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Old Oct 15th, 2022, 03:26 AM
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Chapter Two - The Ties That Bind Us

The Ties That Bind Us

"We offer a prayer not only to Selune, and to the Lady of Dreams, Sehane Moonbow, but to the stars and to the shadows, to the seen and unseen, to those who shine bright and those who stand behind them in peace and vigilance during this Festival of the Harvest Moon, the Storm Moon, and the Howling Moon."

An older woman's grounded and strong voice echoed through now quieter streets as the sun started to set. Arka knew this as the magic that flowed from the Temple of Selune that overlooked the ocean. The opening prayer for the Festival always hushed the crowds no matter where they were. Musicians stopped; entertainers settled down to bow their heads while storekeepers halted all transitions in respect for the blessing. Bon and Yertz'l - all of Spiral Bay - understood the deep importance of what was spoken by the High Priestess. Ships were blessed as were the beasts of burden. Those that shifted and traveled in secret to Yertz'l and the outskirts - to the Bone Forest - in particular needed sanctuary and safety, sometimes finding it through a strange network of supporters and moon worshippers. The Festival itself was blessed as well as those who traveled here or found themselves here for whatever reason; all were welcomed with peace and celebration. The Temples of the Moon offer free meals and a bed after moonrise for the next few nights, she announced at the end of her prayer.
The Ties That Bind - The Carriage Awaits
Each one of you made your way to Marigold Slipper, through fountained squares, seeing colorful flowers decorating residential windows, and vendors of every sort hawking their wares and selling their gourmet treats. As the sun began to set in an array of bronze-golds, and bright, delightful pinks catching on whisps of faerie-flossed clouds stretched overhead, sharp white stars started to shine overhead as night slowly cast itself over the twin cities. Lanterns, both magical and of fire, trapped in mosaic glass oval orbs that were attached to storefronts and carts by light chains made the atmosphere feel just that more intense and special. Music started up again as you wandered near the docks and traveled up a maintained cobblestone road. The Marigold Slipper had bright orange flowery silk curtains framing a large window. At first glance it seemed to be a place to dine and dance, for that is what the rather well-dressed patrons were doing. But if one were attentive, or used to such places, one would also notice particular patrons dressed up even moreso, with a practiced grace and friendly demeanor about them. As you waited for your carriage, you could witness one stunning gold-eyed, black ram's horned glitter-skinned Tiefling of an indeterminate gender, wearing a silky outfit of iridescent frost-white, speak with a couple in the doorway as they entered, following them with an elated invitation to join them after a promise of a night of fine dancing and a private poetry reading.

If anyone was so brave to ask the deep-sea green suited Moon Elf at the door what sort of place was this, he would have answered with a coy smile, stating it was a place of joy and expression. A place to revitalize oneself in dance and light dining, music, literature, and individual beauty. If you enter with peace in your heart, you are welcome.

