We can fast-forward through the exploration. I basically only want to complete the floor plans and know which places are off-limits, and which areas are "general use". Maybe one of those doors on our floor leads further up into a guard tower, or into another spy room. We don't have to play out every door, but before we decide on a course of action, I'd like to take advantage of the free movement and lack of time constraints we currently enjoy.
I'm ok with fast forwarding the exploration if you guys would like. We're through most of what you'd be able to explore without unlocking doors.
I'm sorry about this portion of the adventure. I committed one of the cardinal sins if pbp, putting in too many doors. Most are in the adventure as it was written, but I probably should have written around the majority for a pbp.
Let me know your thoughts on what you would like to do going forward. We have 3 hours in game before the start of the competition, but that can be done in as little as a few sentences if you guys are ready to move forward.
For the sake of keeping things moving I'm going to assume Sorina and Sonira try the doors they are next too.
Day 1, 9am
Sonira tires the door and finds it locked. It appears to have a nicer lock than most. Shortly after the clock chimes the 9 o'clock hour.
The door Sorina tries swings open easily revealing a well lit hallway with a few tapestries hanging from it at intervals along with several more doors.
Sounds like all of us have been busy. How's everyone feeling? Is there something in particular that you want to do? We're pretty much done with the guest rooms, though some are still unexplored. I can come up with a list of options for activities until noon when the competition starts if that would be helpful.
Kasit closes the door as quietly as he opened it. Shortly after a man with beady eyes and prominent buck teeth scowls at you as he comes around the corner his hands clutched protectively around a plate heaped with meat. After a moment's pause he opens the door at the corner and slips inside. You here the click of a bolt being turned.
As you descend the stairs you hear the bustle of the keep, but no one is in the hallway so you try the first door. Once again Kasit uses his abilities to open the door from a distance. Inside you can see the halfling in bright clothes who was in the great hall when you went for breakfast. He is stitting at a table his back towards you and empty plate at his side as he writes with a bright green quill. He does not seem to notice the door having opened
About 8:30 am Day 1 of 4
With a shake of her head the halfling closes her door leaving the three of you in the hallway. After a few minutes of waiting to make sure the coast is clear Kasit trust the next door. It swings open gowning slightly. Peeking inside Kasit sees that it if furnished like many of the others, but that is of little concern as he realizes that Ionacu is snoring fitfully in the bed, an empty wine bottle on the ground beside him.
Sorry guys, the holidays have been busier than I had expected. Between fixing my car and all the other usual family activities I haven't had the energy to post as much as I'd have liked. Now that the holidays are ending I should be more on top of things.
I hope you both had a good Christmas/break :)
The woman, garbed in dark brown studded leather armor, looks at Kasit a confused expression on her face, "Did you... But no... I don't know, the door just opened on it's own. Odd that." Beyond her Kasit can see the room is neat and tidy. A tray with crumbs from what appears to have been breakfast lies on a nightstand.
This was room 3 btw. I apologise I missed the door below that, we'll do that one next.
When Sorina knocks a man dressed in rough clothes,with thick arms and a morningstar at his side opens the door. "What?!" he asks standing in the doorway. Behind him you can see a fine bed, and to bedrolls on the floor. Another man dressed in fine clothes sits at a small table eating his breakfast. Not looking up he asked in a petulent voice, "Who is it Dack? Dack you an incompetent as a footman." Though his back is to you hearing the voice jogs Sorina's memory. The man in fine clothes is none other than the your Lord Mevinter. The man in the doorway take a deep breath the asks, "Who be ye? And what be yet business?"
8am on Day 1 of 4
I assume 6ou are trying the door you suspect leads to the gnolls room?
Sorina steps up to the door knocking. When there is no response she tries the latch and finds it locked.
You have until noon to explore visit etc. Before we had settled on working your way around the lower floor clockwise. Then you met the guards at the second door. Do you guys want to go back to that strategy?
Time is going to be a relatively loose thing, but I'll try to put it into posts so that you guys have a reference. The competition is supposed to run for four days.
Kasit goes to see if he can figure out which room has the gnolls in it. With a little searching he quickly realizes from the smell and the location that the gnolls must be behind a locked heavy wooden door in the hallway next to the stairs. An inspection of the doors oock shows that it is a high quality piece, one that most would have difficulty picking. Ask Kasit finishes his assessment Sorina and Sonira find him in the hallway on their way back to the second floor having lingered longer in the great hall.
Map updated, Kasit is outside the door in question on the first floor.
Breakfast is much like dinner the night before, people filter in and out of the great hall and kitchen some eating there others taking their food to their rooms. You are each given a bowl of porridge, and a meat pie. In the hall you see a halfling dressed in bright blue clothing and wearing an enormous hat speaking animatedly with a woman in black lacquered leathers and wearing a silver necklace with a large starknife pendant. "What games will we be playing do you think? I mean, I'm sure I'll win at any, but I do have my favorites. You see this one time..."
You guys can either engage in conversation, or begin exploring, up to you.
Sorry guys, busy holiday weekend with the family.
Kasit's search of his room doesn't turn up any new surprises.
