The Grey Wanderer's page

52 posts. Alias of Charles Evans 25.


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Post shame-facedly admitting that poster's parents have discovered just what the poster is upto and that poster is about to be dragged away from the computer, leaving bloody finger-marks on the keyboard, screaming...

That is uncertain. I have just received magical notice from some good comrades that they are having 'a little woman difficulty', and that it urgently requires my attention. (Lucinda Dark (not related to Lucinda Darkeyes) just showed up at a gypsy camp and is quite happily doing what she does best, assassinating people.) I am urgently required to advise and mediate, and it is unfair to them and to you, monsieur, to split my attention like this in such a crisis. My apologies a thousand times for this; this is no insult intended to either you or your hospitality.
If it is agreeable to you, and I wish you to go ahead, I shall leave such instructions and directions as you may require, a couple of bales of the pelts, and a small barrel of vintage cognac here at some point, ca va? Not sure if the C should have a twirly thing under it, or which ASCII character it is if it does. Ca va as in French for 'That's good?', if I recall French lessons of a decade or so ago correctly.
He seems distinctly perturbed by whatever message he may have just received, and in a hurry to get going.

Jacque's visitor c0cks his head suddenly as if at the sound of something beyond Jacque's hearing.
Hmm. If you will excuse me, monsieur, but I am needed elsewhere it seems.
He sighs.
Here are thirty more sovereigns, for your time, in case you do not hear from me again.
He places a pouch which clinks on the table, and makes for the door.

I have charts of the Place of the Winds, and of the route from these parts to the nearest convenient omniportal which will get you there. He spreads a couple of maps on the table.
As to payment, I can stretch to a couple of bales of such pelts at most, but I may be able to throw in a small cask of excellent quality cognac.

Ah yes. That is indeed a decent vintage, monsieur.
He puts the tankard down carefully, and rummages in his robes.
I have here, somewhere, ahhh. Here we go.
He produces a silver fox pelt, and puts it on the table.
I wish to have that signal fire lit, monsieur, and I can get more of these. Shall we discuss business now?

The visitor enjoys the stew for a while, before responding.
Excellent stew, monsieur. I look forward to sampling your cheeses, greatly.
Some friends of mine have busied themselves looking for particlar items, he gives a sly smile, and produces a slightly dusty cap which he lays on the table, and they found this. Apologies that it is a little grubby - I gather that the previous owner required some persuasion to part with it at a price which my friends considered respectable.
I also have here three satchets of dust of illusion, any one of which should be sufficient to treat your fine moose for several hours, unless a wizard or priest with a magic quenching effect should happen by.
He lays one the table three large waxed paper sachets.
I would prefer to leave the rest of this talk until after we have finished this excellent meal, however.
I find it much more amiable to discuss business over a vintage glass of something.

Why, thank you monsieur. It is truly pleasant to encounter a man who knows the ins and outs of hospitality.
He gets up onto a chair, and pulls back his hood.
He looks a bit like Yoda, under that, and is often assumed by those who have actually seen his face to be some sort of very old and wizened fey or fey-kin.

Certainly. And I have been talking to some of my friends, he is starting to recover now, and chuckles, and I have a few items for you.
He follows Jacque inside.

It must have been our imagination, friend. At least I hope it was. Or perhaps a little too much of this.
He produces a silver flask, filled with brandy, and takes a pull, then offers it to Jacque.

The Grey Wanderer scrambles somewhat undignifiedly out of the bushes, trembling violently.

The Grey Wanderer is approaching the door of the cottage, when darkness rises up over the horizon, swirling across the forest.
He dives for cover in bushes, even though he gueses such to be futile if he is the target.

Meanwhile, the Grey Wanderer slowly approaches the cottage by the River Drolo, which Jacque mentioned.

The gypsy men begin to dig once again, in another part of the forest.

<Jiggling up and down in excitement.>
Yes! YES! The Stars are Right!

The Grey Wanderer meets with a group of his gypsy comrades, and addresses them with some concern.
We have a problem, my friends. The herald of The First, the master of all masters, has come into play. We must be extra diligent in our efforts, and should you encounter the herald, you must pay him, her, or it extreme respect. Joris, any luck on the hat front yet?
One of the men holds up a cap and grins.
Good work, the Grey Wanderer continues. Whilst I am concerned by the disappearance of the stars and the attacks on our cultist colleagues by those gnomes, which threaten the Fifth Sign, or at least how I would have liked to have interpretted it, the Sixth Sign may be completed in an auspicious manner. If only the Herald of Fire had not got himself removed from proceedings. All I need now is some way to disguise the moose, and sufficient motivation for the man Jacque to see him through...

The wizened figure shuffles off into the trees.

Monsieur. The sovereigns are for simply holding this conversation. There will be more to come, later, I assure you.

I believe that I could easily acquire a cap of disguise for your own use, but your good moose may require something more difficult to obtain. For now, here are five gold sovereigns for you, monsieur, for your kindness in passing the time of day with me, and I shall hope to call in upon you soon.
He passes a small leather pouch which does indeed contain five lage gold sovereigns to Jacque.
You live not far from here?

