To the crewman:"Some nasty business on the Silent Asp. They were smuggling children. I helped free them with some other vigilante's. The guards just arrived tho so I took my leave. I am no criminal but the law makes me nervous so I took my leave now that the wee ones are safe. While I haven't met them I have a gut feeling the other do gooders are among some of our crewmates. A boisterous Taldan I think, a masked priest, an elf, a half-fiend and a little folk. Oh, and there was a fish man as well." Malakar explains all this while walking toward the bridge to get a rag from his pack to clean his sword and apply some fish oil to it to keep the rust away.
The wiry girl becomes a sobbing mess in Fenna’s arms when she realizes the danger has passed. Through her blubbering she says her name is Anastasia Rasolion.
The little girl looks up at Fenna, ”My name is Delora Thistlebun. Can I go to mommy now?”
The next girl, probably around the age of sixteen, picks up Delora in a comforting manner. ”Do you remember me Delora? My name is Relevia and I live right down the street from you. I’ll help you get back to your mommy.” She looks up at Fenna, smiles, and mouths the words, ’Thank You’.
The final girl bristles when her father’s name is mentioned. ”I’m Egwenene Tesk. Have you found my twin little brothers?”
The guards arrive and help everyone on to the pier. They provide blankets to the young girls. Sargeant Wells looks at Fenna, ”I am wagering Brannart can vouch for you. What about these guys?”, he nudges his head toward the oarsman.
By now Fenna has been soaking wet for some time. She's sure her lips must be blue. With the excitement and danger now over, Fenna's comedown makes her a little giddy. The guards first, rhetorical question strikes her as quite funny in her state.
"Ha! You'll have to ask Brannart about that!"
Fenna shakes her head negatively at the second question.
"They were just delivering cargo, didn't know what it was. When they were told, they rowed over and tied up here. They had nothing to do with the kidnappings or smuggling."
With the arrival of the guard Nymbleth decides to slip into the captain’s quarters to see if there is any information on who was buying these slaves or their destination.
Brannart turns to the others. The two half-elves and a halfling seem to fit in Andoran well enough... but the shark-man? The fish-man? The oddly familiar-looking tiefling? And the masked cultist? A diverse bunch, to say the least.
"Andoran owes you a debt. Thank you."
He waits around to make sure the children all have parents waiting for them. If there are any kids left without parents, he will ask other families to take them in for the night.
"Who is this Razmir? What does he teach? The conduct of his 'priest' was imperious, demanding, entitled, insulting... and he's trying to win concerts here in Almas. I don't think it's a benevolent faith. What can you tell me?"
He will follow up with the Tesk family and talk to the children. "It was no god who saved you. Not Iomedae, not Cayden Cailean, and not this so-called 'Living God.' Just people. The gods might inspire us, but we the people are the ones who act. I am glad you are safe. I would not see you freed from slavery of the body only to see you fall to slavery of the mind. You live in a land of freedom. Live up to that blessing.
And if you have more questions about the divine, seek out Talamndor. He is a mighty angel who attends town meetings as merely any other Andoran. Does not lord his power over us, but offers his wisdom if asked. We do not deny the gods, but neither do we grovel before them.
Vexas scratches the back of his head, still coming down from the whirlwind of events.
All in an evening's work... I guess.
He suddenly remembers the don't know each other.
I'm Vexas, by the way. Well met.
Fenna avails herself of one of the guards' blankets and wraps it around herself. She then helps get the kids sorted out on on their way to their homes. Afterward she wanders over to the ship to see what has been going on there with the others.
"That was intense! How did things go on your end? Not a bad half day's work at all huh?"
With the ship’s deck secure, Nymbleth sneaks away to the Captain’s quarters. The walls are paneled in a dark mahogany and the floor is carpeted in a dark shade of green. A large open space near the back offers space for a fold out desk on the right or a murphy bed on the far wall. Against the left wall, there is a folded card-playing table and folding chairs secured by a built-in wooden rack.
Near the entrance is plush furniture surrounding a nailed down table with built-in drinking-glass holders on the top. A built-in shelf on a wall holds cordials for entertaining while the other walls are decorated by several paintings.
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Nymbleth moves around the cabin his keen gaze quickly revealing all of its secrets. He pockets the vials and tries the found key in the safe.
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Nymbleth uses the key on the safe, and 'CLICK' it opens. Inside there are several bound books that appear to be logs and journals of information and possible contracts. If is difficult to say for sure since the information seems to be written in a complex cipher. The Tiefling determines that the decoder must not be in here.
Another piece of the puzzle, Nymbleth thought. He returns topside and informs the guard about the encoded documents.
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When the guards arrive, they take control of the situation. Their questions seem to last forever, and there were many with the vast array of characters present, but they finally determined that your actions were heroic. You were all given leave while the crew and oarsman were taken into custody for further questioning.
