Heroes of Lastwall

Game Master Tilnar

The epic tale of the characters who answered the call of young Lord Kalthun, the would-be heroes who seek to deal with the growing orcish threat -- to win back some of the land that has been lost, and inspire others to take up the fight.

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Lastwall Heroes - Current Date: Toilday, 31 Desnus, 4711 AR | Shadowrun - Current Date: Saturday, March 13, 2060

To be honest, you're starting to lose patience with all of this - that first interview with the old cleric was annoying enough, but you've spent the last week being tested - proving your abilities - martial, magical, tactical, and then more interviews. Still, you have noticed that there were a few less people drilling each time - maybe those weren't the fortress' trainees, but other applicants... Either way, another interview with that old cleric of Erastil is so low on the list of things you'd like to do that you'd run out of parchment and ink before you ever got to it.

You step into the same room as before, ready for another drilling, but this time the old man seems less annoyed by your presence, even as he directs you to sit in the same chair as last time with his walking staff.

He looks at you, and for a moment, you feel uncomfortable under his steely gaze until he smiles, bringing a gentleness to his eyes,"Well, it is my pleasure to tell you that we've selected you -- you and a handful of others -- to take part in this initiative of Kalthun's. The Lord Martial will be celebrating the launch of the initative with a banquet tomorrow evening at sunset, and expects your presence. In fact.." he trails off, looking for something under the parchment on his desk, then smiling as he finds it, "..he would appreciate if you would dress for the occasion. This token," he says, handing you a small laquered griffon an inch long, "can be presented for a new, clean set of clothes at Inheritor's Light -- a shoppe," he explains, before you can ask a question. "It need not be fancy, just presentable. Tell Drewan what it's for, and he'll be more than pleased to suggest something appropriate."

The old man smiles and taps your knee with his staff, "To be honest, I had a pretty good feeling about you during that first interview. You'd be surprised how many were offended or upset that I didn't immediately hand them a bag of coins for deigning to show their faces... and how many more refused to demonstrate their skills with a blade or a bow. In fact, one so-called wizard we turned away literally had flash-powder burns on his sleeve and cloak, but was upset when we didn't believe him."

He stands, pushing against his staff to lift himself, "But before tomorrow's banquet, Lord Kalthun would like to see you in his office to talk about the terms of your employment, and, unless I'm mistaken, to give you your first task as well. After all, if you don't agree to all that, there's no sense in being feted later. So, present yourself at the tower just before noon, there's a hole in his schedule as long as you don't mind eating while you talk. The token will get you in. So don't lose it." He smiles again as he adds, "Or let Drewan take it as a joke."

He extends his hand and when you take it, his grip is firm - and you once again get a sense of the inner strength of the man - and that he must have been formidable in his prime. "Welcome aboard," he says earnestly.


Lastwall Heroes - Current Date: Toilday, 31 Desnus, 4711 AR | Shadowrun - Current Date: Saturday, March 13, 2060

The young squire leads you to a large double-door and knocks twice before opening them, revealing a large room, easily twenty feet a side, with a massive table in the middle, covered in platters of food. A small table against the far wall is stacked with scrollcases, messenger bags, and what you assume to be rolled up maps -- ones that would likely fill the large table before you. The squire says, "Please take a seat, and," he directs you to another side table, "feel free to take a plate. His Lordship will be here momentarily, he was slightly delayed with his inspection."

With that, she bows to you, her auburn war-braid sliding off the pauldron of her half-plate as she does. "There is also water and tea, but the wine and ale are being saved for tonight's feast," she adds apologetically before stepping out and closing the door.

Ok, folks. You're here, together for the first time. Feel free to make with introductions and a bit of self-description, and we'll do a little initial RP before Kalthun shows up.


Female sensate gnome witch 1 | HP 16/16 | AC 15 | F +5 R +5 W +6 | Perc +4, low-light vision, scent 30 ft. | Speed 25 ft | Spells: 2/2 | Focus Points: 1/1| Hero Points: 1/3

Lani thanks the squire as she departs, clambering up onto one of the chairs around the table. "Ooh, first dibs on the grub!" she declares to the empty room, eagerly grabbing a plate of food and digging in. She seems intent on stuffing as much tasty treats into her mouth as possible before anybody else arrives!


Lastwall Heroes - Current Date: Toilday, 31 Desnus, 4711 AR | Shadowrun - Current Date: Saturday, March 13, 2060

The food is mostly simple fare: cured meats, crusted cheeses, dried fruits, jarred chutney and flatbreads -- all things that preserve well, likely standard soldier's rations. Still, there is enough variety on what's before you to provide a nice mix of spice and sweet.


M Human 5 [ HP 4/40 | AC 20 Tch12 FF 16 | Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +6 | CMD 15 | Init +2 | Perc +12, | Hero Points: 1 | Effects: none

Lysander, rubs the shaved sides of his hair, in a slightly nervous manner. He looks cautiously to the free food upon the table and the joyous gnome that is enjoying the bounteous fare. He looks to the others, then moves to carefully pick up a plate - there's an unpractised manner to his movements.

"Hello everyone, I'm Lysander. But if we're to be working together - you can call me Sandy, if you want?" He says softly, with a slow drawl.


Female sensate gnome witch 1 | HP 16/16 | AC 15 | F +5 R +5 W +6 | Perc +4, low-light vision, scent 30 ft. | Speed 25 ft | Spells: 2/2 | Focus Points: 1/1| Hero Points: 1/3

”Sandy it is! Lani Bralani, pleased to meet you!” says the purple haired gnome between mouthfuls of morsels.


female human Warpriest of Sarenrae [Init +4, Perception +10; hp 44/44; fervor 2/5, blessings 4/5, sacwep 2/4;Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +7 (+1 v fear), AC 21 t 15 ff 16 (from temp +2 dodge), CMB +11, CMD 21 fl 18]]

A lithe young human woman enters, bows her thanks to the guiding squire, then moves gracefully to a small rack against one wall. She removes her helmet, draped with silks which traile down to protect her neck from the sun, and sets it on the rack, then hangs her curved sword on the pegs below.

She turns to survey the room and to bow to her companions in greeting, right hand on her heart. Her black hair is braided to fit under a fighting helmet. The dark tattoos across the tops of her cheekbones proclaim her a daughter of the desert, along with her deeply tanned skin and slightly hooked nose. An angelic ankh of the Everlight lies pendant on the breast of her bright silver chain shirt. Her stance is proud, almost haughty, but her word are courteous.

"Greetings, my new companions. I am Sahar of Qadira, and my desert sister - currently in the stable where I hope the hospitality is as fine - is Sharisa, which means "fierce" in our tongue. I am happy to join this company, for my road has been lonely of late. May we all become friends and war-siblings as well as companions."

When she takes a seat, her plate contains servings of dried fruit, cheese, and bread, with a tiny bit of meat. She looks down at her plate quickly to hide a smile at the gnome's enthusiastic enjoyment of the food and picks at her own fare daintily.

