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249 posts. Alias of Dragoncat.


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Brevka (and anyone who goes with her) makes her way over to the room the proprietor indicated. The unpalatable smell of filth seems to be slightly less pungent, coming from this room. As Brevka approaches, the sounds of high-pitched straining and growling come from the door.

Inside, sitting on a pile of brown blankets and a ragged grey pillow, is a kobold with purple scales trying to pry open what looks like a jet black metal canister. The kobold is wearing a reasonably clean suit of black leather armour and a short sword is belted on his hip.

"Not yet, boss! This be stuck on tight." The kobold says as the half-orc steps into the doorway. "Hey, you got crowbar or something? Maybe that'll get it open."


The duergar looks Brevka up and down before wrinkling his nose. "Aye, that I'll figure."

"Yeah, I know of the group you're lookin' for." He points to the northern row of flophouse rooms. "Eleventh one is where the kobold sleeps. His masters are almost never far behind."


Kaxatja's Perception:
You make a circuit of the building, carefully stepping about.

You notice that the squat building has many windows--most of them boarded up, but a couple of them lying open. Most of the occupants of the flophouse's rooms are either unconscious or too addled by drugs to take notice of a giant spider-woman walking outside.

2 windows are open--one on the north side of the flophouse, one on the south side. I'll mark them on the map.


*poke poke poke*


Also, made a map of the flophouse.


As Brevka pushes the flophouse door open, a male drow in brown rags stumbles through, reeking of some sort of drug. He trips over his own feet and almost falls on the half-orc--

Grapple?: 1d20 ⇒ 9

--his flailing hands grabbing for something to break his fall, and coming close to her shin guards. He collapses to his knees and noisily vomits up a stream of something green before rolling over and clutching his stomach, shaking like a leaf.

The main room of the flophouse is even filthier than the building's exterior would suggest. The floor is made of stained grey wood that's rotted away in several places, exposing the cavern floor beneath. A scant few violet glowing crystals are mounted on the walls, providing a very dim glow that barely illuminates the rest of the building. The sounds of snoring, snorting and muted groans of pain fill the air.

Three large piles of ratty pillows and blankets have been set up in the middle of the L-shaped room, each of them occupied with wretched-looking drow, duergar, troglodytes and even a few humans. Some of them lie staring up at the ceiling with blank expressions on their faces, their mouths hanging open and drooling. A few of the flophouse's tenants are still up and walking about--or rather, staggering about. On the northern and southern sides of the flophouse are doors leading into quarters barely larger than the party's cells in the ludus, and dirtier.

Behind a counter next to the flophouse's doors is a squat, grey-skinned duergar dressed in perhaps the only clean set of clothing in the building. The sleeves of his white shirt have been torn off, exposing his bulky, powerfully-muscled arms. A sturdy-looking warhammer is hanging off of his belt.

"What're you lookin' at, greenskin?" The dwarf grumbles. "Ya certainly look like you don't belong anywhere near here."

The building's interior is dimly lit.


Johysis snickers. "Eh, why not."

She walks over to Daveth and roughly hauls him to his feet. Her crossbow is pointed at the small of his back. "It'll be a chance to get caught up." She chuckles as she marches him along.
--------------------
Anabel leads the party on a hunt for Daveth's assailants, following the spatters of blood left behind on alley walls and stray bits of cobblestone. Eventually, the trail leads northwest, to what looks like a dingy, condemned flophouse. It's a long, one-story building made of wood paneling that's seen far better days. Patches of strange violet mold creep out from between the panels in places, and a general foul odor of waste and cheap intoxicants leaks from its boarded-up windows.

Daveth gags when he sees the building and looks over at a nearby street sign. "Where are we--Blight Row. Ah. That would explain much."

New map!


Daveth shakes his head. "The female might have been a spellcaster, once. She didn't cast any spells, and didn't look like she'd be able to in her state."

"Don't think any of the others are spellcasters--at least, if you don't count the duergar."


Daveth *squeaks* in terror as Lilamma snares him with her chain.

"N-no! No! No! Notatall!" The herbalist stammers out.