Brannart’s presence and family reputation definitely assisted in initial favorable attitudes. The veteran knew, at least by face, several of the guards, and he was able to provide information in military terms. While Yraelzin’s demeanor was initially off putting, several of you were able to verify the heroic role the masked cleric played.
The guards were initially surprised and almost drew their weapons when a Tiefling emerged from below, but explanations were quick to avoid any type of conflict. The guards showed gratitude when Nymbleth handed over the coded journals.
The next few days are uneventful for most of you. Vexas finds his chocolates and enjoys meals in several establishments. Malakar and Merrek enjoy swimming in the Andoshen with Razor. Fenna becomes acquainted with the crew of Peregrine and thinks of her past while on board. Sho, not accustomed to city life, finds quiet places in parks and groves. Nymbleth enjoys the cool spring air while relaxing in his hammock. He has time to think about new potions to brew and the cryptic journals left behind by the captain
For Yraelzin and Brannart, days leading up to embarkation are a bit more eventful.
Yraelzin walks around Almas attempting to spread the word of Razmir and collect followers. Typically, the masked cleric gets jeered at and threatened. He even got several rotten tomatoes thrown his way. On the rare occurrence that Yraelzin gets a few listeners, Brannart and his friends interrupt the sermon with loud singing and dancing. To the loyal cleric’s dismay, the citizens of Almas, always wanting to be free and entertained, forget about The Living god and join in on Cayden Cailean’s drinking songs.
On the fourth day after the rescue, you each receive a wax-sealed rolled letter. On the wax is the signet lettering GRC
The Eagle Knights would like to honor you. You are cordially invited to the Golden Aerie this evening to be recognized as Protectors of the Citizens of Almas. Your deeds saved countless young lives and destroyed the plans of the Aspis Consortium here in Almas. Your heroism is the model for which we strive to achieve.
General Reginald Cormoth
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Yraelzin preens as he reads the letter. Documentary proof, as if tales of my heroism were not enough, of my leading role here. Yet more glory unto Razmir! And even as those drunken louts parade their foolishness in my presence, the seeds have been planted and will grow ripe fruit! Maybe I should have a message of my accomplishment sent to Razmiran? No, doubtless they'll hear in time. As Prime Mentrex says, 'Priests of the Living God are his Voice; but his Ears are everywhere, unseen.' When he has some privacy, Yraelzin polishes his iron mask so that it shines and makes sure his best set of robes are ready for the evening's gala.
The letter excites Vexas. But I have nothing to wear!
He heads out to the nearest tailor to buy a flamboyant suit, complete with a top-hat. He stops just short of a monocle...
Brannart thanks the Caydenite priest for his advice. "I will try to take your advice to heart and see what can be done."
He thanks his drinking buddies for the assist. "You have done a great thing here today. To freedom from tyranny! Huzzah!"
The letter catches his eye. The Eagle Knights want to call me a Hero. He sighs. Well, it beats them calling me a villain. But after all of my failures - I am sure Hamish told General Cormoth about the Worldwound, and Ingrit, and all that. I know Hamish would say it wasn't my fault. But to call myself a hero? I couldn't save my betrothed, and I lived while she died.
He holds the letter in his hands, and fidgets with the holy symbol of Torag around his neck. Still, I helped those kids at least. That's something.
He polishes his armor in preparation for the event, then heads to the Golden Aerie.
I hope Hamish is off on the Nirmathi business... he'd probably embarrass me with a toast or a funny story or something... it's what older brothers are good for.
The soldier looks a bit subdued as he walks in.
|Merrek of Outsea|
In the days after the rescue Merrek spends equal time in and out of the water. The time out of it was always eventful, especially when he left the dock district where his father and him were familiar faces to many.
Further into the city however he almost always drew crowds, guards or both. Merek almost preferred drawing guards as they tended to be friendly and polite if not always honest in those sentiments. The people were more honest in their reactions. Some avoided him because of what he was, some avoided him because the smell of his kin apparently was offensive to human noses. Still others came to ogle him, talking about him amongst themselves. How odd he was and how fishy he smelled. The easiest place to be was around fishmongers and fishermen, they at least smelled similar even if for them the smell was borrowed.
When the letter reached him Merrek was confused. He had intended to depart early tomorrow morning, head east to the Selen River and then back to Outsea. This, however, was an opportunity he couldn't not take. Invited by the Eagle Knights to come to their home. That would make a really great story and, just maybe, he could spin the events coming after to further strengthen trade with Andorran. Hells, maybe he could even turn this into establishing a permanent embassy!
Fenna spends the next few days splitting her time between hanging around the ship and wandering around the city. She had assumed she would she'd want a break on dry land before going to sea again. But, after renting a room for a month, she finds herself with without enough money to enjoy herself in the city. On the other hand she's going to be on the ship for weeks solid within a few days. Figuring out which of the two options are the least boring is an hour to hour struggle for her.
