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Old 05-16-2020, 10:15 PM
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Prelude: A Company in Need!

...
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Old 05-26-2020, 03:02 AM
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When the story picks up... the Sword Coast 1372 DR


It is summer on the sourthern Sword Coast, just before the change of seasons. You had always heard tales and songs describing the details of this majestic place but one could never truly appreciate it's lovely grandeur without seeing it in person.

The area of Faerun known as the Empire of Sands is ruled by the city of Calimport. Ancient and proud, Calimport is much larger, richer, and more prosperous that any other city along the famed on the Sword Coast. With its exotic bazars, fine delicacies, unique culture, and wonderfully constructed architecture, Calimport was truly a marvel to behold. Unfortunately for you, the fates would not have you enjoy this place for long and soon you made ready your plans to leave.

You were reminded of the city and its beauty every day during your long voyage north. Following the Tradeway, across the mighty Calim River and into the vast desert, you watched as the many luxuries of the city faded and were replaced by the bleak, trackless wastes and rolling dunes.





The Calim Desert is a large, inhospitable place. The daytime temperatures are brutally hot, though it cools down to a comfortable level at night. Strong and unpredictable winds blow at all times, reducing visibility, obscuring tracks, and blowing sand into everything clothes, eyes, food, water, blankets, and all but the most tightly sealed containers. In other words it was a completely miserable place.

Despite these annoyances, the greatest peril to travelers, though, is the lack of water. The air over the desert is bone dry while heat pounds down upon you from above, causing even the slightest and swiftest of men to double their water intake if they want to survive. Luckily for you and your companions, the caravan you were traveling with was well stocked, leaving you less time worrying about sustenance and more time worrying about the second greatest peril to travelers... other people.

Bandit activity is surprisingly high in an inhospitable place like the Calim Desert and you saw your fare share of battle along the way. Again, lucky were you to have signed on with such a well provisioned and organized caravan. While only suffering modest casualties, you and your fellow guards repelled every bandit attack and slain every wild beast or monster that made itself known.

Eventually, the caravan and it's people crept far enough north to see the rolling dunes wane and give way to the fertile, green plains of Tethyr. While still oppressively hot, these lands were much more pleasant for travelers than the vast wastes of the Calim Desesrt and you and your companions were finally able to relax somewhat, if only briefly.

Jaik'eri Kaar, the Calimport born merchant who had organized this caravan had done his best to prepare his troops for the travel north, but it wasn't the desert bandits he feared most. Nor was it the random beasts or monsters that Jaik'eri had spared no expense in preparing for. In truth it was the wild untamed plains of Tethyr that kept the merchant up at night and when the time came he wasn't disappointed with his planning.





Indeed, it became painfully obvious as the caravan continued north, out of the desert and over the River Agis, that these were truly untamed lands. The Kingdom of Tethyr, it appeared, was long now at war with multiple enemies to it's North and Southeast. These wars, which had lasted now the better part of two years, has stripped the kingdom's resources, reducing the country's ability to patrol its own country side. Truly, even as tales of King Haedrick's glory as he repelled armies of the Black Gauntlet near the Ithal Pass, it seemed the countryside here south of Zazzespur was being torn apart.

It was a long hard slog across the open plains and lightly wooded hills of south central Tethyr. The caravan was being constantly being harassed by monsters and feral humanoids of all types. No longer was your company enjoying the easy victories they had experienced against the desert bandits and the casualties began to rack up. Eventually, exhausted and blooded, the caravan finally made it's way closer to central Tethyr where the Queen's patrols still held ground.





It is here that our story truly begins. Having been on the road for several months, your caravan, which you and your new friends had been hired to accompany, has finally reached its destination and you now find yourselves paid but jobless in the town of Zazesspur. What was supposed to be a rough and unpleasant journey turned into much worse. The southern leg of the famous Trade Way, life blood of the Sword Coast, has turned into a virtual war zone filled with bandits and monsters. So dangerous, in fact, that it reduced a heavily armored caravan of mercenaries and warriors to nothing more than a rag-tag bunch of bloodied and beaten children. So now you and your group sit, licking your wounds in the common room of a little tavern and inn known only as Dugan's Trough.

