Darkling

Josh's DnD: Ep03

Apr 20th, 2016
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  1. Josh: In front of you looms a great gate to the city of Brattsholt. You came here in hopes of finding allies in what looks to be a war for survival between the elves of the Western Forest and the giant human empire of Malchizidek. You have explained why you came to the guards at this gate but the leader almost seems to disregard your words completely, instead the beardless dwarf stares at Alja. "Name and Clan?" He holds his axe somewhat ready, the others behind him look ready to pounce.
  2. Ileleste looks around nervously.
  3. Pinko: Haryuko shuffles on the spot, crossbow still in hand. She seems to be a tad upset by the dwarf's attitude, clearing up her throat and speaking up in Dwarven. "Clearly, we're not druegar, correct? Clearly, we've had to go through the cave system to even bother getting to you, correct? Believe us, we come in peace. If not to find allies and warn you, then at least to rest for a while."
  4. Josh: The dwarf steps forward, steel in his eye, but one of the others stops him. This one is a grizzled old dwarf with a braided red beard hanging down almost to his knees. He places a hand on the beardless one's shoulder. "You come to a city at war in a time of great peril. My son may be overzealous in protecting us, but he does it for good reason. It is our law to see to it that we know the name and clan of all dwarves. It is our custom to speak to our fellows before we speak to any others. If you come in peace then come with patience as well."
  5. Yayifications: Alja steps forward, bowing her head politely, "Aye, we've seen the peril, and it is not our people alone suffering it. The elves, too, have been attacked by the empire of Malchizidel...and I suspect they may have a hand in our own plight."
  6. Josh: "You believe the Drow have taken the humans as allies?" The leader's eyes narrow.
  7. Yayifications: "Or at least are manipulating them from a distance. The humans' goals, as witnessed earlier, is the elimination of all except their blood."
  8. Yayifications: "That much I do know as fact."
  9. Pinko: "We do have proof that the Empire has reasons to be interested in these caves." Beans produces the paper with the orders written on them.
  10. Pinko: "Perhaps you can help us make more sense of it than we can ourselves."
  11. Urzoga: "They...wanted to know your name and clan," Urz mutters to Alja.
  12. Yayifications: "As for my name, I am Alja of the Firehorn clan."
  13. Josh: He looks down at the paper in Beans' hands. "This... needs to be brought before the Clansmoot and the King. They meet again in three days’ time." He bows, arms crossed over his chest. "Friend of the Firehorn. Do you vouch for these people?"
  14. Yayifications: She nods, "Aye, I do. They all stood with me in battle on the way here. I even owe some of them my life."
  15. Josh: He nods. "Your word is their law. You and your friends will be free to roam the city. I will have one of my men see to your lodging. We will send a messenger to summon you when the time comes."
  16. Pinko: Does he hand back the paper?
  17. Josh: He does.
  18. Yayifications: "Very well, thank you, sir."
  19. Ileleste keeps her cloak tight around her head watching the others and keeping quiet.
  20. Pinko: Beans gracefully accepts the paper and carefully pockets it. "You've mentioned a war?" She now speaks in common, for the sake of her comrades. "Does that have anything to do with the undead we've seen so far? Or the Druegars?"
  21. Josh: "The undead roam these tunnels due some curse... But you've seen Druegar? Recently?"
  22. Urzoga: Looks like Ileleste isn't the only one content to keep her own council, the half-orc similarly wrapped in her own cloak.
  23. Pinko: "Their bodies probably litter the caves further down. We've had to fend them off."
  24. Josh: "How many did your group fight? How well armed? Did any escape? To where?"
  25. Josh: He seems fairly excited by the news.
  26. Pinko: "...They seemed a bit sickly, to be quite honest. Wore grim looking chainmail and warhammers. To be honest, I don't even know why Duergars would be wielding wooden shields underground, even." She also produces the message in undercommon. "Do you happen to be able to read this?"
  27. Pinko: "I think they were just under ten, and they were all so eager to try and gut Miss Alja that we've been able to handle them all."
  28. Josh: "Did you see any others?" He asks taking the note from her.
  29. Josh: "Any trace at all that there might be more?"
  30. Pinko: "I'm not exactly a tracker." She comments with a little rise of her eyebrow, the hat on her head tilting slightly.
  31. Josh: His eyes trace the note flicking over towards Alja. "It seems our enemies are working together. This note, and the other...this does not bode well."
  32. Yayifications: Alja nods, looking quite exhausted herself "It's why we must be vigilant. We're attacked, in unison, from many angles now."
  33. Pinko: "What does the note say? I can't read undercommon. One of my, hehe, lacking talents, you might say." She tiptoes slightly as she tries to have a closer look.
  34. Josh: He hands the note back. He speaks in what must be undercommon and then switches to common. "My love, together we will destroy them. The Drow have agreed to help us."
  35. Yayifications: "The undercommon part is 'they \cannot know of the slaves or the rebellion'. Ominous indeed, especially that part of the note is in common."
  36. Ileleste: "Perhaps there is a more comfortable, and secure place, to be speaking about these things?"
  37. Pinko: "She has a point!" Bean smiles as she takes the note back in hand once more, also carefully pocketing it.
  38. Josh: "There will be time to speak of this at the next clansmoot. They will decide what to do with this information."
  39. Josh: "For now please rest."
  40. Pinko: She glances to their comrades for a moment, before giving an affirmative nod. "Then we'll follow you gladly."
  41. Ileleste smiles, glad to get out of the caves and into some sort of civilization.
  42. Pinko: After spending a while meticulously making sure their loot is salvageable, and after getting the chest opened at a local locksmith, Beans carefully packs most of the things, and heads out to try and sell them, grabbing Ileleste for 'moral support'.
  43. Ileleste follows along happily, quite aware of what she's there for.
  44. Josh: Those of you looking for more base amusement or for the chance to fill your bloodlust can head over to the Brattsholt arena. The place is pretty huge and decorated with stone murals of warriors in battle. The arena sees most use when dwarves challenge each other for duels over honor. There is also a tournament held every year and those that wish to test their might are free to help in the judgment of criminals. Those charged with murder and treason fight in the arena until they die. If you want to set up a battle it is certainly possible.
