Death-Lok's Hoard of the Dragon Queen PbP

Game Master Death-Lok


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Prelude....One week ago

You find yourself this warm summer night in Baldur's Gate, a city with a reputation for being a rough place, where crime and opportunity walk hand in hand, and where anything can be bought, sold, or seized at sword point. If something can be given a price, it's for sale somewhere in Baldur's Gate. Drugs and poisons sit on shelves alongside tinctures and remedies. Trade goods from Chult, mechanical wonders from Neverwinter, tomes of magic from Calimshan, and the most believable counterfeits of each can all be found in the city's stalls.

The salty smell of the sea air brings you back to the present, as you make your way though the docks at the Gray Harbor looking for the Sea Sprite, per the instructions you were given. You look over both shoulders, careful to not become another murder statistic in this city where only the rich are afforded the most protection. You pick up your pace on the wooden docks, as you see your destination in the distance. You arrive and board the ship, where two muscular dock workers armed with short swords ask for your letter. After opening the sealed envelopes and eyeing you up and down, they let you on board and escort you to the Captain's cabin, where 5 chairs around a table await you. One of the dock workers, the one who is missing only 4 teeth speaks, "Have a seat mate, yer host will be with you shortly, once the others arrive." Before you can ask any questions, the dock workers leave and close the door, locking it behind them, and return to their posts.

Within 15 minutes, Kuruk, Kwin, and Ziyad are gathered in the cabin, when you feel the boat lurch forward. Ten minutes later, the door opens and a handsome male elf with a rapier leads the way in and then makes way for a silver-haired gnome with a goatee, "Sorry for the wait and subterfuge, gents, but in Baldur's Gate, you can never be too careful, especially when you're dealing with Harper business."

Pic of Gimble

You can rp whatever part of the post you wish - the journey, walking on the docks, meeting the others, etc.


red wizard of thay ★ hp 6/6 AC 12 ★ 8.14.10.16.10.16 ★ Stlth, Decep, Arc, Inv, Sleight, disguise, forgery ★ 2/2 ★ Inspiration

That previous night, Ziyad dreamt of the far east...

Prone on the slick marble mosaic, Ziyad struggled to his feet. The dry dust from the tombs was gagging, becoming wet and thick in his throat...much more like the flesh it once was. The necromancers loyal to Szass Tam were never allies with Ziyad's illusionist circles, but never had they been so blunt and straightforward as to throw him into this prison...this gauntlet.

Dead of all kinds rose up against him: strange animals of distant planes bred native in Thay over hundreds of years...so that they would leave corpses. Unidentifiable limbs cut from stranger monsters, given odd contraptions with wheels to grant them mobility. His family, his friends...all had fallen and risen again by the dread lich.

But Ziyad had hope. He knew the true Lords of Death and they were not these withered husks...but rather the shades of a deeper dimension. It was there, and there only, he might find a strength to overpower the masters of Thay.

He gazed into the glowing red eye stalks of his strange crab companion and said a dark prayer, not one of desperation but one of contract...reciting the law again and again his eyes locked on the crab, the noise of the dead seemed to lessen and fade. His communion with Shar could grant a strange mobility...

---

He woke, the warmth of the orange dawn sunlight under the lazy curtain peacefully nudging him back to consciousness. He took the time to adorn himself with all the ritualistic jewelry and symbols of the red wizards, scraping his head bald again with a glistening razor. The tattoos on his face were a tribute to his Zulkir, and meant little to most everyone here in the west. In recent times his brothers had abandoned such traditions, but Ziyad kept them...they belonged to him.

Here, in Baldur's Gate, Ziyad was exotic. Something you might expect to see on a world port, like a Chultan dino-rider or feathered Maztican. But he had taken interest in the region since Szass Tam struck Daggerford to the north, he knew his loyal brothers were here, even right before his face...plotting with members of the Cult of the Dragon.

Ziyad plotted against them, an Insurrectionist against the order of the Red Wizards. His weapon was subterfuge both classical and magical, and his one goal was to bring them all down. There were many who shared this goal, but the Harpers were perhaps the greatest chance at an ally. His contact had owed him a favor and bought him a meeting on the Sea Sprite...of all ships.

"Truly...this is the Sea Sprite of legend? Bane of pirate kind throughout the Sword Coast, the very ship none other than Drizzt Do'Urden once manned? I had heard it sank near Luskan...I should've known it would be much more resilient."


Human Barbarian HP 14/14 | AC 14 | Str +5, Dex +2, Con +4, Will +1 |Passive Perception 13; initiative +2

Kuruk walked the docks tightly gripping his halberd, as he looked around to make sure an ambush wasn't awaiting him. He was sweating profusely in his bear cloak and fur boots in the summer night, but he didn't care; it was all he had left of his tribe and a little discomfort was worth honoring his past. The 6'1" blond haired barbarian walked with an easy gait, confident he could handle whatever awaited him. He just hated that the meeting was at night, where his eyes had difficulty adjusting to the dark. He patted the sealed letter on his hip, he trusted Timmons absolutely, so if he said they needed his help, Kuruk was willing. More if it involved dragons....those he would kill for free. A snarl escapes his mouth, as Kuruk approaches the ship. He presents the letter, displeased that the guards were checking him out. In the cabin, he sighed and sat at one of the chairs, unsure if it would hold his weight. After a few minutes, his boredom got the best of him.