"Sandy, Lani, well met! Are you both from Lastwall or another place in these cold lands?"


M Human 5 [ HP 4/40 | AC 20 Tch12 FF 16 | Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +6 | CMD 15 | Init +2 | Perc +12, | Hero Points: 1 | Effects: none

Looking at his sparse plate and cautious of his manners cutting a piece of bread. "Oh, I'm from here and there...where the wind blows clear and free - from the waters of the lucid sea. Where I go is home to me." he intones in a soft voice.

"Aye, you could say, that I'm from Lastwall." He gently, eats a piece of blue cheese. "Bet it's a mite cooler and damper up here?"


Female sensate gnome witch 1 | HP 16/16 | AC 15 | F +5 R +5 W +6 | Perc +4, low-light vision, scent 30 ft. | Speed 25 ft | Spells: 2/2 | Focus Points: 1/1| Hero Points: 1/3

”I hail from a land called Varisia, far to the west! It seems we’re both a long way from home, Sahar!”


female human Warpriest of Sarenrae [Init +4, Perception +10; hp 44/44; fervor 2/5, blessings 4/5, sacwep 2/4;Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +7 (+1 v fear), AC 21 t 15 ff 16 (from temp +2 dodge), CMB +11, CMD 21 fl 18]]

Sahar pops a grape into her mouth and smiles at Sandy. "This is where the light and warmth of the sun is needed, I suppose. Though I miss the sands of home. We are indeed wanderers, Lani. I expect others of our company shall be the same. Quests often bring gatherings of strange companions."


F Human Samurai 5 [ HP 57/60 (0 NL) | AC 22¹ Tch 15¹ FF 19 | Fort +6 Ref +5 Will +3 | CMD 21¹ | Init +3 | Perc +9, low-light vision, scent⁵ | Challenge: 1/2 | Resolve: 3/3 | Hero Points: 1 | Stamina: 8/9 | Effects: shield of faith +2, scabbard of vigor +1 (6/10) ]

A tall woman with dark hair and light amber-brown eyes pauses in the doorway, taking a moment to evaluate the room before stepping inside. She carries a bladed polearm a bit taller than she, and steps to the same weapon rack used by Sahar to set the sheathed blade gently against the wall.

Turning to the table of food, she smiles and nods a greeting — though it's unclear whether the greeting is directed at the food or the other adventurers present.

At the sight of the gnome, the dark-haired woman's hand spasms slightly toward a cold-forged iron dagger on her belt, but a moment later she recovers and proceeds to fill a plate. "Qadira — that's off to the South, is it?" she asks the former desert-dweller as she takes a seat on a bench at the edge of the room.


female human Warpriest of Sarenrae [Init +4, Perception +10; hp 44/44; fervor 2/5, blessings 4/5, sacwep 2/4;Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +7 (+1 v fear), AC 21 t 15 ff 16 (from temp +2 dodge), CMB +11, CMD 21 fl 18]]

"Indeed, to the south and east, across the Inner Sea or, if your taste is all in your mouth, across decadent Taldor," the Qadiran replies with an involuntary sneer at the name of the dissolute nation.

After a pause and a bite of cheese, she continues speaking to the tall woman. "Your pardon, but I know not whom I have the honor of addressing."


F Human Samurai 5 [ HP 57/60 (0 NL) | AC 22¹ Tch 15¹ FF 19 | Fort +6 Ref +5 Will +3 | CMD 21¹ | Init +3 | Perc +9, low-light vision, scent⁵ | Challenge: 1/2 | Resolve: 3/3 | Hero Points: 1 | Stamina: 8/9 | Effects: shield of faith +2, scabbard of vigor +1 (6/10) ]

"Ah, right, introductions. It's... been a while since I had to make those." A slight frown passes over her face, and she stares hard at her plate for a moment before her expression hardens. After only a second or two she smiles again. "I'm Fiona. And I think I heard your name's Sar?"


female human Warpriest of Sarenrae [Init +4, Perception +10; hp 44/44; fervor 2/5, blessings 4/5, sacwep 2/4;Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +7 (+1 v fear), AC 21 t 15 ff 16 (from temp +2 dodge), CMB +11, CMD 21 fl 18]]

"Sa-har, yes" the swordswoman replies, enunciating the syllables. "And Lani and Lysander, or Sandy." She clarifies her further introductions with a nods of her head at her companions.

"It is good to make your aquaintance, Fiona. I hope we fight well together," she adds, with a quick glance at the weapon rack.


F Human Samurai 5 [ HP 57/60 (0 NL) | AC 22¹ Tch 15¹ FF 19 | Fort +6 Ref +5 Will +3 | CMD 21¹ | Init +3 | Perc +9, low-light vision, scent⁵ | Challenge: 1/2 | Resolve: 3/3 | Hero Points: 1 | Stamina: 8/9 | Effects: shield of faith +2, scabbard of vigor +1 (6/10) ]

Fiona nods at each of the others in turn, then at the desert woman's pronouncement, a wry smile on her face as she raises her mug of tea. "To acquaintances, and orc-killing," she intones, before taking a swig.


Lastwall Heroes - Current Date: Toilday, 31 Desnus, 4711 AR | Shadowrun - Current Date: Saturday, March 13, 2060

A few minutes after the five of you have arrived, long enough for you to each have filled - and mostly emptied - a plate (two if you hurry), the light in the room changes, as a shadow blocks the western window, accompanied by the sound of wingbeats. As you turn to look, you see a large man stepping into the room with what can only be called practiced ease. Once inside, he stretches to his full, and rather impressive, height, easily two full hands above six feet and greets you with a nod before turning back toward the window. "Shrike, home," he says, the deep voice somehow both soft and firm, and you catch a glimpse of golden feathers and tawny fur moving in response.

He turns back to you, his lips turned up in a slightly wry smile, then says in an apologetic tone, "I promise, I wasn't just doing this to make an impression. If I'd have tried to come up the stairs as you did, they'd have stopped me with a million questions about tonight's feast - questions that they can answer on their own with just a little thought, I might add." The man's voice is deep, causing your chest to rumble as he speaks - almost so much that you think you are feeling, rather than hearing him.

He removes the helm framing his face, revealing hair black as the wings of a raven that falls to his shoulders, and then looks at each of you, his expression slightly puzzled -- then the expression passes, and he turns slightly to face Xiaruau, even as he speaks to all of you, "I am Watcher-Lord Kalthun," he says, and smiles in earnest before adding, "and I believe you are my heroes." The excitement in his expression reveals his youth - the man's olive face can't have seen more than 25 winters.

He motions to the table and says, "Please, continue. I'll join you in a moment. I don't want to get fur or feathers in anyone's food," and he sidesteps to a large walnut armoire, hanging first his helm, then his gloves, and finally, the massive bastard sword that had been strapped to his back before closing it. Before he turns back to face you, he quickly casts a spell, and runs his hand over himself - bringing his cloaks and mithral breastplate back to a shine.