When the letter from the Eagle Knights arrives, Fenna is surprised and pleased. She didn't think such a big deal would be made of the incident.
It's a good thing if it helps wake people up to the rot that's all around them though, makes them more vigilant. It's also something I can do for free. Nice all around.
Getting ready to go is a quick thing. Fenna changes into her other set of clothes. They look pretty much the same as her main outfit, but cleaner. She also combs her hair.
Horses and carriages arrive near Peregrine and transport you to the Golden Aerie, a massive tower over seven hundred feet tall. On top of the tower stands a fifteen-foot golden statue of a male humanoid with wings.
The carriages stop and you all are led inside to a main banquet hall. In one corner is a string quartet playing soft melodies. High-top tables are spaced out around hall, while servers carrying various libations and small edibles move from guest to guest. Several attendees are already here. It appears that the Almas Nobility have been invited since many that you do not recognize are dressed in finely tailored suits and beautiful gowns and dresses. Near the back of the room, standing at attention in rank, are the officers and guards that arrived and took control of the situation. You also notice mingling together in a small group away from the nobility, the rescued children and their presumed family members.
When you make your first steps into the hall, the music suddenly changes from a relaxed tone to a barrage of cascading powerful notes. The floor in front clears to make room for your entrance and a Herald in Almas finery announces your names in order in a deep baritone voice. After each of your names are announced, there is a brief pause for applause. Once all of your names have been read aloud, the music changes again and the Herald starts to sing. It is a popular and powerful song known as Iomedae’s Justice with thematic components dictating valor, heroism, justice, freedom and the opposition of evil. The guests applaud and cheer several times during powerful and aspiring moments of the performance.
The music changes again to a more rhythmic and repeating symphony know as Shelyn’s Waltz. Dancers come out onto the open floor following the proper steps to the music. Then the dancers break away inviting the guests to take part. Several approach the guests of honor in an attempt to motivate the crowd in celebration of their deeds.
Once the dance is over, the music quiets to an almost unnoticeable hum and the Herald retakes the platform and announces General Reginald Cormoth. A tall man in shining armor takes over the room, clears his throat, and addresses the banquet, ”We are gathered here to honor the deeds of heroes. Andoran and Almas stand as a beacon of unwavering freedom. Our citizens and guests observe this tradition of liberty tonight, just as they fought to sustain this ideal several nights ago when they took it upon themselves to save the children of Almas. HUZZAH to you I say,” the General bellows.
The guests respond back, ”HUZZAH, HUZZAH, HUZZAH” and punch their fists into the air with each inflection.
After a slight dramatic pause, the General continues, ”Almas owes you a great debt and we would like to recognize you with these gifts.” The general nods towards the back were the children and their families have settled. At this prompt, the rescued children come forward each hold a 2”x 2”x1” wooden box and present one box to each of the heroes. With smiles, the children give the boxes to you and thank you for your heroic deeds. The boxes are made of dark cherry and offer a golden hinge on the back and similar latching on the front. The top has a picture that resembles Desna’s Butterfly but with the blue and white colors of the Eagle Knights. Once the boxes are in hand the General continues, ”Use these Boons, Mighty Heroes, in your greatest times of need. Now if you will follow me I have one more gift to offer you.”
As you take your leave and follow the General, you hear the echo of applause dissipate over distance. You are led to a large room filled with, what seems, every weapon imaginable. The armory you deduce. The weapons appear to be perfect in every detail. ”A hero needs a Hero’s Weapon. Please choose one of your liking.”
After you choose, you are led back to the banquet hall to more cheers and applause. The reception goes to late in the night with food, drinking, dancing and camaraderie. Eventually, your carriages arrive to take you back to your ship.
If you open your box:
In game terms:
Vexas seems a little overwhelmed at the grandeur put into the occasion. His face lights up most seeing the children bring him his box.
Many times throughout the night he repeats the same exasperated remarks to his new acquaintances and the Eagle Knights.
I have to be honest with you, I was just out on a walk in the evening through the docs, and really just got swept up in this thing. I did think, I just acted. Others with more awareness than I on that night simply directed my energies.
He graciously accepts his boon and tucks it into an inner pocket of his new suit coat.
In the weapon room, he approaches a small, sleek upgrade to his rapier...
Under the imperturbable mask, Yraelzin flushes with excitement. After hearing so many eye-witness accounts about how the faithful of Razmir were subject to religious persecution outside of Razmiran (and believing himself the recent victim of it as well), he finally feels like he belongs! I knew this time would come--but I never expected it to happen so quickly! To think, the Living God having found acceptance so quickly within the Andoren elite! Why, today a Priest of the Third Step like myself is celebrated as a hero. And in a year's time, I bet they raise a statue of Razmir to stand next to that effigy of Talmandor! How quickly the Living God works his will! I really wish I didn't have to leave tomorrow. But such are the burdens and joys of service as his Voice. Now, what do we have here? Gifts? Yraelzin pockets the butterfly-rock (resolving to ponder on whether using it would be blasphemous or not later), and selects a shiny new dagger from the armory.