He stood, gripped his weapon, and started to pace. He is almost relieved when someone else shows up, the nervous energy in the 18-year old quite apparent. He nods at the new person in the room and then directed at no one, he blurts out, "I hate boats." When he sees Kwin, he smiles and looks at him with child-like fascination, "Your people are cute."

When the gnome and elf appear, Kuruk comments with a bit of impatience, "Harper business means nothing to me. What ya need done?"


Human Barbarian HP 14/14 | AC 14 | Str +5, Dex +2, Con +4, Will +1 |Passive Perception 13; initiative +2

When Kuruk sees Ziyad come in, he looks at him oddly, tilting his head in confusion. "Why your face painted? You win some important battle? How? You look too weak to fight. You need to eat better."


Male moon elf bard 1 (Faction Agent - Harpers) AC: 14; Init: +3; Perc: +2 (Passive 12)

PRE-PRELUDE
The elf had been left with his mouth open. And that was no easy task. Did Gimble know I was in trouble? He nodded even though there was no one else to see him, How did he know he was in trouble again?
The elf straightened out his clothes and just thanked his good fortune. He chuckled and mumbled out loud now, ”A boat ride? New allies? Greenest? Where the hell was Greenest?”
He knew better than to question his luck; he did owe these people his life. And on top of that, he liked them. He said to the already receding gnome, ”Yeah, boss. Of course I’m free on the 24th…”

PRELUDE
The young elf winced as he saw the sailor with the missing teeth, Ouch, that must have hurt. Quarion let his boss do the talking for now. There would be plenty of time for the group to know who was in charge. He padded his pockets to make sure he had packed his flute; Gimble made it sound like this was going to be a long assignment.
After the gnome had introduced himself, he proceeded, "Hello… I’m Quarion and I uh… I work with ah… I work for my boss here who’s going to let us know what this is all about. Right boss?”


Male moon elf bard 1 (Faction Agent - Harpers) AC: 14; Init: +3; Perc: +2 (Passive 12)
Kuruk Swiftstride wrote:
When Kuruk sees Ziyad come in, he looks at him oddly, tilting his head in confusion. "Why your face painted? You win some important battle? How? You look too weak to fight. You need to eat better."

Quarion almost face-palmed himself but quickly thought better of it, Why do they always pick the dumb ones from far away? Aren't there enough dumb-asses here in town?

He shook his head, On second thought, the local dumb-asses probably wanted to beat me with their big sticks. So this will have to do.

He was going to respond for the bald man to diffuse the situation but realized that he didn't know why his face painted. He echoed the big boy and addressed the wizard, "Yes sir. Why is your face painted as such? Are you part of a theater troupe perhaps?"


Human Barbarian HP 14/14 | AC 14 | Str +5, Dex +2, Con +4, Will +1 |Passive Perception 13; initiative +2

Kuruk eyed the elf with confusion...he's not even that strong...I think the half-one is stronger than him! Where have you sent me, Timmons? Bunch of weaklings..no wonder they need me! Kuruk nods at Quarion and then looks at the gnome waiting for the story.

Theater troop? Kuruk decided keep quiet as he normally did when he did not understand what was going on around him, which was often for him if it did not involve combat.


red wizard of thay ★ hp 6/6 AC 12 ★ 8.14.10.16.10.16 ★ Stlth, Decep, Arc, Inv, Sleight, disguise, forgery ★ 2/2 ★ Inspiration

He wanted to sigh but restrained himself ::Yes, as if explaining Circle Magic and the hierarchy of Thay were casual conversation...:: clearing his throat "Symbols have meaning to those that can read them. They are otherwise, quite meaningless..." his accent was slow and thick, but he was obviously a learned man. "...I am still Ziyad, of the Red Wizards of Thay. Second Draxhir to the Zulkir Syranna...though in truth, long has it been since I walked my native lands. I admit a certain partiality to your western theater, though of late my goals have been much less...artistic."

He pauses, considering the words of the Northlander "And what meal do you suggest that might increase my will to fight, friend? In truth, the venison of the Heartlands is no match for the bounty of the sea..." a pair of odd crab eye-stalks emerged from his front pocket...yes, Ziyad was carrying around a live crab. He seemed to antagonize the poor creature in some unknown motive.


Halfling Ranger 1 | HP 7/12 | AC:14 | Init:+3 | Perc:+4 | Stealth:+5 |

Baldur’s Gate. Kwin let out a sigh when it came into sight. The less desirable odors of the city mixed with the salty sea air. It has been a while since Kwin had returned, and he didn’t miss it. Despite the warm weather, he put his hood up; it wouldn’t do to be recognized by the wrong element here. Fortunately, a lot of folks around here were opting to be discreet. He fit right in.

Despite, his misgivings, he arrived early in the city. He didn’t want to let Garric down. He would die before he let him down. Kwin following the trail down to the road, which was crowded with wagons and travelers. It was noon by the time he made it to the gate. As he slipped past the merchants stopped by the guards, one of them pointed at him. Kwin shook his pouch at him, letting the coins in it jingle so the guard knew he wouldn’t be another burdensome soul to the city. The guard nodded, and he was in.

He made his way down to Gray Harbor. He had been there so many times before, he didn’t even think about it. His feet just knew the way. He found lodgings close to the Sea Sprite. In fact, he could see the ship’s mast from his window.

