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  #46  
Old Jan 12th, 2021, 12:11 AM
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At John Wolf's Forge
left-aligned image
Haela, John Wolf is a little star struck with you there, an Ironmaster dwarf and a clan craftsman to boot, and invites you to take a look around the forge. He seems overly excited for this project making pretty mundane construction items for Manclen, overly exuberant about having some pretty normal fuel. He's proud that he got the job over Garn "The Hammer" at Blackiron Blades in Bryn Shander, and he very delicately and politely does not mention that Garn is a dwarf -- but you knew that. And you knew that Garn was known for cheap work -- you picked that up within hours of being in Bryn Shander, sadly.

John Wolf's tools are not the best, but they're neat. His materials are not exotic, but you take John Wolf to be a serious fellow. Not a dwarf, true, but he does get after it. He would love to have your assistance on the project for Ziusudra. He admits to being a little intimidated both by the importance of the item and the quality of the material. He's planning to fire up the forge tomorrow morning, hoping to get it hot enough to fire the adamantine.

"Ah, this adamantine," he says, gazing at it with true admiration. "Have you ever seen anything so pretty? I would love to try something larger, someday, you know? Like scale mail. Can you imagine? Have you ever worked with it before? Arm the warriors for the fight eh? You know, what the elves say... let each his adamantine gird up well, and each fit well his helm, grip fast his orbed shield..."

He realizes he's gotten carried away with himself. You bend over the adamantine rod with Ziusudra as Wolf describes how much he'll need to sever. He says... "I'll need to draft it out, see, like this..." and he goes over more mechanical aspects of the job.

Ziusudra, John Wolf would be honored to have your guidance on the work.



At the Seance
right-aligned image
Falfen, you ask your question. The bell rings. The halfling swings his head around to you. The candles heat and melt into mush. A wind whispers silk strings of incense into your eyes and the voice: You are the reason I am here.

You close your eyes, mash them closed, and when you open them the bell rings. You see everyone in the circle is the doll. Not the corpse woman from the lake, but the perfectly coiffed doll that was in your bed, her floofy dress in the place of Oar, her grey skin in the place of Tru, her porcelain smile in the place of the woman with the dead champion. There are eight of her, and one more, nine, in the place of Rinaldo the mystic. She, they all, she, she speaks. She opens her mouth and sings, in a brisk bright arpeggio, her head tapping back and forth mechanically, like a toy that's been wound, like Small World *shudder*mouth clacking and snapping.

Nogalini savu tēvu! Ligo, Ligo!
Nogalini savu māte! Ligo, Ligo!
Saglabāt e savu māsu! Ligo, Ligo!
Saglabāt e savu brāli! Ligo, Ligo!


The words are unfamiliar. The language is unfamiliar. The intonation is scary. One by one their heads snap over to the side, necks cracking, breaking, flopping, all around the circle until only one remains upright, where the mystic was, and then he's there again, and Oar and Tru and the others, the damn lyre, the incense, dark, cold. Your head feels heavy, your hands tight. The mystic's white eyes roll and he shouts at you in a language you know: "DO IT!"


After the SeanceTru, Oar, and Falfen, when you come out of the back room of The White Lady, the tavern area is cold and dark. Bartaban is slouching behind the bar, pushing a rag around, waiting for it to be over. He isn't too bothered by the smashed teacups. He looks like he's smashed a few teacups in his time.

"It's alright," he tells you, sweeping up the mess. "That was Katie's. She worked here. She was the one who set up the-- all this twaddlefluff." There are other little pieces of decor around -- doilies on the tables, a hurricane lamp, a clock with whirling pieces on the mantle -- that match the teacups, and Falfen would note they match the doll, but they don't seem to match Bartaban much. "She loved to tell tales to the tourists, back when we had some. Loved a ghost story. Used to tell me to leave the spiderwebs, and stopped me from caulking up the chimney. Said the whistle provided ambience" Bartaban coughs and looks on a bit mournfully as you show Adorable support!support for each other.


At the Wet Trout
right-aligned image
Ziusudra, The Wet Trout is a large, loud, well-lit tavern on the east end of town, near the more busted and broken of the docks. You push open the door on a loud, ribald atmosphere. There's a band in the corner pushing out tunes on a squeezebox and fiddle. A great chimney sits squarely in the building’s center with a huge roaring hearth on two sides, one in each of the tavern's two common rooms. It's full, loud, and warm.

