Hell of a Summer (PF1 Eberron)

Game Master karlprosek

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F Human Summoner 2

Alright, going to attempt to play this as a polite call by representatives of "local business interests," which is true. No real threat, beyond turning the question over to the Watch and the risk of regulation. Going to try to get by on charm. On the plus side, not knowing the NPC may mean we can get some shock value out of Tweety. She's going to use her real name, too - if we're not pretending to be something we're not, there's no reason to pretend to be someone else.

Idrassa strode confidently in, flanked by Declan and Tweety. She was dressed as a well-to-do functionary, her scholar's robe accessorized with a moderately flamboyant scarf and belt. She had added some recent ink stains to her fingers and brushed her short hair into a style suggesting professionalism.

She let the floor staff gawk at Tweety for a moment, then drew their attention with a polite greeting. "Hello," she offered. "My name is Idrassa Quill. I'd like to speak to Gersi, please."


Male | Half Elf | Eldritch Archer | Level 2 | AC 15; T14 FF11 | 14/14 hp
Stats:
FRW +3 +4 +2 | Perception +6 LLV | CMD 17 | Init +4 | MW Comp (+2) Longbow +6 (1d8+2, x3) 110' P | MW Elven Thornblade +6 (1d6+2, 18-20) P/S

Declan stood behind and to the side of Idrassa, granting her the deference of a bodyguard or similar. He wore utilitarian leathers, though freshly washed and mended. He held himself with the mien of someone who you really didn't want to get into a tussle with, his hand resting meaningfully on the hilt of his peace-tied thornblade.

His eyes scanned the place, looking for dangers and escapes. It was something he did naturally anyway. But this time he exaggerated the motion a little while he waited patiently for a response from the employees.


Ebinor's Baubles, Sea Ward, afternoon - Declan, Idrassa

The half-elf stepped forward, a slim, attractive blonde man in a suit that probably cost more than the average rent in Dock Ward. "I'm sorry, the Master Jeweler isn't on site at the moment. Is there anything I can help you with? Are you looking for something specific?"

Sense Motive, DC 10:
You're pretty sure he's lying about her not being here, but it doesn't seem malicious. Just standard screening for the public.


Male | Half Elf | Eldritch Archer | Level 2 | AC 15; T14 FF11 | 14/14 hp
Stats:
FRW +3 +4 +2 | Perception +6 LLV | CMD 17 | Init +4 | MW Comp (+2) Longbow +6 (1d8+2, x3) 110' P | MW Elven Thornblade +6 (1d6+2, 18-20) P/S

SM: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (4) - 1 = 3

Declan narrowed his eyes, but looked to Idrassa, an edge of annoyance at this news.


Quick stats:
Legendary shifter 2 HPs:20/20 - AC: 18/19 shifted || 14/15 shifted || 15 - Fort:+5 | Ref:+6/+7 shifted | Will:+3 - Per:+8, low-light vision/darkvision 30' shifted, Init:+3/+4 shifted, CMD:15
karlprosek wrote:

Tarley Free Clinic, Fishgut Court, Dock Ward, afternoon - Ash, Illendur, Zander

An elf, a shifter, and a warforged walk into a clinic. Sounds like the start of a joke.

In this case, the clinic was no joke. Dok Tarley had taken the nobles' largesse to create and outfit a house of healing larger than the one the group had helped out in Field Ward. The inside was spic and span, with wooden floorboards and whitewashed walls and ceiling freshly cleaned, neat rows of chairs half full of prospective patients, and a trio of nurses behind an opening in a wall that blocked passage from the lobby to the emergency treatment area. They looked busy but not harried, just another day treating those who couldn't afford to go to anywhere else.

Whurzander wrote:
Instead, [Zander] merely waited, one pace behind and to the left of Illendur, head in semi-constant motion as he took in all that he could see.

Ash occupied the space behind and to the right of Illendur, making it look like he and Zander were bodyguards. In truth, they might as well have been; both were alert to dangers even when nominally at ease. Ash hoped no one took it the wrong way.

It probably didn't help change the impression, that they were both waiting for Illendur to carry the conversation.

Ash couldn't help but notice how the extra resources the nobles had poured into the Dock ward (via Dok) had helped to improve matters for the people here - at least, he presumed it had - Dockers weren't as badly off as those in Field ward, but they still had to work hard, and didn't have much coin to spend on things like doctors. He pondered whether he could get Dok to branch out, and share some of that golden coin with the clinic in Field ward.


F Human Summoner 2

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5 OK, Idrassa does not know he's lying, so she'll try and get something from this guy.

"Sorry to hear it," said Idrassa. "We needed to ask about a piece of enchanted jewelry that may have been used in a murder. But never mind. We'll take it to the Watch and let them investigate. Was hoping to avoid all the trouble they'll make," she added.

She nodded politely and started to turn toward the door.


Ebinor's Baubles, Sea Ward, afternoon - Declan, Idrassa

Idrassa Quill wrote:

[dice=Sense Motive]1d20+4 OK, Idrassa does not know he's lying, so she'll try and get something from this guy.

"Sorry to hear it," said Idrassa. "We needed to ask about a piece of enchanted jewelry that may have been used in a murder. But never mind. We'll take it to the Watch and let them investigate. Was hoping to avoid all the trouble they'll make," she added.