The Trough, as it's has been lovingly called by its patrons, is a truly unremarkable building besides the sign hanging over a massive door depicting a flexed arm. Built more like a fortress than a place of business, its stone walls have no windows, besides the occational arrow slit and the only visible way of entrance are the massive, steel reinforced oak doors. The inside of this non-descript building is that of an average tavern, though one suited for the rougher type. The first floor of this building is essentially nothing more than a great room with a long, finely crafted bar on one side and a large, smoke bellowing fireplace on the other. Strung out about the room are crude tables and chairs, most of which look as if they might have been used as weapons in past bar-room brawls. It is standing room only this night and the tavern is filled with the sounds of loud drunks, clanking dishes, and the soft music of a bard's lute.

Looking around, you see the stereo-typical tavern crowd milling about with a few hurried bar-maids weaving in and out of traffic. At a table in a corner next to the fire place seats your former employer and the reason you are currently stranded here. Although the over-land trip from Calimport to Zazzespur left him badly wounded, it seams that Jaik'eri Kaar has made a miraculous recovery. He now sits casually at his table, dressed in newly crafted clothing, finely detailed in the style of his homeland. He is currently flanked by two guards whom you have never seen. It strikes you odd that he has procured such guards so quickly, especially ones who are obviously locals, since according to him he only came to the decision to stay shortly after arriving the prior day.

Besides your former employer and the few bar-maids that have been serving you this night, you see no other recognizable faces.

"Anything else I can get for ya?" The voice of the eldest of the bar-maids pry’s your attention away from your thoughts.
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:09 PM
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"Your smile...is all...I need...for now...thank you."

The words were spoken in a manner as to match the flow of the music being played a few feet away from the speaker. He considered his response to the lady be true, for he had food and drink and company, but what he needed most was a bit of beauty, and her smile was kind and dazzling without effort. This was the state of one Simone Starling, a Sunite who had thought himself fortunate to be alive, and with both beauty and love to thank for such status.

In the minutes before he spoke, he silently mulled over the travel he had endured. Just being allowed to join the caravan was a work of art, at least in terms of wordplay. For him to say right from the start that he couldn't fight should have called for Jaik'eri to dismiss him instantly. But within seconds, Simone had said he'd been too busy becoming both healer and haggler to pick up swordplay. And that led to talk of scarves and shoes and horses and heat exhaustion. When he proved to the caravan man that he could conjure water out of thin air for sake of tending to pretty ponies and fashionable folk, Simone was hired on the spot.

Maybe being hired wasn't the best option for his life, but that couldn't be changed now, not here in the tavern at the halfway point between home and the end of the world. Half to be halfway, not the end. Not after what he and his new friends survived. They were his friends now, yes. They had gotten accustomed to his compliments and eccentricities and moods. He hoped so anyways. At least they were pleased with his handiwork after all the battles that had come down the trail. After, if not during. He hadn't exactly told anyone besides the path crossing boss that he was no good at fighting.

Was that why they had the casualties that they did? He couldn't properly use the blade he kept with him. His idea of how to use a whip was as a belt. Why else would it be called a sash if not to be worn? He remembered voicing that question out loud, oh so many days ago, to one of the real warriors amongst the group right when the charming barmaid walked over and asked her question.

Simone waited for a response from her, and any words from his comrades to her. Waited for her to walk away before he turned back and looked over those that had helped keep him alive.

"What do...you good...dear friends...want to...do next?"
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:19 PM
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Soranil was a dead man when she made it back home.

Talia knew full well this was him getting rid of her because she was stealing the work of her fellow Pathfinders because they couldn't be bothered to fight their own battles. Even in groups they regularly got laid out with the meaner beasts of the Silver Marshes, leaving just her and a few others to eliminate whatever creature needed killing that day. Upon setting foot in Calimport she was getting sideways glares and funny looks. Being as broad and tall as she was, visibly armed to the teeth, she understood the looks but didn't care. Signing in with the caravan, picking up a 2nd waterskin along with a full-body cloak, she waits for the rest of the muscle before leaving Calimport.

The heat wasn't the problem. It was all the goddamn SAND. Even with the cloak covering her face and reaching her ankles she was spending every few minutes digging grains out of her tear ducts just to allow her to continue keeping watch as the caravan trundles along. She relished the odd attempt at bandits trying to steal from them. Drawing her polearm and leaping from her post to drive her weapon into the empty heads of whomever stood in her way, spreading blood across the sand and collecting the index fingers of those that tried to rob them. Those more brutal acts did lead to her being somewhat avoided by the other merchants, much to her indifference.