  45. Urzoga: While Urz has no interest in ever setting foot in another arena, The Monster seems to have other ideas. It goes so far as to take charge, murderous intent contained to the occasional odd twitch as it seeks entry.
  46. Yayifications: Alja has little interest in seeking out battle when there was plenty already awaiting her. Rather, she spends time by the forge, practicing her craft.
  47. Josh: The dwarves there seem more curious than anything. Usually people who want to fight are there with bones to pick. However, if you wanna risk your life, that's fine with them. You're free to go alone or in a group and pick how many enemies you'd like to fight within reason. Note, they are all murderers or those accused of treason. Their lives depend on winning and many have had combat experience.
  48. Beans: Beans and Ile probably are shopping together. She's trying to drag the Half-succubus into some magical shop, at some point. "I want to see something, do you mind coming in with me?"
  49. Ileleste: "Of course!" She's quite happy to just be able to shop mind you. This is more wealth than she's ever had in her entire life.
  50. Urzoga: The Monster is interested in fighting a one-on-one battle. Were these condemned men and women even worth its time?
  51. Josh: Yus you find a wandwright in a district near what is called the Crusader's gate. Garic's Wands, right next to a traveler shrine. The shop is a two-story stone-walled building, with a white tile roof. It appears to be unusually busy. The shopkeeper is an overweight male Halfling, probably Garic himself.
  52. The_Reaper: Reaper heads over to the arena see if he can find a decent fight
  53. Beans: The little gnome steps up to the counter, and for once she's pleased that she doesn't have to do acrobatics to be seen by the shopkeeper. "Hello there, we're... adventurers?" She seems to hang on to the word for a moment, expressing a slight doubt. "Well, we'd like to see your selection of wands."
  54. Ileleste: Ileleste's eye brighten at the wonders in the store.
  55. Josh: The Halfling shows you his wonders. "Any or all could be yours for a reasonable price."
  56. Beans: Beans examines them with a curious look, pressing a finger to her lip with a soft hum. "This wand here." She points to the Cure Light Wound one. "Is it full of charges?"
  57. The_Reaper: Reaper wants test out how well he can do against 3 opponents.
  58. Josh: "It was the belonging of a beautiful dwarven maid. She said that she'd used it but thrice when she owned it. Though I know not if it had owners before her."
  59. Beans: "I'm ready to offer you 675 gold pieces for it, then." Beans tilts her heads as she looks through a large purse.
  60. Josh: He'll accept.
  61. Josh: In the arena, the two warriors are arranged against their foes. The dwarven criminals have been equipped with weapons but no magic.
  62. Ileleste: "Is there any other place you'd like to visit or should we go watch the others fight?"
  63. Beans: "I guess we can watch them fight, unless you wanted to keep shopping some more?" She carefully collects the wand and gives a grateful nod to Garic.
  64. Ileleste: "I'm not sure I'll find anything useful. Maybe tomorrow."
  65. Beans: Beans then drags Ile around again, this time heading for the arena to watch the others fight. She makes no particular comment about how most eyes probably are her friend's way. "So, what do you know about... well, not that I want to be rude, but yourself?"
  66. Ileleste looks down at her clothing. "Uhm... did I do something wrong?"
  67. Yayifications: Alja finds time to break away from her smithing to join Beans and Illeleste in going to watch the others fight. She walks alongside the gnome, looking rather content for the day
  68. Beans: "Oh, no, I'm talking about you in general." She gives a friendly smile as she makes it through the crowds to get a seat. "Like, you said you've spent most of your life pretty sheltered, mh?"
  69. Ileleste: "Oh... oh yes. Well, as sheltered as you can be in a brothel. There's a few things I know much more about some things than anyone likely should, and I doubt will ever really be practical. But I've never really been out. I mean anywhere!" She raises her arms up at the city. "It's all quite new."
  70. Urzoga: The Monster, already bleeding from a wound caused by its opponent's greatsword, throws a heavy punch and quickly turns it into an attempt to grapple.
  71. Beans: "Ah, yeah, I can relate, actually. Travel is a pretty recent thing of mine, despite the fact that I'm an officially sanctioned priestess of a God of the roads. Odd, isn't it? But I also meant... the little horns, any clue what they might be?" She seems pretty unashamed of asking the obvious.
  72. Ileleste touches one of the horns that frame her face. "Oh... well, then no. I mean, there's the obvious part, but beyond that...” She shrugs.
  73. Beans: She flashes a toothy grin as she seats down and winces, watching Urgoza take a vicious blow. "Define... obvious."
  74. Ileleste: "Otherworldly."
  75. Ileleste: "And definitely not cattle, like some men have suggested."
  76. Beans: She snickers at that last remark, shaking her head. "Believe it or not, I'm a well-read scholar, and I might... have a clue, if you're curious and intrigued. Though, later, when we're more in private."
  77. Beans: "Come to the library with me afterwards, if you are curious."
  78. Ileleste: "Well...” She watches the fight ensue for a bit, contemplating. "I never really thought someone would actually know something."
  79. Beans: "I know. Don't ask me how I know -this- in particular." Her grin sours a bit as she focusses her attention back to the fights.
  80. Beans: "I happen to be what I like to call a... 'Creature cataloguer', in a way. This is what I do."
  81. Ileleste: "Of creatures?"
  82. The_Reaper: As one of the murders come close enough reaper swings his scythe around and cuts him in 2.
  83. Beans: "All kinds, yes. Is that an odd hobby?" She hums as her attention is brought to Reaper cutting one of them in half. "You're awfully silent, Alja."
  84. Urzoga: The Monster stands against a second hit from its opponent, scarred flesh stopping the blade and allowing it to deliver another powerful blow.
  85. Yayifications: "Mm, what is there to say, really? Why is it you do what you do?"
  86. Beans: "Ah? Creature logging?" She seems glad to be asked. "So many types of people entered the temple I grew in. Really, I was more curious about them than I was about exploring and travelling. Most people would see Ileleste, here, and assume Tiefling, but I know better than that. I wanted to be prepared for -anything-, in a way. Many sleepless hours were lost to me in the dark library of the temple."
