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  #31  
Old 09-06-2019, 12:36 AM
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Scabbard of IronAs the gnome's shadow made trouble – a sight that tugged at some part of the monk's being he could not quite describe – Scabbard of Iron watched with his typical stony gaze. He turned his head slightly as the two wronged patrons rose in anger; their ire seemed divided between one another and the gnome, so perhaps his involvement would not be necessary. When the wood elf hopped to his feet, however, Scabbard of Iron decided he had waited long enough: he rose to his feet, firmly sliding his chair backwards. Perhaps the addition of a larger protector would calm the tempers of the aggrieved patrons, or perhaps he would do them the honor of allowing them to test themselves in battle—either way, no one would harm the hapless gnome for a grievance he had not committed.

It seemed, however, that he had underestimated the gnome's resourcefulness. Reading the crowd well to pick a silly demeanor matched to his stature and far removed from the harsh words currently being shouted, he fought tenaciously to chasten his shadow, practically dragging it out of the bar by the ear.

Scabbard of Iron sat back down, his rise not even having been noticed by the men who had instigated it. He turned back to the others at the table, finding his eyes on the Priestess's paladin who had said his name was Kerr. His handling of the situation, or more specifically his intentional lack of handling of it, had been performed well. During the escalation the monk had seen the paladin's eyes scanning for danger, and with no great threat present the last thing the situation needed was the inclusion of weapons and armor. Scabbard of Iron could pull his punches, and while he certainly looked to be the formidable fighter he was the inclusion of one more unarmed man in the fracas was not nearly the breach of peace a steel-clad paladin would be.

Even Kerr's negativity towards the inclusion of the gnome was understandable. Upon Kerr's question, Scabbard of Iron turned his gaze towards Bazziox. It was Bazziox who knew the gnome best, and though he did not seem surprised in the least by the happenings in the bar he had seen fit to extend the invitation. Ultimately the Princess was his responsibility, so if he was sure in his judgment then it was the best they had.
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Old 09-06-2019, 02:10 PM
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Bazziox had watched the gnome sprint out the door before returning his attention to the table. Before the dragonborn has even taken his seat, however, the gnome returns ... and promptly makes himself known to everyone in the bar. A deep puff of his pipe is Bazziox's only outward response to the gnome as he stares at the spectacle.

The others at the table seem loathe to interject until Scabbard finally stands. Bazziox also makes no move to interject, though it is not out of reluctance to intervene. Instead it is out of indecision. Indecision on whether to apprehend, drag, and cast the gnome into the eternal depths of the abyss on their way past it, or pummel him into a permanent resting place within the floor of the inn. The indecision derives from the complication of doing either without drawing attention to himself.

Hadn't he specifically asked the cursed youngling to not draw attention to himself?! The plumes of smoke billowing forth from the pipe remain the only outward sign of the seething dragonkin's thoughts. That and the hand that has fallen to the mace at his side. A mace of protection they had told him. Well, smashing a gnome that is causing them undo duress should count as protection ... at least in one interpretation.

Kerr's words and the echo from Emak draw the dragonborn's thoughts away from their current path. He does not respond immediately and his gaze does not leave the last location the gnome had been sighted within the inn. By this point the smoke emanating from the pipe has dissipated as the embers strive to resist the intense airflow still enforced upon them, but with nothing left to give. After a moment, Bazziox reaches up and pulls the pipe from his lips before finally breaking his gaze from the doorway. "He is," Bazziox glances down at his pipe and slowly shakes his head, "though, it seems I will be needing more pipeweed ... a lot more."

Glancing up to those at the table, Bazziox straightens. "We can discuss this and other decisions," his eyes noticeably wander to Kerr, "once we are on the road and away from prying ears. I have already drawn far more attention to - or near to -" his eyes flick toward the door,"myself already. I would that we depart Horizon in all haste and hope to do so quieter than we arrived."
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  #33  
Old 09-07-2019, 02:37 PM
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The small group of humans and reptilian folk remained where they were once Scabbard had seated himself once more, avoiding any motions that would draw more attention to them. It took several moments, but the dwarf and half-orc who had started fighting slowly sat down again, looking uncomfortable, and talk in the common room began again. The bartender who had seemed to know the gnome did throw a glance in the direction of their table, but he went quickly back to work. It was a few minutes before everything was back to normal, but the incident did pass by and leave everyone with their brunch and drinks. Luckily for the group, the return to normal activity raised the general noise level so they could make a few quiet comments to one another.