"Well look who it is," shouts a white dragonborn from behind the bar. While initially it seems like you're recognized, it soon becomes clear this is just her usual patter for any customer. "It's you, that's who. Belly up to the bar, take your coat off, praise Auril it's warm enough in here to lose the wraps!" She barely looks at you but keeps shouting. "Nan! Bring our new friend a beer! Nothing to eat but dusty corn and rotten cod, but the grog's hot OR cold and the ladies are friendly, what's your pleasure stranger?" She slams her fist down, rattling the mugs of all her customers, who don't seem at all alarmed. "These are times that try us, but at least we can say we tried, eh Scython? Hey? Hey you old raggedy bastard? Hey?"

She slams her big hand into the shoulder of a tiefling who sits at the bar, nodding good-naturedly, nursing a glass of amber liquid.


OOCTherru if Haela comes back tomorrow when the forge is hot she can work on the symbol with John Wolf. Vislands, Ziusudra can give Guidance to the operation. You guys don't have to RP through that unless you want to -- summary is fine with me when we get to that point.

Vislands I put Ziusudra into the tavern, assuming you'd want to go straight in. If you wanted to approach it differently, we can edit back.

Atrayn the only part of the ghostly vision that everyone hears is the last two words. I think what's developing is that Falfen is a little bit sensitive to spirits, if that's ok with you. And the White Lady had already made advances at him. So his spirit contact is more direct than the others. Very OOC^2: The language in Falfen's vision would be known to Tru. Absolutely up to you guys if you want to bring it out and how -- something to put in your back pocket for the two of them.

Bander and Sarandash, please both of you make perception checks with your next post!


Last edited by lostcheerio; Jan 12th, 2021 at 12:23 AM.
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  #47  
Old Jan 12th, 2021, 01:22 PM
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"Well look who it is-" Ziusudra halted momentarily, his eyes narrowed in surprise at the shout directed with familiarity towards him. It was a voice he didn't recognize, coming from the bar and when he realized it was simply the tavern's patron welcoming him in, he relaxed and approached the bar as instructed. The Wet Trout was warm and welcoming space, lacking the eerie vibe of the White Lady. It was easy to let your guard down here. He wondered how much thieving happened here or if there was a sort of respected moratorium that was in place. Either way, he kept his awareness about him.

"Ale will do nicely. Hot." The idea of warmed ale would have disgusted him not too long ago, but in the eternal frost of the Dale he'd come to enjoy the occasional warmth it offered. He sat and as he waited for the dragonborn to return with mug he called down a trickle of the Record's knowledge with an alien word and a gesture. When the steaming ale was set before him, he moved his hand away from the bar to reveal five silver pieces placed neatly, one atop the other, more than he imagined a simple serving of drink might cost. "And some information, if you have it. I heard a certain notorious wizard was a recent guest here." The bounty hunter looked up to the boisterous dragonborn calmly,
Dice Insight:
1d20+5 (6)+5 Total = 11
1d4t 1 Running Total = 12
taking a measure of her reaction as well as the nearby tiefling. "Can you tell me anything about him?"


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  #48  
Old Jan 12th, 2021, 08:39 PM
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I have made for you a key, Spaz.

Keys are better than lockpicks, and she loves lockpicks, so. She plain old likes opening doors. Is it an object or a metaphor? Did he make it in the before? Is it back in Targos? Hardly matters. Her brother made her something, and she will find it, the end. Might take a while. Until then, the words, the idea of it, will keep her warm.

After Falfen ducks out and disappears into the dark, she thinks, I embarrassed him. He is so buttoned up, like his own skin has been pasted on too tight. It makes his kindness to her more valuable. Oar’s as well. These things do not come naturally to them. sentient races who are not Hin.NeiaHin are just weird. All of ‘em. She thought humans were the weirdest, until she met Goliaths. They keep things interesting.

She borrows the kitchen again to manage the rabbit and berries. She can get every bit of fat and meat off anything, and she minces in the organs for flavor. She'll freeze the bones in her pack for marrow broth, and the hide and brain, too; Osco taught her every animal is born exactly smart enough to cure its own skin. Tru doesn’t waste anything; it’s why she’s alive. She makes scant-meat sandwiches that are mostly flat camp-bread, unleavened and long-lasting, loads her pack, and heads into the night.