Being mostly used to the outdoors and the wilderness, Sho feels out of place at the reception, even blushing when the children and people of the town "Huzzah" them.
She doesn't indulge much into alcohol, or dancing and socializing, but eats with a good appetite, knowing that meals can be scarce sometimes.
She does accept the box with gratitude, tanking the General profusely
Later in the evening, Sho is in awe in the armory, and her piercing elven eyes quickly set on a magnificent and strong-looking oak bow
She barely dares to touch it, whispering
Masterwork composite Longbow, STR 14?
I assume that by 'Almas Nobility' you mean people of some wealth and influence, but not noble titles - all of those were surrendered in the People's Revolt.
Brannart blushes and casts his eyes down as his name is announced with a fanfare. He raises his head again when the Herald begins singing Iomedae's Justice, appreciating the song and most of its themes.
The warrior accepts an offer to dance. And although he seems slightly distracted, he is a gracious partner. He knows the steps (more or less) and is fairly nimble. He's not winning any awards but also not tripping over his partner. Afterwards, he bows and thanks the dancer for the waltz. Then, although Brannart keeps looking like there is someplace he wants to be, he is interrupted by the announcements from the Herald and the General. Brannart sighs, takes a flagon of ale from a passing server, and sips it while the General speaks. He keeps trying to wave down a server with the small bites but the trays just happen to be finished off as they come near.
As the children approach, his eyes brighten. He addresses them, his voice soft and gentle. "I am glad to see you. It may take time, but you will be well. I salute your courage. Thank you for this gift." He takes the box.
Brannart is once again to head off somewhere else when he is again interrupted by more ceremony. He follows the General and selects a longsword from the Armory. "I will use this blade in the service of Andoran and freedom. Thank you, General."
When all the ceremony is done, Brannart finally gets to do what he had meant to when he first arrived. He moves over to the officers and guards. He raises his flagon (surprisingly still half-full). "Freedom through vigilance! To your health, men!" He talks to the guards for a bit, while scoping out the servers' routes from the kitchen so he can get the small bites before they are gone. Battlefield tactical awareness - also useful at parties.
After a short while, he moves to Brayden Tesk. He leans over and tells the man, "I am glad we were able to help. If anybody is bothering the kids here, let me know. Writers looking for a story; that strange cultist; or anybody else. They've been through a lot."
He will join in singing, dancing, and conversation, and he refills his flagon twice throughout the night, but seems more thoughtful and reflective rather than exuberant. Though not a downer by any means.
Nymbleth stays to himself for most of the celebration trying not to notice the sidelong glances. The celebration is a reminder as to why he wants to leave and help start a new colony where he could be judged by his accomplishments and not his fiendish appearance.
When the time comes he selects a longbow almost identical in appearance to the one Sho selected.
Masterwork composite longbow str 14?
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It is the afternoon before embarkation day, and the pier is bustling with activity. The final supplies are being loaded and the many colonists have started to arrive to check in and claim their berth. Gozreh has blessed you with a beautiful spring day. The sun is bright and warm with barely a cloud in the sky. The wind is light from the west offering the soft smell of sea salt while blowing away the wharf’s smell of gutted fish.
Many hopeful colonists make their way on board. Several are young couples with many of the women showing slight baby-bumps. There is a human man leading a team of horses up the boarding deck; then using a ramp to guide them below into a holding area. There are also many families with children of different ages. Some of the younger children make quick friends with each other and run around fighting pretend pirates. One child even announces, ”I am Brannart Teskerwill, Defender of Almas!” as he swashbuckles a shadow with a stick. A female dwarf catches the eye of Nymbleth when she carts on supplies that look like parts of an alchemy lab. Yraelzin monitors all of the activity from a distance, picking up on a smiling and jovial Half-elf displaying what looks like a Holy Symbol portraying a horizontal bow with a notched vertical arrow pointing down. He also notices a sour-faced middle-aged human displaying a vertical Golden Key, which also appears to be a Holy Symbol.
Down on the docks, a horse and cart pull up near Peregrine and you recognize some familiar faces. The Tesk family climbs down from the bench seat on the carriage. Brayden Tesk looks around and notices some familiar faces up on deck. He gives a large wave, then reaches into the back of his carriage and pulls out a quiver of arrows. He lifts it up, smiles, and announces, ”Some gives for our local heroes.”
