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  #1  
Old Jun 16th, 2022, 11:43 AM
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Troubles in Knotside

Red Claw
Tales from the Fen: Red Claw
"There ain't no laws while there's Red Claw around!~"

Clear skies overhead were unwelcomed in this unreasonably warm summer heat. The sun bored down in an unrelenting manner upon the troupe of individuals travelling down the Attlesong Highway. Sea salt hung faintly on the breeze, powerless to bring comfort from the summer heat to those who ventured east towards the port town of Knotside. To the south was the Red Plains, a sprawling grassland dotted with rolling hills that were filled with vibrant red flowers in the springtime. Any other time it was just simple grasslands with a misleading name. To the north was the tips of the Basilisk's Spine peering over the horizon. A long mountain range that stretched to the north and east with a swath of foothills at its base.

It was hot. The sort of hot that made everyone jealous of spellcasters who could easily chill their waterskins to press to their head. Darn them and their super-cool waterskin-cooling magic!!

The missive to The Guild arrived but a week prior. An urgent request for aid. Those were common, as everyone felt their issue was "urgent." From Mittens the Kitten being caught in the tree for the nth time this month. To Uncle Joey stinking up the outhouse again because he refused to believe that his body can't handle milk. This time, however, the head council actually deemed it to be an urgent issue. Something was going on in Knotside and they were calling in some of their more trusted contacts to handle it.

"Do NOT drink the so-called drink named 'Red Claw'" was the warning given. Something about the drink was causing fits of possible insanity among the citizens in town. A simple shot would make you ask for another, and another, and more still! Until you were selling your house, your He always was a jerk anywayscat, even your clothes for the chance at another sip!!

You were instructed to venture to the location, seek out Kollias, the current leader of the militia. The town is in chaos and many of its leaders are among those under the drink's sway. Kollias would likely know more on how things came to be. Find the source, put an end to it by any means needed, and hopefully find a cure.


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The coach trudged on down the highway. Hebias, the driver, removed his rimmed hat for the fifth time in the last ten minutes to wipe his brow against his long sleeved jacket. Curse his sense of professional standards for demanding he wear this in this weather! But it was a guild job, they always paid well so he would endure. Within the coach sat the duo of Erelli and Dirra. The interior, at least, had cooling crystals installed in the corners of the cabin to push out cooled air and keep things comfortable. As per Guild protocol. You can't have grouchy adventurers - that almost always leads to lawsuits.

Trotting along-side the coach was Mikey G and the riding goat, Matilda; weathering the sun's unrelenting heat. Up ahead was the armored Deathknight a top his skeletal warhorse. Yonte was somewhere, but she'll appear when the time is right. Or at least, that's what the script said.

Spektor was holding his position, which was unusual as he had purposefully pulled ahead the entirety of the trip thus far. As the coach neared it was plain to see why the deathknight was stalled. The gates of Knotside were only but a mile ahead, but out here open road - accosting an armored Shadar-kai upon a skeletal warhorse of all things, was a dozen villagers.

They were a mixed bunch of all races, sizes, and walks of life. There was even one dressed up as a rooster, surely from Lens Chicken Shack.

"When you can't see the table anymore, you're surely dinning at Lens." was always a poor slogan, but good food nevertheless.

Each of the villager's had piercing red eyes that seemed to glow in their sockets. Their stomachs appeared unnaturally distended, almost like massive beer-guts hanging over the rim of their pants (if they had them). In their hands were "weapons" taken from various sources. Such things as a chair leg, a flower pot, a pair of gardening shears, even a simple plate. "Give us yer booze money!" one shouted to the deathknight

"YEAH!"

The crowd all yelled in agreement as the coach slowed to a crawl and eventual stop. "He's an adventurer! Adventurers ALWAYS have money, yeah?!" "YEAH!"

"Mama dinnt raise no cowering chicken! Imma proud rooster!" the man in the chicken suit declared.

"Give up the coin!"
"Take his horse!"
"Ba-kaw!"
"C'mon!!! Help us out, here!"

The villagers spread out to form a half-circle around the group and started to advance closer while shouting demands for coin.

