The Pearl of the South


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[/...crickets chirping]


Balthus the Sea Wolf wrote:
... wrote:

A small weaselly-faced man looks up at Balthus

Yeh want to swim with the sealions yeh have to have teeth. How's yer trident arm?

Balthus smiles maliciously.

"Who says I need a trident?"

The man snorts

What d'yeh use then boyo?

The Exchange

Still smiling, Balthus holds up one hand, which promptly becomes a dangerous looking claw. He raises his other hand so it is above the other, palms facing, and a samll whirlpool begins to spin between them.

He leans foward and whispers to the sea-elf,
"I am a sea-elven werewolf and a aquakineticist. I could rip out your throat or pull all the blood from your body. Do you really think I would carry a trident? If my enemy thinks me unarmed, they usually die with a wonderful look of morbid surprise on their face..."


The ferret-faced man Sea elf of course, just using 'man' in a gender snese starts at the display.

Well now, I'm sure there are folks what would want to discuss things with you. You have a room somewhere?

The Exchange

"I have yet to find a place of residence. If there is a place for sale, I will be less likely to kill you slowly if you tell me, if I'm told to that is. Until then, perhaps you know a place?"


In his study the General reviews the reports from his local forces, and those recently received from Sandreef. A nomad invasion is the last thing this city needs, but the choice isn't Pearl's to make. They prepare as best they can, trying not to draw resources from the rebuilding.


Balthus the Sea Wolf wrote:
"I have yet to find a place of residence. If there is a place for sale, I will be less likely to kill you slowly if you tell me, if I'm told to that is. Until then, perhaps you know a place?"

The man frowns at Balthus' words

"I don't know nothin'."

He turns back to his narcotic kelp

The Exchange

... wrote:

The man frowns at Balthus' words

"I don't know nothin'."

He turns back to his narcotic kelp

"Then perhaps I should seek somebody who does. Now, about joining your 'club'. Do I need a place of residence to be a part of it?


The ferret-faced man turns away from Balthus and back to his comrades.

"I'm done jawin' with you, wizard boy or no, you don't threaten me wi' death and expect any info outta me. Scram."

The Exchange

... wrote:

The ferret-faced man turns away from Balthus and back to his comrades.

"I'm done jawin' with you, wizard boy or no, you don't threaten me wi' death and expect any info outta me. Scram."

Now, do I use this one?

Spoiler:
Balthus chuckles.
"I only said I would do what I was told. But since I seem to have made you feel.. insecure, I will find someone who can help me."

And Balthus goes off in search of another member of the Black Pearl 'club'

Or this one?

Spoiler:
Anger flashes on Balthus' face as he raises a hand and points it at the man. The man moves as if against his will, raising in the water as he turns to face Balthus. Yeah for water in the blood!
"First off, I'm no weak book-caster. Second, making me angry is not a good idea. And lastly, I only said I would do as told. As I have yet to even join your group, you have nothing to fear. Though if someone higher in rank of this little 'club' wanted you dead, who would be able to stop them? So are you going to help me or do you make a vist to the local authorities on the charge of trying to mug me?"

Shadow Lodge

Balthus the Sea Wolf wrote:
... wrote:

The ferret-faced man turns away from Balthus and back to his comrades.

"I'm done jawin' with you, wizard boy or no, you don't threaten me wi' death and expect any info outta me. Scram."

Now, do I use this one?

** spoiler omitted **

Or this one?
** spoiler omitted **

Let's go with the second one. Hehehe...


You're trying to join an organisation where 100% of the people that take this approach are likely either spies working for the city government or thugs (either in the brute physical force or brute magical force sense) who are more of a liability than an asset?
I don't know about Patrick, but I imagine the Black Pearl as a sophisticated organisation (they employ ninjas for Gorum's sake!) who if they want simple 'thugs', will go out looking for them, or pick someone from a family that has been loyal to them for seven plus generations, and whose relatives will guarantee their loyalty.
What about an approach of carefully investigating word amongst the underworld of things which they might be looking for, and then delicately hinting (by planting rumours that you are selling/offering such an item/service, letting their agents pick up word for themselves) that you have such and waiting for them to approach you?
Well it's up to Patrick what happens next. ;)


Dragonborn3 wrote:


Let's go with the second one. Hehehe...

As you wish

The ferret-faced man is gripped by Balthus's power. The rest of the tavern explodes into action, scurrying away from the table. Several toughs begin to advance towards them

"Put Frakas down or ye'll be barracuda chum 'fore the tide changes!" One snarls

The Exchange

... wrote:

As you wish

The ferret-faced man is gripped by Balthus's power. The rest of the tavern explodes into action, scurrying away from the table. Several toughs begin to advance towards them

"Put Frakas down or ye'll be barracuda chum 'fore the tide changes!" One snarls

Balthus smiles wickedly.

"'Fore the tide changes you say? Then I have some time don't I? But since you want me to put him down, well, as you wish."