He turns back toward the table, swinging slightly wide to hook an oversized ebony chair from the writing desk and place it at the table in another practiced motion. He looks at each of you again, and you can feel the intensity of the gaze of his brown eyes, so dark that they're almost black. "I should start by telling you that there is a sixth member of your merry band - who you will meet at tonight's feast if all goes well." As he speaks, he uses his reach to its full advantage, assembling a plate filled with food, while still keeping his attention on you.

"You're probably wondering what I mean by heroes - a fair question, and hopefully only the first I'll answer today.... and, hopefully, the only question that'll take so long to answer. Basically, while I was at the War College, studying tactics, strategy and history, I came to a realization - one that I'm sure others have also reached - and it's that Lastwall is doomed. We'll keep doing our duty, looking north at Gallowspire, keeping our Vigil -- and as we do, the orcs of Belkzen will keep pushing in from the west. And with each advance, they'll take more and weaken us further - losing people who could take up a blade, losing fields that would feed them and trades that could equip them... and, in order to keep our Vigil, we'll need to dedicate more and more of what little we have left - leaving less and less to defend us."

He pauses then, possibly to give the declaration he made a moment to sink in, or possibly to steal a few bites of the rolled sandwich he'd made as he spoke. "This became the problem that I -- and some of my colleagues at the college -- fixated on. The orcs are individually stronger than our fighters. They have superior numbers. We're generally better trained and better equipped, and we fight as a unit, rather than for personal glory. And that has been our saving grace - both at the individual level and that of the individual clans that make up the Hold... Honestly, if Belkzen were truly a nation, united with an army, they could take almost any of their neighbours. Still, Lastwall might have been able to hold its own if we still had a supply of Crusaders taking up our vigil -- but the Shining Crusade is long from most people's memory -- and worrying about a potential disaster like the return of the Whispering Tyrant is less motivating than an active one - like the slow, creeping growth of the Worldwound."

He takes a quick drink from a glass of water, then continues, "After studying it, however, we realized that our situation is impossible. Most of my colleagues, then, either tried to convince themselves that they were wrong in their assessment, or that it was irrelevant to our duty. Denial or grim acceptance. Fortunately, one of my lower classmen and I rejected both of those, and started to explore other solutions. And that's when I heard the tale of the Sihedron heroes... and I realized not only can a small group of individuals do remarkable things - maybe even saving the world -- but the idea of that -- the promise of it -- why, that can inspire normal men to greatness -- and that act of inspiration can be almost more powerful than a hero's actual actions."

He shrugs, "After hearing that tale, I kept looking for others -- and there have been others, though maybe not all as well known... which is also when I heard of the Swordlords to the south gathering adventurers to try to reclaim their Stolen Lands.... and it was as though someone handed me the missing ingredient."

He takes another drink, and says, "So, then, that is why you're here. To do the impossible, as heroes so often do - and stabilize our weak flank - ideally, retaking lands we ceded to the orcs over the centuries... and to inspire others to take up the fight."

He shifts in his chair, lifting the rolled-sandwich once again, saying, "Of course, we'll need to discuss logistics - including pay, of course - but before we get to that, I thought I'd best make sure that you're all still interested, now that you know what you're about to sign up for..."

Spellcraft:

It was prestidigitation


Female sensate gnome witch 1 | HP 16/16 | AC 15 | F +5 R +5 W +6 | Perc +4, low-light vision, scent 30 ft. | Speed 25 ft | Spells: 2/2 | Focus Points: 1/1| Hero Points: 1/3

"Oh, yes! The Sihedron Heroes! They are from my homeland!" Lani says excitedly. "I have heard many tales of their exploits. Do you think we might be as famous as them one day?"

The gnome quiets again as she listens to the rest of Kalthun's pitch. At the end, she nods enthusiastically. "Yes! We will fight the orcs and beat them back, all the way past the, uh... the Ghostlight Marsh..." She cocks her head and gets a faraway look in her eyes, as if listening to some unheard voice. After that, her demeanor becomes greatly subdued, and she sinks down in her seat, casting nervous glances at the corners of the room.

Acquisitives

Female Human (Varisian) Oracle(Whimsy mystery)/3 - [HP 23/30); AC18,T12,FF16; F+4,R+5,W+4; Per+0; Init -2]

Way before the arrival of the Watcher-Lord

Xiaruau sits in her hovel, really not much more than a lean-to just outside of the walls of Vigil. Having spent years in the wilderness, she is always more comfortable being outside and away from crowds in the city. She still contemplated how they had found her, she was always very careful to mask her arrivals and departures from the city, yet her was another note, similar to the last, and this time with the seal of the Watcher-Lord, but rather than a summons to appear in a court (she ticked off on her fingers the number of grocers who likely would like her locked up), it was instead a summons to meet with the Watcher-Lord himself. When the old man had told her she was selected, she was still distrustful, it was just too surreal. But, here it was, Lord's Mark and all. With that, she went out to the small pool in the stream she used for water and as a mirror and looked at herself. Clothes - frumpy. Hair, tangled, with two sticks and a leaf. General appearance, pretty much a vagrant who just walked out of the woods.

Sighing, she decided she could at least do something about her undoubted fragrance, and so she disrobed and quickly bathed just downstream from her water source. Once clean and dressed, she went back to the pool. What to look like. What did people look like when meeting with important rulers? Perhaps she could go with Chelaxian. A moment later a tall thin woman with a high necked dress looked back at her, hair done in a tight bun. No, not right. Perhaps a wild Qadiran. Back at her stared a dark skinned woman long black hair flowing behind her dressed in flowing loose robes. No, also not right. Oh. How about Vudran? Or Tian. Faces and clothes flashed across the image staring at her from the water. Finally, after thirty minutes of indecision, Xiaruau realized that they likely already knew who she was. Undoubtedly they had magic to see through her subterfuge. With that, she shook out her mostly dry hair, allowing it to fall to its natural slightly longer than neck length, straightened her clothes, and headed back into the city to see what this strange summons would bring.

At the dinner, pre-Watcher-Lord
Xiaruau walked in and looked around, scanning the others in the room. A tall woman dressed for combat, dark skin. Likely from somewhere in the south. Osirian? Qadira? A woman with armor, appearing to be more local. Varisian? Taldan? No, the style of armor is all wrong. And a human man. Almost as unkempt and appearing to be as uncomfortable as she. What type of person was he. Oh, and how could she miss that. One of the people from the forest. A fey. She never expected to see a fey in Vigil. Oh, wait. Not, not a fey, just a gnome. But with that styling purple hair, the mistake was easy to make.

Xiaruau looks around at each of the people in the room. Able to catch half the conversation between the two women, with the dark skinned woman's back to her, it is difficult to real lips. And the gnome and the human man, well, they were both eating, so not much to be gained there.

With that, Xiaruau walks into the room and over to the table, a stray stick falling from her clothes as she does so. Looking at the food, she chooses a few pieces of fruit and a small piece of bread with a moderate amount of chutney. Then looks around, expecting everyone to be watching her, as they are. Making it easier to see their faces.

