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Old 05-11-2020, 05:54 PM
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Story 1: Off to a Bad Start


The largest and most diverse city in all of Khorvaire , Sharn is anything but boring. It is a maze of towers that reach hundreds upon hundreds of feet into the air with people, skycoaches, gargoyles, and all manner of things milling about. Sharn sprawls between the Dagger and the Hilt. Its fabled towers have loomed over you since entering the city.

To find your way around the place, you have had to think both horizontally and vertically. If you were to look down upon the city from above, you would be able to identify five distinct sections or quarters: the Central Plateau, Dura, Menthis Plateau, Northedge, and Tavick's Landing. Vertically, these clusters of towers are broken into three distinct levels or wards. Thus a citizen of Sharn may refer to Upper Central, Middle Dura, or Lower Northedge.

Each ward is further divided into three to nine districts. Each district has its own flavor. The Bazaar of Middle Dura is a center for trade; Black Arch in Lower Tavick's Landing is a garrison district supporting our brave troops and officers of the watch; and Crystal Bridge in Upper Northedge is a purely residential district, home to some of the wealthiest families in Sharn.

You have come to this city with a purpose, though you do not yet know what that purpose is.

A letter of summons with The Patron's seal has brought you to this city. Though you arrived by the ticket came with your letterlightning rail rather than boat, you made your way down to Cliffside, which rises up from the shores of the Dagger to the ward of Lower Dura. This grimy district can be quite dangerous if you don't know the ways of the city. And normally your work involves a higher class of people to interact with. But such is not the case for you today, for your letter had other instructions.

Today you find yourself sitting at a small wooden table in the back room of the Tipsy Pixie Tavern, a small establishment in the city of Sharn that serves drinks and has a few guest rooms to serve as an inn for private interests, though you were not offered a chance to reserve one. You asked around a bit, and it turns out that the Tavern is run by House Phiarlan and has no mark of approval from House Ghallanda. Though it is not an exclusive establishment, the only people that seem to visit the tavern are those that are members of one of House Phiarlan's traveling troupes or those that have business with the House. Everyone in the main dining room seemed quite cheerful and lively, but you were not given much time to look around as the bartender had quickly ushered you into this smaller back room on the second floor once he had seen the seal of your letter.

Around the empty wooden table sit four other adventurers. According to the letter you received, each of these individuals have also been summoned to bring aid to your patron's request. The five of you are obviously from different areas and at first glance likely have different agendas. There is a sixth seat that has been left empty, presumably for the one that called each of you to this location. The chair is located farthest from the door and faces it, though that may be just a coincidence. There is nothing particularly special about the room itself at a glance. The walls are bare, there is no other furniture in the room, and the only source of light is a tall-but-narrow window that makes up the last 8 inches of the far wall.

The noise from the front room flares up for a moment as a barmaid opens the door and steps inside with a tray of 5 ale mugs. She is a human that has long red curly hair, bright green eyes, and a slightly pale complexion. Her barmaid outfit is quite frilly around the neck and sleeves, and the mark of House Phiarlan is embroidered on her blouse, just over her heart so that it can be seen above her corseted vest. "I hope these are to your liking," she says as she passes out the drinks. "I was told to give you anything you needed and charge it to Lady Sapphire d'Phiarlan's account." She smiles cheerfully as the last drink is placed on the table. "Is there anything else that I can get for you? Our cook is accustomed to preparing hearty meals for travel-worn...er...travelers." She stands there patiently, looking at each of the characters in turn to see if they have any questions or requests.





 
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Old 05-12-2020, 02:20 PM
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Sir Giles Chonvers
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Sir Giles nods to the barmaid, drinking deeply from the mug of ale she places before him. "The ale is wonderful, thank you. Might I ask if you happen to have any cheeses in this establishment? I happen to be very fond of a good cheese. By the way... I hope I do not make too bold when I say that your eyes are beautiful." He smiles to her warmly, before taking another sip of his ale and turning to the others assembled at the table.

"Well, as it seems that we are all here in the service of our... good friend, we may as well introduce ourselves? My name is Sir Giles Chonvers. I hail from Thrane, originally, but I've done my fair bit of travelling in the Thranish army. After an unfortunate accident, I now owe my life to our friend, and therefore I have sworn myself to their service. It is a true honor to do what I may to aid them, and to work alongside all of you in the same vein." He breaks out in a smile, and raises his mug.