  87. Ileleste: "I used to catalogue the types of men that came into the brothel, but they were all the same. Drunk, filthy, disgusting." She shudders. "Thankfully I only had to clean and not service."
  88. Urzoga: The Monster, already grappling with its opponent, grabs him up into an owlbear hug. Muscles harden as it squeezed, bones snapping inside the dwarf’s body.
  89. Urzoga: It continues to squeeze the dwarf as he struggles to get free. How much more could he possibly take?
  90. Ileleste: "Is... is there anything we should know about her?" Ileleste points towards Urz in the arena.
  91. Rylian: Rylain, who was silent for a while, finally joins the conversation. “I would agree. Whenever she fights, it's as though she was an entirely different person."
  92. Ileleste starts and jumps a bit at his voice.
  93. Rylian: "I apologize for the shock. But that has been a concerning matter I have mulled over for some time now."
  94. Urzoga: With a rather nasty grin the possessed half-orc tightens her grip on the dwarf, The Monster seemingly quite pleased as the dwarf's spine snaps.
  95. Beans: "The tattoos she bear? They're devoted to the God of Slaughter, Erynthnul. She said she used to be an arena slave, before her release." She mentions so nonchalantly almost. "I suspect that she developed some kind of... alter ego, to survive the ordeal."
  96. Josh: The crowd goes wild, that crack could be heard from the stands. Urzoga's gonna have a following after this one. That was Dlin the Guard Slayer she just broke like an oversized toy.
  97. Ileleste winces a bit. "Oh...”
  98. Rylian: "And of our other friend, he seems quite strange to have a name such as Reaper."
  99. Urzoga: The Monster drops the body, no longer interested in a dead thing. "ANOTHER CHALLENGER!"
  100. The_Reaper: Cutting one in half he carries the blow to the other guy standing behind him.
  101. Yayifications: "Alter ego is one way to put it. She seems more of a fiend than anything out there."
  102. Rylian: "But by Celestian, does he earn that name!"
  103. Josh: The dwarf moves back, he fumbles for his neckline and pulls out a piece of scrap metal. "Ah will not die by your hands. THE ELDER EYE TAKE YOU AND ALL YOU HOLD DEAR." Then he starts chanting nonsense.
  104. Beans: "Hmm. As for Reaper? Besides obviously dedicating himself to a Death god, I couldn't tell you any more specifics. He kind of creeps me out."
  105. The_Reaper: "I refuse." Reaper calls backs.
  106. Josh: No one seems eager to jump in to fight Urzoga.
  107. Ileleste: "I think he might creep us all out."
  108. Urzoga: That's a pity. She could always return tomorrow to fight more convicts.
  109. Josh: The chant dies on his lips as Reaper lives up to his namesake. Whatever the dwarf was doing, he ended it.
  110. The_Reaper: reaper cuts him in twain like the rest.
  111. Josh: looks like Reaper will have a following as well. Not many choose to take on multiple opponents and then tear them all in half.
  112. The_Reaper: "May your souls find peace." reaper says to the fallen
  113. Rylian: "Fine battles, indeed! Huzzah!"
  114. Beans: Beans readjusts her hat, humming to herself. "I'll need to make sure the traveler shine is properly tended to, for a few moments. Ileleste, feel free to meet me at the library this evening."
  115. Beans: With that, she leaves her seat and heads out of the arena by herself.
  116. Ileleste gives her smaller friend a wave.
  117. Rylian: "Lady Urzoga displays strength I have not seen since my elder sister joined the ranks of the Iron Maidens."
  118. Urzoga: Looks like The Monster has left her designated killing arena, no doubt off to claim its prize.
  119. The_Reaper: after taking his prize reaper is going to find somewhere to sleep till tomorrow
  120. Rylian: Rylain would like to sample the wares of the local weaponsmith
  121. Josh: The Unicorn's Armaments
  122. On Fountain Mews, in an adventurers quarter of exotic shops and bold explorers. The shop is a two-story timber and brick building, with carved wooden doors.
  123. The shopkeeper is a soft-spoken male Dwarf who introduces himself as Giersa.
  124. Josh: He boasts weapons of master craftsmanship and even has some of magical quality.
  125. Rylian: "How now, fine craftsman. I have come to sample the fine works of steel and iron here."
  126. Josh: "Tis good to see a new face! Steel and Iron, aye and plenty more metals as well lad. Anything in particular?" If not he shows you his magical weapons one by one.
  127. Rylian: "What have you in the kind of one handed weaponry?"
  128. Rylian: "How much for the warhammer?"
  129. Josh: "Merely 900 Platinum and this can be yours."
  130. Rylian: "Hmmm...Anything for around 200 gold pieces?"
  131. Josh: "I've many quality masterwork items for sale, but the more magical seems to be out of your price range friend."
  132. Rylian: "Fair enough, good sir."
  133. Ileleste: After wandering around the city for a while, Ileleste asks for directions to the library and makes her way there.
  134. Beans: Unfortunately for Ileleste, Beans is passed out in some alley of the town.
  135. Ileleste: Very unfortunate. She looks quite out of place amongst all the books.
  136. Josh: An elderly male gnome with a wide smile approaches Ileleste. "You look lost my dear."
  137. Ileleste: "Oh. Sort of. I was waiting for a friend who doesn't appear to have arrived yet."
  138. Josh: "Ah. I take it your friend invited you here?"
  139. Ileleste: "That obvious?"
  140. Beans: She raises herself from the dust of the street, cleaning herself quickly, swearing under her breath as she checks her belongings real quick.
  141. Josh: Nothing appears to be missing, luckily.
  142. Josh: "Well, when I come here I always head straight towards the section I came to find...You however seem to be just fine standing in the center of the room, looking around." He chuckles. "I am Iator. If you'd like I can accompany you until your friend arrives?"
  143. Beans: Not knowing how long she was passed out, she'll hurry to the library, figuring she'll tend to the shrine another day. At least give it a passing glance, if she has to walk past it.