The twins, Perrin and Matrum, shyly approach Sho and Fenna with bouquets of flowers. They say in unison, ”My Da says every Lady deserves flowers.” The boys hand them over and they quickly turn away before their cheeks turn too red. Egwenene stands behind her father with her hands clasped in front of her. She sways slightly back and forth while raising her gaze toward Brannart, then quickly looks away blushing while holding back a smile.
Yraelzin strides down the gangplank to receive Tesk's gifts. Speaking loudly enough for everyone around to hear, he says "Your gratitude warms my heart, good citizen! Although you can never repay the Living God for the deliverance of your wayward children from the very clutches of evil, this token of your devotion will be put to good use. For I, a mere man behind this mask, prepare now to journey forward into the very depths of danger across seas both foul and fair. My destination, you ask? A new land; a new opportunity; and virgin ears who have never yet heard the glory of your divine protector. Fare thee well for now, and may you find comfort in the firm yoke of Razmir until the end of your days." And to think I was so nervous about all of this! I'm a natural! No wonder the church sent me on this mission.
Brannart is walking on the dock to get a look at the Peregrine from different angles. He is with a number of other humans. There is a tall and broad-shouldered grey-haired man of about 60, a lanky brown-haired woman of similar age, and a younger couple attempting to wrangle two small children who are running about. The young woman resembles the older one; the young man appears Ulfen. Brannart points to various features of the ship and chats with the younger woman and the older man. Both seem very knowledgeable about ships.
"How do you think it will handle in a storm?
Okay. But if...?
So if we wanted to heave to... right, I see.
How far into the wind can she go, you think?"
Brannart hugs the elder couple, and then the younger couple and the children. He walks to the gangplank.
Knowledge (Religion): 1d20 ⇒ 12
Good to see proper men of faith on this trip. There's a need for cities, or towns at least, and also a need for farms.
He grits his teeth as the cultist starts speaking, and is about to shout out something at the "Yoke" comment, but keeps quiet this time. Once Yraelzin is done, Brannart leans over to Brayden Tesk and the kids. "Did you see a Living God? Me neither. He's nuts and we'll get him far away from Almas."
He accepts Brayden's gift. "Thank you, sir. Be well. Should you need anything, those are my parents, Lachlan and Maighread, my sister Ailis, and her husband Wulfgar. I have sent word to my brother Hamish, of the Eagle Knights, to be particularly on guard against this Consortium."
He nods to the kids. "Be well. I will send word of the colony and our progress and our adventures!"
"Just my duty as a citizen of Andoran, sir."
It is evident from Brannart's bearing, scars, and premature streaks of grey that he probably isn't just a local who has but one heroic moment to his name.
He shows very little interest in talking to the elf (I assume the brusque tone of the post is meant to convey that 7 Cha) and moves away.
Fenna is even more surprised, and a little embarrassed by the fanfare when she enters the Golden Aerie. Fortunately she has some experience with putting on a face for crowds so it doesn’t show. Aware the best way to not appear awkward when one feels awkward is to get busy, she joins right in with the dancing, which relaxes her.
By the time things settle down and the gifts are passed out, Fenna is feeling comfortable. She thanks the children and gives each of the girls from the rowboats a kiss on the cheek, even the teens (and if they don’t like it they can just suck it up!).
Fenna chooses a boarding pike from the armory (If available. It is a ship’s armory weapon, not a personal weapon so masterwork might be quite rare. She will take a longspear otherwise, the same basic weapon but harder to keep free of rust around saltwater.).
During the festivities that follow, Fenna dances and drinks fairly liberally, as a polite honored guest should do. Nothing is a bigger letdown for those who arrange parties than those, for whom it is arranged, to act as if they don’t enjoy it. She seeks out Brannart for a couple of dances during the evening, though not eagerly enough or often enough to imply anything. He is, after all, only one among many Fenna dances with.
First thing the next morning Fenna sticks a hastily written letter for her parents in the post. In fairness she should tell them about what’s going on. No need to do it too early however, it would only invite a disapproving reply from her mother. Fenna already knows in advance her mother disapproves, so she might as well save her mother the ink.
Fenna is early to the ship boarding. She already has her berth marked out by her rose bush, but some people can be so rude. She adds her couple of sacks of possessions to the rose bush and spends the rest of the embarkation time roaming about the ship and looking over the rest of the settlers.
Yraelzin’s departure speech makes her cringe. Gads, he’s such a bad communicator!
It’s enough to goad Fenna into actually trying to help him. She stops by when he’s done and drops some advice. ”As someone who’s done a fair amount of street preaching, well more like street speeching, I have to let you know that mask is just killing your efforts to connect to people. All they see is the spooky iron mask and the rest of your message is right out the window. If they can’t see your face, they can’t trust you. Mostly they’re all standing around because they’re trying to figure out how you talk through that thing, or they just have no place else to be.”