She came into her own once they were told by the man who headed up this whole expedition, Jaik'eri Kaar, when they entered the kingdom of Tethyr proper. In the more wooded area she took on more of a hunter's role, proving valuable to track down various beasts as well as keeping the hunter's safe. Here the company aboard this trundling series of wagons was warming up to her some, still having to push through her gruff, somewhat prickly nature and her off-putting tusks jutting out from her lower lip. By the time they had left the hostile woods she had cleaned up the bandit fingers she had collected, planning to try and turn them in for some small bounty at the city they had set out for; Zazesspurr.

It wasn't until the final stretch of their trip did her seemingly bottomless endurance and strength start waning. She was put most often on night watch because of her darkvision and being able to make a helluva lot of noise in combat to alert the rest of the caravan. But the creatures here were more desperate, the bandits more cruel, and more than once Talia nearly found herself left behind in the dirt in order to save the group as a whole. But she always clawed her way back on-board, to the quiet chagrin of more than one of the merchants and guards aboard. There was even a brief but heated argument that her recklessness had caused Jaik'eri to suffer a rather vicious crossbow wound brought about by her Orcish blood and that her bloodlust was drawing far more challengers than they could handle. This was swiftly silenced when she commented, "Been collectin' fingers of thieves an' bandits. Maybe I should start takin' tongues of wealthy merchants too. They're worth their weight in silver, right?"

And there she sat. In a bar called The Trough, several weeks and thousands of miles away from home, with some gold in her pocket but no work to be had. Jaik'eri had recovered suspiciously quick, and seemingly were paying herself and the other guards little to no mind. She considered beating the fear of some god into his heart by taking out those new hires and having him use his name to secure them a way back home now that their job was done, but pushed it aside. Their work was done. She'd figure out a way back. And he seemed like the kind of person you didn't want to owe favors to. The Half-Orc was pulled form her thoughts at the question, near-black eyes regarding the barmaid for a moment before replying in her smokey growl of a voice, "Yeah, actually. Know of places lookin' fer workers? Guilds, temples, local watch, branch of Th' Pathfinders maybe? Last employer hung me out t'dry" She jerked a thumb over her shoulder at Jaik'eri. "an' I could do with some more spendin' money while I'm here."

When the barmaid walked away she looked to the weird stuttering man that never seemed to get dirty, or sweaty, or upset their whole trip, and said, "I'm gonna drink, glare at that d*ckless merchant Jaik'eri, an' try t'scrape up some work. See what they got for a buncha 'outsiders' like us."


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Old 05-28-2020, 08:28 PM
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Hawkeye for the most part had enjoyed the Caravan. He knew what he was signing up for. Was it tough? Yes. Did it pay well? Yes. He could do without all the sand. He would be happy never to see sand again. He felt he had performed well enough on the journey. He was one of only a few to survive and he made friends with the others that were strong enough to make it.

Unlike most of the others, Hawkeye knew what to expect once they crossed into Tethyr. He was from there. It was a mess with all the wars, pure chaos at times. So when Jaik’eri Kaar warned the caravan about Tethyr, Hawkeye reiterated from personal experiences. He was used a lot to scout ahead, especially once they crossed into Tethyr. The caravan route was dangerous, but not nearly as dangerous with Hawkeye scouting and warning the group.

Hawkeye learned a lot from his experiences on the caravan. His skills go better and the crew of guards learned to work better together as the days went by. They had a good team left after all the casualties. A healer in Simone, a Sunite Cleric. A fierce warrior in Talia, which Hawkeye wouldn’t my by his side anytime. The Fire Wizard Kasim had saved us more than once and Ruiha the bard supporting with music and more. He felt comfortable with all of them after their time spent on the caravan. They knew him as a serious scout on the job, but knew he was much more relaxed when the job was done.

They finally arrived at Zazesspur and were summarily paid and sacked once the job was done. Hawkeye wasn’t surprised. He done the guard thing several times and when not needed they dumped you quick. Anything to save a silver piece. So what do you do? Why find the closest drinking and eating establishment. In this case it was Dugan’s Trough.


Drink, Eat and Get a JobHawkeye meets up with the others to eat, drink and plan there next step in getting work. He walks in the door and the place looks like a hundred other inns and bars. He checked his surroundings as always when entering a place. Where are the exits? Who’s the biggest threat? Things that keep you alive in this business. He then made his way to the corner table where is comrades were. He noticed on the walk over that Jaik’eri Kaar was at a table with new guards looking pretty healthy considering the last time he saw him he had some dire wounds.

