"It is pretty valuable. Just put it in a sack and shove it on the next frightened noble. They can feel useful and we can really use the money to buy us power" Delena says to Tiber.
"Oh, and I really could use that", she says to Thalasou and snaps the invisibility scroll from his hands. "It's not really my area of expertise, I usually want to be seen. Cannot deny the potential of it, though."
"Shove it in a sack? That crystal will surely break if we do that! Maybe you want to carry it? I do my best to get in the way of the opposition, a stray blow might ruin the value!" Tiber responds from the hallway, ready to follow Pavo to the next door.
Thalasou is surprised by Lady Delena's quick grab but he let's the scroll go none-the-less. "Well I suppose you don't have to cast it on yourself. I've heard of people using scrolls like that to make other people invisible."
In which room on the map are the nobles?
|Pavo the Bard|
Pavo steps over to the next door in the hall and summons his magical lights. Once the lanterns are in position, he attempts to open the door.
Non: 5-ft step
Move: Move dancing lights
Move: Open door
"Wouldn't that be theft?" Ayalina wonders aloud. "Though given recent events, I don't know that anyone would notice..." Surely nobles had plenty of funds to tide them over in these occasions?
Top-left checkmark, I believe.
Delena taps Ayalina with the scroll. "What do you think this is then, a napkin? You could feed a family one year with the price of this. Besides, we are currently considered traitors by many. If my head is going to be on a spike, I'm not too bothered if it is jailed for theft afterwards", she mocks Ayalina's comments about legality.
Delena walks behind Pavo and watches what is found behind the door.
Pavo opens the door, buts holds onto the handle a moment before pushing it all the way open and letting go. A familiar face shouts at him, "You! Did your slow mind finally think of a comeback to say!"
Behind the young woman, a man in Abadaran robes puts a hand on her shoulder, "Malphene, I'm sure this man means us no harm."
He walks around Malphene and offers a hand to Pavo. "Jowuan Zubari, cleric of Abadar and guest of Senator Trant."
|Pavo the Bard|
”I now realize that I did not survive the massacre and am in Hell,” he says wearily at Malphene’s jab.
He shakes Jowuan’s hand. ”Pavo Kastner.”
Tiber looks at Delena with disbelief. "I... I agree with Delena. The silver in the trays alone could feed many of my friends and their families. The integrity of a noble's abandoned, indulgent hidey-hole is quite frankly the least of my concerns," he says to Ayalina.
Moving to where he is visible from the doorway, he gives the latest duo a small wave. "Tiber."
"My my, isn't it the lady with punching arguments for her side in the election. You being here makes me guess you were also getting cutting remarks from some parties at the senate floor. You must be overjoyed that we can now continue our discussion, and work together here for the common goal", Delena answers Malphene, voice thick with sarcasm and delighted at the turn of events.
Delena turns to Jowuan and curtsies to him as a noble to an equal. "I apologize, but our last meeting with this lady of mild manners makes me slightly wary of her associates. I propose we share our skills and knowledge now to get back to safety, and so start to build up trust between us. The situation outside may well still make us enemies, but at least it will be honored opponents", she suggests, hiding all her true feelings behind the formal noble smile.
|Pavo the Bard|
"To cooperate in finding a way out of what seems intent to be our tomb," Pavo says. "I gather that you have no more an idea how you arrived here than we or the other nobles we found." He adds with a glance at Malphene, "It clearly was not the intervention of a benevolent deity nor some precaution in place by our faction."
Ayalina shrugs. She'd expected as much from those of non-noble bearing, but she'd been surprised by Delena. Of course, given that she herself lived off of the generosity of others, there was little else she could say.
She couldn't hide her amusement at the quips that passed back and forth as they entered the room. "Here, now, we found a peaceful enough solution. She's reasonable, if a bit excitable." Curtsying, she introduced herself. "I am Ayalina. Let's start with the question of how you found your way here... And, please, do tell us. What do you know of the situation thus far?"
Tiber listens intently to Jowuan's responses, taking the occasional swig from his decanter. He makes no attempt to move closer.
Sense Motive (FE) vs Jowuan: 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 7 + 2 = 21
Delena nods at Pavo, and then turns to Jawoan. "Basically, that. Get out of here, by any means necessary. We have no knowledge of what it requires, so planning is mostly useless. We faced two undead, there might be more or something quite different. Just improvise", she says with a shrug.
@Ayalina: Roll Diplomacy for Malphene Trant.
"I have never found it beneficial to assume the gods are ignoring us. That way lies corruption and lawlessness." Jowuan tells Pavo.
"One question at a time, please. First, business already on the table. We will certainly cooperate, as we share your goal of escaping. This shortspear and armor are largely ceremonial, though; my training with them even more so. My most valuable assistance would be in healing your injuries."