Fenna thanks Tesk for his gift, telling him he really didn’t have to do it. She catches the boys before they can skitter off and gives them the same treatment as the girls the previous evening, a kiss on the cheek. She also reads Egwenene like a book.
As the gathering begins to break up, Fenna slides up next to Egwenene and lays an arm across her shoulders. Fenna keeps pace with the girl until she's delivered her message, then she slips off back to the ship.
"Just remember this. Trust actions not words. Only settle for proof. If your gut says yes, question it with your head. If your gut says no, listen to it."
K Local (Aspis Consortium): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
Perception (Egwenene): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Fenna finds a boarding pike easily enough. Being headquartered in Almas and it being an important shipping town, the Eagle Knights like to plan for everything in all of their endeavors.
Over the last few days, Fenna considers this organization called The Aspis Consortium. She knows she heard the name before. She cannot pin point exactly where, but she is pretty sure her mom would talk to her dad about having merchant contracts with them. If she is remembering correctly, her mom seemed to always get the chills when she discussed those contracts.
Egwenene smiles and blushes when Fenna first puts her arm around her. After listening and comprehending the message, the smile vanishes as she nods in understanding. ”Thank you, Thank you all for everything.” She quickly looks askance toward Brannart, then refocuses on Fenna and whispers, ”Don’t let that one get away.”
Nymbleth tries to stay out of the way as the other colonists come aboard. He makes note of the dwarf with the alchemy lab and plans to seek her out during the voyage, Maybe this voyage will be fruitful after all.
He humbly accepts the arrows offered by Tesk.
Sorry, no time for a longer post.
When Fenna realizes Egwenene is referring to Brannart, she looks back at the young woman and cracks her best pirate smile for her.
"One more thing, no one is ever 'the one'. There's always another one."
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
If Brannart overhears Fenna's comment to Egwenene, he looks lost in thought and rather grief-stricken for a moment. Then he shakes his head and boards the ship.
Brannart had danced with Fenna at the party, and seems to like her well enough, but not so much that her comment of (feigned?) disinterest should wound him so. Clearly it struck a nerve in a different way.
@brannart that was the primary reason, also figured best to start off slower
so, why did you decide to start anew, something not going your way here; It looks like you have a bit more experience than your giving yourself credit for. Maybe we could be useful to one another if I didn't read that wrong.
@Kowal: I'll bet Brannart missed your first post. It's easy to do without an avatar, almost missed it myself. Hopefully the problem with them will be fixed soon.
Yraelzin listens carefully to Fenna's point about the mask. He fidgets uncomfortably as he tries to explain--using, for once, a normal speaking voice instead of the booming "street corner sermon" voice he normally uses. It's actually hard to make out all of his words. "I . . . understand what you're trying to say, and I do appreciate the advice. It's just that . . . Well, it's hard to explain if you haven't taken the First Step. The masks demonstrate that we're all aspects of Razmir's guardianship. Those identities must be privileged over our more mundane selves. Have you ever heard of the rule of law? Well, the masks show that we act in accordance with his law, not just our own fallible judgment or desires." Maybe I was a little over-the-top with those Andorens. Awe of the Living God should incite obedience, not derision or rebellion.
The halfling strides up the gangplank and onto the ship, having made no real arrangements prior, as if he's supposed to be there.
Eh, I was heralded along with the rest of them. At this point they'll assume we're a packaged group...
He likewise approaches the carriage to accept his give of masterwork bolts, using few words but a curt many thanks!, and a slight bow. It's even more ceremony that helps him blend in with them.
Bluff: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
He's cringing alongside Fenna as the masked man gives his speech. He mutters to her sideways as it ends. Wow, that mask sure doesn't imbue self awareness....
When she moves to approach him Vexas is taken aback with a bit of surprise. Oh... you're going to go fix that... well good luck with all of that!
Soon after he skulks further onto the deck of the ship to orient himself and find out where the bunks might be, that he claim one early, cementing his place.
Sho admires Tesk's craftmanship on the arrows and thank him profusely.
I'll do my best to keep one of these splendid arrow as a souvenir. I've never seen arrows so beautifully balanced, you have every right to be proud of your work.
And when the children offer her flowers, she adds to their father
And you can be proud of these two. I'll of course try to keep one of these flowers with me too, when they will be dry. Wait.... I don't have much to give, but...
using the sharp point of one of Tesk's arrow, Sho cuts two locks of her red hair, and offer one each to the children, getting on one knee.
I don't know if our paths will meet again. But you two are still very young, and no ones know what the future will bring. If that happens, be sure you can call on my help if needed.
raising up, she respectfully shakes the artisan's calloused hand
Be sure I'll remember your kindness and your skill, master Tesk.
so, why did you decide to start anew, something not going your way here; It looks like you have a bit more experience than your giving yourself credit for. Maybe we could be useful to one another if I didn't read that wrong.
