While relaxing at one of your usual haunts, you are approached by an elderly halfling woman. She politely addresses you by name and once you confirm your identity, she hands you a sealed envelop.
Greetings, and I trust this missive finds you in good health!
My name is Lavinia Vanderboren and I humbly request your attendance at dinner at my estate on Festival Street and Blue Skink Lane tomorrow evening. I think that I can present an opportunity uniquely suited to your skills. Please inform the carrier of this letter of your response to this invitation, and I hope to be speaking to you soon.
The wizened little halfling patiently stands by while you read the note and awaits your reply.
I assume no one is going to refuse the call to adventure, but this gives everyone a chance to post something to tag the thread so the campaign will show up on your page.
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Ale dribbles down the beard of the armored ruffian as he grabs the letter placed in front of 'im. He pays no attention to the stranger that knows his name. He begins to read softly allowed.
'Greetin'.. i trust dis miss..IVE. Be findin' you in health. My name is 'vinia...'
He eyes the halfling woman and continues on navigating the letter until finished. Once done he crumples it up and roughly hands it back to the woman.
'I got a few skills indeed las, aye, i'll listen to 'vinia. Tell me where 'n when, 'n there better be ale.'
The lean Touv woman stoically accepts the elderly halfling's missive with a nod of thanks.
Deftly she retrieves one of the many knives held about her person and with a single delicate stroke slices the envelope open, before equally as quickly returning it to the lattice of sheathes.
Her eyes flit slowly and deliberately across the page, often repeating a line or word for digestion.
Finished, she allows her fingers to trace the texture of the paper, feeling its quality and weight before pausing to smell the letter.
DC15 Knowledge (Nobility): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
DC15 Knowledge (Local): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Perfume. Even in grief.
Turning back to the wizened messenger, Ukufa acknowledges the request, touching her hand to the tattoo of the ruby skull upon her forehead.
"I accept. Wee Jas accepts."
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Kellan is surprised as a halfling woman appears to hand him an envelope. He was lost in thought lurking in the shadow of his families' former estate, as he all too often was these days. He blinks away the sad reverie and confirms his identity, first name only, even the thought of his surname brings a lump of all too fresh grief to his throat.
Nobility: 1d20 ⇒ 7
Local: 1d20 ⇒ 2
He scans the letter. His first inclination is to decline but his investigation has gone cold and his purse hangs limp for lack of coin. The opportunity for a cash infusion could open some doors or crack some lips, to say nothing of keeping his belly full.
He wordlessly nods his assent to the halfling, pockets the letter, and returns to his sullen contemplation of the shadow fallen over his former home and stature.
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Stepping from the gondola that had ferried her back from the Merchant District, Ukufa was stuck, as always by the contrast between the two areas of Sasserine.
The Noble District was so much cleaner and orderly, than the cacophony of sounds, smells and speech in the Merchant District.
Order was good. It felt right to her.
Heading eastward along Warlock’s Run, the Jasdian stepped lightly, her black and grey linen robe and cloth bindings fluttering behind her in the breeze.
As she arrived at the great domed temple of Wee Jas, Ukufa uttered the pass phrase, allowing the wizard locked gate to be entered. Patiently waiting inside for her return, dwarfed by the 60ft high statue of the Ruby Sorceress, stood their ageing matriarch of the church: Mother Magus Annah Terenaki.
Ukufa bent the knee, shaved head bowed in reverence as the old woman addressed her, voice thin like aged parchment;
”Well child? Did Lady Vanderboren seek your service as was foretold?”
The Jasdian slayer stayed kneeling, her eyes fixed upon the tiled mosaic upon the temple floor, yet her voice was clear, her words concise;
”Yes Mother Magus.”
The old woman nodded, then waited for more;
”Good. Details then child… When and where?”
The slayer raised her head, meeting the powerful cleric’s gaze;
”Her estate. The morrow’s eve. An opportunity.”
A smile played across the Mother Magus’ thin face, and she bid Ukufa rise.