Anyone who wishes to aid Ayalina, say something approriate to Malphene and then roll.
Amused by Jowuan's point, Ayalina points out, "It's always when you're complaining about them that they get the most interested, too. Best to linger on the safe side when it comes to them, don't you think?"
Thalasou smiles reservedly at Malphene and Jowuan. He let's the others introduce themselves and waits to the side until Jowuan mentions the gods. His opinion of the man raises slightly.
"Healing? I am still slightly injured from that attack we mentioned. But it's not serious. You should save your skills for more urgent needs." He turns to Malphene. "Let's pull together here. Who knows, maybe working through this situation as a team will help us see eye to eye later."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9
"Of course, if you like it here you can stay. With us, in the worst case you'd get out and learn you really do hate us. Even then, it is a win, 'Know your enemy' as they say", Delena adds her viewpoint.
Diplomacy (aid): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
|Pavo the Bard|
"In less dire circumstances, I would continue to play off of your straight man routine," he remarks dryly. "And they say if you have to explain a joke... well, I personally suspect it is an imbalance of wit either way you slice it."
He turns back to Malphene once the others have said their piece and earnestly says, "Unless you have changed so much that you want us dead out of spite or commitment to some fell power, then this is one of those moments where cooperation for the sake of survival vastly outweighs political division or family grudges. There are no kings or queens, noble or common, here; only the cold and impassionate inevitability of death if we do not find our way to the surface. Just ask the bloody corpse in the hall."
At the end of his spiel, he whistles to conjure his extinguished lights.
Since Malphene will need a second check to boost her from where I suspect she starts to Helpful, I'll make a stand alone Diplomacy check.
Diplomacy (Improve Attitude): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
@Pavo: Only one primary allowed, so converted to an aid. In general, "Try Again: You cannot use Diplomacy to influence a given creature's attitude more than once in a 24-hour period." In specific, there are particular times when Malphene can be influenced.
Malphene tips her head to the side a fraction and looks at Ayalina, then Delena and Pavo. "Yes. Seeing your father murdered can do that. And someone stole my sword during that massacre."
|Pavo the Bard|
"I'm sorry to hear about your father," Pavo says, pulling out his older rapier from his belt and offering the hilt to Malphene. "Feel free to use mine... just don't give it back sharp-end-first."
Well I'll be... Tiber raises an eyebrow at Malphene and raises his head slightly before nodding a little. "I'm sure the Church of Abadar might be willing to overlook some fees for the safe return of their priest? Quid pro quo, or something, right?" he responds to Jowuan.
"Regardless, let's see what the next door has. Friend or foe? Who's to know?! Only one way to find out!" He then heads over to the next door and opens it once everyone has had a chance to join him.
Sense Motive (FE), DC 20: 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 7 + 2 = 26
Thalasou steps back from Jowuan with a scandalized look on his face. "Seriously? You would charge for healing? In a situation like this?" He waves off the man. "Forget it. I'll handle it myself."
Thalasou scowls. The selfish attitudes that permeate so many of Abadar's followers amazes him. He shakes his head and then follows Tiber. He doesn't miss a glance at Malphene but he's unable to read her.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Something seems to connect in Delena when Malphene mentions her father getting killed.
Bluff: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (4) + 12 = 16
"First close relative murdered? Don't worry, the next one will be considerably easier", she offers her view of comfort to Malphene.
Delena nods knowingly to Jowuan. "An arm and a leg, if my father is to believe. But if the killings continue at this rate", she gestures at the body of the noble, "we have no shortage of them. We can find an agreement here".
Ayalina blinks at Delena, but otherwise moves along with the others.
"Don't hold it against him, Thalasou," she tries to mediate. "I imagine habits hold in even the hardest of times whether someone intends them to be present or not."
Sense Motive (Delena): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
"What is faith, if we only adhere to it at our ease or leisure?" Jowuan asks Thalasou, "Abadar demands that the scales remain balanced."
He turns to Tiber and Delena, and says, "Of course, what tips one side of the scales, affects the other, too. Negotiation is an important component of business."
Opposed Diplomacy check to negotiate prices.
"In this kind of situation, as it would be a major loss for both parties if we fail our task of getting out, a considerable discount should be offered. My partner's thought of totally free service might be hard for Abadar to accept, but as we offer physical protection from dangers that are demonstrably present, their estimated value should be reduced from the charges", Delena tries to negotiate, mimicking the business-style speak of Jowuan.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Delena isn't that experienced in business, I agree.
|Pavo the Bard|
"Then you are being intentionally obtuse regarding the present," Pavo says, backing away from the door and then turning to follow Tiber while simultaneously directing his lights down the hall.
