GM TWO's '... Ou la Mort': The Obvious Choice: Lilli Popescu


Isarn, Galt
Under the Thirteenth Revolutionary Council
Wealday, Oathday, and Fireday, 29th-31st Desnus, 4719

This is it. The end of the beginning -- the real start of the Conspiracy. You head off through the catacombs, avoiding the streets of Isarn and their annoying curfew; not that Isarn's catacombs aren't as dangerous as the post-curfew streets, with some brainless brute of a city guardsman -- or perhaps worse, a gang member -- spotting and hassling you. Down below, though, if you're intelligent and clever, you can spot them well before they spot you, and figure out whether or not to interact. Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes it isn't -- not so much that you can't necessarily handle the encounters, but they can be expensive, one way or the other, and depending on what happens, it might ... affect the reputation you've been busily building.

Still, you have a lot to think about: Sœur Argent, including whether or not she's actually Ellen Montaigne, and whether you should influence her at all; Frère Cadet, working on learning more about him and perhaps manipulating him to flat-out decline inducting Lieutenant Bonfils; and Étienne Joubert.

Joubert, the 'Wolf of Heaven'. What a headache. Certainly one who can get beat up, even sliced up; he's in a dangerous business, after all. The real question revolves around his real motives, his real actions. Is he a patsy for the people who follow him around, praising his 'avenging' and escorting him off for a drink while the others loot the spoils and the bodies? Or is he only masquerading as a paladin, and taking an active part in his gang's activities?

Human (Varisian) Galtan Agitator Rogue 5 // Lotus Geisha Bard 5 | HP 42/42 | AC 19 (T15/FF15) | Init +5 | Perc +11 (+ mods) | CMB +6/+8 | CMD 19/21 | F+4 R+8 W+6 (+mods) | Spell Slots L1 5/5 L2 3/3 | Bardic Performance 16/16 | Active Conditions: none

Lilli set off through the tunnels, moving slowly. She prefers to take her time when moving through the catacombs alone. It allows one a better chance to remain unnoticed and more time to prepare when you notice another. Tonight it also gave her more time to think before she returned to her people who would be sure to have all kinds of things requiring her attention. By the time she was about halfway home, she'd already come up with tentative plans for all of her targets.

Joubert may actually be the easiest to deal with. If I get some of my people insinuated into his organization they can dig around and find out what I need to know while leaving me free to use my time on other targets. They could also potentially identify Cendre just in case Garson isn't successful...Sœur Argent may also be simple. Dolorès will be trying to identify her through their interactions, so I can approach from the opposite direction by investigating Ellen Montaigne. A known target is always easier than an unknown.

The most difficult is probably Frère Cadet. According to rumors he has traits that would make him easy to deal with once identified. The challenge is identifying him. On top of that his target is military. I can't afford to be seen sniffing around one of their lieutenants so I'll have to tread carefully.

As she thinks, she makes sure to keep her wits about her. She stays in the shadows of the lighted areas and uses her lamp only in areas of complete darkness to avoid drawing attention to herself. She moves as silently as possible and checks every corner, archway, and crack in the wall before moving past it. She may feel at home in the underground but there is always the potential of danger especially when traveling alone. Any time she saw others making their way through the tunnels she melted into a corner until they passed, her hand always ready on her scarf.


Stealth to remain unseen/unheard: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28
Perception to see other travelers or potential dangers: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30
Ready for Betrayal: additional +1 on Perception to notice hidden creatures; +4 to overhear conversations/find hidden objects

More Mechanics!!:
As you are piloting the Catacombs, don't forget to give me a Survival or KS: Engineering check for navigation. If you're travelling any distance in the underground, you need to do so.

Will post later today.

Human (Varisian) Galtan Agitator Rogue 5 // Lotus Geisha Bard 5 | HP 42/42 | AC 19 (T15/FF15) | Init +5 | Perc +11 (+ mods) | CMB +6/+8 | CMD 19/21 | F+4 R+8 W+6 (+mods) | Spell Slots L1 5/5 L2 3/3 | Bardic Performance 16/16 | Active Conditions: none

More Mechanics!!:
KS Engineering to navigate w/ Catacomb Dweller: 1d20 + 9 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 9 + 3 = 16

Whether it's excitement, being lost in thought, or just a particular level of wariness that's made you take a turn when someone approached and forced you to stay ahead of their inadvertent 'following' of you, after about half an hour you have to slow down. And pause as you come to a five-tunnel intersection. Looking around at them, it takes you a couple of minutes, but very soon you realize ... you're lost.

Well, merde. This is how people become moss-licking rat-eating permanent inhabitants of the place. It's been years since you let this happen to you ...

Wait, Where Am I?:
Going with the Catacombs rules I came up with tonight, I'm using the 'Discreet' routing, along with 'Well-Worn Path' and its rules. Which still means that that roll sucked and you failed. Muahahahaha.

... I need to put a scale on that map ...

In any case. You are Lost!! ;)


Getting Lost:

If you fail your navigation test, however, you are Lost, and must try to find your way to a place known to you. First, you must make a KS: Engineering or Survival roll to estimate a location or exit which might be near you; this operates as standard for knowledge of entrances and locations, including the 'Catacomb Dweller' trait's ability to locate the nearest entrance. Once this is done, the character must plot a new path between their current location ('Lost') and their new destination; that can be the same destination as before, or they can simply head to the exit or location they've determined they're nearest.