 
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Old Jun 16th, 2022, 06:53 PM
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Yonte KarstThe woman on the dappled horse isn't quite 'frumpy,' but she looks like she's got about 5 years until frumpification takes hold. Yonte is a wiry, straight-haired, middle-aged, stern-looking woman who clearly puts stock in many other things before she invests in appearance. Her simple white tunic is stained and torn beneath rough dark overalls. She is thoroughly unremarkable. Yet she rides with a remarkable crew. A half-day's ride from Knotside, she informs that crew, be they bumping in the carriage or mounted upon a blasphemy, "now, when we get close to town, I'm going to lay off to one side. I'll catch up. But you understand. If I just straggled in on the 2:40 from Cliffside... Well, it wouldn't look right for BEER, now, would it? No sirree. So I'll make an entrance proper. No offense and all."

It was an hour outside of town that she began her preparation. She told her porters to be ready to hang back. She stowed her notepad. She took in the last dregs of her mid-afternoon suds and stowed her mug. As she polished her boots, she slowed her horse. Time to give the group their head start, so that when Knotside appeared around a bend, Yonte would not be with them.

And then, a bunch of drunken louts stopped the Guild's resident corpse-whisperer. A welcome wagon? Oh, drat, no. They're the BAD kind of drunken lout. I'm not ready! "Damn damn damn! Blow my sweet entrance..." Yonte curses beneath her breath as she scrambles to engage. No grandiloquent villainous speeches? No moustache-twirling paeans to wine and spirits? A chicken-man? What sort of gluten-free watered-down podunk place is this? In a deep voice, she calls out, "Desist, citizens!"

Yonte rises on the back of her horse, standing upright in the saddle for an instant before she steps into empty space. Striding forward, she places a shining crimson gauntlet over her right hand. As she rises into the air and clenches the gauntleted fist, pieces of metal come flying up towards her. A large sheet of interlaced metal clamps to her back. Another comes around to the front and interlocks with the back. One piece then another locks into place around her as she approaches the confrontation: helmet, vambrace, cuisse, locking into place. Yet by the time she approaches Spektor, she is not entirely put-together. A pauldron struggles to find its latch, and a greave insists on trying to connect to its neighbors upside down. Yonte curses as her armor fails to fully assemble. But action must come now or never!

Standing in empty air 15 feet above the ground, clad head-to-shin in shining crimson and gold armor, she bellows in a throaty voice, "Knotsiders! Brothers! Chicken-men! Stop this madness! We have come! The Guild and I, the Iron Hogshead, shall remedy all ills with your booze supply! Hassle not Spektor. Can you not see he is as liable to ride your bones to the Hells as he is to cough up a piece of silver? If you're in need of beer, then your woes are over!" Yonte looks over her shoulders at her porters. As she does so, she kicks off her loose greave, hoping that it can right itself as she negotiates. "Petre, Stepne! Come, bring forth the beverages! The good times start early!"
OOCRolled an 8 on persuasion to get them to settle their hineys down. But maybe I get a bonus because I come bearing beer?

 
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Last edited by Wynamoinen; Jun 16th, 2022 at 07:01 PM.
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Old Jun 16th, 2022, 09:58 PM
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Erelli
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The dark-haired and at least fifty percent elven lass in the coach, well she'd been quiet through much of the journey. The moth-girl who shared the space had turned out to be a really pleasant traveling companion actually, in that she was perhaps not uncomfortable with uncomfortable silence. This was a nice change from the usual guild members. Oh yes, the egos and bold stories, the anecdotes about how the astronomer with the puppet had saved the day, or how ornate Windaulk the mage's new rod was. Peace and quiet for now. It was good.

Erelli had never really tried to show off too much of herself to the "guild crowd". Sure, they knew she was crafty in a shadow-hugging kind of way, and inclined to be around even when she couldn't be seen, but her natural state was as more of an anonymous scout and assistant. This wasn't at all because she wanted to appear to be superior or anything. Quite the contrary. She just didn't want people to think she was a guild-girl because of... well... the tax and rate cuts they got, from her Father. It was a sweet deal though. They got cuts, Erelli got work. Work projects were good, because a fair portion of Erelli's average intellect was occupied by one thing. Coin. Ok, several things. Coins, gems, silverware, pretty much anything that could prop up her family's bottom line.

Back to the coach though... well it was shady in here, and required low effort compared to steering a goat away from everything edible in sight, or keeping a boney behind mounted in a saddle. One day she'd find Spektor one of those plush sheepskin seat covers or something.