"Now, might I propose a toast? To our friend and patron, and to the generous Lady Sapphire d'Phiarlan for this excellent ale!"


 
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Old 05-12-2020, 03:08 PM
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Nendra Illistyn
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The Surface will kill you. Perhaps, the Elves that live there...perhaps the awful stonecutters...perhaps even the miserable humans. Never forget that, the surface will kill you

The train of thought rattled around Nendra's head as she makes her way through The Tipsy Pixie. Never one found of group meetings (outside of a meeting with a contact of course) the Drow is...less than pleased. But, the Patron's letter beckons, and the specific instructions within it provide clear guidance. She, along with four others, are called to the back room. They are ushered quite quickly through the raucous crowd and take seats around the table.
Nendra decides to take the chair farthest away from the light beaming down from the window, carefully wrapping the pale purple cloak she wears around herself. Not so much to keep out any cold drafts as to just have something comforting around her. A security blanket, of sorts, for a cold, cruel world she still does not understand.

Looking towards the door as the barmaid enters and deposits the ale in front of her with a clunk Nendra watches the armored man introduce himself. She studies him carefully, noting his speech patterns and any particular pronunciations of words. When he is finished speaking, and making what she considers a thinly veiled attempt to butter up the barmaid, the Drow speaks. Her voice is quiet, calm, but firm. This is a social call, but still has some potential of a job, therefore the situation is treated with care and concern.

"Well met, Sir Giles. I am called Nendra. Nendra Illisyn, agent of House Mizzrym." At his toast, she takes a small sip of the ale and makes a face. it is not the sweet wine she is used to, but she swallows it anyway.
Turning to the barmaid, she asks, "Any good cheese requires a good bread to pair with. Have you any quality breads?" at least it will flavor this terrible ale. Probably a Dwarven recipe. Yuck! she thinks but does not say.

Turning back to the human, Nendra adds,"I hail from Qu'ellarz, of the Underdark. Much of my time has been spent..escaping that miserable land. I owe much to dear Lady, for she found me and sought to provide me with...certain opportunities, which have led me here today. I prefer to work alone...but, in the interest of aiding our friend however I can, I must push aside the past and embrace new things." She offers her hand out for a handshake with the human, as she's learned is customary on the surface.

If Sir Giles obliges her, he'll find her grip is light, but firm. She makes one final comment, "In your travels with this Thranish army, have you ever met any Drow? If so, what was your impression?" She's curious, really how her race is perceived in this part of the surface.

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Old 05-12-2020, 05:08 PM
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Sir Giles Chonvers
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The paladin nods in cheerful agreement as Nendra requests some bread. He then listens to Nendra's story with a look of interest, as she tells of the events that have led her here. Well, it's clear enough that there's much that she isn't saying... but of course, that's to be expected in such a situation. Entirely understandable, really. She didn't bother trying to hide it; I can respect that.

Her tale at an end, he accepts her proffered hand and shakes firmly. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Nendra." Taking yet another drink of ale as she asks if he's ever encountered any other drow, he pauses and thinks for a moment. "Let's see... other drow... no, I can't say that I have? Most of my experience was on the border of Thrane with the Mournlands, keeping back the mutated monsters and vile undead that inhabit that desolate, forsaken region."

He ponders the question for a moment longer. "Come to think of it, I do recall having seen a drow on one occasion. He was with a group of outlaws trying to sneak into the Mournlands to seek treasures to plunder, or something of the sort. I'll confess that I didn't interact with him very much personally, but he and his band were sent back with a stern warning not to come back." He glances back at Nendra, almost apologetically, before continuing. "I was told that he was rather... er... arrogant, and the man who I talked with about him didn't seem to have a very high opinion of drow in general. Said some... rather unpleasant things, that I oughtn't repeat in polite company." He places a bit of ironic emphasis on the word "polite", drawing attention to the shady nature of the group in general. Returning to his normal good spirits, Sir Giles concludes "Anyway, the short answer would be no, I don't really have much direct experience with drow. Sorry to disappoint."
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Old 05-13-2020, 05:49 PM
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Elayla d’Philarlan
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Walking through the streets of Sharn, Elayla keeps her cloak tight around her with her hood up mainly to protect her fine clothes from the dirt and grime that is rampant in this part of town. Walking into the Tipsy Pixie Tavern, Elaya feels more comfortable seeing her House's symbol displayed so openly everywhere she looks. She tries to recall any information about this particular establishment. She takes her hood down revealing her long blonde hair and pointy ears as she is escorted to the back room.