She has time, before she and Bander meet up with Mosk. Tea? Yes, please, and a pipe. On the way to meet Oar, she does stop in to handfeed the dogs every scrap of rabbit she wouldn’t eat herself. Mostly digestive tract. Gristle, he don’t mind it. And she knows from experience that if she was hungry enough? She wouldn’t either.

She finds Oar and this Cora and sees what they are brewing.

 


 

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Old Jan 13th, 2021, 05:59 PM
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Haela Starshield
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John Wolf's sincerity did him credit. Looking around his forge, Haela was... well, not impressed. That would be overstating the matter. But she was not, as she had expected, actively offended by the crimes against metallurgy she had always understood humans - poor things - to be incapable of abstaining from. John Wolf was clearly serious, conscientious, and thoroughly enamoured of his work. He was, by some distance, the sanest human Haela had yet encountered.

That he also seemed properly in awe of Dwarven craft, of course, didn't hurt. Haela studied the adamantine rod with him, and found she was unable to resist giving him one or two pointers about how best to work it. These weren't exactly trade secrets - nothing that wasn't fairly common knowledge back home - but from his effusive reaction she suspected that they were not things widely known in the Ten Towns.

It was probably fine.

She didn't recognise the verse John Wolf - moved, in a truly Dwarfenly fashion, by the beauty of the metal - was inspired to recite, but she sincerely doubted that it was the work of elves.

"Such heartfelt appreciation for the qualities of metal seems sadly rare, here, away from my Hold! There, of course, we make much use of even the rarest minerals. As the words run:

O Ironmaster! bar thine adamantine doors:
The north is thine; there hast thou built thy dark
Deep-founded habitation.


...the doors are made of adamantine, you see. Tell me, John Wolf!"


Haela - probably affected by the great number of tools in the immediate vicinity - is seized by sudden inspiration.

"Have you encountered, of late, any other dwarves who might be thought to hail from Ironmaster? The accent, I am told, is quite distinctive..."


OOC
 
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Old Jan 13th, 2021, 08:37 PM
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Orwinton 'Oar' Grinstyrwi by @ThePsysquatch


Arriving back at the stable house, Oar does a quick check-in with the dogs then knocks at Clora's door to see if she is willing to set up another round of tea.

If she does, then he'll suggest starting with one of his regular brews and then move to the calming brew if Tru shows up. He wasn't sure if she would—after all, there are problems that are dealt with by sitting down and ducking them with a pot of tea, and then there are problems that are dealt with by going out with a local trapper, hunting it down and skinning it alive. Oar wasn't sure which of the two problems Tru was facing.

While he waits, Oar decides to pose a series of questions to Clora. First, he'll narrate all the events of the seance to her, perhaps exaggerating a bit on the extent of the winds and the chills ... (though as he narrates it, he is surprised that the story needs little relishing). Then, if his host seems willing to answer, he'll pose her the two important questions: What does she know about Divine Swivel Bars? Who was that woman who was needing a champion?

Then, he'll ask her the very important question: Where can he buy more tea in town? Good tea, mind you.

Then, if he still has time, he'll ask the super-important question: Would she be interested in a business venture once this is all done? Oar is impressed with her ability to manage a stable house all alone in these difficult times. She seems honest and resourceful. So ... perhaps she would want to be a part of this. Here's his idea ... The Ten Towns Tea Tour. Think of it as a pilgrimage for tea aficionados ... each of the Ten Towns has an official stop on the tour and tea pilgrims can visit them in any order. Each of the stops has a particular brew, a particular commemorative teapot and an official teahaus guest house. Commemorative saucers. Seasonal brews so that even people who have been to a teahaus will have a reson to return. Special tea-talk events (okay, Oar might have made it seem like he had a more definite connection with Violet and that she might have already agreed to be one of the guest lecturers—but surely she would agree when the time came, right?). And perhaps a special tricone hat for anyone who completes the visit to all Ten Towns in one tea season. Oar, of course, would be the creative director. He'd make surprise tea-drinking inspections at the houses, ensure that the tea shipments are coming in and ... well, just delight all the old tea-ladies on the tour. Surely it could be a hit, doesn't she agree?

For the first time since he arrived, Oar thought he had a personal reason for ridding this area of the winter curse.




 


 
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Old Jan 13th, 2021, 10:27 PM
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In the alley behind Townhall
As Imdra shakes out her flaming red hair a smile spreads across Bander’s scarred face. Then a sound, that only one other person in all of Icewind Dale has ever heard, erupts from him – a deep heartfelt belly laugh. After a moment Bander manages to get ahold of himself and wipes at his good eye.