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Speaking of revitalization - Guardian Eagleshield, barely recognizable with her hair unbraided and barely tamed, framing her smiling face, bold and upfront - nothing shy about her, and strode right up to Bonzo. She isn't in a gown, or terribly fancy in Human-soiree standards, but she is a sight indeed. "Moon blessings be upon you all this fine evening." the red-haired Dwarf said, looking at everyone gathered about before focusing on Bonzo. From behind her back, she stepped forward with a dashing blue local flower, fresh and dazzling with sparkles magicked into the angular petals that gathered into a wondrous blossom. [b]"It traditionally goes on your left-side, just under your collar."[b] There is a silvery pin attached to the cut green stem. "Lady, you look absolutely magical." Eagleshield said with an honest compliment, then eyed the shy Bonzo again. "For the evening, since I'm off duty, you may want to call me Ria, short for Gavuria…a family name, of course."
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As introductions are made, a pair of dark chestnut brown horses pulling a true-blue carriage with gold trim and red velvet seats passed by the Slipper, turned around down the road, and stopped at the side of the group. A single coachman is all that was sent. The Human's blue eyes scan the lot of you, as he adjusts his hat before climbing down to the cobblestone. Straightening out his long buttoned up gray coat with a round collar and polished black boots, he said. "I've been sent from Lord and Lady Pergamini to give transportation to Lord Bloodbeard and Cleric Caine, faithful of Odin." He looked puzzled but had a rather dry wit about him, raising a brow and gazing at both ladies, and almost titled his head at Arka and Gwill. "You…are to be accompanied by your lady friends and well-dressed valets, I take it? Very well. One of you can sit up front with me, and the other can ride on the back like a proper footman." He then opened up the door, placing a wood stool on the ground to step upon for easy entrance in the comfortable looking red-velvet lined interior with white and gold privacy curtains.
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Old Oct 15th, 2022, 02:40 PM
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Bonzander Bloodbeard | Hill Dwarf | Cleireach of Selune | Wha wha wha, oh my
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The walk to the Slipper was pleasant but mostly quiet. Bonzander looks at the architecture and the lively colors of the various buildings they walked past. It bespoke of a vibrant society, which was only amplified by the number and variety of the citizenry. Now, it's not that Dwarven society isn't vibrant, much to the contrary. But when all creatures were made by the gods, Moradin crafted the Dwarves of earth, metal, and stone, which makes them sturdy and strong, but also rather subdued in their normal choice of colors.

Here, the structures were painted in bright purples, reds, greens, and yellows. It reminded Bonzo of a story his father told him of a time in his father's youth when they were mining deep, and broke into a chamber filled with gems and jewels. His da told him the colors were dizzying. That gems of all types were there, which shouldn't be, and yet it was. Seeing these buildings he imagines it must have looked that way. But for a Dwarf, gems and jewels meant little. Nay, they were the love of Hin, Humans, and especially Elves. Little can be done with gems other than fashioning them to sparkle a bit better, a tap here, a tap there and there, each facet sparkling. No tools or weapons can be made of them. Dwarves much preferred working with stone and metal, the stuff of which they came. Even Dwarven womenfolk preferred a simple round ring or finely crafted necklace with links of gold, unadorned by gems. Which is good, since his people could turn a nice profit.

As Bonzo hears the prayers offered to Selune and Sehane, he stops and reverently bows his head. Selune, who called to him and gave his life purpose where before there was only restlessness. Then he heard the ending of the prayer and his bolted upright. Fort the prayer seemed eerily similar to the ending of the prophecy. He thinks back and remembers,

"The Stars and Shadows will align and rise from the sea under this moon.

Odin's Shadow will find his eye in the lost tribe…The sacrificed tribe. Their Anvil will offer the Battle Cry once again if foolish, faithful endeavors prevail.

The Stars and Moons will align and the Keys will unlock all that we hold dear for the Balance.
"


"I'll have ta talk ta me friends aboot this," he thinks. Before he knew it they had arrived. He sees his companions one by one and knows they are all safe. He worried a bit about the splitting up, but it seems his fears were for naught.

And then, out of nowhere an angel in Dwarven form appears to Bonzo. For there is Guardian Eagleshield, her hair aflame on her head, calling to him like a moth to a flame. "Moon blessings be upon you all this fine evening" she says in greeting. Then, she steps forward and pins a flower on Bonzo's fine, new doublet, "It traditionally goes on your left-side, just under your collar." She looked towards Ayumi, "Lady, you look absolutely magical," Ria said with an honest compliment. Then, she cast her eyes upon Bonzo again. "For the evening, since I'm off duty, you may want to call me Ria, short for Gavuria…a family name, of course."

Bonzo looks at her and words tumble out of his mouth faster than he can stop them, "Yer beautif..." realizing what he said his face turns as red as his beard, so you couldn’t tell where one ended and the other began. "Er, uhm, Lady Eagleshield, Nay, uh Ria, err, uhm 'tis fine ta see ye looking so, uh, err yer just....Ach, here M'Lady, I bought ye sweets I hope ye enjoy," the words finally stagger out of his tortured mouth as he bows and hands her the gift. "And may the Moon's blessings be upon ye too...always." That blush would not go away.