I simply need a big beacon fire - the bigger the better - to mark a forthcoming alignment of the stars.
I need someone able to employ a certain amount of guile - the place has 'caretakers' who object to use of the place unless it is for the purpose of prophecy or for 'taking counsel with the creatures of the air'.
As to payment, how do you prefer it, monsieur?
Magic items which you are perhaps seeking?

I need a special beacon fire constructed and lit at a site of power known as 'The Place of The Winds' before the month is out. It is a long way from here, as the hawk flies, but not so far for those able to travel by Omniportal.
Would you know anyone who might be able to assist me in supplying timber for, constructing and lighting such a fire?

A wizened figure, wrapped in grey rags and with a hood drawn over his face steps out of the trees, a short way ahead of Jacque. He is about the size of a halfling, and in one hand clutches a stick, upon which he seems to lean heavily.
Hold there, monsieur forester. Will you speak with me in the common tongue?

Eventually, half a dozen cultists gather in the ruins of the house, as darkness falls upon the bazaar, and the next time that she returns, they make the mistake of attacking the elven woman.

Eventually, the gypsy men give up at their excavation, having dug down a few feet more.
Wrong standing stone again, one of them grumbles. How many of the things can there be in this forest? Confounded druids.
Shouldering their tools, they abandon the excavation, and head off through the trees.

Cultists in robes are gathered above Cardden on the rim of the hole - they have temporarily paralysed his shield-guardians with force magic. They glance down at him, and one of them speaks:
Not the one we are looking for.
They depart, dismissing the force magic that gripped the golems once they are out of range of any possible attacks.

In a clearing somewhere in the forest, a group of gypsy men are digging with pickaces and shovels.
One of them has a map.

Deeper, deeper, the one with the map urges. If we got the right standing stone this time, the entrance to the tunnel should only be a few feet further down.

The ruined house is unfortunately unstable, and Lk disturbs a crucial part of a pile of collapsed timbers, tiles, and rubble. With a slithering crash, a miniature avalanche of stone and charcoaled beams envelops him.
You could jump out of the way, or you could be buried and wait to be rescued... :D

Db3's Narrator wrote:
Tristan the Waif wrote:
On the dawn of the morning, a young waif scampers out from blind duck alley. He scans the streets of the Bazaar searching for his next meal.

Walking through the Bazaar, and young boy spies the waif, and 'drops' a coin , and continues walking. As he walks past it, he spies something shiny in the razed house.

Can Lk go for the shiny left in the burned down house?

Lk??? Who/what is Lk?

There is a disturbance at night over the bazaar; something invisible against the night skies, with fire and lightning and ice stabbing down repeatedly to send a dilapidated house on the outskirts crashing into rubble; the Grey Wanderer, when he receives the news, is most disturbed.

News arrives at a central command point of the arrival of the girl and elemental in the Bazaar and of their interest in the stars. Urgent discussions are held, and someone is dispatched straight away to the jewellers to buy the tiara which was set with a star, to leave an address with the jeweller, and to fortify and place an ambush at that address (where the tiara is to be kept) so that the elemental and girl can be interrogated as to what their business is, and any stars already in their possession checked for the one which is urgently needed.
Reports that four nymphs may be following some of the agents, as they make their investigations are considered, but filed for later action, since they do not themselves seem to be interested in purchasing or otherwise obtaining stars.

A group of men and women move through the streets of the bazaar, searching for the shiny stars that some of the stall-holders have started selling recently. When they find one, they take out amulets pendulums, or other divining devices, and wave them over the star, before giving up with a snort of disgust or resigned sigh and moving on. Sometimes stall-holders insist that they buy stars before getting the divining tools out, and in such cases they do their best to find someone else to sell it on to, to recoup as much of the expense as possible, before moving on.

Meanwhile, upstairs in a warehouse, the watchman of the property snores, enjoying a little siesta, and unaware of the plots which have been fomented in the room a dozen feet beneath the table on which his boots rest.

In a cellar of a property in the bazaar, a group of cultists are gathered to listen to a leader - a small, wizened, green-skinned figure, robed and hooded in grey, who stands on a podium improvised from several lashe together pallets at one end of the room.
The Seventh Sign has come to pass. A plague of undead has scoured the lands, the diminutive leader says.
The Sixth Sign, the Sign of Fire will come soon.
And after that will come the Fifth Sign, the Sign of Life.
He gestures to one side of the room where the wreckage of some machines which look to have been salavaged from the Records Room lie, and to gleaming, newer equipment - glassware and alchemical vats which stand beside them.
We will raise an army of invincible demigods, the Sons of the Air, and we shall send them forth to Conquer the Threads. And as the unbelievers have between them helped us, by destroying the one tree that could have stopped the Sign of Fire, so they will have helped us in raising the Sign of Life; they have scattered the flesh and power of a living goddess for all to find. There is one very special piece which we must have - one piece from which we shall raise the sons who will renounce the weak and empty faith of their infidel mother, and conquer in the name of the masters. I shall give you signs and tokens, by which you may recognise this one particular star torn from the immortal firmament, and bring it back here, to serve our cause. Do not concern yourselves with any other stars, and if you cannot claim this one piece easily and stealthily for yourselves, summon your brothers and sisters, to take counsel how to proceed.
There are other, meaner, ways in which the Sign of Life could be raised, which would hasten the coming of the masters, too, but if we can do this for ourselves, in this way, then immediate victory shall almost certainly be ours, and we will have no need of the remaining Signs.
Go forth, my children, in stealth, go forth in knowledge, and go forth in subtlety and serve the masters well.
He stands down, and after a brief and excted buzz, the meeting breaks up, the cultists departing in their separate directions.