It was the young human woman in the Imperial army uniform who finally said what everyone was more or less thinking. "I don't know what that was, it wasn't wizardry. Can we trust that one?" There was a little wrinkle between her eyebrows that looked like it could have been a frown, but she was either too puzzled for that, or she was making a definite effort to control her expression. She didn't turn her head to look after the gnome, but there was no question about whom she was speaking. Her drink had barely been touched, but she took a token sip and seemed to relax a little. The dragonborn was right; they should leave, and be as quiet about it as possible. They could take a few minutes here to finish their drinks if they chose, but with Breeze outside already and curious eyes already opened in the room in which they sat, best to get a move on.

It was Breeze's unconventional arrival in the inn yard with accompanied noise which made the gnome realize something quite important; there was a lanky young man talking with the stable boy, and at the sounds of scuffle, his hand had immediately reached behind him for something tucked in his belt. Only when he realized what he'd done did he remove his hand and attempt to return to his conversation, but his eyes moved to the mules, their owner, and the gnome repeatedly. Opposite the inn yard on the street corner was a halfling hawking trinkets who also had a tendency to check out the inn yard. Breeze was smart enough to know that if there were two people keeping an eye on the place, there could be others. If the journey Bazziox had mentioned was as important as he'd said, they likely needed to get moving before other eyes arrived, likely attached to more important and concerning people. Even the man holding the mules' lead reins was giving Breeze an odd look, and he had a feeling that every person who found reason to remark upon them was going to be a hindrance somehow.

GMI'm awarding another white token to CharlesM for the deft handling of what could've been a brawl in no time. These are my way of offering little bonuses to people who roleplay well, whether it's a quick saving of the situation or staying in character even after fumbling something to an epic degree. You can spend a white token to get a +1 on any d20 roll you like, so keep in mind that for you all, normal tasks are DC 15, hard tasks are 20, and very hard are 25. A 14 fails, but a 15 succeeds. Also, if you roll a 19 on a check you think might be super important, feel free to add the token to get more information from the DC 20 success instead of the DC 15. Once we gain a level those DCs will all rise by 5, probably for the rest of the game. Though you don't seem to be having any trouble succeeding at spotting things I didn't anticipate you seeing.

The stable master from the Order of Wayfarers will give you the mules for 16 gold, and if Kerr wants to make a Charisma-based check to get some kind of receipt which could be turned in with the mules for repayment at the other end of your trip, he can do so. (Only Kerr, sorry, he's the one who's the member of the order.) If you're leaving your horses here, you can try to sell them, or you can buy more so Kerr and Breeze can ride also.

 
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Last edited by Aethera; 09-07-2019 at 02:42 PM.
  #34  
Old 09-09-2019, 09:53 PM
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Scabbard of IronIt took far too long for the din of the common room to return after the gnome's magical outburst. As the monk cautiously looked over the patrons he could at least be thankful that the bulk of eyes were not turned to the table he and his compatriots sat at, but it was easy to understand that far more attention had been cast on them than was helpful for their mission. The volume was increasing slowly and steadily, however, so Scabbard of Iron likewise slowly and steadily finished the beer he had ordered; when the Princess felt that it was loud enough to speak he was already towards the bottom of his cup.

He had no answer for her, just another look to Bazziox. The dragonborn had recruited the gnome, and had answered in the affirmative when Kerr and Emak questioned his inclusion; that the Princess would be uneasy about his inclusion had been a given, so the monk didn't expect him to change his answer now. She was a very disciplined girl – her reservations were kept almost entirely off of her face and she resisted what must be a powerful urge to keep looking towards the door – and she'd be able to handle whatever weirdness came their way as a result of Bazziox's decision. Scabbard of Iron hoped, as the dragonborn had, that the gnome's talents would prove useful against whatever foes presented themselves on the way to safety.