Bonzo was searching for words when he was saved by the arrival of the carriage and the carriage driver's words, "I've been sent from Lord and Lady Pergamini to give transportation to Lord Bloodbeard and Cleric Caine, faithful of Odin. You…are to be accompanied by your lady friends and well-dressed valets, I take it? Very well. One of you can sit up front with me, and the other can ride on the back like a proper footman." At that, Bonzo lets out a huge guffaw, "Aye, our valets would be most happy ta accompany you." He looks at Arka and Gwill, "Good lads, which o' you will sit up front?" He says with a twinkle in his eyes.

Then, Bonzo turns and bows to Caine, "Master Caine, would you and your...Lady Friend, the Lady Ayumi care to get in first?" Finally he turns to Ria, having regained some of his composure, and bows low, "Me honor it'd be...Ria, if ye would accompany me in the carriage." He rises from his bow and holds his hand out to help her in and as he does so he takes a deep breath and whispers to her, "Lass, yer as bright as a lode a mithril ore flickering offn Dwarven torches in a deep, dark cavern, and just as dear a find I reckon." As he climbs in last he looks at the carriage man, "When you are ready good sir..."




 


 
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Last edited by Ildrahil; Oct 15th, 2022 at 03:32 PM.
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Old Oct 16th, 2022, 05:52 AM
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Gwill
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Feeling more relaxed than he had in long time after having tea in the garden with Anne, Gwill looked over his clothes one last time, checking his daggers, his cuff links, his whole attire and set off for the Marigold Slipper.
Walking through the streets, Gwill paid attention to the buildings more than the people, although he did that too. He was looking for any sign of Laverna and the more 'polished' thieves and con artists, who he felt must be working the area. Gwill could see so many targets, it was hard to imagine, almost incomprehensible really, that no thieves or con artists worked the area.
Moving through the crowds, Gwill smiled and laughed and engaged the various traders, entertainers, and street artists with friendly banter. When the Opening prayer calmed the crowd and carried the weight of the Words of the Gods, Gwill bowed his head and looked around through slitted eyes at those around him until he heard the words
Quote:
to the seen and unseen,
only then did he close his eyes and offer up a heartfelt prayer to Laverna, the Queen of the Unseen, hoping for her guidance and protection to see him through this night.

Gwill arrived at the Marigold, feeling the exhilaration of the Festival, the surging feelings of the crowd enlivening him. He approached his companions, a broad, cheerful smile on his face, Tis a fine and most auspicious Night. I am glad to see you all here, safe and in one piece. I spent the day relaxing in the Gardens or our most generous morning Host. Well, what do you think? Gwill stands before them all, then slowly twirls in an elegant pirouette , showing off his new clothes. I think I am ready, how are the rest of you?
Before anyone can answer, "Lady" Eagleshield arrives and Gwill gracefully steps back into the shadows, allowing Eagleshield and Bonzo their time. He does so, looking around for people, others watching them, watching Bonzo and Eagleshield.
Seeing Bonzo's awkwardness, Gwill feels for his friend, but he is heartened by Eagleshield's patient acceptance. That draws a smile from Gwill and sends an entirely unexpected glowing kind of warmth through him. Gwill smiles, almost laughing at happy he feels.

A coach trots down the street, then turns, comes back and stops before them. Gwill eyes the 'single' coachmen and patiently holds his tongue as the man tells who he is and what he is about. Insults it is, and so soon and without much subtlety, Gwill thinks to himself upon hearing the coachmen speak. Gwill wants to retort, to mock a man serving such a "grand Lord" he can only send one servant to invited guests. He holds his tongue though and steps up to hold the door of carriage open for Bonzo and Eagleshield, and Ayumi and Caine, like a proper footmen would. While he does that, Gwill looks inside, checking for other people and then anything that strikes him as out of the ordinary or costly. Gwill is starting to suspect the Pergamini's are not as "well off," as they would wish people to think.
Once Ayumi, Caine, Bonzo and Eagleshield are tucked into the coach, Gwill moves to the back and settles himself into the back seat of the coach like a "proper" footmen would do. He leaves Arka to sit up front and entertain the gray coated coachman. Gwill settles in, making himself as comfortable as possible, hoping Arka realizes Gwill did this because Arka is more familiar with Bon/Yertz and it's traditions, and as a dragonborn, he is far more intimidating then Gwill.