“Anything Else I can get for ya?"

“Id like a dwarven honey mead and stew if you have it ms?"

After she leaves Simone brings up what are we going to do next? Hawkeye thought about it. “Simple, find work.”

Talia speaks and can’t help but be loud and somewhat scary to the barmaid.
Quote:
“"Yeah, actually. Know of places lookin' fer workers? Guilds, temples, local watch, branch of Th' Pathfinders maybe? Last employer hung me out t'dry" She jerked a thumb over her shoulder at Jaik'eri. "an' I could do with some more spendin' money while I'm here."
The barmaid moves away quickly as Hawkeye smiles and tries to defuse Talia. “Don’t eat the servers Talia, at least not until I get my order. I am hungry and haven’t got my meal or drink yet.”

Talia simply replies,
Quote:
"I'm gonna drink, glare at that d*ckless merchant Jaik'eri, an' try t'scrape up some work. See what they got for a buncha 'outsiders' like us."
“There you go. Now we are talking. We need to find work. Forget about that merchant and move on to the next job. Anyone got any ideas? By the way, where is Ruiha and Kasim? I hope they didn’t second guess joining us. We make a good team”


 

Last edited by Clawsome; 05-28-2020 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 05-29-2020, 01:27 AM
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Kasim stood outside of the Trough and stared into the night's sky. The stars were the same, but he could tell he was far from home. He had called Calimport his home for his entire life. This new land, which wasn't truly that far away, seemed like an entirely new world. Even the air didn't feel right. It made him melancholy to know would never call that great city home again. But that was a choice he had made and he refused to have any regrets over it.

His mind focused on the events that had happened since joining the caravan. For him, it had been a simple way to literally leave his past in one place while he searched out his future in another. The road had been rough and not without it's challenges. It was those same challenges that brought a smile to his face though. The wizard had been given ample opportunities to practice his art and had left more than his fair share of bandits in smoldering piles of charred flesh. His companions, those that survived anyway, had proven themselves to be survivors in their own unique ways.

Kasim began to speak out loud to no one in particular. "What am I doing? There's drink and entertainment aplenty inside and I'm out here". He turns and walks inside. Before he meets up with new friends, he goes up to the bar. "Barkeep! Give me the strongest thing that you have that I don't know the name of". He assumes the man can figure out that he's from further south from the darker color of his skin. Regardless, he just wants a stiff drink.

He makes his way across the crowded room toward his travelling companions. "Looks like we've been tossed aside and replaced like yesterday's cabbage". Kasim looks his thumb in the direction of Jaik'eri as he speaks. "Although I can't begrudge him. We signed up for a one way journey and we've been paid the wage that he'd promised".

He leans his back against the wall as he takes his first sip of his drink. The fact that he pinches one eyelid closed tight and can barely keep the other open lets everyone know that he's not a big drinker. "He said it was called Dragon's Piss. I guess I should have asked which dragon he got it from".
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Old 05-30-2020, 01:39 PM
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The barmaid smiled brightly at the Simone's complement, managing to blink several times to emphasize her slightly blushing cheeks. She was a young girl, yet not so young that she didn't know how to work the local patrons that frequented the Trough.

"Oh how sweet are you?! I'll have to warn all the ladies here in low city about this one! " She blinked flirtatiously a few more times before turning to Soranil. Like a seasoned waitress in a place such as the Trough, the young girl didn't wane at all when confronted with a woman with Soranil's state and stature.

Aye, its work you be needing then? She again smiled but this time her smile, while no less pleasing, wasn't meant to be flirtatious like she had been with Simone. Now the young girl seemed much less nave and far more experienced as she address Soranil. She addresses the half-orc directly and with unwavering eye contact. It was a respectful yet confident gesture that she was obviously accustomed to using when dealing with the rough crowds that frequent the Trough.

"Aye there is certainly work to be found here in the low city, but I wouldn't be the one to ask. I guess you can try Dugan, but he aint here right now."