”Well damn me, I must be getting older than I thought if I can go mistaking a lass like you for a lad. Maybe it's my gonads that need saving...from old age.”

The moment of levity over, Bander turns his attention to what Tennyson and Imdra have to tell him about the missing fishermen. In response to Imdra’s question about Bryn Shandar he says,

”Shandar is scared shatless and fell right in line when that forking owlfaced cleric came demanding a sacrifice. The Speaker is the worthless get of a goblin and a sewer rat for all the courage she showed. The only person I’d trust in the least would be Sherriff Southwell. He wasn’t supportive of the whole damned sacrifice thing, but also couldn’t see any way out of forking situation.”

Bander keeps Cassandra’s name out of the conversation. The last thing he wants to do is drag her into this stinking pile of entrails into which he has firmly put his foot. His deepest hope is that she will just be able to keep her head down until he can either fix this forking Rime or at least get back to her.

Bander glances from the cleric and then to the siblings. These kids are forking raw, like the freshest recruits in basic training and the cleric doesn’t seem much better, but you can’t turn down allies when the whle forking world is trying to gut you with a bloody spoon.

Bander gives Sarandash a nod. ”Well I can’t be committing to anything without talking to the others, but I tell you I would like to help if we can. I’ll head back to the inn, talk to the rest of my squad and we can meet you back here say in the morning?”

Offering his gloved hand in parting to each of his newest allies, Bander slips back around the town hall building and makes his way to the White Lady Inn.


OOC

Perception Check = 17

 


 


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Last edited by Chrystrom; Jan 13th, 2021 at 10:47 PM.
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  #52  
Old Jan 14th, 2021, 03:02 AM
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In the Alley Behind Town Hall
left-aligned image
Imdra latches onto the idea of connecting with Sheriff Southwell and seems excited that he might be sympathetic to the cause.

"I'll broach the subject," she says, putting her scarf and hood back on. "It will be natural for me to speak to him about the sacrifices, Captain of the Easthaven Guard to Sheriff of Bryn Shander. If it seems like he is open to it, I'll reach out, but don't worry -- I'll be cautious." Reassuring Tennyson, and shaking hands with you, she sets out.

Bander, after your meeting breaks up and you're on your way back to the inn, you see a very strange thing. There's a small wood pile behind the town hall, inside a box with a lock on it. You were near it during your conversation with the rebels, but as you pass by alone, you see the arched part of the lock click open, and the lock itself jigs out of the bolt and falls to the ground. At this point you halt. The lid to the box opens... and one by one four pieces of lumber lift out of the box and disappear.

At this point your foot crunches on a bit of snow that's drifted up against the building, and the lid of the box drops. You see, appearing in the snowy street, small footprints. Do you follow?


At Cora Mulphoon's
right-aligned image
Oar, Cora Mulphoon is very pleased to see you! She fires up the kettle straightaway, and you find a place to sit in her little kitchen. She talks a bit about Huarwar, starting out wistful but getting more positive as the conversation goes on and the tea starts to flow. Her mousy nose turns a bit ruddy, her cheeks brighten, and she ties her flyaway hair into a tighter bun as she settles down to listen to your questions.

"I wouldn't really say there's a place to buy tea," she says mournfully, but in her nervous voice. "Sometimes Pomab will have something that he calls tea, but some of it you need practically a handful to make a decent cup. I don't like dealing with Mr. Skies or Mosk much, so -- oh, do you know where the best place to buy tea used to be? Helen's Heavenly Tea!" She gets a little misty as she pushes her long sleeves up, holds her steaming mug up to her face, and her eyes shine. "Helen went south in the early days of the Rime. Probably smart. But her little shop in Bremen, well, she was a mage. She had a little extra something about her, you know?"

When you pitch your idea about the tea room, she lights up even more. "Oar Grindlesteer!" she says, clutching your hand and absolutely butchering your name. "I think this is a beautiful idea! Just imagine, what a beautiful thing it would be, a reason for people to want to visit here, to want to -- travel around the Dale. It's such a dark place now. Can I tell you? Can I tell you something?"

