Steam and soot darken the skies above the docks as the clamor of voices and machines clash with each other for dominance. Winds sweeping across the harbor to blow the choking products of industrial forges into the snow capped mountains that loom around the city. Across the inner ring of the enclosed Yundalite Mountains, the march of progress and the demands of national defense produces similar results.
The great human colonies no longer fear the natural threats of Yundal, and tensions from home nations have spilled over into the colonies to end previous alliances. What was once a united front against the monstrous natives, savage barbarians, and formless abominations has become a cesspool of distrust and corruption and betrayal. The ever-present march of progress clashes with the prophetic warnings of the Church, and everybody from barbarians to soldiers of fortune want a piece of the profits and glory.
Times are turning. The last seven years of uneasy peace is overshadowed by the previous thirty years of war. The clash of the Church and technologists raises tensions by the day. Pirates and mercenaries make their fortune at the expense of others. The natives and barbarians seem to grow bolder with every skirmish. Even some of the skyseers begin preaching the warnings of the Church as the starry wheels of heaven tell of a new age. But what they cannot see, hidden beyond the steam and soot of the night sky, is if the new age is one of progress, or of catastrophe.
Please feel free to dot here so the game shows up in your campaign tabs. We are not starting yet since we still have to finalize character creation
Date: 9 Autumn 895 A.S
Time: Early Morning
Weather: 77° F (25° C); Clear Skies
Location: Caranusca, Outer Port of Brieca
The sun finishes its ascension over the ocean line and bathes the city in warming light. The imposing marble buildings of Caranusca stretch high above the sea line, catching and absorbing the heat. The ocean sparkles brilliantly, the only thing breaking up the flat horizon view being the large vessel coming towards the city, its outline just visible. Such a small speck right now, it's hard to imagine what it holds can change the future of the colonies
It seems Yundal will be hot and sunny as it welcomes High Cardinal Theodore Philius.
The city is alive and noisy even at this early hour as preparations are made for the head of the Azgaarian Church. Clergymen dressed in their typical white and gold colors preach on every street corner and on multiple raised platforms near the docks. The docks are swarming with people, mostly local Briecans but also a host of people from Thane and Almor. Merchants and artisans are using this historic event as an excuse to sell their wares from makeshift booths peppered across the streets. Bards dance and sing, artists show off their works, the smell of street food fills the air, and technologists from Thane and Almor glare at each other as they compete to gather the most attention.
At the docks the diverse crowd is held back by a line of the heavily armored Knights of Theveste, their own white and gold full plate shining in the early morning light. Behind the line of royal knights are some high-ranking members of the church, as well as other important people such as noble families and foreign emissaries. This crowd is much more subdued and regal, quietly mingling amongst themselves next to the large port that has been cleared in preparation for the High Cardinal's incoming vessel.
~~~Caspian "Cass" Abernathy~~~
Caspain ponders over the note again.
I wish you to go to Caranusca for the arrival
of the High Cardinal. His presence is drawing
many inventors out, which is an opportunity
to see what progress others have made. Make
note of any significant inventors from Almor
who have made progress of a magical nature.
Take notes of your experience there. I hope
that this opportunity is enriching both for
your studies as well as the culture of Brieca.
All of the expenses will be covered.
"...and how it handles the overload issue. Cass, are you even listening to me?" Nicodemus chides his apprentice. "We were sent here to learn, not to daydream!" With an unhappy series of mumbles the old man sweeps his eyes across the streets. "It seems the booths are finally open. I will not be fighting my way through that crowded nonsense all morning, so you go and find a few booths that seem interesting. I will meet you back here in half an hour with some food." Nicodemus gives a smile to his apprentice, then sets off in the direction of a couple food booths.
Cass go ahead and tell me how you go about perusing the booths/crowd, and give a perception check and a knowledge (engineering) check.
Snap! With a final full-bodied effort Draegar gets his makeshift booth set up, the support leg snapping into place beneath his corded muscles. It was definitely one of the cheaper setups, but damned if the vendor wasn't right that it was hard to get set up by yourself. Still, the clamor of excited people behind him is reassurement that it was worth it.
Draegar checks the temporary permit he bought in order to sell his wares in Brieca. That little scroll cost more than the rest of the setup combined, but the price was worth it considering the size of the crowd gathered to see the High Cardinal arrive. Other technologists are aplenty with their own booths as well, some of whom Draegar knows are eager to talk with their fellow intellectuals, but just as many see this as a cutthroat competition for who could keep the short attention span of their potential buyers.
I thought Draegar would jump at the opportunity to attend an event where technology is being displayed/bought/sold. Not only would he have the chance to show off his own wares, he can also see what other people have been working on. Go ahead and explain what kind of tech you would be showing off, as well as what you would be looking for. Also make me a kwowledge (engineering) check.
The sun. It felt so warm, so inviting. The smell of salt wafts into Esdras's nose from the ocean. It is so peaceful, so calm. Esdras feels a soft hand on his leg and he turns to see a charming smile, the comforting presence of Tatja. "Esdras, are you with me?" Something is odd about her voice...it sounds echoed. The relaxed smile falls from Esdras's face, and Tatja looks concerned. "Esdras? Esdras!" She shakes him, and his vision changes. He is not on a peaceful beach with his love, but sitting near the docks in a city. The person shaking him is his sister Isabela, and she looks concerned as their gazes meet. "Come on, you have to be at your best today. Father is introducing you and Gerard to High Cardinal Philius."
That's right. Esdras looks around and sees himself surrounded by nobles and clergymen, a line of heavily armored warriors separating them from the rest of the more jovial crowd. His own family stands in a circle with a number of priests, conversing something quietly. Occasionally they glance over at him and Isabela, but their gaze never lingers long.
"Isabela!" Raul steps up behind his wife, one hand on her shoulder and the other protectively around her bulging midsection. "Come, we are missing introductions." He gives a sneer at Esdras and directs Isabela back towards the conversation. She reluctantly follows, giving Esdras a pleading look before being dragged away.
Esdras, as emissaries from Ra'an and Almor your family is in the smaller crowd of people close to the docks, although you are free to go wherever you like. Let me know what you would like to do before the High Cardinal arrives, and give me a sense motive check.
~~~Topaz of Flint~~~
"Puck will take the docks while Jax checks the inns. Topaz and I will work the crowd. Remember, we're just trying to learn right now, don't start nothing if you can help it. Got it? Alright, meet back here in an hour." The men nod and duck out of the small alley and Pella takes a deep breath. "Ready?" She asks Topaz.
It wasn't the hardest assignment she had ever got, but the new environment was a bit of an upset. When they heard Almoran slavers were planning on using the confusion of the High Cardinal's arrival to smuggle their two-legged cargo out, they knew the local law enforcement would be too preoccupied with the safety of the Clergy to care about local crime. Even if they were told the name of their leader, Forg. One of the lowest kind of scum, he has earned himself a reputation for selling off children. This was the first time the Whispers had managed to get a step ahead of him, and damned if they weren't going to take it.
Let me know how you intend to go about gathering information, and give me a diplomacy (gather info) check and a bluff check.