She joins those around the table and accepts the mug of ale the barmaid hands her with a smile. Her blue eyes take in her companion's appearances and a slight grin plays on her lips at Sir Giles' introduction and toast. She raises her mug and sips from it at the appropriate time. She nods at the drow who introduces herself as Nendra and politely listens to the exchange between the two. Assuming that Nendra is satisfied with Sir Giles' answer, she goes ahead and introduces herself to the group.

"Well met. I am Elayla, although you might be more familiar with my stage name, The Nightingale. I perform for all sorts of noble families at their request. I am a member of House Phiarlan as well and am pleased to see that our meeting place is being held at this establishment. Our friend obviously has good taste."

She continues to sip on her ale while waiting for the bread and cheese to arrive.



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Old 05-13-2020, 07:28 PM
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Nendra Illistyn
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Nendra listened once more as Sir Giles explained taht he had not had any encounters with her kind in his travels. He had traveled quite far and wide on the surface it seemed. Yet, no drow had met him. How unfortunate. Still, the human thought more about her question and recalled hearing about an arrogant drow, who had banded together with some outlaws seek treasure in some mountains. The Mournlands, he'd called them. She recalls a number of male drow who might do such a thing and nods as he remarks that this man had a very poor opinion of her race as a whole and Sir Giles declines to repeat said comments here.

His remarks draw a nod from the drow who says simply, "Most surface dwellers view us in that way. I assure you not all drow fit that mold. Yet, no matter how hard or in how many ways, we attempt to break this ...label, it seems we will never be able to do so."a note of bitterness and anger rises in her voice, but it fades just as quickly afterwards.

Nendra listens quietly as the new surface elf,a performer, introduces herself to the two of them. At the mention of her stage name, Nendra rolls her eyes and thinks more like The Mockingbird but keeps this to herself, for now anyway. Outwardly, she smiles warmly at Elayala. Nendra's expression turns thoughtful again and she asks, "What sort of performances do you specialize in? Singing, lute play, dancing? Perhaps you read poetry?" this exhausts her list of the performing arts, though she's sure that more forms of art exist. No, nendra's mind is focused on two thoughts: how best to utilize someone with Elayla's skill set as a distraction while she works behind the scenes to disrupt things and two the house she is a member of and that is hosting this meeting. The drow makes a mental note to look through her own Houses' text when she returns home.


 

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Old 05-14-2020, 12:55 AM
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Professor Doctor Barnabas Q. Culpepper
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While the Patron’s other agents made their quick descent to Cliffside via lightning rail, one of them opted for an alternate and decidedly more leisurely mode of transport. In part this was because he had every confidence that any matters of true importance would have the decency to wait until he arrived before they let themselves occur, but also in this instance his particular choice of conveyance also served as a storage for a number of personal effects that he was reluctant to let out of his sight.

And so it was that just as the sun reached its zenith and shone done directly through the high towers of Sharn, allowing its rays to penetrate unimpeded all the way to the lowest levels of the city, those very streets had the clearest view to the arrival of a small, yet singularly remarkable covered wagon being drawn behind a thoroughly unimpressed specimen of a mule. The wagons muslin sides were somewhat weather-worn and faded, but from beneath the layers of road-dust bright gilded lettering could still be seen announcing that within one was certain to find:Enigmatic Elixirs,” “Curious Concoctions,” and Time-Tested Tonics.”

As the cart reached the entry to the old tavern, the driver made a tremendous show of reining in his beast of burden as though he were halting a team of wild horses rather than a solitary plodding mule.

”Hold, Menelaus! Hold!” he called out raucously, though the old mule in question had clearly already ceased his forward progress. Grasping the dashrail firmly in his hands, he somewhat-less-than-gracefully lifted himself over the side of the wagon and dropped down to the street. Before approaching the entrance of the tavern, he fumbled about the folds of his coat for a moment, finally producing a saffron-colored carrot which he held just out of reach of the mule’s nose. ”You’ll receive the first half of this remuneration presently, Menelaus. If you want the rest of it, you’ll need to maintain vigilance over our tumbrel until I return.”

Snapping the root vegetable in half, he offered one piece to the mule before returning the remainder to his pockets. He then spun upon his heels with a flourish and pushed open the doors to the Tipsy Pixie.

