The King smiles faintly at Mara and Deshacerla's words.
"You words are taken in the spirit that they were attended. Rest assured, I am not as unprotected as I may appear; however, overt displays of force send the wrong message - I am trying to be an approachable, thoughtful ruler, and large squads of guards, obviously positioned, make me seem more like an unpopular tyrant. I want my people to feel comfortable seeking an audience, and speaking their mind. I may not agree with what they have to say, of course, but I will respect their right to their opinions."
Heading back to update Smine...
The River Steed Inn resides quite close to the Gildtmede Keep, and near the cliffside. The sign of the inn has horse rising out of a flowing river. Several rooms have balconies overlooking the Sellen river.
Venture-Captain Smine sits at a desk writing a letter, the open balcony door behind him giving a view over the docks and the Sellen River. A paper bird flies through the open doors and unfolds into a letter on the table. Smine hold up his hand for silence as he eyes the letter before handing it over. “So, what did you find out?”
The letter is on Slide 5.
"I am impressed by your good judgment and willingness to hear the concerns of your subjects and grateful for your approval of our mission," Adalan tells the king before the group departs. "We will do our best to resolve the situation with the revolutionaries peacefully, or deliver them into your custody if that becomes necessary. In our negotiations with them, might we offer that you would create an elected council to assist you in governance if they laid down their arms? Such an institution would help ensure that future desire for your reform is expressed peacefully instead of through ill-considered attempts at violent revolt."
The King looks thoughtful.
"I would be willing to consider an elected advisory committee; anything more than that would in be in contravention of the River Freedoms. That said, I doubt these people would be willing to consider that.." He shakes his head sadly. "They seem Hell-bent on seeing things down *their* way..."
The dwarf considers telling everything to the venture-captain. But he thought then that some are better than him to discuss the situation. Suddenly he speaks anyway.
Well we found the ancient lodge and we found some journals about what happened there. Let me show you the stuff.
He continues further:
We also found out that a revolution is planed in the realm. We met the king with the information and he asked us to meet the revolutionaries to talk to them to try to get them back. The king is ready to consider the creation of a kind of concil to help him in the decision making.
Then he concludes:
We know where to find revolutionaries so we are ready for the appointment. But what do you think about this mess ?
lol, yes I understand this like this.
So the venture-captain doesn’t offer a lot of support in the comprehension of the situation. That’s a way how to manage. That’s what the dwarf is thinking anyway now.
Well what to do except be clear about how we will act this evening ?
He waits then upon ideas from the others.
The question is all in all: how far can we trust the revolutionaries?
And the half-elf but that’s another question.
For himself he doesn’t trust the revolutionaries and neither the half-elf, of course.
Firebrands? Mara remembers the note saying 'may the brand guide you', but she doesn't think she's heard of this group before. "I'm sorry, but who are the Firebrands? A different group of rebels?"
"As for how far we can trust them," She shrugs. "We don't. Especially not given how the first group acted. All we can do is try. I'd say we show up to the meeting, wave our white flags, and see how they respond. If they're willing to talk, all well and good. If they're not, we'll deal with them then."
Mara is aware she's probably being too casual, but it's hard not to be considering how ill-prepared the first group of would-be revolutionaries was. The spiders had given them more of a fight.
Bair tries to think back to the goon fight, Any dose guhs shortah like meah?
Were they all human? Bair is considering an attempt to use his hat of disguise but it wouldn't work if all were medium critters. He has a plan though if that's a no.
"What do you mean you don't trust them?" inquires the gnome. "Thus far, they've done nothing to cause one to doubt their intentions."
Glancing around the group, she smiles. "We stumbled upon a group, they asked us to join...we didn't immediately bow to their whims...they attacked."
"I suppose we can't trust them to kill us...but aside from that, they've not mislead us in anyway. Can we really blame them for being under prepared to take down a group such as this? Big trees even failed to fell us in the woods...mere misguided humans can't be expected to do worse without advanced warning."
"Lets have a chat with them and see what they have to say. Perhaps we can get things alleviated....if that's not an option, Phrasma is always willing to judge all...well, all except me it seems"
Taking a breath as her words sink in, she turns the the Venture Captain."If our goal is to be invited back to this place, I feel it would be wise to try and alleviate the issues here."
Smine nods to Mara.