The last bit of beer poured out of the monk's cup and down his throat. He set his cup down gently and stood from the table. "We should be on our way." That said, he headed outside to retrieve the horses and make sure the gnome had not found himself in any more trouble with easily irritated passersby.
  #35  
Old 09-09-2019, 11:08 PM
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Kerr Ironheart rose to join the monk as they moved to leave the tavern. As he stepped through the door, he glanced back to see if any eyes seemed too intent on following their exit.

He found the groom from the Order of Wayfarers waiting with the two mules outside The Blue Dragon. The Templar knights of the Order of Wayfarers, bound to help guide and protect pilgrims on the roads, placed a great emphasis on the care of their animals. It came as no surprise that the two mules were strong and hearty. Kerr examined them with a practiced eye and was pleased with the beasts.

He was less pleased when the groom requested 16 gold as a deposit for the animals. The grim paladin's brow darkened but his good sense quickly returned. The Order of Wayfarers had shown kindness to him in remembrance of the man he had once been. That Kerr Ironheart was long-gone. His increasingly jaded view of the world had been accompanied by his departure from the Order of the Wayfarers. Instead he had gravitated to the Order of Inquisitors, who found cause to question all men's motives. That vocation seemed to suit him better these days.

Regardless of the Order's kindness in helping him, 16 gold was a steep price for an itinerant holy warrior. Kerr stared hard into the man's eyes, then counted out the money. Looking up, he requested a receipt,DC 16 (I assume it's normal difficulty) which the groom handed to him, already prepared by the stable master.

As the monk retrieved the horses, Kerr spoke softly and directly to his newfound colleagues.

"I'll leave you a choice," the paladin began simply. "The horses will speed our journey for the next few leagues, but they'll eventually need to be released. Or you can sell the horses now and we'll proceed on foot. My suggestion would be to do that, and use the mules for baggage, but they're not my horses."

  #36  
Old 09-11-2019, 06:48 PM
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Breeze took note of the people watching. He is of two minds regarding what to do about it. He wants to warn the rest of the group about what could potentially be trouble. Then again, it could just be a coincidence and he could potentially draw even more attention to them if he created a scene that turned out to be for nothing.

Ultimately, unsure of their intentions he decided to keep one to himself. For now, he'll just keep an eye on anyone who seemed to be keeping an eye on him.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:51 PM
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Emak the Meek and Guythraxix the Hungry"Horses will be faster, no?" Emak asked, one scaled eye ridge raised. Certainly, it was stating the obvious, but sometimes the obvious needed to be stated. It helped establish the base assumptions of the situation, and almost always led to easier mutual understandings. "And speed is of the essence, I believe."

No, no, she was pretty sure that it was more than just her believing it, but it only took her a brief moment to blink away that ticklish thought, not willing to get sidetracked quite yet. "Even if we have to release the horses, it should be worth the cost in the meantime. Right?" Just in case her math, as loose as it was discrete, was off she glanced around at the others to see how they were reacting. While the outside things had calmed down to what Emak might consider 'acceptable levels' normally, she was still feeling quite internally tumultuous. Unfortunately, she couldn't pin down why - the gnome's sudden appearance was certainly a precipitating factor, of that much she was certain, but she couldn't shake the feeling that maybe the drinks had been a bad idea, or maybe that something else was bothering her that she couldn't put a delicately clawed finger on.

She did survey their surroundings, absorbing all the patrons in the place, but they all seemed... about regular. In fact, Emak recognized a few familiar faces, having crossed paths with them here or elsewhere before. A symptom of having a proclivity for taverns that were named after beautiful, goddess-like dragons, probably. They attracted certain types of customers, after all.

