your coin purse; then getting caught before you have a chance to get the coins." The rogue says " There are other things that we can do; perhaps we will find more information as we travel; we can always look into beating the Shissar; while you are searching for whatever you are looking for. Any more whining and I'll start tossing stones atcha." The rogue says with mock anger; a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
Upon seeing what is going on at the town Kwen starts to ponder what the group could do.
INT check 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
WIS check 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
Kwen gives an inward shrug, at the moment coming up with no good plans or ideas.
" Hm what a lovely place to be in, at least there is a place to call port." The rogue says with grin, starting to ponder what he could remember about the city; and if he could recall anything about a guild for rogues here.
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Leaving the farm, pack full of provisions, heart full and warm with the business of soul switchery dwelt with, and warm memories in his mind from staying at the farm. He had mostly helped Jakab out as well as he was able to. Leveling the playing field for Bast, Sajeek takes his turns "watching" the two mini tornadoes. Avvie gets involved as well, and the three tiny terror overcome the noble vah shir and his warder with much laughing and giggling.
On the travel to Qeynos, Sajeek is fairly quiet, lost in his thoughts, and finding himself pondering Rahn's final message to them. The young Beastlord has the sneaking suspicion that they are missing something, but can't quite nail it down. His mind turns it over again and again, as if it was an elusive prey animal he was hunting down. Sajeek sees Gwen slipping into the beginnings of a funk. Deciding he should do something about when she starts in on the pointlessness of trying to start a new town.
"Well, the town could also serve as a place to train against the Shissar . We know that they are trying to come back to Norrath. Their time has probably been spent rebuilding their number and nursing old grudges, " Sajeek taps his chin in thought. "I'm guessing we might want to keep our peepers peeled for any sort of information, if any, that exists about them. "That might be a little tricky, now that I think about it. Considering they have been considered nothing but scaly boogymen for what? A thousand plus years, I don't know, could be wrong on how long ago they were booted off of Norrath."
Wis check:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Approaching Qeynos, Sajeek looks up at the walls and whistles. "Big Place," he mutters as his emerald eyes drink in the city. He suddenly looks over at his friends. "Okay, I'm all for celebratory parties, as we all well know," the cah shir chuckles. "How about this time we avoid getting into any big brawls involving the guards? While we managed to survive our fun times in the desert, I'd rather not repeat that. I think once was good enough." He looks over at Noggy and grins. "Unless our future kingy happens to like the dungeons," Sajeek laughs.
"So, let's find a place to stay for a few night, get drunk, possibly have a role in the hay or three, and then figure out what we are doing after that," Sajeek grins at his friends.
Revery says a tearful goodbye to Jakab and the children, which is a bit unusual for him. He is not normally tearfully inclined.
He had given the children a bit of fun, by turning himself into a ball. This he soon regretted, for he was then kicked about for quite some time, and it was far too long before he was at rest and it was safe to return to his normal form. Next time, he resolved, it would be something less... kickable.
The trip is long and Revery's dreams haunt him every night. There is no specific recurrence of any one theme, merely the replaying of all the most fearful parts of his life, brought into the present. During the walk he thinks about magic, about creating new spells, and about the Final Message of Rahn...
Finally the city is reached, and he is glad to be in civilization again, with real beds and real food. Once settled he plans to ask Sajeek to look at the Iksar writing once more. Perhaps they would be able to figure something out. After that, he will look into doing research on Shissar, and purchasing a new spell or two.
He mentions to the others about the Giant's Reminder String, and wonders if it's okay if he keeps it. "I believe it will help my spellcasting some." he says as an argument.
Int check: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
Wiz check: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Int: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (1) + 0 = 1 how embarrassing...
Wis: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Gwendalyn is impressed by the city, which reminds her of Freeport, but nicer. "Sure, keep the string." She waves a hand dismissively. "I just want to find a nice place to stay, eat well, rest up, and then look for scrolls."
Revery thinks of the eleven letters in the phrase "You is doomed" and something clicks. He quickly checks Swenj's writings to see if Swenj was that much of a genius. To be able to encrypt one text with two different keys, resulting in two different messages?
Rushing to get into an inn room, any inn room that is safe, he checks the writings to see if they make any sense with those letters as the key, instead of "bewarr swine"
You find how you are treated by the Qeynos merchants as unprecedented, in that everyone is treated equally in terms of purchasing items (book value +10%, sale price 50% of book cost).
Kwen has heard that the current ruler, the young and well-loved Antonius Bayle IV, has been on the throne since 3169. There are rumors that his charismatic and shady younger brother, Commander Kane Bayle of the Qeynos Guard, plots with some of his most loyal guards to overthrow the king one day soon. He has heard little of the seedier side of Qeynos, but he knows that the Rogue's Guild of Kane Bayle & Circle of Unseen Hands is accessible through the Crow’s Pub & Casino.
Both magical items will need to be scrutinized through magical means to fully understand their capabilities and any potential detrimental effects before any decisions can be made. The cost is steep, at 450 gold pieces per casting, but so is the potential risk. You are offered 2000gp for the Giant's Reminder String (appraise DC 26), and 2500gp for the White Satin Gloves (appraise DC 25), 500gp for the Dervish Cuthroat Insignia Rings before the group is asked to pay for identification. The merchant appears to have an idea of their worth just with a casual glance (sense motive DC 21 to discern if he is being honest about these prices).
The Lion's Mane Inn is the closest place to stay for the night (please update your upkeep amount for this month, which will include drinking, food and lodging).
· Farm hand, common laborer, soldier or apprentice
· Lives in a flop house or common hall
· Eats at least one meal day. Enjoys meat once/week
· Drinks at least one mug of ale a day
· One set of clothes per year. Clothing is usually worn and grubby
· Pays a small tithe to a local church as well as the poll tax
Middle-class: 20+2d10 gp/month
· Free farmer, store proprietor, military officer, clerk, skilled artisan
· Eats two or three meals/day and enjoys meat most days
· Drinks a couple of mugs of ale per day
· One set of clothes per year. Clothing is usually worn, but clean
· Contributes to the local church and pays taxes
Well-Off: 100+2d10x5 gp/month
· Estate farmer, lawyer, merchant, master artisan, priest
· Eats quality food every day
· Drinks ale or wine every day
· Has at least one domestic servant
· At least one new set of clothes per season. Clothing is always clean
· Generous contributions to local church and pays property taxes
Wealthy: 400+2d10x10 gp/month
· Wealthy merchant, minor noble
· Eats large and varied meals every day
· Drinks bottled wine and spirits every day
· Has a small staff of servants, some highly trained. Probably has at least one bodyguard.
