Pauls Second Darkness - Act 1 - Shadow in the Sky


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( You have arrived outside the Gold Goblin )

Just inside the main doors, two sultry beauties scantily clad and wearing faux bat wings, devil horns, and tails play the part of alluring succubi. Both are employees of the Gold Goblin, and they cheerfully register contestants for the tournament and process entry fees. Armed guards stand nearby to either side of an immense treasure chest into which each patron’s entry fee is added. The guards are on hand to not only protect the money, but to prevent any overzealous admirers from trying to dare the infamous touch of a succubus. Beyond the registration table is the hall’s game floor. Dozens of gamblers, waitresses dressed as succubi, and bouncers mill about the room, wandering amid tables offering various games while dealers shuffle cards, roll dice, and spin wheels. Moving through this throng are a dozen more of the barely clad, batwinged vixens serving drinks and batting coal-black eyelashes flirtatiously for tips. In the center of the chamber is a short podium atop which sits a massive gold chest affixed to the floor by similarly gaudy chains. On either side of it stands a barechested bouncer in the exotic garb of some foreign sultan’s
court. Each stands with muscled arms crossed over his chest and with a naked scimitar of prodigious size tucked through his waistband. High above them, from the hall’s cloth-draped ceiling, hangs a brass birdcage within which crouches a small, bat-winged, pointy-tailed devilish creature that sulks as it gazes over the room and occasionally rattles the bars threateningly.

( To enter is 1gp - I'll assume everyone enters the tournament. The day is spent with normal Tavern activities.. drinking card playing etc... As the windows begin darkening with twilight, several gamehall employees enter, carrying torches shaped like pitchforks skewering burning heads made of straw and cloth to light several large braziers, giving the hall a more infernal hue. A hush falls over the gathered crowd as a short man climbs to the central podium, accompanied by two gorgeous “succubi,” and stands before the gold, chain-shrouded chest there with a demoness on either side. He wears a formal suit, and his thinning black hair is slicked back. His left arm ends in a stump just above the wrist, and affixed to it is a bronze cap from which protrudes an oddly shaped key. This is Saul Vancaskerkin, the owner of the Gold Goblin and host of the tournament. He bows before the crowd and clears his throat before speaking. )

“Welcome, one and all, to the Gold Goblin Gambling Hall and your chance to cheat the Devil and win back not only your soul but all of his gold as well.” He says this last as he pats the large chest before which he stands. “I hope you found your reception by the Devil’s lovely temptresses suitably entertaining.”
This is met by a general murmur of laughter and a few catcalls. “Let’s take this moment to thank Old Scratch himself for attending this event. Not only did he loan us these lovely, dark angels, but he also emptied the deepest vaults of Hell itself to provide the gold for this tournament.”

( With this, Saul directs the crowd’s attention up to the imp in the birdcage. At the sudden attention, Old Scratch flies into a flurry of rage, banging the cage bars, spitting, howling, and screaming vile epithets in Infernal at all assembled. His theatrics are received with guffaws and even a smattering of applause. As the crowd dies down, Vancaskerkin continues. )

“Of course, he plans on replacing what he loses in gold with the souls of those of you who don’t win. The tournament rules are quite simple—as you play, you’ll earn more chips. And with those chips, you’ll be able to bribe your way out of the current Hell you’re trapped in, working your way down deeper until you get to Old Scratch’s treasury. Currently, all of you are Old Scratch’s prisoners in the first of the Hells, Avernus. If you want to work your way down to the ninth circle, you need to win games. Each time you win, you’ll be awarded a golden eye. If you come in second, you’ll get a silver tooth.
And third place wins a copper heart. These bits of flesh and bone are what the devils use in Hell for currency, and they’re what you’ll need to pay in order to bribe your way into the next layer of hell. The first player to win a game after reaching Nessus not only keeps his winnings for that game, but also earns back his soul and the ten thousand silver coins that the Devil put up for this tournament. You can, of course, decide to cash out your winnings at any time you want, but if you do, or if you run out of money entirely… well, that means Old Scratch gets you.” Vancaskerkin grins evilly and the caged imp cuts loose with another profane tirade. “And that earns you the Devil’s Mark and an escort out of the game hall until the tournament is over. What, you ask, exactly is this Devil’s Mark? Well, it’s something too utterly
horrible to even contemplate. The forfeiture of your very soul, it is. But I suppose I can show you what it is—gods know I more than deserve
the Devil’s Mark. In fact, better make it two, girls!” With that, the two succubi accompanying him lean over and each firmly plants a kiss on Saul’s cheek with her ruby-red lips. When they pull away, their lip rouge has left clearly visible prints in the same shocking red on his cheeks. Saul beams as he cries out, “The Devil’s Mark, everyone!” which is greeted by a flurry of shouts, catcalls, and hoots. “Now, let’s cheat the Devil and take his gold!” which prompts one more rabid flurry from the imprisoned fiend above, and with that, the tournament begins.