She nodded politely and started to turn toward the door.

The half-elf cleared his throat, the pleasant expression still on his face. "Do you have the item with you? We are quite conversant with such items ourselves."


Tarley Free Clinic, Fishgut Court, Dock Ward, afternoon - Ash, Illendur, Zander

.Ash. wrote:
Ash couldn't help but notice how the extra resources the nobles had poured into the Dock ward (via Dok) had helped to improve matters for the people here - at least, he presumed it had - Dockers weren't as badly off as those in Field ward, but they still had to work hard, and didn't have much coin to spend on things like doctors. He pondered whether he could get Dok to branch out, and share some of that golden coin with the clinic in Field ward.

Dok came downstairs in a few minutes, giving the trio a wry smile. "I thought I got away from your craziness," he said, though the tone was friendly. "What you need, friends?"

Illendur described the information they were looking for and Dok frowned. "Nosy gnome? Ain't that all o' them?" He laughed and shook his head. "Yeh, I know 'boutta gnome that been askin' 'round 'bout tha' nobleman. Lemme see what I can 'member."

What info are you guys looking for here? Is it just about Dalakhar and what he was doing or is it generally what the hell is going on (i.e. he can tell you about the Great Game)? I'll take input from anybody here.


Male Half Elf Fighter 2 | HP: 22 | AC: 19 t13 ff16 | F +5 R +3 W 0 | Init +3 | Perception +10 |

Not bloody likely Dok, yeah we're curious why the damn gnome was snooping about the nobleman. Lots of people got hurt in this, and we're curious what its tied to, you remember, there's some coin attached to this situation, or so folks think. the half-elf blows out air in a frustrated stream, And we've picked up a tail from the Dripping Dagger, he's been casing the Manor all day, any thought on who that might be working for?


Quick stats:
Legendary shifter 2 HPs:20/20 - AC: 18/19 shifted || 14/15 shifted || 15 - Fort:+5 | Ref:+6/+7 shifted | Will:+3 - Per:+8, low-light vision/darkvision 30' shifted, Init:+3/+4 shifted, CMD:15

Ash leaned over and muttered, "Don't forget the Tarkanan thing we found."


F Human Summoner 2
karlprosek wrote:

Ebinor's Baubles, Sea Ward, afternoon - Declan, Idrassa

The half-elf cleared his throat, the pleasant expression still on his face. "Do you have the item with you? We are quite conversant with such items ourselves."

"Oh, that would be lovely," Idrassa replied. She moved over to one of the tables and placed the necklace gently on the surface, positioning her body to try to show the jewelry to her interlocutor without revealing it to the shop's other attendants.

"What can you tell us about this piece?" She asked.


Male | Half Elf | Eldritch Archer | Level 2 | AC 15; T14 FF11 | 14/14 hp
Stats:
FRW +3 +4 +2 | Perception +6 LLV | CMD 17 | Init +4 | MW Comp (+2) Longbow +6 (1d8+2, x3) 110' P | MW Elven Thornblade +6 (1d6+2, 18-20) P/S

Declan followed Idrassa and stood between herself and the rest of the customers, grunting meaningfully. While he watched the interaction out of the corners of his eyes, his attention was mostly on the other people in the establishment.


Ebinor's Baubles, Sea Ward, afternoon - Declan, Idrassa

Idrassa Quill wrote:

"Oh, that would be lovely," Idrassa replied. She moved over to one of the tables and placed the necklace gently on the surface, positioning her body to try to show the jewelry to her interlocutor without revealing it to the shop's other attendants.

"What can you tell us about this piece?" She asked.

The attendant's pleasant expression flickered briefly as he looked down at the ruby necklace with only 3 (I think?) gems left but his wide smile was in full effect as he looked back up at Idrassa and Declan. "Ah, yes. Quite lovely. Would you care to take advantage of one of our private rooms? We can have wine, spirits, or snacks brought while I appraise your necklace." He gestured at a few unobtrusive doors in the back of the showroom.

Just breaking here in case either of you don't want to go into a private room.


Tarley Free Clinic, Fishgut Court, Dock Ward, afternoon - Ash, Illendur, Zander

Illendur D'Phiarlan wrote:
Not bloody likely Dok, yeah we're curious why the damn gnome was snooping about the nobleman. Lots of people got hurt in this, and we're curious what its tied to, you remember, there's some coin attached to this situation, or so folks think. the half-elf blows out air in a frustrated stream, And we've picked up a tail from the Dripping Dagger, he's been casing the Manor all day, any thought on who that might be working for?

"A tail?" Dok glanced at Ash. "What Tarkanan thing?" Once Dok was brought up to speed, he took the trio into a room that could generously be called an office but was more properly described as a crowded storeroom that had some boxes pushed out of the way to barely make enough space to fit a chair and a desk that was itself festooned in papers and supplies.

1d20 ⇒ 14

Sorry this is about to be just a wall of text.

"Our boy Renaer slums it down here in the Docks all the time. Your gnome- Dalakhar, I think- has been keeping an eye on him on and off for years, as far as anybody I know can tell. He comes and goes, but people remember him working for the old chief Councilman, Renaer's dad. Seems like his job's been to keep tabs on ir'Nelview the Younger and report back to Dagult wherever the old man's hiding these days."