Esdras sighed once more. At first, he relucted to come to Caranusca. Much like Ra'an, Caranusca was a port city, but while the first was on the Inner Coast, as he used to call it, the second was on the Outer Coast, which means he and his family would have to ship to Chanceldia, then travel by land to Xanthus and then take another ship to Caranusca... not a short voyage and definitely too much time spent in a vessel in the presence of Raul, Gerard and his father, all resentful towards him for different reasons.
However, as Isabela pointed out, it was a good opportunity, even if the two had different opinions about which opportunity was being presented. His sister hoped that the change of airs would help Esdras and, perhaps encourages him to relax... perhaps he could even know someone 'interesting' as she pointed out. She was not open about it, but Esdras knew that Isabela was hoping that this voyage could bring him, his father and his brother closer. Esdras, on the other hand, knew this was not possible for he would not be able to give what it would take for that to happen. In truth no single move would bring the three together... Haltius, his father wanted Esdras to be once more his first son and heir, while Gerard wanted Haltius to truly appreciate all he had made as the acting governor of Ra'an. Esdras could not do both, so he decided to, at least, try to do one of those things.
Once Isabela was lead away by Raul, Esdras checked his sword in his back for the fifth time in the last couple minutes and turned his back to all the nobles gathered around. As Isabela mentioned, his father intended to introduce him and his brother to High Cardinal Philius, so if he was late to this introduction, his father would have no choice but to give Gerard the proper attention. His father would for sure be infuriated and Isabela would be disappointed, but he could take care of that later. Once this decision was made, Esdras allowed himself a fraction of a smile for amid the crowd of vendors and common men, there was a ragged blue banner with a roaring lion moving around... it was not being carried, however, but instead was piercing the torso of a man clad in an armor of clear briecan style, even if really old fashioned.
At last! Another soul has awaken... I wonder what input caused that... "Gideon, could you 'ask' Red Jai if he knows that one?" A couple feet from him, sit atop a pile of crates, was a tall and thin man with dark long hair and a goatee, with his chest and back pierced by four arrows. The dead man sighed. "I'll ask him... you know he won't flee, right? The Sword is his anchor, so he'll eventually come to you once he remembers what is going on..." Esdras agreed with Gideon, even without making a gesture, something he was careful not to startle those around him. "Yes, of course I know, but this is the reason I must follow him. What he can see of this world is limited to what I can see, so I must help him as soon as possible so, perhaps, he feels inclined to do the same..."
Of course it was easier to say than to do, for the dead man could pass through the living and Esdras could not. Esdras left the space reserved to the nobles and entered the area with the booths of food and technological wares.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10 (+2 for a hunch)
Draegar rolled his shoulders and neck before sitting down at his kiosk. In full armor dotted with pyramid shaped spikes, the big man looked more like a mercenary than a merchant.
He dropped a heavy satchel on the table, untied it, and unrolled it.
Inside was an incredible array of weaponry. Most of it seemed designed for more than one use.
There was a long handled shortsword with a serrated back that looked like it would very functionally double as a machete or a wood saw.
A hatchet with a hammer-head backside and a strange curved handle.
A poniard with a trigger.
An overbuilt pry bar with a leather grip was next to it. The bent side of the pry bar was sharpened into a brutal looking spike.
A hollow-headed morning star that looked like a torch sconce re-purposed for war.
Rows of grenades of all kinds followed, all marked with small insignia that hinted as to their purpose. A flame. A spiderweb. A skull and crossbones. A closed eye. A spiral.
Next was a set of heavy symmetrical steel spikes, sharpened on each end.
Below those was what looked like a strange pistol with six barrels and an array of different loads and bullets.
Hanging off the front of the table was a steel shield with large holes punched through it.
The centerpiece of the entire display was a contraption. It looked like a headless spider make out of metal.
The spider-thing was holding a very professional looking portfolio full of intricate drawings of weapons and armor, with sketches of people using them and small write ups about their effectiveness and the intent behind their designs. The spider was turning the pages slowly.
Just above Draegar was a single collapsible weapon stand holding up a sword that looked like it was made for a giant. The massive weapon was acting as a banner for his small shop. Scrawled across the blade in thick red paint were the words DAMAGE INDUSTRIES
Draegar put his boots up on the table, his hands behind his head, leaned back in his chair and waited.
|Topaz of Flint|
While the others were dressed to blend in, Topaz was dressed to stand out, in some of her most colorful entertaining attire. She drew attention so Pella could work more discreetly.
Topaz moved toward a makeshift stage where a small crowd of other performers were demonstrating their skills. A juggler kept up a stream of patter until a poor toss led him to drop half his balls and exit to boos and a stray tomato that fortunately missed. Next up was a storyteller who actually managed to hold the crowd’s attention for a while. Topaz took the chance to chat with the other performers waiting their turn.
”This a good spot?” she asked a dancer in a curious array of scarves and skirts.
”Pretty fair,” the dancer replied. ”Some of the rich folks are trying to show how generous they are with all the priests around. Down by the docks would be better but you have to have a permit or something.”
”Always with the permits!” Topaz shook her head in commiseration. ”So what’s the good gossip?” She continued chatting with the other performers, listening for any news of the slavers, or of the local law enforcement for that matter. She kept half an eye out for Pella, just in case she got in trouble.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (8) + 14 = 22 (includes +4 for gathering info)
Bluff: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 23
|Caspian "Cass" Abernathy|
“JBE… JBE…” Cass’ brow furrowed as his fingers strummed on the rucksack at his side in thought. He had always been curious who this mysterious investor in his studies was – but never really looked into it. It was best not to look a gift horse in the mouth, Nicodemus had told him once, and Cass agreed. Nothing this JBE had asked of him thus far had felt dangerous or illegal and everything seemed to align with his own curiosity into the nature of arcana and how it spun the gears of the universe.
Still – he couldn’t help but wonder, and quickly rolled through a list of name combinations: Jonas Bertram Edmonton, Javal Borden Eddington, Jase Barrington Erl—
“…huh?” Cass’ attention suddenly snapped into place. “Right, right, the overload issue,” he mumbled beneath his breath and began talking to himself, trying to figure out a solution on his own. “We could possibly use the arcane singularity to attune the malfunctioning modulator to…” and then he was lost in thought again, this time shifting to one of the many projects Nicodemus and Cass had been working on.
And then once more, his mind snapped back into focus, and he nodded to Nicodemus. “Oh, food! Yes, please, and thank you. Something local if you can, I’ve never been here before and I’m eager to sample the cuisine. I'll let you know if I find anything of note, of course."
With that Cass turned and headed into the crowd, moving through with the ease of someone who had lived in a city before – though he was a bit put-off by the pomposity of the whole affair. Cass lifted a finger to the intricately designed brass loupe that dangled around his neck from a leather cord. He almost uttered the first syllable of an incantation before he stopped himself casting a wary glance around. He realized he was unsure how Briecans saw magic of a more arcane nature. He had heard stories of Inquisitors of Azgaar arresting people for witchcraft and decided he had better not risk it until he knew for sure.
Instead Cass moved his fingers to the tip of his waxed mustache, squeezing and twisting it to a tight point before heading deeper into the crowd, scanning the booths for anything that might grab his interest.