· New clothing every month, with a large collection of jewelry
· Major contributor to local churches, and pays property taxes
Opulent: 1200+2d10x50 gp/month
· Merchant prince or powerful noble
· Eats exotic foods and throws large banquets
· Copious quantities of the finest spirits consumed
· Large staff of servants and bodyguards.
· Large and elaborate wardrobe. May never wear the same outfit twice.
· Major contributor to all the local churches and charities, and pays property tax.
Nogglegrop lives decently high on the hog (middle-class upkeep, -30gp) and instantly seeks out a new helmet and additional spells.
20 + 2d10 ⇒ 20 + (2, 8) = 30
Ship Prices: Many ships carry passengers across the world of Norrath. These ships are so regular in their passage, and have such constant patronage, that they can charge relatively little for their services. One can travel for the surprisingly inexpensive amount of 10gp per journey.
"You is doomed" works as a cipher.
Swenj's first words prove that you are immune to his precognition and likely that of the Shissar as well:
There is no more.
Revery painstakingly de-ciphers the message of Swenj, continuing until he is absolutely sure there is nothing more to decrypt. He tells the others of his discovery of the use of the Final Message of Rahn: More messages from Swenj. His face goes pale as he reads the final message.
Revery lives in a manner similar to Noggy - a comfortable existence. He begins to spend some time making jewelry.
Upkeep: 2d10 + 20 ⇒ (3, 1) + 20 = 24
Upon hearing about the String and the Gloves, Revery assesses their value himself.
Appraise (Giant's Reminder String): 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (19) + 13 = 32
Appraise (White Satin Gloves): 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (9) + 13 = 22
Gwendalyn settles in to the nice inn and takes care of some things that can only be done in a larger city. First, she buys two magic scrolls and the scribing materials to write them into her spellbook. It takes her a day of studying and several hours of writing for each spell, so three days total to learn Spirit of Wolf and Turtle Skin. Then she attempts to make a special bearskin potion bag, which can be used to concentrate multiple doses into a single vial; however, her lack of practice shows itself when eight and a half days of work yield nothing usable.
Spellcraft to identify scrolls vs. DC 8 & 9: Take 10 + 9 = 19
Spirit of Wolf (3 * 3) * 25 = 225 gp + 10% = 247.5 gp
Turtle Skin (4 * 4) * 25 = 400 gp + 10% = 440 gp
Spellcraft to learn spells vs. DC 18 & 19: Take 10 + 9 = 19
Spirit of Wolf 3 * 100 = 300 gp + 10% = 330 gp
Turtle Skin 4 * 100 = 400 gp + 10% = 440 gp
Tailoring (bearskin potion bag) vs. DC 17: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (1) + 12 = 13 critical failure
High-quality grizzly bear hide, wolf gut, silk cord: 75 gp + 10% = 82.5 gp
Starting gold: 2128.16 gp
Total spent: 1569 gp
Remaining: 559.16 gp
You had heard the worth of the Cuthroat Insignia Rings, so this merchant's offer was a fair fraction of that amount.
Nogglegrop rubs his hairy chin and whispers to the others, "His offer is a tiny bit low, but a decent offer for the magical items, if I can trust my gut."
Sense Motive (vs. DC 21): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22 Success
Revery finds that appraising the worth of magical items is impossible without magical identification of their limitations and abilities, but of course doing so would cut into the profits of the sale.
6000 pieces of gold would be your total profit to offload your newly acquired items.
The merchant makes an offer which he will give you full value for your belt in trade for a dragoon dirk. He admits that the trade benefits him a bit more than it will you, so he will hand you 500 gold pieces on top of it. The dragoon dirk is a large dagger that are enchanted with the hateful magic of the dark elves, and given to their elite troops of men called Dragoons. Each dagger is a beautiful piece of work, despite the dark runes of hate etched into the blade.
Weight: 2.5 lbs.
Powers: +1 bonus to attacks, +1 DEX, (1) Magic Resistance
You find yourself in the Lion's Mane Inn, as your exhausted steps take your filthy bodies to the closest refuge and beg for a room for the night. The proprietor suggests baths as well, and only when you see how much people are leaning away from you do you understand how long you have been in the field. One of the patrons of the establishment jokingly offers advice in burning your underclothes while you're at it.
The two-story Lion’s Mane Inn & Tavern is quite different from the other taverns of Qeynos. Most others are filled with corruption and hate, but the folks at Lion’s are more quaint. Operated by the Huntlan family, the Inn is kept by sisters Tasya & Sissy while the tavern is tended by the brother Earron. The patrons who visit Lion’s Mane mostly keep to themsevles, except for the occasional visit from Gash Flockwalker, a radical druid of the Jaggedpine Treefolk.
Over the bar is a strange painting of lions playing poker. The rendering of the lions is quite exquisite, and you can clearly make out the stacks of chips on the table and even some detail in the background.
Spells are easy to find in the city (no need to decipher purchased spells).
"Ummm, I'm kinda partial to my ring," says Sajeek with a grin. He stands with his friends, still dressed in his rather filthy Dervish Robes. "As far as the other two things, I'm easy. Although, no offense to our merchant friend, we should probably have them identified first." The dirty vah shir tugs at his right ear. He looks at the merchant and grins. "Perhaps we should come back tomorrow, after we have bathed and rested up. And those are some nice looking daggers." The vah shir eyes the Dragoon Dirk for a few moments.
Later, after deciding on finishing shopping, or head straight to the nearest inn.