”Opportunity indeed my child. Your skills, like your blade will be honed in this endeavour. Listen, then accept. Report all you find. Any who oppose you in this matter must be cut from this mortal coil.”
The Touv nodded without hesitation, as she turned to leave, the Mother Magus once again spoke, her voice warmer;
”See Sister Vella for suitable ornaments that befits this invitation. Remember Ukufa, while you are our Stern Knife, you still represent the Ruby Sorceress. She cannot have you looking less than perfection. Now go. Prepare.”
Katigar takes the letter from the old woman, turning her nose up at Bhru whose face is covered in ale like always.
Know(nobility) DC15: 1d20 ⇒ 6
Know(Local) DC15: 1d20 ⇒ 4
Before she has a chance to mull the letter over, the brutish oaf in front of her has already accepted.
She nods silently at the old woman in agreement.
Renac is seated at one of the few ale houses in the city he still frequents, one that he can still show his face in while also not burning through the last of his money he has from his old job. Having just managed to scrape together a few coppers telling a story he heard while at the Alabaster Academy he sees the small frail woman approach. With a court greeting he takes the letter and reads it, a smile spreading on his face.
know nobility: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
know local: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (16) - 1 = 15
"Ah it seems my old friend Lavinia still is willing to talk to me."
as he says this, the smile falters for a moment.
"Oh, that's why the names in the news seemed familiar. The poor girl, to lose both her parents and everything in a tragic fire." Looks to the old woman with a curt nod. "Please tell the Lady her old friend Renac accepts, and offers his deepest condolences."
Let's get this party started!
Vanderboren Manor is located in the eastern section of the Merchant District. The seven-foot-high stone wall that surrounds the estate is impossible to miss, as is the towering, gothic, three-story house that dominates the grounds within. Leering gargoyles and capering nymphs festoon the eaves of the manor's roof, and several trees give the manor grounds a nice buffer from the hustle of the city.
The front gates have been left open, anticipating your arrival, but no one is there to greet you. The grounds are almost eerily empty, with no sign of the usual guards or groundskeepers you would normally expect to populate a noble's estate.
You approach the front door and knock. After a few moments, the same elderly halfling woman who delivered your invitation answers the door. She thanks you for arriving on time and asks you to wait in the atrium. "Lady Vanderboren shall be with you shortly."
Everyone should post a brief description of your character and feel free to RP with each other.
Ever watchful Ukufa moves through the gates until met with, and instructed by the same elderly halfling.
Once again she bows her head in reverence;
"My thanks Mistress."
... then enters the atrium as bidden.
As she waits, the lithe Touv woman sets her pack down, then quietly and patiently holds for the arrival of her host.
Standing before you is a Touv woman of medium height. Her lean, muscled physique, whilst cloaked in ribbons of cooling linen, suggests she exceptional conditioning and training. Her ears and neck bear glints of golden jewellery that contrasts the more drab blacks and greys of her clothing and cloak.
About her countenance are a number of dagger sheathes. While at her hip rests a machete - the tool (and sometime weapon) of the jungle scout. A sharp edged chakram hangs from her the explorer's pack at her feet.
Two things you note as you approach: The ruby skull of Wee Jas upon her choker and the intense stare she tracks you with that belies the her stoic expression....
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Renac comes to the manner expecting to have to introduce but seeing the gate open and the grounds deserted he waits for a moment looking around. Eventually seeing nobody here to greet him he heads inside. Seeing the manor he looks on, “It seems the fire wasn’t a total loss, the manor still looks stunning.”
After being welcomed in he smiles and nods walking in and standing patiently. Seeing the strange and well armed woman standing and waiting as well he walks over and introduces himself.
“A pleasure to meet you Madam. I am Renac, it is my joy to make your acquaintance . Were you summoned by the Lady Vanderboren as well?“
He says this and follows with a small courtly bow well rehearsed and smooth, even for a man in armor such as him.