"Recently, though- in the past week or so- the gnome's been trying to get in contact with Renaer, not just get information about him. Nobody knows why, though. There's a theory the gangs have found ir'Nelview's stash and are fighting over who gets to keep it but so far there ain't been any fresh coin on either side so nobody's won yet."

"Some folks're sayin' it's a new Grand Game, even. Maybe it even started with ir'Nelview gettin' deposed a couple years ago. You know, when politics spills out into the streets and gets normal folks like you an' me mixed up in it? Half a million galifars is enough even for the richest nobles in the city to sit up and take interest. That kind of money can buy you a lot of friends."

"So if that's all true, then we got Daask an' House Tarkanan an' who knows who else all tryna find Papa ir'Nelview's hidden vault an' stolen coin. And if you picked up a tail, stands to reason they were watchin' the gnome's rooms to see if anybody came to check on him."

Illendur and Ash both remembered Renaer telling them after they'd rescued him from the Tarkanans that the thugs thought he knew where Renaer's father hid the money he stole. They were looking for something called the Stone of Golorr, which had been stolen from a Daask crime boss. The Tarkanans thought that Renaer's father or someone working for him had stolen it to use it to open a hidden vault. The Daask mind flayer the group had encountered in the sewers- Nihiloor- had questioned Renaer about this Stone of Golorr in front of the group, as well.


F Human Summoner 2
karlprosek wrote:

Ebinor's Baubles, Sea Ward, afternoon - Declan, Idrassa

The attendant's pleasant expression flickered briefly as he looked down at the ruby necklace with only 3 (I think?) gems left but his wide smile was in full effect as he looked back up at Idrassa and Declan. "Ah, yes. Quite lovely. Would you care to take advantage of one of our private rooms? We can have wine, spirits, or snacks brought while I appraise your necklace." He gestured at a few unobtrusive doors in the back of the showroom.

Just breaking here in case either of you don't want to go into a private room.

Idrassa's eyes flicked to Declan, passing him the question even as she carefully maintained a pleasant poker face.


Male | Half Elf | Eldritch Archer | Level 2 | AC 15; T14 FF11 | 14/14 hp
Stats:
FRW +3 +4 +2 | Perception +6 LLV | CMD 17 | Init +4 | MW Comp (+2) Longbow +6 (1d8+2, x3) 110' P | MW Elven Thornblade +6 (1d6+2, 18-20) P/S
Idrassa Quill wrote:
karlprosek wrote:

Ebinor's Baubles, Sea Ward, afternoon - Declan, Idrassa

The attendant's pleasant expression flickered briefly as he looked down at the ruby necklace with only 3 (I think?) gems left but his wide smile was in full effect as he looked back up at Idrassa and Declan. "Ah, yes. Quite lovely. Would you care to take advantage of one of our private rooms? We can have wine, spirits, or snacks brought while I appraise your necklace." He gestured at a few unobtrusive doors in the back of the showroom.

Just breaking here in case either of you don't want to go into a private room.

Idrassa's eyes flicked to Declan, passing him the question even as she carefully maintained a pleasant poker face.

Declan frowned and crossed his arms. They really couldn't leave the necklace out of their sight, and while he expected the shop to be trustworthy, there were too many unknowns here. He shook his head in the negative.


Ebinor's Baubles, Sea Ward, afternoon - Declan, Idrassa

The half-elf nodded at Declan's head shake. "Of course, sir." He gave the barest glance at a nearby shopper as he walked over and bent down to pull a pad of paper out from under the display case. "A written estimate, then."

Fitting a loupe to one eye, the half-elf closely examined the necklace, spending less time checking the quality of the gems than he did the settings and links. After a minute or so he placed the necklace back down on the counter in front of Idrassa and wrote down a few notes. The attendant ripped off the paper and folded it in half, sliding across the counter to Idrassa.

Note:
Type IV Necklace of Fireballs with 2 remaining beads. Manufacturer Ivilin Ostrel of Thaliost. Purchase offer 700gp. Restoration estimate 3900gp.

"Is that to your satisfaction, madam?"


Male | Half Elf | Eldritch Archer | Level 2 | AC 15; T14 FF11 | 14/14 hp
Stats:
FRW +3 +4 +2 | Perception +6 LLV | CMD 17 | Init +4 | MW Comp (+2) Longbow +6 (1d8+2, x3) 110' P | MW Elven Thornblade +6 (1d6+2, 18-20) P/S

When Idrassa opens the note, Declan glances over her shoulder to see what was written.

know:Arcana: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11
know:Local: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20

Trying to see what he knows of Ivilin Ostrel.


Declan, Kn:Local 20:
Declan recognizes the name. Ivilin Ostrel of Thaliost refers to both a person and an artificer house (like a high fashion brand but for magic items, like Chanel).

Like all such brands, they make high quality magic items in 3 flavors- bespoke (extremely expensive one offs, usually referred to as IO), limited (just merely expensive seasonal or annual pieces, like haute couture clothing, usually called Ivilin House), and off the shelf (more reasonable prices, wider distribution, recognized as Ivilin Ostrel of Thaliost). So this is a high quality, designer (but not too designer) piece of magical jewelry.

Perhaps notably, they're not known for the quality of their jewelry so much as the craftmanship of their artifice. Ivilin Ostrel items are extremely reliable while also being just nice enough to pass muster amongst the rich and fashionable.