Looking at the one who tosses out a suggestion of his undergarment and burning, Sajeek chuckles. He had wanted to say something along the line of the man's mother didn't seem to mind, but keep shis trap shut. Grinning at the proprietor, Sajeek nods, agreeing to a bath as well.
Kwen nods at the thought of the getting the buying the dagger, it's abilities would augment what the rogue could do nicely, but other things were on the rogues mind.To the shop keep Kwen says " Perhaps, the dagger is nice, if it is still here in the morrow, perhaps I will consider it, as for the ring it self; I rather like what it does for my abilities already. We shall see good shopkeep." Kwen says with a smile
Sense Motive 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
diplomacy 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (13) + 12 = 25
Getting the idea of bath, sounded right to the half-elf, as used to the road as the others, the fact that he had died then came back to life, meant that idea of being clean, would be cleansing to say the least.
The Lion's Mantle Inn and Tavern felt like a good choice to the rogue, so he had kept quiet about the party's choice. Kwen felt tired to say the least, it wasn't physical, it felt more emotional and perhaps even spiritual; the last few months had taken quite a toll on the rogue.
Hearing one of the patrons' comment out the underclothing, Kwen almost responded with a biting remark about that person's sleeping habits and undead critters, but held it back; anger would not be the right choice at the moment.
20 + 2d10 ⇒ 20 + (10, 1) = 31
Kwen would keep his money while slightly flush with coin; it would be better to hold off on blowing it all in one night or month; so he opted for the middle class; after all he had a city to build and a shelter for orphans to put together.
After Kwen gets his room and bath, he starts to look into getting another set of his clothing made; he was partial to the long coat; it allowed him more pockets to place his tools, then asks Noggy if he could perhaps improve on his lock picks again. If the Gnome could not then; Kwen would pay the coin to have the cleric tinker with his normal set; to give him a better chance if Kwen was forced to use them.
The merchant considers the potentially lost sale and then says, "The dagger and 600 gold. That is my final offer. I have but two daggers remaining, should you wish to purchase them, I will consider a trade for the belt and gloves."
Stopping in at Fharn's Leather & Thread affords everyone the opportunity to purchase new clothing, tailored to their bodies (+50% to the price), should they wish.
Baths are sought out and taken, relieving sore muscles, and ridding each of you of much of the stench that has been normative as of late. Only when you depart the waters, and change into new clothing do you understand how rank your old clothing was.
Nogglegrop, sporting a new helm, simply throws out his old tattered and threadbare clothing.
Revery feels the pull towards his home continent, which culminates in enchanter leaving the belt behind for the group to make a final decision, and agrees to meet them at the dwarven city many months hence. The goodbyes are heartfelt.
The long story short for Kwen is that it will take 77 pieces of gold, 5 pieces of silver, to hand over his thieve's tools, and to find the gnome a rat and sever its ear. Nogglegrop flops down and makes the attempt over the next 13 hours.
Tinkering (vs. DC 13): 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (15) + 17 = 32 (success)
The night passes with a sumptuous repast, well chilled libations, and warmth of companionship. It is mid-afternoon before you find your way free of you bed and move down for some food to break your fast.
A ship leaves this very day for Halas, a few hours hence, should you wish to be on it.
"I want to keep my ring too, but I think we should get at least one of the daggers, perhaps both, to give you two more of a chance against those things that are resistant to mundane weapons." She looks at Sajeek and Kwen with those words. "If we only get one, then we should probably trade the gloves first, since Revery seemed rather attached to the belt; or perhaps the gloves plus some coin for both daggers?"
Gwendalyn gladly avails herself of the opportunity to get nice new threads, and bathes before putting them on. The clothes that she died in are not good for anything, except maybe burning.
"So. Are you all ready to go to Halas? Have you been there before, Noggy? Kwen? Any questions?"
When the gnome can tear his eyes away from the sights and sounds of Qeynos he throws his eyes to distant lands, "Home calls to me as well my friends, and while I would love to see Halas that will need to be saved for a later date. I will keep my ears to the winds, listening for tales of your city. and will come when I can."
The gnome is a horrific liar. He had heard news from home, from a gnome he had met during the drinking, and knew his father to be sick.
Bluff: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
Then Nogglegrop is gone as well, setting sail for Ak'anon.
Kwen gives nods then agrees to throwing in the gloves to the trade after Gwen makes a good point, besides he felt that while the gloves were useful, they just didn't sit right with the rogue.
Kwen had purchased clothing in the same style as his old set, in the tones of black, and the undertones were blood red, the inside of his new long coat was blood red as well. His second set of clothing that he stored in the bottom of his backpack were a dark green and black, the clothing would at least help the rogue stay out of sight.
Kwen will offer the trade of the gloves unless someone else wants them, and spend some of his gold on one of the daggers.
Earlier in the day, at the merchants
"Oh, you raise a good point Gwen. Perhaps trading for both would be the smartest plan," Sajeek glances at Bast. His magics that enhanced Bast's allowed the tiger to damage beings that could only be hurt by magic. And aside from some magics the others might have, that was it against monsters and the like. "Yeah, maybe getting both would be the smartest idea. Sorry Rev," the vah shir grins at the Enchanter. "I know you like the belt, but the magic daggers would probable up our odds against the beasties we keep running into."
When they get to Fharn's Leather & Thread, there are some raised eyebrows when the group enters. The color of their gold washed away the looks and assumptions that they were beggars. Sajeek looks over the multitudes of different types of fabrics and furs used to make custom clothing for people. He recognized a few types of furs and fabrics, most he didn't. Thinking about what type of clothes he could have made fro himself, Sajeek looks down at his filthy Dervish robes. The strips of linen that made up the outfit had served him well, and he rather liked them.
Talking with one of the tailors, Sajeek gets an idea. He has the robes remade. With a few slight differences. The vah shir asks it to be made with different colors. On one side the young Beastlord goes for blacks and greys. The reverse side, whites and greys. He was heading to Halas, and it's not the tans and browns of his current robes would help in the frozen north. Thanking the tailors, Sajeek pays them and waits for the robes to be made. The skilled tailors don't keep him waiting long. Plus, he was sure they wanted to get the stinky adventures out of their shop.