"There were five of them--a pair of duergar, a drow female, a troglodyte, and their kobold slave. The kobold had purple scales, of all things... the female was in command." Daveth swallows. "I think the kobold was the only clear-headed one of the group--the rest were all strung out on... something. I don't know what."

The herbalist doesn't seem inclined to run.


Daveth tentatively steps out from behind the counter, trying to angle himself so that he doesn't bump into Lilamma's spiky gear on the way. He makes his way to the back door of his shop, opens it and steps outside.

"I figured that cutting through the back alleyyyyyeeEEEEEEEE!" He shrieks in terror when he sees Kaxatja's arachnid bulk and Johysis' crossbow pointed at his head. The vagrant sputters and barely musters the effort needed to uncurl himself from his cloak.

"Hey, Davey-boy." Johysis grins and keeps her crossbow level. "How's work?"

Daveth scampers behind Anabel.

Anabel's Survival Roll:
There are a few faded tracks in the unpaved dirt of the alley, leading off to the northwest and down another alley. There are also a few spots of blood in the dirt, following the tracks.


Daveth swallows again. "Bunch of junkies. They-they mugged me as I was returning from gathering reagents last night. Attacked me outside of my own shop!" He huffs in a vain attempt to look indignant.

"I dropped what I was carrying and fled inside--Haagenti must have felt generous, because they didn't pursue me. They just took what I gathered and sauntered off laughing like they just scored big."

"Never should've taken that shortcut home. Amateur move."


Daveth twitches when Lilamma brazenly threatens him and flinches when Lyra'an emerges from behind one of the aisles of potions.

"Er... um... yes. Yes, I-I remember now." The herbalist swallows and looks down at his parchment, his hands starting to shake. "Just the one order here left unclaimed. Of course."

He looks around at the four gladiatrixes, all within reach of him. He bites his lip, his eyes darting towards the back door of his establishment before he sighs in defeat.

"There's... well, there's one problem." He takes a step back from the counter. "I, uh... I had it. But it was stolen."

He swallows in fear.


Daveth blinks a couple of times as Brevka swaggers up to his counter.

"Oh." His eyes dart to the sigil on the half-orc's sash before meeting her eyes again. "Of course, of course."

He ducks underneath his counter and pulls out a sheet of parchment. "Now, House Parastric has contracted my services for many deliveries before. Which one was your order, again...?"

GM Rolls:
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22

DC 22 Sense Motive:
Daveth is definitely hiding something. He likely knows exactly what delivery you're here for, and he's stalling for time.


Kaxatja wrote:
”Please shoot the vagrant if he so much as moves against us...”

Johysis chuckles. "You sure he's even worth the bolts?" She asks, one of her crossbows trained on the sleeping vagrant.

--------------------------------
When Brevka kicks in the door, she's greeted by a surprised yelp.

The interior of the shop is remarkably tidy, with multiple shelves of various alchemical reagents lining the store. The floor is well-polished and carved of lacquered black wood. A flight of stairs leads up to another floor.

Standing behind a rectangular counter, with an array of bubbling flasks and vials mounted on a wall behind him, is a male drow with long, messy hair. He's wearing a black tunic with a grey, filthy smock. His grey eyes widen in shock as Brevka barges into his shop.

"What is the meaning of this?! The door was open, you single-minded brute--" Daveth starts. Then he sees the sash Brevka is wearing.

Whatever he was going to say next dies on his lips.


So, how would you like to approach this?


So, how would you like to approach this?


Made a new map for the herbalist's shop.


Kaxatja's Perception:
Aside from the vagrant, there are a few patches of odd-coloured fungus around the trash bins.

You catch a glimpse of the vagrant's face as you examine the alley. He has a filthy grey patch of chin stubble and gently pointed ears. There's also a half-empty bottle of some sort of foul-smelling liquid in his hand.


A small side alley is next to the shop, barely wide enough for a large creature to walk down it comfortably. Investigation of the alley reveals a few stone garbage bins, a back door, and what looks like a sleeping, ashen-skinned vagrant in a filthy brown cloak.