Being a cautious soul (and not wanting to wander the city too much before the meeting), he spent a great deal of his time at that window watching the comings and goings.


Human Barbarian HP 14/14 | AC 14 | Str +5, Dex +2, Con +4, Will +1 |Passive Perception 13; initiative +2
Ziyad wrote:

He wanted to sigh but restrained himself ::Yes, as if explaining Circle Magic and the hierarchy of Thay were casual conversation...:: clearing his throat "Symbols have meaning to those that can read them. They are otherwise, quite meaningless..." his accent was slow and thick, but he was obviously a learned man. "...I am still Ziyad, of the Red Wizards of Thay. Second Draxhir to the Zulkir Syranna...though in truth, long has it been since I walked my native lands. I admit a certain partiality to your western theater, though of late my goals have been much less...artistic."

He pauses, considering the words of the Northlander "And what meal do you suggest that might increase my will to fight, friend? In truth, the venison of the Heartlands is no match for the bounty of the sea..." a pair of odd crab eye-stalks emerged from his front pocket...yes, Ziyad was carrying around a live crab. He seemed to antagonize the poor creature in some unknown motive.

The blank look on Kuruk's face was apparent after Zeeyad's diatribe about symbols. Apparently, he was the family of some other family of some place I've never heard of.... Kuruk tuned out Zee, as he would call him from now on, until he mentioned the word meal. "To put some meat on yer bones, you need to eat 6 raw eggs, fresh goat milk, and raw meat. Ain't no fish in the sea gonna match that." Kuruk is startled when he sees the crab and he walks away to the back of the room. What a weirdo!


Male moon elf bard 1 (Faction Agent - Harpers) AC: 14; Init: +3; Perc: +2 (Passive 12)
Ziyad wrote:
He wanted to sigh but restrained himself ::Yes, as if explaining Circle Magic and the hierarchy of Thay were casual conversation...:: clearing his throat "Symbols have meaning to those that can read them. They are otherwise, quite meaningless..." his accent was slow and thick, but he was obviously a learned man. "...I am still Ziyad, of the Red Wizards of Thay. Second Draxhir to the Zulkir Syranna...though in truth, long has it been since I walked my native lands. I admit a certain partiality to your western theater, though of late my goals have been much less...artistic."

Quarion's face lit up, "Well mate, I don't know who Draxhir, Zulkir, or Syranna is, but I can tell you that they are not from around here."

He continued, "However, I do dabble in theater! I am a gifted musician and singer if I say so myself. I am just breaking into theater. And I put on a mean magic show."

Cursing for not packing his lute, he quickly pulled out his flute, "This is Veronica and her sweet voice is enough to make any girl weak in the knees. If you know what I mean..."

He caught sight of the mollusk, "Is that your pet crab there? I would keep it away from the sailors around here. They'll eat anything after a few days at sea."


Halfling Ranger 1 | HP 7/12 | AC:14 | Init:+3 | Perc:+4 | Stealth:+5 |

As the strange group gathered, Kwin tried to mask his confusion. Quite the odd assembly...

When the huge man enters and calls his kind 'cute,' he shrugs and replies "Your people are tall." His voice is unusually raaspy for his kind

When the elf asks about Greenest, Kwin speaks up. "Its not so far. And it smells a lot better than this place." We can't leave soon enough.


red wizard of thay ★ hp 6/6 AC 12 ★ 8.14.10.16.10.16 ★ Stlth, Decep, Arc, Inv, Sleight, disguise, forgery ★ 2/2 ★ Inspiration

The Red Wizard emitted a stifled laugh, patting the crab down "Regrettably, while a certified treat they would find Clax offered little in the way of nourishment...though with our Northerner friend's expertise in the culinary arts, I dare say our voyage will not pose a challenge on that front..." he smiled.


Human Barbarian HP 14/14 | AC 14 | Str +5, Dex +2, Con +4, Will +1 |Passive Perception 13; initiative +2
Kwin Avassar wrote:

As the strange group gathered, Kwin tried to mask his confusion. Quite the odd assembly...

When the huge man enters and calls his kind 'cute,' he shrugs and replies "Your people are tall." His voice is unusually raspy for his kind

Kuruk puffs his chest out in pride at the halfling's comment, "Yes, we are. I am Kuruk of Clan Swiftstride, well met." Finally, someone who understood him!


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Quarion, moon elf bard wrote:
Ziyad wrote:
He wanted to sigh but restrained himself ::Yes, as if explaining Circle Magic and the hierarchy of Thay were casual conversation...:: clearing his throat "Symbols have meaning to those that can read them. They are otherwise, quite meaningless..." his accent was slow and thick, but he was obviously a learned man. "...I am still Ziyad, of the Red Wizards of Thay. Second Draxhir to the Zulkir Syranna...though in truth, long has it been since I walked my native lands. I admit a certain partiality to your western theater, though of late my goals have been much less...artistic."

Quarion's face lit up, "Well mate, I don't know who Draxhir, Zulkir, or Syranna is, but I can tell you that they are not from around here."

He continued, "However, I do dabble in theater! I am a gifted musician and singer if I say so myself. I am just breaking into theater. And I put on a mean magic show."

Cursing for not packing his lute, he quickly pulled out his flute, "This is Veronica and her sweet voice is enough to make any girl weak in the knees. If you know what I mean..."