Thalasou remains distant from the negotiation, a look of disapproval on his face. He still doesn't understand how someone who has the means to help, simply refuses because of something as simple as payment. He's heard Abadar adherent talk about the 'balance' before but as far as he's concerned it's all just a rationalization for the church to get more money.
Ignoring Jowuan, he scans the hallway watching for dangers as Pavo's lights illuminate.
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Delena shrugs at the incomplete negotiation. "Let's find us a danger then. This door looks good, sirs, please? she says as she joins the men at the door.
|Pavo the Bard|
"Since Abadar has not paid us for protection nor paid us for the light illuminating his priest's exit from this place," Pavo says as he moves down the hall and draws his lanterns further along, "I suggest Jowuan take turns with opening these doors."
Move: Move 25 ft
Move: Position dancing lights
With a smirk, Tiber steps over to the next door, bows deeply, and gestures for Jowuan to take his turn with the door. "My most holiest liege, please do us worthless, poor people the honor of opening the door," he says in the most pathetic voice he can muster, still holding the bow.
Pavo's comment elicits a smile from Thalasou. Maybe the priest won't like the shoe being on the other foot.
He joins Tiber in standing clear so that Jowuan can open the door.
"There's no need to bully him," Ayalina frowns at the interactions unfolding before her. "He believes in the rules of Abadar." Shrugging, she adds, "Balance is important. While I do agree that he can help get us all out of this stressful situation, there's no reason to be cruel."
|Pavo the Bard|
"Bully? Cruel?" Pavo says, aghast. "It is as simple and straightforward a transaction as any: one pays for physical protection be it house guards or mercenaries. If the good priest does not see a reason for protection, then we should not give it away for free. Cruel would be enacting a protection racket."
"Not you, Pavo," Ayalina shakes her head. After a pause, she admits, "Perhaps my wording was a bit strong. I meant only that we ought not judge him for following his God. He can share in the risk and reward with us and we can leave it at that with nothing given and nothing owed."
"It's not that," Thalasou sighs at Ayalina. "I understand that different religions have different belief systems. But that doesn't mean that they are all 'right'. I mean, would any of us say that devout followers of Lamashtu should be respected when then maim, torture and kill all in the name of their 'true religion'? I'm not saying that Abadar is the same as Lamashtu, I'm just saying that people can't just excuse discourteous and ungenerous behavior because it's against their religion." Thalasou takes a moment to think. "All people should normally be treated with respect. Religion shouldn't get in the way of that."
Seeming to realize what he's saying Thalasou looks at Jowuan and tries to make eye contact. "I just realize that I'm not living what I'm preaching. I apologize for acting so snarky. It's not excuse, but I think that the stress of our situation is getting to me."
"Strong indeed! Bullying at least requires me to make a pattern out of it, one time is scarcely a pattern. If he wants to play merchant with the safety and well-being of others, I'll play his silly game! Nothing more to it than that," Tiber says with a shrug, but his face betrays that there is probably a little more to it than that. "And nobody is forcing him to worship Abadar, I will absolutely judge him for the actions he takes of his own free will."
He takes a slightly longer sip of wine and continues to wait patiently.
Still at his own doorway, Jowuan answers, "My sincerest apologies. I did not realize that you were Sczarni. Had I, we would have begun negotiations quite differently."
The cleric puts a hand on Malphene's shoulder and backs her up just inside their room, with one hand on the door and both eyes on Ayalina.
Rolls to influence Jowuan or Malphene are at a -2 penalty.
|Pavo the Bard|
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"Oh, for the love of--" Pavo says with a roll of his eyes. "You are being intentionally obtuse. Mere moments ago you said you wish to escape this necropolis with us but your arms and training are ceremonial--whereas mine, the wall-bound fiends would attest to were they not destroyed, are not nor are those of several of my current compatriots--and you what you have to offer is healing. It would seem there is an implicit this for that in the discussion, but a moment later you request coin for your services.
"Obviously, our only chance of survival is to escape this place while your god, presumably, will keep you fed and watered through divine intervention indefinitely, so you hold us by the balls, for we must proceed forward and assume the risk with or without you. You will reap the rewards either way. And you call us Sczarni."
He looks to Malphene, "Lady Trant, if your companion opts to leave us to our fates and you chose to stay with him, I won't be surprised by the betrayal, but I will surprise you by allowing you to keep my blade to protect yourselves. It will be the least of things stolen."
Diplomacy, Penalty: 1d20 + 8 - 2 ⇒ (9) + 8 - 2 = 15
Tiber chuckles quietly to himself and remains where he is. Maybe I was wrong about Pavo! What a guy, bet he is a hoot at the bars too! Easy to ask for money when you have all the power. These Abadarians do the same with the poor on the streets. Shame about Malphene, she almmost turned a new leaf! Jowuan can be left to those wall zombies for all I care.