The officers look up from their conversation, and the hobgoblin turns toward the party, arms crossed. "The chief? You don't need to see the chief. You can talk to me; Lieutenant Grur Alkimen. How can I help?"
The police are dressed in pretty standard blue-dyed chainmail, the human looking a little more lithe in just a chain shirt; they each carry blunt sticks and flintlock pistols on their belts, along with handcuffs. Lt. Alkimen also carries a wand on his chest.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Hearing the Lieutenant's words, Keeyan smiles, "Lieutenant Alkimen, good point sir, and we wouldn't be disturbing you either, but we were directed to you. We want to go to your local mine and we were told there's some, ah, scaley fellas from up north squattin there. Said we'd need to speak with the chief for access so we could kick the squatters out, perhaps with prejudice? And of course we'll do our best to assure that there's no diplomatic issues."
"Of course, since we're not from here any sort of incident wouldn't fall back to here anyway...."
Lt. Alkimen breathes a whistle of relief. "Ah-- mine issues. Okay, so, yes, that'll go straight to the chief."
After a moment of awkward silence and an exchanged look between the officers, his eyelids droop. "I'll escort you."
The police lobby contains a few chairs and a reception desk; past that, it is fairly clinical, with computer monitors sitting locked atop officers' desks and separate side offices for those with more specialized jobs.
It is one of these offices that bears the name upon its window:
Chief Julie Renard
Alkimen knocks twice, then steps in without waiting for a response.
This room is a little more interesting than the rest of the office, not due to any particular furniture or even the vulpine woman looking expectantly up from her desk, clad in a fancier version of the other officer's uniforms; rather, all around the desk and even in her hands are scrolls, many of which look very old and dusty, resting unfurled in piles.
A coffee sits cold on the desk, and the woman's red fur looks disheveled.
"Can I help you?" she asks.
|Edith 'Edie' Squire|
Edie is along for the amusing ride!
Knowledge: Local: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
The tiefling salesclerk is quiet during the interaction with the officers... with her body effectively being a Lethal Weapon and not knowing if any of them are 'two days from retirement' she has no desire to start a chain-cluster of hostility and UST.
Though, when the party is ushered along to the Chief, she DOES have a brief fantasy of being *turned into a werefox* hanging over her mind from her old gaming days before straightening up a bit and giving a winning smile.
"We're actually here to help you a bit. We're kind of new to the adventuring thing, and a couple of the folks on our team are interested in the mines. We were directed to you by the kind folks at the bed and breakfast, and then your Lieutenant Alkimen." she pauses briefly.
"Love the name, by the way!"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
I wonder if she's married or in an open relationship...
Chief Renard raises a brow at the explanation. She raises one digit, grabs her coffee, and leans over to lap up a few gulps.
Looking back up, she wipes her mouth on the scroll right next to the paper towel she was aiming for.
"Alkimen, as you were. As for you, I have to say that unfortunately the mine is closed... unless the lot of you speak French, know your way around historical documents, and know how to negotiate."
It's clear from her tone that she expects this is not the case, and considering the matter already closed, goes back to the scroll she was perusing when you first entered. Rubbing at her eyes, she withdraws a pair of reading glasses from her breast pocket and leans in a little closer.
"Love the name, by the way!"
"Thank you, by the way. Got it from my dad."
Know-Local: 1d20 ⇒ 8
"Heureusement, je parle un peu le langage et je peux déchiffrer la plupart des documents. Pour ce qui est des négociations, avec qui devrions-nous négocier?"
While I don't speak French, Keeyan does. Google translated this for me. It is supposed to say "Fortunately I do speak a bit of the language, and I can decipher most documents. As for negotiating, who would we have to negotiate with?"
It's fine, neither does Renard. When we get to the actual conversations, just toss the English translation in a spoiler tag. But feel free to continue Google translating if you'd like! I speak a "two years in high school" of French and it's good for the electromeat in my skull cavity.
You get the sense that, if Renard were human, her eyebrows would disappear into her scalp. Obviously impressed, she gestures toward a chair and slaps a stack of scrolls in front of it for Keeyan to look over.
"Anyone else?" she asks, looking over the party.
Anyone with French, a rank in Linguistics, knowledge (history), knowledge (geography), knowledge (nobility), or a Profession that significantly involves legal documents may roll a single skill check using any of the above; for each skill you have a rank in, add +1 to your total; if you know French, add +5.
Linguistics: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
I have a bit of practice with languages. I might be able to help.
reading: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
Keeyan takes the chair and starts reading. As his specialty is information (diviner?) he is quickly engrossed. On occasion where he comes across a word that he isn't sure about he starts to reach for his phone to cast a spell, but decides against it. Maybe later.... ??
After a few minutes reading studiously he glances up, "Tout cela est intéressant, mais y a-t-il quelque chose de particulier que nous devrions rechercher?" He pauses a second, then repeats in common, "Sorry, This is all interesting, but is there anything particular that we should be looking for?"
|Edith 'Edie' Squire|
Edie is bemused, then nearly masochistic...