Gimble clears his throat in annoyance, "That's enough, Quarion, we have important business to discuss. We didn't bring this people here on this ship to listen to your music or watch your magic. Besides, ifyoutry, bigguyintheback may rip your arms off. Now shush..." Quarion sees the gnome's wink.

The gnome, clearly accustomed to giving a presentation, pauses as if to gather his thoughts and then commences, "Ok, I'll get to the point and I'll use small words and talk slow so we can all understand." You can tell talking slow is a chore for him but he continues. "There's this group that we keep our eye on...they're called the Cult of the Dragon. They've been around forever, plotting to take over the Realms via undead dragons. Yes, I'm sure I have all your attentions now. Well, thankfully we, the Harpers, have foiled/stopped their efforts through the services of resourceful gentlemen like yourselves. Well, it appears there's a splinter group of the Cult, who is trying to achieve their goals through live dragons instead of undead ones." Upon hearing Kuruk's anger rising in the back, he nods his head, "Yes, I agree, Kuruk, bad news for all. Anyway, we don't know enough of this splinter group's plans, its leaders, or how they plan to achieve this. What we do know is that something is planned in the region of the village of Greenest. We want you three to travel to Greenest with my protegee Quarion here. We have an agent there, a half-elf named Leosin Erlanther. He may have some updates, so make contact with him and help him out with his efforts. There's a caravan leaving Baldur's Gate tomorrow morning at 7. Ask for Gavin Markguth, it's his caravan. Your spots are confirmed." Gimble pauses as he catches his breath after all that exposition. "I am pretty convincing when I want to be. I just assumed you all would say yes. Was I wrong?" He waits for your answer/comments/questions.


red wizard of thay ★ hp 6/6 AC 12 ★ 8.14.10.16.10.16 ★ Stlth, Decep, Arc, Inv, Sleight, disguise, forgery ★ 2/2 ★ Inspiration

"I have already infiltrated this cult, for reasons you know." he boldly proclaimed. "How do I fit with this plan?" he asked, his utmost attention at the answer. Ziyad knew the Harpers were no strangers to the game of intrigue...unraveling their enigma within riddles was the perplexity of many a sage stretching across all of Faerun. He did not question their intelligence, merely sought their guidance.


Ziyad wrote:
"I have already infiltrated this cult, for reasons you know." he boldly proclaimed. "How do I fit with this plan?" he asked, his utmost attention at the answer. Ziyad knew the Harpers were no strangers to the game of intrigue...unraveling their enigma within riddles was the perplexity of many a sage stretching across all of Faerun. He did not question their intelligence, merely sought their guidance.

Gimble gets serious, "Yes, Ziyad, that is great and when we find their base of operations and their specific plans, those skills will be quite handy, but for now, we need to do the legwork and do some firsthand investigation to see what we're up against. Your contacts may come into play later down the road."


Human Barbarian HP 14/14 | AC 14 | Str +5, Dex +2, Con +4, Will +1 |Passive Perception 13; initiative +2

Kuruk grunts to Gimble, "You know my answer. Anything I can do to kill dragons or their cultists, I am in. Will be my pleasure." He thrusts his halberd in the air with both hands.


Male moon elf bard 1 (Faction Agent - Harpers) AC: 14; Init: +3; Perc: +2 (Passive 12)
Kuruk Swiftstride wrote:
Kuruk grunts to Gimble, "You know my answer. Anything I can do to kill dragons or their cultists, I am in. Will be my pleasure." He thrusts his halberd in the air with both hands.

Quarion raised his eyebrows at the show of bravado from the big boy, I guess that's what eating half a dozen raw eggs every day does to you.

Being careful to stay away from the halberd's reach, he turned to the big northerner, "Well, yes. While your enthusiasm is thoroughly appreciated, I don't think anyone here is going to kill any dragons. Yes, we may bruise a cultist here and there but mainly we will gathering information."

He looked at Gimble for confirmation.

The elf then continued, "Ah boss... I eh, it seems that I had an old tab at the tavern that I swore I had already paid but it turns out I hadn't. I... don't have any cash on me so you'll have to spot me for the trip. Is that alright?"

He continued, "Also, are we like guests in the caravan or do they expect us to work for our passage. How long is the trip anyway?"


Male moon elf bard 1 (Faction Agent - Harpers) AC: 14; Init: +3; Perc: +2 (Passive 12)
Death-Lok wrote:
Ziyad wrote:
"I have already infiltrated this cult, for reasons you know." he boldly proclaimed. "How do I fit with this plan?" he asked, his utmost attention at the answer. Ziyad knew the Harpers were no strangers to the game of intrigue...unraveling their enigma within riddles was the perplexity of many a sage stretching across all of Faerun. He did not question their intelligence, merely sought their guidance.
Gimble gets serious, "Yes, Ziyad, that is great and when we find their base of operations and their specific plans, those skills will be quite handy, but for now, we need to do the legwork and do some firsthand investigation to see what we're up against. Your contacts may come into play later down the road."

Quarion nodded in appreciation, "So... Mr. from far away I don't even know where that is, you have been in Greenest then?

He added, "Can you tell us a little bit about the city? Does it have a thriving artistic community? What do people there for fun?"