That all implies whoever bought this was looking for something dead simple that would absolutely not fail when needed while also being able to pass as simple fashion. It's the kind of thing you'd buy for a merc or a cut-out to make sure the plan goes off correctly and that there's deniability.

For a Shadowrun-ish reference, this necklace is like buying a gun in the shape of a bracelet so you can get it past club or gala security.

It also means that while this item is expensive/rare it's not bespoke and could have been purchased at a high end magic shop almost anywhere (not here though, because Ebinor's only sells items they craft themselves). Anyone with enough money could have purchased it somewhere.

Also, while it could have been purchased almost anywhere in Khorvaire Thaliost's current status as a newly occupied city means there is a thriving black market in mercs and weapons there. Also Thaliost is just a short trip away from Throneport by boat.


F Human Summoner 2

Idrassa looks at the note, then looks again at Declan, waiting for affirmation.

Idrassa's ready to leave if Declan is.


Male | Half Elf | Eldritch Archer | Level 2 | AC 15; T14 FF11 | 14/14 hp
Stats:
FRW +3 +4 +2 | Perception +6 LLV | CMD 17 | Init +4 | MW Comp (+2) Longbow +6 (1d8+2, x3) 110' P | MW Elven Thornblade +6 (1d6+2, 18-20) P/S

Declan nodded to Idrassa. It wasn't much, but it was more than they had before.

As soon as they're out the door, Dec will impart that know check to Idrassa.


F Human Summoner 2
karlprosek wrote:

Ebinor's Baubles, Sea Ward, afternoon - Declan, Idrassa

"Is that to your satisfaction, madam?"

"Very much so, thank you for your time," she replies. With a polite nod, she turns and leaves.

As the pair make their way around the corner from the shop, she slows her pace and allows Declan to regain the subservient half-pace he had been giving her. "What do you think?" She asks.


Male | Half Elf | Eldritch Archer | Level 2 | AC 15; T14 FF11 | 14/14 hp
Stats:
FRW +3 +4 +2 | Perception +6 LLV | CMD 17 | Init +4 | MW Comp (+2) Longbow +6 (1d8+2, x3) 110' P | MW Elven Thornblade +6 (1d6+2, 18-20) P/S
Idrassa Quill wrote:
As the pair make their way around the corner from the shop, she slows her pace and allows Declan to regain the subservient half-pace he had been giving her. "What do you think?" She asks.

Declan frowned as he caught up to her, considering the details the appraisal revealed. "I think it was a deliberate choice by the mastermind. A weapon simple enough, but also reliable, and able to pass as simple jewelry. That variety of... accoutrement... can be purchased at nearly any high end magic vendor between here and Thalinost. We will not find any more leads there."


F Human Summoner 2
Declan Corvus wrote:
Declan frowned as he caught up to her, considering the details the appraisal revealed. "I think it was a deliberate choice by the mastermind. A weapon simple enough, but also reliable, and able to pass as simple jewelry. That variety of... accoutrement... can be purchased at nearly any high end magic vendor between here and Thalinost. We will not find any more leads there."

Idrassa mulled that over. "Makes sense. The assassin discarded it," she observed. "They weren't worried about someone finding a paper trail, they were just worried about getting caught with it at the scene." She shook her head. "They're well-funded, that's for sure, and they were willing to spend money on this. And Host knows, they weren't worried about keeping a low profile. Come on," She added. "Let's go back and meet the others. Unless you can think of something else to try?"


Male | Half Elf | Eldritch Archer | Level 2 | AC 15; T14 FF11 | 14/14 hp
Stats:
FRW +3 +4 +2 | Perception +6 LLV | CMD 17 | Init +4 | MW Comp (+2) Longbow +6 (1d8+2, x3) 110' P | MW Elven Thornblade +6 (1d6+2, 18-20) P/S

Declan nodded once in agreement with Idrassa's evaluation. "No, I do not have any other ideas. Let us return."


Male | Half Elf | Eldritch Archer | Level 2 | AC 15; T14 FF11 | 14/14 hp
Stats:
FRW +3 +4 +2 | Perception +6 LLV | CMD 17 | Init +4 | MW Comp (+2) Longbow +6 (1d8+2, x3) 110' P | MW Elven Thornblade +6 (1d6+2, 18-20) P/S

At long last, here's the JP between me and Sky. Part 2 will be forthcoming eventually.

Declan walked into the deserted tavern and sat at a table in the corner. The barkeep, the only other living thing in the room, nodded once and disappeared into the back. Declan frowned slightly, sometimes the aristocracy operated not unlike a criminal enterprise.

Sky had given him methods of contact when she got the job. By necessity, she had moved out, but Declan wasn't invited. She hadn't elaborated, but he figured it might be his connection to Lyrandar. As tenuous as that was these days. In reality, he probably just wasn't vetted.

She had told him about this tavern. A hole in the wall kind of place in the Sea Ward. One the ir'Cassalanters had control of, and one where they could speak privately. He hadn't really had a reason to stop by until now. Well, that wasn't entirely true. The last few days had just been… busy.

Either way, the dashing rogue toyed nervously with the empty tankard on the table while he waited. When he realized what he was doing, he made a face and pushed the tankard aside, leaning broodingly back in his chair.