Erelli ran a hand through long hair to guide it away from her face, and then leaned in closer to the cooling crystals in her particular corner. They actually worked! These weren't some heavily included, low grade and unethically mined junk, like you'd see at village markets. Oh no. This was the slave-mined good stuff, glassy and cool. Then, she exchanged a look with her fellow first-class passenger, and popped her book down. The small black tome was really interesting reading actually. Erelli kind of sighed at having to put it away. The story was just getting to some juicy stuff, like a basic technique for scaring the pants off people.

"Great," she said in a sarcastic tone, regarding the sounds from outside. Then, she waved a hand around her head, her shoulders and pretty much everywhere. A thin trail of darkness followed it like a ribbon...

 


 
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 01:27 PM
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Outside KnotsideThe odd and rowdy crowd seemed un-swayed by the showmanship displayed by the Artificer. There were a few calls to steal the armor she donned for coin and an odd poorly down rooster call, yet that all subsided instantaneously when Petre and Stepne poured the first tankard. Content faces (with glowing red eyes) and happy sighs came from the cluster of odd villagers as they lowered their improvised weapons.

The first one to receive the drink wasted naught but a second before they attempted to chug it down with gluttonous fervor only to put the drink right back into the tankard. "The hells is this?! This isn't Red Claw!!" the human man declared and handed the drink back to Petre with a bit of force and a lot of backwash. "You said this was Red Claw!!" No one said the drink was Red Claw, yet it was clear they were not right in the head.
A half-orc drank from their tankard as the man threw his accusations. "We demand Red Claw!! Not this knock-off brand!"

"I don't know, this is pretty tasty." The half-orc proclaimed.
"Yeah.... but its not Red Claw!!"
"Oh yeah..."
"She promised Red Claw!! We want Red Claw! We want Red Claw!"

The man chanted for a few moments before realizing no one else was joining him. Flustered he returned to Plan A "AGHH! Just give us your money!"


 
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 03:49 PM
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Spektor
Shadar-Kai Deathknight

The unnatural horse plodded down the road as its equally unusual rider sat straight-backed atop of it, as if immune to the natural movement provoked by the fiendish, undead mount beneath him. Introductions had been brief. Spektor hadn't revealed much besides what he was called. The 'Horse' seemingly didn't have a name, or the elvish-descendant traveler from the Shadowfell hadn't given it one and just referred to it by what it had once been considered before.

Besides the black leather saddle and bardings that were imprinted with sigils and familiar markings of the Raven Queen, there was no more nauseating sight than the beast. The flesh had long pulled away from its skull and fallen from much of its body. One could see straight through its abdomen. As it walked, its dark, rust-colored heart beat at a steady pace in plain view of any who looked upon it.

The man atop its silvery-white hair fell down flatly around his angular, emotionless face. Black eyes only made the paleness of his skin seemingly brighter, though much of it was covered by heavy, blackened armor that bore a large emblem devoted to the Raven Queen upon his chest. Looking very much like the stories told of the harrowing figure, Spektor had taken a lead position not too far ahead of the coach the Guild had expensed for the group of random members sent to Knotside.

They were only a mile from the gates when an unexpected, and somewhat large group of apparent villagers forced the deathknight to halt his horse. Whatever this was, it was surely something the others should see, too, given the information they had been given by the Guild. While he couldn't be sure, from all appearances, it seemed this group was under the effects of this 'Red Claw' they'd been cautioned against. Spektor didn't react to either their demands or the threats they made with their hodgepodge of crude weaponry. His hands continued to rest on the horn of his saddle as his gaze scanned the numerous souls; head unmoving as he did so.

His head did turn to the side when he sensed the approach of Yonte coming up on his flank. Instead of the steely gaze that seemingly could look right through a man to their very soul, an odd look of confusion creased his features as he watched the armor miraculously don itself to the woman. Despite the numerous 'bounties' he'd chased down and captured in his time, he'd never encountered one with the abilities and apparent power Yonte possessed. Spektor was slightly impressed, even if he would never admit as such.

