" The drummer does...I might be able persuade her to drive...Though I am going to have a talk with my girlfriend before I promise anything." she pauses," We have a open relationship...I mean we are elves how can we not?...but we do have some rules."
She seem to realize,"Oh before you get all upset about me having sex for a tour bus and possible driver...I and my girlfriend all ready are flirting with them...I mean the lead singer is a Shae...So it is a win win."
Can't hurt to ask. Let us know how it turns out. We can figure something else out if we need to.
With Bella having perhaps overshared a bit with her new friends, one last concern presents itself as Jeron clears his throat from beside the party's huddle near the checkout counters, phone in hand.
"Sorry to interrupt, but uh. Are you guys on ClubHub or @Ven2r or anything? Figured I'd leave a review to help you guys out, but I don't know your party name yet."
Bella is a very sex positive person and is very open and not at all ashamed of her lifestyle. Well except with her family and old community but who knows how crazy their reaction might be...
"I dont think we have decided about that. However I am going to start a YouTube channel talking about our adventures together. If you want you can be interviewed in the very first episode."
|Edith 'Edie' Squire|
Edie is Nervous.
"Wait. We're going to be Net-famous?" Edie inquires with a bit of worried concern. "There's not some way we can avoid that, is there? I'm... kind of a private person and I don't... it's not... well, dangit, at the sake of using the old phrase 'it's complicated'?'
"But on the other thing, if you and your partner and the drummer and whoever work out whatever, that's okay by me, no judgement zone and hope y'all enjoy yourselves!"
Web famous takes a while. I'd bet you haven't heard of any of my customers and I outfit early adventurers all the time.
The manager sniffs and shakes his head. ”I don’t do unpaid interviews, but I don’t mind clicking five stars on your Help review,” he says. ”When you’ve got yourself registered, feel free to stop by.”
With that, he wanders back into the store proper.
After some further discussion, you have a plan (and probably a backup plan—between the lot of you, it seems you have at least two cars, after all).
Belladonna, can you roll me a Diplomacy check for your bus?
You’re not entirely certain what followed, but the short version is, Tralia absolutely cannot afford to feed the fires of her partner’s suspicion by driving off in the band’s tour bus with anyone, much less the elf that sent a sequence of emojis and an attached file, neither of which can be described in polite company.
It’s a new day by the time Belladonna’s plan falls through.
Unless y’all have different plans, I’ll assume you’re going in two of y’all’s cars.
As long as someone has a car for the others I'll rent a good sized SUV to carry the gear and a passenger.
Kn Geography (Untrained, Zika): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Kn Geography (Untrained, Papa): 1d20 ⇒ 19
While the others start making plans for what items to acquire for the swamp, they can see Zika and her ghostly companion off to the side, arguing. Zika hasn't made any moves to get any more equipment so far (not that she could afford it), and others can overhear phrases from the argument like, "Be serious, you can't go. It's cursed!", and "Mrs. Khos's son would never-" "Maybe you should go haunt Mrs Khos's son, then!", and "Did you even hit anything with that bow?" "Well, no, I-", and of course the inevitable collapse of the father's will in the face of his daughter's stubborn insistence, where he sighs and says, "Just promise me you'll be careful." to which she replies that of course she will, even if that isn't necessarily the truth.
"I'm small and have very little luggage." Zika offers to Basil, trying to keep herself from being an inconvenience. They didn't have a car, and while her wings would have no problem with such a long flight, she both didn't want to arrive exhausted, and didn't want to miss out on getting to know any of the others more. "I can do some scouting when we get close, too."
It's a slightly-too-muggy Friday afternoon when the lot of you get situated, Klyto's rental stuffed with equipment and supplies-- clothes, snacks, and armor, along with some basic mining equipment and a fair bit of miscellany-- while Basil's car is a fairly tight fit with himself, Zika, Edie, and Bella piled in.
Basil's longspear runs from the top of the back window all the way to just under the radio, angled in just such a way that the antiquarian can still shift into drive, reverse, and park without too much issue.
The drive itself is fairly uneventful; the scenery is nice and green, though you catch occasional glances of the swamp looming broad and gloomy as you cross a highway bridge here and there.
The sun is almost entirely set by the time you arrive in the township; buildings are few and far between, although the proportion of long-standing buildings and historical sites is pretty high.
Are we looking for food, a motel, something else?
Let's see if we can find a hotel or B&B, some place to crash tonight. We can get an early start tomorrow and have the day to explore. We might find someone local who can tell us a bit about the area, but I'm not the most well spoken.
Bella looks around the town..."Well I can get people to speak to me pretty easy at bars and the like. Drunks do love to tell stories."
I am making a perception roll to gauge the townfolk's reaction to the group and to see what churches are in town...if that is all right...
Perception Roll: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
There aren't a lot of townsfolk just milling about, but even with Belladonna being relatively distracted, she sees there are a couple places of worship in town: a broadly-built temple marked as St. Bardin's Church of Torag and a thin-steepled Temple of Erastil.