Sorina notices a loose brick above the fireplace. Behind it she finds a thin golden necklace. The space behind the brick could hold up to as much as a belt pouch. The night passes without incident, the bell tolling the hour throughout.
When do you guys want to get up and start your day?
During the course of the game you get answers to most all of your questions.
When was the last real injury? And what happened?
Any local dangers that they guard against?
When was the last time they saw any action?
Anything he should be aware of that could happen during his stay?
When talking to the captain, any advice for staying on his good side?
Kasit, you aren't the overall winner, but you do ok. You manage to make 10cp.
"Most of us are pretty new, only been here a few years." one man says, "the Captain's been here for ever though. Since we'll before the Duke."
Another one speaks up, "I think the Captain's just bitter. Things ain't the way they were before, he's just an old gaffer and ain't ready for things to change."
The first man, with the flattened nose gives the other two a stern look, "quit flappin yer yaps about stuff than ain't your business."
The conversation turns back to more mundane topics. You also learn that the guard changes shift every eight hours, and will change again at the eleventh hour.
"Pretty neat trick. You seem nice enough, I'd suppose it's all right. What do you think boys?" The man looks to the other two who both shrug.. "Ok, well you can join us, but keep 8n mind we ain't like you rich folks we're just playing fur coppers. So the game's called liars dice. Ever played?" If you say no he explains the rules and you begin playing.
Ok gimme either a bluff check or a profession gambler check.
3d20 ⇒ (11, 4, 17) = 32
You move into the courtyard, nothing that two men still stand guard just inside the main gate.
You notice several bricks near the base of the clock tower appear to have been recently disturbed
When you try the first door it is locked. You move to try the second and it swings open. The smells of oiled leather, and sweaty men are overpowering. A quick scan shows seraval other doors in this room. There are several cots, weapons and uniforms hang from hooks on the wall, and a small cheat rest atop a table in one corner. Three men sitting on cots look at you, disregarding their game of dice. One of the men, with a nose that looks as if it's been broken more than once, stands and in a hard voice asks "Here now, what're you doing in here?"
I'm fine with the free form play. I just mentioned it can be a challenge because I don't want you guys to feel like you are not progressing. Right now you are discussing plans in character which is great. When you are ready, delcare your intended action in a, "we go to do this" type of way and I'll write what happens.
But if you guys do feel like you're struggling on direction we can definitely move through the keep in a manner like Sorina described.
Sorry guys, it's been a very busy couple of days. I have updated the map with a list of the areas for your reference. If you guys would like I an push the story along tomorrow, or if you guys chose a course to follow we can follow that. I know it's generally a bad idea for pbp, but this adventure is fairly freeform. The frame is there, but you guys have a lot of choice as 5o when and how to move forward.
From the discussion posts I expect that you guys are ready to move on.
Together the tree of you return to the wall that Kasit opened earlier. Careful to make sure know one notices you open it again and enter the room behind.
A dusty film coats this long-forgotten chamber, and thick cobwebs cling to the ceiling and walls. A black statue of a rearing dragon stands in one corner, and a decrepit desk and chair stands opposite it. Several vials of strange liquids and powders rest atop the desk.
The vials of liquids and powders on the table are potions and poisons caked with dust. Among them are two potions of cure light wounds, a potion of hide from undead, a vial of bloodroot poison (powdered), and a vial of striped toadstool poison (powdered). All of these are carefully labeled in common.
A close inpection of the room reveals several small holes in the floor which can be used to spy on the chamber directly below, and two small holes in the south wall which can be used to pay into two of the bedrooms on this floor.
Through the Red peephole:
Through the Green peephole:
Through the Purple peepholes:
Through the Blue peephole:
Jorgas raises a fist.
"Axes high, and armor bright. Let's get some stew and leave. I'd rather not sit band stare at the orc"
You go into the kitchen where an older halfling woman fills wooden bowls with a thick brown stew and hands each if you a load of bread. As you leave the Ionacu watches you furtively, but makes no move to intercept you. The pair of you continue chatting as you return to your rooms. At top of the stairs Jorgas takes a key out of his pockets and opens the first door on the left.
"I'll see you tomorrow. Good luck in the competition"
He closes the door behind him and you hear the click of the lock. Shortly after returning to your room Sorina and Sonira come to find you.
Kasit, here's a quick summary of Ionacu's stats. You'd have some knowledge of what to expect ddue to your history.
Snakebite Brawler 2
Trained in the following skills: Acrobatics, Bluff, Disable Device, Intimidate, Knowledge (local), Perception, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Stealth
Common Tactics: Strike from the dark or behind a smokescreen. Carries a well crafted tonfa, often beats subordinates into submission.
Couple of questions for Kasit:
General complaint: It's really annoying you can't nest spoilers!
Jorgas shakes his head, sighing. Then he speaks quietly, his reluctance obvious.
"Aye, I'll keep an eye out for you. What you say through matches what I'd suspected, I'm glad you got away from him.
But if Lord Kent knows who he is, well, this is his keep and I'll not be causing trouble. Blackstone keep is important, the clan trades with the humans here, and in return they stay out of our mountains. They'd be furious if anyone upset that balance. I'll not end up clanless for you. No offense, but no stranger no matter how well met is worth risking that fate.