"The Firebrands are a loosely-affiliated group of people. Some call them terrorists. Others call them freedom fighters. Generally, they think that the world has too many tyrants that are up to no good, and the world needs more heroes. The group originally started in Vidrian and Ravounel, but 'franchises' popped up all over the Inner Sea, from Galt to the Shackles. However, just because a group declares themselves to be 'Firebrands', doesn't mean that it will be recognised by the others... and the group here doesn't seem to be exactly remaining true to the core 'brand' as it were."
@Bair: All of the rebels that you have encountered were human.
Since the general consensus seems to be to attend the 'meeting'...
The waterworks consists of canals and vaults carved into the feldspar cliffs under the Gildtmede Keep. Some of the water is redirected from the Sellen River itself while the rest comes from an underground tributary that flows through the cliffs. With the help of underground dams, the gnome engineers can adjust the output of the waterwheels according to the needs of the docks...
...but the secluded caverns and darkened passages also make an excellent location for clandestine meetings!
After a bit of wandering, the party finds its way to a central 'depot': Several canals meet up in this large underground chamber partly lit with lamps on the walls. Two great waterwheels turn under waterfalls that flow on the eastern side of the chamber. Clusters of barrels and crates are set around the chamber.
Gathered to one side of the chamber, a proud-looking young woman wearing a red cloak, is deep in conversation with another fresh-faced young man dressed in a robe, whilst a semi-circle of four other young toughs listen to them.
Adalan: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16.
Bair: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11.
Deshacerla: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11.
Dran'Thor: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (4) + 11 = 15.
Mara: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19.
Hannah: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13.
No-one in the party notices anything unusual ;-)
Adalan: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21.
Deshacerla: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24.
Dran'Thor: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11.
Mara: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17.
Hannah: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11.
Adalan and Deshacerla note that the man in the robe is actually wearing the ecclesiastical outfit of a Razmiran priest.
When the group notices you, they initially reach for their weapons, but the woman raises a restraining hand, then imperiously demands:
"Why are you here? Did Chops send you as reinforcements, or are you more lackeys of that buffoon and potential monster, Edryd? If the former, you are welcome, but if the latter..." she pats her sword, meaningfully.
"Chops? Well, yes and no. Chops has had a change of heart. We've been sent to discuss an alternative option." replies the gnome quickly.
"We've been sent to see about a possible option that doesn't include bloodshed." she adds. "Are you willing to listen to what we've been sent to discuss?"
Deception (Trained): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
"We have reason to believe that word of your plans may have reached the king," Adalan chimes in, "And we'd like to prevent any bloodshed that doesn't advance the cause of liberty. Personally, I'm also curious to learn more of the specifics of Edryd's faults. What has he done since taking the throne that inspires such ardent revolutionary sentiment as you and Chops exhibit?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
The red-cloaked woman stares at Deshacerla incredulously, but appears to believe the truth of her words...
...until Adalan puts his foot in his mouth.
"I was one of the leaders of the original rebellion that dethroned Waike, but my goal wasn't to restore the monarchy - I always wanted the people of Artume to take control of their own future!"
She then spits.
"Most of the other leaders of the rebellion seemed to be fine with Edryd claiming the throne, being older and having fond memories of the time when Edryd’s father ruled, but I don't see things through such rose-tinted glasses - I remember only the tyrannical rule of Waike, who had my parents killed! I don't want to just replace one tyrannical ruler with another, even if he is one that will take time to show his corruption!
I am serving the people of Artume, whether they know it or not; when I have completed my task, they will have no choice but to wake up, and take charge of their own destiny, free from the shackles of the noble classes!"
There is enough time for *one* more check, before stuff happens, one way or the other ;-)
”So...he hasn’t don’t anything,” Mara drawls to buy time while rapidly considering what to say. She glances at Deshacerla. It was a good lie, and under normal circumstances she would have applauded it, but she’s worried that once the truth comes out it will make this woman dismiss everything they have to say.
Oh well. She’ll just have to improvise. She’s good at that.
”It’s Nalla, right? I’m Mara.” Introducing oneself is always a good way to start. ”We’re not revolutionaries or agents of the king. We’re a neutral third party, who wants to see the bloodshed stop.”
She fixes her eyes on the woman, gaze intent. ”Heard of Galt? Because that’s what happens when a revolution goes too far. One group of revolutionaries overthrows the nobility, seizing power ‘for the people’. They take charge. Then the next group decides they don’t like everything the first group is doing, so they seize power. Next thing you know it’s fifty years later and the country’s in ruins because no one group can maintain control long enough to actually fix anything.”