With a DC of 20 to go from 'Lost' to 'Public' on a Public route, it's no wonder people become permanent inhabitants of the Catacombs.


Entrance / Exit -- DC -- Know DC -- Distance from Destination

Public -- +0 -- 15 -- 2d6 x 500'
Logical -- +5 -- 20 -- 2d6 x 250'
Unusual -- +10 -- 25 -- 2d6 x 100'
Obscure -- +15 -- 30 -- 1d6 x 100'

For the Catacomb Dweller trait, I'm going to treat the 'DC 25' roll as an additional +2 bonus to your standard +3; you then roll once for each type of entrance that you hit the DC of, thus knowing (in general) where the nearest entrance is. For this time only, I'm going to roll for you.

Lily's KS: Engineering to try to not be Lost: 1d20 + 9 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 9 + 3 + 2 = 30

So you'll know the nearest Entrance of every type.

Nearest Public: 2d6 ⇒ (5, 3) = 8 x 500' = 4000'
Nearest Logical: 2d6 ⇒ (2, 3) = 5 x 250' = 1250'
Nearest Unusual: 2d6 ⇒ (5, 6) = 11 x 100' = 1100'
Nearest Obscure: 1d6 ⇒ 2 x 100' = 200'

You then determine a path from where you are (Lost, +10) to where you want to be -- one of the above exits, or your own Secret exit, which counts as being Public for you. (Not so Jeggare, if/when he gets a Secret entrance to the Haven.) Select which base DC you want (Public, 10; Illicit, 20; Discreet, 30), and make a new navigation test (Base DC + Lost 10 + Exit ??).

Human (Varisian) Galtan Agitator Rogue 5 // Lotus Geisha Bard 5 | HP 42/42 | AC 19 (T15/FF15) | Init +5 | Perc +11 (+ mods) | CMB +6/+8 | CMD 19/21 | F+4 R+8 W+6 (+mods) | Spell Slots L1 5/5 L2 3/3 | Bardic Performance 16/16 | Active Conditions: none

Lilli stops moving when she realizes that nothing around her is familiar. That's not completely abnormal as the catacombs are a confusing place and she hasn't been everywhere yet, but thinking about the Gardeners has thrown an extra wrench into the works and she's not sure where to head to get back into a familiar area.

She looks at the intersection in front of her and studies the graffiti and the composition of the walls as she mentally tries to retrace her steps to figure out which turn to take. Just have to get back home. I can't believe I've let this happen again.

A bit confused I am:
I'm not quite following what the details are on the roll I'm supposed to make. I see it's "(Base DC + Lost 10 + Exit??)". I want to head towards my own exit, which is Public for me, so that's a base DC of 10 by what you said. So 10(base DC for public)+10(lost) = 20 but I don't know what you mean by "Exit??" so I don't know what to add there. I get a 404 error on that link so all I have to go on is the parts you quoted.

KS: Engineering + catacomb dweller: 1d20 + 9 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 9 + 3 = 25

1d20 ⇒ 15
1d20 ⇒ 16
1d20 ⇒ 19

1d6 ⇒ 1
1d6 ⇒ 2
1d6 ⇒ 3

Lily's established a basic rule for when she's lost in the Catacombs: go one intersection, and if you don't recognize where you are, go back to where you were, then try another route. If at the end of it all you still recognize nothing, choose the one that went up the most, then do it all again. Determination, patience, and keeping to a methodical pattern can get you out of tough scrapes ... or at least help you find your way home.

Not caring who sees you at this point (which is the wisest course of action when you're lost in the Catacombs), you manage to work your way back to known territory, and then to your own 'back door' without any other problems happening. A few of the part-time denizens see and acknowledge you, but they have their own story to work through, as you have yours.

By the time you cover the full two and a quarter above-ground miles between Androk's Haven and your own Sanctum's entrance, what would take forty-five minutes on the streets -- half that at a hustle, if crowds didn't get in the way -- has taken you most of four hours, getting you in a little after two in the morning.

Not surprisingly, Oncle Perdu is awake and at a table, the remains of a late dinner (for he prefers being active during the evening, when a person's shadow is lost in those of the buildings) to one side and an idle project on the table in front of him -- a trapped jewelry box designed to squirt oil at an unauthorized person, lighting the oil along the way, but he can't get the 'lighting' part to work. He looks up as you enter, then back down at the gadget he's struggling to build. "That went a while," he comments.

Long and Winding Tunnel:
Mutter mutter mutter. On the other hand, it gave me the chance to do some calculations and stuff.

The straight-line distance between the two is 2.25 miles; at a 30' move, that's a straight-up 45 minute walk, as per Movement and Distance. Going through the underground slows you down, and being secret slows you down even more.

I have decided that should you get lost, you do so 'halfway there'; figuring out where you are is part of the entire 'movement time'. The full time for Discreet movement (x1/8 speed) would be 360 minutes, or 6 hours; the full time for Public movement would be 90 minutes. You got lost after 3 hours, figured out where you were, and made the rest of the trip in 45 minutes.

And Oncle Perdu waiting up for you came to me as I was writing the rest, so ... ;)

Human (Varisian) Galtan Agitator Rogue 5 // Lotus Geisha Bard 5 | HP 42/42 | AC 19 (T15/FF15) | Init +5 | Perc +11 (+ mods) | CMB +6/+8 | CMD 19/21 | F+4 R+8 W+6 (+mods) | Spell Slots L1 5/5 L2 3/3 | Bardic Performance 16/16 | Active Conditions: none

Despite the hour, Lilli doesn't even blink when she sees that Perdu is up. Not only is he more active at night, he also seems to worry if she is out late alone. Ashamed to admit the cause of her delay, she merely pulls him away from his project and ushers him into her office.