Upon entering the tavern’s common room, the peculiar peddler provided the patrons with their first clear glimpse of this unorthodox traveler. He stood easily a full head taller than the average man, a stature that was only enhanced by the towering stovepipe hat perched atop the bushy salt-and-pepper hair that flowed seamlessly into a matching wooly beard. Together, hair and beard served to frame a bulbous nose and ruddy cheeks. Scintillating eyes seemed to shift continually with the light, such that it was nearly impossible to be certain of their color, though they immediately conveyed both an affable nature and perhaps an underlying element of mischief.

”Hail and well met, my fine fellows!” He announced to anyone who might care to listen, his voice immediately filling the room, drawing the attention of every ear in the vicinity somehow without ever seeming to shout. Turning to address the nearest barmaid, he quickly added, ”Could you perhaps point me toward the proprietor of this fine establishment?”

The startled serving-girl quickly ushered the bombastic barker into the back room where he found the others (who perhaps chose swifter and more reliable methods of transportation) already settled about the table in the midst of their conversation. He proceeded to greet the gathered group with a gregarious grin. It was the sort of amiable smile that immediately set audiences at ease.

”Felicitous salutations, my erstwhile cadre of companions and compatriots! Now you,” he paused for a moment to cock one eyebrow and waggle a finger in the direction of Nendra, ”You I recognize (quite glad to see you well, I might add. Never doubted for a moment that you had it in you to make it out of that last scrape.), but I can’t say for certain that the rest of you fine folk have yet had the pleasure of my acquaintance. Please, allow me to exposite myself. I am Professor Doctor Barnabas Q. Culpepper, M.D., Ph.D, and Q.V.C., Purveyor of premium panaceas par excellence. And most exquisitely at your service.”

So saying, the Professor doffed his hat and executed an elaborate bow, the pomp and circumstance of which was only slightly diminished by the ever-present wry smile that graced his lips. He righted himself to standing just in time to hear the waitress‘ offer of additional refreshments. The added information that all would be placed on Lady Sapphire d'Phiarlan's account brought an instant gleam to his eyes.

”Splendid!” the professor exclaimed as he brought his hands together with an enthusiastic clap. ”Lets have a bottle … no, no, make that two bottles of your finest Windshire wine, the rainbow varietal if you please. Perhaps a selection of roast pheasant as well, if you have any on hand.”

With a decidedly self-satisfied smirk, the Professor slid himself into a chair at the elbow of Elayla. He nodded in recognition to the elven songstress. ”I do believe I heard you mention performing for nobility? So good to find oneself in the company of veterans of the court. Why, I myself served as senior surgeon to the Sultana of Syrkarn … for a time.”
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:56 PM
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Janette the Collector


 

 

 



When Janette received the letter, she was very curious about this up coming summons by her Patron. What ever it was about it must be very important because it include a ticket on the lighting rail. What ever the meeting is about she had better be prepared for....anything... So she decided to dress for the occasion, in her all black outfit.

Up on arriving at the Tipsy Pixie Tavern, Janette was shown to the small back room where several other people were already sitting around a small wooden table. Standing in the door way, Janette starts glancing around at the collection of rather odd looking people. an eyebrow slowly goes up. Then a frown suddenly crosses her face. She slowly starts looking around the room. She didn't like what she was seeing. Only one door and one window and no other way out. Who ever these people are she would have to get acquainted with them later. But right now she was a little uneasy about the how the room was set up, especially the way the sixth chair was facing.

With out a word, Janette enters the room and heads towards an empty chair. Moving the chair away from the table, she places it against a wall where she has both a view of the window and the door. Sitting down in the chair with her back to the wall she begins a closer look around her surroundings looking at the walls and especially the window.

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Old 05-15-2020, 10:52 AM
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The barmaid smiles and nods at Sir Giles with a slight blush in her cheeks. "I never turn down a compliment from an honest soul, good sir. " She listens to the others introduce themselves, but tries not to look like she is eavesdropping.

She listens to everyone else until they have either made their requests or shyly kept silent. "So two bottles of Windshire wine, one roast pheasant, bread and cheese for everyone, and a dish of fiery Talenta vegetables," she counts pleasantly. She then looks to the last companion of the group, a human that has not spoken yet and is moving her chair way from the table. "No need to be so nervous deary. If you decide that you want to get something as well, you just let me know whenever you decide. I will bring another round after I inform the cook of your orders." With an elaborate twirl and a wink to the paladin, the barmaid turns and leaves though the door, causing another spike in volume of the merriment taking place in the common room.