As the crowd quickly went from threatening to satiated and then, mostly, back to pandering, Spektor waited until the first approached a bit too close to him and 'Horse' for his comfort. His head snapped quickly to face the approaching citizen. His voice erupted from him, bellowing out to make sure all of the citizens heard, but lacked any real sense of threat or emotion, "If you or any of yours threaten myself or those I travel with, I am ready to strike you down and send your souls to 'She Who I Serve' for judgment." One of his hands moved away from the horn of the saddle to reach up and rest on the hilt of the large 'Pact Greatsword' that was strapped across his back.

Spektor had no wish to cull these clearly charmed villagers, but no one would bring harm or attempt to take anything not offered from his fellow Guild members.

 
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Old Jun 19th, 2022, 06:40 PM
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Dirra
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Dirra absolutely hated the current weather. The heat would be awful for everyone who would decide to wear thick armour, black clothes and had cape-like wings and fur-collar attached to their body. Would Dirra be happy if it was cold, windy or rainy instead? Of course no. She would just find other reasons to complain. At least the cooling crystals inside the waggon were doing their job. The girl closed her eyes to relax before work but was jolted to focus by the waggon stopping and people shouting to each-other.

She made an exaggerated sigh and adjusted the straps of her shield, to make sure they held well. Then, she spun her finger a few times and touched her neck, Thaumaturgy: Booming Voicecasting some simple magic. Grabbing her staff, she slowly made her way out of the interior of the waggon and stood next to the coachman, looking down on the crowd, who stopped them.

"LISTEN UP, YOU PATHETIC MUTTS... AND CHICKEN!" The voice of the teenager was unnaturally deep and loud. "IF YOU KNOW THAT WE ARE ADVENTURERS, THEN YOU KNOW, THAT EACH OF US CAN DESTROY YOU WITH A FLICK OF A FINGER. THE ONLY THING YOU ARE GOING TO GET FROM US IS..." As the girl was about to finish her threat, the wind picked up slightly, blowing the pollen of one of the flowers around Dirra's neck, straight at her nose. "A... AAA.... AAAAA... achoo!" The magic, that altered her voice, dropped, as she made a cute, quiet sneeze. She closed her eyes and sighed. "Ok, to hells with it... Just get out of our way, or get your legs broken." Dirra lifted her staff to the sunlight and after a few seconds a transparent spear-head Shillelaghmaterialised itself at the tip of her stick. "Now, shooo shooo!" She began swinging her arms around, as if Intimidation: 16trying to scare away a flock of pigeons.



 

 

 
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Old Jun 20th, 2022, 01:29 PM
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Mikey
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Now, Mikey was a reasonable fella. Even back in the old days, when he was less agreeable and more throwin'-bricks-through-ol'-man-Steven's-window-cuz-he-called-Mikey-a-shortstack, he was more reasonable than his gang leader. (Harley, Son of David, tended to be more of the trample-them-beneath-the-hooves-of-his-boar-first, ask-questions-later sort, whereas Mikey was more of the ask-if-they-have-anything-valuable-that-would-get-crushed-by-boar-hooves-first, THEN trample-under-hooves sort.)

Surrounded by taller folk for the past however-many-days, boiling under the burning sun (he couldn't take off the leather jacket-- it was part of his image) and now being accosted by a group of folks who apparently included a giant chicken-man, Mikey was feelin' slightly less reasonable than usual. Still, he had a job to do. He was here representing the guild (a decent enough joint, even with all the squares), as well as Tymora (a pretty swell dame, as he's come to learn), so it probably wasn't time to start breakin' noses yet. Or... beaks. Whatever the chicken-man had. Persuasion: 16So it was time to bring on the ol' Mikey G Charm.

"Hey hey now, let's keep it cool, cats and kittens... and uh, chicken," he said to the gathered crowd. "Now, we ain't got your Red Claws, but uh..." He leaned in, conspiratorially, from atop his saddle. "I get the feelin' you fellas know where to get some. And it sounds like you've been gettin' the short end of the stick on this deal, yeah? Loyal to this brand for all this time, and yet here you are, out in the gutter, with no Red Claws when you really need 'em. That don't seem fair to me. So why don't you show us where they're keepin' all this stuff and we'll go have a chat with them? My team and I are very persuasive." He cracked his knuckles in demonstration.


ActionsMikey attempts a Persuasion check against the mob with a 16.
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Old Jun 21st, 2022, 12:33 PM
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Outside of KnotsideMany in the crowd were hesitant to advance on this gathering of adventurers, even the die-hard addicts to the drink. For not only were they offering free* booze but as it was plainly put out there - these folks could easily kick some butt! As Dirra stood upon the coach bench swinging wildly into the air and Spektor gave his stern warnings the group halted their advancement. Instead recoiling from the adventurers despite their growing thirst for Red Claw.

