Since the Breachill Town Council has been holding monthly Calls for Heroes for decades, a fair number of local traditions have built up around the event. One of the most adhered to is the visit to the 'Wizard's Grace', a popular local tavern. It's a great place to scope out the competition, schmooze with prospective hirers, or simply just have a stiff drink to work up courage before going into the town hall.
In times past, the Grace would be brimming with both adventurers and those in need of such, but in recent months, things have been rather quiet. Today only finds about a dozen people inside, and three of those are staff members. Six adventurers, including yourself seem to have answered the call. A varied bunch to say the least, in ancestry, attire and outlook.
Please feel free to introduce yourselves, describing your character.
The smell of Boar stew and lentils, the traditional meal served to prospective adventurers is filling the room. As Trinil Uskwold, the owner of the Grace sees the days catch of adventurers is light once more, she sighs. Then she walks in towards the kitchen in the back, coming out a few minutes later with half a dozen plates of stew.
A rather large androgynous half elf in typical wizards robes leaning on a long staff opens the door and walks in, holding it open for someone else. They look behind themselves out through the door, calling to the unseen person.
"Come on Hugo. You don't want to be late, what if they give all the good quests to other adventurers before we get there? You don't want to get the second rate adventures do you? You know what they say, the early wyrm gets the bird!" Omari says with a good natured chuckle. Their voice seems rather high pitched for such a large individual. When they turn back to face the tavern you can see that the left side of their face is covered in long healed scars, although the wound doesn't seem to have dampened their spirits.
A young man with longer, honey colored hair leans back in his chair. The slightly pointed tips of his ears, the almond shape of his eyes, and his slender build all hint at his Elven heritage, but there's a roundness to his face that no Elf possesses, and the brown of his irises shows that the Elven heritage isn't pure.
Dressed in traveling clothes of brown and green, with a lute beside him, he could be any of a dozen traveling minstrels. The studded leather armor and rapier on his belt are all that reveal him as a potential adventurer.
Looking to his companions of the road as the other half-elf comes through the door, Aramil says, "There don't seem to be many adventurers here at the moment. I wonder if there will be any tasks available at all."
A pallid, skinny human who is a good foot shortager than average scurries in under the weight of a backpack that looks like it's about to crush him. He has troubled dark eyes and a scraggly mop of black hair that sticks out in every direction. He immediately begins brushing off the dirt of the trail from padded armour that looks a little large for him.
"I..I don't think the point necessarily is to sort adventures to incomes on a first-come-first-serve basis but I do understand the importance of being on time and early. I suppose this is a profession and it wouldn't do to be unprofess--"
He locks eyes with Aramil for a moment."Uh, hi."
He returns to his previous rant. "Unprofessional. Too much at stake here, there's so much at stake... I think? Probably, yes."
Omari gives Hugo a friendly, if overly forceful, pat on the back. "That's the spirit! We don't want to be unprofessional. And I'm not saying that we would necessarily get lower paying jobs. We might get less, exciting jobs. What if they only have two tasks, and the first ones here get the one to go slay a dragon, and the only thing left is to fight off kobolds or something? Wouldn't that be disappointing?
Omari finally takes a look around the room and seeing the low turn out offers a frown. "Lot less people here than I was expecting...
A tiny figure has obtained a barstool and brought it to the musician's table where she is enjoying some of the local fare.
Her skin is deeply tanned from years outside. Her long hair has streaks of different shades of blonde from dirty-blonde to white gold. It is pulled back in a loose ponytail and tied with a strip of leather. Very pale eyes light up an easy smile as she visits with the others at her table.
A jagged scar mars her left cheek, but it has the effect of a beauty mark enhancing her features. She wears a loose blouse with long sleeves and trousers under a suit of protective leather. A pack and a longbow can be seen alongside her seat.
She seems to be finishing a story. As she wraps it up, she points at another halfling at the table and concludes with a giggle, looking around at the others at the table for their reactions.
"That's not how it happened at all...and besides the mud put the fire out!!"