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Knowledge (Engineering): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (2) + 11 = 13
Esdras senses the familiar mixture of anger and disgust from his family, but is too distracted by the din of the crowds to put a finger on what exactly may be bothering them today. Besides, why focus on their concerns when another spirit had made themselves known? Although the ethereal form passed quickly through the crowd, the ragged banner flapping high in the air gives Esdras a beacon to follow.
Esdras, you can choose to move through the crowd without effort at half-speed. Alternatively, you try to maneuver your way through faster with a diplomacy check, or try to shove your way through with a CMB check. The CMB check would be easier and more rewarding as far as moving quickly, but would potentially carry some social consequences.
Draegar sets up shop with his provocative sign, and the bait is flocked upon immediately. Within two minutes there's a continuous stream of people oohing and aahing over the exotic technological weaponry. Questions and inquiries are flung at him from all angles and Draegar finds himself giving a constant deluge of information on his quirky creations. He thinks that most of the crowd are simply window shopping, but a few people seem interested in lightening their coin purses. Among them are:
-A mercenary-looking fellow with curly black hair and a scraggly short beard. He wears light armor and sports a number of small blades and a pistol. He seems to be hovering over the poniard with the built-in trigger.
-A lithe man with unkempt brown hair and piercing blue eyes, seems to be an intellectual type with a stained apron who came from his own booth across the street. His eyes are trained on the drawings in the portfolio, eyes occasionally flicking to the associated devices with frequent whisperings of fascination.
-A teenage boy with a short, sharp haircut and what appears to be a fresh bruise on his chin. He is wearing fine clothes with the white and gold colors of Brieca. His attention drifts but he seems to keep coming back to the punctured shield.
Draegar, which one of the potential customers you would like to talk to first? Keep in mind that there are a lot of other attractions around, and depending on how invested the individuals are they may move on if their attention is lost.
~~~Topaz of Flint~~~
Topaz quickly maneuvers herself to where the entertainers are, the festive nature of the welcoming party quickly making her feel at home. Although she gets the sense the city is normally never this exciting, today there are a number of local performers as well as foreign dockers that the streets are lively even at this early hour.
Topaz makes fast friends with the performers, and gets up to date on some of the local gossip. Much of it is personal relations, but there are some juicy bits of information. Apparently a number of the local church leaders are secretly upset at the arrival of the High Cardinal since it takes away from their power. There's also rumor that the High Cardinal plans to select a number of artisans that catch his eye to join his luxury ship to Theveste.
She learns that local law enforcement is very busy with handling the festivities and deduces its true that this would be an excellent opportunity to smuggle something out of the city. While no word of any specific slaving operation comes to her ears, she manages to learn about some of the travelers who have made port recently and seem interested in maintaining their privacy. After excluding the ones that definitely came from somewhere other than Almor, she has a small list of potential leads:
-A ship came in two nights ago and seemed to avoid the local guard rounds, dropping off two passengers before disappearing into the night. One of them had a tattoo on their right hand.
-Two ships arrived last night with a rugged group of men. Apparently they paid extra to avoid docking near the festivities, and have left a couple men behind to guard their ships.
-A well-polished vessel with a large hull came early this morning, and the local officials were bribed to prevent any recording of the ship. Nobody has seen much activity on board.
-A ship arrived several days ago and only three people (two men and one woman) came off despite the size of the vessel. They set anchor outside sight of the city but return to their ship every night.
Topaz, let me know which of the leads you would like to follow up on first, and how you plan on doing it. Keep in mind that depending on time spent on each lead, you may not be able to get to all of them before the High Cardinal arrives.
~~~Caspian "Cass" Abernathy~~~
Cass heads into the heart of the crowd where the technological booths are gathered, trying to pick out anything that may be interesting, to his mysterious investor or otherwise. Unfortunately the rapidly shifting nature of the crowd prevents him from getting very close to any of the more interesting booths without taking some time to wait or shove his way through. Even still, amongst the more mundane inventions are a few things that catch his eye.
-A well-built booth of metal stands tall and imposing, manned by a local Briecan with curly blonde hair. He is showing off cold weather gear, including a set of boots with retractable spikes of various lengths to traverse snow and ice more safely.
-A makeshift rickety booth with a menacing armored fellow that looks like a half-Skive. He has an array of odd weaponry, but most interesting is a contraption that looks like a headless metal spider that is animated and showing off schematics of the weapons.
-Another makeshift booth with a short woman who has close-cropped hair and scorch marks on her outfit. She has what appears to be sailing equipment, and her centerpiece is what she claims to be a collapsible and portable boat that can fit into a backpack.
Cass, which booth you are interested in checking out first? Keep in mind that depending on the arrival of the High Cardinal you may not be able to get to all of them, depending on how long you spend at each one. You can either wait in line, try to get forward more quickly with a diplomacy check, or shove your way forward with a CMB check.
1d3 ⇒ 3
1d20 ⇒ 201d20 ⇒ 7
1d4 ⇒ 1
|Caspian "Cass" Abernathy|
Cass wormed his way through the crowd, getting jostled around a bit, before managing to peek over the head of a shorter bystander. He took note of a few of the stands, reaching into his backpack for a small journal into which he began scribbling ideas for schematics and improvements on the gear offered.
”I wonder,” he murmured quietly to himself as he glanced over the Breican’s booth for a quick moment, ”if it would be possible to fuse a barometer or thermometer to the spring loaded mechanisms somehow – so that the retractable spikes would automatically engage when sufficient atmospheric pressure…” and his hand was sketching, creating some overly designed contraption for the boots that would probably be far too heavy to wear otherwise. He quickly scratched out the crude schematic. “Too bulky. But,” he began drawing again, "if we modify the meters with some elemental magic it might be wort—” he stopped himself and shook his head. Flipping to a different page.
“Only have a half hour,” he reminded himself, quietly.. “Best stay on task, Cass.”
The boat he dismissed out-of-hand – he had a backpack that could fit an un-collapsible boat. And then his eyes alighted upon the spider. Now that was an object of interest. He didn’t bother trying to cut in line – staying back and staying patient offered him a chance to watch the animated contraption at work. Observation was always the first step to collecting empirical evidence. And while he did have questions – he wanted to study the spider long enough to get a good grasp of how it worked before he asked for finer details. And so he stepped in line at the booth, sketching the spider in his journal and trying to figure out how it worked before he reached the seller.
When the crowd enveloped him, Esdras made sure the clasps of his sheath were secure, both the one that held it in place on his back and the one that locked his sword inside it. Back in Ra'an, he would not have had any difficulty on navigating through the crowd, for both his figure and crest were well know, but here he was just another noble and he wasn't sure about how the hierarchy would work here.
"Excuse me, mister... please, let me pass, excuse me." He tried to move around the crowd. "Kshama karen ... mujhe mahodaya kshama karen." He tried once more, now directing himself towards a clearly briecan matron of considerable circumference.