She wipes her eyes a little and tells you there's a perfect place to build "a little house" near the temple of Sarenrae. There's a spot very close to the church that is out of the wind, with a couple of trees, and a sweet little yard. "Every time I walk past it, I imagine the kind of little house I would build there, between the two trees. I was thinking it could be a bakery, but -- why not tea?" She whips out a piece of paper from a drawer in the kitchen, and a charcoal pencil, and begins to sketch her idea for a bakery/tea room. To be honest the sketch is a little crooked and weird, the house is too small, and part of the house is on stilts and part isn't, and the porch railing seems to be made of snakes, but she presents it to you with such an earnest look. She would like to have her commemorative teapot to be animal shaped. And she suggests that her signature brew could be "The Inside Bath" -- and well, the important thing is she's amenable to the idea.

Finally, the questions about the seance. "Oh, that's Penny Martell," she says with a nervous laugh, when you describe the woman with the dead champion. "Dead champion, dead champion, who could it be? I do not genuinely know. That's very odd. The things the spirit says sometimes become a little scrambled. Maybe it's transmission from the other world?" She glances back and forth from your face to the tea and back to you. "Sometimes the words or letters come out of order. Bar Divine Swivels? Swivel Divine Bars? Could even be like I Bard Swivel Vines. You know? I mean, that doesn't make sense but--"

Tru, when you arrive, Cora is happy to meet you, and welcomes you warmly to her house. She reminds you of a floofy dog you once knew in Targos, with a sharp nose and pink cheeks and small black eyes, and an effusion of hair tufts, if the dog had worn a cardigan and high boots, and had a hopeful heart.


At John Wolf's Forge
left-aligned image
Haela, John Wolf is picking up what you are throwing down, verse-wise and technique-wise. He's a respectful student, and while it's not an instant transformation, he does seem capable of improving, just with the few bits you toss at him. His poetic attributions may be questionable, but his spirit is in the right place.

When you ask him your question, he puts down his hammer and bends over to rearrange his stockpile of fuel, tucking the tarp more tightly against the biting wind. He stands up looking quizzical.

"There's only one dwarf around here that isn't actually from here. That I haven't known for years, you know? And that's Shandra Froth over at Good Mead. She showed up not too long ago wanting to work underground, and they put her to tending the bee caves. Now that you mention it, she does kind of talk like you."


At the Wet Trout
right-aligned image
Ziusudra, the hot beer is pretty good. It's substantively different from regular beer, apart from the temperature, with spices and a depth to it you didn't expect. When you ask your question about Dzaan, you watch the dragonborn for her reaction, but her face remains controlled and implacable -- the same fake smile and mechanical levity. You do see her exchange a look with the tiefling Scython, but it's hard to tell whether it's a warning or conspiratorial or what.

"Ah, Dzaan, yes, he did live here for a few weeks. Took breakfast late and dinner early, when he ate it at all. Never took a companion to his room, didn't make friends, didn't cause problems."

The tiefling, Scython, stirs, "If you don't think sending innocents to their death is a problem. Then there's no problem."

The dragonborn slams her fist down on the bar. Again. "Not my problem! Adventuring life is tough. Sometimes you die. You want to burn at the stake every quest giver that didn't guarantee a safe return? Kinda rough if you ask me."

"Dzaan was alright," Scython observed. "But if he was such a hot s**t wizard, why couldn't he melt the ice in the harbor, get the boats back out there. Wouldn't I like to be back on the ferry, cutting through the ice floe, doing a hard day's work--"

"You would not! You're a lazy bastard who got the ferry stuck in the ice. And I bet you haven't even been down there a single day, to work on it, trying to keep that boat in shape."

"What's the point?" Scython throws up his hands, but mildly.

"So there it sits." The barkeep turns back to you. You sense this is a conversation they've had more than once -- her pushing him to go work on the ferry, and him claiming there's nothing to be done. You know the lack of ferry service has caused problems for Easthaven and both the Caers. To watch this tiefling sitting here complacently, you wouldn't think he had any responsibility at all.

"If you're interested in Dzaan, you can take a look at his room," says the dragonborn. "We did give it a clean earlier today, but there might be something leftover. Nan doesn't always pay the best attention."

Dzaan's room is small and sparse with very few personal touches, but you can give it a toss.


OOCVislands, please roll an investigation check to search Dzaan's room. Therru, I wasn't sure if Haela went along with Ziusudra, but if she did, she can also investigate and they can work together.

Chrystrom, please roll a survival check if you'd like to try and track these footprints in the snow. Bennimus, not sure if Sarandash was going back to the Inn, but if he is, he can also roll survival and they can work together.