That was when Mikey G and Matilda stepped in and approached the retreating line of individuals. He attempted to relate to them on the cruelties of having this wonderful drink bestowed upon them and taken away like that. What sort of brand would do such a horrible thing?! What happened to supply and demand? You know, Econ 101 that a certain menarrator never paid attention to? That sort of thing!

"There ain't none!"
"Its all been dranken... drunken? Slurped!"

The villagers were not hostile in the least to the goat-backed halfling just trying to get to the bottom of things for them. "We just want to build a nest of coin for the next time the monks bring it!" the odd chicken man said looking slightly larger than before. More pudgy, like the chicken ate an entire bag of seed in one sitting.

From down the road towards Knotside came a cloud of dust. Dirra, from her heightened vantage point, could see a small group of six riders advancing towards their location.

"Wait- you know who brought these Jeff?!" another villager asked the chicken man.
"Bwaaaf course I do! A bunch of small little hooded monks ridding a wagon pulled by two weasels!" Jeff, the chicken man, clucked.

There was an odd silence as the group of riders grew near. "Disperse!" the front rider shouted "Disperse and return to town!"

"Crap! Kollias is here!" a woman hissed and the others marked the approaching riders. "Take the free stuff! We can probably resell that!" the thought was put out there, but no one was really taking action to do so. Not with Spektor's warning fresh on everyone's mind.

One-by-one the villagers became discouraged by the lack of progress they had made in extorting coin from these adventurers and began to flee with the belly's bobbing, back towards Knotside. The only one you stayed behind was Jeff.

"You stink Kollias!"
"Your horses are lame!"
"Way to ruin the moment Kol!"
"Your mom's a hamster!"

"Hey! She's your mom too, Leroy!" the head rider snapped back at the last comment as the riders passed through the crowd of villagers to approach the group. There were six individuals, mostly human or half-elf. The lead rider was a stern looking rider in his early fifties. Square jaw and broad shoulders with a salt and pepper look to a thinning mop of hair upon his head. He was dressed in leather armor that was a bit too snug for him with a blade at each side. "Apologies for the cold welcome everyone. You are the adventurers the Guild sent us, correct? Thank you for coming!

I am Eric Kollias, temporary head of the town militia until this all blows over. I would suggest you come into town but its a mess in there wi-"


The chicken man was definitely larger now, he was nearing a roundish look and let out a sudden "BAKAWWWW!!"

>BOOM!<


In a loud fiery ball the chicken man exploded.

It was like watching a firework go off. First there was a flash of fire, some pretty light, and then - nothing. There was nothing left of Jeff, the chicken man. No flesh or gore, no bones or beak, no feathers no suit. Nothing. Just a scorch mark on the ground of where he stood.

"With that happening left and right." Kollias finished with a sigh. "This damn drink is turning them into crazy time bombs!

If you have any questions I'll answer to the best of my ability, but as you can see - time is of the essence!"



 
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Old Jun 21st, 2022, 06:41 PM
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Mikey
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"...Huh," Mikey said, staring at the charred spot on the ground that used to be a chicken man. "Well that's, uh, not somethin' ya see everyday."

He took a minute to turn away, rubbing his eyes as though to assure himself that he was indeed awake and did in fact just see a man in a chicken suit spontaneously combust. He turned back. The burn mark was still on the ground. Mikey sighed haggardly.

"Yeah, ok, sure, great, fantastic," he grumbled to himself. "No big deal, everything's cool, just a traumatic thing I just witnessed that'll keep me awake at night for the next however many years. Explodin' chicken man. Great. Just great."

He raised both hands and took a deep, grounding sigh before turning to the apparent town militia.

"Cool. Yeah. So. This is just a thing that happens?!?" he said, waving in the direction of the former-chicken. "All this came from some kinda kooky booze? How long have people been drinkin' this stuff and how many people are...." He waved again at the scorch mark. "This?"
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Old Jun 21st, 2022, 07:05 PM
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Erelli
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Erelli smiled to herself at Dirra's exit from the carriage. Even though the words between them had been few and far between, she expected that the throng of village folks really had it coming to them now. People who were small and grumpy were not to be underestimated. You didn't have to be a dwarf to get things done.