"I'm going to be busy the next few days. I'll be able to keep on top of the girls upstairs but the others are all yours." She pulls out a seat at the table for him and starts pacing as she continues. "It'll be Sarenith soon and almost time for a new edition of The Playbill. Make sure the scofflaws are chatting while they collect, and that the others keep their ears open while they're working. Last edition was sub par and we need to keep people's attention. Don't let them print until next week however, I might have some good information coming in soon." Realizing that Perdu is having a hard time trying to keep her in sight, she moves from behind him and leans against the table, giving him a maternal smile.

"I'm going to be borrowing Tristan's crew for a personal project, and I'll need you to check all the drop points daily throughout the next week. You might need to increase the patrols to cover down, but that's up to you; you know what you're doing. Do me proud, little lost one." With that, she squeezes his shoulder affectionately and heads out of the room. While he returns his box she takes a quick walk-through of the catacomb level before heading towards the stairs. She calls back over her shoulder "We have a lot of unused space down here. Let me know if you have any ideas and we can draw up a plan for improvement."

She checks in on the middle floor, carefully noting who opted to stay in the quiet room without waking anyone. Closing the door, she heads up to The Gilded Lily to change into a comfortable dress, take down her hair, greet any clients lucky enough to be staying the night, and check in on Violet before heading to bed.

Human (Varisian) Galtan Agitator Rogue 5 // Lotus Geisha Bard 5 | HP 42/42 | AC 19 (T15/FF15) | Init +5 | Perc +11 (+ mods) | CMB +6/+8 | CMD 19/21 | F+4 R+8 W+6 (+mods) | Spell Slots L1 5/5 L2 3/3 | Bardic Performance 16/16 | Active Conditions: none

Oathday, 29 Desnus

In the morning Lilli lies in bed, relaxing a bit before starting what looks to be an busy day. After a while she gets up, her bedclothes morphing into a simple light yellow dress. She leaves her feet bare and her hair unbrushed to give herself a 'just woke up' look for the early clients. After a small breakfast and some tea in the bar, she fixes her hair and makeup and sits in the common room, taking a couple hours to greet customers while she flips through several books. Just as the sun is high enough to shine in the narrowest alleys she bids her girls farewell and heads into her room.

She drops the pretense of leisure and quickly dons her Mama face, putting her hair up, removing all of her makeup, and grabbing her gear. On the way downstairs her dress reforms into a simple tunic and skirt and her armor similarly takes the form of a common leather corset. By the time she reaches the catacombs she looks like an average woman of Isarn with no distinguishing features other than her eastern style scarf. She collects up the team that Perdu has instructed to wait for her and a couple other random thugs and they take a short trip through the catacombs to their closest exit.

Catacomb travel:

Known Exits: 1d20 + 9 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 9 + 5 = 22 Public and Logical Known
Distance to Public: 2d6 ⇒ (2, 1) = 3 x 500' = 1500'
Distance to Logical: 2d6 ⇒ (6, 5) = 11 x 250' = 2750'
Don't Get Lost! w/ Catacomb Dweller; Public Route, Public Entrance, Logical Exit; Total DC15: 1d20 + 9 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 9 + 3 = 31
Time taken: 21 minutes from Sanctum to Exit

As they walk, she quietly briefs them on their mission. "Dit moet vinnig wees. Jy ken Joubert. Ons sal jou in sy bemanning kry en jy sal my enige inligting wat jy oor sy manne, sy operasie en homself kan kry, aan my oorgee." They pause as they enter the daylight to ensure no one is watching the catacomb entrance. "Kyk ook vir enige burger wat blykbaar rondhang, om hom meer as gewoonlik te sien, en uitvind wie hulle is. Bly by Joubert totdat jy anders gesê het." She quickly hands their team lead a code rod. "As jy nie kan wegkom om my nuus te slaag nie, gebruik dit en laat 'n nota by een van ons druppelpunte."

Family Argot:
"This must be quick. You know of Joubert. We will get you into his crew and you will pass me any information you can obtain about his men, his operation, and himself."
"Also look for any civilian who seems to be hanging around watching him more than usual, and find out who they are. Stay with Joubert until told otherwise."
"If you cannot get away to pass me news, use this and leave a note at one of our drop points."

1d20 ⇒ 2
1d20 ⇒ 11
1d20 ⇒ 15

1d6 ⇒ 1
1d6 ⇒ 5
1d6 ⇒ 5

The acknowledged head of the team -- most of them have them, but there are a few that don't -- takes the dowel and nods, handing it off to one of his crew that uses a weighted cane to fight with. That one steps aside, unscrews the steel tip of the cane, and slides out a portion of the lead that makes the thing heavy enough for combat; upending the cane, he replaces the lead with the code rod, screwing the tip back on. It isn't that it's common, but some teams are more prepared than others.

"Alles reg. So, wat is die plan om ons met die bemanning in te stel?"

Translate & Info:
Translation: All right. So what's the plan to get us in with the crew?