“We have a letter here from Ionnia. Says the people are happy with Edyrd’s rule and that a revolution would do more harm than good. That’s coming from a leader of the Firebrands. So maybe, just maybe, give the man a chance? Maybe he’ll turn corrupt in the future. Fine. Form a revolution then. If you go around killing everyone who might possibly be a threat in the future, you’re going to live in a very empty world. Or, more likely, get yourself killed by someone who sees you as the threat.”
“Edryd is willing to work with you. Form an elected advisory committee, so the people do have a say.” She leans forward slightly, gaze still locked on Nalla’s. ”Please. For the sake of all the people who don’t have to die in an unnecessary conflict, consider working with Edryd, rather than against him.”
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
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The dwarf hears carefully the arguments of the rogue. But he remains doubtful that the revolutionaries will attempt to have a try with the sovereign in place. They formed a group to do something. The dwarf is skeptic to hear the guys now say that they are ok to wait and see.
He strokes his beard. Sometimes it will be a good thing to wash it for once. But he stays at stroking it for now. The dwarf is ready to crackle some electricity if something goes wrong.
@Mara: Thank-you for being the person who finally mentioned some of the evidence that you had accrued! That retroactively applies a bonus to Adalan's check, turning it from a critical failure to a simple failure, which means...
Complex emotions war across the woman's face as she listens to Mara's words. Finally, at the mention of the letter, she snatches it from Mara's hands, and her shoulders sag as she reads it.
"I-I really thought I was doing the right thing; fighting for the people, to give them the right to choose their own future, rather than letting it be decided by some fool in his ivory tower... but if the others won't even recognise my work..."
She dejectedly sheathes her blade, and wanders away.
On your way out of the tunnels, you stumble across a skeleton wearing Goggles of Night, with an Invisibility Potion at its belt.
Later on, you hear that the attempted 'revolution' still took place, but without Nalla's involvement, it was restricted to some low-level arson, and public sloganeering, which was quickly stopped by the guards.
Smine congratulates the party on a job well done, noting that they can all leave Artume. Back on the boat, inspection of the recovered documents reveals that Napsunar headed to an area in western Cheliax that falls now inside the borders of Andoran...
That's a wrap, folks!
I'll have the chronicles out shortly, and then we can do the Pub Crawl :-D
Commencing: Quest #4: Port Peril Pub Crawl
As a splash of salt crashes over the bow of the Glorious Payoff, Calisro Benarry deftly steers her ship through a hidden channel, carefully navigating through the barely visible rock and coral that protrude slightly from the water’s surface. Behind the Payoff, a slightly smaller ship—the Sea Sparkle—follows, making every effort to follow Benarry’s course as closely as possible. Off the port hull, the deep green of the Garundi coast is illuminated by the late afternoon sun.
“See those gulls?” Benarry shouts over the flapping of the sails, “that’s the sandbar we’ll be dropping you off at. Barely sticks up over the waves, but the seabirds flock over it to feast on crab.”
Benarry grins toothily, before continuing.
“As I explained earlier, Vidrian—you might have known it as Sargava not that long ago—needs explorers to chart the trade routes to the south that they couldn’t use back when it was ruled by Cheliax. Simple enough bit of adventuring, but the new nation’s been having trouble with the Free Captains of late. Turns out when Vidrian broke free of Cheliax, the locals stopped paying the pirates protection money, and now they’re the number-one plunder target in the Shackles. What’s more, the pirates have set up a blockade preventing our ships from making it down to Vidrian to assist.
Thankfully, we’ve got someone on the inside. Stella Fane, a Free Captain with ties to the Firebrands and the Pirate Council, has been in contact with the Society. She and members of the Society’s leadership have put together a fairly clever plan to help the Society’s ships pass through the pirate blockades unharmed. The Wind and the Waves willing, the Payoff and the Sparkle can sail to Vidrian, no problem. While we’re doing that, I’ve arranged transport for you to Port Peril to meet with Fane and get her to sign this contract making the whole thing official—she may be a pirate, but she’s the kind that holds to her word. You’ll need to avoid drawing too much attention until after the deal is done. Once she’s signed the contract her friends in the Pirate Council will ratify it and there won’t be much the lesser captains can do. Be careful. Anyone looking to put a stop to this need only ensure that contract never gets signed.