Kaxatja wrote:
”Honoured Johysis. Care to accompany me? You wouldn’t wish one of your charges to escape on their first venture outside the slave pit...”

Johysis chuckles. "Oh, I'm not worried. If you try to run..."

She eyes the sashes each of the gladiatrixes wear. "...you won't get far."

"But, I can tell just how lonely you are." The overseer twists the word around her tongue, sharpening it to a bolt. She plucks a crossbow from her belt and starts twirling it around her finger by its trigger guard. "I'll humour you... for now."


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When the gladiatrixes emerge from the armoury, they see Johysis striding towards them, a sharp-looking golden cloak billowing from her shoulders. Her crossbows are hanging on her belt. "Right. This way, ladies." She turns and strides off, leading them back through the chapel and out into the thronging streets beyond.

Zirnakaynin, Last Home of the Elves
Theme of Zirnakaynin

The trainer steps out into the street and turns back to the assembled gladiatrixes. All around them, people hurry and scurry about, each of them moving with a pace that betrays a feeling of fear. Large riding lizards pad through the throng in places, towing behind them wagons of strange wares and stranger creatures. On one street corner, a drow female in impractically gilded and skimpy chainmail berates a hapless, ashen-skinned gnome in rags--on another, a pair of grey-skinned dwarves haggle with a drow male in a large, threadbare cloak that jingles with glass vials. Throughout it all, an uncomfortable, ethereal violet glow permeates everything, shining from the windows of elaborately-constructed homes, streetlights carved from black stone and patches of fungi growing in the otherwise barren corners of alleys and side streets.

Johysis moves through the throng with contemptuous ease, leading the party into the southernmost streets of the Last Home of the Elves. A few human slaves in barely more than loincloths and shackles pause in their work to gawk at the women, only to be lashed back into labor by a male drow overseer in dark grey leathers.

Eventually, you find the shop mentioned by Lady Chardalyn. It's a simple, two-story home--the bottom floor is visible through a glass window while the top floor seems to be entirely windowless. A sign hangs above the shop's door, bearing an image of two crossed mushrooms.

"And here we are." Johysis leans against a nearby streetlamp and starts fiddling with one of her crossbows.


Kaxatja wrote:
”So five slaves wear sashes of Parastric, while a Volatexia overseer accompanies us. What sash will you wear?”

The trainer smirks. "Won't need a sash. I've got a nice cloak to wear."

Lilamma wrote:
"Just to be sure before we go. Do we have to give back the sashes clean and spotless, when we come back?"

Lady Chardalyn shakes her head, still glaring at the trainer. "That's what We have help for."

Brevka wrote:
"And what should we call you anyways, overseer?"

"Ooh, overseer..." The trainer's smirk gets a bit bigger. "...I like the sound of that."

"Or Johysis. Either works." She shrugs.

Lady Chardalyn clears her throat. "Yes, I'm certain this is all rather important, but every minute you waste here is another minute Our demands go unfulfilled. I suggest you decide who to approach first, and decide quickly."

Johysis turns on her heel and leaves the armoury.


As the gladiatrixes are getting their gear together, the armoury door opens behind Lady Chardalyn. In walks the archery trainer, twirling one of her hand crossbows while carrying five silken silver sashes, each of them bearing an image of an obsidian-coloured stone on a silver shield.

"How're our favourite ladies doing today?" She asks before shrugging. "Don't answer that--I already know."

"These sashes here will be what you'll wear to represent House Parastric's interests." She moves around the assembled party, slipping them on each of you. "A little bit of insurance, if you will."

The sashes feel unnaturally heavy as the trainer puts them on you. They don't feel like they're made of silk--more like they're made of iron.

"Oh, and Lady Alaunirra's asked me to babysit the lot of you." She adds once the last sash has been distributed. "Hope that's not a problem."

Lady Chardalyn gives the trainer an offended sneer. "Ex-cuse me? This is a House Parastric affair. I've an overseer of my own for this task."

"House Volatexia policy." The trainer replies, not even deigning to look the noblewoman in the eye. "It's our assets being deployed, it's our agents that'll oversee them. Don't like it, take it to Lady Alaunirra."