Otherwise: Don't worry about using the 'smaller' tag to make your writing actually smaller; you might use that if you mutter under your breath about something, but it makes it hard to read. Saying that you're speaking quietly is all you need. ;)

Human (Varisian) Galtan Agitator Rogue 5 // Lotus Geisha Bard 5 | HP 42/42 | AC 19 (T15/FF15) | Init +5 | Perc +11 (+ mods) | CMB +6/+8 | CMD 19/21 | F+4 R+8 W+6 (+mods) | Spell Slots L1 5/5 L2 3/3 | Bardic Performance 16/16 | Active Conditions: none

As they walk the streets, Lilli signals for the crew to gather a little closer and quietly briefs them. "Joubert se bemanning is bekend vir 'woedende' misdade en hou die gesteelde buit."

"Sodra ons hulle vind, sal ons 'n bietjie van toneelspel hê om te doen." She gestures to the couple thugs they have walking with them. "Ek sal seker maak dat hulle hul bemanning in die oë het, en dié sal voorgee om my vir my beursie af te skud. U vyf kan saamkom en hulle wegjaag. Daarna kom jy terug met die beursie, maar hou dit as 'betaling' om my te verdedig, maak nie saak hoeveel ek protesteer nie. Ek sal in frustrasie verlaat en daarvandaan hoop ek dat Joubert se mans jou sal nader."

She pauses in an alley and looks them each in the eye to ensure they understand. "Maak dit realisties. Ek wil nie iemand ernstig seergemaak nie, maar dit moet lyk soos 'n ware stryd. Hierdie missie is belangrik, doen sommige kneusplekke en bloed 'n klein prys om te betaal vir sukses."

Exiting the alleyway, they continue moving through the streets. "Jy is almal slim genoeg om te improviseer, so as jy die gevoel kry dat dit nie gaan werk nie, speel dit vir die oor. Wie die leiding neem, hardloop daarmee en die res van ons sal volg."

Content that they have at least a working concept, Lilli gives a hand signal and they break apart into what seems like unaffiliated groups as they keep an eye out for their 'targets'.

Translation of the plan:
"Joubert's crew is known for 'avenging' crimes and keeping the stolen loot."
"Once we find them, we'll have a bit of acting to do" ... "I'll make sure to be in sight of their crew, and these ones will pretend to shake me down for my purse. You five can come along and chase them away. Afterwards come back with the purse but keep it as 'payment' for defending me, no matter how much I protest. I will leave in frustration and from there I hope that Joubert's men will approach you."
"Make it realistic. I don't want anyone seriously hurt but it has to look like a real fight. This mission is important, so some bruises and blood are a small price to pay for success."
"You're all smart enough to improvise, so if you get the feeling it isn't going to work, play it by ear. Whoever takes the lead, run with it and the rest of us will follow."

1d20 ⇒ 14
1d20 ⇒ 1
1d20 ⇒ 9

1d6 ⇒ 2
1d6 ⇒ 1
1d6 ⇒ 2

The two groups seperate some distance, the heavies walking apart but somewhat closer to you -- can't be a bodyguard without actually being close to the body you're guarding, as it were -- as you move along through the streets of Isarn. One of the difficulties in the plan, of course, is not knowing where Joubert's group of miscreants is from day to day. So step one is winnowing your way through the city, trying to discover where the Wolf of Heaven is lairing these days.

Go ahead and make a Diplomacy check for Gather Information, as well as the 'time spent' roll as appropriate for your skills, feats, etc. (I don't recall off the top of my head if you have anything that'll narrow that down.)

Human (Varisian) Galtan Agitator Rogue 5 // Lotus Geisha Bard 5 | HP 42/42 | AC 19 (T15/FF15) | Init +5 | Perc +11 (+ mods) | CMB +6/+8 | CMD 19/21 | F+4 R+8 W+6 (+mods) | Spell Slots L1 5/5 L2 3/3 | Bardic Performance 16/16 | Active Conditions: none

Diplomacy to Gather Information (Criminal Reputation, Blue Book): 1d20 + 12 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 12 + 2 + 2 = 19
Time spent: 1d4 ⇒ 3 hours
The books I was reading in the RP portion of the morning were the two blue books for Isarn. I read them for the bonus to bluff but fortunately they help here too, since that was a not so great roll :)

On the off chance that the first roll wasn't high enough, they'll keep looking.
Diplomacy to Gather MORE Information (Criminal Reputation, Blue Book): 1d20 + 12 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 12 + 2 + 2 = 20
Time spent: 1d4 ⇒ 2 hours

Human (Varisian) Galtan Agitator Rogue 5 // Lotus Geisha Bard 5 | HP 42/42 | AC 19 (T15/FF15) | Init +5 | Perc +11 (+ mods) | CMB +6/+8 | CMD 19/21 | F+4 R+8 W+6 (+mods) | Spell Slots L1 5/5 L2 3/3 | Bardic Performance 16/16 | Active Conditions: none

Please ignore last spoiler, I am retconning:

Not only did I not take the Lore +2 into account from the Isarn settlement block, I completely forgot about using the Ears of the City spell.
If I cast the spell it lasts 5 rounds and I can do a Diplomacy to Gather Information check once per round instead of taking the 1d4 hours. If you want to use the two rolls from the spoiler above (21 and 22 after the Lore modifier) go ahead and do so and just take the first three below.