 
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  #38  
Old 09-11-2019, 10:23 PM
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Bazziox does not immediately reply to the Princess. As the din in the room rises, however, he does risk the response, "It is wizardry, or ... at least a cousin of wizardry. I cannot explain it fully. There is power in that one, though, and a good soul, both of which may be necessary on our journey." Bazziox plucks a pinch of pipeweed from a pouch at his side and stuffs it unceremoniously into his pipe. "There is a risk in this decision, your - Jolene, but we are on the cusp of something beyond our individual powers. You have seen the risk. Perhaps time will justify the reward." With a long draw on the pipe, Bazziox falls silent, falling into a deep contemplation as thin, whispy smoke slowly begins to curl about his head.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bazziox is the last out of the inn, a new pinch of pipeweed trailing a thin line of smoke up and over his head. The dragonborn is able to catch the tail end of the interaction between their guide and the stable hand. Of course the addition of more mangy beasts to their already over abundance of mangy beasts rests poorly with the Bazziox. Still, he says nothing.

With quiet contemplation, Bazziox assesses the conversation relating to horses. Of course he would rather do away with them entirely just out of dislike, but that has little bearing on the moment. The real issue to the dragonborn is the additional attention that they will be required to draw unto themselves should they try to sell the beasts. The simple answer, then, is to keep the beasts and release them later, but alas simple answers have a tendency to drift into the realm of conundrums more often than not. And so it is here. If they are to keep the beasts, then they would need to purchase at least one more for their added guide. Which would require bringing attention to themselves...

Bazziox slowly brings a clawed hand to his face and presses the dulled tips of a thumb and forefinger onto the bridge of his nose.

"Emak. Breeze. Can you ride the mules? We can divide the weight amongst all the animals for now to lighten the load for bearing riders. We can also adjust some saddles for the less experienced riders," Bazziox lowers his hand and gives Scabbard a querying look, Can you ride bareback?, before continuing, "This will slow us from the pace of a full bevy of horses, but will be faster than walking. More importantly, however, it will keep attention on our activities here to a minimum." Bazziox's gaze strays in a very pointed manner to Breeze.

"If everyone deems this plan acceptable, then I propose we make the proper arrangements here and set out immediately. I would that we had skirted around the city, although I deem that the benefit of gaining a guide may eventually outweigh the attention we drew herein." Bazziox slowly glances around the others, catching each of their eyes for a brief moment. "Let us go together and may the Light shine on our path."
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  #39  
Old 09-12-2019, 02:36 PM
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It was time to go, and the heroes knew it. Secrecy might be hard, anonymity harder, but blending into the crowd of who knew how many people in Horizon was completely possible. With two mules to carry their belongings once they were on foot, courtesy of their new guide, the group had a choice to make; if the smaller of the party members rode the mules, they would be able to move more quickly, but the mules weren't designed for riding, nor would they necessarily be able to keep up with the horses. As the lizardwoman aptly pointed out, they had a need for speed. Someone would have to purchase a horse, and then the gnome would have to perch on someone's baggage, for he would never be able to ride at the speed they would be traveling. The logical option was Emak's baggage, her being the lightest of the riders, but the pair were less than comfortable with one another, so they would need to work out their differences or figure something else out. The book Emak kept so carefully close to her would be rather close to the gnome as well, if they did ride double, and it was debatable whether that was wise.

It was actually the stable master for the Order of the Wayfarers, overhearing their conversation as he transferred the mules and receipt to the paladin, who came up with a suggestion. "If horses are what you need, I can give you a good deal on one that knows its way home," he offered to Kerr, but included the group in the comment with a look. "If you pack the mules lightly, they should keep up for awhile, though they may tire sooner by evening. And then you can release the horses and they'll find their way to me, assuming nothing untoward happens. No horse traders will accept horses with the mark of the Order without clear bill of sale, and these others are too fine for most of them to risk being caught with stolen property. I can't pay you for the horses, mind, since I don't know for certain they'll make it back here, but they'll be well kept and I'll know your faces, should you return this way I'll be more than happy to return them to your care, or offer a similar mount." It was true, this man would recognize them, but the Order of Wayfarers was trustworthy -- they had to be, or they would hear it from Emperor, Priestess, and Archmage, among other notable figures. They policed themselves at the risk of letting the wrong member into the order and ruining the reputation for all. If they had to choose who knew they had been here, this was one of their safer (if not safest) options.