(Images;

Old Scratch
Saul Vancaskerkin
Contract

I'll have a few more images to add later. Namely, the image of the statue, an image of the Goblin and a map. Photobucket isn't liking me right now. )


"Huh. Nice place." Gornak grunts appreciatively. "Hope me get to talk to Saul. Show him me can dance pretty."

The hulking, armored orc-son adjusts his pack and does a pirouette. For such a brutish figure clad from head to toe in bands of iron, he is surprisingly nimble and his grace belies his ancestry. He finishes with a CLANG and heads towards the gambling tables.


Calabron eyes the half-orc as he passes, taking particular interest in his impromptu performance. This one's likely to cause a stir without trying. And opportunity shouldn't be too far behind.

The sorcerer falls in step not far behind the imposing figure, intent on joining the same game he does.


From her table Sevegny eyes the waitresses knowingly. It wasn't so long ago when she herself plied such establishments for men and their easy gold.


Male Human Fighter 1

Jean-Paul moved gracefully through the room, his lithe hands taking offered drinks from the scantily clad women, and his face offering a smile that never quite reaches his eyes. He was impressed, despite himself, at the ostentatious layout of the tournament. Back home in Cheliax, there were always events like this to atted, but at least here he didn't have to watch his back or his words so much. There were no political rivals for him in this town. At least not yet, he thought with a grimace.

When Saul makes his appearence, the young fighter moved closer. Here was the man who could give him the type of employment he was seeking. The trick was to work out how to get close enough to be noticed.

Taking another drink from one of the "Succubi", Jean-Paul turns on his most charming smile and asks "Tell me, most beautiful lady of seduction, how does one get to meet the great Saul? If one wanted to enquire as to some work say"

Ok, I've got my best clothes on and my masterwork breastplate. I'll have my sword and shortsword strapped on if permitted by the bouncers. I'll try and conceal my dagger, Sleight of Hand 1d20+3=11 ; though not very well apparently :). My other gear is locked in my room in the sea chest.

Diplomacy roll for info and flirting with the waitress 1d20+4=11 . Hmm.. about as diplomatic as I am sneaky it seems. Finally, I'm suspicious of the contract, having come from Chliax where dealings with teh devil are all to real. Can I try to discern if there's more to the deal than meets the eye? Sense motive 1d20=3 . Apparently not.

"I'll just sign right here shall I"


Male Half-elf Expert 1/ Cleric 1

Darkilion walks slowly around the gaming palor, smiling at the ladies with a boyish grin. His hand unconsciously goes to his pocket, hoping that his luck would not run out, keeping his shirt among other things. When he gets to the caged beast, he glares intently wondering if such a foul creature should not be vanquished, but yet his mind trailed to thoughts of pity for it being stuck in such a prison.

"Perhaps a better place for you, foul beast," he whispered to himself taking a goblet of wine from the waitresses and finding a seat at the tables...


( Gold Goblin Statue
Map )

Are you all taking part in the tournament? The 1 gold was the cover to get in. In order to 'play' you have to ante up your soul. Let me know. If you haven't already indicated.)

(To Jean-Paul)

Spoiler:

The succubus smiles at you, "Come closer darling and I'll whisper the secret in your ear."

(To Darkilion)

Spoiler:

The creature begins to shake around as much as is possible in his tight quarters.. the bartender yells over "Hey! No feeding the thing! Hahah!" He laughs


Male Human Fighter 1

Given my earlier inability to discern anything wrong about the contract, Sure I'll participate. It's the kind of thing Jean-Paul would have been involved in "Back Home"

Keeping a close eye (and hand) on his money pouch, the young fighter leans in closer to the girl to hear her response to his question. AS he does so, he again tries his charm on th girl. Who knows, maybe if he works this angle right, he'd get some information and find someone to help pass the late night away back in his room.

"If I'm going to have to get this close to you just o find out about your boss, how far do we have to go for me get your name beautiful?' he asks, remembering the sleazy one liner from one of the sailors aboard the Siron's Song. It sounded pretty silly to him, but who knows the effect it would have on this girl in this setting. He smiled, expectantly awaiting her answer as he leaned closer.

Diplomacy roll 1d20+4=17 . Woohoo, much better roll. Maybe that old sailor knew what he was on about hehe. Let me know if I need other rolls, or feel free to make some foe me if required


Sevegny decides to be content with merely spectating. Vancaskerkin is obviously just jesting about gambling with souls, yet it still offends Sevegny's priestly sensibilities.