The gnome Harper chuckles, "Calm down, Kuruk, I'm not asking you to slay dragons. In fact, if you see one, run the other way. Quarion is correct, you're just gathering intelligence. But as the plans of men rarely go off without a hitch, your brawnmaybeneeded." The gnome catches his quick speech and pauses. "Sorry about that. Your passage to Greenest will take about a week and is taken care of. Unfortunately, you will double as guards as well, but again, I don't expect you will encounter any hostilities. As for Greenest, it's a small village community with a Keep. About 1200 souls live there. Good honest rustic people, not much in the way of culture. But lots of merchants pass through there, so be nice. Your goal should be to find Leosin as soon as possible so he can give you more information."


Halfling Ranger 1 | HP 7/12 | AC:14 | Init:+3 | Perc:+4 | Stealth:+5 |

Kwin rubs his chin in thought. "I've been through Greenest a few times and I don't remember seeing any signs of something like that." Then he shrugged. "Of course, I never stayed long. Usually just to resupply, or drop off some poor lost soul. But I would agree with your characterization; real salt of the earth folks." He nods grimly. If something like this has infected their community, it would be good to excise it.


red wizard of thay ★ hp 6/6 AC 12 ★ 8.14.10.16.10.16 ★ Stlth, Decep, Arc, Inv, Sleight, disguise, forgery ★ 2/2 ★ Inspiration

Nodding at Quarion "Of course, the Red Wizards are everywhere. For centuries we've sent emissaries to the Sword Coast, setting up enclaves in every other settlement to sell our magical goods from the east...though few have welcomed us, and understandably so. If not by name, perhaps you've seen a Mulani man, of similar hairstyle and red robes peddling wares outside the cities with the Anauroch gypsies...some take more care to hide themselves." he waves his hand along "But to the matter of hand, as your commander noted, this is but a splinter cell of the greater cult...the group I have worked so hard to be accepted by. There is more than one Red Wizard among them, I believe...and while the Harpers and the Red Wizards are traditional hated foes...I am no ordinary Red Wizard. I share the Harpers goal and thus this alliance, even if it is just a precursory test of my earnesty, is most appreciated not just by me but others like me." he reclines in his chair, the tips of his fingers resting together in a little chapel.


red wizard of thay ★ hp 6/6 AC 12 ★ 8.14.10.16.10.16 ★ Stlth, Decep, Arc, Inv, Sleight, disguise, forgery ★ 2/2 ★ Inspiration

Arcana, why is this gnome speaking so quick like a quickling: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13


Male moon elf bard 1 (Faction Agent - Harpers) AC: 14; Init: +3; Perc: +2 (Passive 12)

Quarion frowned slightly. Good honest rustic people and real salt of the earth folks weren't usually very involved in the finer arts. And they weren't much fun to be around. Unless they were drunk. But most drunks were fun anyway.

The only thing he heard that gave him his smile back was the word 'caravans'. Those people were tired and usually ready to have some fun. He was already thinking how he could leverage his artistic abilities to gain some much needed cash from these caravans.

He came out of his reverie in time to hear that the foreign wizard belonged to a group of wizards that were enemies of the Harpers. Wait... what?

He breathed out again once the man finished and stated his allegiance. Hopefully Gimble knew what he was doing but the bard would keep the wizard under close scrutiny.

He asked, "Ziyad then, may I call you Ziyad?" Without waiting for a response he continued, "So pray tell us. What made you renounce the traditional vows of your order and become a friend to the Harpers, their enemies?"


red wizard of thay ★ hp 6/6 AC 12 ★ 8.14.10.16.10.16 ★ Stlth, Decep, Arc, Inv, Sleight, disguise, forgery ★ 2/2 ★ Inspiration

His face darkens "Things of a nature not lending well to first meetings I think...things of family...things of the dead. The dead do not interest me as many of my brothers...but please, we can hardly choose where we are born, and into what station. We can choose to resist that part of us, though, however ingrained. The Harpers wish to see the dread lich of Thay rest eternal...and that is enough for my genuine friendship. I hope to prove to you on this journey, again and again...as many times as it takes...my willingness to reciprocate."


red wizard of thay ★ hp 6/6 AC 12 ★ 8.14.10.16.10.16 ★ Stlth, Decep, Arc, Inv, Sleight, disguise, forgery ★ 2/2 ★ Inspiration

In the awkward silence he turned to the gnome adding "Do you have a description of this Leosin? Was he working under an alias perhaps?"


Ziyad wrote:
[dice=Arcana, why is this gnome speaking so quick like a quickling]1d20+5

It just seems to be the gnome's tick. Gimble smiles, "No need for a description, my fine wizard, Quarion here knows exactly what he looks like. He's played cards with us on a regular basis, so my protegee can identify him for you. As for aliases, Leosin likes to pretend he is a monk, so you may find him if you ask about new monk arrivals. Anyway, besides the halfling who has not responded but I assume has no issues with the mission, it seems the rest of you are in. I'll have the ship returned to port. Just like to be in the middle of the sea for security purposes, you know, more difficult to eavesdrop." With that, Gimble looks at each of you. "Various good and trusted people have vouched for your discretion and abilities, so don't let us down. Remember, the caravan leaves tomorrow first thing for Greenest. I'm going outside to enjoy the sea breeze." With that, the gnomes turns and leaves the room.

You can continue the RP or end the Prelude and we fast-forward to a week later. Let me know.


Halfling Ranger 1 | HP 7/12 | AC:14 | Init:+3 | Perc:+4 | Stealth:+5 |

"Yes, of course. The missions sounds vital, and I will not let you down."