Lady Chardalyn shrugs. "If you feel so inclined. It matters not how you retrieve the skum, only that you do. They're... of interest to Us."

"Kinlith's Menagerie can be found to the southwest, on the border of the Razor and Umbral Quarters. Just follow the smell of unwashed animals and you'll find it--it's a ring of cages with an office at one end."


Alrighty! Thank you for your patience!

Lilamma wrote:
"These thieves do need to suffer for the offense to your House, I suppose?"

"If they resist. But, do try not to maim them too badly. Even if they are treacherous, their services are still of use to Us."

Lady Chardalyn claps her hands once. "Good. Good."

"Come, let us get your equipment ready."

She ushers the group out of the chapel of Nurgal and towards the armoury of House Volatexia.
---------------------
The armoury of House Volatexia is a room that the gladiators have never been allowed to enter before--and its opulence rivals that of the chapel of Nurgal. Murals of gladiators engaging in brutal combat with each other line the walls of the room, each of them crafted with a care that none have ever seen them give their warriors. The north and south ends of the armoury have statues of barely-clad drow gladiators standing watch, their stone gladii crossed in front of their chests in the shape of an X. The weapon and armour racks are separated along the east and west walls of the room, respectively--and large stone basins of clear oil rest at the foot of each statue. The murals glow with an uncomfortably warm yellow light. Two drow guards stand on duty at the far end of the armoury, their eyes darting between the assembled gladiatrixes and the nearby weapons.

"Now, as to the three merchants who owe Us tribute..." Lady Chardalyn continues.

"One is an herbalist, Daveth Sharrazzar. I would recommend seeking him out first--he is a cowardly sort, and should prove to be of little trouble for you. He owes Us several vials of a particular rare fungus known for its potent hallucinogenic properties. His apothecary can be found in the Razor Quarter, south of Volatexia's ludus--look for the shop with the crossed mushroom sign."

"The second is Ineriza Xandurae. She owes House Parastric a quantity of a hundred gold pieces--a fair tax for her brisk trade in processed material. She's a stubborn one, but quite skilled in her trade--she may need some convincing, so long as it doesn't cripple her ability to work. You may find her domicile in the Umbral Quarter--look to the west of the ludus, for 45 Seer's Row."

"The last is, perhaps, the most difficult. Traxivus Kinlith is a procurer of strange wildlife, and his latest specimen--or, rather, specimens, are to be delivered to us. Tell me, do any of you know what a skum is?"

DC 12 Knowledge (Nature):
Skum are a monstrous humanoid race created by aboleths to serve as slaves. They're resistant to cold, and their claws and teeth can rend flesh easily.


Folks, once again I'd like to apologize for my absence.

I've been struggling with writer's block regarding this campaign for some time now, and unfortunately I feel like I've taken on more than I can cope with running two tables.

In the interest of making my campaign load more manageable, I think I'm going to step down as GM for this game.

It was a pleasure gaming with you.


Yes. Really sorry for the unannounced hiatus--to be honest, I've been having trouble figuring out where to take things from here.


Sorry once again for not posting. This week is exam week, so my time's going to be spent studying.

Posts should resume on Friday.


Sorry once again for not posting. This week is exam week, so my time's going to be spent studying.

Posts should resume on Friday.


Sorry my updates have slowed down again. It's the last couple weeks of classes for me (with no fewer than three projects due), followed by exams. I'll try to update once I have some free time.


Sorry my updates have slowed down again. It's the last couple weeks of classes for me (with no fewer than three projects due), followed by exams. I'll try to update once I have some free time.


Brevka wrote:
"I know there are places where warriors do not bear arms. What will we be given to do this?"

"First Daughter Alaunirra has made arrangements for you to be armed as you have become trained and accustomed to." Lady Chardalyn replies.

Kaxatja wrote:
"Are we to be caparison'd as of your House and thus advertise a measure of your might and power and the consequence for failure to pay dues, or are we to be enforcers of a more discreet nature?"