H-hello. I am Xiaruau. You can call me Xia. pronounced “Ki” Um . . . are you also Watch-Lord summon? With that she looks around the assembled group, her common broken and heavily accented with an accent that none of you recognize. (Figure it is an accent you get by not speaking for several years, then trying to remember how to speak while being deaf.)

Once the Watch-Lord Arrives
Xiaruau watches the Watcher-Lord, picking up the majority of what he is saying, but missing a bit when she feels the vibrations from another voice, turning to catch the “past the, uh… The Ghostlight Marsh…”, then realizing that the gnome stopped talking, turns back to watch the remainder of the Watcher-Lord’s talk.

Surprised at what he said, Xiarruau speaks up, forgetting to look to see if any of the others are doing the same.
Heros? You want me hero? Orcs bad. But Orcs dangerous. How us beat whole Hold?


M Human 5 [ HP 4/40 | AC 20 Tch12 FF 16 | Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +6 | CMD 15 | Init +2 | Perc +12, | Hero Points: 1 | Effects: none

Raising an eyebrow to Lani's proclamation of her Varisian origin, there's a few questions that fall dead on the young mans lips as he takes a bite. And the stoic pole-arm wielders introduction draws a smile and reciprocation of the toast; as he softly intones a single word. And the wild looking Xia, he nods a respectful gesture of wariness to the wilderness dweller.

Lysander stops at the arrival of their patron, his unusual look drawing curiosity from the native youth. At the mention of the problem and orcish inevitability - it draws a soft growl from Sandy's chest. Subconscious of the rising anger at the words, he balls his fists and intones mentally a sutra his mentor Nana Kitnan taught him.

But the Watcher-Lord does seem to have a plan, even if the rough man disagreed with his strategic assessment of the situation.


Lastwall Heroes - Current Date: Toilday, 31 Desnus, 4711 AR | Shadowrun - Current Date: Saturday, March 13, 2060

Kalthun nods at each of you, then laughs at Xia's question, a warm laugh without a hint of mockery, even if the timber causes the table to shake a little, "Ah, but that's what heroes do," he says.

He sobers and says, "..or inspire others to do, which is the real hope. What I want - need, really - from you are some deeds that will be much smaller in scale than destroying the entire mass of orcish hoardes - though if you've the means and mind to do that, I'd certainly take it. Still, I was thinking more along the lines of small victories that can build to something bigger.... and to that end, I have a starting point in mind."

He takes a drink and casually waves a hand, the lingering energy of his earlier prestidigitation still in effect, as a pair of scrolls begin to shift from the desk, slowly moving toward him.

"But before we can get to any of that, as I said, logistics. Here is my offer - and it is made to each of you, though I would suggest if you accept that you stay together. There's strength in numbers, and I think your skills should match up well."

He catches the two scrolls and moves his plate aside to unfurl one of them, "This is a contract. An offer of employment. The terms are simple - for the next year and a day, you are to act in what you believe to be the best interest of Lastwall. Independently, not under anyone's command but your own -- though that has three caveats." He taps the contract, and then raises his index finger, "The first is that, as part of the contract, you will fulfill five tasks that I ask of you during the year. While I'm enough of a romantic to be willing to leave what you accomplish up to fate - and also clever enough to understand that being under direct military leadership would essentially doom this whole initiative," he stops short of adding, "unlike other people", though you still hear it, "I also know there will likely be some things that I'll need done. However, even in those, you will choose your own path - I will simply be asking you to accomplish an objective, and leaving it to you to solve it."

He taps the contract again, raising a second finger and says, "The second is that you will need to report to us on your progress, at least once per month. I'm expecting you might find things that we need to know about -- and recent events have only reinforced that -- something we can discuss more once you've signed."

He taps again and says, "And third, nothing blatantly illegal. We can't have you being arrested for robbing a merchant - even a corrupt one.. or being tricked into assassinating a Precentor-Martial, to use an extreme example - because the damage to your reputation would destroy everything we're working for."

Sense Motive (DC 20):
Your reputation isn't the only one he's worried about.

Sense Motive (DC 25):
His concerns about losing his reputation and power are not personal - rather, you get the sense that he's worried that losing his position would hurt others - and this could relate back to his assessment of the situation Lastwall finds itself.

He says, "If you find yourself in a situation where this could be an issue, come and discuss it with me. There may be other pressures we can bring to bear, or ways we can ensure that the righteousness of your actions are clear."

He smiles and you catch a glimpse of tiny tusks in his mouth, and he says, "You will, of course, be rewarded for the work. In exchange for your service, I will give each of you a mix of gold and gems worth 2,500 crowns at the end of the term. If you choose to leave before six months are up, you forgot that pay. After that, we'll pro-rate."

He then adds, "In addition, you will each get an expense allowance of 250gp per month in the form of a Letter of Credit for the shoppes here at Firrine. I'll give you the first month's worth today... and, in addition, the contract also comes with an immediate signing bonus."

He produces a bag, and opens it, spilling its contents onto the table, inventorying the items, "A wand of cure light wounds that I had commissioned during the selection process, six potions of cure serious wounds, and six potions of shield of faith. There's also one item of trade worth 500 crowns for each of you: 3 one-pound ingots of mithral, 2 black pearls, and one deep violet garnet."

He then taps the second scroll, "And the final bit of signing bonus is a communal Letter of Credit worth 3,000gp. That works out to 500 each, but it's up to you to figure out how make the best use of it."

He holds up a finger, "I should warn you before you sign, this is a Contract of Binding - signing it will put you under a lesser geas to fulfill its terms. I apologize for the seeming distrust but... well, let's just say that my hands were tied and leave it at that."

Sense Motive (DC 20):
He is genuinely apologetic -- but more than that, he's frustrated.

He adds, "As you won't be under the command, I can't offer you the resources of the military. However, I can use my pull to make sure that the merchants deal fairly with you, and may even prioritize anything you commission. I will also tell you we're always looking for quality equipment - so if you come across any masterwork armour or arms, we will buy them at a premium - we'll give you two-thirds instead of half value, as long as you'll take it as a Letter."

He stands, then, and turns back to his desk, returning with a quill and inkpot. "So, then, I need you to decide if you're on board. If so, then sign, and take your share of what's on the table, we'll talk about the current state of affairs and the first of the five tasks. If not, then the door is that way, feel free to make a sandwich on your way out." He places the quill before you and takes a step back, deliberately focusing not on the table and contract, but the act of refilling his water glass.


F Human Samurai 5 [ HP 57/60 (0 NL) | AC 22¹ Tch 15¹ FF 19 | Fort +6 Ref +5 Will +3 | CMD 21¹ | Init +3 | Perc +9, low-light vision, scent⁵ | Challenge: 1/2 | Resolve: 3/3 | Hero Points: 1 | Stamina: 8/9 | Effects: shield of faith +2, scabbard of vigor +1 (6/10) ]

Sense Motive:
Assuming that's two checks, not three. Let me know if that assumption is wrong.