Her hood was up, when she entered. It was hardly needed; she was known there, and known for swiftly and deftly earning the trust and favour of the ir’Cassalanters. The habit was old, and she knew, absurd in some lights. It was always the hooded stranger that emerged in tales of subterfuge, the stuff that was scratched on the pages of pulp magazines, promising a thrill for those who lived more mundane lives.

Perhaps it was a shield, too, if a flimsy one. Something to cast a shadow on her eyes, and fool her into thinking her expressions were more hidden than they were. To most, they would be. But with him…?

Her mouth twitched when she espied him. A sense of connection welled up at the sight of him. She knew his face well– too well. Did she dare trace the sharp lines of his face with her gaze, as she had so many times? Where would that lead? Joy. Safety. She had stumbled to the precipice with him, and when the time came to leap, she had run instead. Like a damned coward.

He did brooding so well. Artistically, almost.

She flicked a nod at the barkeep, who readied her usual. She slid onto the chair opposite him, and leaned into it, not immediately meeting his gaze. She forced down the lump that had formed in her throat.

“You look well,” she said quietly, reluctantly meeting his gaze from the side, her head turned slightly away.

Declan knew immediately it was her when she entered. Not just because she was the only one who was likely to. The way she slipped in, turning the knob so the latch closed silently. The way her darkened eyes flicked across the room, despite it being empty. The way her hip kicked out ever so slightly when she approached the table. She was familiar, she was safe.

When she sat down, he leaned forward, a thousand thoughts running through his head. He should have stopped her from leaving. No, she was her own person. He should have gone with her. No, he wasn't invited. And the Trollskullers needed him. Their lives were heading in different directions, and he didn't like it. He opened his mouth to almost blurt out what he should have said ages ago. But he didn't, and his yap closed without a word.

Instead, he stared at a point behind her left ear and said, "You as well."

They were so, insufferably juvenile. They were going to play a game of cat and cat until they detangled the internal mess their lives had made for them. Thing was, the mess was comfortable. The mess, it was home. So Skylar sat in the midst of it, allowing it to swathe her with its chaos.

So, they were going to sit there, avoiding eye contact. His eyes were mirrors, reflecting her soul back to her in a way she was not yet ready to see.

Would she ever be? Idiot, she chided herself.

“What do you need?” She asked quietly, gaze not quite meeting his, settling to fixate on his eyelashes instead.

Right down to business. Declan sat back again and nodded once. So, she wasn't going to address the situation either. Was he disappointed? Perhaps. But it also gave them an out. He pulled out the note they had found and slid it over to her.

Quote:

Dalakhar,

I had to give considerable thought to your request. But you were always kind to me even when your Khyber-spawned master was not. If you are still in need of my aid, you may claim whatever sanctuary I can offer.

Kalain of the Nine Waters

"The addressee is dead. Do you know who the sender might be?"

She saw the barest flicker in his face. It was imperceptible, if one didn’t know what to look for.

Would it have killed you to ask how he is?

Her brother’s voice, long-dead. Not hers.

She occupied herself with the note instead. Her fingertips, for a fleeting moment, were within reach of his as she caught the note and drew it toward her. With a deft flick of her fingers, she spun the note so the text was rightside-up.

“Kalain,” she said faintly, and looked off into the middle distance. “Yes. I know the name. She was a mistress. Lord Dagult ir’Nelview.” She tapped the note pensively, all business again, her straying thoughts momentarily set aside. “She resides in a tower, the Nine Waters, in Sea Ward.”

She finally eyed him, her expression inquisitively. She could only avoid those eyes for so long.

“What’s it to Dalakhar?”

Declan shrugged, "No idea, he's dead." He made a face, not meaning to be so abrupt. "It is a lead. Surely you heard of the explosion near the Trollskull? Dalakhar was a victim, and possibly a target. Kalain may know something." He was being deliberately vague, not knowing what ears might be in these walls.

"We are all unhurt," he added as an afterthought to dispel such concerns, "A few civilians, not so much."

Skylar smiled wryly, a flash of her old self.

“I'm glad to see that you're clearly not dead,” she remarked. “And, that the others are unharmed.”

Ah, Declan. The stoicism was a shield he wore, as opaque as obsidian. She knew better.

More seriously, she went on: “I could come with you. To meet Kalain. She might be less guarded if I'm there.”

Declan almost said no as a reflex. This was a Trollskull matter, and she was ir'Cassalanter now... But then, was it, really? They were kind of sticking their noses in Watch business here. Sure, the Trollskull had a vested interest in the neighborhood. And they didn't entirely trust the Watch.

Besides, if Kalain had Cassalanter links, that could prove… advantageous. He nodded, "It would be amiable to have you by my side again." He paused and drummed his fingers on the table briefly. "I would need to check back in with the Trollskull. Appraise them of the plan. If you are not otherwise engaged, your accompaniment would be welcome."

By his side again. She bit back a retort. She had never…left his side. She was still there, if he needed her. She supposed it hadn’t seemed that way. He was certainly slipping into more formal speech patterns. Walls.

Her lips twitched; her smile was amused, but it was a vexed one, too.

“Dec,” she said, quietly, “In all of our time, I don’t think you have ever told me my accompaniment would be welcome. No, I’m not saying that I’m not welcome. Am I so much a stranger, now?” She was aware of the hypocrisy of what she said. Defensiveness was a response to the pang of hurt she was trying to bury, while being aware that their communication was piss-poor.