The new soul stopped for a bit, close to the food booths. The wind changed and Esdras could clearly notice the smell of spices, mostly cinnamon, coriander and cumin. 'Sukah's Josh' was written in a plaque nearby. Lamb rogan josh... interesting. I've tasted it more than once and it is indeed delicious. Perhaps his wife, mother or grandmother was a good cook... Its amusing how such simple things could be so important for someone... This time, Esdras was actually talking to himself, for none of his usual 'companions' were nearby, something uncommon.
Esdras moved towards the food booth selling the lamb rogan josh and ordered two bows, making sure to show the bow to the new released soul. When he was about to look for somewhere a bit more quiet for him to eat, he noticed a familiar face. "Master Nicodemus... are my eyes tricking me or you finally managed to leave your offices at last?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26
Draegar was pretty good at multitasking. The first thing he did was pick up one of the two pound steel flechettes, flip it in his hand and then turn to toss it into the haybale with a sheet of rolled steel leaned against it that stood about fifteen feet behind him. It slammed through the steel with a resounding crash that got the attention of everyone nearby. He slapped another on of the heavy metal projectiles into the hand of the young rich kid and said. "Stand there. Throw that way."
Then he picked up the trigger-dagger and stuck it into his waterskin. "It's a syringe." he said, pulling the trigger and opening the pressure valve in the hilt of the weapon. Inside the skin, water flooded the hollow center of the poinard. He released the trigger, closing the valve again. "Uses the principles of water pressure." He pulled the poniard out of the skin, and pulled the trigger again. With no back pressure to hold it in place, the water drained out the tip of the weapon. "Just keep the trigger pulled when you pull the blade out to leave your present behind. Comes with a waterproof sheath that acts as a reservoir for refills." He snapped a weapon cord to the hilt, and the other end of the cord to the table, and handed the weapon to the young merc so he could get a feel for it.
It's basically a syringe spear in dagger form, with a much faster refill speed. Like when you put your fingertip over the end of a straw and then lift it out of a glass. The water stays in until you release your finger.
"Now, everything on the table is a prototype. They can be made to your specifics, and from higher quality materials." Draegar said. "I also have a number of schematics that I haven't had the need to prototype yet, but I'm sure the work on the table speaks to the quality of my designs." He tapped the portfolio and looked at the engineer leafing through it.
"Did you have any questions?"
|Topaz of Flint|
Topaz let herself meld back into the crowd, looking to catch up with Pella as she considered the options. If they're slavers, they have to have people somewhere that they're trying to move, and they won't want to have to haul them in from far away when it's time to make the sale. So the ones whose ship just dropped them off -- probably not, they'd have to wait till it came back.
And would they want to be drawing attention? Big fancy polished ship that openly bribed people? Doesn't seem so likely. Most of the folks in this business don't travel shiny.
So that left two, the men who docked away from the festivities and the ones with a small group whose ship was docked a bit away. Tracking the three individuals might be tough in a crowd this big, but it should be easier to find and observe the other ship.
Rejoining Pella, she gave the Whispers leader a quick rundown of what she'd heard. Pella would continue the crowd work while Topaz went to see if she could find the other ship and get any sense for its cargo. "Be back before things get started," Pella warned Topaz. "Don't want to lose track of you, now!"
Topaz ducked back into an alley and slipped on the magic sleeves the Whispers had lent her. She pictured an unobtrusive servant's outfit as she did, and watched in some amazement as her clothes shifted to match the mental image, the bright colors fading to ordinary browns and grays.
She maneuvered her way through the crowds toward the area where the ship was supposed to be docked. The first goal was to find a spot where she could observe it unnoticed and get a sense for its crew's comings and goings, ideally close enough to hear anyone talking about what -- or who -- might be on board. As the crowds thinned out, she did her best to seem unimportant and ignorable.
~~~Caspian "Cass" Abernathy~~~
Cass spends some of his time lost in thought, drawing up fanciful schematics before realizing he needed to focus and spend his time wisely.
He turns his attention to the spider-like contraption, and almost immediately hears a resounding CRASH! which causes numerous people in the crowd to jump with a combination of curses and nervous laughter. The vendor of this booth seems to be showing how his weapons work firsthand on some poor unsuspecting scrap. About twenty seconds later there's a much quieter ping! that sounds like a far less violent form of the same demonstration.
Give me a perception check, and a int/wis check (roll a d20 and add both your int and wis modifiers).
Esdras makes his way through the crowd quickly, only pausing when he has to but otherwise moving at at a quick pace considering the situation. He makes ground on the bobbing banner in the distance and decides that a gift would be the best way to start diplomacy with the restless spirit. But as he does so his attention is caught by a familiar face...
Nicodemus cranes his head around to search for the person who called his name, then his eyes land upon Esdras. There's a moment of pause while the old man's mind turns, then he smiles. "Esdras Martalen, if my memory doesn't deceive me!" He comes towards Esdras, holding a plate of fruit and cheeses and a large cup of sweet-smelling steamed milk. "Oh come now, it hasn't been very long since I took my clockwork emporium on the road!" He takes a sip of the sweetened milk, the residue giving him a slim brown mustache with dots of cinnamon, then he gives a chuckle. "Well I suppose it has been a few years. Here to start good relations with the High Cardinal I imagine? That's a good lad, truly representing Ra'an!" He says with a nod of approval as he jabs a piece of cheese.
As the conversation with Nicodemus unfolds Esdras sees the banner bobbing away in the distance.
As the flechette crashes through the shield, half the crowd jumps with a mixture of curses and nervous laughter. The boy jumps as well, but his curiosity and awe quickly take over as he's given the weapon to throw.
The mercenary arcs a brow as Draegar opens up the hidden compartment of the weapon. As the weapon is placed into his hand and attached to the table he gives a knowing smirk, nodding to Draegar as he begins getting a feel for the balance of the pernicious weapon.
As Draegar quickly turns his attention to his third customer, a ping! sounds out from behind him. It seems the boy has tried his hand at the flechette, and although his throw wasn't nearly as impressive he did manage to get the flat of the weapon to bang against the side of the steel and leave a small dent.
The technologist nods along with Draegar, not even looking up. "Fascinating...fascinating...that six barreled pistol, doesn't it get overheated if the barrels are fired in quick succession?" He says while staring at the design schematics.
The mercenary looks down the tip of the weapon while holding it between two fingers with a frown. "Wouldn't a hollow blade break easily?" He asks. Meanwhile the young rich boy looks at the rest of the flechettes with a mixture of desire and indignation, as if he thinks with a few more tosses he could match the devastating effect Draegar had on the steel.
~~~Topaz of Flint~~~
After narrowing down her options and consulting with Pella, it's decided that Topaz will follow up on the group of rugged men who avoided docking nearby. With a change of outfit she sets off, her previous information gathering making it relatively easy to find the right location.
The off-port docking area is decently out of the way of the festivities, but still close enough that people are passing it on occasion. It very much gives Topaz the feel of "hidden in plain sight". Looking around for an excuse to be here and not stick out, she sees two options. A butcher with a number of unattended hogs in a fenced in area, and a tavern with and outdoor eating/performing area that's mostly abandoned save three people eating breakfast.