He is a young man taller than normal and built with fair skin. His hair platinum blonde with light blue eyes like the sky. He wears scaled mail that looks a little worse for wear, having scuffs and marks on it. On his hip a large falchion that stands contrast to his armor looking gilded and finely made, a small stone on the pommel. On his chest dangles a small sun, stylized to appear like Pelor. His face has a perpetual grin on it, as if he might have heard a joke a moment ago.
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Kellan arrived well ahead of the invitation time. He found himself most comfortable in the shadows of a nearby alley with a view of the manor gate. The grounds were empty so far as he could discern after several trips around the walls.
Two people entered before Kellan decided it was his time. The Blonde armored human looked to be familiar with the falchion on his hip but was unknown to Kellan. The Touv woman however was a potential problem. He thought he'd seen her at the temple of Wee Jas and her choker and tattoo marked her as a potentially high-ranking, or, at the very least, a devout follower of the Ruby Goddess. Considering his recent abandonment of his training and the slight potential that she'd seen him at the academy, she was a potential source of conflict. Kellan thanked his unnamed shadow patron that he'd ditched his Wee Jas academy parade armor in favour of his current armoured coat and burglars gear. He was willing to gamble that a neophyte at the academy was beneath her notice and entered the manor.
His affinity to shadows seemed to be growing and so he found himself slinking through the gate, sidling up to the door. Once again he wordlessly nodded to the Halfling that opened the door. He saw that the man was attempting to engage the disciple of Wee Jas in conversation and decided to avoid that engagement for the time being. He was suddenly aware that he hadn't had to moderate his expression for weeks, and attempted to warm his sullen glower to a neutral expression as he dropped his pack next to a wine service and poured himself some wine, as he awaited the Lady of the manor.
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Bhru saunters through the gates not paying too much heed to them being open nor there being no guard, he mumbles idly to his companion as they proceed.
'Din't have much more t'say than a grumble per usual. Look at the walls of this place, if the rest of ya were half as smart as you were tall you'd jus' build em in the side o' a mountain'
As they are granted entry to the estate the dwarf gives an awkward half-bow.
He scoffs loudly as he sees the others in the atrium and jabs his companion with a thigh placed elbow,
'Guessin' our skills weren' that impressive huh'
He places his worn Warhammer heavily on the ground before leaning against it casually.
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Katigar follows Bhru through the gates of the estate, scanning the shadows with caution. Her eyes catch a brief glimpse of a wiry human exiting the shadows and slipping quickly through the door. A small arm prods her thigh and breaks her focus. She nods at the dwarf, wondering again how she came to travel with such an unlikely companion.
As they enter the manor she lowers her black hood and takes stock of the other arrivals. A stoic, well built Touv woman engaged, seemingly against her will, with a plain looking well-armored male. She notes the man from the shadows. She eyes him curiously as they await their host.
At Renac's direct address, Ukufa slowly takes his measure before answering;
"Ukufa. Was summoned also."
As the others enter, she gauges them and returns any nods with a slight one of her own.
While you are making introductions and sizing each other up, four figures emerge from a hallway. They come towards you, heading for the exit, with the elderly halfling woman trailing hurriedly behind them.
The odd group includes a jaunty male half-elf dressed in leather armor and armed with a half-dozen daggers of different shapes, a dark-skinned dwarf with a sour expression dressed in green and brown robes, and clutching a large curved spear, an attractive, but haughty-looking woman dressed in dark purple robes and with a tattoo of a crescent moon on one cheek, and lastly, a tall and handsome man dressed in polished breastplate, carrying a bastard sword.
You recognize the group as being the 'Jade Ravens', a mercenary company that made a name for itself raiding ruins in the Amedio Jungle, but has been in the Vanderboren's employ for a number of years now.
Friendly reminder that you can only use knowledge skills untrained for DCs of 10 or less and that we are usin background skills if you haven't added them yet.
Most of the party gives you barely a second glance as they make their way to the front door, but the man in the breastplate stops to size you up.
"Hmm. You must be the extra help Lavinia's bringing in to do the chores. Try not to burn the place down while we're away."
The halfling woman gives him a disapproving glare,
"You mind your manners, Tolin. I believe the Mistress gave you your own chore to perform. Perhaps you should be about it?"