The young barmaid then pauses as she follows everyone's gaze towards the position of Jaik'eri and his new guards. "Now that one, I haven't fig'rd that one out yet but by the looks of his clothes and those guards I don't think he's one to be cross'n. That and he obviously has coin." Her face now was serious, but just for a second, then the cheerfulness bursts back out from her as if on queue and she suddenly had that 'girl next door' barmaid look about her again as she hurries away towards the kitchen to retrieve the requested food and drinks for the group.

Anyway," she continues as she hurries off. "Besides Dugan you can always try asking around some of the other establishments that offer food'n'drink here in the low city. Normally this time of year there be plenty of work gaurd'n the trade routes either by land or sea... but I'm afraid we aint seeing as much trade as we used to."
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Old 05-31-2020, 12:30 AM
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Simone was somehow pleased by the responses given by everyone next to the table. Even coarse language, the kind that wouldn't dare be uttered during typical temple talk, sounded fine and dandy to him. His friends had kept him alive, and the barmaid was well versed in flattery acceptance. That was fine, just fine.

And because he dared accept speech that wasn't too pretty, he was rewarded by remembrance of holding a bleeding leg and trying to keep it attached to the person it belonged to, which was our boss. One bandit with a scimitar got too close to the paymaster one time. Ruined the bossman's best silk pants. Ruined Simone's best silk scarf. All their n all, a bad hour, but at least no one died.

"Our former boss. We got him here in one piece. Maybe he could kindly recommend us to folks here for...whatever."

Lucky for him the Bard had stopped his soft song, else Simone would be talking against tune.
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Old 06-03-2020, 05:39 PM
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When the barmaid mentioned that there might be guard work on the shipping routes, Kazim focused in to that one comment. The thought of being on the open seas intrigued him as it was something he had never done. Then it hit him, a ship made of wood and canvas surrounded by water coupled with his penchant for fire didn't not seem like a safe combination.

He snapped out of his thoughts of burning ships along the Sword Coast when Simone spoke. "I had not given any thought to what I would do once we got here. Now I'm at a complete loss. So I agree that our easiest option is to see what he might be able to recommend us for". He looks around at the others to see if they have any thoughts on the matter, as it would be best to see how many of his companions would be willing to work together again.
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Old 06-03-2020, 06:40 PM
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Hawkeye finished up his meal while listening to the conversations at the table as well as a few other tables close by. You must always keep your eyes and ears open. "The barmaid mentioned a man named Dugan, but he isn't here. Maybe we go find him unless you want to wait here until he arrives? I am good drinking and relaxing as much as hunting him down. I'm flexible."

Hawkeye waves to catch the servers attention to come over. "I need another drink. This time some good elven wine. Do you by chance know when we could expect this Dugan fellow to show himself at this bar?"

Hawkeye was comfortable with the companions from the caravan and would prefer to travel with them, but if work came about without them he would take it. ::Need to eat, drink and live and to do that, I need to work.::


 
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Old 06-05-2020, 08:35 PM
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She set about a fresh tankard herself, commenting as she sips from it, "Ale ain't much t'write home about, gotta say. Pro'bly too hot an' dry for anythin' decent. Wonder what th' local stuff is like..." She drifts off in thought for a moment before hearing a name mentioned. Dugan huh? Taking her tankard in her unusually large hand, Talia stands up. "Gimme a moment. Lemme see what th' local color knows." With that flaggon in hand she makes her rounds to the patronage there in the tavern, largely prying her size and making small talk about the brew on tap, sharing bits of their harrowing journey to get there, all to pry what knowledge she could from them about Dugan and the city itself. What to know, what not to do, who to go to for specifics. Hard to hunt in an area you know little about, after all.


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Old 06-09-2020, 03:21 AM
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Dugan's TroughYou had heard back when you first arrived in Zazzespur that Dugan's Trough was quite the scene and thus far you are not disappointed. The crowd, which has only gown louder and more jovial as the night wanes on, is now hooting and hollering as a group of drunken sailors join with the bard as he plays and everyone seems to be enjoying the spectacle. It's not long before the majority of patrons are singing along and stomping their feet in rhythm with the bard's song.

The song went something like this!

While quite enjoyable to behold, the atmosphere at this point makes it hard to mingle and poor Talia has a hell of a time as she attempts to conversate with the locals. Alas, she eventually gives up and returns to the table, having failed in her attempt to pry any kind of knowledge from the locals.

Eventually the song dies down and you spot your waitress returning with yet another round of drinks and food.