Topaz catches a quick glimpse of the two boats in question. They're very unassuming, looking like they're built to do their job but without much fanfare. Very ordinary. One person stands on the dock for each vessel. A woman with lanky hair and scaled armor with light hazel eyes, and a man with unkempt hair and a coat who has a minor assortment of various weapons on his hips. The two seem to be entertaining themselves throwing daggers at targets they've set up on the deck of each ship.
1d20 ⇒ 101d8 ⇒ 5
1d20 ⇒ 7
1d20 ⇒ 2
1d20 ⇒ 9
|Topaz of Flint|
Topaz hesitates. The tavern is obviously the more familiar territory, but she's now not dressed as an entertainer, and the place seems too empty to legitimately attract a performer anyway. So, the hogs it is.
She wanders over toward the fence, reaching down to scratch a nearby hog behind the ears. "Nice 'uns," she says to the butcher. "Whatcha feed 'em? M'boss likes a good pork dinner." The price of a pork loin would be small in return for useful info if she could get it. As they discuss the hogs and how much it might cost for enough meat for "m'boss's" dinner, she engages in other seemingly innocent small talk. "So many folk around, they're even berthin' boats this far up!" she says, gesturing toward the two boats and hoping the butcher might have seen or heard something to share.
Rolls if you need them:
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29 (add 4 for gathering info)
Bluff: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
|Caspian "Cass" Abernathy|
“By the stars,” Cass cringed as the sound of the crash reverberated through his ears. He had served as a blacksmith for many years and he still could never get used to the sharp sound of metal crashing against metal. He looked at the flechette curiously before turning his attention to the vendor and the spider-contraption he had. How in Ikeroth was the thing powered? Even if it was clockwork it would need to be much larger than it currently was for it to fit all the gears it needed for its impressive articulation.
He squeezed through the crowd a bit, taking advantage of their distraction of the crash and the following ping to get closer look though the swirl of crowds around him was proving to be more of a hindrance than anything else. What he wouldn't give for the chance to research that spider in the safety of a quiet room right now...
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Int/Wis: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
"That's why it's a poniard, Draegar said to the mercenary. "Cylinders have lots of structural strength. You just have to know how to make them right. That's my trick." He winked, then he took the weapon and stuck it into the table where it stood quivering. "It's not going to stand up to hammer blows, but it'll go right through chainmail."
He tapped one of the heavy darts. "These are ten gold each," he said to the young rich kid. "Guaranteed not to break under normal use. If you want them made out of something fancier, we can work that out too."
Then he turned his attention tot he technologist. He wasn't going to find schematics for the automaton in the portfolio, but Draegar didn't tell him that. "No, that's why the barrels rotate. The rounds aren't all going through the same chamber, so it never gets very hot. It actually stays cooler than most standard pistols. You'd have to have some kind of auto-loader system and a crank fire mechanism to worry about..." Draegar got lost in thought for a moment. "Huh. That's an idea. Thanks."
For Cass: Draegar looks an awful lot like The Rock cosplaying as Guts from Berserk. One of his ears has notches taken out of it and there are scars all over that side of his face. He definitely got caught in an explosion at some point. Also, did we decide that we knew each other in our past? Maybe it's been a while since they've seen each other?
~~~Topaz of Flint~~~
Topaz walks up to the unattended hogs and makes a show of checking out the livestock, with prompts a tall butcher with a protruding belly and scar across his chin to make his way back. He's holding a heavy cleaver in his hands and raises an eyebrow at Topaz for a moment, but when she mentions spending money here his face brightens. "That's my own stock. They get a mix of beans and grains, with some berries mixed in for..." He waves a hand dismissively. "Suppose to be good for 'em, their digestion and all. He talks some numbers with Topaz, weighing some options and different cuts of pork to get a one-person dinner.
When Topaz mentions the docked boats nearby he nods with a perplexed look. [b]"Real odd, that. Probably due to the docks being all filled up, I guess. Still, it's the only one over here. There's more places to dock farther out which is where people usually go when we're filled up here." He glances to the boats, then leans in to Topaz. "Heard they're a rowdy lot, couple of 'em stayed in Marcus's tavern last night. Drank a lot, threw some fists, broke a table. Paid for it, but still." He shrugs. "Don't know why the guards on the boat though. Seems kinda suspicious to me. I'm not one to go sticking my nose where it don't belong though. Tends to make you lose your nose."
~~~Caspian "Cass" Abernathy~~~
Cass pushes towards the noise and the contraption which only seems to be drawing more attention from the crowd. He tries to use the confusion to get a bit closer.
Acrobatics (squeeze through crowd gently): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Cass manages to slip his way through most of the crowd and gets right up next to the table, where he sees the half-skive-looking fellow up close. He's a large, built man with tanned skin and an impressive collection of scars on one side of his face that leads up to a notched ear. For a moment he feels a twinge of familiarity in the face of the savage technologist, but can't put his finger on where he might have seen him.
However as he's pondering he sees a young teenage boy with a short, sharp haircut and what appears to be a fresh bruise on his chin. He is wearing fine clothes with the white and gold colors of Brieca. He has a slimy look on his face, and as he watches the boy slips a steel flechette under his shirt while the booth vendor is distracted talking to another customer.
The mercenary arcs a brow, seeming either lost by or skeptical of Draegar's explanation, but when the weapon is jammed into the table he gives a grin. "Alright. I'll take it. Wait, two. Two of them."
The kid looks up with a smile and nods to Draegar, then looks back at the throwing weapons.
The lithe technologist nods along with Draegar's words, eyes still trained on the portfolio. When he's thanked he looks up, surprise lingering for a moment. "Oh! Oh, you are very welcome. Perhaps...in exchange you may mention how you created this interesting little contraption here?"
Draegar I know the sense motive DC was very low, but make sure you're actually rolling before opening the spoilers :P
Don't worry about tracking minute money exchanges. I took your engineering roll and applied it as a general check to see how much you make, increased significantly for the crowded event, decreased somewhat for the cost of the permit. We will get it rounded out by the end.
1d20 ⇒ 151d20 ⇒ 13
1d20 ⇒ 12
1d20 ⇒ 10
1d20 ⇒ 13
Sense Motive, urbanite: 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 7 + 2 = 19
With a smile, Esdras rests his second bow of lamb on a nearby stone wall so his hand is free to shake the professor's hand. "Your memory is indeed good, which is good news considering your line of work and how we are not getting any younger." Conscious that his own food was getting cold, Esdras used a small piece of flat bread to serve himself of the land.
"You also guessed correctly about my affairs here in Caranusca... but I wonder if yours are the same as mine. Pardon me if I'm being indelicate, but I've never imagined you as a religious or political man." Esdras did not actually enjoyed this kind of small talk, but this did not mean that he did not know how to do it. Who could tell when some interesting information could surface?
With his peripheral vision, Esdras accompanied the banner moving around the crowd. Humm... he left the food stalls too quickly... perhaps I precipitated myself in assuming the food was the thing that awakened it.