Fillyjonk and bananabadger, I'm not sure when you want to establish that Tru showed up -- if Oar would have pitched all that in front of her (I think so?) or if he would have said some of it before she arrived. I think you wrote the post before you knew she was coming, so you guys can work out how much of the scene she would have participated in.

Atrayn please roll a survival check to see how Falfen's hunting goes, and also roll a perception check.

Therru, in your mind is Lovodra a male or female dwarf? In my mind Haela's rival apprentice Lovodra is female, but reading back some of the questions you've asked I realize we might not be on the same page there! Either way is fine, as long as I know, so that I give good clues.

Last edited by lostcheerio; Jan 14th, 2021 at 03:29 AM.
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Old Jan 14th, 2021, 11:24 AM
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Zisudura noticed the glance that went between the dragonborn and the tiefling, but couldn't quite read its contents. It didn't appear malicious at least, so when he was offered the opportunity to search Dzaan's room, he took it. "That would be appreciated." He stood from the bar, leaving the five silver as payment, before following direction to his quarry's old room.

It wouldn't be long before whispers of the absence of his body made their way about town, so getting here before other curious eyes was essential. It was unfortunate that it had already been cleaned, but the hope was that the staff here were not so thorough. The room was sparse, appearing as any other cheap, but decent room. Zius closed the door slowly behind him, took a deep breath as a trickle of the Record's knowledge flowed into him and
Dice Investigation:
1d20+4 (12)+4 Total = 16
1d4t 2 Running Total = 18
got to work.

Once he was finished investigating the room by mundane means, he stood once more in the center of the room. He began to speak, slowly, words of different languages. Languages that he did not know mere days ago, but now came to him easily, as if he'd been hearing them from the womb. Motes of pearlescent, alien somehow in illumination appeared about his head, only to disappear again and be replaced seconds later by a different twinkle in a different location.

Finally, after some minutes, Ziusudra sighed as if finding some release. All the motes winked out and instead a hive-like membrane of kaleidoscoping light traced itself before his eyes and around the back of his head - like a halo. That too faded, leaving behind only the barest impression of before his eyes. Through this, he now looked over the room anew.


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Old Jan 14th, 2021, 06:30 PM
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Sarandash notices Bander examining the ground closely. He takes a careful look at the ground, noticing some footprints. I don't reckon any of your Hin friends made these? Any ideas as to where they're from? Sarandash Survival check: 12investigates where the tracks lead, the size and weight of the footprints, and the way the snow and dirt have caved in. Sarandash looks in multiple directions to try to ascertain the possible source and destination of the prints, though also recognizing that it could be someone else's footprints.

But then... what is the print doing here?

 


 


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Old Jan 14th, 2021, 07:45 PM
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I have made for you a key, Spaz.

While Oar and Cora talk, she is spreading out her very expensive store of bone upon the table. It’s absolute trash. Maybe five or six pieces with any room to really work at all, and then a bunch of chips.

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Perfect.

She counts out 23 littlies, and then puts away the “good” (comparatively) pieces and the scant sprinkling of other chips that were the most thoroughly unusable.

While Cora and Oar talk, she is shaping the bits, sanding, getting them to be more regular and flat. This is a project that will take more downtime, but she starts now. When she is done, she will have 23 bone tiles, each with a letter on it.

I H A V E M A D E F O R Y O U A K E Y S P A Z

All tiles will be square, except the last four. They will be round. Because if Rinaldo got words or letters reversed or scrambled, S P A Z seem most likely word to have come through clean. She would also be likely to accept DORKO, POTATO, and DOODLE at face value.

Even so, she is going to put the S P A Z tiles in the mix. In case.

Because how does a drowned person leave a KEY she could reasonably find, years later? And WHERE? Targos? In the lake itself, sunk? Hidden n the boat he "fell" from? Maybe, but, she wants to play with these letters. She works on the project until she has to leave to make her meeting. She will finish. Another day. She packs up her ivory and stands.

Oar? Will you please come with me to meet this fence? Mosk. I think, look, from what I’ve heard, from two sources now, this is your best chance to get your hands on some new teas. Or any tea at all. I mean, I could check for any stock he has now, if you give me money, but, this is the guy who might could set up a regular import service. For the idea. The house.

Cora, thank you for the hospitality. If Oar comes with me, can you keep an eye on Gristle and the others for an hour?


She ain’t skerred a no fence, but from what the kids and the fisher said---yes. This is where to set up a multiple town tea delivery service.

With or without her largest friend, she heads out to meet Bander and perhaps others at the place where Mosk is going to be.