The tax collector's daughter had then waited, assessing her next move. To sneak out into the roadside bushes and act as backup? Maybe a sneaky trick down the road a little way? The sound of more official voices, followed by a large and strangely squishy explosion put an end to her planning.

"Great," she muttered yet again, before sliding out of the carriage to stand by its side. Her eyes drifted to the scorched patch of ground, and then the assembled militia, before walking over next to Mikey and his mostly obedient goat. Erelli's expression had turned from one of quiet smugness, to one of sadness and surprise.

The halfling's questions were good ones, she thought, and best not to interrupt as she was very interested in this Kollias's answers.

Perhaps more incredible than witnessing the results of spontaneous self-combustion, was that if everyone who'd had too much of a certain drink lately, was exploding... it eluded to this town's militia being comprised of non-drinkers. That, Erelli thought, would surely be a first.

 
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Old Jun 21st, 2022, 08:55 PM
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Spektor
Shadar-Kai Deathknight

As the mob recoiled, Spektor's hand withdrew from his sword to come to rest atop his other on the horn of his saddle. Curiously, he never seemed to touch the reins, even before their arrival to the outskirts of Knotside: a fact his fellow guild members may have taken note of. His gaze remained unmoving on the citizens to make sure, especially with the halfling's approach, that he was ready in case any stepped out of line. The bounty hunter, less accustomed to this world, struggled at times not to see 'intimidation and violence' as the only useful tools in such dealings.

Between Dirra's booming voice and Mikey's persuasive reasoning, it seemed the mob's motivation was quickly draining. Their motivations were put on display, as was the only point of information that the bounty hunter thought useful. As riders appeared on the horizon, Spektor's gaze raised from the pacified mob to track the half-dozen mounted individuals. He knew they were much more of a threat if fighting were to break out. Much to his surprise, it seemed whoever was riding up was just those they needed to finally overcome the barrier to their entry into town.

Staring through Kollias as he spoke, Spektor's attention was uncharacteristically snapped away at the sound and sight of a man-sized cock suddenly erupting with a flash, but leaving little more than a quickly fading mushroom cloud of smoke in its wake. While this was incredibly curious to a man that knew extensively about death and the various methods that caused it, Kollias' reaction was even more incredible in its calmness.

"That's concerning," the deathknight muttered to himself. Any curiosity about tasting this 'Red Claw' had been prematurely ended. While Spektor was disappointed with the result, he was in no hurry to 'meet his maker' in a very literal sense. So was his hope of questioning 'Jeff' further about those seemingly-tiny monks.

Standing in his stirrups to look past all of the others towards the town, Spektor was surprised to see no smoke raising from the village, especially if this was the result of such an addictive drink. As he settled back down, listening to Mikey's shaky questions, 'Horse' plodded forward to halt itself next to the much smaller Matilda. While the halfling had already asked the right questions, the bounty hunter was naturally still interested in the 'who' of this particular mystery, adding, "...And what can you tell us about these 'monks' the rooster mentioned before…" Spektor didn't see a point in restating the obvious.

 
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Last edited by Saratek; Jun 21st, 2022 at 08:56 PM.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 04:18 AM
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"How come those people from militia are unaffected? They have to be non-drinkers..." Dirra thought and slowly eyed the members of militia, Insight: 12trying to feel, if they could have some ill intent behind bringing them here. Her father always said "Neeeeeever trust t-t-those, who d-don't drink!". Sure... he was an alcoholic. Sure... that kind of logic would suggest that most kids and teenagers can not be trusted... what wouldn't be that far from the truth...

She glanced down at what was left of the chicken-man. Poor soul... literally, as he had no money. Dirra was no expert in alchemy or arcane knowledge but Intelligence: 0tried to think if the effect she witnessed was closer to an alchemical reaction, a spell or a curse. "I bet some dirty fey are responsible for this mess. Those lunatic creatures love chaos..."


 

 

 

Last edited by BarrowB; Jun 22nd, 2022 at 04:19 AM.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 09:33 AM
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Outside Knotside

"Freaky, ain't it?" the unnervingly calm Kollias said in a monotoned reply to the halfling who was reacting as one would expect from seeing someone explode in an unnatural manner. The collection of riders all looked exhausted, mentally and likely physically. Many of them were a bit older than expected and it seemed only Kollias was truly experienced in combat.