Diplomacy to Gather Information (Criminal Reputation, Blue Book, Lore): 1d20 + 12 + 2 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 12 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 23
Diplomacy to Gather Information (Criminal Reputation, Blue Book, Lore): 1d20 + 12 + 2 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 12 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 29
Diplomacy to Gather Information (Criminal Reputation, Blue Book, Lore): 1d20 + 12 + 2 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 12 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 24
Diplomacy to Gather Information (Criminal Reputation, Blue Book, Lore): 1d20 + 12 + 2 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 12 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 21
Diplomacy to Gather Information (Criminal Reputation, Blue Book, Lore): 1d20 + 12 + 2 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 12 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 27
That's 5 checks in 5 rounds :)

1d20 ⇒ 14
1d20 ⇒ 6
1d20 ⇒ 20

1d6 ⇒ 4
1d6 ⇒ 6
1d6 ⇒ 4

It takes a little bit, but soon you find what you're looking for -- one of the city's many dust devils. Whether it's a quirk of magic, as most superstitious people say, or just peculiarities of architecture and atmosphere that give the harmless phenomena near-permanent existences, those who have a certain bit of magic know how to tap into the things. The wind-spinners catch leaves and twigs, dust and feathers and paper scraps, but they also catch voices and words and, from time to time, even a flicker of an image. What's more, what happens near one spinner can be drawn through another, at least within a certain distance; you know for a fact that it's at least a district, often one bank, and sometimes the entire city ...

Today, the focus you bring on that one question sifts through a wide range of conversations, voices speaking mostly in Taldane, some in Hallit, talking about what might seem to be common, every-day things, but which build a map of sorts in your head. Étienne Joubert has recently been moving along the Kantele through the western portion of the Industrial Quarter, from the statue of Alseta in La Place de l'Étoile north and eastwards. A couple days ago he crossed the river at the bridge near the building of the self-proclaimed 'only honest barristers in Isarn', Centre d'Advocats de Isarn, and is thought to be moving generally west and northwards.

I can go with that. Either way, the rolls are approximately the same, so ... ;)

FYI, the 'dust-devil' thing comes straight from the 'dust-spinners' in the Tamora Pierce Provost's Dog/Beka Cooper triology.

La Place de l'Étoile (Plaza of the Star) is I2 (Le Avenue Champs-Élysées) on the map; Centre d'Advocats de Isarn is T3, and Joubert is supposedly drifting west-northwest along that same road.

Human (Varisian) Galtan Agitator Rogue 5 // Lotus Geisha Bard 5 | HP 42/42 | AC 19 (T15/FF15) | Init +5 | Perc +11 (+ mods) | CMB +6/+8 | CMD 19/21 | F+4 R+8 W+6 (+mods) | Spell Slots L1 5/5 L2 3/3 | Bardic Performance 16/16 | Active Conditions: none

After her short break consulting the spinner, Lilli has the general idea of where Joubert is headed. With a quick signal to her crew, they head east towards The Sloppy Scribe hoping to run into him. The location is almost perfect, she muses. What better place for a woman to be targeted by thugs than near a tavern known for the exchange of both coin and alchemical supplies.

As they pass the bar, another signal sends her crew out scouting while she looks for a good location to make their move. Upon receiving news of Joubert approaching she begins to stroll down a side road she has picked; a good location mostly empty of passersby but well within view of the main road. The skirmishers move east to positively identify their target, ensuring the timing will be perfect before returning to wait for their entrance. When everyone is in position the ruse begins.

As Joubert's gang nears the entrance to the side street they see a woman heading towards the south, carrying a package as if returning to her family or employer with supplies. A couple thugs emerge and begin to harass her, as is quite common in Isarn these days. The woman ignores their comments and continues walking until they corner her against the side of a residence and grab her roughly. Laughing and prodding at her package and purse, they push her back and forth like cats playing with a timid mouse. Lilli leans into the role of a scared commoner, calling out in despair for assistance but not too loudly. Attracting the attention of guards in Isarn is often worse than whatever else might be happening.

The thugs tire of their sport and push her to the ground, grabbing her package and making to leave, when the skirmishers come into play. The team rushes in and takes control of the situation, one gallantly helping the poor woman to her feet while the others surround the trio of thugs and begin to scuffle. Fists fly and the thugs are quickly overwhelmed, separating themselves and heading off without their intended profit. As her 'rescuers' return, Lilli begins to express her appreciation when she is interrupted by Tristan speaking Taldan clearly enough to be overheard by their real targets. "It is our pleasure to assist. A citizen should be able to walk through Isarn without being accosted by miscreants such as those, and we try to keep the streets safe from such trash." He places the woman's package in his bag as he continues. "Unfortunately, it is thirsty work keeping the peace, and as such we will need to hold on to this so that we can afford to continue our philanthropy." As Lilli begins to protest, one of the crew takes her aside gently and escorts her several steps away as Tristan calls "Thank you for your generosity". Leaving her standing there confused and forlorn they return towards the main road.

Once out of sight, Lilli and the "thugs" assisting her meet up and head back towards The Sanctum, hoping that by mirroring the activities of Joubert's crew their compatriots will be seen as viable recruits and not just as targets themselves.