Edie is no stranger to legal documentation, both from her unwanted knowledge of the tongue of the devils and being someone who works in retail in this modern age. The number of sign-offs she's had to go through has been significant during the time with Crabbies -- and that was BEFORE the Flu Incident.
"If you have anything in Infernal, English, or Celestial I can give it a go, plus I have a slight bit of experience with twisty legalese from work?" she offers warily, not sure if that'd be a help or not.
Profession(Merchant): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15 Helping?
Sorry for being absent. Work and then some stupid inflammation of my jaw conspired to keep me busy and my mind fuzzy
Basil had followed along quietly. He didn't like law enforcement in general and his image of the US version was less positive than his image of those back home.
When Basil speaks French it's with a British accent thick enough to make the ears bleed on any native speaker. "Je parle Français mais lire est plus facile." He coughs a bit, as if to clear some phlegm from his throat. "I also am an antiquarian and quite familiar with historical documents."
The Check: 1d20 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (11) + 8 + (3) = 22
Since it's about a mine I figured Know: Engineering also works? If not subtract 1. I also added my Inspiration die for free as that applies to just about all the listed skills
Looking over the old documents and comparing with each other and Chief Renard, a pattern starts to form here.
Only some of the paperwork directly references the mine, and only half of it is written in French. Apparently, according to some documents, the mine, its contents, and its profits all belong to a certain company. This company has long-since dissolved, but ownership of the mine-- through tracing it over a number of different documents-- seems to now belong to Canada.
A lot of the documents, however, are contradictory, and the ones that currently secure it as Canadian land are more securely ratified and loophole-free.
"A month ago, a bunch of French-speaking kobolds showed up and declared the mine belonged to them. We haven't gotten a translator in yet, so communication's been slow, but for all the hell I know, they might be right. But then, I don't think our government has a habit of allowing pockets of land to belong to foreign powers."
"But then, you know, since their last election, things have been weird all over, I figure."
Last election cycle, the media was taken by storm as a brass dragon entered the race. While it's not the first time a dragon has attempted to seize power, it was rare that they ran for actual election. When R'gaphael won after a massive turnout of the kobold vote, he was the first draconic Premier of Quebec.
Generally viewed as happy to entertain any viewpoint (and debate it to death by old age), his career as a politician has thus far been marked by unconventional application of technicalities and loopholes in order to achieve his goals. What those goals actually are are mysterious and hotly debated among political scholars.
Even if Canada owns the mine, wouldn't the land still be American? A lot of companies own property is the US, that doesn't make the land they own not American.
Keeyan nods at the words while he continues reading. He enjoys reading, but this legalese crap.... Well... "Non, c'est pas que j'achète cette merde!"
"That would be strange. I mean, a mine IS the land. I thought foreigners could own property, I mean constructed structures like buildings. But to actually own the land under them it has to be an agreement between the US Government and the other country. Unless it's some special government rule like they have for embassies. But that wouldn't apply to some random company, especially a defunct company! Sounds like you've got kobolds pretending to be legit, likely just to keep people out so they can search for something. Maybe we could go check it out, and possibly.... evict them, with prejudice?"
"Maybe we could go check it out, and possibly.... evict them,"
The chief gives a nodding shrug and takes a sip of her coffee.
Keeyan is now covered in spit and coffee.
"No! Nonononono. No." Chief Renard takes a moment to wipe down some paperwork with a napkin, then passes a small stack of them to Keeyan. "If at all possible, I'd like to avoid a diplomatic incident. We can't attack them unless they're doing something illegal there, and even then it's best to just arrest them. No, we need to figure out, for sure, what they're up to and if it's protected in these documents before we take any action.
But now that you're here... if you think you've got a decent grasp of the situation, let's meet up at the mine tomorrow, say around 10AM? That'll give us time to eat breakfast. I'd eat a hearty one if you can-- I don't imagine this will be a quick discussion," she states.
|Edith 'Edie' Squire|
Edie has avoided a caffienated shower!
Whether it was due to working with the public in the most distasteful of places or just some intuitive reaction the tiefling manages to duck out of the way of the side-spray of the Chief.
"Plus, if it turns out they're legit for whatever crazy reason, we need to do the horrible thing... and get the lawyers in here. And it'll be a lot easier to deal with them if we don't have a whole bunch of bloody or dead people." Edie opines before giving a nod.
Little dragonbuddies are people, too! Even if they are smol and treated horribly!
"Klyto, could I ask you a huge favor and go over the armor I got to make sure it won't fall apart at the first or second hit, please?" Edie asks hopefully.
Alright, 10 am. Edie, let's see if we can find Laklo and Jowi's forge. If anything does need to be adjusted they should have the tools.
|Edith 'Edie' Squire|
Edie is cautiously hopeful and excited.
"Sure thing, let's get right on that if it's practical." the tiefling replies as she checks to make sure that Bella isn't cranking out the 'z's so the team can get back to the bed and breakfast and prepare for the morning.
Keeyan steps back and casts a spell, cleaning himself up. "OK. Tomorrow morning then."