He flings his arm to one side, sending 'Frakus' into the tightest group of 'toughs'.

"Continue advancing on me and you'll be crab food... while you are still alive."


The bartender shouts at Balthus

"Awright troublemaker, outta my place, for I get the city watch on ye! G'wan, be off!"

The Exchange

... wrote:

The bartender shouts at Balthus

"Awright troublemaker, outta my place, for I get the city watch on ye! G'wan, be off!"

"I was just about to leave. Good tides to you."

He leaves the bar, not bothering to pay his bill.


As Balthus leaves the tavern and walks down the road a whisper echoes in his ear

"Violence and anger are not the way of sucess. You should be pliant as kelp in a tidal zone

The Exchange

... wrote:

As Balthus leaves the tavern and walks down the road a whisper echoes in his ear

"Violence and anger are not the way of sucess. You should be pliant as kelp in a tidal zone

Balthus stops and looks around quickly

"Show yourself."


A slender form wrapped in swirling cloth robes of varegated green appears in front of Balthus and bows. A small trident, long knife/short sword and a bandooleer of small globes across the chest are the form's only ornament. The form's head is hidden, only two jade green eyes stare out from green turban wraps

You are powerful, but inelegant. Why crack a snail with a mallet when a spoon will do?

The Exchange

... wrote:

A slender form wrapped in swirling cloth robes of varegated green appears in front of Balthus and bows. A small trident, long knife/short sword and a bandooleer of small globes across the chest are the form's only ornament. The form's head is hidden, only two jade green eyes stare out from green turban wraps

You are powerful, but inelegant. Why crack a snail with a mallet when a spoon will do?

"Why use subtlety to start a wave?"

"I'm not the most elegant sea-wolf. Why are you giving me advice?"


The slender figure chuckles

You showed that mongrel seadog a black pearl in there. As you mentioned, you were very inelegant. Still, you showed great power. harnessed wisely great power can accomplish great things. Do you have the humility to follow the Path of the Pearl?

The Exchange

... wrote:

The slender figure chuckles

You showed that mongrel seadog a black pearl in there. As you mentioned, you were very inelegant. Still, you showed great power. harnessed wisely great power can accomplish great things. Do you have the humility to follow the Path of the Pearl?

"I can promise no more than my best attempt at humility."


The slender figure bows to Balthus

I am known as Angelfish. I can show you to the Path of the Pearl if you so wish.

The Exchange

Angelfish wrote:

The slender figure bows to Balthus

I am known as Angelfish. I can show you to the Path of the Pearl if you so wish.

"Then show me the way, if you'd be so kind."

Despite his earlier in-elegance, Balthus returns the bow gracefully, then falters a little.


The mysterious figure beckons with a slender gloved hand.

Follow me sea-wolf...

Angelfish swims off gracefully, leading Balthus through a confusing tangle of back alleys. A small coral temple comes into view. Several silent seaelves guard the entrance, but stand aside as Angelfish approaches.

Angelfish swims to the altar inside where a large sea elf male dressed in flowing green robes sits contemplating an ivory carving of beautiful design. He looks up and smiles at Angelfish.

So my daughter, what flotsam have you brought to my temple?

Angelfish bows deeply

A Gaisuum arcanist shapeshifter, honored elder. He is strong, but he needs to learn the benefits of focus.

The large seaelf stands with a grace unusual for one so rotund and faces Balthus.

My dutiful daughter often brings Gaisuum for testing, outlander. Do you wish to walk the Path of the Pearl?

The Exchange

"It is why I came to this city, honored one"


Balthus the Sea Wolf wrote:
"It is why I came to this city, honored one"

The round one smiles

Let us see your prowess. Do you fight with flesh, steel or magic?

The Exchange

... wrote:
Balthus the Sea Wolf wrote:
"It is why I came to this city, honored one"

The round one smiles

Let us see your prowess. Do you fight with flesh, steel or magic?

"Flesh and magic."


The rotund one smiles wider

Then I have someone to test you with!

He claps his hands and a scarred sahuagin emerges from the interior of the temple. He has a milky eye, and is covered in scarification that peels his scales away in runic patterns. He bows to the large sea elf

Kumo, I wish that you would test out guest here. Flesh and magic.

The sahuagin, Kumo, grunts and looks at Balthus, bows slightly and walks to the front of the alter. He begins to chant and he splits into three distinct copies of himself

The Exchange

... wrote:
The sahuagin, Kumo, grunts and looks at Balthus, bows slightly and walks to the front of the alter. He begins to chant and he splits into three distinct copies of himself

Taking his hybrid form, Balthus bows, keeping his eyes on Kumo. He then places his hands together and jerks them apart, sending a blast of water at each sahuagin.

It is a good way to see if the copies are illusions.


One Kumo copy distorts in the shock of water, the other two manage to move fast enough to escape. The two copies gesture and the water suddenly gels around Balthus's mouth, choking him. The effect begins to spread, making the water about him very gel-like.