OOC-Stepping into the Coach; Gwill:
 

Last edited by Rasgorn; Oct 16th, 2022 at 05:55 AM.
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Old Oct 16th, 2022, 12:17 PM
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Caine had arrived at The Slipper early, his knack for finding the quickest and sometimes hidden paths coming in useful yet again. Siding up to the bar, the young Dwarf ordered several drinks... The dread of walking in to an ambush at the Perganini estates finally getting to his last nerves. Therefore, by the time the others had appeared, and their carriage somehow arrived, he was already quite inebriated.

Deciding to leave his Warhammer behind, as to not pose any direct threat to their hosts. The Cleric of Odin allowed Gwill to assist Ayumi, Bonzander, Ria, and lastly himself, up the steps and into the carriage. " 'Ere we go!*sniff* Riding headlong into the mouf a... Dray... Drag...Dragon!" He coughed a little before relaxing himself back into the moderately cushioned seats of the vehicle. "You know? I know how to drive one o'these things..." Caine muttered to himself as he looked out the window at Bon's crowded streets passing by. The rhythmic clomping of the horses hooves on the cobbled stones, creating an almost lullaby as the gentle sway of the carriage made his eyes begin to droop. "We didn't kill him... He done himself in" Was the last thing Caine managed to say, before he began to doze.


 
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Last edited by Alemar; Oct 16th, 2022 at 12:18 PM.
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Old Oct 16th, 2022, 05:45 PM
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Arkhathanghinarridh | Brass Dragonborn | Draconic Sorcerer (Bronze Bloodline)
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Still in a muddle, Arka wandered through old-side, drifting toward the docks. Parts of his brain started working by pure force of habit, watching for cutpurses, automatically passing blocks where something about the mix of the crowd set off instinctive alarm bells, sticking to wider streets turned into bazaars for the Festival. How did this work, anyway? Just wait for oddballs to offer free food? If the Flowerfeet and Beetleflyer were anything to go by, maybe you just bumbled around acting weird. He could probably handle that. There was probably more to it. He'd have to track down Lucky sometime, she seemed to have her head together.

The unfamiliar ring felt glaringly conspicuous. He'd never really gone in much for jewelry at all. Bling was recognizable, and it always made some kind of statement. There was the real expensive stuff that said I'm too loaded to rob without major consequences, and a lot of wanna-be stuff done up to look expensive that screamed I pathetically want to look rich. Neither had ever really appealed to him. Somewhere in-between, there was a lot of decent-looking well-crafted arty stuff that wasn't really worth stealing, and maybe just said I like neat rings.

He picked through the carts and stalls, chatting up the jewelers until he found a few who made their own goods, and bought the ring a few friends to blend in with. Another stand had a set of patterned scarves he thought Ishi would like. Closer to the water, one of the fishmongers was selling covered pots of crab chowder in heavy cream broth. Arka collared a hungry-looking red lizard kid and sent him to Kazza's with the scarves, the chowder, a gold coin for the run, and the traditional and sincere threat to beat the crap out of him if the stuff didn't get there.

It was getting toward time. With a good deal of trepidation, he headed back toward Bon. The blessing reverberated through the streets as he neared the dockside, causing every reveler to stop and stand more or less respectfully. Arka had heard it every year of his life and no longer listened closely, but the words suddenly took on new significance. Stars and shadows. Right, yeah. He wished he had some idea what that meant. The last echo faded and he picked up the pace.