"Right you are Mrs. Whistletop," He gives the old woman an apologetic half-bow and turns back to you all. "No offense meant folks, and seriously, good luck."
With that, he takes his leave.
Mrs Whistltop turns her attention to you.
"The Mistress will see you now," she says, and leads you to a private dining hall.
The room is comfortable and cozy, softly lit by wall-mounted lanterns. A window overlooks the manor's central courtyard and the carpet is thick and soft. A large portrait hangs on the wall, a fine work depicting a handsome young man with a short beard. Standing before the portrait is an attractive human woman wearing a long, flowing blue dress. She smiles as you enter.
"Thank you all for coming. I am Lavinia Vanderboran. Please be seated."
Ukufa eyes the exiting group with interest, but does not interact.
When summoned she collects her pack, following the elderly hobniz into the grand hall.
At their hosts greeting, the Touv hunter acknowledges Lavinia with a nod, then takes a seat as bidden.
Bhru follows the group, his armor groans in protest as he sets off. He eyes Renac, then Tolin as he passes by,
Guess she likes a pretty one around most o' the time.
He settles into the chair offered to him and places his spiked gauntlets in front of himself before producing his flask. Bhru takes a healthy swig before offering it to the already seated Touv woman.
'on secon' thought'
Realizing that the ale is better off saved for himself, he retracts his extended arm and indulges once more.
Embarrassed at his own temerity, Kellan replaces the wine cup. He can't quite place his finger on it but suspects by the fineness of his gear, and haughtiness of his character, that Tolin may be a noble.
Knowledge Nobility: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Allowing the group to pass he follows the agent of Wee Jass and the dwarf in, smiles to Lady Vanderboran and takes a seat. He restrains himself from reaching for the proferred flask, thankfully, as the dwarf seems to think better of sharing. Perhaps he should have kept the wine...
Renac seeing the short response straightens and simply takes a moment to stand and nod as others come in, realizing now that maybe this isn’t the company to be talking to much.
As the other groupsL comes in, he goes to retort back but with the halfling woman speaking up he seemingly holds his tongue. With the more cordial response he says back to the man., “You as well, may our paths cross again.”
He follows along after the halfling a measured step carrying himself with dignity, once inside the room and introduced to Lady Vanderboran he bows and smiles, “You look as beautiful as ever Lavinia, erm excuse my manners, Lady Vanderboran. It’s a pleasure to see you again.”
He says then taking a seat, he does eye the dwarf’s flask with envy for a moment. Though he says nothing and his eyes return the their hostess.
With an eye on the four strangers leaving the manor, Katigar follows the halfling and group of guests toward the dining hall. Reaching the table she takes her giant axe from off her back, rests it against her chair, and takes a seat. She takes in Lavinia and waits in anticipation.
@Kellan: Yup no worries. If Tolin is nobility, he's of some branch you're unfamiliar with.
Lavinia gives Renac a smile, "Lavinia, please. I was glad to hear that you'd accepted the invitation, Renac. It is nice to see you again as well, it has been a while."
When you are all seated, she joins you at the table, "As some of you may have heard, I recently inherited my parents' estate. Along with this fine house, unfortunately, came a fine amount of debt owed to the Dawn Council, the harbourmaster, and quite a few guildhalls. It seems my parents, for all their success as adventurers, were not as skilled at finance as one might expect. If I'm to settle these debts, I'll need to access my family's vault under Castle Teraknian."
"And that's the problem, you see. The vaults are magically locked, keyed to special signet rings. Both of my parents had these rings, at least, until recently. My mother lost hers a few months ago. She arranged for a replacement, but it won't be done for another month or so, which will unfortunately be too late for me. That leaves my father's ring. He never wore it, he had a thing about men wearing jewelry, so he kept it hidden somewhere on his ship, the Blue Nixie."