Lady Chardalyn blinks in surprise. "Hmm. Remarkably verbose. And she even used the term 'caparison' correctly." She whispers to herself, tilting her head at the drider and appraising her again.

"Yes, rest assured you will. You will all bear a mark of House Parastric: a sash to wear, so that those who cross your path will know to stray far from it."


"Yes, yes." Rikkan nods. "Now, retreat, and quickly. It will not do to be seen together--not now."

The ratfolk withdraw to their cell...
--------------------------
Starday, 7th of Sarenith, 4705 AR

When the gladiators are awoken from their cell today, there's an order going out to assemble in the main dining hall. The other gladiators of the ludus are assembled: the orc-blooded team, a team of five drow (four males and one female), the pack of ratfolk, the terrified-looking Gavin and the quietly angry Caladrel.

First Daughter Alaunirra is standing at the entrance to the ludus with a drow male dressed in immaculately-kept military dress. His dress shirt and trousers are fashioned from matching jet-black silk, with burnt orange cufflinks and hems. Two medals--an iron spider and a silver dagger--are pinned to his shirt, with an orange badge with crossed silver axes pinned between them.

DC 10 Knowledge (Local/Nobility):
This male is a noble of House Caldrana, judging from his badge. They're said to forge the greatest weapons of Zirnakaynin.

"Gladiators!" Alaunirra steps forward. "Today, we have a most distinguished guest." She gestures to the black-clad male next to her. "This is Lord Jaezred. He has come to me with a most unusual request--he has asked me for the services of some of our finest warriors."

"Lord Jaezred, if you would?"

The decorated male starts walking down the line of assembled gladiators.

He pauses at the all-drow team, his eyes momentarily widening in recognition of the leader. He then snorts in disgust and moves on, leaving the males behind him to grumble among themselves.

He gives the orc team a cursory look before shaking his head. "No discipline."

He doesn't even bother looking at the ratfolk.

He passes Gavin and Caladrel, pausing only to match sneers with the glowering surface elf. Gavin's face blanches.

Finally, he reaches the party. He does a double-take when he sees Jazrok. "Done. These five will do." He says with only a cursory glance at the others.

"What?!" The leader of the drow team stamps his foot and runs a hand through his normally straight, pristine hair. "But they're not even the best! WE'RE the best! Hells, the ORCS have seen more combat than them!"

Alaunirra turns a harsh glare on the leader, but he either doesn't notice or doesn't seem to care.

"Why THAT motley collection of iblith and not me?!"


Lilamma wrote:
"A pound of flesh, maybe?"

"Perhaps more than a pound, if they're especially foolish." Lady Chardalyn chortles. "But not too much. Dead men cannot pay their debts."

Brevka wrote:
"Do we need to bring them back in order to pay? Or is it something we can carry once they give it up."

"The tribute should be something you can all carry. Alternatively, if they cannot pay, then bring them before me." Her smirk appears again, her teeth shining with cruelty. "We'll work something out."


"I was getting to that." The noble shoots Anabel the briefest of annoyed glares.

"In order for House Parastric to serve Zirnakaynin in the manner in which they have come to expect of Us, we require... resources."

"Sometimes, that involves a payment of gold from those who have adopted our Standard." Lady Chardalyn shrugs. "Sometimes... more natural resources must be acquired."

"There are three merchants in the city that have neglected to pay Us what we are owed. I want you to extract Our tribute from them."


The drow team leader glares back at Lilamma, a vein visibly bulging in his temple. When he sees that she isn't backing down, he lets out an indignant snort and looks back at Lady Chardalyn.

"The fact that you feel compelled to ask is reason enough." She replies with a cursory glare at him. "I've little use for someone so obviously trying to curry favour with his betters."

The leader's hands clench into fists. The female next to him can't hide her mirthful smirk.

"Now, gladiators--come with me." She swiftly turns about, her dress billowing up a bit to expose her slender, graceful legs before striding out the ludus doors and turning towards the Chapel of Nurgal.

The drow leader glares daggers at the gladiatrixes as they leave.
--------------------
The main hall of the chapel is quiet today, with only a few guards stationed at the entrances to the other wings on duty.