Arriving with the others members of the part, with his tiny plant on the shoulder, the dwarf is on the boat. Still a part in this mission. As the others he's listening to the briefing of the venture-captain Benarry. As always with this one the statement occurs on a ship.
In the end, the dwarf asks:
Where can we find this Fane in Port Peril? Do you have an address to give us? Then you told to be careful. Do you expect a problem? Others pirates? Cheliax' men?
He draws a smile then.
Adalan glances somewhat nervously at the reefs passing by either side of the ship as Benarry explains the mission. When she finishes, he asks, "Can you give us any more details on the terms of the contract? I'm curious how the Society is convincing the Pirate Council to refrain from pirating, at least when it comes to our ships."
"Fane's a recent figure on the Shackles scene, as is her ship, the Risen Albatross. Word is, the Chelaxians bought her old crew out from under her and tossed her overboard at sea. Some say she died and it’s her ghost sailing the waters and sinking slaver boats and Chelaxian
ships left and right. I don’t believe it myself—never heard of a ghost that could put away as much rum as she’s been known to, that’s for sure. She'll probably be in a pub of some kind; your best bet is asking around for where she might be when you get there."
She then nods to Adalan.
"It’s a long-term trade agreement; we tell her where we’ve had reports of slavers—she hates them and it’s no skin off Society members’ backs to let her know—and she approaches us first with any information she receives regarding archaeological sites and historical discoveries. Our obligation requires us to make the information exchange each time one of our ships passes through the Shackles, so attacking a Pathfinder ship is the same as attacking Stella and her allies on the Pirate Council. Smartest deal we’ve made, if you ask me."
"Careful with that contract, by the way. It’s all magicked shut, so only Fane can read and sign it, safely."
Her grin then widens as she looks over the side of the ship.
"Well, that is as close as we can get to the sandbar with the ship - you'll have to swim the rest of the way!"
Whistling cheerfully, with a twinkle in her eye, Benarry then pushes each member of the party overboard!
Fortunately, at this point, in the lee of the sandbar, the water is calm enough that there is no problem swimming ashore.
As Benarry's ship sails away, she calls back:
"Someone should be by soon to pick you up. Have fun!"
Over the course of the next hour, the tide starts to come in, completely covering even the highest point of the sandbar in several inches of seawater...
Adalan: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24.
Bair: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10.
Deshacerla: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16.
Dran'Thor: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21.
Mara: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24.
Hannah: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9.
...to pass the time, you look over your tiny new 'domain', and Adalan and Mara manage to discover a pitch-sealed wooden chest, mostly buried in the sand!
Please attempt an Athletics check to retrieve/open it.
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The dwarf tries to open the chest even if it’s more Bair’s task. But let’s see if he manages to open it.
Athletics: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Dran'Thor easily cracks open the crate, revealing several dirty, cracked bottles...
...as well as a flask of Lesser Bravo's Brew, and a large bottle of rum, stamped with a stylised dragon turtle!
Just as you were beginning to wonder if you had been forgotten about, a small boat appears, sailed by an elderly Dwarven diver, who gruffly introduces herself as Hlar.
She beckons you aboard, shifting around sacks of shellfish and crab traps to make room in the cramped vessel. Over the next few hours, Hlar sails her boat in a meandering path to shore along the submerged rock formations, every now and then jumping overboard and free-diving for several minutes before reemerging with an oyster, sea urchin, or squid. When the wind dies down along the way, she rows the boat instead, Dran'Thor the spare oar, "Since Benarry made me come out of me way to get you lot, the least ye can do is help get everyone ashore."
Hlar’s boat arrives in Port Peril around sunset. As the party's vessel drifts into Crescent Harbor, sailors disembarking for shore leave remain clearly visible, singing rowdily as they work. Hlar soon lands at a smaller dock to unload her catch and gestures at Fane’s ship in one of the docks—the Risen Albatross. "Stella Fane has a penchant for riotous nights on the town once she’s returned to port are well known, but I don’t know where the kids go these days... your best bet is probably to ask the harbormaster, a Dwarf named Tsojmin Kreidoros, where she might have headed after her ship docked and unloaded."
Luckily, the harbormaster is nearby, but it looks like he is rather busy...