"Its been going on for about a month now. Steadily getting worse as the days roll on. What was rooster-boy over there was number eighteen to go out in that fashion.

First time, yeah - everyone screamed and panicked. Some of the town elders went out much the same way. Wiped out the entirty of our official guards and port master. Damned drink is going to be the death of us one way or another."


The man repeated that it was surely the drink that was the cause to this debacle. Yet Dirra knew better - there was no way booze could have such an effect on someone! It was just booze! Sure, there could be some tricky alchemy at work too - but mass production would be far too hard! Only one option left: those dang Fey!!

"I saw most come under its thrall!" a half-elven woman declared "Most who tasted it were hooked, although some got lucky! I can't tell you what those lucky few had in common, though!"

When inquired about the monks the lead rider looked to his compatriots with an inquisitive look. Kollias didn't know, obviously, yet a younger human male - probably the youngest in the group, spoke up. "Oh! I know what you're talking on!

A small hooded guy brought a wagon into town with barrels of the stuff. Looked to be a small dragonborn fella. They gave it only to the Lusterous Gerbil tavern first, where I worked. Within a night it was a raging success.

They came back a few days later with much more and spread it out to the other places! Soon, everyone was drinkin the stuff like it were the best damn drink ever! This was 'round the time folks were explodin and such - though, those who wanted the drink didn't seem to care! Third time the wagon came in they were mobbed at the gate, whole barrels stolen and spilled out onto the streets. That's when riots started breaking out."


"We just got most of the fires under control two days ago.." the half-elven woman interjected in an unamused tone

"Last time they came was five days ago, they came with big brutish guards to protect them and their prices skyrocketed! They cleaned up most of what the town had for coin and left.

I last saw them coming in from the north, I did! Hauling away a large pile of gold and jewels!"


"North, eh? That'd be near the Basilisk's Spine and foothills. I know you bunch are tired from your trip, but if you could investigate this with post haste I'd greatly appreciate it. I have most my resources tied up keeping the riots quelled, but who is to tell how long we have until they pop like a cluster of firecrackers." Kollias grumbled.

 

Last edited by Retry; Jun 22nd, 2022 at 09:40 AM. Reason: adding color
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 12:03 PM
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Spektor
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If Dirra is Speaking CommonThere was a slight turn of the Shadar-Kai's head when Dirra blamed the 'Fey.' While he wasn't from the Fey Realm, the Shadowfell was considered quite similar, so he wasn't sure if he should take offense or not.


With what little the riders had to reveal, there were two points of interest to the knight. Waiting for the trio of speakers to finish up, Spektor focused his attention on the youngest of the riders. Raising his chin slightly as he addressed him, "Boy. What do you mean by 'small dragonborn,' and how would you describe these 'brutish guards?'" While knowing the general direction in which they came from was useful, Spektor had always been one to focus on the 'souls' involved, as their behavior often dictated the methods necessary to hunt them.

Even though it wasn't requested, and he probably should have not offered such advice, Spektor turned his attention to Kollias briefly to say, "If you are concerned with order, you could publicly execute those that commit the worst offenses. Seeing a known other be so easily snuffed out of existence usually calms the crowd." It was bad advice, but seemed perfectly reasonable to the deathknight.

 
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Last edited by Saratek; Jun 22nd, 2022 at 03:47 PM.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 01:36 PM
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"Eighteen?!" Mikey gasped, jaw dropping. "Eighteen people got exploded and they still keep drinkin' this junk!? That ain't natural." He shook his head. "Kollias, do ya got enough guards to keep the town under control while we check out this Basilisk's Spine place?"

Spektor took that moment to give some sage advice from atop his creepy horse-adjacent mount.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spektor
"If you are concerned with order, you could publicly execute those that commit the worst offenses. Seeing a known other be so easily snuffed out of existence usually calms the crowd."
Mikey blanched.

"Woah, hey now, hey!" he cut in, waving his arms. "We don't gotta jump right to public executions! Nothin' that extreme, yeah? Pretty sure the Guild (and Tymora) don't condone that kinda thing." He offered a nervous grin to the stoic Shadar-Kai. "Probably, anyway. Didn't read all the fine print."
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