Standing on a regular chair so he can see and be heard, a second halfling can be seen at the table. Dressed in battered, but well-tended studded leather armour and a pair of swords strapped to his belt, the fellow gives off a relaxed but wary feel...like a panther resting of a limb watching the local animals wander by. He sits close to the blonde halfling woman...almost protectively close. His motions are quick and precise, and his eyes seem to be watching everything and nothing all at once.
"How about I tell them about the time you tried to ride that pig!?
A tall, well built human comes into the bar. He stands at the doorway looking out over the room with a scowl on his face. Pausing at the door allows him the opportunity to get the lay of the room as much as it allows the patrons a chance to get a good look at him. He moves into the room straight for the table with the half-elf and two halflings. With little more than a grunt of greeting, he sits down. "You told that story before. It's not as funny as you think."
When Trinil makes it to their table, he puts some silver on the table. "Can we get some bread and ale with that?"
Don't know the prices to give the correct amount of money.
Seeing other potential heroes all sitting together at a table Omari heads over with a broad smile on their face.
"You must be the competition. Hopefully there is enough that needs doing in town that we all get something exciting. He extends his hand to the first person that stands to greet him. "I'm Omari. My skinny friend over there is Hugo."
Hugo staggers forward and gets his feet under him as Omari gives him a slap. He looks up and nods once. "Ahem - yes, yes. And..." He looks over the room, taking in the halfling and the able-looking man with his swords. As he's about to speak he starts as the door flies open, rushing to the side as Raff enters.
"Al... all these people look... competent. That's good. Are we competition? Doesn't matter, we'll find out. I did expect more. Call to heroes - people should come from all over Isger."
He realizes, however, that he's talking to himself as Omari as moved over to the table. Hugo rushes over before gratefully ditching his backpack. He pulls up a chair at the end of the table beside Omari. "Hello. Ah, has anyone done a Call for Heroes before? I understand they do it monthly here."
"That's not how it happened at all...and besides the mud put the fire out!!"
She giggles, "That's how I remember it! But it did put the fire out, that's true."
"How about I tell them about the time you tried to ride that pig!?
"That's not fair! You told me it was a dog!" She leans over to confide with Aramil, "Granted, I was a little drunk, but I had never seen a pig that wasn't pink!"
When Raff sits down and comments on the stories, she laughs out loud. "Welcome back! I hope you found what you were looking for!" She's gotten the vibe from Raff that he's really not into sharing, so she intentionally doesn't ask.
At Omari's entrance, she stands on her bar stool and bows, happily reaching out for Omari's extended hand. "Welcome to the Wizard's Grace, your grace. Hmm, that's funny - you look like a wizard, but I digress. You have found the finest establishment for food and drink for a hundred miles in any direction! Trinil," she indicates the woman serving the stew and lentils, "has explained to us that this is the traditional last meal for those about to die, so she feeds it to all the applicants to the Call for Heroes. Hope you're hungry!" There is a mischievous twinkle in her eye as she delivers this potentially concerning news with a wink.
"I don't know about competition - we met by chance on the road here and thought it would be good to travel together. I haven't heard yet how this Call works, how they decide who gets what jobs, but if I don't get a job, I'll just stay here and eat my last meal again and again until next month! Tell me, please - you look like a real wizard. Are you a real wizard?" Without giving him a chance to reply, she continues, "But seriously, we are a traveling circus." She points to a possibly bemused Aramil, "We have a ringmaster and a strongman," which is apparently Raff from her next sweeping gesture, "and a lion tamer!" Her grand gesture ends with a flourish indicating lion tamer Varook. "Which naturally means I must be the lion." She delivers this solemnly, but only for a moment before she snorts and starts laughing again.
It's hard to tell if she's a little drunk - very little drink would probably get her very drunk, so it's possible - or just that friendly today. She certainly seems happy and excited to be here.
"Please excuse me if I don't climb down to get your chair, but I think we have space for two more unless you want to sit with one of the other groups, of course." She exaggerates looking around the basically empty establishment before sitting back down on the stool and tucking into stew and lentils that materialized while she was standing. "This is so GOOD, Trinil! Thank you!" She puts away a prodigious amount of food for such a tiny woman and lets the others do the talking for a while. For once.