29 Desnus Downtime and Infiltration:
Lilli Activity: Insert skirmisher team into Joubert's organization using Infiltrate action.
..Bluff to Infiltrate: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (15) + 14 = 29 If I'm correct that's high enough to be a 2 week infiltration (beating the DC by more than 5)

Also adding the rest of the day's downtime activities to minimize number of spoilers. Since this 3 day starting period is Wealday - Fireday I am assuming our 'per week' downtime blocks won't start til Moonday next.
Upkeep: 6gp to Managers
Income (after Upkeep): 1.4gp, 2 Goods, 2 Influence, 2 Labor, 2 Magic (taking into account -6 to GP roll due to deployed team)
Total Capital Remaining: 2 Goods, 2 Influence, 2 Labor, 2 Magic

Out of the corner of her eye, Lilli can spot several members of Joubert's group watching the act -- of the first pair roughing her up, then the second group first helping her. A few of them begin to stroll towards the 'incident', watching Tristan then keep the package Lilli was carrying. As her skirmisher team turns away from her trudging figure, she can hear one of the other gang comment, "That's a rather interesting technique you've got there. Rather reminds me of a few folk I know ..." Well, she'll know for certain later tonight, if they don't come back; the skirmishers are certainly the most likely to be able to escape if things go wrong. Still, it might not be a bad idea to see if you can't find someone -- or several someones -- to spook around for a bit. Joubert's group themselves aren't generally purveyors of mayhem, resembling vultures more than hawks ...

Once you and the pair are several blocks clear of where Joubert and his people are, the two thugs drift in behind you, once more taking up 'bodyguard' positions and keeping an eye out for any Vice that might take an interest in the three of you. "Where to now?" one of them asks.

Rest of the Day, the Next:
For the most part, you can RP this as 'business as usual', but with your people coming in now and then to give you an update. Functionally, you yourself aren't doing anything but keeping tabs on their successful insertion, just letting the managers run the businesses.

You can, if you like, get on with Oathday activities.

Human (Varisian) Galtan Agitator Rogue 5 // Lotus Geisha Bard 5 | HP 42/42 | AC 19 (T15/FF15) | Init +5 | Perc +11 (+ mods) | CMB +6/+8 | CMD 19/21 | F+4 R+8 W+6 (+mods) | Spell Slots L1 5/5 L2 3/3 | Bardic Performance 16/16 | Active Conditions: none

Lilli glances back at her companions and smiles. "Good job, gentlemen. It's time to head home." They return to the Sanctum, where she listens to the two brag and make jokes about their scam for a bit before she heads upstairs. Secure in her room, she changes into a light dress and does her hair before asking one of the girls if she could have a massage.

Lying on her bed, feeling the day's tension leaving her shoulders and back, she ponders the implications of the conspiracy becoming active. So many meetings, and endless discussion, and now we are finally free to act. This means it is finally time to start putting things in place. A pleasant hour later, she stretches and heads to the common room to lounge and chat with customers until bed.

30 Desnus

Lilli awakes worried about the men she had placed into Joubert's group. As well trained adults they can take care of themselves, but she never likes sending teams into unknown situations sans backup. Shaking off the concern, she prepares to do her part.

She is very careful with her appearance; for today's work she needs to look good for the Court, but not so good as to alienate her neighbors in the Theater District. A nice dress, but not too revealing. Dark yellow with a black corset should do the trick Carefully picking out jewelry to match her outfit, she makes a quick stop downstairs to find out if Tristan's team had left any word and then heads out.

The morning is spent strolling through her territory, playing the part of friendly neighbor and proprietress of the tea house. She chats with everyone she passes and stops in on nearby businesses to visit with their staff. Carefully trying to steer discussions towards anything involving her targets when possible, she mainly just strengthens relationships while listening carefully to the talk on the street. After a couple hours she heads south to the territory of the Court of Bees.

In La Lumiere Rouge her makes her visits seem purely social. After a nice lunch with her family, Lilli visits her childhood friends and acquaintances from the church in order to catch up on gossip and reinforce potential contacts. Trying to find out as much as possible about the priestess Ellen Montaigne without probing too hard, she hopes to potentially identify her as Sœur Argent.

As the day progresses to the time when business back at The Gilded Lily is probably picking up, she returns for dinner and sets herself up in the bar for a while. Throughout the evening she lets Violet take some time off while she embraces her role as owner; she greets every client, assists her girls in entertaining, and chats with locals in the bar and common room. Listening for rumors and surreptitiously steering conversations, she compares what she hears here with what information she gained in La Lumiere Rouge. Sticking with her main goal of obtaining clues or gossip which might identify her targets' non-Gardener personas or anything of their activity as Gardeners, she pays attention to anything, as any information is potentially useful. After spending the rest of the evening in this manner, she heads down into The Sanctum to see what information has returned from the team investigating Joubert before retiring for the night.

30 Desnus Mechanics and Downtime:
Downtime Activity: Gather Information: Influential Questioning (Spend 1 Influence)
..Diplomacy to Gather Information on Montaigne/Argent w/ Bar Bonus +1, Fashionable Accessories +2, and Influential Questioning +5: 1d20 + 12 + 1 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 12 + 1 + 2 + 5 = 36
..Diplomacy to Gather Information on Joubert w/ Bar Bonus +1, Fashionable Accessories +2, and Influential Questioning +5: 1d20 + 12 + 1 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 12 + 1 + 2 + 5 = 21
..Diplomacy to Gather Information on Cadet w/ Bar Bonus +1, Fashionable Accessories +2, and Influential Questioning +5: 1d20 + 12 + 1 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 12 + 1 + 2 + 5 = 35
Skirmisher Team Activity: Gather Info while Inserted into Joubert's organization.. Inserted through 12 Sarenith.
..Capital Check as Diplomacy to Gather Information: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Upkeep: 6gp to Managers; 1 Influence for Influential Questioning
Income: 1.4gp, 2 Influence, 2 Labor, 2 Goods, 2 Magic (taking into account -6 to GP roll due to deployed team)
Total Capital Remaining: 4 Goods, 3 Influence, 4 Labor, 4 Magic
Potential Roll:
Please advise of any information she might have had from her neighbors while chatting. This doesn't have to be target related or part of 'gathering information'; she is also just concerned about neighborhood issues. I don't know if I'd need a roll or not for just gossiping with friends and neighbors, but in case one is needed for 'overhearing': Perception to overhear conversations (w/ Canny Observer talent): 1d20 + 11 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 11 + 4 = 35