Declan found he had been staring at a corner of the table. At her words, his eyes jumped to hers for a moment and his expression softened. He knew that tone.

Shit.

"Of course not," he said immediately. He took a breath to focus and reflect on his next words. "I must be honest. I do not know where we are, or where we are going right now. And I don't like it." He frowned and found an interesting crack in the wall to stare at. "Our lives are being pulled in different directions. Perhaps it is inevitable."

He leaned forward and returned his attention to her, "I want you at my side. But I also understand you have your own life and responsibility. Particularly now."

Too bad the tankard was empty. He could use a stiff drink about now.

She made a quiet noise of thought, perhaps agreement. With her gaze, she sought out a particularly intriguing knot in the table.

“Things might change. Maybe we can…learn to change with them. Change can be discomforting because it isn’t familiar.” She forced herself to look at him. “Maybe…it’s not being at your side. It’s being alongside you.” It made sense to her, even if it seemed as though the two things were the same. One, she felt, suggested greater independence. Not being near him because she was unable to exist otherwise, but it being a choice.

"The only certainties in life are death, taxes, and change," Declan recited. He sighed and regarded the empty tankard. He understood what she meant. While she wouldn't be physically there, she would always have his back. He would for her, too. He couldn't help but feel like something was flitting away out of his grasp regardless.

"Indeed," he said at last, leaning back in his chair again. His expression hardened, though with that soft edge he could never hide from Sky. "I shall always be here for you as well," he confirmed.

Skylar released a breath she was not aware she had been holding. She smiled at his words; even in the solemnity of it, he couldn’t help but slip in a joke. Then, it was business again, the moment having passed like a ship drifting quietly through the night.

“I’ll find out when Kalain will be home,” she said, before an awkward silence could settle between them. “I will come and find you once I know for certain. Then we can go and see her together.”

Declan nodded. "Logical. I shall return to the Trollskull and inform the others. When you are ready, we can meet with Kalain."


Quick stats:
Legendary shifter 2 HPs:20/20 - AC: 18/19 shifted || 14/15 shifted || 15 - Fort:+5 | Ref:+6/+7 shifted | Will:+3 - Per:+8, low-light vision/darkvision 30' shifted, Init:+3/+4 shifted, CMD:15
karlprosek wrote:

Tarley Free Clinic, Fishgut Court, Dock Ward, afternoon - Ash, Illendur, Zander

"Our boy Renaer slums it down here in the Docks all the time. Your gnome- Dalakhar, I think- has been keeping an eye on him on and off for years, as far as anybody I know can tell. He comes and goes, but people remember him working for the old chief Councilman, Renaer's dad. Seems like his job's been to keep tabs on ir'Nelview the Younger and report back to Dagult wherever the old man's hiding these days."

"Recently, though- in the past week or so- the gnome's been trying to get in contact with Renaer, not just get information about him. Nobody knows why, though. There's a theory the gangs have found ir'Nelview's stash and are fighting over who gets to keep it but so far there ain't been any fresh coin on either side so nobody's won yet."

"Some folks're sayin' it's a new Grand Game, even. Maybe it even started with ir'Nelview gettin' deposed a couple years ago. You know, when politics spills out into the streets and gets normal folks like you an' me mixed up in it? Half a million galifars is enough even for the richest nobles in the city to sit up and take interest. That kind of money can buy you a lot of friends."

"So if that's all true, then we got Daask an' House Tarkanan an' who knows who else all tryna find Papa ir'Nelview's hidden vault an' stolen coin. And if you picked up a tail, stands to reason they were watchin' the gnome's rooms to see if anybody came to check on him."

Illendur and Ash both remembered Renaer telling them after they'd rescued him from the Tarkanans that the thugs thought he knew where Renaer's father hid the money he stole. They were looking for something called the Stone of Golorr, which had been stolen from a Daask crime boss. The Tarkanans thought that Renaer's father or someone working for him had stolen it to use it to open a hidden vault. The Daask mind flayer the group had encountered in the sewers- Nihiloor- had questioned Renaer about this Stone of Golorr in front of the group, as well.

Half a million galifars?! Ash had always considered himself above petty squabbles over money, but that number gave him pause.

But that wasn't the only detail that caught his attention.

"Do you know anything else about that Stone, Dok? What does it look like? How big is it? What do people say about it?"

"Illendur, Zander, maybe we should catch that tail and have a few more questions answered. Or maybe we should turn the tail around, and see where they go and whom they talk to."


Quick Stats – J’r-V’zz:
Psicrystal (Targeting Array) 2 HPs:12/12 – AC:16 ||T:16||FF:14 – Saves: (As Zander) | Init+2 | Sighted, 40’ – CMD: 3
Current Configuration: No Armor (Use Base Stats)
Quick Stats – Zander:
Aegis 2 HPs:24/24 - Per:+4, Init:+2

Zander, who was having trouble following all of the details, could understand Ash's tactical suggestions, and he nodded.

"Will it answer us willingly?"


Tarley Free Clinic, Fishgut Court, Dock Ward, afternoon - Ash, Illendur, Zander

.Ash. wrote:
"Do you know anything else about that Stone, Dok? What does it look like? How big is it? What do people say about it?"