  144. Ileleste: "Sure." She takes a seat nearby. "You come here often then?"
  145. Josh: He kneels on a seat nearby. "Nearly every day. Even someone my age has more to learn."
  146. Josh: The shrine is the same as when you left it. Not terrible but scuffed and dirty. Nothing stops you from getting to the library this time.
  147. Beans: She will clean it tomorrow, or after the library meeting.
  148. Beans: She hurries to the library, afterwards.
  149. Ileleste: "I suppose so." She looks around. "I don't really feel at home here like you must."
  150. Josh: He pauses for a second. "Do you find that you do not feel at home often?"
  151. Ileleste: "Well, I often get invited home by many," she jests, "but yes."
  152. Josh: He chuckles at her joke but his face returns to serious somberness soon after. "I am sorry to hear that. The world is too often unkind to that which it does not understand making even those that should feel like they own the world feel like they don't belong within it." He pauses. "Forgive me. I let my words get the best of me sometimes."
  153. Beans: It's at that moment that Beans appears in the library, smiling as she notices that her friend kept occupied somehow anyway. "Ah, sorry it took me a while. You two can keep talking, I'll see if they don't have... something." She then wanders into the library, hoping to find a book relevant to her in the demonology section.
  154. Josh: "Actually, if that is your friend then I will let you go. I must be off anyways." He gets down from the chair and bows his head. "It was a pleasure talking to you, miss."
  155. Ileleste: "Farewell." She watches both Beans run off and the elder leave.
  156. Beans: Beans hush hush a farewell to the older man. Hopefully, Ileleste doesn't think much of it when Beans disappears into one of what must be the least popular sections of the library.
  157. Rylian: After leaving the shop, Rylain goes somewhere to write two letters. One for the majority of his family back at Whitecrow Keep, and another for his elder sister at the Order of the Iron Maidens Headquarters in Malchizidek.
  158. Josh: After writing the letters, how do you intend to get them to their destinations?
  159. Ileleste sits patiently, pulling her cloak around herself to be a little more modest.
  160. Rylian: The letters are Rylain's account of the past few days, letting them know that he is still alive and fighting the good fight. He also hopes to return to Whitecrow soon enough, to regale his exploits in greater detail.
  161. Rylian: After sealing the letters, he asks around town for some sort of post office or message delivery service.
  162. Josh: You have two options you can get a mage to send it to them or you can have a carrying hawk deliver it. Both have their drawbacks.
  163. Rylian: He will try the Mage
  164. Josh: They can cast sending and read them aloud or physically send the letters themselves.
  165. Rylian: Send the letters
  166. Beans: That's probably not cheap as a spell service.
  167. Josh: It is not
  168. Josh: hence the drawback.
  169. Rylian: How much?
  170. Beans: Beans then returns with a book, open at a page with a drawing of a creature that resembles her much on it. "Allurin." She states, as she hands her the book. "The spawn of Incubi and Succubi. Marked with the taint of evil. But... I don't think you're evil." She hopes this isn't much of an anvil drop on her friend.
  171. Josh: About 500 gp per sending, 80 per animal messenger.
  172. Ileleste: "Wait. Evil?" She looks taken aback as if that was all she heard, staring at the book.
  173. Beans: "...It's a consequence of the heritage of the Abyss." She continues to explain as she seats next of her. "Don't worry, it doesn't... mean much, really." She half-lies as with a smile. "It just means that it's only more wonderful for you to be as nice and gentle as you are."
  174. Rylian: animal messenger it is then
  175. Ileleste doesn't look like she agrees.
  176. Beans: "...But it can mean much for your soul in the afterlife. But, that's a fair bit away. And, surely there's a way to free your soul from it. Probably. Even if there's no recorded case."
  177. Josh: They cast the spells for you then, sending off tiny creatures to take the messages to your relatives, no matter how long it takes.
  178. Rylian: alright then
  179. Ileleste: "You've got to be mistaken. There's no way...” She trails off.
  180. Beans: "I rarely am." She almost seems offended by the notion that she could be wrong, before frowning in sympathy. "I'm sorry, maybe it was... too much? Just, calm down. We should head back and rest some. I'm sorry if I've... been a bit harsh about this."
  181. Ileleste: "It's alright, you're only trying to help. Besides, you said it doesn't matter, right?"
  182. Beans: "Not to me, anyway. But... try to not enter any places too holy, or dedicated to a deity of Good. For your own sake." She says so with a little nod of fair warning.
  183. Ileleste: "I don't think that will be a problem." She reaches for the book.
  184. Beans: She hands her the book, and a few other relevant ones she found. "I'll be going now, but feel free to stay and read a bit more if you want."
  185. Ileleste: She takes the books and sets them down.
  186. Beans: Beans is ready to rest for the next for days I 'spose.
  187. Josh: As you enter the stadium a second time you recognize a familiar face. This the attacker that got away from the town.
  188. Josh: She recognizes you too as she draws a bow. "How in the nine hells did you find me here?"
  189. URZOGA: "LUCK." The Monster grins.
  190. Pinko: Meanwhile, Beans has enjoyed her coffee, and is now on her way to tend to the shrine properly. Her feet drag slowly, obviously not a morning person.
  191. Ileleste: Ileleste is nowhere to be seen around the others.
  192. URZOGA: Urzoga's scarred hide helps The Monster shrug off the arrows shot at it, quickly retaliating with a charge. The Monster smashes into its opponent, thick arms wrapping around her. "I'VE GOT A CRUSH ON YOU."
  193. Josh: Her blood starts to pool on the ground and then slowly it starts to flow away in streams. A whispered chant starts growing louder.
  194. URZOGA: "NONE OF THAT." The Monster growls, pinning the woman and clamping a hand tightly over her mouth.
  195. Rylian: Rylain, as he making his way through the town, spots one of his traveling companions all alone.
  196. "Good morrow, milady," he says while suppressing the urge to yawn as hard as he can.
  197. Josh: You both see an elderly gnome praying at the traveler shrine.
  198. The_Reaper: Reaper charges at the pinned opponent and swings his scythe.
  199. Pinko: Beans is holding some soap and has a full waterskin as she approaches the shrine. "Good morning!" She tries to appear brighter than she was moment ago. "I hope I'm not bothering, I was just about to tend to the shrine."