The main street takes you to a building just on the outskirts of town: the Smithtown Inn. It's not a hotel exactly-- for the modern day, it looks decidedly more old-timey, but of course, these buildings are common enough in small towns without a lot of visitors. A quick Google Maps check gives a note that a Rock Street Hotel exists a mile or two down the road, but its few reviews are less favorable.
|Edith 'Edie' Squire|
Most of the trip has been a blur, as the tiefling has been trying to figure out how to get back to work in time for Monday evening -- unlike most of the rest of the group she was only just barely able to get the weekend off, and a later shift on Monday. And she really can't call in because that'd be another mark against her.
So as the discussion shifts to lodging and the evening she squints a bit then smiles thinly.
"We should probably get two rooms, one for the girls, one for the boys. Nothing personal, I just don't know everyone yet and I'd feel at least a little bit safer that way?" she finally offers. "I'll sleep on the floor if I have to, even. Just give me a blanket and a couple of pillows so I don't have to unpack my adventuring gear?"
"I just need a corner to crash in. Need my beauty sleep for my magic to work right...."
Having gained a basic idea of what you're aiming for, the six of you enter the Smithtown Inn.
It's a reasonably cozy spot, with something of a country restaurant vibe; a long bar takes up most of the wall on the left, while a few tables and booths take up the right side. A staircase is visible in the back, while a sign just past the entrance states:
Feel Free to Seat Yourself
For a Room, Please Ask [DEBRA]
Debra's name is on a small, square magnet, written in dry-erase marker. A few other names are stuck along the bottom of the sign, as well.
The inn is sparsely populated; a couple of dwarves at a booth (one wearing a necklace with the Hammer of Torag on it) look up curiously as the entry bell jingles, while a halfling seated at the bar doesn't look up from his conversation with the gnomish barmaid.
Klyto approaches the dwarves. When he reaches out to introduce himself a pattern of white dots in the shape of Torag's hammer is visible.
Hello there. The name's Klyto. I'm a smith by trade, armor primarily but I've made a blade or two. I heard there was a mine nearby, and I know this is s longshot, bit do either of you know who I would need to speak to for access?
Coming up to the booth, you see that both dwarven men have the necklaces, though naturally one could not be seen from the back.
One of the dwarves wipes a bit of creamy soup from the bristles of his red mustache; aside from this, he's bald, but he wears it poorly. "Always happy ter meet a kinsman," he says, reaching out with his non-soupy hand to shake. "I'd be Laklo, and this here's my partner, Jowi, if you can see 'im behind the beard."
Jowi grins, and you see a few teeth through the great bush of hair that is his head.
"As fer access, s'actually gonna be the police chief ye'll need to talk to. Buncha scaley fellas from up north hunkered down in there an' there's been some squabble over whose job it is to kick 'em out. Some'in about not wantin' a diplomatic-like incident."
We may be just the people to help out. I'm here for the weekend with a handful of companions. Anything we do shouldn't cause too much trouble since we're from out of town. Where can we find the chief?
Jowi funnels a bite of sandwich into the gap of his beard, chewing loudly-- there's a very pickles-and-onions scent here-- as Laklo strokes his chin. "Usually, I'd say the police department, but if she's not on shift I couldn't tell ya. I'd start there... and good luck to ya."
Thanks for the help. I'll let my crew know.
By the way,would you guys happen to know any sources for mithral ingots? I have a project I want to get started on and I'm forging it out of mithral.
Klyto heads back to the group.
He said we need to check in with the police chief. Apparently some scaly guys moved down here and took over the mine. Anyone hungry before we go?
Keeyan shakes his head and glances outside at the sky. "So we check out the site before we check out the rooms? Did they happen to say what we would have to do with any, bodies that we encounter...."
I assume that's up to the chief. We'll grab our rooms before we go looking for her. She can probably tell us a bit more about the mine while we're at it.
Bella shrugs,"I can wait to eat...So yes let's grab the rooms before we go talk to the police chief. I have a feeling that this town is not really my scene..." she says looking at the two dwarves...
|Edith 'Edie' Squire|
Edie is a bit flustered!
"If the Station is closed, then the local coffee shop might have a couple of folks that could point us in the right direction... but I'd like to get some rooms set up, first, if possible?" the pink tiefling offers as she glances to the rest of the party. "It's better to have a base of operations before actually poking into work, right?"
The fact that she's a bit nervous about being in a rural environment with Goodly and Lawful deities represented might just have something to do with her sense of unease... maybe.
Keeyan nods when the ladies obviously want to check in to the rooms before going to the mines. "Good points. We can stash any equipment that we don't need before getting to work. I mean, if we're going to return here to crash I don't need to carry a sleeping bag or extra rations, right? Clears room in my pack for spoils...."