The Exchange

Clawing at the gell at first, Balthus calms down as he tries to gain control over the gell.
"Gelled or not, it is still water", he muses to himself, "and I refuse to be defeated by my own element!"


Balthus notes that as he stills himself the water becomes more liquid. It hardens as the moves quickly

The sahuagin Kumo swims at Balthus and tosses a flurry of claw-swipe blows at him.

The Exchange

... wrote:

Balthus notes that as he stills himself the water becomes more liquid. It hardens as the moves quickly

The sahuagin Kumo swims at Balthus and tosses a flurry of claw-swipe blows at him.

Thinking quickly, Balthus swipes his own claws in front of the sahuagain's, causing the water to gel again in front of them.


He manages to trap one copy's claw in place, the other seems unaffected, but its claws do not harm Balthus. Kumo snarls, dismisses his (obvious) copy and backflips away in the water, coming out in a ready stance. He chants again, and begins to move speedily through the water.

The Exchange

Hoping the gel is an area effect, Balthus swims away as best he can while keeping an eye on Kumo. He starts to move the water around, creating a nearly invisible shield of fast moving liquid.


The gel's effects seem to be fading. Balthus gets free of the effect, but the Kumo darts foreward, eeling aroung Balthus in lightning-quick claw-claw-bite combinations

The Exchange

... wrote:
The gel's effects seem to be fading. Balthus gets free of the effect, but the Kumo darts foreward, eeling aroung Balthus in lightning-quick claw-claw-bite combinations

Slipping through the water like an oiled serpent, Balthus lashes out with tooth and claw, trying to eviscirate and crush Kumo's throat.


Balthus the Sea Wolf wrote:


Slipping through the water like an oiled serpent, Balthus lashes out with tooth and claw, trying to eviscirate and crush Kumo's throat.

The two spar back and forth, neither getting the descisive blow in. The rotund character on the altar finally yells ENOUGH!

Kumo backs off, bows to his master, then to Balthus and disappears into the background.

The rotund man smiles

That was impressive Gaisuum. What is your name?

The Exchange

"To some, I am known only as the Sea-Wolf. To few, I am known as Balthus."


The rotund sea elf bows slightly

You may call me Uncle Eel. I am the patriarch of the River Dolphin Clan, which owes fealty to the Black Pearl organization. I assume you have come to us looking for work? We live in interesting times ...

The Exchange

... wrote:

The rotund sea elf bows slightly

You may call me Uncle Eel. I am the patriarch of the River Dolphin Clan, which owes fealty to the Black Pearl organization. I assume you have come to us looking for work? We live in interesting times ...

"Indeed... Uncle Eel. Yes, I came looking for work. I can do many things, but I believed the 'club' I'd heared rumors off(detect thoughts potions are so fun to use in bars) suited my.. abilities better."


Uncle Eel smiles

We are the 'club' you wish to join if you swim in the shadows. We own this city's streets and soon we will own it entire.

The Exchange

Uncle Eel wrote:

Uncle Eel smiles

We are the 'club' you wish to join if you swim in the shadows. We own this city's streets and soon we will own it entire.

"Then it would seem I am at you command. Tell me what you need done, and it shall be done."


Uncle Eel looks critically at the newcomer

War looms on the horizon. Forces gather against our new ruler. I have been tasked by my master to dominate the city before they strike. For your first mission, I want you to accompany Angelfish to a competitor's place of business, the Manta Ray Social Club. Back up Angelfish as she discusses my comprtitor's merger with our organization

The Exchange

"As you wish Uncle."


Angelfish gestures to Balthus

"Come sea wolf, we shall see how things lie with the Black Mantas."

She leads Balthus down narrow tunnels in the coral reef that comprises the Sandflea District. Thin sea elves stare after them from small burrow caves in the sides of the tunnels. She swims until they reach a large fissure with a sandy bottom. The coral is alive with fish and invertebrates here, and many businesses are carven from the coral flanks along the fissure. Angelfish leads him to a dimly-lit grotto by the bottom, far from the light of upper reaches.

The Manta Ray Social Club seems to be the hangout for scarred sea elves, roguish Aventi and even a sahuagin or two. A Merrow bouncer snarls as they enter, but Angelfish whispers in his ear. The hulking doorkeep nods and points to a door at the back. Angelfish swims to it and opens it, glancing back at Balthus.

The Exchange

Balthus follows, checking to make sure his magick still flows normally.


The dispatches from the Sandreef company have arrived. The reports of the Red Lord, this Veiled One, catch the attention of the General. He orders auguries and divinations.

From the reports it sounds like the entire nomad host is in place attacking the city. Before he reacts to the news and puts his own city at risk he calls for scrying to verify that the nomad forces aren't supplemented by illusions.

Once he has facts he will present them to the King, but it sounds like he'll lose a valued company if he doesn't act. He orders an armored company to bolster the cavalry, opting to wage a defensive war. Matching the nomad's mobility is a wasted effort.

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