Laklo and Jowi are easy to find, though they've moved across the room to sit at the bar beside each other, taking turns singing along to the old radio that sits at max volume on the counter. Jowi has some talent; Laklo very much doesn't.
They're happy to let a fellow smith borrow their forge, and even offer a few metal scraps laying around. They go with Edie, Klyto, and anyone else that wants to come, and give a bit of information on the town as they Laklo drives.
If I ever have you guys roll a Knowledge (local) related to this area, go ahead and tack on a +2 or consider yourself Trained.
Klyto, can you give me a Craft check? Or take 10 if you'd like.
It takes the rest of the night, but Klyto's experience in the forge is nothing to shake a set of tongs at. When he's done, the armor looks...
Well, it doesn't look much different to the untrained eye, but for someone of non-standard anatomy, Edie's able to tell the differences immediately. The metal now splits for the tail and covers the base nicely, the slots for the wings are now much more natural, and everything else has been nicely tuned and tailored to fit the tiefling's frame.
Though the materials aren't top-of-the-line, Klyto's work is good enough that Edie's armor is now Masterwork.
|Edith 'Edie' Squire|
Edie is Amazed!
The tiefling isn't a blacksmith or a forging expert, but she DOES know how to make Watchstander's Coffee (or an appropriate tea) and knows that she may be needed at certain points for test-fits and the like.
So she finds a nice corner of the forge to doze in, between getting beverages for Klyto to stay awake/hydrated and giving test-fits.
The final result, though, is far and beyond what she was expecting -- to be honest Edie was anticipating some duct tape, some rivets, and maybe a couple of bolts to hold the outfit together.
Once the hot points have cooled to a point where she can wear the armor she dons it, and then gives Klyto a big hug, or at least tries to.
"It doesn't pinch anymore!" she offers with an excited bounce, wings flapping spastically. "I'ma gonna give you part of any share I end up with from adventuring until I can get you a fair amount for this work!"
Bella will probably go back to the inn...sleep a little bit...than wake up and wander the town late at night.
She is kinda nocturnal given her patron...lifestyle...girlfriend..,etc.
Klyto has Edie grab the armor she picked up and heads to Jowi and Laklo's forge. Once she has the armor on he checks the fit and takes numerous notes on the parts bothering her.
Edie you can have a seat while I make the major alterations. We'll probably have to do a few test fits later on.
Normally a precise smith Klyto realizes the short window he has to fix this bargain bin heap means he has to trust his work.
Klyto settles in and loses himself in the process. The materials seem to agree with Klyto about what shape they should be and the shadows make sure every blow lands perfectly.
Leather oiled, straps adjusted, and metal reshaped Klyto hands Edie the finest rebuild he's ever done.
This will do for now, but I have some ideas for further adjustments depending on what you think you need out of a set of armor. It might take a little practice to get us to them, though.
Let's get some rest. Kobolds are waiting for us, even if they don't know it.
|Edith 'Edie' Squire|
Edie is slightly worried.
"I hope we don't have to hurt them. They're really good on the VirtuSnarl with advice about how to take care of scales and claws, and they seem like decent people that get a lot of stuff dumped on them because of historical racism. But I'm also much more ready now if it DOES go to that point." Edie offers hopefully.
"I'm more than willing to be your test dummy for armor -- if you can do this out of a garbage-picked set of armor...."
There's a bit of a pause.
"Yeah, we should probably go get some sleep. Or at least pretend to try to get some."
Yep. At the inn, sleeping, then ready spells and get a good breakfast.
Starwing alights on your shoulder as you exit the inn; without your own set of wheels, you're stuck on your feet, but that's not entirely unusual; though you've likely become a little out of practice since leaving the commune, walking everywhere is something you grew up with, and without the hot sun of a Carolina summer beating down on you, you needn't worry about arriving anywhere too quickly.
It's a sleepy town after dark; not a whole lot is going on, and nearly all of the stores are closed. The buildings are spaced far enough apart for grass to grow between.
A buzz in your pocket and a familiar chime cues you in to a text from Crystal.
Hey B. How's Carolina? You manage to avoid your folks or am I interrupting a family get-together?
The group is okay...very...lawful. Still nice enough...just...boring I guess.
Yes Starwing is a good girl who does what her Mistress want and never needs to be punished...unlike me.
"You are under Her protection, Bella," reminds the corvid. "It should not come to that."
It's around this point that you come across one of the few places that's open this late: a small bar that, by the neon sign, is called "Ale's Well That Ends Well" (although a few letters are missing, so it reads "ALE'S W THAT EN S WELL"). A couple-- two humans-- are making out against a van, and there are only three vehicles in the lot besides them.
No one seems to take special notice of your entrance.
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Meanwhile, back at the forge
The clatter of coins comes from the other end of the bar before you have a chance to reach into your wallet; ”My treat! And make it two!” says the gnome, grinning at you.
You get the sense that she wasn’t referring to your dark attire when she said she didn’t see many of you; her eyes are more on your facial features.