The room grows a bit darker for a few moments as a cloud passes between the sun and the window. It sends an odd chill down your spine as your eyes adjust to the dimmer light, and a hush dominates the room for just a moment. A character with good ears might detect a similar silence on the other side of the door that the barmaid passed through. But the silence is fleeting as the cloud continues on its way, and both light and sound return to the Tipsy Pixie Tavern.

As if on cue, the redheaded barmaid returns with several mugs already filled with wine and two unopened bottles. Her smile seems a bit more forced this time as she sets the whole tray of mugs down on the table, careful to avoid any baubles or trinkets that would belong to one of the customers. "The food will be ready shortly. We are just waiting for Lady Sapphire to join us. Are you certain you do not need anything else?"






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Old 05-15-2020, 12:33 PM
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Nendra Illistyn
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Nendra listens to the bombastic voice as it draws closer and thinks This Patron has an odd sense of humor as she smile at Culpepper as he enters. She asks him with a slight tilt of the head, "Very glad to see you made it out as well! Shall we regale these assembled with the story?"
She pauses and adds, as a semi-response to his statement that he never doubted her ability to escape the trouble they'd faced, "Oh, t'was nothing but a little darkness; a few hidden and well-placed blades, and a little luck" She offers a knowing smile. It was, in fact much more than that.

But, she'll follow his lead there. As he mentions the Windshire wine, she noticeably pushes the tankard of ale away from herself. It's clear to all who are looking at her that she's not found of the drink.

Nendra looks curiously at the last entrant into the room. The woman enters , says nothing to anyone, and pulls her chair away from the table to sit in the corner. how curious she thinks. Is this the day the surface kills me?

The barmaid turns and re-confirms their order. Then, it dawns on the drow. No one has actually confirmed that they are all working for The Patron. Rising briefly from her chair, Nendra picks her mug of ale up and holding it at eye level, says to the barmaid, "Actually, there is something else. We would like as much gold as you can carry." Having said this, Nendra sets her mug back down on the table.

Once the barmaid leaves the room again, she turns towards the person in the room she knows best. Nendra's eyes gleam as she asks Dr. Professor Culpepper, "I have something you may be interested in. Given your penchant for prattling on about fabulous chemical creations stored in bottles and jars, take a look at this" her tone is joking, it's clear that she's teasing him. From the inner folds of her cloak, she produces what appears to be an ordinary healing potion, in a glass bottle with a wooden cork for a stopper. With a flourish, she pops the cork off of the bottle, holding it out for him to inspect and says, "This looks, smells and appears to be an ordinary healing potion but..." with a grunt of effort, she returns the cork to the bottle and the bottle to her cloak, "when consumed, it actually poisons the person who drinks it". The sheer glee in the drow's face as she revels in the deception of it all is obvious. The look in her eyes is of mischievousness. She goes quiet again, eager to hear his comments on the creation.

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Old 05-15-2020, 02:26 PM
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Elayla d’Philarlan
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"I cannot say I've had the pleasure of meeting this Sultana of Syrkarn. His senior surgeon you say? Pray tell how you went from that high position to one such as this? As well as what you would have us address you by? Such a mouthful this Professor Doctor business with all the bells and whistles at the end. Would Mr. Culpepper suffice?" Elayla directs to the flamboyant man.

"I am mainly known for my singing and harp playing, although I can perform the other ways you have mentioned as well," she directs to the drow answering her questions. "Do you dance Nendra? Perhaps you could teach me a dance from your lands to impress the court with. They do love new things and I'm sure your underdwelling ways would have an exotic air about it. "

As the barmaid exits and reenters with the wine, Elayla exchanges her ale for a glass. At least this Culpepper fellow has good taste. Noting Nendra's words and actions towards the barmaid, Elayla takes a sip of her wine and thinks to herself, Well I didn't see that one coming. What an interesting development. Perhaps I've misjudged this drow woman.

She settles more comfortably in the hard chair and glances at the woman in black who has yet to speak. She seems to be looking at their surroundings an awful lot. "Is something wrong?" Elayla directs at her. "I can assure you that you have nothing to fear about this establishment. Come join us and have a glass of wine to calm your nerves. Mr. Culpepper has done well in requesting it for it's some of the best wine there is."