Back in the Inn
Rising out of the filthy bath water, Sajeek lets the water drain off his dark grey fur. The vah shir had scrubbed his hide clean in the hot soapy water. The grime of death and months of travel did not want to come off without a fight. Sajeek had been merciless in his cleansing of the filth clinging to his body. Stepping onto a towel he had left out, the vah shir grabs another and pads his fur dry. Picking up the brush he had purchased, the young Beastlord grooms himself, making sure he wasn't going to end up with snarls in his fur. That always was annoying.
The next morning
Yawning, Sajeek stretches and nuzzles the cheek of his bedmate. Rolling on his back, a lazy smile finds it's way to the vah shir's muzzle. He reflects on the previous evening. It had been a fun night, and almost restrained for the group. Almost. The food had been delicious, even better that they didn't have to hunt and prepare it. The ale and spirits had been tasty, chilled to perfection, and helped to dull the aches of their recent travels. The bard that happened upon the inn had been both a great entertainer, and rather good company, enjoying several drinks and tales afterward. 'Very good company afterwards,' the vah shir's emerald eyes roam over the silvered haired bard's half blanket hidden form. She had managed to get the groups name out of the vah shir, before getting him out of his new robes.
Feeling eyes on him, Sajeek looks over on his left. Bast's head rested on the bed, his mismatched green and gold eyes twinkled in feline amusement. Sajeek had twitched in surprised.
A good while later while enjoying a hearty lunch, Bast eating at large platter of uncooked meats, Sajeek looks up at Rev and Noggy. He knew Rev was going to go home for a while, who could blame him. His wife was stunning. How Rev had managed to woo her into marriage was beyond Sajeek, but, still good for the enchanter. Noggy leaving had left him surprised and a bit concerned, Noggy look a little off. Getting up, he clasps Rev's forearm and draws him close and thumps his back a few times. Going over to Noggy, Sajeek kneels down and hugs the gnome. Wishing them both well and knowing that he will see them (relatively) soon.
Looking over at Kwen and Gwen, a wide grin pulls at his muzzle.
"And then there was three," Sajeek says. Bast puts his head on the table and "murrs". "Well, four." He reaches over and scratches the tigers head. "So, what shall we do today? Finish off buying gear and whatnot?" Sajeek asks his two friends. Feeling the feather light touch at the back of his neck, Sajeek looks up, craning his head upwards. Silavinna grins down at the vah shir. Her liquid silver looking hair was drawn back into a simple braid trailing down her back. Getting his nose kissed, he looks back at his friends, Sajeek grins.
"Not that I'm in a huge hurry to leave at the moment," the vah shir says slyly. He was a little surprised to see the bard reach over and rub Bast's ears, getting the tiger's "friendly growl". Or deep rumbling purr as others might call it. "But I know Gwen wants to get home sooner then later." Sajeek thinks for a few moments as he enjoys his own ears scratched.
The merchant wants the belt, and had made an offer for it. Should you want two daggers then he will consider a trade for the gloves, but only if the belt has already been traded.
Each of the daggers costs nearly 4000 gold. It is only because the group is trading that they are getting more than a 50% for any of the magical items.
Kwen had woken up earlier than his companion, just enjoying the feeling of having a bed to sleep in, that wasn't the ground. The half-elf still felt like he was missing something; some nagging hollow feeling, trying to push the sensation to the back of his mind he dozed very lightly more lost in his head then sleep. His hand absently reaching underneath the pillow; feeling his Kurki hilt waiting for him. His thoughts taking him back to the night before, in between his wine cups; he noticed that besides the bard almost falling over Sajeek; which had made Kwen chuckle slightly at the sight; that a figure in the back the room was watching the group.
Turning his head at the figure he noticed that she was elven and seemed to be dressed more for extended periods in the plains and forests; hunting for who knows what.
Kwen had raised his wine glass to her and motioned that she join the group; Kwen had enough of being watched by people in the shadows... besides the other rogues, which more then likely were hiding in plain sight.
Their conversation drifted into Elvish; Kwen managed to keep some distance; never touching to deeply on certain points; other parts were quite deep and more revealing than Kwen wanted to be. Somehow the two of them had made it up stairs and into Kwen's bed; Vililthmorshilad or Lilly had talked much as well; than no more words were said.
Lilly had woken up, and the two had enjoyed a light conversation as opposed to last night. Kwen and Lilly parted after breakfast; the future was uncertain perhaps they would see each other again and soon; if the rogue managed to stay in town for longer than a day or two.
Kwen had paid a little bit more than he would have wanted for his two sets of clothing and had to wait for the final adjustments to be made. Both longcoats had been treated to withstand water and deal decently with both a hot and cold environment, Kwen had wanted versatility. Along with holders for his daggers to be placed into the sleeves of the coat. His bandoleer had to be readjusted to carry both Kurki's without the threat to slide out of the sheaths. It had cost the rogue 100 GP all together, but he wasn't going to complain too much about them.
Kwen smacked Noggy's shoulder wishing him luck on both the ship travel to his homeland and on the ride back; when he would meet up with the group. Accepting the gnome's story as truth, understanding that sometimes a lie was better then the truth; also waving goodbye to Revery; understanding that when one comes back from the dead; that you needed to see someone that was near and dear.
Upon returning to the others he shakes his head slightly at the size of Sajeek's plate. Kwen's plate was a more moderate; than again anyone's would be; chuckling again as the bard from last night had returned to the Val Shir; she must smell a story Kwen thinks to himself.
Answering Sajeek's question the rogue shrugged " We can muck about the city for a bit than go to Halaas; I have a feeling that we are going there sooner or later." Kwen finishes with a grin stretching slightly.
After mucking about the city for a bit...
(please include whatever decision you came to regarding the sale/trade of your items, and any purchased items, in your next post)
You spend weeks aboard ship traveling north.