Dok shook his head. "Not that I know about. Magic doohickeys aren't really my thing, though. Maybe ask Jixel? She knew about magic stuff, din't she?"

Whurzander wrote:

Zander, who was having trouble following all of the details, could understand Ash's tactical suggestions, and he nodded.

"Will it answer us willingly?"

Dok laughed, grinning at Zander. "Good one. Willingly, he said!"


Kn: Arcana or Psionics, DC 28:
The Stone of Golorr is a small and glossy greenish-gray stone that can fit in the palm of a humanoid's hand.

History
The Stone of Golorr is in fact an aboleth that was transformed into an object. Its origin is lost but the first mentions of the Stone appear thousands of years ago in the wake of the Daelkyr War. A handful of leaders and magic users of the Dhakaani Empire are either written or depicated as carrying the Stone of Golorr over the last few thousand years of that ancient empire's existence, and more recently among the orcs of the Shadow Marches and the gnomes of Zilargo.

It is not an artifact associated with major works of magic or great battles or blessings. It is mostly associated with knowledge and diplomacy, appearing in stories of tense negotiations, beside figures known for their breadth of magical knowledge, or among groups known for their work behind the scenes of major events.

Powers
The Stone of Golorr can perform a very specific, extremely powerful function: when the proper ritual is performed, the Stone magically eliminates a chosen memory or piece of knowledge from everyone on Eberron. The information is wiped clean from all books, scrolls, inscriptions, or other records and removed from all living memory except for those participating in the ritual.

The Stone of Golorr also stores away this information and can be called upon to access the transfigured aboleth's memory in a similar way as the legend lore spell. This power can be used up to three times per day until the stone recharges at the next dawn.

If I remember correctly, one of Jixel's goals was to get access to the library of a magical university in Sea Ward. We'll go ahead and say she was able to get access and it works as a MW tool for Kn:Arcana and Psionics checks, so that's handy.


Flipping the tail is a good idea. How do you do it?


Quick stats:
Legendary shifter 2 HPs:20/20 - AC: 18/19 shifted || 14/15 shifted || 15 - Fort:+5 | Ref:+6/+7 shifted | Will:+3 - Per:+8, low-light vision/darkvision 30' shifted, Init:+3/+4 shifted, CMD:15

Maybe someone in the party could do something interesting (a distraction and an incentive to report back, rolled into one), and then 1-3 of us (to increase the odds of *someone* successfully tailing him, maybe working in tandem? So one PC isn't tailing him the whole way, to allay his suspicions) tail him. Ash is willing to volunteer to trail, not specifying how (but obvs as some kind of animal that wouldn't be too noticeable; I'm thinking cat or very large rat, since birds don't typically fly indoors that much). Though I suspect his cover as a cat might be blown at this point - and if he heads into a nicer district, rat is probably not going to be the best choice, ESPECIALLY a ROUS. Open to ooc suggestions XD


I think there are more than enough random cats wandering around that Ash would be fine as long as he can pick a different coat (there's a whole wiki page about how Throneport loves cats). Dok can give you something interesting if you explain what you want to do. Let's get Perception, Stealth, and Survival checks for the tail-ers, any or all of them depending on what you have. Is that Ash, Illendur, and Zander?


F Human Summoner 2
Declan Corvus wrote:
Declan nodded once in agreement with Idrassa's evaluation. "No, I do not have any other ideas. Let us return."

Idrassa nodded and the pair made their way back to the Trollskull.

Not sure where to go from here if the rest of the gang is going after the tail. Is the Declan/Skylar meeting with Kalain already in progress off-screen? If not, could Idrassa possibly jump in on that?
Also: Awesome writing on the Declan/Skylar interlude - Really enjoyed that!


The meeting with Kalain basically just started. I don't have a problem with Idrassa being there. I'll ping you on Discord.


Quick Stats – J’r-V’zz:
Psicrystal (Targeting Array) 2 HPs:12/12 – AC:16 ||T:16||FF:14 – Saves: (As Zander) | Init+2 | Sighted, 40’ – CMD: 3
Current Configuration: No Armor (Use Base Stats)
Quick Stats – Zander:
Aegis 2 HPs:24/24 - Per:+4, Init:+2

DC28? Zander can't hit that with a nat-20, sadly. Ah, well.

Remember, Ash, the shape when Shifted is one of a "generic" member of the species. So nothing particular sticks out about him as a cat (presuming he isn't using his Aspect). So it's pretty hard to single him out as "THAT cat, it was following me, in a completely different part of town, two weeks ago!"

I think it's Ash and Illendur, maybe. Zander doesn't do "sneaky." "Loud and attention-getting/worthy of reporting on?" THAT, he can do. And Illendur isn't big on sneaky either, if I remember right...

When they were ready to leave Doc's place, and after Ash had laid out his plan to tail the tail (and the need for a reason for the tail to stop tailing them and report to someone), Zander had nodded.

Then he had taken a moment at the door to let his psi-crystal companion scan for the humanoid that had been tailing them.

Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22

Once J'r V'zz had indicated the "tail" on Zander's tactical map, Zander nodded again, then headed out of the building, moving as though he were on a direct route to an objective. An objective that took him near - but not directly towards - the tail.