"The problem there is that the harbormaster has seized the ship until someone pays for the last four months of mooring. I've paid the fines to the man the harbormaster's put in charge of my ship, a brute named Soller Yark. Yet when I went to claim my ship, Vark's men wouldn't let me board, claiming that I hadn't yet paid the fines. I spoke to Vark again and he denied ever receiving my payment and my complaints to the harbormaster have fallen on deaf ears. He's a doddering old fool who trusts his man and he won't relent."
"I suspect that Vark and his men are up to something on my ship, but I need to find out exactly what that is. Unfortunately, Vark's not the type to react well to diplomacy or logic. I need someone who speaks his language... which is where you come in. From what I've heard, you all possess the temperament and skill sets necessary for this kind of endeavor."
"So here is my proposal: If you can find out what Soller Vark using my ship for, or even better, recover the money I paid him, I'll pay each of you 200 gold pieces in return, once I've access to my vault. Does that sound agreeable?"
Renac gives a nod with a smile in response letting her speak. As she explains the problem the smile he has fades until it’s replaced with a scowls. He leans in, his hands together in front of his face. As she finishes he takes a moment before speaking,
“Well Lavinia, I’d be my pleasure to help. You’ll have your money returned and the boat cleared of all signs of that thug. I can’t stand corrupt officials like that.”
Welp, I primed Kellan for facey Cha stuff soooo... Gonna take a gamblestab at something...
Kellan ponders his move as the tall blond acquaintance states his willingness to aide the Lady's cause.
"Ahem, if I may Lady," Kellan pauses briefly giving the lady a moment to extend first name familiarity, smiles, and continues quickly without awaiting her response, "Vanderboran, err Kellan, hahem, Ved, Kellan should you please. A couple clarifying questions after I extend my deepest condolences, I too am grieving the recent loss of family. Your payment sounds quite generous but if I'm correct we'll needs recover your father's ring in order for you to afford such recompense, no? In addition, this Vark 'brute' as you describe him, seems to speak the language of intimidation, or perhaps violence, is this the language you intend for us to confer with him in? The potential for injury is a touch worrisome. Finally, have you assurances the ship has remained at port? I'm not quite sure what other use a ship has, if not for sailing... I am certainly willing to help, but should we retrieve your father's ring, or the ship has moved, or violence becomes necessary..." Kellan trails off at this point, hoping his ploy was subtle enough to be effective.
Shooting for a 'Suggest course of Action' for 'bonuses' if we get the ring, end up chasing down a sailing ship, or get in a fight.
Bluff: 1d20 + 8 - 10 ⇒ (7) + 8 - 10 = 5
Ooof, if needed:
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
Not too familiar with how this one works in PF or for you GMF, do I check against a specific potential deception or is it usually just a roll for trustworthiness? Edit: not that this roll matters...
Sense Motive: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (3) - 1 = 2
Ukufa listens to the noblewoman's plea, then the comments from the Knight of Pelor and the cloaked one, before adding her concise take;
"Wee Jas accepts."
She leans back mulling the work to be conducted;
"Vark. Alive or dead?"
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As the Lady presents her offer, Bhru coughs and sputters on the liquid he was attempting to ingest. He opens his mouth to say something but the others beat him to it. Listening to the nervous Kellan try and get more than he's worth amuses Bhru as he wipes the bit of spittle off his beard.
Bhru eyes Katigar slightly looking for a hint of excitement. He leans over while the others are chattering,
'Thas four HUNDRED gold coins 'tween us'
He can't help but stifle a small belly laugh at the prospect of claiming a small treasure,
'Never been the one for much of a plan Miss 'vinia, but if you be sayin' somethin needs crushing...'
He grinds his fist absently in his palm,
'then point me in the right direction.'
@Kellan: nothing wrong with preemptive rolling. If additional rolls are needed, I'll ask.
To Kellan Lavinia says, "My condolences to you as well. I would hope that the port authority has not grown so lax as to allow for the theft of my ship, but if they have absconded with it since yesterday, then our business will be quite brief. As for the potential for violence, to be frank, that is what you are being hired for. The situation has already moved past polite conversation. If you happen to find where my father's ring is hidden, it would save me some effort, but it is not necessary. You are correct though in that your payment is contingent on the recovery of the ring and that I will not be able to pay you anything for your effort, in the event of failure. In fact, I'm a little hesitant to offer so much, as I don't actually know the state of the treasury at the moment, but considering that your are accepting in good faith, and the potential risks involved, it seemed appropriate."