(please deduct 10gp for your journey, only one captain will consider taking the warder on that conditions that Bast is considered "cargo" and costs 20gp to transport, and will be locked up for the length of the journey)
Barbarians of Norrath make their home in the frigid chill that blankets their city of Halas. While barbarians are not friendly to outsiders, they also don't go out of their way to be unfriendly to any of the goodly races. Barbarians are usually the only ones in the streets, but you can occasionally see a human or half-elf, or even other more tropical races. Frequent snowstorms keep the streets and rooftops white year-round.
Halas is a city like its inhabitants, simple and to the point. The city itself is spare and simple since the harsh life and climate leaves little time or care for luxuries that are purchased via the barbarian's major source of income fishing. The city is relatively small, but has everything that any larger city has in half the space.
There is no dock at Halas, so your ship leaves you to a rowboat pulled by the captain's mate. You are deposited ashore in the Everfrost Peaks in snow up to your mid-shin. Following the high walls around, under the frigid gaze of the barbarian guards that walk it, you come to a large partially-frozen lake. This is the start of what later beckoms the Serpent River.
Only barbarians would even consider swimming in the lake that provides them protection instead of waiting for the raft to carry them across, swimming without fear in the frigid waters.
The next ship, traveling on to Faydwer, will come in a month's time. It is likely that Revery will be on this boat, since there are so few boats that travel to that continent from Qeynos.
It is cold enough to freeze one's bones in very little time (require cold weather gear, or cold resistance).
The city of Halas has more than its share of bars, probably to keep these tundra dwellers warm on a winter night. These are humming with life during the drinking festivals, carried out regularly across Norrath on the same evenings every week. Armories are also a common sight, and frequented almost as much as the bars. Most of the inhabitants of this city know well how to use a sword, leaving one to almost feel badly for the gnolls to whom they are mortal enemies.
The people of Halas generally keep to themselves. Their life requires a great deal of what other races might term menial work, so their days are consumed with the process of survival. This is not to say that there aren't very frequent brawls in the streets as young (and old) warriors demonstrate their skills for others, or drinking bouts ending in dozens of unconscious champions, but the Barbarians could be termed a simple people.
While normally, Sajeek would have struggled to stay longer, having to be dragged out of town, claws leaving furrows in the wooden floors. That was not the case. There were several things that encouraged his feet to keep moving. The minions of Cazic-Thule would return in 12 years. That along was more then enough reason to not put down roots in Qeynos. There was still the weapons and spirit that needed to be laid to rest. Of course, they had to stop by Halas. Gwen more then deserved to see her own family after what they had been through. On then it was on Feydwer.
The fact that there was only one port that been on the map had made the vah shir grin. Another port city would bring trade as soon as merchants and ship captains knew about it. One would hope that would speed the building of their town. They were going to need some type of home to ready themselves and others for the coming Shissar invasion. Plus, Sajeek felt that in building and preparing the town, would help to strengthen them for their hunt for the weapons. A little shocking to his friends, Sajeek finishes up his resupplying and spell buying within the second day. He spends the rest of his time trying to relax, and not worrying about Rev and Noggy. They were all grow up and could take care of themselves just fine. Or so he kept telling himself.
On the day they were set to depart, Sajeek finds himself reluctant to say goodbye to the sliver haired bard, Silavinna. The human had a sense of mystery about her that piqued the vah shir's interest. Let alone was her shimmering hair that looked like quicksilver. She had been somewhat successful in freeing some of their adventures out of the Beastlord. Nothing involving certain spirits, weapons, Gods or Avatars of fear. Just some of their misadventures in Freeport and the Desert of Ro. When asked, he had told her about finding Bast and Revery's wedding in his homeland. The places that the young Beastlord had been and seen left a slight hint of envy within Silavinna's blue eyes. It was unlike Sajeek to take the same lover, but he had spent almost all of free time with the bard, exploring Qeynos.
Sajeek spends his time about the ship with Bast and learning what he can about sailing. Considering that a port city was looking better and better to there plans, knowing how to move aboard a vessel was sounding like a wise idea. When they are alone at night, Sajeek spends some time with Gwen quietly polishing her mastery of Iskar.
While he had briefly entertained the thought of swimming to the shore, Sajeek would rather not be walking around in half frozen robes for the rest of the day. Sure, it might impress a few people, possibly get him a few drinks later. Of course, as soon as he got within eyesight, they would recognize him as Gwen's mongol friend. There were a number of the fierce barbarian people whom actually enjoyed the feral vah shir's company. The others...., not so much.
"Well Gwen, your our host, where should we go first," Sajeek grins up at the shaman. He knew the city pretty well himself, but he wouldn't deny Gwen the joy of showing their friend Kwen around. He scratches Bast's ears, getting nuzzled in return. "And, I promise I'll stay out of trouble. No fires this time, cross my heart," the vah shir says as he crosses his blood pump.
At the magic shop, Gwendalyn considers the offers made and the discussion given. "Very well, we will accept your offer of a dagger and 600 gold for the belt, and we will offer the gloves for a dagger and 1200 gold." Nogglegrop had said that the merchant's initial ask was "a tiny bit low" and it had been 500 gp more for the gloves than the belt, so she figured that it was worth trying.
The young Northwoman hugs the married shapechanger and the soft-hearted, hard-armored little gnome goodbye. "Gods willing, we will see you soon." Sajeek's comment that "then there were three" makes her thoughtful, and so she takes her leave of her companions (and Sajeek's "companion") to make one last shopping trip, to buy a Summon Drink scroll and adjust her kit slightly.
Gwen is happy to practice her Iksar on the journey home, even though she's near to fluent now; they'll need every advantage that they can get against the Shissar. Before they reach Halas, she warns her friends about Brianna. "When we were waiting for the Avatar, I thought about things, you know? And I'm not so sure about her. I think she might be an agent of you-know-who. But try to act natural, since she was Tudan's girlfriend last I knew."
Water skin: 0.5 gp
Tailored adventurer clothes: 15 gp
Scroll of Summon Drink: 100 gp
Scribing materials: 200 gp
Oil (1 pint): 0.1 gp
Trail rations (2 days): 1 gp
Soap (1 lb.): 0.5 gp
Ticket to Halas: 10 gp
Remaining gold: 233.06 gp
Kwen is willing to do the trade, but would rather have everyone who is currently here agree to said trade. The daggers were very tempting to the rogue; but he wasn't willing to anger the party for mere temptation.