 


 

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Old Jan 14th, 2021, 07:57 PM
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Orwinton 'Oar' Grinstyrwi by @ThePsysquatch


Oar washes his teacup and rushes out to follow Tru.
There are some items of business she said she is attending to, but "tea supplier" is what has him focused.

 


 
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Old Jan 14th, 2021, 08:23 PM
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Bander’s one good eye widens at the sight of the flying and then disappearing wood.

Bloody orc turds, that is a forking strange sight!

The old soldier reaches down, slowly draws out his mace from its belt holster, and begins Survival check = 9 scanning the ground for any further signs of the lumber larcenist.


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Old Jan 14th, 2021, 10:35 PM
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Falfen does not hunt in the little stand of trees. Instead, eyes slightly wild with panic, Falfen lays on his back in the light snow, letting the cold pass through his leathers. That spirit, that lady. What did she want with him? What did she mean "You are the reason I am here?" "I did not ask for you, spirit!" he shouts. "I did not ask for any of you," he thinks to himself and the voice that lives within him.

The cold up his back begins to calm him and he closes his eyes. "I did not mean that. I am sorry. You have truly been my guide and companion. I just do not know how to share you with others. Because you have also been my isolation and my loneliness." He waits, but she does not speak to him still.

Falfen lays there a while longer, thinking about the day, that horrible seance, wishing he had shared his secret with Tru and yet happy he had not, until the cold begins to seep into his bones and it is time to rise. He shakes his head, trying to get rid of the images of the seance, but they are burned right at the front of his consciousness, necks snapping, mouths singing the strange song. He pops a couple of frostberries into his mouth, feeling the cold acidity bite at the back of his throat and shivers. Then shouldering his pack, he trudges back to the inn, looking for his friends.


 


 
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Old Jan 16th, 2021, 12:57 AM
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In the Dark Night

Midnight. The Rime descends.

Falfen, you don't hear an answer from your spirit guide in words, but she's very present with you right now in the silence. More than usual. You have spent much of your life out in the wilderness, and when you are out there, on the glacier, in the woods, in the mountains, she is never really gone. But you go for weeks, for months sometimes, without feeling a close contact, especially when the weather is clear, when you're in a town like this, when you're near people. Right now, ever since you saw the image of her out on the tundra after the goblin fight, near to you and projected up on the mountains, it's like the scrim between the material world and the world of spirit is oddly thin. She doesn't speak now, but she is in the cold that seeps up into your back from the frost, she's in the berries you eat, and the sharp wind over your face. She doesn't answer but she does. Acceptance, support, care.

But how will it translate? What you experience -- how can it be explained? How it be put into clunky, awkward words to push out of your mouth, to share with someone. This lonely, beautiful thing. How do other people feel? What is the way that they feel cold, or wind, or how do they hunt, or live through storms? You can only really know the world that you yourself inhabit. And if there is even one other person in it with you, will it still be the same world?

When you go back toward the inn, you see that Oar and Tru are just passing the White Lady, headed for the dock where the ferry is stuck in the ice. Will you join them?



At the Wet TroutZiusudra, the mundane search doesn't turn up much. According to the evidence here, Dzaan was a simple person with almost no personality. Any coin or candles or anything of value seems to have been helpfully removed by the staff, and the residue is insignificant: a few flakes of dried herbs in a drawer, half a pencil, a stub of chalk, socks, etc. When your magical sight comes into focus, however, you see the energies between objects, drawn in a fine shining web. You look to where the lines intersect in bright gold light, and you get a hit, under the grey piece of carpet, under the floorboards. The loose board is set in with a simple but subtle trick, and when you remove it you see three things, outlined in gold:

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A leather book, bound with two buckled straps, and two oval pieces of black stone, palm-sized, smooth. Unlike everything else here in the north, these are not cold to the touch.

You are able to open the book, no problem, but flipping through the pages you find only love poems, written in common. Bad poems, full of life/strife and love/dove rhymes, penned in a dull script. But the book definitely pings as magic. The two stones are easier to understand. You know very well what they are -- these are chardalyn spell stones.

Each of these magical stones has absorbed a spell, which can be cast when the stone is crushed. You know that some of this black, magical stone has been corrupted by wizards and is itself evil and corrupting in its essence. This is called black ice. But chardarlyn spell stones, while rare, are known around the realms. Originally used by the Netherese, they have been more recently eclipsed by gem magic in most places, but are familiar enough to you that you've seen one used to cast. You spend a little time with these rocks and determine that the spell stored each of in them is Telekinesis.