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15

A whole year... Fiona listens to the young man's offer, munching her food as he lays out his problems and his idea for a solution. She chuckles at his mention of doing the impossible, then nods when he describes the agreement. Fairly standard, though the term's a bit longer than I'd hoped. Still...

Standing suddenly from her bench by the wall, she sets her plate down and strides purposefully over to the table, and begins to read through the contract.

DM:
Fair to assume it's a pretty standard temporary fealty contract, including Lord Kalthun's responsibilities to the signatories, and there's nothing alarming?

Linguistics, if needed: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15


Lastwall Heroes - Current Date: Toilday, 31 Desnus, 4711 AR | Shadowrun - Current Date: Saturday, March 13, 2060

As Fiona begins to read the contract, Kalthun smiles and calls over from the side table, "Wise woman, not signing away her Fate. I'd offer to cast comprehend languages on you, but legalease isn't really its own language.. at least, outside of Cheliax." He then turns back his attention to a bowl of dried fruit, emptying the currants into his hand and closing his fist, throwing small amounts into his mouth between sips of water.

Yes, sorry, 2 checks - just 2 different levels of success for the first one.

Despite Kalthun's joke, the contract is actually remarkably straightforward and says what Kalthun indicated - you're promising to act in the best interest of Lastwall, per your judgement, and in exchange, you're being paid for your time. You're free to leave at any time, but doing so forfeits your pay (or some of it, prorated after 6 months) and may require you to pay back any allowances that you were advanced - leaving within 3 months makes you need to repay the whole signing bonus. If he disapproves of your actions, Kalthun can also end it - but if he does he's got to prorate and pay out the contract and you don't need to repay anything -- unless you're convicted of a 'serious or capital crime'. There are penalties to not doing the five tasks, but you do have some leeway in what five tasks you accept. The contract does say you're not military and can't go to the quartermaster - so Kalthun's responsibilities are to pay you, treat you fairly and not withhold important information linked to the tasks he asks of you.


Female sensate gnome witch 1 | HP 16/16 | AC 15 | F +5 R +5 W +6 | Perc +4, low-light vision, scent 30 ft. | Speed 25 ft | Spells: 2/2 | Focus Points: 1/1| Hero Points: 1/3

Lani quickly signs the contract without really reading it. She figures one of the others can fill her in on the important bits later!


F Human Samurai 5 [ HP 57/60 (0 NL) | AC 22¹ Tch 15¹ FF 19 | Fort +6 Ref +5 Will +3 | CMD 21¹ | Init +3 | Perc +9, low-light vision, scent⁵ | Challenge: 1/2 | Resolve: 3/3 | Hero Points: 1 | Stamina: 8/9 | Effects: shield of faith +2, scabbard of vigor +1 (6/10) ]

Fiona nods in acknowledgement of Kalthun's words, even as she continues to study the document. When Lani jumps in and signs it, she raises one eyebrow, but then shakes her head and continues reading.

When she finishes, she nods once more and places her palm upon the document, raising her eyes to meet Kalthun's. In a clear voice she recites, "I swear by the gods who are and were, and by the rule of the land and the cause of Justice, that I will uphold this agreement faithfully and completely, against all persons who oppose, in good faith and without deceit."

Having so pronounced, she takes up the quill and signs the parchment.

Acquisitives

Female Human (Varisian) Oracle(Whimsy mystery)/3 - [HP 23/30); AC18,T12,FF16; F+4,R+5,W+4; Per+0; Init -2]

Xiaruau watches as the tall oddly armored woman carefully reads the contract, and then as the fey, er purple haired gnome, jumps in front to be the first to sign. Shrugging, she silently walks over to the contract and signs her name, taking a moment to attempt to read and comprehend the language, before realizing she has no clue what the long words mean.

She thinks to herself What would the fey say, no risk no reward.

Throwing better judgment to the wind, she signs the document, her signature more of a picture than any actual letters.

She then step back over the the table and chooses a few choice nuts, the kind that are extra crunchy, to noisily chew on while the others wait to decide.


female human Warpriest of Sarenrae [Init +4, Perception +10; hp 44/44; fervor 2/5, blessings 4/5, sacwep 2/4;Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +7 (+1 v fear), AC 21 t 15 ff 16 (from temp +2 dodge), CMB +11, CMD 21 fl 18]]

Pre Watcher-Lord Arrival

As soon as Sahar realizes another has joined them, she greets the newcomer with a slight bow, hand on heart, and introduces herself and - as their host has not yet arrived - the others if they do not introduce themselves. The man of their company, in particular, seems rough and unschooled in the ways of politeness, though not rude at heart.

Sahar decides he needs some polishing, and she is the one to do it.

As the Watcher-Lord Arrives

Sahar rises from the table as their host/employer arrives and greets him with a deeper bow than she gave her companions, though her eyes are drawn in awe and fascination to the window until his unusual mount departs. She remains standing until he pulls up a chair and seats himself, then settles back into her place.

She listens quietly to his description of the problem, mission, his proposed solution, and terms of their employment, and to the comments of her companions and his replies. It is plain from her face that the mill-wheels of her mind are busy grinding this new information.

SM rolls:

Sense motive 1: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Sense motive 1: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17

Sahar nods approval as the tall warrior reads the contract, but is rather horrified to see that the gnomish woman, the warrior, and the newcomer Ki are signing without a hint of haggling. What is wrong with the people of this land? With the blood of generations of Quadiran merchants in her veins, she rises to address their prospective employer.

"Great Lord, I am Sahar Wasem, as you must already know. While your terms are doubtless a reflection of your personal generosity, I am unclear as to where some things stand in this contract. For example, what of spoils of war? Are we entitled to them, or is it best 'for the good of Lastwall' that we turn them over to the state? What if we, Dawnflower forbid, fall in our efforts to push back the orcs? Do our earnings revert to our families or our fellow adventurers, or are they forfeit as death is failing our duties? Can you arrange for personal effects to be returned to our families, if we wish?"

Realizing he is not a common trader whose offers can be safely derided and demeaned, she adds, "I do not doubt you or your noble intent; I merely seek to understand before binding myself, Watcher-Lord. My oath reflects on the Everlight, as I am her servant, and I would die before dishonoring my sworn word."


Lastwall Heroes - Current Date: Toilday, 31 Desnus, 4711 AR | Shadowrun - Current Date: Saturday, March 13, 2060

Kalthun cocks his head to face Sahar, throwing the last of the currants into his mouth as he does. He holds up a finger, asking for a moment to swallow, before he smiles. "Excellent, questions I can answer, and quickly, too."