Kwen agreed to the travel terms; he had a few ideas for armor but wanted to wait until he had more coin availible to him before he started to shop around; the clothing at the moment was all that Kwen wanted. On the ship; Kwen wanted to learn as much as he was able too; like Sajeek he wanted to know how the crew worked and having a little bit of an idea on how ships traveled and how they were captained would give the rogue an insight... pervided that the party went ahead and built a port city.
(Kwen and Sajeek, please include the specific items purchased in Qeynos in your next post)
With eyes only for the belt the merchant nods to the shaman's offer and hands over the two daggers and 1800 gp worth of gemstones in exchange for the belt and gloves. He dons both immediately and you recognize that they confer an advantage to the man while he waits for a buyer, as opposed to just being two oversized daggers laying there with their dark runes simmering in the half-light.
Two new magical items, still having possession of the dervish cutthroat rings and 360 pieces of gold each was a decent outcome for a trip to a major city. There was a question of who was going to carry Revery and Nogglegrop's portion until you see them again.
Each dirk has a dragoon's name on them: Dorn B`Dynn and Ambassador K`Ryn.
A lesson has been learned about the advantages of trade versus outright selling for half price so you can purchase things at full price, or even market up beyond that.
This is a city where nearly everything is ridiculously expensive (200% book value), likely due to the lack of supply to meet the ravenous demand.
The incessant moan of the wind, assaulting the city's high walls, acts as the backdrop for everything.
McDaniels Smokes and Spirits (#4) is one of the two taverns where an outsider can get a room for the night in this perpetually frigid city. The other tavern is completely packed with a number of human merchants en route to Qeynos. Like every other one-story building in Halas it is raw stone pieces piled atop one another, seemingly held together by ice, with the only comfort provided by the strong alcohol the call "legion lager."
Your room is claustrophobically tight, with only a bed and chamber pot. Even with the blanket the average person, without the barbarian's innate resistance to cold, spends the entire night with teeth chattering watching plumes of their own breath erupting from their mouths.
The barbarians appear to know nothing of comfort. If truth be told they take the hardships with their typical stoicism and look at the creature comforts as a show of weakness.
Next to the warrior guild (#11) is the "Pit of Doom", where the brave battle each evening. Deaths are common, but so are bed partners. The entry fee is 50 gold and the first are one-on-one.
Gwendalyn finds no sign of Brianna. It appears that she disappeared around the time that the group first met with Swenj.
A map merchant offers some maps of interest for the next leg of your journey at 25 gold pieces each:
Revery and Nogglegrop, as Kwen and Sajeek would find later, also determine that the force behind their movements, have suddenly disappeared without a trace.
Sajeek reflects on the scrolls and other gear that he had purchased before leaving Qeynos. It gave the vah shir's mind something to do as they choose their lodgings for the night. The Beastlord was happy to finally be off the confines of the ship.
Scrolls, 200gp (Spirit of Kahliz, Spirit of Lightning); 400 gp transcribing materials; 24 gp clawed handwraps; Spear 4 gp; 3 javelins, 3 gp; 30 gp lodging and lifestlye; 30 gp for travel
Thinking about his purchases brings a slight sour note to his thoughts. He hadn't managed to transcribe the spell he really wanted too for Bast, it had wiggled out of his understanding. The second scroll had all but thrown itself into his spellbook. 'Still, at least I managed to get one of them down,' he thinks with a shrug.
After they had chosen lodgings in the less crowded McDaniels Smokes and Spirits, Sajeek looks at his friends.
"So, Gwen, not that I'm complaining or anything," Sajeek says as he taps a swig from his ale. "But, why didn't we go to your parents house. I thought you wanted to see them. And it would have been nice to know that Brinna is your brothers girlfriend much earlier. I could have used that info that first time I was here," he says with a grin.
A boat had arrived from Freeport the day before, en route to Qeynos, carrying human merchants along with their wares, hoping to exploit the Fall markets before the winters halted the passage to the north. Halas was a three day stop as the boat unloaded some of its contents that were of interest to the ultra-utilitarian-minded barbarians, and loaded up furs, pelts and smoked meats.
Most of barbarian tribes come from an area close to the town of Halas, found at the base of the Everfrost Peaks. Only a single tribe, reputed to have bred with "Southeners" at one point in their lineage, runs Halas. Though the other tribes flourish because of its existence, they also hold it in contempt.
Gwendalyn has no place to stay with her family and neither does the group. Barbarians move away from their supports early and either survive or die off. Once they are on their own feet they form a family and raise their own kids. She is expected to grow up strong or go early to an icy grave.
A month in this climate will either toughen you up, or you imagine that they will find you frozen to your blankets in the morning.
One masterwork explorer's outfit: Black and red with black long coat with red lining; red is a crimson color 100 gp wrist sheaths to hide daggers.
One master work explorer's outfit: forest green with brown tones; good for forest and plains. 100 gp
Selling masterwork Leather armor for 85 gp
total cost of items purchased before the trading of the belt and gloves are:
Kwen was glad that the gloves were gone; it allowed him to have some measure of protection. Still he still doesn't like the cold; the heat for the rogue wasn't much of a problem. " Lovely weather today, still what are we going to day?" The rogue asks with a sly grin.
Gwendalyn suggests that since Sajeek and Kwen got the dirks, the cash should go to the rest. Since she has a cutthroat insignia ring, she should only get 240 gp, with 780 gp each going to Nogglegrop and Revery (guessing that the rings might actually be worth a little over five hundred); but they could split it up for safekeeping, with each of the three carrying 520 gp (in the form of four peridots and twelve platinum) of the money for the other two.
The Halasite's first homecoming was bliss; after the makeshift abodes and constant danger of the frozen island, it was a relief to get back to civilization. This time, she's seen a lot more of the world -- from Freeport to Erudin to Qeynos, from deserts to mountains to plains -- and her hometown seems small and rough, while the people seemed large and rough.