In the StreetsSarandash and Bander, you pick up the trail of these odd footprints and you set off through the alleys, working together, making eye contact effectively enough to coordinate your efforts so that one of you is hiding while the other follows, then you trade. In this way you track your quarry without being discovered. Sarandash, the old soldier gives you hand signals you can understand, and Bander, the old priest seems pretty capable, if not particularly militant. At the main street you lose the footprints for a minute, and some townsfolk pass by you, bundled tightly in furs and woolens. You pause for a minute under a flickering lamp. Then you see it, a bit farther on down a different alley, north of you, the lid of a firewood box squeaking open, and the same strange sight of logs being lifted out and then disappearing.

You follow this strange phenomenon toward the docks, tracking at least three separate creatures, as a couple more sets of footprints join from behind a carpenter's shop. When you approach the waterfront there is less cover for you to hide your pursuit, so you back off a bit. The footprints seem to be heading to the dock where the ferry is moored, the same dock where Gaspar's shack is sheltered against the harbor wall, and the same dock where you now see Tru and Oar approaching a tall figure in a hooded cloak.


On the Docks
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Oar and Tru, you hustle through the town, keeping a hand on your pack and an eye on the shadows. When you reach the dock, you see that Gaspar has fully packed up his shack. The bins are empty and all the wooden flaps are down and locked. It's midnight. The Rime descends above you in shimmering green and blue. You see a figure on the dock a little further on, a tall burly man in a green cloak and hood standing up against one of the poles where pulleys are hung to load and unload the boats. As you hesitate, watching, you see a smaller figure, talking to him. He barely looks down, but he pulls something out of a messenger bag that's strapped to his chest, and then she presses something into his hand, and she walks quickly away. She passes you and nods, raises her eyebrows, and shrugs. "Next?" she says, and walks on. Over her shoulder she calls back, "He's got butter if you've got candles."

Mosk greets you with a brusque jerk of his head, if you approach. Under his hood, his face is red. His hands too, and he's got small tusks. His nose is oddly split. He has the following goods on offer:

Butter. Refined sugar. Yeast. Beet molasses. Honey. Salt. Possibly other special foods. The honey and salt are the cheapest.
A book: The Polar Sea by Idrisial Ilbaros: 4 gold.
Improved bed rolls: 5 silver
A ring of Water Breathing: 1000 gold
A potion of healing: 50 gold
A bag of enchanted worms for fishing bait, can be portioned out: 3 silver each
A magic longsword: 200 gold
Several bottles of wine: 15 gold each
Wand of Minor Binding: 2000 gold
Mittens of Fox's Cunning: 100 gold

He has no tea, sadly. Mosk is brusque. His voice is deep and rumbles. He's not nice. He's not being aggressive to you, or threatening, or even impolite. He's just got no warmth in him, and friendly overtures will be difficult. He is definitely willing to trade for your goods.



OOCVislands, I resolved your recent Arcana crit by having Ziusudra know what spell the Chardalyn stones hold. We're square now!

Chrystrom and Bennimus, you may think you rolled low on Survival, but the published DC to follow those tracks was 10.

Atrayn, you can notice/join whichever PC or PCs you like. If Falfen was headed to the White Lady, that means he's near to the ferry dock.

Fillyjonk and bananabadger, you can shop from Mosk's list, or ask about other items. You can trade what you have or make an offer of coin. He does not have any kind of crate or bundle, so watching him you kind of observe that he's got some kind of magic bag there, and all his stuff is in it.

Oar, Falfen, Bander, Tru, and Sarandash are all down at the docks now. If Ziusudra is done at the Wet Trout, it's possible he might be back there too, as The White Lady Inn is right on the waterfront. Anyone who is down there, please roll perception, along with whatever other rolls you would like to do.


Last edited by lostcheerio; Jan 16th, 2021 at 01:59 PM.
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Old Jan 16th, 2021, 02:38 PM
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Orwinton 'Oar' Grinstyrwi by @ThePsysquatch

"Ohhh! This shop is a bit rich for me, though when I have some more money, I would like to find out whether or not you could rent out that ring," he says reaching into his pouch. "But for today, I'll take a jar of honey, the book and ... can we round it up to 6 gold if I buy some information from you? What do you know about Divine Swivel Bars? Errr...and don't take offense if it is as lewd as I think it might be."

 


 
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