"And maybe we don't ALL need to check in with the police chief? Perhaps just two, or three of us would be enough."
Feel Free to Seat YourselfFor a Room, Please Ask [DEBRA]
The barmaid looks up from her conversation with the halfling at the group. "Y'all here for a room?" she chimes, and without waiting for more than half a nod, she turns toward the staircase. "MISS DEEEB! Got some boarders for tonight!"
There's a sound of heavy footsteps coming down the stairs before a middle-aged woman of mixed orcish ancestry comes into view, a halo of messy curls about her head and flour on her apron.
"Y'all here for a room?" she asks, then looks over the group. "...Or a couple rooms, I'd reckon?"
Basil hangs back a bit. Rural America. He knew it wasn't fair but it always felt like everyone there was some shade of hillbilly. Might have something to do with his accent as apparently sounding European made you sound posh and many didn't like posh. And when they did it was because they thought you had money.
So instead of talking he just took in the faces around him and the features of the rooms. When 'miss Deeeb' came down and asked about the rooms he just nodded and hoped his new companions would talk. Wouldn't want the woman to think he's rich and overcharge for the rooms.
Keeyan nods when the lady approaches and asks. "Two rooms should do fine. One for the ladies, and the other for the guys."
Debra smiles broadly, tusks poking up from her bottom lip. "We do six silvers a night per room, and one silver apiece for breakfast if you don't mind payin' ahead for it-- makes it easier for us to plan that way, otherwise it'll run ya fifteen coppers. 'Tween y'all an' me, the Rock Street Hotel's got a free continental breakfast, but it's nothin' like Darla's cookin' and y'all'll be glad for it when you taste it!"
As she speaks, she rummages through her apron pocket; there's a telltale jingling of keys as she does.
Works for me if it does for the rest of you
Klyto comments as he fishes out 3 silver to cover his portion of the room and breakfast.
|Edith 'Edie' Squire|
Edie is conservatively cautious..
Edie pulls out a gold coin to cover her share. "We may need a couple of nights, just to be safe."
Edie is paying for her share of two nights and two breakfasts.
Deb casts a glance at the dwarves; both of them wave, and you notice they're wearing matching wedding bands.
"Jowi always says Torag's hammer forges all kinds," she says with a warm smile, "buuuut we're about as mixed a population as y'all'll meet. I'm not sure which color our county went last election, now that y'all mention it..." she says.
Her eyes light up as Edie and Bella hand her a gold piece each. "Y'all want change for that?" she asks, already working on pulling silvers from her apron.
Keeyan digs a gold coin from his pouch and adds it to the others from the ladies. "It's a good price for two nights and good breakfast. Keep my change as a thanks from a working stiff that appreciates a friendly smile."
|Edith 'Edie' Squire|
Edie is pleased and calmer now.
"The extra is for the team you have here. I work retail. I'm not allowed to be recognized like the awesome folks y'all are. 'sides, you're puttin' my heart at ease. Some places can't stand folks like me..."
Edie gives a brief glance to the more jarring aspects of her appearance to highlight the point, but keeps the genuine smile to the 'not-dangerous maw' levels of smiling.
"I don't make a big deal of it, but the Ibis Matron puts my fears to rest as well and has been a source of strength through the years."
The corners of Debra's eyes crinkle when she smiles back at you. "Mighty 'preciate it! Y'all're always welcome here, and if anyone in town gives you lip, let me know an' I'll send Darla over to set 'em straight. She knows her way around a skillet!"
Once all the coinage is collected, she finds the keys and passes them to Keeyan, who seems as close to "in-charge" as any of the group. "Y'all'll be in rooms A and B, just up the stairs-- can't miss 'em!"
Noticing the others Klyto pulls out a gold as well.
Thank Jowi and Laklo as well. I'm only a journeyman, but maybe we'll have some time to work together.
Deb blinks at the question. "The chief?"
"Police chief," explains Jowi helpfully.
"Ah! I... don't really know, honestly. She comes in for lunch some days, but that's about all I know-- and if I knew where she lived, it'd be mighty irresponsible of me to tell you that," she points out.
I was thinking more a public place she might hang out, but it sounds like the station is the best bet. Thanks for your help. I'm sure we'll see you around.
With their beds and breakfast sorted, the party clambers back into the vehicles unless anyone plans on staying behind, and a quick smartphone GPS-ing later, you find yourselves pulling into the lot of the Police Department.
It's a simple building, and the sign out front mentions looking forward to a spaghetti dinner fundraiser that came and went a little shy of two weeks ago.
Parking is a little hard to find-- not due to a high civilian presence, but rather, due to the large number of reserved spots. In front of the doors stand three uniformed officers standing broad and conversing: a wayang, a human, and a hobgoblin.
Once parked Keeyan gets out of the car. With the others he walks slowly across the parking toward the uniformed officers. "Officers, hello. We're looking for the police chief. Can you help us?"