  200. Josh: "No bother at all. Please go ahead. “The gnome stands off to the side to let you pass.
  201. Pinko: She wets a towel and rubs soap into it before beginning to clean the shrine. "Hello, Rylain." She gives him a meek smile as she cleans the base of the shrine, giving a curious look to both the gnome and the knight.
  202. URZOGA: The Monster presses its weight down on the arm currently attached to the woman's face, grip tightening.
  203. Rylian: Rylain looks on at the elder gnome praying, as well as his friend washing the shrine.
  204. "So how did you get this obligation?" His eyes shifted to the shrine itself.
  205. "Must've been quite a story."
  206. Pinko: She blinks as she just scrubs at the shrine carefully, all while muttering a few prayers under her breath. "...Uh? What obligation?" She seems rather confused by the question. "There's no obligation, I'm just a priestess!"
  207. Rylian: "That's what it is? Well, then tell me how you became one."
  208. The_Reaper: Reaper swings his scythe once more and decapitates his foe
  209. Pinko: She scrubs at the shrine meticulously, giving him a small grin. "It's not much of a story. I was dropped in front of a temple by my parents, who I've never met. Adventurers do that sometimes when they don't want a child to slow them down. I was raised in the temple's orphanage, and they saw potential in me. It kind of just... happened." She wrings her towel into a bucket she's brought. "I don't mind it much. I'm not angry. It's just my path, y'know?"
  210. URZOGA: The Monster growls, the scythe barely missing its own flesh since it had been holding the woman's mouth shut.
  211. URZOGA: "I SHOULD KILL YOU FOR THAT." The Monster stands, turning to face Reaper.
  212. The_Reaper: "Mabye" Reaper says back. "But is that really the only reason?"
  213. URZOGA: "I WOULD ENJOY LITTERING THIS ARENA WITH YOUR INNARDS."
  214. The_Reaper: "I'm sure there are more fighters to kill in this arena"
  215. Josh: "How profound." The elder says to Beans. "It is rare to find someone who accepts their station in life so readily. Even if it is the wrong one."
  216. Pinko: "...Eh, you noticed so easily? I'm not exactly the best at my job. I enjoy the opportunities it's granted me, though." Another meek smile draws on her lips.
  217. URZOGA: For a moment it seemed like The Monster would attack. Instead it bent down to take the dead woman's bow. Prize in hand it went to go and claim the bounty on the now dead prisoner.
  218. Pinko: She scrubs the towel with some soap, then continues cleaning the shrine. Adjusting a few more trinkets here and there. Making sure the shoes the shrine offers are proper.
  219. The_Reaper: Reaper shrugs making his way out as well wondering if there is anything else to fight.
  220. Josh: You are offered a combined bounty of 800gp
  221. Josh: To split between you.
  222. Rylian: "It must be nice though. To have a set path in life, no pressure with it."
  223. Rylain looks a bit dejected as he says this.
  224. URZOGA: Good enough. With 400gp more in Urz's pockets The Monster left the arena.
  225. The_Reaper: Reaper shrugs taking the gold to go wander around town looking for something to do.
  226. Pinko: "...There's plenty of downsides to it." She snickers as she's mucked all over from cleaning the shrine. "But how about you, Rylain? You mentioned being a knight, right? Do you serve the Empire?"
  227. Rylian: "Rylain faces her as he responds.
  228. "I only joined my order not too long ago. My father leads it. Since I'm the only son he's had, a lot of hopes are pinned on me to become a great knight. But with such high expectations, many are counting on me failing miserably."
  229. He pauses for a while.
  230. Josh: "You two came with news about the war did you not?"
  231. Pinko: "To be fair, I'm nearly as clueless as everyone else is." Beans reply with a little nod, wringing her towel again.
  232. Josh: "Any news is well worth it."
  233. Pinko: She shrugs and gives a bit of a negative shake of the head. "What news? That the Empire's gone insane and the Underdark seems to be involved somehow?"
  234. Josh: "Troubling, and unheard of news. The empire has been peaceful since its creation nearly 40 years ago."
  235. Rylian: "They spoke of the Emperor being dead before, and that the Empire was seeking revenge for his death."
  236. Josh: "Dead? I'd heard of the assassination attempt but I didn't think it had succeeded..." He ponders. "If the empire is seeking revenge... This is dire."
  237. Pinko: She swings the towel around her shoulder as she turns towards the older gnome. "What can you tell us about that assassination?"
  238. Josh: "They say an elf broke into the palace and fought with the emperor but failed. There's not much more to the story that isn't conjecture by overactive imaginations."
  239. Rylian: "That explains why they attacked the elf village."
  240. Josh: "An elf village was attacked? Is that why you're here?"
  241. Pinko: "It happens to be, yeah. We somehow were enrolled into a small band to help form and union between dwarfs and elves." Beans picks up the bucket now. She's struggling a bit with lifting it, giving Rylain a bit of a glance.
  242. Rylian: "Here. Allow me to help." He extends his hand to grab the bucket.
  243. Pinko: She more than swiftly hands him the bucket. "Ah, what a gentleman of a knight." There's a bit of a mean snicker now.
  244. Josh: The elder holds back a grin. "An alliance between those two would be formidable. You expect a war."
  245. The_Reaper: Reaper wanders over "War?"
  246. Pinko: "I'm just a traveler of the roads. I don't expect anything, and frankly, this is above my paygrade." Beans sets her hands on her hips with an indecisive look in her eyes.
  247. Josh: The gnome looks Beans in the eyes. "You underestimate the importance of your party, and of yourself."
  248. Rylian: "On what regard do you mean?"
  249. Pinko: She shakes her head a bit dimly. "Not that I wish to lack respect to my elders, but I find it hard to believe!"
  250. Josh: The gnome shakes his head. "You do not know."
  251. The_Reaper: "In what way are we important" Reaper asks.
  252. Josh: "I would prefer to speak with you all together. When you come to the moot."
  253. The_Reaper: "well that's disappointing...."
  254. Rylian: "Who are you exactly?"
  255. Pinko: She nods slowly, giving him a soft smile. "I suppose we don't. All that I know is that for now, I'm travelling with a knight, a death cultist, a monster, a sheltered lady and a smithy, and that we don't have much unifying us, if we're to have a purpose."