Nothing much on the bodies. Just their cultist robes, and whatever they didn't drop/get broken in the fight. It looks like they were expecting this to be a one way trip, but were prepared to die trying to accomplish whatever it was that their goal was.

Then it is all over, and the bodies and gear of eighteen intruders lie strewn and broken across the valley floor.

One of them shouts something about what sounds like 'olive a gem', as he falls towards the rocks below. The invaders appear to be wearing robes such as devotees of the former Goddess of Dangerous Knowledge favoured.

They toss pebbles clear, and seem to be trying to shout something. One by one they fall from their brooms, and plummet, screaming, towards the ground.

Upon a telepathic signal, shared between the leaders of each group, they ready themselves to dive, swooping in and heading for the centre of the Eyrie.

The attack by the elementals catches them off guard. They draw their poisoned daggers, and hack desperately at the air, or toss vials of fire. They become visible.

(edited, spell corrected)
Riding in in tight formation, under cover of invisibility spheres and individual magical silences, a dozen and a half fanatics loyal to the memory of the Goddess of Dangerous Knowledge approach the eyrie, on brooms of flying. They finger the vials of alchemists fire and the poisoned daggers at their belts, members of each group of six glancing at one another for reassurance.

Coins change hands in one of the shadier coffee houses of the bazaar.
'Your families will be well taken care of, after you are gone', the wizened little figure in grey promises the bunch of desperate men assembled before him.
The group breaks up and they go their separate ways.

The items in question are not in the building; I don't know if a search of the Sanctum will turn up any other sabotage/items left by other guests. Once the servants expand their search radius to the grounds and surrounding area, they might locate them. These are very small pouches, hidden about half a mile out and well protected against magical detection. (See earlier posts for details). Once one is discovered (which may take some time) the temple defenders will know what they're looking for, and finding another one or two will give them an idea of the overall layout and so where else to look.
Searches outside will also turn up signs of the gyspies' stay (fire, places where wagons stood, etc) if none of the guests are interviewed and recall seeing them.

A wizened figure, in grey rags, stands at the thicket at the edge of the grove. He strikes it on a tree, tosses it in the direction of the of the grove whilst muttering an ancient and profane name, and turns and hobbles away.
The match spins slowly end over end through the air, and vanishes.

The tryst breaks up, as the gypsy men and the hunched figure withdraw.

Then here is the information which you need, the hand which is not clutching the stick emerges from the robes, a roll of parchment in its grip. Names, maps, lists of allies and protectors. I am reluctant to sell out a fellow trafficker of dubious services, but to save my own skin.... Speaking of which, by your leave, I believe that I should be off to go and take cover in some deep hole, and leave you to it. If she finds out that I have done this, she will not be happy with me.

Yes I did, and yes I will tell you, and then I will have the charges against me dropped and your officers will cease to pursue me?

Heh-heh, I may be late, but I am efficient, and fond of my own skin. The evil one you seek is clever and dangerous, the hunched figure chortles. I am under no obligations to toss my life aside in your quest for justice.

The bushes rustle, and four gypsy men appear, a hunched figure perhaps not much taller than a halfling with them, his face and body shrouded in dark grey robes. One wizened green claw-like hand clutches a stick for apparent support.

At length, the gypsies conclude their remote observations of the Sanctum, pack up camp, and move on, leaving behind only the ashes of the fire and the dozens of concealed pouches of heather placed at strategic locations in a rough circle of radius about half a mile out from the walls of the sanctum.

Here and there in the landscape around the Sanctum hidden under stones, or in scrub, are little leather pouches, made of some fiend hide, with twists of white heather in. A couple of them also contain coins featuring a sun-god, with the deity's face crudely marred.
Low level supernatural warfare, intended to remain undetected except by a master diviner, and to bring general bad luck to any defenders of the Sanctum. Nirellia happened to spot one of these being planted by a gypsy and is off in the bazaar making inquiries.

A group of wandering gypsies bring their wagons to a halt a short distance from the walls of the sanctum. The menfolk are tall, lean, tanned, and have fierce expressions; the womenfolk are only occasionally glimpsed at the grimy windows of the wagons.
The men cast hungry gazes often in the direction of the Sanctum, and they talk with one another in their own tongue. They point at things, and occasionally seem to be arguing or discussing features of the Sanctum.

For a moment the trees have a sense of something hanging around on the edge of the grove, apparently testing and observing the awareness of the guardians, but then whatever it was, be it friend or foe, it is gone.

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