He stretches himself, "In terms of spoils of war, unless we are speaking of something that I have asked you to retrieve as one of the services, what you find is yours to deal with as you will. As I said, we are always looking for high-quality arms and armour and will buy them from you at a premium -- sadly, we can't afford to do that with magical items. That said, I wouldn't be wounded if we could arrange a 'right of first refusal' if you find anything truly interesting that you're considering not keeping for yourselves. To be honest, I rather thought that much - most, really - of any gains you have during the contract would be the results of such spoils." He pauses as something occurs to him, then says, "...I believe there may be some cases when an exception may need to be made -- for example, if something has evidentiary value - but in such cases, we'll provide a bounty equal to fair market value.. though such a thing may need to be in the form of a Letter of Credit."

He pauses, "In terms of death, well, I suppose it rather depends on how and when we learn of it -- and what the outcome is. As written, the contract is an individual one - if you fall, it would have no influence on the pay of others -- though the division of the spoils of war will need to be decided amongst yourselves. In terms of said pay, if we know of your death, we will certainly keep aside the pay you've earned to date for your agent or next of kin - and dispatch a messenger to inform them of the fact. If your companions bring you back on your shield, then we can store your personal affairs for them as well - and even your corpse, at least for a time - longer if you don't mind having the cost of such preservation taken from whatever you leave behind."

He winces slightly as he adds, "If you fall in the wilds and are lost - then I fear it will delay us learning of your death and taking action. "

He takes a drink of his refilled cup of water, winces and taps the glass with his hand before drinking again, nodding. "If you'd like more than that, I would recommend hiring a personal agent or factor here to draw up a final testament -- and then have that individual act as the executor to ensure your wishes are respected. I can recommend someone in that regard, if you'd like. She's young, but trustworthy, and would probably be pleased for the business."

He puts down the glass and returns to the table, acknowledging silently that his charade of giving you space to decide has failed, and sits back down in his chair, grabbing a cheese and a handful of dried apples. "Though, if you do sign, I'd recommend having a conversation amongst yourselves about your wishes in death - and how you feel about the magics that undo death. I know of at least one individual at Firrine who can raise the dead, and another who can reincarnate them - but I cannot compel them to cast their magic, it would fall to you - well, your companions, actually, to pay for such a thing."


M Human 5 [ HP 4/40 | AC 20 Tch12 FF 16 | Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +6 | CMD 15 | Init +2 | Perc +12, | Hero Points: 1 | Effects: none

SM:
Sense Motive 1: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16
Sense Motive 1: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11

Sandy waits as the others sign, seeing that they are not just bonding themselves to the protection of Lastwall but to each other. He pauses thinking of a dozen questions that slip through his mind, including his lack of knowledge of geas - then lets it slide as Sahar asks her sensible queries. Though her questions about the what happens if they die does bring his lips together in a soft grimace.


Lastwall Heroes - Current Date: Toilday, 31 Desnus, 4711 AR | Shadowrun - Current Date: Saturday, March 13, 2060

Kalthun then stops, and turns to Xia, speaking a little more slowly, "I apologize, for speaking while not looking at you and covering my lips with food and drink. It was rude of me. I had originally intended to use magic to ensure you ... uh, understood everything being said here, but that was before I hatched the plan of sneaking in."

Acquisitives

Female Human (Varisian) Oracle(Whimsy mystery)/3 - [HP 23/30); AC18,T12,FF16; F+4,R+5,W+4; Per+0; Init -2]

Xai looks over at Kalthun, half a large partially eaten nut in her hand.
No offense. Your honor. I use to being ignored, many forget to look me. The good. Makes easier to ignore those with mean words back. And, sneaking can be . . Suddenly Xai simply disappears in mid-sentence. About ten seconds later she reappears on the other side of the room, several slices of dried apples and pears in her hand. Her hair now bright purple like Lani's. . . . lots of fun. With that and a smirk, she pops one of the dried apple slices in her mouth.


female human Warpriest of Sarenrae [Init +4, Perception +10; hp 44/44; fervor 2/5, blessings 4/5, sacwep 2/4;Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +7 (+1 v fear), AC 21 t 15 ff 16 (from temp +2 dodge), CMB +11, CMD 21 fl 18]]

Sahar spots Xai and her change after a moment or two, gapes briefly, then smiles. "And possibly useful," she adds, being certain to face Xai when she says it.

Her attention returns to Kalthun. "A simple question more - what is this magical binding? Will we be like the legendary djinni bound to a lamp until three wishes - or five tasks - are granted?" Though the question is serious, her eyes twinkle at the thought.


M Human 5 [ HP 4/40 | AC 20 Tch12 FF 16 | Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +6 | CMD 15 | Init +2 | Perc +12, | Hero Points: 1 | Effects: none

Sandy looks on with curiosity as the other Varisian lady seems to disappear and reappear with mystical aplomb.

"Plus I take it the tasks are within out capabilities? Even if they are to inspire others to arms..." He muses to the Lord, despite not having picked up the quill yet.


Female sensate gnome witch 1 | HP 16/16 | AC 15 | F +5 R +5 W +6 | Perc +4, low-light vision, scent 30 ft. | Speed 25 ft | Spells: 2/2 | Focus Points: 1/1| Hero Points: 1/3

Lani cheers and applauds as Xai shows off he tricks. ”Ooh, yay! I like her!” she shouts enthusiastically.


Lastwall Heroes - Current Date: Toilday, 31 Desnus, 4711 AR | Shadowrun - Current Date: Saturday, March 13, 2060

Kalthun shakes his head, "Nothing so dramatic. It's a minor compulsion - you'll feel pressure if you consider taking an action counter to what you agreed to -- and if you deliberately take an action that goes against Lastwall's best interest, it will make you sick for about a week. If you shirk your duty, the pressure will start to build until it makes you sick as well. Easily fixed, either by taking action, or renouncing the contract."

For a moment, you think he may say more, but then he simply sighs and grabs another handful of fruit, then stops, "Before any of you ask who decides what's in Lastwall's best interest for the purpose of the contract - it's you. Your best judgement, and your guilt, will determine if the pressure is triggered."


F Human Samurai 5 [ HP 57/60 (0 NL) | AC 22¹ Tch 15¹ FF 19 | Fort +6 Ref +5 Will +3 | CMD 21¹ | Init +3 | Perc +9, low-light vision, scent⁵ | Challenge: 1/2 | Resolve: 3/3 | Hero Points: 1 | Stamina: 8/9 | Effects: shield of faith +2, scabbard of vigor +1 (6/10) ]

Fiona nods slowly, returning to her seat by the wall to let the others review the contract. She idly scratches the back of one gloved hand as she leans back and waits for the rest to make their decisions. It's good to be on the rolls again... he's young, but the way he talks... almost like a younger version of the Captain. Gods, I hope he's still alive.

Her fist clenches slightly on the cold-forged iron dagger at her hip as she silently observes the proceedings.


female human Warpriest of Sarenrae [Init +4, Perception +10; hp 44/44; fervor 2/5, blessings 4/5, sacwep 2/4;Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +7 (+1 v fear), AC 21 t 15 ff 16 (from temp +2 dodge), CMB +11, CMD 21 fl 18]]

Sahar nods her thanks to Kalthun and watches him munch the dried fruit with amusement. He eats like my brothers when they were striplings - how mother and father complained about the food merchant's bills... With a tiny sigh, she meanders slowly over to peruse the contract, which looks fair and plain enough. After a moment's thought and a searching look around the room at her employer and potential companions, she nods decidedly and takes up the quill.