Gornak is not currently using his soul, so he signs the contract with the Orcish rune for "foot" (in rather sloppy penmanship).


(Apologies for having fallen off the face of the Earth. A bunch of family related stuff cropped up over the weekend. Will make up quickly later on this evening. Just thought I'd give a heads up.)


( The scene
Yizmin, life always trumps gaming. It's cool. )

Gornak:

Spoiler:

As they take your signed contract they smile, "That should be one easy target. Good luck"

Sevegny:

Spoiler:

One of succubi slinks up to you, "Hello beautiful... come play with me.. we have lots of games" She flashes you a smile

Jean-Paul:

Spoiler:

"Mmm.. yes.. I can introduce you.. but first.. come close... I need a kiss.." she says in a very sexy, very tempting pout.
(If you want to resist in any way, I would think a Sense Motive would be best. Unless at this point you would welcome the kiss.)

As the evening ramps up for the tournament the room begins to fill until what appears to be around a hundred willing and ready gamblers in attendance. Saul seems busy with basic management duties.

(Rules for gambling:
Gold Goblin Gambling Chips
Name Color Cost
Copper Heart Dull red 1 cp
Silver Tooth Dull gray 1 sp
Gold Eye Dull gold 1 gp

As for games you wish to gamble on - State what you are playing and roll a charisma check or if you have it Profession: Gambler)


Should we just make up names for games, or are there specific ones that the Gold Goblin offers?


Male Half-elf Expert 1/ Cleric 1

Darkillion makes his way to the signature table to sign an official form scanning the room for a game he may enjoy, with participants that didnt look like they would break him should he take their coins.

"Perhaps a table with elves or gnomes would suit me well," he states warmly as he signs the contract offering up his coin. "Maybe Cayden will bless me with luck today so that I can take that large chest home to my father."


Male Human Fighter 1

DM

Spoiler:
Sense motive 1d20=13 . If that roll is high enough to warn me of anything untoward then I'll respond more appropriately later. If not, then I'll thank my lucky stars and lean in for a big kiss. After all, I've been at sea for a few months now. If it helps, you already have me on edge about my soul :) [/ooc]

Jean-Paul looks around for a table that lets you roll dice, or maybe a game where bluffing your opponent may help. Failing that, he goes to to a table that has a spare seat nearest to him and plays.

He purchases 10gp worth of game tokens. 5 Gold, 25 silver, 50 copper and away he goes.

Do any games allow the use of Bluff? I'm thinking a poker type of game here. Will do rolls when I find out more about the types of games available (and after I've read through that contract properly :)


As Calabron nears the registrar he smiles and shakes his head to indicate that he won't be participating in the tournament, just observing. He finds himself a good location to watch the goings on in the room, taking special note of the positions of the half-orc and Saul Vancaskerkin. He also scans the participants in the room in general, looking for any goings on that might warrant the attention of the Gold Goblin's owner.


Sevegny smiles and pulls the "succubus" close. She gives the waitress a gold coin and whispers in her ear.

"Fetch me some spiced wine, dear. And keep the change. There's more gold for you, if you tell me something interesting about Vancaskerken."


( I'll do an IC response later. But, I thought I'd touch base on the OOC questions right quick.

The CHA or Profession Gambler checks are to use the 'quick gambling' rules provided in the module. This is to make gambling easier due to the pbmb restrictions. I hope that answers the question about using bluff.

Games: Basic games. Poker, Blackjack, Craps etc... If your character suggests a game there will be people there to play it.
Ghoulette (basic roulette but the 'table' has a head in the middle of it that continuously spouts insults ((image up later))

You're allowed to bet 1sp on up. Roll your roll and I'll let you know if you won.)


Gornak takes his last gold piece and cashes it in for silver chips and heads over to the Ghoulette wheel. He snarls and gives the head a menacing stare: "Me better win. Or you in big trouble."

1d20+2=4

Gornak grinds his teeth in fury at his terrible luck! "Me want to talk to Saul. His games are broken!!"


Male Human Fighter 1

Jean-Paul will make the following bets, playing at a poker table mostly. Something he learned to do in the army back in Cheliax. He places the following five bets. 5 silver, 5 silver, 1 gold, 3 silver, 7 silver. The rolls, in order are 1d20-1=17, 1d20-1=3, 1d20-1=18, 1d20-1=8, 1d20-1=14 . Depending on how well he did with these rolls, he'll either stay (if winning) or move to a different game (if losing)


Male Half-elf Expert 1/ Cleric 1

Darkilion cashes a gold coin into 10 silvers and makes his way to the craps table....