Brannart keeps moving away as the elf keeps following him."I am hoping to ensure the success of the Talmandor's Bounty colony," he says curtly.
From Brannart's perspective, a total stranger has walked up and rather snidely asked what makes Brannart such a hero. He doesn't consider himself a hero, mostly because of his survivor's guilt from the Mendevian Crusades and the loss of his fiancee. The fact that you have chosen to give Kowal a 7 Cha, combined with the wording you chose for the first question, led Brannart to give a short answer and walk away. Brannart isn't going to brag about what he did.
Now this same stranger is following Brannart and prying to ask if 'something is not going his way here', which comes across as extremely rude. Again, I expect this is you portraying that 7 Cha, and Brannart is going to react accordingly.
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Fenna cocks her head and squints slightly at Yraelzin as he describes 'Rule of Law'.
"Yeah I'm familiar. But I subscribe to Hosetter's conceptualization of Rule of Law laid out in Imperial Betrayal. It comes from the base rather than the top. Individuals, recognizing that their own unlimited freedom will of necessity impinge on the freedom of other individuals, enter collective agreements. Groups of individuals come together and each person agrees to certain limits on their freedom that all within the group will abide by. In this way the burden is shared equally among all regardless of wealth or position."
"Each individual within the collective thereby enjoys greater freedoms than they would if no collective agreement was in place, as society in that case would be a constant war of untrammeled freedom against untrammeled freedom. Every individual within the collective recognizes certain agreed upon members as vested with the authority to arbitrate disputes between individuals, or to judge breaches of the laws that are the product of collective agreement. Those individuals are chosen due their trustworthiness for remaining neutral and unbiased."
Fenna has been studying the details of Yraelzin's mask the whole time she's been talking.
"Did you stock up on oil? You're gonna have a devil of a time keeping that thing from rusting."
Yraelzin lowers his head and whispers. "You read Hosetter? Me too! Though we're not supposed to! Isn't the problem with that sort of social contract view that it's completely fictional? I mean, it's not like people really agree to it or can opt out if they don't like it. And it doesn't make any room whatsoever for the traditions of a people or their faith. And Hosetter doesn't mention the possibility of an immortal, omnipotent guardian leading a society with perfect dispassionate justice! . . . You might be right about the mask, though--I didn't even think about the detrimental effects of all the sea salt in the air."
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Nymbleth can’t help but overhear the debate between Yraelzin and Fenna, Great politics and religion the two things the new colony doesn’t really need. I’m going to write a letter to the recruiter and ask them to screen their candidates better. He lets out an exasperated sigh, ”Hmmmnph”
Fenna is impressed Yraelzin is familiar with Hosetter but is careful not to show it. Maybe he isn't quite the total rube I thought he was.
"Hm, well I can give you a little oil, but you'll want to talk to the Quartemaster about getting some more."
Fenna spies the half-elven woman with the bow. Crazy! So everyone who was at the Golden Aerie to receive an award is also on this ship! What are the chances? If this were fiction rather than actual life, I'd stop reading now because the coincidences are too much to believe.
Uh, anyway... She seems to be a wallflower from what I saw at the ceremony so I guess it's up to me...
"Yeah so I've got to go right now, but I'll leave you with a couple of thoughts. Hosetter's account isn't fictional, it's metaphorical. It's a simple, understandable way of talking about something that is very complicated and always ongoing."
She points up at the sails above them both. "Like, if I told you we will leave by raising sail, I would be letting you know what will cause something to happen without going into every small detail of who is doing what, when, and how. No need to discuss how it would happen differently given different rigging, what knots are tied and ropes are pulled."
"Also Hosetter is not describing any system of law that exists. He's writing aspirationally, about what true rule of law would be. Lots more to talk about, but later."
After she starts walking away, Fenna turns back to Yraelzin for a second. "I'll save you a place at dinner?"
Oh I can't wait to see how he manages to eat!
Fenna strides up to Sho with a broad smile, imagining weird funnel devices for getting soup behind that mask or complicated curtain hats devised especially for meals. "Hi! It's not very common for two of our kind to be in the same place at the same time in my experience. I'm Fenna. What brings you on this journey?"
Fenna extends her hand to shake.
With the last of the mooring lines released, Peregrine leaves its berth and maneuvers into the harbor. Hundreds of Almas citizens line the pier wishing farewell and good tidings to friends and family. The colony children run along the deck waving to everybody while many adults hold back tears, feeling bittersweet.
Once outside the harbor, Captain Jacob Markosi, a medium-built man in his forties with penetrating blue eyes and silvered hair with matching short beard, gives the order to raise the sails. Within moments the sails catch, Peregrine, living up to its name, swiftly pulls forth and overtakes the Andoshen’s current. Penetrating the waves, the three-masted vessel rocks from bow to stern.