"For the glory of Sarenrae, I am with you," she declares firmly. Inking the quill, she inscribes her name in graceful, flowing script below the wildly assorted signatures of her companions. She blows gently on the ink to dry it while Lysander decides.

Acquisitives

Female Human (Varisian) Oracle(Whimsy mystery)/3 - [HP 23/30); AC18,T12,FF16; F+4,R+5,W+4; Per+0; Init -2]

Xia chuckles and looks at the lone remaining person who has not signed.
You going to join women? Or run with tail tween legs?

Having taken a liking to the dried fruit, she then walks over to the table and takes several dates and apricots which quickly disappear into her mouth.
Not going to let free food go to waste. She thinks.

When the fruit has disappeared, she smiles down at the shorter gnome.
You should learn. Lots of fun.
With that, she closes her eyes and a moment later she shimmers and where previously there was a disheveled girl from the woods, now you see someone several inches taller wearing a heavy high necked floor length gown with hair done up in a tight bun. Silly Chelaxians. So easy to imitate.
Right look get you in many party with good food.

Disguise: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (8) + 19 = 27
Looking in the reflection in Kalthun's armor, she shrugs.
Not best try. But would fool many.


Female sensate gnome witch 1 | HP 16/16 | AC 15 | F +5 R +5 W +6 | Perc +4, low-light vision, scent 30 ft. | Speed 25 ft | Spells: 2/2 | Focus Points: 1/1| Hero Points: 1/3

Lani giggles as Xia changes appearance again. "It does look like fun, but my magic tends towards the more... evocative." The gnome demonstrates by casting a spell and spraying forth a fan of purple flames into the air, safely away from everybody in the room!


M Human 5 [ HP 4/40 | AC 20 Tch12 FF 16 | Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +6 | CMD 15 | Init +2 | Perc +12, | Hero Points: 1 | Effects: none

The young man tilts his head and chuckles with dark overtones at Xia's mocking; "I tend to be cautious before I see who my companions are, especially for the next year."

He places the cutlery beside plate and rubs his hands upon the sides of his trousers to clean off the crumbs and dirt. As Lani shows off her preformative magic with an impressive conjuration of fire. "But I want to help the land, so I will sign."

Moving to Sahar's side, he glances at the contract trying to read the clauses and see if there's anything hidden within, before giving up. His signature is simple and straight-forward.


Lastwall Heroes - Current Date: Toilday, 31 Desnus, 4711 AR | Shadowrun - Current Date: Saturday, March 13, 2060

Kalthun nods, and stands again, "Thank you," he says, honest gratitude in his voice. He looks over the contract, then takes the quill, and adds his name. "There. Now if I try to withhold important information, or not treat you fairly, it will make me ill as well."

He rolls up the contract and slides it into a laquered scrollcase, and places it into the armoire, returning with six additional small scrolls. "Now that you've signed, here's the first month of your equipment allowance. Along with your signing bonus, it should ensure that you're well-prepared when you leave... before sunrise tomorrow." He cocks his head and says with a wry smile, "So you might want to keep that in mind when the wine and mead are served at tonight's banquet."

He looks around, then casts a spell.

Spellcraft (DC 16):
Cloak of Secrets

Once the spell is cast, he nods, and says, "Recently, we've had contact from a man named Rickan. He's the headman of a small settlement named Rustknoll.. which is a day's ride southwest of here. That puts Rustknoll in the band of land who's status became unclear when the Hoardline fell -- there's no such thing as a 'border' when you're talking about Belkzen, after all... and trying to draw a clean line where Lastwall ends and the Hold begins is a fool's errand."

He shrugs a little than says, "Anyhow, Rustknoll has largely been existing as a tiny independent settlement since the Hoardline's fall -- those who didn't flee when the army fell back were the sort of ... strong-willed... people who didn't want to give up their family's land. These people have no love for Lastwall, feeling that we abandoned their families -- and yet, Rickan has reached out to us. It seems that Rustknoll's been living in some sort of .. equilibrium... with the orcs for the last while, but something has recently disrupted that, and they've turned to us for help... He's short on details, but mentions increased activity, both of the local Clan and of outcasts - and warns that the outcasts have been surprisingly well-equipped."

He looks up, "Rickan asked for help, but wanted it to be subtle -- the arrival of troops would do even more to upset the equilibrium with the orcs, and, reading between the lines, not all of the families are in favour of seeking assistance from those who abandoned their multiply-great grandparents."

He smiles and says, "So, I'm sending you as your first service -- I'm not sure you're subtle, exactly, but you certainly aren't a patrol of troops. Help Rickan and report back -- increased activity tends to spread in the Hold -- Clans will start to push on each other, and they often look to us as a source of replenishing lost resources: land, slaves, food, gear, treasure and even reputation."

He then smiles and says, "And, if you can manage it, try to win some hearts and minds as you help. Maybe we can convince them to fly the Lastwall banner again - it would be symbolic, as I don't even think there's 80 people in the area - but it would be seen as reclaiming land from the Orcs... the morale benefits would probably be worth whatever we'd need to spend to fortify the place following the dramatic upset to Rickan's 'equilibrium'."

He stands, then, as if ready to change the subject, when a strange expression crosses his face and he begins to chuckle, "Apparently, my subconscious thinks this is useful information, so I guess I'm compelled to mention it. I'd never heard of Rustknoll in my studies - both at the college and when I took over here -- and being a tiny little thing, it wasn't on any recent maps... but I found an older one - itself a copy of a much older one - and Rustknoll is marked as a trade centre. Honestly, I thought I'd dismissed that as a transcription error, but my reaction to the geas suggests otherwise."

He laughs at himself again, then shakes his head, "So, I'd recommend you finish your luncheon -- and leave some for my assistants who are sure to realize I did the window-trick again relatively soon. Take your signing bonuses and go equip yourselves -- including clothing for tonight's celebration. I'll let you decide whether you want to ride in the night or leave before dawn. I want you there by sunset -- apparently, that's when the orcish activity picks up -- so you might consider buying mounts with some of your allowance."

He pauses then says, "...and remembering that you're not troops under my command, I suppose I should ask if you have any questions before I let them drown me in paperwork."


female human Warpriest of Sarenrae [Init +4, Perception +10; hp 44/44; fervor 2/5, blessings 4/5, sacwep 2/4;Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +7 (+1 v fear), AC 21 t 15 ff 16 (from temp +2 dodge), CMB +11, CMD 21 fl 18]]

"Are we to openly identify ourselves as help from Lastwall from the beginning, Lord Martial, or should we present ourselves as adventurers and wanderers to the people of Rustknoll, then make the big reveal once we have conquered?" Sahar inquires (with no hint of doubt at the conquering part.) "As you say, we're not going to be subtle. I'm sure if you prefer that we wait until we have done some good to declare our allegiance, we'd be fine with that, I'm sure."