It was kind of a relief to not have to deal with Brianna, though at the same time, her mysterious disappearance seemed to confirm her suspicions. She couldn't say anything to Tudan of course, though he was worried that she'd been kidnapped like Gwen; even if he believed the wild story, it would be no comfort to think that maybe Bri was a secret agent of the Shissar, rather than a runaway or captive.
Her much yearned-for reunion with her family and friends was not as happy as she'd hoped, either. They all expected her to settle down now that she'd seen the world and come back. None of them saw the point of founding a new city when they had a perfectly good one right here.
She also couldn't tell her church everything, though at least her superiors were a little more open to the idea of her continuing on, once they saw how blessed she was by the spirits. Maybe it would all be for the best, if the young mystic spread the word of Justice to Faydwer and established a new church of the Tribunal there.
She's almost hesitant to ask the judges at the Pit of Doom whether spellcasting is allowed, but Gwendalyn the Giant Slayer is no stay-at-home shaman, and wouldn't mind testing her mettle against her countrymen.
A little while after Gwen had returned, finding out that her family was out in the wilderness, the three sit around a table.
"You are a very unhappy looking shaman," Sajeek says when the large woman sets down. "Did you get the "Settle down and raise kids," speech? I hate those myself. Lithia gave up me settling down years ago," the vah shir says with a laugh.
After a rather plain, but filling, lunch had been devoured, they lounge at the table.
"Well, any idea of what we could do to make some coin while we are here? My coin pouch seems to be suffering from a drought," the young Beastlord chuckles. "And Bast refuses to go out and get a job to help support himself," Sajeek says, scratching the tiger's ears. "Or is there a town posting for odd jobs and the like?" the vah shir asks Gwen. "I wasn't really looking for one last time I was here." he grins.
"Oh, I remember seeing some merchants selling maps yesterday when we arrived, should we pick a couple of those up? Or wait and see if we can find some work first?" Sajeek asks his two friends.
Far to the north, Antonica becomes bitterly cold, the land itself frozen and buried beneath ice and snow. These are the Northlands, where few races dare go. Yet one race not only dares, but conquers, making its home here amid the ice. The Northlands are home to the barbarian nation.
The Northmen (as they call themselves) are a powerful force in their own lands. The Northern Nation is a loose collection of tribes and villages, in part owing to the harsh conditions of their lands - storms often prevent contact with other groups for weeks or even months, so the Northmen are accustomed to handling their own affairs. This makes the nation less cohesive, perhaps, but its individual components are stronger, and if the nation's leaders were to fall, the rest of the nation could still survive. History has in fact proven this to be so, and while other nations may scoff at the Northmen and belittle their "primitive" communities, few have attempted to invade the Northlands...and no one has attempted it twice.
The icy, inhospitable lands of the frozen North are filled with unsolved mysteries and potential threats, as well as hidden treasures.
The Northlands are cold year-round. Temperatures hardly ever rise above freezing except near the coast and along the southern border, and even in those places i t rarely gets that warm. In the interior and to the north, the temperature is often below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and water will freeze in an instant. For the most part, summer is a time of clear skies and temperatures just below freezing, while winter is filled with intense cold, bitter wind, and violent storms that can last for weeks or even months. The ground is always frozen, and in most places it is covered by at least a foot or more of snow and ice. Few plants can survive here: only evergreen trees and small scrub brushes.
Cutting up from the southwest and running through the center of the nation are the Everfrost Peaks, a collection of jagged, rocky mountains, sometimes covered in treacherous snow and other times bare to the wind. The rest of the Northlands is mostly plains, cold flat expanses of land with nothing to shield the wind and snow. Some canyons and gulleys exist, worn deep into the rocks over time, and villages often nestle within these for protection from the harsh winds. The city of Halas sits in the largest of these canyons, an actual valley cut into the Everfrost Peaks. To the east of Halas lie the Frigid Plains, vast glacial lands which even the Northmen rarely cross.
Kwen sipped at his tankard, this land was completely different than any he had fled to his his time; that and the fact he would have to consider changing into the dervish robes if the weather got worse. 'Now why did we have to come here' the rogue thinks to himself; pushing off the start of dark thoughts he brings himself back to the conversation.
" Well I don't know if there would be odd jobs that we could do, it couldn't hurt to look I guess. As for maps; I think that is a great idea, after all it couldn't hurt to start collecting them, before we arrive to our next destination, that way we could try to plot out a few routes to travel on." The rogue says with a grin.
Halas is growing, and you recognize that you are in but a portion of the city, with the rest of it off limits until the commercial construction is completed.
Magic is not used in the Pit of Doom, and neither are magical weaponry or items. The competition is sinew against sinew and skill against skill alone. Women compete as often as men, and have won the challenge many years in a row.
Sajeek excuses himself, saying he will be back in few minutes. Perhaps a quarter of an hour goes by before the vah shir returns.
"Okay, I picked up those maps I was talking about. Turns out I was wrong, they are maps of Feydwar, not the local area," Sajeek says as he places the maps on the table for the others to look at. "The walk there and back gave me a moment to think. Doing jobs for others pays absolute crap, so I don't think we should even bother looking for work while we are here."
Looking over at Gwen, the young Beastlord smiles warmly.
"I'm not sure how long we should stay here. I know once the Freeze hits, nobody is going anywhere on the water. So, we should probably leave well before then," the vah shir chuckles. "And I think it takes a couple of weeks to get to the port from here."
Pausing for a few moments, Sajeek wets his whistle with his half full, and still well chilled ale.
"We could go and see what Khae is up to," he offers, looking at the others.
Days thaw long enough to proceed into nights, which are thawed by morning's light.
Gwendalyn has seen her family, including her heartbroken brother, who assures her that he knows nothing of Brianna's location. She simply disappeared one day and none have heard of her since.
You catch glimpses of the Halas to be, and understand that it will remain a small city compared to Freeport and Qeynos, but it will be many times the size it is now. Multiple tribes have caught the dream of a defensible base of operations in the north and will work together to fashion a dream out of the permafrost and ice.