Diplomacy, urbanite: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 8 + 2 = 28 If needed
Nicodemus chuckles at the lighthearted jabs. "Ah, well you are right. But look over there!" The old man turns and points right at the bobbing banner!..but then Esdras realizes he's pointing past it. "Lot of fanfare about the High Cardinal arriving has brought a lot of inventors out of the woodwork. Young Cass is actually over there right now canvassing the area for me, looking for any interesting pieces." As Esdras looks over he sees the banner appears to be heading strait for the indicated area.
I swear I rolled that. How the heck? Sorry.
"Sorry, this one's a trade secret. You're welcome to look her over, and I'm happy to talk shop with a fellow tinkerer, but all her internals are proprietary. Gotta keep a few tricks for myself." Draegar grinned, patting the mechanical spider like a favored pet. He quickly exchanged coins and weapons with the mercenary. "I guarantee my work. If you aren't satisfied, bring them back to me. I'll refund your money."
"How about you, young sir?" he asked the kid who had been throwing the flechette. "You looking to keep what you've been trying out?"
"Cass... Cass... I don't remember this name..." Esdras mumbles as he watches the direction the banner is heading. Noticing he is being more than vague, he resumes the conversation, now focusing on the inventors that the professor mentioned. "To be honest with you, I'm not a technology savvy person myself. Even if a bit ashamed to admit, I'm much like my sister calls me when she is enraged... 'a relic from the past'."
Thinking about a way to either end this conversation or at least direct it towards the banner's destination, Esdras lands his eyes on the second bowl of rogan josh. "Well, I think it would not make me any harm to take a look on this inventions. You also mentioned this Cass and I happen to have a spare bowl of a delicious lamb rogan josh that is getting cold... Perhaps this friend of yours is hungry..."
|Topaz of Flint|
"That's true 'nough!" Topaz says to the butcher's remark about losing a nose. "If they were at Marcus's bein' that rowdy, sounds like folks best left to their own trouble, eh?" She doesn't know where Marcus's tavern is, but that seems like a safe enough thing to say.
She buys a middling-price cut -- enough to have been worth the butcher's time, but not so expensive as to really stick in his mind -- thanks him, and turns to head back toward the festivities.
Marcus's tavern... should be easy enough to find that. She ponders. Probably not wise to go asking questions of the guards on the ships. She gives them a close look and listen as she passes, though, hoping to get any hint of what they might be guarding, or at least to remember their faces for later. If they happen to notice her looking, she gives a friendly nod their way and continues walking.
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
Bluff: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
It's getting on toward time to meet the others back at the alley, so Topaz heads toward the rendezvous point. She makes a note to tell them about Marcus's tavern and the ships. They seemed like a rough crowd, low enough to be Forg's crew, but she couldn't be sure just yet.
|Caspian "Cass" Abernathy|
Cass moved up and nudged the Brecian boy with his shoulder, softly. "Looks like a pretty good contraption, doesn't it? I think I'd like one too. How's the balance?" He glanced at the teenager's shirt pointedly before looking to the booth vendor and then back to the teenager, cocking an inquisitive eyebrow. He wanted to give the kid a chance to do right on his own before making a scene.
Somewhere in the back of his mind a familiar twinge of recognition danced about - he knew the booth vendor from somewhere but couldn't quite place it. He wasn't worried or annoyed though, it would come to him eventually. It probably would come to him when he least expected it, but the memory would worm its way through the jumble of thoughts, schematics, and theories that clouded the young man's mind in the end.
The mercenary nods, handing over the appropriate coinage. He gives another smile, but this one is much less of a smirk than before. "I will keep that in mind." He takes another look at the painted DAMAGE INDUSTRIES sign, then nods and heads on his way.
The technologist seems unhappy and after another cursory glance decides to go back to his own stand which is quickly accumulating its own small crowd.
As Draegar turns back to the young rich kid, he sees that somebody else is already talking to him. The man looks part technologist and part blacksmith by his garb and build. He has tattoos on his arms, and a full beard with a curled mustache. The kid seems very nervous at the attention from the man.
If you made this check you gain a +10 circumstance bonus on the below sense motive check.
Nicodemus waves a hand dismissively. "Ah, we don't all have time to learn the intricacies of the machines, now do we? Besides, if it were that easy I'd be out of a job!" He laughs loudly at his own joke.
At the mention of finding Cass and bringing him food Nicodemus's eyes light up. "Yes! Yes that would be excellent, he hasn't eaten yet this morning and I was going to get him some food..." He looks at the bustling crowd, then shrugs sheepishly. "I just hate going through crowds like this, always worried about my bad knee giving out. He has tattoos on his arms, and a full beard with a curled mustache. Hard to miss." He scoops some of the fruit and cheese plate onto Esdras's second plate happily with a word of thanks.
Alright, on the move again! A perception check, as well as another roll to get through the crowd (diplomacy or CMB, as before).
~~~Topaz of Flint~~~
The butcher nods unhappily. "Most likely foreigners in for the festival. Hope they get on their way after today." He exchanges the cut of meat for money, looking happy to have already made a sale this early in the day.
Topaz finds a route past the ship guards, trying to get a closer look and overhear them. The thuds! and clinks! of daggers hitting wood and glass sounds out every few moments, and when she is close enough to hear their conversation they seem mostly engaged in the point-system of the game to stave off their boredom. As Topaz passes the man looks down, then grins and gives her a wink. The woman follows his gaze, scowling and throwing a bottle at him which smashes against his shoulder and causes him to yelp. Topaz uses the distraction to glance over the ship, but the only thing she can gleam is that the vessel is battle-ready with cannons and a mildly reinforced hull.
As she goes she wonders about Marcus's tavern.
~~~Caspian "Cass" Abernathy~~~
The boy jumps a bit when Cass speaks to him, and he turns around with a scared look. "Uhhh, yeah. It's cool how it goes right through the metal..." He won't maintain eye contact with Cass, and seems to be edging away towards the crowd. As he does so the vendor turns around and starts to bring his attention back to the kid.
1d20 ⇒ 11d20 ⇒ 2
1d20 ⇒ 13
1d20 ⇒ 9
1d20 ⇒ 15
|Topaz of Flint|
Knowledge(local): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
Well, maybe I'd best check that out before I head back. Should be time enough for a quick visit.
Topaz detours to the tavern, nodding pleasantly to the folks eating breakfast as she makes her way to the bar. "Mornin'!" she says to whoever's working the early shift. "Got a bit o'meat pie or somethin' like? So crowded down by the docks there weren't no gettin' near breakfast before I got to be back t'the house." She makes further small talk, chatting about how busy things are, all the people in town (making reference again to the odd ships docked so far up, if the opportunity arises), and any local gossip -- hoping, of course, to hear something about the crew that caused trouble the night before.
Wisdom: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
Draegar was too busy to pay much attention to whatever was going on with the kid. "Just let me know if you want to make a purchase."
He tapped the rest of the flechettes and said "Fetch," then went about continuing to make sales.
The spider-mech set down the portfolio and ran a claw across the line of projectiles, then hopped off the table and skittered to the shield against the hay bale to retrieve the thrown weapons.
|Caspian "Cass" Abernathy|
Cass speaks quietly - doing his best not to cause a scene. "If you can't afford it, I'll be happy to buy you one. But I hope you're not planning on running away right now and costing this man a sale. I never forget a face," he taps the side of his head and committed the boys features to memory. "And I'm sure you don't want those men," Cass inclines his head towards the guards, "to give you a chase. You might be faster but they'll catch up eventually."