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Old 05-15-2020, 06:02 PM
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Sir Giles Chonvers
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The paladin chuckles at Professor Doctor Barnabas Culpepper’s bombastic introduction and illustrious credentials, at least two-thirds of which he imagines are completely made up. Nevertheless, he takes rather a liking to the odd man- he seems eccentric, but good-natured enough. The real question, he thinks, is what he’s doing in the service of The Patron? He doesn’t exactly seem like the subtle type… though I’d imagine that, as with all of those in The Patron’s employ, there’s more to him than meets the eye.

He smiles broadly at the barmaid’s wink, before turning to the rest of the group. He opens his mouth as if about to speak, when a dark cloud passes by and dims the room. He closes his mouth abruptly, giving a sidelong look at the window, before looking back at the others, whatever he had planned to say all but forgotten. At the barmaid’s return, he notices that she appears to be distressed or distracted by something- her smile, originally bright and genuine, now appears forced and uncomfortable.

He looks askance at Nendra as she performs this… seemingly inexplicable action. There wasn’t anything in the letter about that… was there? I don’t recall there having been a sign… He decides, for the moment, to overlook her strange “request”, and instead speaks to the barmaid again. "Is everything all right? You look a bit… ill at ease?" As he speaks and then looks at her, awaiting her answer, he pulls a copper coin out of his pocket and begins spinning it on the table. "I can tell something’s troubling you…"

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Last edited by Homestarbaby; 05-15-2020 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 05-16-2020, 03:38 PM
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Janette the Collector


 



Janette looks over at the female elf that just spoke to her. With a smile she answers in a soft yet strong voice, her dark piercing eyes seeming to look straight inside the elf herself.

"Thanks for the offer of having a drink, but I must decline. And I assure you that I'm neither afraid or nervous. Just cautious, that's all." Janette hesitates for a second and then continues, a couple of strands of black hair falling across her face.

"As a matter of fact, there is something that is bothering me, now that you asked. Doesn't it bother you that we are having a meeting inside a small enclosed room with just one window and one door?"

She suddenly leans forward, her black leather outfit creaking just a little with her movements, her attention still fully on the female elf.

"Smells like a trap to me."

Janette suddenly sits up straight and still smiling, while she crosses her arms across her chest and both eyebrows slowly go up.

No sooner did she say this when the cloud passes between sun and the window, a chill suddenly starts to run down her back. The smile quickly leaves her face. Getting up from the chair Janette makes her way to the window and takes a quick peek out of it.

Last edited by voodoozombie; 05-18-2020 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:37 AM
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Professor Doctor Barnabas Q. Culpepper
In response to Elayla
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As Professor Doctor Barnabas Q Culpepper took in Elayla’s words, the bombastic barker quickly clapped his hand to his chest, as if grasping at an invisible arrow that had lodged itself there. MISter Culpepper?!? M’lady, you wound me to the core. Surely you jest, since addressing mine own personage as such would be akin to labeling yourself something as gauche as ‘that warbler over there,’ with no acknowledgement to your own acumen nor accreditations. Of course, I can hardly find fault in your faux pas, since you can’t be expected to deduce from my appearance alone that I hold no less than 8 separate degrees from institutions of the highest regard, including (though certainly not limited to) Morgrave University, the Floating Towers, Wynarn University, and the Library of Korranberg.

“That being said, if you feel the need to truncate my appellation, I am referred to in certain circles simply as Dr. Culpepper, or by my students (amongst whose number you are welcome to include yourself) sometimes simply as ‘Professor’.

“Now, as for the cause my transition from senior surgeon to my present position, one could say it was the lure of the open road or perhaps the unquenchable thirst for knowledge. For no true scholar can ever remain content to stagnate in place when there is more to be seen more to learn.”

In response to NendraA sudden gleam came into the Professor’s eyes at Nendra’s invitation to share a tale with the group, though a quick glance at the barmaid seems to mysteriously extinguish this inner flame as his attentions are diverted … though it is hard to say exactly to what. In any event, he quickly shakes his head as if to clear it from distractions and the jovial grin spreads itself across his face once more.

”Nendra, my dear drowish damsel, nothing would please me more than to regale our new acquaintances with tales of wonder and whimsy. Sadly I feel that this particular episode may take too long in the telling, at least under the present circumstances. Perhaps some other time.”

The Present CircumstancesThe Professor’s eyes narrowed as he listened to the waitress reading back the order to them. ”My dear please, I’ve no taste at all for fiery Talenta vegetables. Quite nearly caused the death of me the last time I encountered them. If you could do whatever is in your power to keep them as far away from me as possible, I’d most appreciate it.”