"Ah ha! A true game of chance....no better test of fate than playing a game with dice," he warmly says to all sipping his goblet of wine and placing 2 sp down.

He smiles at the older man at the hed of the table who is ready to roll and says, "Please old horse, bring me some good luck! I have much wine and faith to spread to all and nothing like having plenty of coins to help that cause!!"

(chr check for game: 1d20+1=12)


( I'll post results - sorry for the delay of IC posting. Just got a lot of distractions at the moment.

Gornak:
You lose 5sp

Jean-Paul:
You win your 5sp back plus 1sp
You lose 3sp
You win your 1gp back plus 5sp
You lose 2sp
You break even

Darkilion:
You lose 1sp )

Jean-Paul:

Spoiler:

She leans in and kisses you feverishly, as she pulls away she holds her hand out, "How do you like the devils mark dearie?" Having left a bright red lip print on your mouth and smeared lipstick around it.

Sevengy:

Spoiler:
"Oh sure honey... he's a wonderful man. Very giving." Followed by a smile and a wink.

Gornak:

Spoiler:
As you start to yell out a couple of bouncers come from seemingly no where, "Excuse me... Sir... But, you are going to have to calm down. Our games are not fixed. They are merely games of chance... perhaps if you would like to try again?"


Gornak grumbles "Okay. Me try again." and puts the last of his money on the ghoulette wheel.

1d20+2=22

His eyes brighten as he sees his fortunes change slightly. "Maybe me don't need new job. Can be rich gambler..."

Liberty's Edge

Sevegny presses another gold piece into the girl's hand.

"What does he give?"


Male Human Fighter 1

DM

Spoiler:
Jean-Paul's eyes widen both in pleasent surprise at the kiss, and also in shock. "My dear girl, have you just closed my chances at winning this tournament? If so, that's a very expensive kiss! However, I'm willing to forgive, if perhaps you'll discuss it with me after the tournament?" . He takes her hand and smiles, wondering if he has just let his libido ruin any chance of winning at this thing. And he'd been doing so well too. Oh well, if he got to have a tumble with the beauty holding his hand right now, it may even be worth his soul. It had certainly been a long time since he'd enjoyed a womans company. "Lead on my lovely, but first ....perhaps I could have your name?"

During the game play, Jean-Paul remains calm and philosophical about any losses. When he wins he beams a smile around at those he's playing with and states "Ah! I see the lady of fortune still smiles upon me this night. I must remember to drop by and pay my respects next time in the neighborhood of her tmeple. Come, Ante up gentlemen!"

Woohoo, from my tally I'm one silver piece up from what I started. Won't place any more bets at this stage, at least until we resolve what's occuring in the private talk above. Cheers


Calabron:

Spoiler:

Give me a spot check.

Sevengny:

Spoiler:
"Well, he gave us jobs. You know here in Riddleport that's hard to come by."

Jean-Paul:

Spoiler:
She grins, "You'd be willing to give your soul up so easily?" She points to old Scratch


Male Human Fighter 1

DM

Spoiler:
"I'm Chelaxian girl, my family probably sold my soul to a daemon the moment I was born in order to gain some political benefit" the young fighter states, with just a hint of moroseness in his voice.

Suddenly his face becomes more serious "However, you and I know this is but a game, and nothing of mine is at risk except perhaps my money and my pride. As beautiful as you are, lady with no name, I need work. In order to get work, I need you to introduce me to Saul. Now if we can get that part done, I'm sure I can think of more...pleasent ways, to spend the rest of the evening with you". He finishs in what he hopes is a winning smile. Something to take the edge of impatience out of his voice. He hadn't been a member of his family for 5 years but still the old arrogance occasionally crept into his voice.

Not sure if I need any rolls for that bit. Also I have no problems with the other players reading these parts if you don't. I'll keep putting them in spoiler tags until you let me know otherwise though. Cheers


( I'll put some plot forward bits in later. The spoilers I put up are mainly just to keep it easier to read for you guys. Rather than me putting everything to everyone in one long post.. I simply put it in spoilers to make it easier to read. )


Male Half-elf Expert 1/ Cleric 1

"By Cayden! I lost in a game of chance!! How could that be? Perhaps I was so hasty in signing that agreement. Hath Cayden left me? Perhaps i shall try again!"

a silver on each hand:
(1d20+1=13)
(1d20+1=9)
(1d20+1=6)
(1d20+1=13)
(1d20+1=14)
(1d20+1=9)
(1d20+1=21)
(1d20+1=11)
(1d20+1=6)

"By Cayden, I think I may have lost my shirt!" Darkilion exclaims, seeing only one possibly winning hand and then turning his attention to a couple pretty young ladies. "Perhaps, you ladies would like to help me lose my shirt yes?"