"Now, come on," he gestures to the boy and then to the vendor, "We all make mistakes - its how we fix them that matters. No harm no foul, yeah?"
~~~Topaz of Flint~~~
Topaz gets the attention of a young maiden who's seeing to the early needs of the inn. She wipes sweat from her brow and smiles. "We don't tend to serve any expensive meat till later, but we always have fresh fish ready." She gets Topaz a plate and exchanges gossip. She talks about the butcher next door and how lucky he was to get a couple of hogs recently (they're not native to Yundal, but he traded for them). She's not sure how he's making a profit off of them.
However when it comes to the boats the young woman gets a cross look on her face. "Must have been overflow from the docks. Don't know why they came all the way over here though." She jabs a thumb towards the interior. "They broke one of our tables last night. Really loud drunks. One of them even grabbed me." Her face gets red with a mixture of anger and embarassment.
~~~Draegar Ironhide & Caspian "Cass" Abernathy~~~
The young boy's face suddenly shifts to anger. "I didn't make no mistake." His face screws up and he raises his voice, loud enough for all the people gathered around to hear him. "Don't touch me! Leave me alone!" He backs away as a few members of the crowd start looking over to see what's going on.
You guys are basically together now, so go ahead and assume you can see/hear everything the other does unless you're intentionally being subtle about something.
2d4 ⇒ (3, 1) = 4
1d4 - 2 ⇒ (4) - 2 = 2
|Caspian "Cass" Abernathy|
Caspian let out a heavy sigh, "Very well, if that is how you want to play it. I really didn't want to cause a scene." He gestures at the boy's shirt, glancing at the vendor - who he still couldn't quite place - and the rest of the crowd.
"I apologize," he addresses the merchant and the crowd, "But I am new to this area and am uncertain what the laws in this city are. What is the penalty for petty thievery? This young fellow here has opted to pilfer a merchant's goods instead of paying for it." He raised an eyebrow at the boy, "Or am I mistaken? Did you not slide one of those flechettes under your shirt?"
|Topaz of Flint|
Topaz scowls sympathetically at the woman's description of the men. "Rude handsy bastards then! What makes 'em think they can do that? Come into town an' mess with the local girl doin' her job! An' no doubt they didn't even offer to fix th'table after. I hope they didn't try any more than grabbin'?" She continued commiserating with the woman, hoping to hear just a bit more about the crew, anything that might give a hint as to their purpose. "What're they even here for that they come in shoutin'?"
Roll if needed.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14 (add 4 more for gathering info)
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
Esdras looked at the bow with mixed rogan josh, fruits and cheese with incredulity. It was perfect before, but now... this man must intend to prank this Cass or he has no palate. It was perfect... He thought about simply throwing the bow away, but the spirit was close to where the professor pointed as Cass's destination so he could give it a try. His own bow of food was almost finished so he wasn't in danger of spilling its contents in his fine clothes while crossing the crowd but the same could not be said about the second bow, so he kept it a bit away from him.
"Excuse me mister... passing... passing here... please madam, let me pass... OWWW, kids, there is barely enough space to walk and you run like animals!... please sir, excuse me..."He walked carefully and slowly, trying his best not to spill the bow, keep the blue banner in sight, and look for that 'Cass' at the same time. He finally sees a man with Cass's description close to one of those technology booths and relaxes a bit...
... and then there is lamb rogan josh all over his left arm. He is pushed back a few steps as a kid colides with him and falls at his feet when he steps over the spilled food. The sound of something made of metal can be heard against the stones of the street. "For Azgaar's sake, boy! Do you have any idea how it was hard to walk through all this madness with that bow? And now it is gonne!" Esdras is so infuriated that he forgets about the blue banner and about Cass, trying simply to clean his sleave, even if it is clearly a futile attempt.
Took some liberties here with the kid, which I normally don't, but I believe it was more entertaining this way!
~~~Draegar Ironhide, Caspian "Cass" Abernathy, & Esdras Martalen~~~
The boy looks around, eyes going wide and face turning bright red. He looks at Esdras, then Cass, then Draegar...then bolts!
Cass is the only one who managed to beat the kid in initiative! Cass you may attempt a CMB check to grab the boy before he moves away, if you wish. Or if you have something else you'd prefer to do before he leaves?..
Cass Init: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Esdras Init: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Draegar Init: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
FYI, you guys can look inside "Dice" spoilers.
How far into the crowd can he get? I have a tanglefoot bag right in front of me and I'm reeeeal good at throwing things.
Based on the fact that he's small, and the crowd is difficult terrain...
Kid Acrobatics: 1d20 ⇒ 3
Not far. About 20 feet, although he would have partial cover (+2 to AC) from the crowd. Give Cass a chance to act and then go crazy!
|Caspian "Cass" Abernathy|
Cass’ first instinct was to drop a spell in front of the kid – nothing harmful, just something to stop him from escaping. He reached into his rucksack for a small brown egg that he had carefully filled with some butter and oil, his fingers scraped along the delicate shell before he reminded himself that he was new here and still didn’t know how Brecia would take to magic. He doubted anything good would come out of casting it right in the middle of a crowded market would do any good, regardless.
So he instead opted to grab out with his other hand, trying to grab the kid by the collar, ”Hey!” Cass really wasn’t much of a fighter, so he hardly expected he would be able to maintain his hold on the kid if he did grab him, but he wasn’t about to let someone take off with some innocent merchant’s goods. He had been there before, and his father and his brothers both worked hard for their money, so he knew how much work and money and time was lost even by the theft of something small.
CMB: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Esdras wasn't sure about what was happening and what exactly caused the kid to flee but he for sure knew what a guilty face looked like. He recognized the man trying to grab the kid as Cass, for, as the professor mentioned before, his appearance was quite remarkable, thus if he was a friend of the professor and he wanted that kid stopped, Esdras imagined that it was for a good cause. Unfortunately the kid slipped through Cass fingers and moved into the crowd.
"HAA, that kid is one o' mines! What a motherf#+#in' weasel!" Said Jaidev, the most anoying trapped spirit of his sword. He was also a thief, murderer, blackmailer, rapist... and had probably done about anything that would be considered immoral and vile in his life. "Run, boy, run! Hahahaha" He laughed and chuckled, which was a disgusting thing to watch as his head was almost separated from his neck.
Esdras sighed. "Of course you'd appear now... but since you are here, make yourself useful Red... I want your speed..." Esdras reached for the handle of his sword, even if he had no intention to use it. He needed only to touch it. Against his will, Jaidev was pulled by the sword until his translucent image was overlaid with Esdras body, both bodies adopting the same pose. Then Esdras run.
His speed was inhuman, almost blurry, and even the crowd would not be able to stop him from reaching the fleeing kid. Once he was close enough, he extended his arms in an attempt to grab him...
Swift Action: Activating Sudden Speed by expending 1 point of mental focus, which grants Esdras +30 feet speed, to a total of 60 feet speed since he is not wearing his armor.