He flashed a disarming grin in the barmaid’s direction, though his eyes seemed to bore deeply into her own, as if inspecting for some confirmation of an unspoken thought. He kept his eyes locked upon the girl as she left, waiting until such time as the door was securely closed behind her.

The instant the door shut, the doctor’s demeanor changed instantly. With surprising swiftness he dug into a small case at his belt, retrieved a roll of paper, and unfurled it on the table before his newly acquired acquaintances. With a rapid and seemingly random gesticulation of his fingers, he appeared to fling something at the page. Though his hands appeared empty, swirling gilded letters instantly spring to life on the paper.
The Professor’s Phantasmal PenmanshipMy most esteemed colleagues,

I deeply regret having to stoop to such measures, but our sympathetic servitor has seen fit to sureptitially signify that any conceptions of our conversations being carried out clandestinely are quite clearly contrary to the current condition. The walls have ears, my friends even in a chamber as sorcerously guarded against sound as the one in which we find ourselves at present.

It may seem a tad careless of me to even tell you all this, since some of you have only just know had the good fortune to make my acquaintance, and could therefore just as easily be the very infiltrator of which we’ve been warned, but it also seems some among our number insist on comporting themselves with all the subtlety of a minotaur in a crystal bazaar.

I suggest heeding the advice of our newly acquired anonymous acquaintance with the pechnacht for repositioning the furniture:
Be - on - guard.
The air is indeed ripe with the scent of ensnarement.

Oh, and do attempt to refrain from revelling in the possession of nefarious and noxious narcotics, or suggesting that a single copper penny would outweigh the hard-bought loyalty of a trusted servant to both house and patron.

Post-script: I do hope you are all quick readers as this message will relinquish its tether to the visible world ere the hand of the dial may complete its most minute movement. Perhaps I should have mentioned that at the start …

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Last edited by rhaiber; 05-17-2020 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:19 PM
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Nendra Illistyn
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Nendra nods to Elayla and says, with a light shining in her eyes, "I do. But are you referring..." she pauses as a thought crosses her mind and smiles, continuing in a more excited tone of voice, "you have heard of the church and its priestesses? I...I am but a worshiper of The Dark Maiden,however, we could perhaps seek out a template, once our business is here is concluded". She turns to look directly at the bard and says, "It has been some time since I last offered prayers to Eilistraee, it might not be such a bad idea. I know what would be considered a few basic steps of the t routine, but her priestesses would know it far better."

She listens as their final companion addresses the surface bard, citing no fear just caution as the reason for her silence thus far. A dark cloud soon passes over the room and the barmaid leaves to get their order as she notes The Professor seems to stare at her for far too long. Something's not right, but the drow is unsure what more is going on.
Se does give Culpepper a discontented snort at his response to the surface elf and a disappointed look as he declines her request to regale the others with the story of how they each managed to escape their last brush with the underworld and The Patron. Ahhh...the classic academic ego. It seems the entertainer among us has bruised it somewhat, a lesson she should remember for the future

But before the drow can comment further; the tension in the room skyrockets. A the door closes, she sees Culpepper remove a scroll like piece of parchment and gestures at it. Suddenly, a message appears! Nendra, admittedly, skims it quickly, but takes the opportunity to gaze at The Professor's face too. His look has gone from jovial compatriot to serious spy in a flash. Nendra recognizes this from previous adventures with the man and grows quiet. If they are all about to be killed, she, for one, is not going down without a fight.

The thought from earlier comes back loudly in her mind,The Surface will fool you, foolish drow. quickly reaching into her own belt pouch and removing a piece of bat fur and a piece of coal. These two items she sets on the table in front of her. Closing the pouch, the drow places one in each hand and her face tenses up. Though not as trained in the arcane as he is, this is one of few spells she knows, and only through months and months of practice is she able to cast it appropriately. Looking directly at the changling, Nendra says, in a calm voice, tense with the effort of focusing on the spell, "If what you say is true, then perhaps I should hide us from view?" In a quieter voice, she adds, less to Culpepper directly and more to the group in general, "May the Dark Maiden Eilistraee bless all gathered here, may moonbeams light your paths, and shadows shroud your steps" She sets the two seemingly random things down on the table in front of her. Not ready to do more until it becomes necessary; but willing to cast the spell if asked to.

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