A warm sun and cool breeze keeps the deck dry from the perpetual sea-spray. The sea life, still a novelty in the first hour, has colonists leaning on the railing and gazing at the shores of the Andoran coast. The rocky shoreline meets Peregrine’s wake and strips its power as if another Revolution was occuring.
Suddenly, a bell rings removing colonists from their musings. Raearg, the half-orc Boatswain, continues to ring the bell until he has everyone’s attention. With the last child paused instep and mouth agape, the burly, generously tusked, sailor explains, ”Listen up! This is the eatin’ bell. You hear it, you come eat. You don’t come; you don’t eat. Food will be served shortly, but first you listen. You are our guests, but if I or the crew tell you to do something, you do it or if we tells you not to do something, you stop doin’ it. Understand? It is our job to get you safely to Ancorato, and we plan to do that. If we have an emergency, understand that we are in charge, and you do as you're told.” The half-orc walks the colonists’ eyes around the deck pointing out where to find floating devices and other safety gear. Raearg looks sternly across the deck at his audience verifying that his message was heard and understood. Then his face softens and his tusks move almost horizontally and touch each other as a huge grin spreads across his face, ”Now … We Eat!” he bellows as he rings the bell again. ”Follow me to the best grog at sea” He gives a huge belly laugh and turns toward the galley.
As soon as the ship leaves port and has the city on the horizon Malakars mood becomes somewhat less serious. Sure he is surrounded by city folk with city comforts but this voyage would be long and they would learn the ways of the wind and water and he would help them if need be as that is the way of nature. Hearing the dinner bell Malakar looks for a place at the table close to either the fishman or Raearg as he feels the former he may have common feound with and the later he at least knows the rest are strangers.
Brannart mentions to Raearg, "As you know, Bosun, I have some modest skill as a sailor and shipwright. I am sure your crew is more skilled. But if there is an emergency, I can lend a hand."
Figuring the bosun would want to know which of his passengers can tie a decent knot.
He takes a look at the others on board. Fenna seems to be quite the gregarious sort. Even talking to the cultist. Why is he here? Who in the Nine Hells thought the colony needed the Word of Razmir? The cultists may have infiltrated the Company... or an agent was bribed... The Razmiran faith is deceit, servitude, and oppression, not at all compatible with the Andoran way. Maybe Fenna can talk some sense into the kid given enough time, but it doesn't explain why he is here.
He talks to various of the colonists, stopping to talk to the children in particular. As they ask about his 'great battles,' he replies, "Yes, it's true, I've had to fight. The Mendevian Crusades... well, it was frightening. Very much so. Even for me. I was terrified most of the time. But it was necessary. Usually, with people, you can find another way instead of fighting. Talk them down. Find out what they are angry about. Report them to authorities if you have to -- in the case of the Silent Asp, that was my first choice, but there was no time. Demons aren't like that. You can't talk them down, and no authority can arrest them. But don't worry, there aren't any demons on the Colony. They heard I was coming. And if there are, I'll sort them out right quick." He gives a smile and heads to the galley.
Once there, he is happy to sit with most any of the colonists. Though he does try to avoid the sour-looking Abadaran, the masked Razmiran cultist, and the overly inquisitive elf. He's rather curious about the presence of both a shark-man and a fish-man, but doesn't pry.
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A tapestry of spices tease your senses as you reach the galley. Crew and colonists enter the soup line and a large ladle splashes a hearty stew into woodworked bowls. A hard roll accompanies the meal. With food in hand, the galley offers long benches along long tables.
The two priests from different faiths sit across from one another. The half-elf wearing the “Bow and Arrow’ Symbol swallows a spoon full of stew and finger-combs his straw-colored hair. ’MMmmmm, that is good,” he remarks. His violet eyes coming up to meet the man he sits across from, ”You must admit, 'Father Grouse' that this adventure, life on the open sea, is far better than the city.
The human clergyman, dressed in black robes with his golden key prominently displayed, frowns at the half-elf causing his forehead to crinkle. His steel-gray hair, shaped into a bowl, gives away his older age , ”My people are happy in the city, 'Father Easy'," he says the name snidely, ”Hence, why would there be so many people in a city?”
”HA”, the half-elf decries, ”Content is not happy. It is just safe. Hiding behind Walls and Laws … Never for me! Give me a good Stag to Bag. You are Andoren, my friend. Be honest with yourself. Do you feel free or do you just want to be?”
Nymbleth reluctantly lets his bowl be filled with the aromatic stew. Not that he wasn’t hungry, he was, rather he wasn’t sure he could keep the food down with the way the ship was moving. He looks for a seat away from the two priests not interested in hearing their debate, I’ve heard enough nonsense about religion today.
Instead he seeks out the company of the dwarf with the alchemy lab.