She shakes her head sadly. "I have never been good with politics, and this seems a delicate situation. Waiting to declare ourselves allows you to disavow us if we should... somehow... fail or offend the locals."


Lastwall Heroes - Current Date: Toilday, 31 Desnus, 4711 AR | Shadowrun - Current Date: Saturday, March 13, 2060

Kalthun pauses a moment at the question, and then says, "Rickan knows you're coming, so identify yourselves to him. He can probably help you navigate the knotwork of local activity and suggest a better approach than I would by guesswork from a few leagues away."

He then smiles slightly and adds, "Probably safer to work on conquering hearts and minds, rather than land.. though maybe Rickan will have ideas about that too."


F Human Samurai 5 [ HP 57/60 (0 NL) | AC 22¹ Tch 15¹ FF 19 | Fort +6 Ref +5 Will +3 | CMD 21¹ | Init +3 | Perc +9, low-light vision, scent⁵ | Challenge: 1/2 | Resolve: 3/3 | Hero Points: 1 | Stamina: 8/9 | Effects: shield of faith +2, scabbard of vigor +1 (6/10) ]

As Kalthun adds his signature to the document, Fiona allows a smile to creep onto her face. Good... he does know what he's asking.

When he describes the first mission, she listens intently, nodding at the mention of details she would have asked about otherwise. She frowns thoughtfully at Kalthun's mention of the settlement as a trade center on the old maps, then shakes her head. "That doesn't make sense, sir. Are there any other... no, I suppose there could be countless such settlements that have 'disappeared' and we'd never know. Have any of your scribes checked the older map for other differences that might be significant?"

If he had any theories, I hope he'd tell us... and if he doesn't, he's got a good reason, or so I've got to believe. Trust started when I signed the contract.

Acquisitives

Female Human (Varisian) Oracle(Whimsy mystery)/3 - [HP 23/30); AC18,T12,FF16; F+4,R+5,W+4; Per+0; Init -2]

Xia looks over at Sahar.
I think old saying go better carrot than stick. Both druid tools, one hurt less. Less hurt, better memory.

She then turns to Kalthun:
You speak fast. But I think make them like us better by be nice, than kill enemy. Always more enemy, but people have only one heart. Once win, easier keep.


Lastwall Heroes - Current Date: Toilday, 31 Desnus, 4711 AR | Shadowrun - Current Date: Saturday, March 13, 2060

Kalthun nods, sadly, "The history of the retreat isn't a pleasant one, and there were may lives lost -- I hardly think this Rustknoll is the only farming settlement to have people stubborn enough to stay behind and try to hold on -- I'd call it unremarkable, save for the fact that it's apparently still there."

He sighs, clearly disturbed by the thought, then shakes himself out of it. "I didn't find it on any others.. and, when I traced the pedigree of the map, it seems to be a copy, as I said, but of a dwarven map. That's actually why I thought it might be an error - something lost in translation, as it were." He shrugs, then adds, "I've only had Rickan's message for a week, and while it's a curious puzzle, I suppose, I've had other things on my mind."

He gets that strange look on his face again, and then shakes his head, "..and apparently I don't think I answered your question fully. We did look at other maps, and the only other marking in that area on any of them is a more recent one that we found, and written in Giant it says 'Orcdeath Cave' -- about a league away from where Rickan -- and the copied map -- indicate that Rustknoll is."

He then nods at Xia's statement, "And yes, I think, Xia you have the right of it."


female human Warpriest of Sarenrae [Init +4, Perception +10; hp 44/44; fervor 2/5, blessings 4/5, sacwep 2/4;Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +7 (+1 v fear), AC 21 t 15 ff 16 (from temp +2 dodge), CMB +11, CMD 21 fl 18]]

"What... I..." Sahar looks at Xia in confusion. "Did you think from my question that I am advocating offending people? Or strongarming them? Really? Do I seem a brute to you?" Color rises in her dusky cheeks.

Acquisitives

Female Human (Varisian) Oracle(Whimsy mystery)/3 - [HP 23/30); AC18,T12,FF16; F+4,R+5,W+4; Per+0; Init -2]

Xia smirks at the response.
No. Not beat people. Beat orcs. Beat orcs win points now. But orcs come back. And come back. If win hearts of farmers. Then, win last long time.

With that she picks up several more pieces of dried fruit while looking at Kalthun. Assistant be hungry if only eat fruit and nuts. But I leave meat and cheese.


female human Warpriest of Sarenrae [Init +4, Perception +10; hp 44/44; fervor 2/5, blessings 4/5, sacwep 2/4;Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +7 (+1 v fear), AC 21 t 15 ff 16 (from temp +2 dodge), CMB +11, CMD 21 fl 18]]

"Well, of course. And winning hearts is in our explicit instructions. So..." Sahar shrugs and turns her mind to other things beyond the obvious as the deaf woman turns to the Lord Martial.


female human Warpriest of Sarenrae [Init +4, Perception +10; hp 44/44; fervor 2/5, blessings 4/5, sacwep 2/4;Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +7 (+1 v fear), AC 21 t 15 ff 16 (from temp +2 dodge), CMB +11, CMD 21 fl 18]]

"Lord Kalthune, I would appreciate the name of the young factor. Since we will be off early - or late - I would like to make arrangements this afternoon."

Spoiler:

Sahar wants to arrange a simple will which provides for her items except for her holy symbol to be liquidated. Her horse (if she survives), is to be sent back to her parents in Qadira, along with her holy symbols and her estate, with enough taken from her estate to cover the cost of the trip for the horse and for an accompanying guardian/courier.

She would like the factor to receive mail for the term of the contract in her absence so she can correspond with her parents and anyone else who might arise. She will pick up mail when in town.

I don't know if you want to RP outfits and shopping, but that's a summary of what Sahar will do (in addition to obtaining the dressy outfit).


F Human Samurai 5 [ HP 57/60 (0 NL) | AC 22¹ Tch 15¹ FF 19 | Fort +6 Ref +5 Will +3 | CMD 21¹ | Init +3 | Perc +9, low-light vision, scent⁵ | Challenge: 1/2 | Resolve: 3/3 | Hero Points: 1 | Stamina: 8/9 | Effects: shield of faith +2, scabbard of vigor +1 (6/10) ]

As Kalthun answers her question, Fiona listens intently, nodding along. When he finishes, she muses, "Dwarven, eh? Interesting... Sir, I realize this is unusual, but would you grant me leave to spend some time this afternoon with one of your scribes familiar with history? I'd like to understand more about the area and the dwarves' historical involvement."

Glancing up, Fiona notices the two other recruits squabbling, and chuckles softly to herself. Just like the fresh recruits the Captain'd bring in. They'll learn to work together... as long as they can stay alive long enough.

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