At Ukufa's direct question, Lavinia's expression turns grim. "Vark's fate is of little concern to me, though I see no real reason he need die for his actions. That said, the job is to recover my money and ship, and I'll defer to your professional expertise as to how you plan on achieving that end. I do ask that you use some discretion, as I would rather keep the city watch from being involved."
Any other questions?
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Ukufa listens intently, noting the noblewoman's intonation and expression as she speaks;
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
"Indeed Mistress. Discretion...
As she nods, the Jasdian Hunter's eyes cold fall upon the gruff dwur* and the great axe wielding half-euroz*.
In Greyhawk (where this AP is set) most demi-human/humanoid races were known by terms from the Flan language: Dwur = Dwarf; Olve = Elf; Hobniz = Halfling; Gnomiz = Gnomes; Euroz = Orc.
Just injecting some old-school flavour into the description (as long as no-one minds).
Ready to go also
Katigar tries to suppress a smile as Bhru's dwarven excitement over gold makes him choke on his ale. She rubs her thumb along the edge of her axe,
I accept as well
I'm ready too
Weeeelll twas worth a shot, 200gp if I ever see it will keep me going for a bit, maybe more if we get that vault open... I suppose my scales aren't the only ones needs balancing either. Kellan's stomach grumbles as if on queue. He fingers his purse absentmindedly; empty as his stomach.
"Fair enough m'lady, thank you for the clarification, I look forward to completing our transaction as I do getting to know my new companions."
@Ukufa: Not sure if you are trying to figure out anything in particular. She seems to mean what she is saying.
With the business discussion concluded, dinner is served. Lavinia proves to be a charming and engaging hostess, making all of you feel included. She keeps things light, focusing on small talk and not probing any of you too deeply. The food is hearty and delicious, but perhaps not as fancy as you might have expected from a noble's table. All the food is served by the elderly hobniz, who Lavinia introduces as Kora Whistletop, and who it turns out was also responsible for its preparation.
After a pleasant evening, the party makes arrangements to reconvene on the morrow.
According to Lavinia, the Blue Nixie is docked at pier five in the Merchant District. Alas, when you arrive at its berth, you find that the Blue Nixie is not docked at the pier at all, but is in fact moored to a float about 100 feet from the pier's end.
Apologies - should have noted. Was trying to gauge if she was keeping anything from us.
Upon the morrow Ukufa meets up with the others as they reconnoiter the Blue Nixie.
Eying the ship, the Jasdian hunter nods toward their prize with a hard expression;
"Already things change."
"Aye m'lady, a ship is for sailing, as I said, but at least she's in sight. Greetings crew, any amongst us sail? Admittedly I'm not much of a swimmer... Shall we speak to the harbor master about hiring a ferry or perhaps about summoning his man to us on solid ground? Tides may turn better for us if Vark is separated from his crew, as it were. Theres still the ring to find..."
Is there a harbour office or anyone nearby with row boat big enough to hold us all?
Ukufa continues to watch the Nixie, but her eyes flit towards Kellan at the savvy in his strategy;
"May need supplies. Or whores."
She looks to the others;
"We could bring both."
As they plan Renac looks out at the sea with a grim look. “Well, whatever the plan is. We aren’t swimming out there. Half of us are in armor heavy enough to take us to the bottom.”
Maybe the harbormaster can hook us up with what we need. Agree swimming isnt an option for me.. hah.
Bhru laughs lightly as Ukufa suggests bringing whores,
'Ye mean to take to the ship? Or fer personal use?'
The hardy dwarf scans the docks to see if it looks like there is anyone in charge.
Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (7) - 1 = 6
Looking for the Harbormaster
A mindless scratch of the beard occurs as he squints into the sun.