Your experiences are many including fights in the Pit of Doom, drinking contests, and massive meals. It is a simplistic existence, but the barbarians live it to the fullest.
Yours will be the last ship to be permitted to come near the North, for the barbarians will only accept the rare caravan henceforth, now that the new Halas is being built. These are a people accustomed to handling their own affairs, and they do not appear to be concerned with a more limited trade arrangement with the rest of the world. Truth be told it is the rest of the world that will worry, for the Northmen are reputed to supply many of the most pristine furs anywhere on the surface of Norrath.
You board ship (10gp each) and find that Revery is not aboard after all.
The oversea journey towards Faydwer is long, but uneventful.
You leave the boat and place your feet on the stones of Port Faydwer.
Bast causes quite the stir with the no nonsense Port Faydwer Guard. Sajeek recognizes that none of the races that live on Faydwer are of a tribal society, which means no shamans and also no beastlords, so warders tend to cause some trouble. After many assurance he is told matter-of-factly that the animal will be put down if it hurts anyone.
Though a strong central authority is lacking in Port Faydwer, its citizens are nevertheless a capable folk, able to handily defend their home against marauding Butcherblock goblins and other foes. The city walls are stoutly built of granite and maintained by the citizens through and informal labor-sharing agreement - when a citizen sees that a section of the wall needs repairs, he or she either arranges to repair it or pays a portion of the cost of the repairs. In this fashion, the city has remained secure and safe from outside threats for many years.
Port Faydwer is nestled int he Butcherblock Mountains.
Drakes, basilisks, and dangerous bands of goblins are known to inhabit the region. These rarely present a problem for well-prepared and experienced parties, but they can be a challenge to lone travelers or inexperienced adventurers. Greater dangers lurk in the form of Dismal Rage cultists from Freeport, who are known to be active in the region, and also aviak war parties and even Crushbone orc scouts who sometimes find their way here from the Faydark. Such is the importance of the region, however, that the dwarves of Kaladim keep the Butcherblocks well-garrisoned and send regular patrols along major trade routes.
In general, however, the Butcherblock Mountains are a pleasant and exhilarating place, largely free from many of the dark and violent forces that inhabit other regions of Norrath. The realm’s relative tranquility, and the abundance of game and edible plants makes it an excellent training ground for young dwarven warriors, who are often encountered camping and training among the craggy cliffs and verdant valleys.
Summers in the Butcherblocks are warm but rarely hot, and winters cool but rarely cold, at least in the valleys. Sunshine and occasional thunderstorms typify the warmer months, while rain and fog are more common in the off- season. Violent storms sometimes blow in from the Ocean of Tears, forcing inhabitants to batten down and seek shelter, but this is a rare occurrence. This mild climate supports dense growths of conifers and many local species such as deer, bear, fox, and squirrel, as well as predators such as puma and the occasional wolf. Small streams run here and there throughout the region, cascading eagerly down from nearby mountaintops; these are often rich with trout, a favorite of both the dwarves and other adventurers who spend time here.
All in all, despite their infrequent dangers and proximity to such infamous locales as Dagnor’s Cauldron and the Faydarks,the Butcherblock Mountains remain a calm and bounteous haven from the conflicts of a troubled world, and a refuge from the horrors that lurk elsewhere on
Despite this, darker clouds do lurk on the horizon, and the dwarves know that to maintain the Butcherblocks’ peace requires constant vigilance. Crushbone orcs have begun to venture more regularly into the area, and rumors continue to circulate about the presence of dark elves somewhereintheregion.ThoughtheButcherblockMoun- tains remain a place of peace and beauty, such days may be numbered, and the violence of the outside world may yet come to this relatively untouched comer of Norrath.
"Stupid asshats," Sajeek can be heard muttering as they leave the docks. He looks over his shoulder to see the handful of guards that watched them leave the docks area. There was an ember of anger in his heart towards them. He wanted to scream and rage at them, calling them foul names. Bast had never harmed anyone whom hadn't tried to hurt the tiger or Sajeek. He had tolerated Jakab's two very mobile children torments with little more then the occasional roar to give himself a some breathing room.
Worst of all, Sajeek wanted them to know true Fear, Terror and finally Death. Cazic-Thule might have blunted the trauma that their bodies and souls endure, turning the vivid memories into something akin to a very realistic story. But the memories of what happen to him are still there for him. And if anything, Sajeek was a quick study.
Rooted in his place as he glares, Sajeek knew how to hurt and cause fear, how to heal and skin someone alive. He had spent an eternity being destroyed, and spirits damn them all, he remembered. Cazic-Thule was not a kind god. He had given Sajeek a bit of a gift, the knowledge of Fear. His eyes continue to darken as he stares back at the small group of guards. What he could do to them.... His lips pull back from his muzzle in a smile that has nothing to do with being happy. The vah shir's feet urge him to take that first step.
It's Bast that ends up saving Sajeek's (or a guard or two) life. The tiger bumps into the vah shir's hip. The tiger's mismatched eyes look up at Sajeek and he "murrs". Head moving if it was on puppet strings, Sajeek turns his head and looks down at the tiger. His soul-brother looks at him, nuzzles his hand and starts to purr. The vah shir unclenches his clawed hands and his mind. A small part of his mind was disappointed that he wasn't going to have a chance to..., play with the guards. The rest of his mind recoils from what he had been thinking about doing. It had been so vivid in his Mind's Eye. Their screams still echoing in his ears, Sajeek begins moving again, catching up with the other two.
Bile rising in his throat, Sajeek catches up and forces a grin when the other two realize he had been a ways behind them. The vah shir doesn't met their eyes, not wanting them to see what lies behind his eyes.
"Let's find a place to grab an ale. I say we leave a note for Rev, and go and visit Khae. Rev should be able to catch a ride on caravan to the dwarves," Sajeek says, as he looks around the small town, trying to not pay attention to the guards. "I won't be staying in this town tonight," Sajeek says, a hint of steel in his tone. A few heartbeats pass before he adds, "But if you two want to, that is completely fine," Sajeek adds with a nod.