The conspiracy has been active for some time, just not active with a singular purpose. Instead, gathering information with which to work, making small moves to better position its membership: these have been its 'active' advances. Establishing the security and influence of "Mama Lily", putting people who can advance his career into the courtroom at the right time to see Jerome at work, getting Lucien assigned to his current location instead of somewhere else in Galt, gaining new clients for Manush -- everything has been moving the members into position where they can be more ... hands-on.

Nonetheless, Lilli's next day is, in many ways, more of the same -- glad-handing and gossip, keeping the old bonds strong enough to weather a bit of rough use, but not so strong as to restrict necessary actions. The team she's planted on Joubert has yet to report in; not surprising, as there's probably still some amount of 'let's keep an eye on them' happening. Or, possibly, they have managed to pick up some information and pass it along, but it hasn't gotten here yet.

Unfortunately, the social scene in La Lumière Rouge is ... well, the social scene in La Lumière Rouge. Keeping things 'on the level', as it were, keeps you from being drawn into the ten thousand little plots and backstabbings that might be (definitely are) going on, but at the same time it means that you can't sink your own hooks into the rumor streams, to troll for the information you're really looking for.

Also unfortunately, the area Mama Lily controls is small, and the business the Guilded Lily does ...well, Mme. Popescu's network of informants isn't yet large enough for her to be able to pluck information out of thin air, as it were; it just doesn't 'come to her' yet. However, a couple of potentially-useful pieces of information have come through the tea house: first, the identity of Montaigne's maid, which (if true) you might be able to parley into a conversation wherein you could find detailed information; and second, that while Cadet is not apparently a Calistrian, he has been identified a couple of times moving around inside La Lumière Rouge ... which means you might be able to find someone there who has had more extensive interactions with the Gray Gardener.

Human (Varisian) Galtan Agitator Rogue 5 // Lotus Geisha Bard 5 | HP 42/42 | AC 19 (T15/FF15) | Init +5 | Perc +11 (+ mods) | CMB +6/+8 | CMD 19/21 | F+4 R+8 W+6 (+mods) | Spell Slots L1 5/5 L2 3/3 | Bardic Performance 16/16 | Active Conditions: none

31 Desnus

Lilli wakes early and begins planning her day. There is only one day left to gather information as the meeting with the others is tonight, and she doesn't want to show up with only small rumours.

The first thing she does is check in The Sanctum to see if any of the runners had retrieved any information about Joubert from the dead drops, and then she prepares for a full day in La Lumiere Rouge to more actively investigate Montaigne and Cadet.

Actions from here differ slightly on whether or not information about Joubert showed up overnight. Please let me know.

I might as well do today's infiltration collection roll since that is the one thing that won't differ.
Capital Check as Diplomacy to Gather Information: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23

Human (Varisian) Galtan Agitator Rogue 5 // Lotus Geisha Bard 5 | HP 42/42 | AC 19 (T15/FF15) | Init +5 | Perc +11 (+ mods) | CMB +6/+8 | CMD 19/21 | F+4 R+8 W+6 (+mods) | Spell Slots L1 5/5 L2 3/3 | Bardic Performance 16/16 | Active Conditions: none

After finding no news from the team on Joubert, Lilli is a bit worried and seeks out Perdu. "Hey little brother, I need you to do a couple things for me today. Firstly, I'm going to be around a bit less from now on, so we need to beef up the crew. Hire a couple laborers to start prepping for improvements. Secondly, I need info from the team we have on Joubert by tonight. Double check the drop boxes, and if you haven't heard anything by midafternoon do your best to try and track them down. I'll be back after dinner to pick up any news."

Heading back upstairs, she preps for another day in La Lumiere Rouge. A quick change of clothes and some time spent on her hair transform her into the devout Calistrian she tries to portray while back in the turf of her youth, and some time going through her texts over breakfast prep her mentally.

As she enters her old haunts, she immediately searches out contacts, using the social visits of the day prior to help orient her. Of high priority is figuring out the mystery of why Cadet seems to be visiting the district; is he visiting someone specific who he deals with, or is he trying to influence The Court in some way? Secondly, she attempts to learn what she can about Montaigne's maid to see if she can take her aside during the afternoon, or if not then gain an invitation to Montaigne's residence so she can speak with the maid there.

After spending the morning collecting up information, she prepares to take her mid-day meal while she plans for the afternoon's activities.