  256. The_Reaper: "Death cultist who's that?"
  257. Pinko: "Gee, do I wonder." She rolls her eyes, unimpressed before giving into a light chuckle.
  258. Josh: "I am called Iator. I represent the Niestranese to the Clansmoot."
  259. Pinko: She tilts her head softly, a bit surprised. She mutters a half-apology in gnomish at first, before going back to common. "Aah, I am impressed, I wasn't aware the Niestranese still had a position within the Clansmoot."
  260. Pinko: She then turns to the others. "Gnomeland.", to resume shortly.
  261. Rylian: "Oh, in that case, How, now doofus!?"
  262. Josh: His eyes widen, confused. "Doofus?"
  263. Pinko: She winces as she raises a finger. "Don't make me silence you, dear."
  264. Rylian: “I don't understand. Are we not doofuses?"
  265. Pinko: "...Yes, Rylain, you certainly are the largest doofus among us." She lowers her finger, amused.
  266. Josh: "Indeed."
  267. The_Reaper: "I concur"
  268. Rylian: "Well alright then. Just wanted to clarify that."
  269. Pinko: She then turns away and nods. "Then I will see you soon, Iator. The name's Haryuko, by the way." She waves him a friendly goodbye before running off back to the streets.
  270. Josh: He nods. "It was nice meeting all of you."
  271. The_Reaper: "It was an interesting meeting"
  272. Rylian: "Likewise."
  273. Rylain then follows after the other gnome.
  274. Pinko: Beans is surprisingly hard to keep up with. You'd expect her to move slower than someone twice her size, not have to slow down to allow them to catch up.
  275. The_Reaper: "Well then off to find something else of interest." Reaper wanders off in a random direction.
  276. Rylian: "He is an odd man. Truly, he is."
  277. Pinko: She smiles to Rylain, walking backwards now, not really watching where she goes. "The gnome or the creep?"
  278. Rylian: "Reaper. Why would you think I meant the other?"
  279. Pinko: "...Maybe we should keep an eye on him. Make sure he doesn't do anything weird." She lifts an eyebrow for a moment.
  280. Rylian: He nods almost instinctively.
  281. "Probably would be best. We know next to nothing about him."
  282. Pinko: Beans then trails back, trying to figure where Reaper is before he might bring them trouble.
  283. Josh: Not too hard to find him just wandering around town, scaring off the commoners with his presence
  284. Pinko: Beans disappears into the shadows, creeping on the creep, dipping from alley to alley like the little thunder she is.
  285. The_Reaper: Reaper just keeps wandering town.
  286. Rylian: Rylain can barely keep a bead on where his gnome friend is. So he decides to act nonchalantly as he tails Reaper.
  287. Josh: The clansmoot, a gathering of the leaders of the Brattsholt kingdom, and representatives of the gnome country Niestranese, and the barbarian tribes of the goliaths. You stand before some of the most powerful men and women in the entire underdark.
  288. Ileleste is dressed quite differently from when the others last saw her. A fair amount of jewelry and an expensive looking dress adorn her body. She nods ever so slightly.
  289. Yayifications: Alja is dressed is traditional dwarven garb, with several awards for her previous military service on display.
  290. Urzoga has some new wounds aside from the one she'd earned in the arena. Still, even now she's dressed quite plainly and wrapped in her tattered explorer's cloak.
  291. Pinko: Beans is just wearing her usual 'priestess' robes. Those that don't look like any robes at all and just adventuring garb. Out of curiosity, how are they presented here? How has the ceremony been so far?
  292. The_Reaper: Reaper is just in his usual clothes with his scythe on his back.
  293. Rylian: Rylain is wearing his armor, polished just right.
  294. Josh: The 12 dwarf clan lords sit on a raised dais arrayed in a half circle, the high king between them. Below the lords sit the arrayed representatives of the other races of stone. You 6 stand before a pulpit to address them.
  295. Josh: Iator of the Niestranese stands to bow to your party. This is a high formal setting but they do not react badly toward those of you who are less formally attired, your news is more important than that.
  296. Josh: The high king, Guzab of the Kuldmorndin, addresses the gathering before you speak stating that you have news of the war with the Drow as well as news from the Western Elves. He sits, your signal to speak.
  297. Pinko: Priestess robes is the most formal thing she has, and the attire is definitely religious in tone, but she still looks pretty silly. Still, though, she produces the few documents she's found so far. "I... (She takes a few moments to glance around herself, giving a bit of a desperate sigh) We speak before you, Clansmoot, to warn of the machinations of the Empire and their possible relations to the Drows. Silverhome has recently been assaulted by an Empire taskforce, and we have found orders on one of their officers tasking them with joining up with an entity referred to as 'Red Dragon' to, and I quote, 'close that damned shaft'. Whether the Red Dragon in this message is a codename, or the name of an organization, or something direr, I cannot tell. We've also found a second message, with undercommon text on it that suggests more sinister intents, if you wish to see for yourselves."
  298. Josh: One of the guards takes the notes to the High King, who then passes them down to the other lords.
  299. Josh: The lords murmur between themselves before one of the others, a goliath, speaks up. "What this hafta do with us them?" He gestures to the other goliaths and the others of the Clansmoot. "Thems drows and thems duergars together?" A dwarf speaks. "So it appears, but what do the humans have to do with our war?"
  300. Pinko: Beans blinks for a few moments. "They had a camp just by the entrance of one of your trade tunnels. More and more military outposts have been sprouting everywhere, encroaching more and more lands. Plus, wouldn't blocking out this shaft prevent you from trading with the outside world?"
  301. Josh: "The disused shaft meant for trade with two nations who ceased trade long ago?" Another dwarf speaks up. "Sounds like they're doing us a favor." You hear a couple shouts of 'Hear Hear', but also a few murmurs of dissent especially from the other races.
  302. Pinko: "If anything, why not send a representative to Silverhome? You can see the state of the situation for yourself. The Empire is out for every non-Human, for some reason."