The drow noble walks up the stone steps to the massive statue of Nurgal and looks back at the assembled team. She nods at Kaxatja with a look of fascination and pride. "House Volatexia has good taste in specimens." She says aloud before turning to the rest of the team.

"For those of you unaware of who I am, allow me to introduce myself--I am Lady Chardalyn, Second Daughter of House Parastric and First Alchemist of Haagenti." She rolls a silver token between her fingers with a smug smirk on her face.

"I require your capable hands for... a tribute collection, of sorts."


I made a mistake with the current date in game. It's actually Starday, 7th of Sarenith, 4705 AR.


Drakhn wrote:
"Hmm. A Purp. I've never met one before. They're usually cast out of the tribe they're born in."

"Indeed--and he's quite lonely. Lonely, small, and sneaky. Ideal for our plan." Rikkan nods. "Provide him with a welcoming ear, and he'll eat out of the palm of your hand."

Spikey wrote:
"Alright then. Is there a way he'll know he can trust us?"

"He'll be waiting for you at your... 'assignment'." The ratfolk leader taps his claws together. "He'll ask you 'How fare the spiders?' When he does, you tell him 'They hunt long and well', and he'll know you're with us."


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Alright! Back in the saddle! Thank you for your patience!

The gladiatrixes reunite and the day eventually concludes...
-------------------------
Fireday, 6th of Sarenith, 4705 AR

When the gladiatrixes are awoken today, there's an order going out to assemble in the main dining hall. The other gladiators of the ludus are assembled: the orc-blooded team, a team of five drow (four males and one female), a stone-faced Kamala and the ever-nervous Erevas.

First Daughter Alaunirra is standing at the entrance to the ludus with another drow female, this one dressed in a long, flowing silver dress slit up to her hip and wearing matching silver-coloured sandals. Several rings are on her fingers, the largest of which is a signet ring with a jet-black stone engraved on it.

DC 10 Knowledge (Local/Nobility):
This female appears to be a noble of House Parastric, judging from her signet ring.

"Gladiators!" Alaunirra steps forward. "Today, we have a most distinguished guest." She gestures to the silver-clad female. "This is Lady Chardalyn. She has come to me with a most unusual request--she has asked me for the services of some of our finest warriors."

"Lady Chardalyn?"

The lady steps forward, walking down the line of assembled gladiators.

She walks past the all-drow team without even a second glance. The males blanch and start to grumble amongst themselves, whereas the female looks quietly pleased.

She pauses at the orcs, looking each of them over with an appraising eye. She makes a couple of approving nods before moving on.

She looks over Kamala and Erevas, sneering at the surface elf but otherwise not remarking on either of them.

And finally, she reaches the party. Her eyes light up when she sees Kaxatja and she walks right up to her immediately.

"...yes..." She looks the drider over with a very interested eye. "...remarkable. The perfect blend of intelligence and ruthlessness..."

She gives the rest of the party a cursory glance before looking back at Alaunirra. "These five will do."

"What?!" The leader of the drow team stamps his foot and runs a hand through his normally straight, pristine hair. "But they're not even the best! WE'RE the best! Hells, the ORCS have seen more combat than them!"

Alaunirra turns a harsh glare on the leader, but he either doesn't notice or doesn't seem to care.

"Why THAT motley collection of iblith and not me?!"


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Really sorry for taking so long to update. I'm struggling with writer's block.

I'll see if I can update later today.


"Excellent." Rikkan claps his paws. "Now, when the First Daughter gives you your assignment, be on the lookout for our contact, a purple-scaled kobold. His name is Kitterix--and he can give you more details of what must be done for our success."


Brevka

Jex snorts. "Some believe that a passage exists back to the surface within Zirnakaynin's environs."

"Hmph. Delusional."
----------------------

Anabel & Nathrae:
Nathrae leans in to whisper into your ear before you leave the Caldarium.

"Return from your assignment alive tomorrow, and I'll see what I can do to... make things a little easier."