GMI'd like you all to give me a skill check here, of your choice, DC 18. Figure out what your character's skill set(s) are best applied to, and try something that will either speed your departure, confuse anyone trying to follow you, or otherwise obfuscate your passage through Horizon. Be creative! Three successes before three failures will mean you get away without undue notice, total successes to failures ratio will give me data for other things going on. Someone is welcome to make nice with the stable master, but it'll be three points easier for Kerr.
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  #40  
Old 09-12-2019, 09:49 PM
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"I don't know, Bazziox, I'll try though. It can't be that hard," Breeze says in reply to Baz' question about the riding the mule. His gaze is wandering around the neighborhood that he has called home for so long. His eyes fall upon the clock tower down the street. It is the tallest structure in the neighborhood and one that Breeze climbed from time to time to enjoy the view. Suddenly it occurs to him that there is something he can do that will keep him out of the way and also be of benefit to the group. He walks over next to Bazziox and whispers.

"See that clock tower? I know a way inside. There are all kinds of places that you can see outside from up there and at the top, you can see all the gates out of the city. I'm going to go have a look. If any of the streets or gates are congested for any reason we'll be able to avoid them. It won't take hardly five minutes and it could save us a lot of time. I'll be right back!"

With that, Breeze leaves his pack with the mules and takes off up the street.


OOCSo, that's a failure. I don't know if that means Baz grabs my ear and won't let me go, if my way in has been secured and is no longer accessible if I fall running up the stairs and break my leg, or what exactly, but it's definitely a bust.
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Last edited by CharlesM; 09-20-2019 at 02:28 PM.
  #41  
Old 09-15-2019, 08:23 AM
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Kerr thanked the groom from the Order for his offer of horses, hoping that his new comrades would have gold enough to pay for the mounts.

While Kerr showed deference to the groom in remembrance of his time in the Wayfarers, he was an Inquisitor now. The Order of Inquisitors had a deserved reputation, and few on this level of Horizon wished to fall beneath the gaze of that Order.

Seeing the lanky young man who'd been standing nearby, Kerr scowled at him. The young man seemed far too interested in their dealings, while at the same time failing miserably to pretend to be ignoring the party. Turning to square up with the lad, arms akimbo, the paladin growled, "Who are you then? Be off with you!"



OOCKerr also failed his skill check; so his "plan" is going to fit in with his "get off my lawn" personality.

Last edited by Grimbreath; 09-16-2019 at 11:27 PM.
  #42  
Old 09-17-2019, 10:14 AM
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Bazziox has no time to dissuade the overzealous gnome before he disappears into the streets. With a snort, he turns his attention back to the group. While the dragonborn had been distracted by the gnome, their new guide had found some lad to berate. Bazziox quickly strides to the warrior's side and in a feigned hushed tone growls, "That is enough attention. We are meant to be the decoy, but that does not mean we need to draw everyone's attention to ourselves at every opportunity."

From the corner of his eye, Bazziox watches those nearby. His scaled lips curl ever so slightly. There, let the rumor mill chew on that for a few hours. With more feigned indignation, Bazziox turns and grasps the reins of his horse and those of the nearest mule. Horizon holds nothing else for them except the potential for trouble - especially with the disgruntled warrior and chaotic gnome in tow.


OOCUsing the success on the skill check - charisma and "Shadows" background - to stir up some juicy rumor that hopefully puts eyes on some other group arriving in the city behind us. :shrug
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  #43  
Old 09-17-2019, 09:50 PM
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Scabbard of IronWhen asked if he was able to ride bareback Scabbard of Iron nodded his affirmation. He was not trained in how to fight from horseback, but he was familiar enough with it that staying on the horse's back on the road was no trouble. Were there to be any sort of battle he would prefer his own two feet—perhaps one on the ground and one in the face of a foe. Certainly there was no good reason to stay in town to buy a saddle when every moment made their presence more and more likely to be noticed.

It was time to make a hasty exit from the city. He had never traveled this far south, but when he was out traveling with the monks they sometimes had to move through settlements where loudly announcing their presence would be at best insulting to the powers that be and at worst invite an armed reaction. In those cities and towns they found it best to avoid the main thoroughfares through the city, lest the guard be unable to turn a blind eye. In this case, however, they had certainly already been seen, and the question was how best to make their presence less likely to be deemed interesting enough to report.