Gimble smiles at Kwin as he walks out, "Good, we little folk have to stick together. Keep an eye on them for me."


Male moon elf bard 1 (Faction Agent - Harpers) AC: 14; Init: +3; Perc: +2 (Passive 12)
Death-Lok wrote:
Gimble smiles, "No need for a description, my fine wizard, Quarion here knows exactly what he looks like. He's played cards with us on a regular basis, so my protegee can identify him for you. As for aliases, Leosin likes to pretend he is a monk, so you may find him if you ask about new monk arrivals. Anyway, besides the halfling who has not responded but I assume has no issues with the mission, it seems the rest of you are in. I'll have the ship returned to port. Just like to be in the middle of the sea for security purposes, you know, more difficult to eavesdrop." With that, Gimble looks at each of you. "Various good and trusted people have vouched for your discretion and abilities, so don't let us down. Remember, the caravan leaves tomorrow first thing for Greenest. I'm going outside to enjoy the sea breeze." With that, the gnomes turns and leaves the room.

Quarion nodded, "Yeah, I know Leosin. I think he still owes me money from our last game. Not the best card player out there. Terrible tell."

He cocked his head, "So now he's pretending to be a monk eh? OK, I can't quite picture him as the religious sort but we'll find him that way then."

After the gnome left the cabin, the elf turned to his new companions. His normally jovial demeanor changed to being serious; it was a bit unsettling at first. "So, all kidding aside, this is dangerous s~~* we're getting ourselves into. I hope you all realize this is no joke. I expect you to have my back no matter what. You have just become my brothers and I won't let you down."

-------
I'm OK either RPing the trip or just fast-forwarding to Greenest. However, if you have no 'events' planned for the trip, we may as well get to Greenest.


red wizard of thay ★ hp 6/6 AC 12 ★ 8.14.10.16.10.16 ★ Stlth, Decep, Arc, Inv, Sleight, disguise, forgery ★ 2/2 ★ Inspiration

He considers "Would you have anything to help us on our way? Some spell scrolls perhaps, or small coin? Maybe one of your crew is a practitioner of the Art, and would be interested in a spell trade? My book is open."

Fine jumping ahead I suppose


Human Barbarian HP 14/14 | AC 14 | Str +5, Dex +2, Con +4, Will +1 |Passive Perception 13; initiative +2

Kuruk groans, ”Yes, prefer dry land. No need to worry Q, we only have to meet with half-elf and talk more. Sounds very boring. But if something happens, my sharp halberd will help us out.” Kuruk sounds irrationally confident in his abilities. When the boat docks, he quickly gets off and promises to meet the party in the a.m.

No problem with fast forward.


Ziyad wrote:

He considers "Would you have anything to help us on our way? Some spell scrolls perhaps, or small coin? Maybe one of your crew is a practitioner of the Art, and would be interested in a spell trade? My book is open."

Fine jumping ahead I suppose

"Leave it to the Thayan to be the materialistic of the bunch." Gimble smiles. "The free caravan ride was not enough? My dear boy, if you knew the problems I have to look after in Baldur's Gate, you would not be asking. I have to monitor the Flaming Fists, the Zhentarim, the Thieves' Guild, freelance assassins, and those are just the popular issues. So my hands are quite full; hence why I needyouallto helpmewithCultoftheDragon." He turns to walk away, "I'll make sure you're handsomely rewarded when you finish the mission." He then strolls out of the cabin.

Soon thereafter, the Sea Sprite docks and you disembark, finding housing accommodations for the night. The next morning, you meet with Gavin Markguth, a human merchant of spices and such, who is traveling with his wife Deidre and their young son, Gavin Jr. Pic of family

He is pleased to make your acquaintance and thanks you each personally for accompanying/guarding his caravan from Baldur's Gate to Greenest where he and his family reside. After preliminary introductions, you board the wagon driven by a couple of horses. The journey to Greenest is thankfully uneventful. The Markguth family harass Quarion to tell stories and play music to liven the ride. Gavin Jr. is fascinated by either swinging off of Kuruk's muscular biceps or playing tag with Kwin. Deidre gratefully cooks amazing meals for the party, with special spices from her collection of seasoning that just enriches the meals. What is ingrained in your brain is that the family is extremely proud of their eldest son, Gabriel, who is a soldier in Governor Nighthill's Keep in Greenest, as the family does not stop mentioning or praising him throughout the entire journey! All in all, an enjoyable if yet boring week-long ride to Greenest.

You arrive to Greenest on the 21st past sundown. The two guards stationed at the entry recognize the Markguth family and allow you all to enter without much hassle. Before departing, Gavin smiles thankfully, "Hope the Mrs. and Junior did not bore or bother you all too much on the journey. Thank you for keeping us safe. Oh, before I forget, these are for you. Gifts from Gimble." Gavin pulls out a satchel out and hands you each a potion marked healing. Kuruk's potion actually has a barbarian rune for healing marked on it, as he is illiterate. "Please stay in touch and I wish you each a prosperous journey. The inn, Greenest Pastures, cute yes I know, is in the middle of town west of here, if you're looking for a spot to sleep. Good luck." Gavin and his family trot away on the wagon heading north.
End of Prelude

The Present...