'Could always come back in the night, liberate a ship fer ourselves...'
Bhru peers over the edge into the water, nervously looking into its depths.
Ukufa eyes the rough hewn dwarf coldly, and does not share his mirth.
"To ship. A disguise."
She looks him up and down;
"With bath and shave, you may earn."
Katigar takes stock of the pier and considers the options presented by her party mates. She folds her arms across her chest in thought.
'The harbor master is unlikely to cooperate if he senses what we are up to...Lavinia says he trusts his men and his loyalty may prove problematic. Hiring a ferry seems out of the question. I think the dwarf is right, conducting our business at night with the shadows on our side may be the best course of action...'
She looks to Ukufa, 'If you can get him to bathe I will give you half my earnings.'
"Ahhh, great points Katigar but if we give him no reason to suspect our employer he has no reason to associate us with her. I should like to speak with him, perhaps with the right words we can at least glean some info on our man Vark. We'll have to wait for dark in any case, no?"
Kellan nods to Ukufa, "Whores for sailors, a fine bait. Mayhaps as the sun sets we might find some willing 'sirens' to woo our man ashore?"
Kellan flags down the nearest longshoreman or sailor, "Kind sir, could you direct us to where we might find the Harbormaster? And on a completely unrelated note... where one might pay for, err, company?"
if needed... or could I take a 20 on locating the harbormaster/office?
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
@Ukufa: No worries. Figured it was something along those lines.
@Kellan: There are plenty of small boats and skiffs around the docks. It wouldn't be that difficult to hire or appropriate one to suit your needs.
At Kellan's question, the longshoreman points to the massive administrative building that dominates the docks. "Habourmaster's office is there, as for whores..." He points out every public house, tavern and inn within eye-shot. "Any of those will do ya. Oh and just a word of caution, sailors tend to frequent the first place they set eyes on when they make it to port. You may want to go a little further afield, if you're willing to pay a bit more to take the path less trodden."
@all: It can really be anytime of day that you want, but the office wouldn't be open at night.
For Kellan's plans we'll go with within business hours?
"Ahhh, many thanks friend. I'll go have words with him about his man Vark, I've work that may be well suited to them. Do you know of Soller Vark and his reputation? If its a yes he follows up with: Does he perchance have a favorite watering hole or ahem, source for company?" Kellan says as he throws the sailor a friendly wink.
After listening to the sailors reply, and thanking him again, Kellan sets off impetuously in the direction of the administration building, muttering to himself and anyone walking with him "Well my parents company may have been ripped from my hands but I suspect the Ved name may yet hold water on these docks. Perhaps I can convince the Harbormaster that I have a lucrative job for him and one particular subordinate with a certain reputation."
Damnit! Just realized somehow my background didn't save to the alias. Will remedy that from home tomorrow if it hasn't completely vanished.
Renac follows Kellan trying flashing a smile at the dockworker but letting his compatriot do the talking. As Kellan finishes his questions Renac asks his lone one. “I know this may be frank but what do you know of Vark? I’ve had friends who’ve had business with him and we were all hoping to do some business with him currently but he seems to be gone. Just curious about who we are to be breaking bread with, you understand.”
As he walks Renac follows curious to see the resolution of this idea. He listens eyeing the strange man he is working. “Seems like a sound plan. It’s good to have another person in our little group that can carry a conversation as well as a blade. Sorry to hear about your family troubles,It seems Lavinia has found a way to bring someone else besides myself out of their troubles.”
The longshoreman shrugs, "Can't say that the name rings a bell." He waves a sweeping arm, encompassing the whole of the harbour. "Harbourmaster got dozens of agents overseeing this place, can't say I know them by name. I just do what my foreman tells me too and keep my head down." With that, the man continues about his business.
You can spend a couple of hours asking around, making a gather information check as per the diplomacy skill, if you want, but asking about the man at his place of employment, is probably easiest. Alternatively, you can just stake out the ship, or what have you.
Everyone heading to the office? Splitting the party isn't really a big deal, if people want to divide and conquer.