"We should proceed at once to the main street, to speed our departure."
OOCA successful skill check urging the party down not only the fastest route out of the city, but one to make it look less like they don't want to be seen.
  #44  
Old 09-18-2019, 09:33 PM
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Emak the Meek and Guythraxix the HungryBazziox's question to her and the gnome who knew too much stopped Emak in her tracks, at least momentarily. Not only was he commenting on her weight, but he was insisting that she ride a mule of all things? It stung, a sharp pain dulled by the weight of too many drinks and too much recent embarrassment, but she tried to silently push through it, knowing that at least in some ways, he was right. Even if how he delivered those truths left something to be desired.

Thankfully, at least for the time being, that wouldn't be quite necessary yet - the Man of Many Mules also had ideas about the horse situation, and while it did only net them one additional horse, that was at least one less mule that Emak would have to ride. So instead, she got the chance to focus on steeling her heart to ride together with Breeze.

It was during this emotional reforging that they began to set out, Emak absentmindedly caught up in the swirl of movement that had them loosely flowing forth, attempting to stick together while also trying to not be identifiable as a group. It was as the filtered into the main street towards the south gate that Emak realized that while they did look vaguely disparate from one another, they did not match the people moving out the southern gates, which were all sorts of folk who might have business on the sea. As the one who noticed it and was most likely to be able to do something about it, she focused on fixing that pronto.

As they moved, deft reptilian claws weaved through the area around her, snagging tiny pieces that were mere trash for others and quickly, silently assembling things that looked like things, before then sneakily placing them on herself and the others. The density of the crowd helped with this, with the press and squeeze of the bodies making incidental bumps nothing to bat an eye at.

She had been making good progress in producing the kind of general camouflage that would help ensure any prying eyes lost them in the crowd! She'd managed to snag several scraps of tattered fabric and had fashioned a covering that she slipped over Scabbard's camping gear, making it look more like a merchant's wares, and she'd fashioned and placed the shabbiest of sailors' hats onto Breeze's head, barely disturbing a hair on his head. She knew she didn't have to worry about herself, as she had the power of magic on her side, but Brazz, he really stuck out. It was as she was untangling a knotted bundle of thread to attach to a reed to pose as a fishing rod that things started to go poorly for poor Emak.

A misplaced, jostley cobblestone shifted underfoot as she had her claws entangled in the fine, if not very high quality, string, and the stumble had her lurching forward, hands vaguely bound together. Her tail shifted to find her balance easily enough, but the fall had already set Guythraxix's sling into motion, and the sudden stop only managed to chuck him out of his spot by her side, sailing through the air. Emak wasn't about to let here friend fall onto the very dirty road, though, so she yelled and did her best to throw herself forward to catch him, legs and tail kicking out at the people behind her as she launched forward.

She managed to catch Guythraxix, but she found herself on the paved stone road next to her horse, the focus of many grumbles and with blood oozing down the tips of half her fingers. In her panic, the pseudo-fishing wire had been forced under the fine scales of her fingers and had cut into the sensitive skin below, and it hurt like hell. Not the devil-hell, which she figured would be a good bit worse, but the pain was fierce and constantly reigniting with every movement of her hands. It also served as ample distraction from realizing quite how loud her flailing book interception had been.

 
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:19 PM
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GMSince I saw no attempt to accept horses from the Order's stable master, y'all will have to make do with the mules and trading around who's riding with/on whom. If the bundle of arrows behind "Jolene's" saddle were moved to the mules, Emak might be able to get away with riding double with her instead of double with Breeze? If that helps, anyway. The mules may move slower but their stamina is good, meaning that they may slow you down a bit, but you still ought to cover the same distance in a day, roughly. Riding other than a riding saddle on a horse however is uncomfortable, and I anticipate you'll be irritable at best. Enjoy.