You have been for the past three hours gorging yourselves on a fine feast of ale, wine, or mead in Greenest Pastures. A lot of residents pass in and out of the establishment, many males who do not have wives to cook for them, although you did see a few families sharing dinner before departing. Everyone has been very polite and respectful of your privacy, if you so wished it, but everyone says good evening and good night and has a cheer about them, missing from the residents in Baldur's Gate.

Tell me about your actions at the inn - are you drinking, eating, playing cards, investigating, sleeping, etc. It's almost 9:00 pm and all of the town's establishments, except for the inn, are closed.


Male moon elf bard 1 (Faction Agent - Harpers) AC: 14; Init: +3; Perc: +2 (Passive 12)

PRELUDE
The trip had been much more enjoyable than anticipated. The family was certainly ‘salt of the earth’ and it reminded Quarion what he was missing by running around the world by himself. He spent a lot of time with the child telling stories and then making up stories to the child’s delight. He accompanied his story telling with music and illusion and felt well paid by enjoying the merchant’s wife cooking.

Once he was given the potion, he bowed and silently thanked Gimble. ”Thank you and come find me on your next trip.”

TAVERN
Tired from the shambling gate of the horses and the wagon, Quarion felt renewed with solid earth under him. The fact that the townsfolk were much more friendlier than in Baldur’s Gate added to his enjoyment. Finding a good red wine was the icing on the cake.

The bard put his boots on the table and leaned his chair back, ”Cheers!”. He chuckled, ”C’mon now. Let’s toast. We’re alive, under a warm roof, and with good drink at our disposal. What more is there?”

He then joined a card table but made a point to restrain himself and only wager little money. It was more to get to know the locals than anything else. He searched the tavern to see if Leosin was around but really just concentrated on getting to know the locals a bit more.


red wizard of thay ★ hp 6/6 AC 12 ★ 8.14.10.16.10.16 ★ Stlth, Decep, Arc, Inv, Sleight, disguise, forgery ★ 2/2 ★ Inspiration

Ziyad was bored out of his mind on the trip, it seemed he could not suffer it any longer...until mention of the Keep. The Thayan perked up at the tales of Gabriel...subtley bending the conversation and prying detail after detail of the boy ostensibly, and the layout and politics of the Keep in truth...

Deception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25

-------

Over the drinks, Ziyad attempted to pry rumors from the other passers by...talk of other wizards especially interested him.

Cha (gather info): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17


Halfling Ranger 1 | HP 7/12 | AC:14 | Init:+3 | Perc:+4 | Stealth:+5 |

Kwin seems right at home on the road. "It is nice to ride some for a change." Despite saying that, he still often hops off of whatever wagon he's on and scouts around the sides of the road. Being between settlements seems to put him much more at ease than he was in Baldur's Gate.


Human Barbarian HP 14/14 | AC 14 | Str +5, Dex +2, Con +4, Will +1 |Passive Perception 13; initiative +2

During the trip:
Kuruk happily lets the merchant's son hang from his immense biceps, as well as thrusting the child in the air. He privately wishes the caravan was attacked to snap out of the boredom, but unfortunately, it is not to be.

The present:
In the inn, Kuruk flirts with the waitresses as he eats some meat off some bone, the meat juice dripping on his chest. He drinks some ale, but not enough to get drunk. He does not understand cards so he leaves that to others. He paces the room and looks for female companionship and if unsuccessful at that, he stays in the inn until 10pm before retiring for the night.


Halfling Ranger 1 | HP 7/12 | AC:14 | Init:+3 | Perc:+4 | Stealth:+5 |

Tavern:
Kwin keeps a close eye on those coming and going from the tavern while we are there.

He stays, drinking and snacking, until late in the evening. He enjoys his people watching.


Ziyad wrote:

Ziyad was bored out of his mind on the trip, it seemed he could not suffer it any longer...until mention of the Keep. The Thayan perked up at the tales of Gabriel...subtley bending the conversation and prying detail after detail of the boy ostensibly, and the layout and politics of the Keep in truth...

[dice=Deception]1d20+5

-------

Over the drinks, Ziyad attempted to pry rumors from the other passers by...talk of other wizards especially interested him.

[dice=Cha (gather info)]1d20+3

Ziyad knows the Keep is located SW of the Greenest Pastures inn in the center of the town and is the most defensible position, which is about a 5 minute walk from your current position. In fact, the town regularly runs drills for its citizens to know where to flee in case of trouble. He also knows Gabriel is on duty on the night shift at the Keep so he is on duty now. As for rumors, other than a few salacious affairs, it is a pretty simple place, other than the merchant caravans that pass through town, which make the town more prosperous than would be expected.


As you go about lounging, chatting, and playing cards, the inn's visitors retire for the night. By the time 9:00 pm rolls around, other than the innkeeper, a couple of serving maids, and 2-3 drunks, the inn is mostly empty. It is about this time that the monotony of the night is broken up by villagers' screams coming from outside!

Assuming you go investigate with the other patrons... The darkness of the night limits the vision of Ziyad and Kuruk (you both have disadvantage with regard to Perception checks), however you can clearly see flumes of black smoke from several houses in the distance, in the direction of the main gate through whence you entered. You also see shapes in the shadows moving and attacking villagers, robbing stores and carts, and generally causing mayhem. Quarion and Kwin, with their advanced eyesight, recognize the figures, numbering dozens to the east and to west, closing in on the center of town! Some are kobolds and others are humans dressed in blue robes wielding rods sparkling with electricity. The wave of invaders seem to have entered through both the east and west gates....Greenest is under siege!