(Diplomacy with the opposite sex 1d20+2=19)


Did Gornak win anything with his 5 sp bet? He rolled a 20 + 2 = 22.


Shaking his head at the comment overheard from the mouth of the follower of the Drunken Hero, Calabron allows himself a brief smirk as he returns his attention to the general goings on in the room.

Perception Check: 1d20+8 = 22


Gambling:
Gornak:
You win your 5sp back plus 5sp

Darkilion:
Come back with 5sp overall.

Calabron:

Spoiler:
You see Saul go into a room for a few moments then come out behind the bar carrying some sort of sack and then goes into another back room.

Jean-Paul:

Spoiler:
"I could introduce you, but I don't know if he would talk. I mean.. he is a busy man."


Thanis having been sitting at the bar for the majority of the afternoon, drinking and observing the set up for the tournament, he continued to merely watch as the festivities began. Too poor to enter the tournament and not so eager to enter into such a contract he continued to watch the crowd with a sneer.

After Saul's rather rowdy kick off to the gambling and assorted debauchery, Thanis ordered up another drink and paid off his tab, finishing the transaction with a simple, "Thanks for the drinks and shoddy company."

Without being too obvious he wanders about the games of chance being played, looking for any apparent cheaters or persons with abnormally high luck. While doing this he slowly makes his way to his actual goal, which is to be in a position to more closely examine the cage in which Old Scratch is being 'held' in. Unusual for a creature of such a nature to be so mundanely held, Thanis looks to see if the cage is actually locked or if it would be easy for Old Scratch to escape in case something 'ugly' happened.

Just playing a bit of catch up as everything has settled down now.


Thanis:

Spoiler:
The cage is in fact locked.


A small chuckle is followed by the realization that the cage is in fact locked and he goes back to walking among the tables. Either looking for cheaters to call out to ruin their day or for rich marks to 'borrow' from later.

Perception 1d20+4=17


Male Human Fighter 1

Jean-Paul looked at the girl for a period of time, as if assessing the merit of her words. Always there was the mistrust of his youth in his dealings with people. Looking for an angle that might be getting used against him. Eventually he sighs and says " Ah mon chere, you are correct. He is a busy man and maybe this is not the best time to ask him. I tell you what, take this little bit of luck that seemed to have gone my way tonight and you come get me when you think we may have a chance to talk to him" and with that he bows and kisses her hand, subtly placing the silver piece he won earlier into her palm.

"Until later he slips her a wink and then turns back to the gaming hall. In his mind he had already given the moment up as a lost cause, just another pretty girl working an angle to pump him for cash. Ah well, the kiss had been worth while.


Sevegny slips another two gold coins to the girl and gives her shoulder an affectionate squeeze.

"Take care, child. Don't let men take from you what you aren't prepared to give."


Gornak grumbles. "5 coins? But me lost 5 coins before! Me not get rich this way. Become famous dancer instead."

He wanders away from the gaming table and starts looking for Saul.


( Everyone give me a perception check. )


Care to use my one from before hand? I'll make another one in case the answer is no.

Perception=1d20+4=5


1d20-1=4

Duh...what?


( I'll use your first one. Just keep your second result in mind for next time. )

Thanis:

Spoiler:
You start to notices some very suspicious characters - about five or six of them.
(Sense motive check.)

Gornak:

Spoiler:
(Business as usual. :D )


Alright, my next perception check is a 5 then. Sounds good to me.

Seeing the growing number of some suspicious characters, Thanis takes the nearest empty seat avaliable and tries to discern their motives. He slumps down in the chair, propping his elbow on the table and resting his head on his arm casually, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible.

Sense Motive=1d20+5=13
Stealth=1d20+9=17
Bluff=1d20+3=20
Unsure if bluff or stealth is appropriate for the blending in, so I did both and is your call.


Thanis:

Spoiler:
( They don't seem to notice you at all. ) You can't seem to discern what they are doing.. but you keep an eye on them.


Male Half-elf Expert 1/ Cleric 1

Perception (1d20+2=11 OR 1d20+4=13 if sound-sight based)


Not sure what my perception modifier is, so I just rolled a d20:
1d20=8


Sevegny Veilstar wrote:

Not sure what my perception modifier is, so I just rolled a d20:

1d20=8

( It is wisdom based so even if you don't have ranks in it - you would get to add your Wisdom modifier. Which brings you up to a 10 )

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