Move Action: Moving towards the kid. Even if the crowd reduces his speed by half, he should be able to reach him.
Standard Action: Grapple: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
~~~Topaz of Flint~~~
The girl shakes her head and sighs. "No, they didn't try anything else. And they paid for the table, without even being asked. Didn't tell us their business, but when they were really drunk and paying for the table one of them said something like 'The city paid us a ton anyways'. Don't know what they meant by it." She shrugs, going back to serving the guests.
You have a feeling she doesn't have any more information than that. What do you want to do next? Continue talking to the people here, head back to the others, or something else perhaps?
Cass reacts quickly and gets a hand on the boy's shoulder, but the kid twists out of his clutches with a grasp and starting bumbling through the crowd. However the newcomer touches the large sword on his back, then erupts into a blinding sprint. In moments he catches up, reaching out and catching the kid by his arm and holding him fast.
"Ow! Hey, you're hurting me!" The kid shouts loudly, in spite of the fact that Esdras is only holding him tight enough to prevent escape. However the crowd seems more conflicted. The bulk of them either ignore the scene or look too sheepish or confused to intervene, but four men with concerned looks start pushing their way forward. One of them calls out. "Hey! What are you doing to that kid?!"
All the fuss has managed to catch the attention of the guards Cass noticed earlier, who have hard looks as they begin making their way over, somewhat farther away than the local concerned citizens.
"Don't be ridiculous kid! I'm not hurting you... I'm just holding you so you don't run... even if your attitude shows that you are clearly in need of some good and old spanking, you goof..." With this, Esdras changes his grip over the kid, firmly grabbing him by his collar and releasing his arm. He then proceeds to drag the kid back to the weapons booth.
As he is called out, Esdras simply turns his face towards the men before answering. "Sorry for all this inconvenience, my good men, but I'm simply holding this kid, not harming as he claims. It appears that this boy was in the process of stealing something from that booth and I happened to catch it. By my honor and the name of House Martalen of Ra'an, I swear this is the truth."
Intimidate: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2 Had to add the 'you goof' after this horrendous roll!
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
You goof, *snort*
Although the kid continues to kick and scream in defiance, the concerned citizens pause.
Knowledge (nobility): 1d20 ⇒ 141d20 ⇒ 111d20 ⇒ 201d20 ⇒ 1
Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 191d20 ⇒ 121d20 ⇒ 31d20 ⇒ 4
One of the men still looks suspicious, but the others calm him, one of them pointing to the approaching guards. "Come on, I'm sure they have it under control. Let's not get ourselves in trouble too." He mumbles, giving a glance back before leading the group off. In the distance a horn sounds, declaring the soon-to-be arrival of the High Cardinal.
You all have a little time, maybe a couple rounds, before the guards arrive to investigate.
|Topaz of Flint|
"Well, that's surprisin' decent of them," Topaz says to the woman's comment about them paying.
She finishes her fish and pays, leaving a good but not wildly memorable tip before leaving.
The city's paying them? That doesn't sound like slavers. Though I guess you never know. Frustrated at what seems like a dead end, Topaz heads back to the rendezvous point to meet up. Maybe one of the others will have had better luck.
As she makes her way back toward the alley, she notices a bit of a kerfuffle around some kind of stall. Someone's talking about a kid being grabbed, someone else saying the kid was a thief. Pretty ordinary stuff for this kind of scene, but she pauses to look anyway and to see how the guards respond -- always good to know a bit more about the local law enforcement and how they deal with things.
One of the men in the crowd is familiar. Really, it's the collection of contraptions he has all over him that's familiar. You didn't see many like that in your average dockside bar. What was his name... began with a C? They've had a few conversations, but he'd stopped coming by at some point.
She waits to see if he recognizes her while also watching to see what happens with the guards.
|Caspian "Cass" Abernathy|
Cass sighed heavily, "I gave you every opportunity I could think of to let you make the right choice. You should give it back to him before the guards get here," he jerked a thumb at Draegar. "So how about you just take the fletchette you stole out from under your shirt and turn it over?"
He took a step back seeing that the other man had the 'goof' in hand. He couldn't quite place him, though he seemed familiar. Cass was having a bit too many of these moments today - but, he figured, it would all come back to him eventually, it always did.
"Lockdown." Draegr said flatly.
The spider mech crawled nimbly back up on the table, spread itself out and laid down on the weapons display. It's two forelimbs raised in a warding fashion to keep people back.
"Be right back, folks," the big man said before leaving his booth and walking over to the commotion caused by the rolling child. He had a feeling he knew what the trouble was about.
He hooked his thumbs into his belt. "You're hired," he said to the kid.
Entire party somewhat together!
Esdras drags the kid back over to the DAMAGE INDUSTRIES booth, kicking and screaming the whole way. He screws up his face as Cass scolds him.
But when Draegar comes out and hires the kid, he stops, all the anger and indignation quickly falling from his face as he looks up in confusion. "Uhh...I'm hired?" He says tentatively.
"Obviously I need another pair of hands and eyes. I can't be paying attention to everything all at once. Anyone might walk away with my goods. It's a pretty big flaw in my system. I need security."
"At the end of the day, if no one has managed to steal from me you get to keep that fletchette you've got, and I'll give you two gold crowns to boot. Anyone makes off with my stuff out from under both our noses, you only get the coins."
The kid spends another moment in confusion, then his eyes light up. "Yeah, deal! Nobody is gonna steal from your stand!" In his excitement the flechette drops from under his shirt, clanking loudly on the ground. He glances at it and his face turns red. "Uhh, starting now that is."
By this time the guards have managed to push their way through to the scene. One of them, a real tall fellow with wave brown hair, goes over to the kid. The other one, a man with broad shoulders and close-cropped blonde hair, confronts Draegar. He has a very suspicious look on his face. "Want to tell me what's going on over here?" He arcs a brow and glances at Draegar's stand.
The kid tries to push past the tall guard, to no avail. "I'm fine! Leave me alone!" The tall guard sighs and tries to keep the kid calm, then his eyes open in recognition. "Hey, you're Caelus. The Gratian's kid. What are you doing way over here? You should be with your family at the docks." He frowns. "How'd you get that bruise?"
You may make one knowledge (nobility) check, and open any spoiler whose DC you beat.
"Gratians?... Weren't those your father was introducing you and your brother to just before you left?" Said Gideon, which appeared just as Jaidev faded away. "You are indeed correct, my friend..." Esdras answered. "I'm not sure if you were present until the end, but father mentioned something about some controversy regarding church extremists after they left..."
"Caelus Gratian? What a coincidence... as it happens, before I left the docks I was just introduced to your family... and they were actually worried about your whereabouts. If I'm not mistaken, a servant by the name of Julius, or something like that, was sent to look after you." He crosses his arms, eyeing the kid with a mix of reprove and compassion, for himself also left the tedious meetings at the dock. "As it appears, any misunderstanding has been settled. However, just in case, lets make a deal: you promise me not to cause any more trouble and I will not mention it to your parents."
Knowledge (nobility), guidance, sudden insight: 1d20 + 5 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 5 + 1 + 2 = 21
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28