As he moved, the blue crystaline coating of Zander's armored skin flowed out over him, hardening almost instantly into a shimmering shell.

As he got closer to the tail, Zander raised his hand, palm glowing eye-tearingly blue-white.

"DIE, TARKANAN SCUM!" Zander's voice was very loud as he let fly that blue-white bolt of glowing crystal from his palm.

The crystal streaked through the air, across the tail's line of sight, and impacted (rather spectacularly) against something unfortunate just outside of the tail's field of view.

"Failure to connect!" Zander reported to his friends; calling across the open ground to the doorway, "the Tarkanan escaped! It knows where the chest is!"

Bluff: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (17) - 1 = 16
Blaster Attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Blaster Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 7

The intent was to shoot convincingly at a non-existent Tarkanan spy, probably destroying a bit of fence or debris in an alley, just outside of the tail's ability to see. And then bluff. Maybe the blast gives him a bonus? And/or Illendur can Aid?


Quick stats:
Legendary shifter 2 HPs:20/20 - AC: 18/19 shifted || 14/15 shifted || 15 - Fort:+5 | Ref:+6/+7 shifted | Will:+3 - Per:+8, low-light vision/darkvision 30' shifted, Init:+3/+4 shifted, CMD:15

I was thinking we could wait until the party was gathered again to get more eyes (and skills) on this, but in case we're going for it now, some rolls:

Perception (+ scent): 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (17) + 16 = 33
Stealth: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28
Survival: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27


Quick Stats – J’r-V’zz:
Psicrystal (Targeting Array) 2 HPs:12/12 – AC:16 ||T:16||FF:14 – Saves: (As Zander) | Init+2 | Sighted, 40’ – CMD: 3
Current Configuration: No Armor (Use Base Stats)
Quick Stats – Zander:
Aegis 2 HPs:24/24 - Per:+4, Init:+2

Whoops! Missed this part: "Dok can give you something interesting if you explain what you want to do."Um... perhaps Zander didn't have to go out there blasting after all....


Yellowspire, Turnback Court, Castle Ward - Ash, Illendur, Zander

I mean, it was pretty entertaining and it scared the crap out of me, much less a guy who's been following you around. I say it worked to get him to run.

Also Ash just rolled what might be the best series of rolls I've ever seen on the forums, so it definitely worked.

J'r V'zz indicated the tail had retreated, breaking line of sight. Luckily, Ash already had his scent and padded off behind the man. He moved quickly but didn't run, just moved with purpose like thousands of other people on the busy streets.

He headed north, almost directly toward Thronehold itself, eventually crossing Hillock Court under the watchful eyes of a dozen Throne Wardens and twice that number of the Watch. Hillock Court was a working plaza, though, so a few extra people (and cat) moving with purpose didn't draw any particular scrutiny from the watchers on the walls. Ash did draw the attention of a few local cats lounging about the wide, sunny square but managed to avoid any entanglements by just moving along quickly.

1d20 ⇒ 12

He watched behind himself, checking for tails, but Ash was the next best thing to invisible and Illendur and gold-plated Zander were far enough back to never be in his line of sight.

From there, their shadow turned west along the wide boulevard, keeping to the sidewalk instead of hailing a cab, and wound his way past another series of imposing official buildings. Maybe this was all on purpose, to dissuade anyone following him or keep anyone from skulking behind. All these guards would have definitely called out someone trying to stay hidden, but a cat was just a cat and a nobleman and a golden warforged openly walking in the middle of the day couldn't possibly be doing anything underhanded.

Past the government buildings and guards, the tail only went another block before taking a left into a small cul de sac with a decaying tower dominating the end of it. The bricks had a yellowish tint to them, though they were half-hidden by the wooden scaffolding wrapped around the crumbling edifice, evidence of a restoration project that seemed to be on a break for now.

Map/drawing here.


It is late afternoon, so if Illendur and Zander wanted to go back to Trollskull Manor to let the rest of the party know what they found there is time to do that. We will say all PCs are available from their prior scene if the party wants to regroup.


Quick stats:
Legendary shifter 2 HPs:20/20 - AC: 18/19 shifted || 14/15 shifted || 15 - Fort:+5 | Ref:+6/+7 shifted | Will:+3 - Per:+8, low-light vision/darkvision 30' shifted, Init:+3/+4 shifted, CMD:15

Ash is definitely going to try to keep following the guy, he wants to hear what he has to say one way or the other, and see to whom he speaks.


Quick Stats – J’r-V’zz:
Psicrystal (Targeting Array) 2 HPs:12/12 – AC:16 ||T:16||FF:14 – Saves: (As Zander) | Init+2 | Sighted, 40’ – CMD: 3
Current Configuration: No Armor (Use Base Stats)
Quick Stats – Zander:
Aegis 2 HPs:24/24 - Per:+4, Init:+2

I hadn't been expecting Zander/Illendur to be able to follow along, so this is bonus gravy for me. Zander has no issues going to collect the others if Illendur wants to stay close in order to rescue Ash if needed...


Just realized I didn't actually say the guy went into the tower. He went into the tower. Does Ash want to follow him inside?

It will take Zander ~30 minutes to walk to Trollskull Manor, maybe 10 if he catches a cab but I don't know if Zander would be willing to do that. So between half an hour (in a cab/carriage) and 1.5 hours to get there and back with reinforcements.

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