The gnome who had barely joined the party was also the first to leave, racing off to the clocktower which he was familiar with in order to find the best route out of town. Unfortunately, for all his searching, there wasn't a great road to take, or gate to use. It was nearing midday at that point and Horizon, as most cities are, was bustling with a mixed crowd of hopefuls, buyers, sellers, students, workers, people who had every business or no business at all being in the streets. For all Breeze's help, he wasn't able to tell them much to choose a direction. Kerr, meanwhile, had noticed eyes on them and responded in a manner which may have worked on a mutt, but rarely so useful on a person. Even as Bazziox talked him down, the lanky kid who was probably in his teens glared at them both and made off out of the inn yard. With horses and mules and people, by the time they were out in the street the teenager was long gone to who knew where.

The monk may not have known the city particularly, but he knew that those who looked like they had something to hide often were the first to whom unfriendly eyes would turn. Without Breeze to guide them, he directed them all to the main road, and once they wound their way down from the expansive semi-floating level of Horizon to where they stood on firm ground once more, Breeze had caught up with the group. His mount was sure-footed but not all that comfortable, and he had to make a saddle (or at least a pad) out of a pair of bedrolls that the others were able to give up in favor of moving more swiftly.

And swiftly enough they made their way down the main thoroughfare, lost in the crowd as they walked horses and mules to the main southern gate. It was just inside the gate of Horizon on the southeastern wall that Emak lost her footing, losing the magical book and some blood in the process. From under the hooves of a carter's horse she was yanked by Jolene in the nick of time, pulling the lizardwoman to her side and trying to put Emak back to rights. The thin twine was thoroughly knotted now, of no use to them. The book made it safely back into the carry sling she had, clearly knowing when to keep his mouth shut, and the princess was able to mutter a quiet phrase that healed the wounds of scuffed and torn fingers. It was still a disturbance, however, and the sight of an Imperial archer with the lizardwoman drew the attention of the gate's guards. One moved over to the princess amid the tide of people that never really stopped, just shifted to move around the pair. With the guard's help they got the princess' horse and Emak to the gate, but it was a bit of fast talking that the princess had to do to answer the questions of the guard without having to do more than give her false name and the number of a legion she was normally attached to. Luckily it seemed the princess had had plenty of time to decide what she would say on the last three days of travel if she was stopped, so the story came together fairly well for a bit of extemporization. Even if the guards were able to determine that there was no such archer Jolene attached to the 85th legion, it would be some time after the party were out of Horizon, and could be anywhere by then.

It was as he mounted up and got ready to ride the rest of the way out of Horizon that first Scabbard of Iron and then Bazziox noticed a teenaged lad weaving through the traffic toward them. When the monk pointed him out to the dragonborn, the familiar face stopped, moved away, and then briefly raised a hand in a greeting or farewell. The odd thing was a red circle, a dot perhaps the size of a gold piece in the center of his palm that didn't appear natural, but the lad ran off before much more could be determined. While Bazziox had some knowledge of certain signs and codes often used by thieves to transmit messages in public when they might be witnessed or overheard, it was a black dot which meant ill fortune from a particular source, either the shadowed 'Prince' himself or one of his primary underlings. Red was an unknown color and what precisely the difference meant he would have to come to his own conclusions. All that was evident was that for better or worse, someone was trying to give him a message, someone who had been a spying pair of eyes on first meeting, and a messenger less than quarter of an hour later.

They were unable to get out of Horizon without being seen. The guards would have record of Jolene, the non-existent legion archer in lieutenant's knots leaving the city with one lizardwoman whose name they hadn't been as keen to record, much to their loss. The teenager and his message suggested others had witnessed their arrival and departure as well, but the details there were far less clear, and it was equally unclear whether the message, likely a warning of some kind, meant something immediately dangerous or not. But for better or worse, they left Horizon by the southeastern road, headed toward the coastline road which ran all the way to the Golden Citadel. Most of the people on the road were entering the city, so for a little while they might be able to get ahead of anyone potentially following.

GMOn we go. Kerr has the geographic knowledge to get you to Santa Cora from here, so I won't be asking for specific directions. That said, what's your plan? Alone on the road is all well and good, but it makes you easier to spot. No wisdom check needed for that much common sense. Let's roleplay this from here, as I'll be moving an encounter into your evening which will introduce you to your last party member.

 
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