"Thank you, Trinil," Aramil says as the food gets placed in front of him. Extending a hand towards Omari, he says, "No reason for us to be competition at all. Any town that needs heroes on a monthly basis is sure to have enough problems to go around. Aramil Wellys, nice to meet you, Omari, Hugo." He makes sure to say his name within Trinil's hearing, to see if she recognizes it. "Please, join us. Perhaps you can be part of our...traveling circus." He smiles bemusedly at the halfling woman. "We could use a good juggler, although I did see a circus come through Magnimar with something called 'fools' - people who painted their faces and did rather silly slapstick comedy like spraying each other with inflated water bladders. Perhaps you'd be willing to do that?"
He manages to get through the entire spiel with a straight face, and then starts poorly suppressing his laughter as he joins in on Lenna's joke.
She very carefully doesn't look up at Aramil as she eats because she knows she's going to start laughing and spray everyone with stew if she meets Aramil's eye. And Varook didn't appreciate that last time it happened.
Omari listens to Lenna's story with a smile, obviously entertained by her bluster. The handshake with both Lenna and Aramil is firm and confident, without the excessive force of those looking to prove something. "Am I a wizard? No. Not yet. But one day. I've currently managed to master only a single spell, but I'm working on it. And one day I will be. A wizard that is." Omari pauses a moment in silent thought before continuing.
"We'll definitely take you up on the offer of company though. I suppose a full adventuring party probably stands better odds against whatever the town has to offer." Omari grabs two chairs, slides them up to the table and sits in one, offering the other to Hugo, gesturing for him to sit. "I'm not sure about this circus thing. I've heard of them of course, but never seen one, and wouldn't know the first think about performing." they say with a playful wink.
Shaking his head at his companions' shenanigans, Varook takes the offered hand and shakes it with a firm grip.
"I am Varook, and unlike what my friend here says, I am not a lion tamer...that would be easier than managing this group I fear!"
He also leans over to Raff and gives the stoic warrior a nod and clap on the shoulder.
"Good to see you made it friend...I was worried"
Raff sits there trying very hard to seem like he disapproves of his companions' antics, but the small grin and laughter in his eyes betray his true feelings. He doesn't trust himself to speak just yet and only gives a shrug to Varook's welcome.
Omari chuckles lightly at the groups antics.
"Yes, I think this is going to be the start of a grand adventure." Omari looks around impatiently "assuming there is anything for us to do..."
As the adventurers are talking amongst themselves, the bells of the town hall start ringing, signifying that the call for heroes will soon start. The few regulars in the bar get up, and slowly start making their way across the street to the big hall where petitioners will officially request the adventurers' help.
Hugo sits quietly, completely overwhelmed by Lenna's big personality. He doesn't say anything, smiling awkwardly at jokes and quietly introducing himself in return to those who speak to him directly. He sips at a small beer and just listens, trying to get a measure of the others with them.
Thank the Gods I met Omari on the way here. I couldn't talk like this.
When the bell clangs he lets out a sigh of relief before shouldering his pack. "Ah, shall we?"
Lenna notes Hugo's silence and apparent discomfort and, instead of giving him a big attention-grabbing greeting, she just gives him a little wave and a nod of the head.
Having polished off two bowls of stew that would have fed a normal human male, she sighs contentedly. "I do think that's our sign to proceed. This could be interesting!" The twinkle is back in her eye.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
As they enter the hall, she is fairly skipping with energy, but her eyes are trying to take everything in as she looks around, wondering who will hire them and who else is there for the Call.
Omari stands up at the sound of the bell. "Looks like its time to go. What do you think it will be Hugo? I'll put one silver on dragons." Omari follow the rest of the group into the town hall.
Aramil cocked his head as the bells rang, then said, "It is indeed our cue. Let us go and see what the Call for Heroes will bring us, shall we?" Aramil gathers his things and ventures out with Lenna. As they enter the hall, he looks about, trying to see if he can notice anyone who might bear a certain familial resemblance to himself.