31 Desnus Mechanics:
I decided not to do a full day information gathering as I might need additional actions or rolls, so I shall just do the standard gather information checks for the morning.
Diplomacy to gather information about Cadet w/ Lore and Blue Book: 1d20 + 12 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 12 + 2 + 2 = 33
..Taking 1d4 ⇒ 2 hours
Diplomacy to gather information about maid w/ Lore and Blue Book: 1d20 + 12 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 12 + 2 + 2 = 31
..Taking 1d4 ⇒ 2 hours
Takes 4 hours for the two checks; perfect for the morning leading into lunch.
If I cannot find a way to corner the maid during or after lunch, I shall have to attempt to gain access to her in the house, so:
Diplomacy to gain access to Montaigne's home if needed: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (15) + 12 = 27
As there will be activity, but no other official downtime actions today, here's the day's downtime info:
Oncle Perdu Activity: Hire Laborer Team; Team available following day (assume since this is a Friday that it will be available on Monday 3 Sarenith)
Skirmisher Team Activity: Gather Info while Inserted into Joubert's organization.. Inserted through 12 Sarenith. Roll was 23 (posted in spoiler of previous post)
Upkeep: 6gp to Managers; 1 Influence and 2 Labor for Laborer Team
Income: 1.4gp, 2 Influence, 2 Labor, 2 Goods, 2 Magic (taking into account -6 to GP roll due to deployed team)
Total Capital Remaining: 6 Goods, 4 Influence, 4 Labor, 6 Magic

"Relax," Perdu counsels, not even looking up from the papers he's examining and collating. "Takes a little time to be trusted enough to get information out of people. I'll check after lunch; they aren't right around the corner." He glances up at you, then smiles. "I'm sure they're all right. Go poke around somewhere, eh?"

Going out to winnow through what you can overhear, pick up, or just manipulate into being revealed, you move about Isarn's popular -- and powerful -- red-light district, speaking to old acquiantances and workers at new places, you manage to acquire two useful pieces of information. The first is the fact that Cadet has been seen today, and if he follows his usual movements, you know where he'll take his lunch; the second is Montaigne's household's rhythm, which means you know where the maid will be for her own luncheon.

The trouble lies in deciding which one to pursue, because both of them are some distance apart, and are liable to occur right around the same time.

Human (Varisian) Galtan Agitator Rogue 5 // Lotus Geisha Bard 5 | HP 42/42 | AC 19 (T15/FF15) | Init +5 | Perc +11 (+ mods) | CMB +6/+8 | CMD 19/21 | F+4 R+8 W+6 (+mods) | Spell Slots L1 5/5 L2 3/3 | Bardic Performance 16/16 | Active Conditions: none

It will probably be easier to find Cadet after lunch than it will be to find a reason to visit Montaigne's manor. Lunch with the maid it is then. Lilli heads towards where the young woman will be taking her meal and takes a table, ordering a bottle of wine and some hors d'oeuvres to snack on while she waits for her soon-to-be contact to arrive.

I assume that I have learned her name during my investigations. I plan to greet her by name as if we were acquaintances from somewhere and invite her to join me....but I don't know what to call her XD

She's Too Vital For A Name:
'The Fantasticks' reference. ;)

Let's say ... Odila. No proper family name, so she uses her village -- so Odila d'Monserrat. (Because I like Monserrat, though I did just write it 'Monsterrat'. Go figure. :D ) In regards to the maid's uniform, think of the ankle-length black dress worn by the maids in Downton Abbey -- without, naturally, the apron.

Hm. Perception +11 means 21 on a Take 10 ... all right.

KS Local: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
... geez, you people just keep hitting the Natural 20s.

Random table: you: 1d9 ⇒ 3
Random table: her: 1d9 ⇒ 7

The nine folding tables (use that as a baseline, but round and without the hinge) and each table's three or four folding chairs are spread out and staggered along the wide sidewalk, five (the odd-numbered tables) next to the buildings, four (the even-numbered ones) next to the street, with the entrance to the little bistro between tables three and five; the bistro has no room inside, the owners basically folding up the tables and chairs and stashing them in the 'customer space' of the bistro every night, then taking them out and setting them up again in the morning.

There is actually another reference here; I want to see if you know it. ;)


Coming to the hole-in-the-wall bistro half a block down from Montaigne's townhome at which you sit, Odila looks less fresh-faced than one would expect an early- to mid-twenties young woman from the relatively nearby village of Monserrat. Growing up hungry due to the 'nationalization' of staple food production has added years to her, impacted her growth (she is short and still lean), and undoubtedly was the eventual cause of her coming to Isarn in search of a job -- or rather, food, which a job would enable her to get. One of the lucky ones, she actually found something, Montaigne seeing in her ... well, whatever Montaigne sees in her that pleases her, who knows.

Naturally, Odila doesn't wear an apron while out; that piece is meant to keep the unrelievedly black uniform of a housemaid neat and clean. But while the severe black dress is absolutely a uniform, it seems to be one to which the young woman has grown accustomed, wearing it with the ease of familiarity, which would suggest she's been in service for at least two or three years.

She acquires a servant's meal, half of one of the hours-old industrially-produced baguettes and a half-bowl of the fish-based soup that is today's offering; contrast this with your own hors 'doeuvres creations, which are various combinations of thinly-shaved meat and equally-thinly-sliced vegetable (less for artistry than to extend the meat and veggies as far as they can) upon thin slices of the very same baguettes. Taking her mid-day, she sits down at an empty seat a few tables to one side, sharing with a couple who give her barely more than a glance before returning to their own discussion. You yourself share with a starveling young man wearing black scholarly robes and reading a book of some sort, and while his companion is likewise lean, the rapier at his hip is, at the very least, finely-made -- which absolutely implies he knows how to keep it.

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