A Diplomacy check, or a bribe, might be able to convince him to help you ;-)
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Mara is positively cheerful as they approach Port Peril. They're in the south where it's warm, and their 'mission' requires them to check out the best pubs in the region. This is fantastic. 10/10, would Pathfind again. She's in a good enough mood that she even volunteers to spell Dran-Thor with the rowing.
Once in Port Peril, she keeps a wary eye on their surroundings but even that can't keep the smile from her face. "Watch your purses, ladies and gents, and keep an eye on your drinks. Hopefully we'll get out of here without anyone getting press-ganged onto a pirate ship." Although honestly, she's not entirely sure she'd mind. If she were a pirate, she'd never have to go north again.
Bad Mara. Focus on the mission.
"Harbormaster, eh?" She strides over to him. "Hello good sir, any chance you know where Stella Fane might have headed off to?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
Okay, so randomly interrupting the man and asking for information with no attempt at quid pro quo might not have been Mara's finest moment. A fact she realizes when the dwarf starts scowling at her.
Oops. For once, it's Mara casting pleading eyes at the rest of the group, hoping one of them can fix her social faux pas.
While her first mission was a struggle in the frigid north, her lengthy trip in the River Kingdoms taught Hannah she was woefully unprepared for the rigors of combat and social interactions. Fortunately, the newly crowned King of that region took pity on her social awkwardness and offered her some time to train with his guards and act as an emissary for the Pathfinder Society.
Now outfitted with much heavier armor, and a blade on the tip of her Bo Staff, Hannah returns for the next Chapter in her adventuring life!
...which apparently involves alcohol... Something she has ALSO never attempted...
"VIDRIAN?? That's where I was raised! Well, before being shipped off to Cheliax for boarding school. I haven't been here in YEARS!"
A million questions swirl in Hannah's mind. Will she have time to find out what happened to her parents? Maybe this pirate upheaval is to blame? She's been gone so long... How have things changed?
Literally before I originally drafted Hannah up I wanted a character from here, since everything changed from PF1. Cool I get to bring her here!
Hannah steps onto the docks as though she's done it a dozen times before.
My legs were much shorter back then.
She then lays eyes on the dwarf, and tears well up, "'Tsoj'? Tsojmin Kreidoros?? Oh my goodness! It's me, Hannah! I used to play on these docks as a child! Do you remember me?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 5 + 1 = 24
If it helps, Hannah speaks Polyglot, the regional tongue.
Bair stands at the bow for most of the travel, enjoying the sweet salty breeze. "Dis gud missun, go on boat."
When he unceromonisouly is shoved off the edge to the sandbar when he is slow to jump, he notices the captain has quite a strong grip. He splashes down and then turns to yell the best pickup line he can think of, "Ye can putya handson meh anytime ya wanna, cap!"
I hope she heahrd me, dat was preddy gud line.
He turns and splashes towards the sand bar, spending his time drinking the rum the others found.
After vomiting about four times as much liquid as he drank, he's a bit woozy when they disembark but stumbles over to where Mara is insulting the nice master harbor guy. "Godda gud placeta gedda drink roun heah? Heds killinmeh."
Diplomacy (T): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
The dwarf isn't angry to help Hlar to sail to the harbor as he's a dwarf too. They must help one another. The boat coming to the shore, he lets the sailor do his job to allow them to disembark.
Then the harbormaster to which they are supposed to talk is also a dwarf, but Mara, Bair and Hannah go quicker than him to talk to him before he can get off the boat.
As their arguments seem to have influenced the harbormaster, he stays quiet in the back of the party.
Mara's pleas falls upon deaf ears, but Hannah and Bair's entreaties prompt him to gruffly note that Stella is probably at Rivanti’s Bar: A rough and tumble bar in Beggarbriar slums. Its tengu proprietor—as well as its popularity with jinx eaters and Hei Fengan priests—has led to its nickname: the Crow’s Nest (though this is a name best not used within earshot of the bar).
Heading across the bay to the south on Hlar’s boat, the party makes its way to the slums of Beggarbriar, where pickpockets linger in shady alleys, shooting the party appraising looks in an effort to determine if the party is worth the trouble of trying to rob. Eventually, the party arrive at a shack in a clearing, from which rowdy drinking songs and squawks spew forth. Entering the bar, the party sees a crowd of tengus, split between merely drunk worshippers of Besmara and extremely inebriated priests of Hei Feng. The proprietor is passed out behind the bar next to Stella and a pile of recently emptied mugs.