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Varook gets up with the others and grabs his pack from under the table. He adjusts his armour and makes sure both his swords are firmly in their sheaths.
"Well it looks like go time! Time to look our best and project that air of confidence!!"
He gives a little laugh as he helps with Lenna's pack.
Hugo starts making his way at the group, returning Lenna's glance with an awkward smile before responding to Omari.
"Well.. that's why I'm here. There's something happening with Breachhill that involves fire and the Destruction. I don't know why, but what I feel and where you come from can't be a coincidence."
Omari Nods along with Hugo's words. "Vision and premonitions are very important. It is a great thing that you see with more than just your eyes. Our meeting was more than just chance." He then addresses the rest of the group. "Anyone else want to take me up on that offer? One silver says its dragons."
As the party walks North towards the town hall they notice the large Well pumps just outside the town hall, seems the town may have had some fire problems in the past.
In front of the town hall a sizeable crowd has formed. Several kids, upon seeing the adventurers approach run towards them to gawk.
If notified by Varook and Lenna:
Lenna is shorter than many of the children that run over, but she greets as many as she can with a smile or a little wave. She sees a well-dressed goblin woman, still an unusual sight for the halfling, and she veers her route deeper into the crowd to meet the woman.
Getting closer, she sees her wringing her hands and can't help but hear her talking about "Bumblebrashers". Putting her tiny hands on the goblin woman's, she asks, "Ma'am? What troubles you so?"
Diplomacy untrained: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7 Oof.
Unfortunately, her turn as the center of attention of hero worship has rendered her pretty tactless though her concern is sincere.
Seeing Lenna speaking to the goblin, and being a bit brash and forward, Varook attempts to step in and smooth things (haha)
Diplomacy (untrained): 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (17) + 0 = 17
"I am very sorry for my friends over-enthusiasm...it is our first time here and we are eager to help! My name is Varook and this is Leena. We are part of a group here to help and it would seem that you might be needing some assistance?!"
Hugo notices Lenna and Varook engaging with the goblin and heads over, looking at it all with his large, curious eyes. "Bramblebashers... yes. Small goblin tribe, right? Based out of the Citadel Altaerein. Are your people in trouble?"
Goblins know how to talk alchemy and get no respect. I can see eye to eye with goblins... well figuratively.
Omari's gaze follows the well pumps as they walk, absently talking over their shoulder "Hey Hugo! Look at these pumps. I wonder what their thoroughput is. Why would they need so much... Omari trails off when they notice Hugo has walked away and heads over to him. "Hey, who is this?"
Aramil, not noticing the halflings' conversation, continues scanning the crowd to try and see if there's anyone who bears him a family resemblance.
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Hugo becomes briefly fixated on the pipes, looking them over. "It would be an expense to put those in - why are fires common enough to warrant it I wonder?"
Was I dreaming of fires in the past, not the future? Must learn more.
"As for the flow rate, the pumps look to have a diameter of a good handspan but I can't certain of how well they're made. The size of the well they're drawing from as well will affect things greatly - faster than pulling a bucket regardless." Having completely lost interest in the goblin, Hugo totters over to the pump to stare at it. "At least three gallons a minute, perhaps up to five. More information needed."
The Goblin looks at Hugo
“You are adventurers! Are you not? You are just the heroes I hope the council might hire on my behalf. But please, there is a system in place for a reason. Come with me into the meeting and listen to my petition. If you are up for my task, I beg you to offer your services to the
council. You might be my tribe’s only hope!”
Lenna smiles and takes up the goblin’s hands. ”We will listen, but we may not be chosen. If after this meeting finds you without adventurers and us without a job, we can talk again, ok?”
She pats her hands in an attempt at a soothing gesture and heads for the chambers, confident Varook is nearby.
Omari smiles down at the goblin. "Oh yeah. I'm not leaving this town until i get at least a little adventure under my belt." before catching back up with Hugo. " The town seems to have a decent size population. Maybe this is their only well, and that's why it is so hearty? Lets test it out."