----------------------
Lyra'an

You see Anabel emerging from the baths with Nathrae in tow. The priestess turns and leaves the ludus, leaving the surface elf alone.
----------------------
Lilamma

Anything for the guards?


"A chance there is, yes." Rikkan replies. "Years in the making, it has been--but our gaolers have become... suspicious of us."

"That is why we have asked you here." The ratfolk rubs his paws together. "You are new--not yet trusted, but not yet distrusted entirely, either. You are in a position to ingratiate yourselves with Volatexia."

"Here is what I propose--we have heard whispers that the Daughter intends to hire your services out tomorrow. Do what you must to keep them happy--and in so doing, put yourselves in a position to act with more freedom."

"Yes? Yes?"


Expect an advancing post tomorrow afternoon. :)


Expect an advancing post tomorrow afternoon. :)


Drakhn:
You don't yet see Gorovash anywhere.

The party is led over to the southwestern cells of the ludus, towards the gathering of ratfolk talking amongst themselves. Two more ratfolk emerge from a nearby cell.

The five ratfolk all have coats of different colours--one has a tawny-coloured coat, one a coat of pure white, one cream-coloured, one with powder-blue fur and the brown-furred one that invited the party over.

"You five are the newest additions to the ludus." The tawny one speaks and steps forward. "Yes, we know about your struggles. They were no different from ours--forced to kill and bleed for their entertainment, lest we be forced to bleed and die ourselves."

"I am Rikkan." The tawny ratfolk nods his head. "This is Rissi, Agiz, Kitch and Tikka." He points to the white-furred one, the brown-furred one, the cream-coloured one and the powder-blue one in sequence. "Know that if you seek to escape, perhaps we can help each other."


Anabel & Nathrae:
The drow doesn't react to your kiss, remaining still.

"...that'd be easier said than done." She moves to gather up your clothes.


------------------------
Brevka

"They lash them the first time. Second time, they try to come up with something new. Third time, they arrange for the ludus champion to execute them in an arena match." Jex growls. "Nargos relishes such an opportunity."
------------------------
Lilamma

The guards look at each other before turning back to you. "...usually. Last year the favoured punishment for second offences was a public flaying. Year before that, they were paralyzed and covered in thousands of little spiders. Not sure what that b+@$# Alaunirra is going to come up with this year."

"She doesn't believe in third chances--a third offence will result in you dying to our champion in the arena."
------------------------
Lyra'an

As you turn to leave, you notice Kamala emerging from Lilamma's cell, looking angry and anxious.


Lyra'an

Lyra'an wrote:
"Are you sure you'll take the blame if something happened to him....in the arena?"

"I'm certain his mother would be apoplectic. If he dies outside the arena, though..." Sabrae trails off in thought.

Lyra'an wrote:
"I should go before you end up in trouble. If you ever feel the need to vent.....or blow off steam, come find me."

"...I'll be sure to remember that." Sabrae replies before skulking off to the kitchens.

--------------------
Anabel & Nathrae:
Nathrae slides the symbol out of your hand, her cold stare lightening somewhat. She studies your face for a moment or two.

"...if you and your team survive these coming weeks, I'll tell you more. But for now, you need to prepare." She sighs. "Alaunirra's been entertaining a couple of offers from other noble houses--and I think she's settled on one for you all."

"It will involve doing harm to possibly innocent people." She says with an undercurrent of disgust in her voice.


Spikey's Sense Motive:
The ratfolk's offer appears to be genuine...

Anyone else going along?


Also, Lyra'an, you can make the Perception roll I mentioned in Brevka's section.


Anabel & Nathrae:
Your hand slides into her robes, and as you take hold of the object hidden within, Nathrae's hand suddenly catches yours. The warmth in her eyes is gone, replaced by a stony stare.

The temperature of the air in the caldarium seems to drop by a couple of degrees.

"...you learn quickly." She withdraws your hand from her robes--but doesn't make a move to take the object out of your hand.

In your hand is a small metal token in the shape of the full moon, with a crown of thorns on top and a pair of smirking lips in its centre.

DC 15 Knowledge (Religion):
This appears to be a holy symbol of Nocticula... but with a few additions.

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