  303. Josh: Iator speaks up. "Would that be a declaration of war on their part then? Would we react so nonchalantly were it anyone else?" You hear the dwarves start speaking amongst each other. The king raps the pommel of his hammer on the ground. "We have only one note and the word of these 6."
  304. Pinko: "...Perhaps there's something in this shaft. Maybe the six of us could investigate and make a proper report?" Beans suggests as gracefully as she can. "Clearly, there's a reason for the hum- I mean, the Empire, to be interested in them."
  305. Josh: "They're interested in closing it." Iator stands. "This is not the time to disregard messages like this. If they are trying to stop dwarven reinforcements and they are trying to kill any non-humans...They intend to start a war for genocide on a world scale. The elves are only a first step, do you not see?"
  306. Josh: That starts an uproar from many of the moot. The other two gnomes among the other races stand as well. The King raps his hammer again. "Order."
  307. Pinko: "Isolating you is a first step, but as I understand, you also are at war here, correct?" Beans asks once the protests die down.
  308. Josh: The high king nods.
  309. Pinko: "Their backs have been obviously pushed against the wall. Something is up with the Empire. The two sound oddly related, no? Send able men to Yggdrasil, if only to fortify its position. You won't be able to end your war against the Drows if the Empire sandwiches your position."
  310. Ileleste pipes up. "I know this threat may not seem immediate, but was pointed out, this is only the first step of things to come. We are willing to assist in any way we can and prove our worth if you'll heed us."
  311. Josh: The High King raps his hammer. "A vote then. Send able warriors aye or nay."
  312. Josh: You watch as each gives their vote. The barbarians almost all vote nay but the gnomes vote aye. The vote falls to the Dwarves, their vote is almost completely split but in the end, they decide to send troops to Yggdrasil.
  313. Pinko: She gives a grateful bow and nod. "Thank you." It takes her a few more moments before continuing. "This Red Dragon mentioned... do any of you have a clue as to what it might be?" Beans ask as well
  314. Josh: No one speaks up. Seems they have just as much an idea about it as you.
  315. Pinko: "Then unless you have requests for us, I suppose we'll be dismissed. Thank you for hearing us." She finishes.
  316. Josh: You are dismissed while they discuss troop distribution and their other points of interest. When the moot is finished, Iator comes to the party. Some of you have met him, but he introduces himself again to the rest.
  317. The_Reaper: "Hello"
  318. Pinko: Beans nods to him in a friendly fashion. "Thank you for standing for us, Iator. I have to say, this went a bit differently than I expected."
  319. Ileleste: "Hello again." She nods the elderly gnome.
  320. Josh: "It is a natural occurrence that comes from having far too many men trying to have too many interests. Luckily you got what you came for."
  321. Pinko: "Only thanks to you." She gives him a soft smile. "As I've said, I'm Haryuko. This is Ileleste, Rylain, Alja, Urzoga and... Reaaaapeeeeer." She slurs that last name.
  322. The_Reaper: "Any reason for you to do that?" Reaper asks.
  323. Pinko: She mostly glares at him as a reply, before giving up with a messy sigh. "Never mind, Creepy."
  324. Urzoga: Urz looks confused by the exchange but manages to give the elderly Gnome a nod.
  325. The_Reaper: "It’s better to maintain consistency"
  326. Josh: "It is a pleasure to meet all of you." He looks around as if nervous, an odd look on the gnome. "I have to admit, I have been dreaming of this...my entire life."
  327. The_Reaper: "What in specific?" Reaper asks confused?
  328. Pinko: The bells on her hat jingles slightly as she also cocks her head to the side. "Oh?"
  329. Rylian: Rylain crosses his arms.
  330. "You were saying something like that before. What did you mean by that?"
  331. Josh: "You are Heroes." He breathes a sigh of relief. "I have been studying the lore, looking for signs of their reemergence. If they are coming again, and so soon. It must be the six of you."
  332. Ileleste: "Heroes?"
  333. Pinko: She shakes her head with a hint of disbelief. "Not that I wish to be rude, but I'm just a little gnome doing her part to better the world."
  334. Urzoga: "Is this some religious thing?"
  335. Urzoga: The half-orc starts rubbing at her right arm.
  336. The_Reaper: "I sincerely doubt I'm a hero in any meaning of the word."
  337. Rylian: "Is that another Gnomish word?"
  338. Yayifications: "Hero? Me? Really?" She lets out an exhausted sigh, "What makes ya' so sure of this?"
  339. Josh: "There are many words for the likes of you. Masters, Nobles, Martyrs, Heroes. But it is always like this. Simple wanderers from all walks of life come together by some coincidence and find themselves placed against a threat that would destroy the world as we know it. Throughout time they have all have had a few things in common. They all become gifted with strange abilities and each time they appear, the threat they face is larger than the last..."
  340. Rylian: "What was the last threat, if I may so ask?"
  341. Josh: "I know it well." He closes his eyes and begins to recite.
  342. Josh: "When the servants of the gods are not enough, when destruction is all but certain, time and time again four heroes have risen to stave off imminent doom. Each time they hold different titles and wield different abilities but each is a reincarnation of a hero before. Most do not believe even more do not remember, but I know in my heart that Fate itself provides when all else fails.
  343. When a shadow organization known as The Black Hand succeeded in bringing nightmares to reality and bringing a Demi-god to destroy the world, the four masters, each with control of the elements, brought their powers to bear against an army of evil powers. With the help of their allies, they brought about the ruin of that organization and cast the Nightmare and the crazed Demi-god back to where they had come from."
  344. The_Reaper: "So we have to go against something stronger than a demi-god and a nightmare? And we have to beat it down?" Reaper asks with a mad glint in his eye.
  345. Pinko: "I've heard something about that, but those are stories to put children to sleep." She shakes her head once more, still with a hint of disbelief.
  346. Rylian: "Who were these 'heroes'? Rylain's expression growing curiouser and curiouser.
  347. Yayifications: "What makes you so certain any of this is true?" Alja looks the gnome over dubiously
  348. Josh: "The stories are old and much of it would have been forgotten. But, I know because my mother told me. She was a Hero. The last to have lived after that great war."