Omari pumps the handle several times until water comes out, overcome with curiosity. "I'm certain this could be done better with a bit of magic." Lost in thought Omari stares at the well for a few more moments before noticing that most people have moved into the town hall. They begin heading in that direction. "Come on Hugo, we don't want to be late. We can solve the puzzle of the overly powerful well after we get the adventuring job."
Hugo looks back, startled as the goblin pleads with him. "Hm? Oh yes! Of course. We'll hear your petition. Say was there a lot of fire here?"
He turns back to the pump as Omari plays with it. "Magic... well maybe. You never know what you're getting. Just some better engineering could improve that lot I suppose." Seeing Lenna take off, Hugo shoulders his pack and quickly follows the little halfling.
Not seeing anyone with a family resemblance, Aramil looks about and, seeing Lenna heading for the doors, moves quickly to get into the hall for the Call for Heroes. Catching up, he asks, "Everything alright?"
Lenna blinks, thinks for a moment, and smiles. ”Yes, I think so. The goblin woman has concerns, but she will present them here and we’ll find out what the details are then.” Innocently, she adds, ”Did you find what you were looking for?”
Noon strikes and the gathered crowd filters into the building while the
children who have gathered run off to play. When you all enter the town hall, guards positioned at the front doors direct them to the council chamber, the entrance of which is just past the main hallway. Just before the meeting begins, the guards move to stand outside the chamber’s southern door.
Once inside the council chamber, you see that the room is set up as an
auditorium, with a carpeted walkway separating several rows of benches into two sections. The carpet leads to a small set of steps and a raised dais. On the dais is a large desk separated into five parts, where the Breachill Town Council’s five members are seated, talking quietly with one another as they wait for the meeting to start. On the desk, situated in front of each chair, are tarnished bronze plaques bearing the names of the council members. From east to west, the names are Jorsk Hinterclaw, Melma Ann Sendari, Greta Gardania, Trini Sprizzlegig, and Quentino Posandi.
Melma, Greta, and Quentino are humans, Jorsk is a dwarf, and Trini is a gnome. In all, there are 40 townspeople in addition to the PCs and the councilors assembled for the meeting.
With a sharp rap from her gavel onto the desk, a stern, dark-haired woman with a deeply furrowed forehead and kind eyes brings the assembled crowd to a hush. “Welcome, neighbors and friends...” the dark-haired woman begins, her rich voice washing over the room, “...to the Breachill Town Council’s monthly Call for Heroes. I am Council President Greta Gardania, at your service. On behalf of my colleagues beside me, I promise you all that we will hear and consider today’s petition with the utmost discretion and care. There is no existence without community, as our town charter says. Today, our agenda includes one petition. Miss Warbal, our very own ambassador to the Bumblebrashers of Hellknight Hill, requests the help of heroes for a matter of utmost importance. Let’s hear her concerns in her own words, shall we? Miss Warbal?”
At this summons, Warbal emerges from the front row of benches. The well-dressed goblin woman makes her way to the foot of the dais’s steps. She clears her throat and begins her address to the council.
“Esteemed councilors,” Warbal says, with a frazzled tone to her voice. “It has been more than a month since I’ve been able to contact the Bumblebrashers. I fear that something terrible has befallen them. What’s more, I have seen my people’s distress signal coming from the top of Citadel Altaerein—”
Before the goblin can continue her petition, the door on the western side of the room flies open, as a young man, his eyes wide with panic, runs in shouting and waving his ink-stained hands. Billowing black smoke and flames follow him into the room: “Fire! There’s a fire! Everyone flee!”
Lenna looks at Varook, then at the other heroes seated nearby, "Can you do anything about a fire? Maybe we can help direct people so they can all get out quickly? What can we do?"
There is no panic and no levity - she's all business now.
Hugo stands near Omari, twisting his hands as he listens to Warbal come up to plead her case. His reaction to news of the fire is a marked difference from Lenna's professional, calm response.
"No... NO! OH GODS IT'S TRUE! DAHAK IS COMING TO DESTROY US ALL! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!"
Shrieking, Hugo bolts out of the building.