Here you are now lads... your food and drink just as promised. She smiles slyly at each of you as she passes out the meals. She pauses to answer Hawkeye's question before moving on to the rest, "Oh no telling when Ol' Dugan will be maken his appearance. Could be he won't show at all. You never can tell with that one! She then pauses for a minute to hand out the final plate, but continues on with what she was saying. I'll tell you what though, you'll know em when you see him that's for sure!"

As the barmaid hurries off, the rest of you notice the front door open and watch as two hooded men enter the tavern. One of the men seems slight in stature but otherwise of normal build while his companion is clearly a halfling. The entry of two new patrons does not strike you as odd, until both pause for a moment and stare off into the direction of Jaik'eri Kaar. Just as odd your old employer seems to look up and follow the two men with his gaze as they make their way across the tavern. Jaik'eri's guards seem to stir as well but make no move, however it is clear that both groups recognize each other.

The two men meet Jaik'eri's stare and they seem to share word or two between themselves before turning away and walking up to a table in the other corner of the bar. Strangely enough, there are four other men already sitting at that table and after what looks to be some sort respectful exchange, the four men gather belongings and stand with drinks in hand before moving away to another part of the tavern.


Lore Check = SuccessIt takes Simone a few hours, however after a while he finally realizes that he remembers where he first heard the name Dugan 'the arm'.

Somewhat of a local legend here in the lower city, Dugan was born and raised here on the mean streets of Zazespur and is well known indeed. A half-breed of somesort, he known for his uncanny size and strength, both rarely seen in a human. If the tales are true, he used those attributes along with a wit uncharacteristically seen in one if his size to his advantage as he climbed the ladder of Zazespur's underworld. Dugan eventually made a name for himself as the chief enforcer for the old Guild of Rogues here in the lower city and was quite famous before he went missing and was thought dead. Dugan's disappearance seemed to come at the most opportune of times as this was when the Shadow Thieves' were consolidating their power along the Sword Coast.

It wasn't until a few years ago that he resurfaced here in the lower city as owner and operator of a new tavern. Now with his old guild scattered and the underworld of Zazesspur in the firm control of the Shadow Thieves', Dugan claims to be a legitimate businessman with no ties to the new order. Of course this claim is highly disputed, but only when the big man himself is not around!
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Last edited by TPasq98; 06-09-2020 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 06-09-2020, 04:43 PM
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The time in tavern had progressed to a point where Simone was absolutely sure that he and his friends weren't being paid attention to for a minute. He knew this would change soon, he was far too pretty and chatty to be ignored for long. But right then, the bard and barmaids were busy, and the other patrons were talking amongst themselves. Now was the time to mention what he remembered.

"Dugan. Big guy. Top strongarm for the Rogues' Guild around here. Years ago. Rumored dead. But obviously not. Runs a tavern somewhere in this city. Above board... supposedly."

Simone casually looked past his friends. Satisfied he had no unknown onlookers or eavesdroppers, he continued.

"So, talk to him...or our ex-boss with his new company...what would you all want me to do...after I order more drinks?"

He waited just long enough for his lovely friends to respond before carefully getting out a few more coins.
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Old 06-10-2020, 08:51 AM
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Hawkeye observed the knew fellows that entered the tavern and how his ex-employer apparently knew these knew fellows. Then it got interesting as the join other fellows already at the bar. Hawkeye knew something was up with both groups but was not exactly sure.

Hawkeye got the attention of the others at the table and quietly mentioned. "They seem to know each other. Now whether they are just competition for work or looking to take down Jaik'eri and his few guards is the question."

Simone also picked up on it and asked whether we should talk to our ex-employer. "I don't care what work we get. Maybe you should see if Jaik'eri needs more protection while we wait for Dugan. Might as well cultivate both possibilities."


 
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Old 06-15-2020, 11:11 PM
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The Orcess returned to the table, a deep grimace on her face and smacking her tankard down harder than was needed. "Gods dammit. Couldn't get through t'any of 'em once th' music started up. Must be pourin' these folk moonshine t'get drunk so quick they can't answer some questions." She slumped back in her seat, running a hand over her face, being mindful of her tusks. She was partially paying attention to what Simone was sing-speaking about, but perked up with Hawk put up his suggestion. She pointed at him, smiling some. "I like that idea. No reason why we can't do both. Make a name fer ourselves either way an' start workin' with one or th' other. Show of power an' skill an' th' work will follow."


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