The innkeeper. Gus, and the serving maids scream, "By the gods.." Gus looks back at his establishment, "My inn..." The serving maids drag him by the arm, "Your life is more important, to the Keep, you idiot!"

What's the party going to do?


Male moon elf bard 1 (Faction Agent - Harpers) AC: 14; Init: +3; Perc: +2 (Passive 12)

Quarion sobered up in a hurry, all signs of merriment gone from his face.

He looked outside and quickly went back inside, "It's chaos out there. Kobolds, people dressed in blue robes. It appears they came in from both sides, east and west!"

He turned to the innkeeper and maids, "Is there a safe room in this inn. A place where you can hole up until this is over?"

He added, "If not then we'll escort you to the Keep. It's mayhem out there."

----------
I don't want to use the information that Ziyad obtained above unless he explicitly shares that info.


Halfling Ranger 1 | HP 7/12 | AC:14 | Init:+3 | Perc:+4 | Stealth:+5 |

Kwin readies his bow and stands in the main doorway. "We need to decide quickly. If we don't go for the keep now, we will get cut off!"

Does this tavern have an upstairs or wing with guest rooms, or is it just a dining and drinking establishment?


Human Barbarian HP 14/14 | AC 14 | Str +5, Dex +2, Con +4, Will +1 |Passive Perception 13; initiative +2

Kuruk comes out, halberd in hand. "Damn, it's dark, can barely see. Looks like trouble found us. I vote for keep, I would imagine stone is less flammable." Kuruk looks back to the party to see if they will follow to the keep, the adrenaline surging through him with each step.


red wizard of thay ★ hp 6/6 AC 12 ★ 8.14.10.16.10.16 ★ Stlth, Decep, Arc, Inv, Sleight, disguise, forgery ★ 2/2 ★ Inspiration

Yes feel free to always assume Ziyad shares anything and everything he learns with the party. I'll usually just say "Ziyad shares x" because redundancy...but consider no detail too minor.

Ziyad had been sharing the information gleaned from the caravan family when the commotion erupted. "Northerner." he said, touching Kuruk's halberd, which blossomed with a slow burning heatless light
"Southwest. Thats where we're headed! Lead on."


Male moon elf bard 1 (Faction Agent - Harpers) AC: 14; Init: +3; Perc: +2 (Passive 12)

Quarion hands gestured the way he was taught by his mother while still very young. A small flame appeared between his fingers, but the bard had no where to direct his magic.

He turned to the maids and innkeeper, "Focus now. Grab whatever is handy to defend yourselves. Even a knife will do. We are going to the Keep with you. Do you remember which way you are supposed to go? Which streets are safer? Remember your drills..."

He looked at the big northerner, "Go on and lead the way, Kuruk. I'll bring up the rear but won't be too far behind. I'll let you know if we are struggling to keep up."

He looked both ways before exiting, "Coast is clear for now. let's go!"


The party moves through the town in the night, as scenes of mayhem play on all around them. The cultists (what else do you call guys in robes?) and their kobold allies are smashing doors and looting or worse.

Suddenly, a woman and 2 children, barefoot and in tattered nightgowns, dart from an alley and frantically barrel into you, while a blood-curdling cry comes from the darkened alley as 2 kobolds pull down a man and begin feasting on his bowels while he screams in pain & terror, struggling to free himself. 4 more kobolds emerge to gleefully pursue the family!

Initiative:
Enemy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
Average Party: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10

Round 1:
Two kobolds rush out to attack Kuruk, while two others load their slings! Kuruk's reach weapon thrusts out and decapitates the first reptilian humanoid who comes into his danger zone.

Reaction: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12..hit
Damage: 1d10 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12...dead kobold
Second kobold swings his dagger at the barbarian: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8 but misses.

The two kobolds in the back yell curses in Draconic and launch their slings at Ziyad and Kwin, one of the stones cutting the halfling across the shoulder!
Attack Z: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6...miss
Attack K: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18..hit
Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3

Scene: One kobold dead, one next to Kuruk, 2 kobolds with slings 15' away, and 2 kobolds 5' behind them eating a dying man.

Party is up!


Male moon elf bard 1 (Faction Agent - Harpers) AC: 14; Init: +3; Perc: +2 (Passive 12)

The bard nodded appreciatively at the big boy, And that's what eating six raw eggs every day does to you...

Not even considering helping the barbarian who could obviously take care of himself, Quarion quickly placed himself in front of the woman and children and drew his rapier, "Stay behind us."

-----------
Is the man in the back still alive or is that just prose and he's 'already gone'? Is his 'struggling to break free' real?


Quarion, moon elf bard wrote:
Is the man in the back still alive or is that just prose and he's 'already gone'? Is his 'struggling to break free' real?

It means he's dead if nobody stops the kobolds from eating him this round.


Human Barbarian HP 14/14 | AC 14 | Str +5, Dex +2, Con +4, Will +1 |Passive Perception 13; initiative +2

"Kwin, can you kill this froggie attacking me?"

Even if Kwin does not kill the kobold, Kuruk will move to the sling kobolds taking opportunity attack and swing his halberd at one, then with his bonus action, he will spin the weapon around and attack the adjacent one with the blunt end.

Attack koold with sharp end: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Damage: 1d10 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
Blunt end: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6

He will then yell at the feasting kobolds, "Leave that man alone and come get me!"

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