When she spots you, she raises a mug to get your attention.
“Ah, you’re just in time! Like little baby cleaner fish, not knowing that the shark might decide it wants a meal more than sparkling teeth. Let’s see what we’re dealing with. But first, a toast!”
So saying, she orders a round of drinks for everyone.
Could everyone please roll a Fort save.
The dwarf notes that the slums are indefinitely worse than the wilderness. He takes care about his possessions and his life.
When they arrive to the pub he's not like a fish in the sea. He feels more like a fish outside from the sea. And the fact that Stella asks them to drink something isn't necessary a good omen.
Fortitude: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
Mara's extremely thankful that her companions are able to salvage the situation with the harbormaster. She's less thankful when she realizes that Stella Fane is slumming it in Beggarbriar as opposed to drinking at the good pubs she'd envisioned. Still, Rivanti’s Bar had to have something decent, right? So she smiles and accepts the drink she's offered.
Fort Save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6 Oh boy. Using my Hero Point reroll...
Fort Save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
And this is how I find out Mara can't handle her liquor. Am I unconscious or just extremely drunk?
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Bair leads the way into the bar, "Ehn't nuddin evah bad happen adda bahr!" He grabs the first drink thrown their way and slams it back, "NAWT BAD, LIDDLE WEAK DOUGH!"
Fortitude Save: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28
As they approach the shack, Adalan leans over and tells Bair, "Since our last mission I learned a spell that would make you very big for a few minutes, even taller than a longshanks. I appreciate your confidence, but if we do end up fighting to defend the contract do you want me to use it on you?"
He enters the bar warily, scanning the room for any potential threats. When the drinks arrive, Adalan ponders his with a grimace before taking an abrupt swig.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
Fortitude: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
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Deshacerla - BOT: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18.
The drink is not exactly top-shelf, being powerful, pungent, and with an aftertaste not unlike very old tar.
Mara projectile vomits, whilst Hannah and Adalan sputter embarrassingly as they try to keep it down, causing Stella to laugh uproariously, but Dran'Thor and Deshacerla manage to swallow, whilst Bair seems to thoroughly enjoy it, something which Stella nods approvingly at.
Dran'Thor, Deshacerla, and Bair: Once during the adventure, you can use a reaction when you are targeted by an attack roll from an enemy you can see. If you do so, you stumble just as the attack is made, gaining a +2 status bonus to your AC against the attack.
Toast complete, Stella Fane's smile broadens.
"Before we talk business, I want to be entertained. Let's have some sport!"
Fane jerks her head over to a table where a large number of tengus make gestures as if passing something between each other.
"They are engaged in a “jinx-eating contest,” where each tries to pass off bad luck onto the other. The game is to predict who will end up being the loser, and have to eat the table’s jinxes..."
A PC can attempt a Fortune-Telling Lore check or Occultism check to follow the ritual’s ebb and flow and predict the winner. The contest runs for three rounds, and a *different* PC must attempt the check for each round to predict that round’s winner, and each round gets progressively harder...
Mara is beet-red with embarrassment. She hasn't vomited after drinking in...a very long while. This time she didn't even have the pleasure of actually being drunk first; the liquor was so foul she simply couldn't stomach it. She quickly orders an ale to try and wash the taste out of her mouth. Somehow the taste of old tar is actually stronger than the lingering taste of vomit. What the hells was in that stuff?!
Maybe the rumors about Stella Fane being some sort of undead were true. Mara can't imagine anyone living actually enjoying that swill.
Desperate to in some way repair her reputation, she casts her eyes on the game. She knows very little about fortune-telling, but she's decent at reading people's gestures.
Occultism (U): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
"That one. On the end." She points at one of the tengu. "He'll be the winner this round."
Mara will try the first check and leave the later rounds to people actually trained in Occultism.
Adalan does his best to banish the drink's taste from his mind and focus on the tengus' game. He closes his eyes and mutters an incantation which hopefully allows him to visualize the patterns of luck flowing between the participants. Unless no one else steps up to play the second round, Adalan waits until the most difficult stage to actually make his guess.
Occultism (T): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20
"Oh! Oh! *drunken giggle* I know this one! A bird with two hands... No... When a bird hands its... Oh, goodness... That one!"