  349. Pinko: Beans has to collect her best composure to not puff a little giggle. Embarrassed. "...I, mmh..." She seems like she wants to ask something, but at the same time, would truly rather not hear the answer.
  350. Josh: He seems to have noticed. "Please. Ask."
  351. Pinko: "...Do I happen to remind you of anyone you know?" She curls her lip and wrinkles her nose. It's quite obvious what she's asking.
  352. Josh: He chuckles. "I actually don't know. To be honest, my mother could be any one of you and you would have grown up with different experiences than her. I don't expect to see her again. But that does not mean that I wouldn't see her legacy served to the best of my ability."
  353. Ileleste: "You said four heroes, right? There are six of us...”
  354. Ileleste: "I don't mean to nitpick, I just find it a little more than hard to believe."
  355. Josh: "That is something which confuses me as well. In the stories of my mother, she only mentioned four heroes. But if fate could provide the world with four to begin with, I do not see why there couldn't be more. It is also possible that even my mother did not have all the answers."
  356. Pinko: She now simply shrugs. "And what now from here? Besides trying to figure what this Red Dragon is, I don't see much of a point for us." She simply seems like she's overwhelmed by this.
  357. Urzoga: "Assuming any of it true, I am no Hero and certainly wouldn't qualify."
  358. The_Reaper: "I also wouldn't qualify as a hero."
  359. Rylian: "I must admit he might have a point here. This all happened a few days I began my own journey. Now were at the cusp of something that threatens the balance of the realm itself. It must be fated in some sort of way for us to meet each other like that."
  360. Pinko: She then smiles to Rylain. "Y'know, you might have a point. I'll play along a while longer. Urzoga, you don't have a choice~"
  361. Josh: "Mother told me that her fellows were slow to accept their position as well, even she said that she was not hero material. Though they called themselves Masters then." He smiles. "There are ways to tell. The Heroes gain special abilities that they did not have before for one. I fear for the realm but I have faith in the chosen of fate." He pauses. "As for what you must do, I do not know but I might be able to help guide you."
  362. Pinko: "Then I'm all ears, Iotar." Another gentle smile.
  363. Urzoga sighed, making no move to leave but clearly still skeptical.
  364. Josh: "Well the first order of business would be to know if any of you have been experiencing anything odd. Strange occurrences around you, being able to do things you shouldn't. The like."
  365. Yayifications: "Not...really," Alja shrugs, "I still think you're full of it. I'm just a blacksmith."
  366. Pinko: "...It's been twice now that I've passed out and woke up in what I can only describe as a weird demiplane, with some odd entity telling me that I shouldn't be there. I thought it was just the lack of sleep, so I didn't feel necessary to share."
  367. Urzoga: "Geez, Beans..."
  368. Ileleste looks down at Beans. "Sorry, what?"
  369. The_Reaper: "Does a voice telling me I need to kill some ancient thing count? Or does skeletons running from my presence count instead?"
  370. Rylian: "Really, now?"
  371. He looks at Haryuko and Reaper for their oddly specific happenstances.
  372. "I really haven't had anything like that. Not that I know of at least."
  373. Josh: "I. Either of those could be the beginnings of some ability cropping up. I'm pleased to hear these happening already. For the rest...your abilities may be slower in coming or may be something you don't count as strange, I know not."
  374. Pinko: "I also kinda was able to read odd runes in the cave. They just flashed up. Took it as ominous and decided not to follow them."
  375. Josh: "Could you reproduce those runes?"
  376. Pinko: "I, erm, I don't know." She seems embarrassed. "It wasn't the clearest vision I had, to be honest."
  377. Josh: "Ah well. But this is promising indeed."
  378. Josh: The talk doesn't progress much further than that before a dwarf you recognize as one of the guards that found you at the gate comes into the room. He gives a dwarven bow, but not very far. "It would appear that father and the others would like to take you up on your offer to act as a scouting party."
  379. Pinko: "Oh? What kind of job would it be?" Beans adjusts her little hat, giving the dwarf a somewhat surprised glance. "...That is, if my companions agree, anyway."
  380. Urzoga: "I've got nowhere else to be."
  381. Ileleste: "I'd like to hear what there is we can do."
  382. Yayifications: Alja returns the bow, 'Very well then. What exactly will we be done?"
  383. The_Reaper: "Should be entertaining to say the least"
  384. Josh: "Due to the nature of the news you brought, we're redoubling our efforts to find the last little hole those Drow scum have hidden away in. We've several teams in different tunnels and they wanted you to go back through the Caravan Trail and see if you can find any leads there."
  385. Pinko: She winces a bit as the mention of hunting Drows. "Sure, but can we perhaps get whatever maps you have of the area? We've had to go through some kind of tile puzzles to get here, as an example, and we'd rather not get molested by any friendly fixtures, if possible. And to not get lost either, hehe."
  386. Josh: "Were it that simple. Most of our maps are outdated and incomplete. The war, Drow sabotage, and wandering monsters have made cartography of our Roads a nightmare."
  387. Ileleste: "Is there nothing you can tell us to look out for, or avoid?"
  388. Rylian: "Surely there can be some advice for us going forward."
  389. Yayifications: "Outdated maps would be better than none. I remember those tunnels well enough if I had some sort of visual.
  390. Josh: "Having gone through there recently, you will have had a good idea of what you might find as far as enemies go, though it is best to be prepared for anything. The underdark is a treacherous place. We can help to equip you for the trek and I will personally track down the best map I can find."
  391. Pinko: Beans nods in agreement. "Very well then, I trust in your work. We'll rest some more until the preparations are over with, I suppose."
  392. Pinko: "And I do mean rest." She glances at Urgoza and the creep as she mentions so.
  393. The_Reaper: "What?"
  394. Josh: Iator speaks up. "I think she means for you to avoid the arena."
  395. The_Reaper: "Why though?"
  396. Ileleste shakes her head a little. "To save your strength for whatever might be in the tunnels perhaps?"
  397. Rylian: Rylain clasps his hands on Urzoga and Reaper's shoulders.
  398. "Yes my friends we will all need our strength for when we make our way down further."
  399. Pinko: A little mischievous gnomish smile creeps up on her lips, amused. "Very well, then~!"
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