Occultism: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 5 + 1 = 15
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Hannah tries her best, but inebriated on rotgut, she really has no *actual* idea about what, precisely, is going on.
Adalan, on the other hand, successfully reads the rhythm of the ritual, and works on which tengu is the ultimate winner.
"Well done!", Stella says with a grin.
She brings the party back to her table, and, after unfurling the contract, and removing one of her gloves, she pricks her finger with a knife and writes her name in blood.
After Fane rolls the contract back up and hands it to Bair, she looks
“Never can tell who’s watching—the Free Captains have eyes and ears everywhere. Best to be sure that if these lot remember anything about this night, it’s not that they saw us here together.”
With that, Stella Fane sweeps her hat off her head in an exaggerated bow, in the process tossing a thunderstone to the ground, knocking over a rum flagon, and disappears in puff of acrid-smelling smoke!
The Besmaran tengus and Hei Fengan tengus each think it is a conjuration created by the other party as a mockery of their god’s majesty, provoking an all out bar-brawl!
PPBF: 1d20 - 10 ⇒ (12) - 10 = 2.
SA: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10.
Adalan: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20.
Bair: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8.
Deshacerla: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21.
Dran'Thor: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30.
Mara: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14.
Hannah: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7.
A Friendly Welcome, Round 1:
SA (-, -, -)
Just to explain how this works: Essentially the entire building counts as one massive bar brawl (aka a 'Hazard'). In addition, there are three Tengu storm-casters who have taken a particular interest in you, specifically.
The goal here is to escape, not murder the denizens of the bar, so you just need to make it off the map, although you can stick around if you want to :-P
Dran'Thor, Deshacerla, Adalan, and Mara are up!
The thunderstone going off unexpectedly leave Mara disoriented, in pain, and most importantly it spills her ale. She'd needed that!
"Why, you, UGH!" She glares at the smoke cloud where Stella Fane had once stood. "With allies like those, who needs enemies?"
This entire affair has gone from a relaxing vacation to a nightmare, all because of that stupid woman in her ridiculous hat.
Note to self, if I ever meet her again, she owes me a drink. Of MY choosing!
On the bright side, the sudden bar brawl gives her a chance to work off some of that frustration. She starts moving down the stairs, occasionally punching people as she goes. "Excuse me, pardon me, just WHERE do you think you're putting that hand?!"
So the entire bar is a hazard, does that mean it counts as difficult terrain? If so Mara double moves to where I placed her on the map.
Quickly casting a spell on herself, Deshacerla whispers "Looks like we've out-lived our welcome here. Quickly now!"
Cast Sanctuary on myself - Will DC 19
If difficult terrain, piece is where it should be. If not difficult terrain, I'd be at the blue x
Critical Success Sanctuary ends.
Success The creature can attempt its attack and any other attacks against the target this turn.
Failure The creature can't attack the target and wastes the action. It can't attempt further attacks against the target this turn.
Critical Failure The creature wastes the action and can't attempt to attack the target for the rest of sanctuary's duration.
Why do people take only 1 action? We can stride 3 times, no?
Cool, I'll move further then. Mara just wants to get out of there.
Edited: Which she is, because as Dran'Thor noted I had three Stride actions, not two. 90 feet of movement = Mara is gone.She'll stop right in front of the doors and wait for the others.
The dwarf uses the command word for his bracelet of dashing to increase his movement. Then he strides to follow Mara near the doors. No question to ask. No question to let someone to go through. No question at all. Now they have to secure the contract they have signed by the pirate.
Adalan dashes for the door with his companions, doing his best to weave between the tables and combatants.
If any of the tengu happen to cast a spell Adalan has prepared he will use his reaction to Counterspell.
Dran'Thor beats a hasty retreat, employing magic to move faster.
Deshacerla wards herself, and moves.
Adalan legs it.
Mara, likewise, runs off.
Blue draws a scimitar, and goes after Deshacerla...
Will: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19.
Scimitar: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20, for 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7 damage.
Scimitar: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20, for 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7 damage.
Red draws a scimitar, moves over to Hannah, and takes a swing...
Scimitar: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25, for 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8 damage.
Green, meanwhile, goes after Dra'Thor...
Scimitar: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19, for 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6 damage.
...and all three manage to score glancing blows.
A Friendly Welcome, Round 1:
SA (-, -, -)
Bair and Hannah are up!