"Looking sharp, you all!" Everyone was too, possibly except Caine who tottered out of the Slipper looking absolutely plastered. Ayumi, Bonzo, and Gwill were all dressed and groomed to the nines, and he wouldn't have recognized Eagleshield if she hadn't recognized them first. It had never occurred to him that Crescents had lives outside of work. He'd assumed they were just stored in barracks somewhere, stacked up like firewood. Arka reassumed his role as mild-mannered tour guide, then cringed inwardly, trying not to show overwhelming contact embarrassment as Bonzo stumbled through a heartfeltly awkward reunion with his prospective lady love.

A carriage pulled up with a single coachman, not quite as grand as he'd have expected for a former mayor's household. Arka unobtrusively tried to see if Eagleshield flinched at the name of the supposedly dead Lord Pergamini. First tour guide, now valet, ouch. He'd really come down in society from his respected position of mirooa smuggler. He squared his shoulders and turned to face the street as Gwill helped everyone aboard, dutifully guarding the passengers from nothing in particular, then spoke to the coachman in equally formal tones, watching to see if he'd react to a Crescent among the guests. "Lord and Lady Pergamini's guests may be announced as The Reverend Caine Copperhand and Lady Ayumi Maiyumi Selandria Fey’stria, and Lord Bonzander Bloodbeard and Guardian Gavuria Eagleshield."

He held position until the door was closed and the coachman went around to the front, passed Gwill a scroll, and then squeezed into the narrow open seat at the front beside the coachman. As soon as the clatter of the wheels was load enough to cover talk from the passengers, he shifted from formal on-duty valet attitude to slacking off-duty servant mode. "Hey bud, Arka, pleased to meet you. Good gig, working for the Pergaminis? They hiring?"





 


 
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Old Oct 17th, 2022, 08:43 PM
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Ayumi - Moon Elf - Student of the Arcane
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The Moon Elf performs the ritual to ensure that she will have an Unseen Servant spell cast as a ritualunseen servant for at least an hour of the soiree. She thinks that she will touch up the ritual when it fades by simply visiting the powder room. Her wand is handily made into a nice hair stick and her purse is not going anywhere as her dance card has been craftily placed atop it so that the two will always be together. She also ensures that a pencil is ready so that people may ask and she will pencil them into the dance card.

She smiles at Ria and returns the compliment, "You Ria are are as radiant as the purest of ore veins. Shall we pencil ourselves in for a dance? Do you think you might be dancing three with Bonzander here?" The last statement is, of course, a question of if the dwarven woman will accept courtship from Ayumi's dwarven companion or if that's still undecided.

She elegantly makes her way into the carriage and waits for everyone to be seated. Once they are settled Ayumi pulls out her dance card. "Would any of you gentlemen like me to pencil you in for a dance or, if I feel up to it, two. If you are unsure of the steps worry not my unseen servant will guide your feet and we will glide across the dance floor with grace and ease."


 


 
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Old Oct 23rd, 2022, 04:25 AM
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Inside the Carriage
The interior of the carriage is lush and comfortable. The seats were deep red velvet, like new, with gold tasseled, black and ice-blue brocade pillows. A pair of rolled-up pale blue and ivory soft mohair blankets could be found above your heads strapped to both interior walls. There is a faint scent of fresh lavender in the air.

Ria Eagleshield, shy outside of work, blushed sweetly at Bonzo's words and attention, reaching out once to straighten out the flower on his fine jacket. Ayumi's calling her as radiant as the purest of ore veins took Ria by surprise and her cheeks blushed as though she had a glass of wine. "Oh Oh! It is too early, with Lord Bloodbeard being an honoured guest of the city like yourself, Lady. People come and go during festival time, so I look at this as a time to enjoy the first night. Graceoak Manor, I've heard, is rather quaint. Their gardener was released this afternoon, and survived, thanks to you folk." Ria paused for a moment, decidedly not wanting to avoid Ayumi's question as she did sit across from her and next to Bonzo. Boldly, she responded. "Do pencil me in. If there is dancing, that would be brilliant. It has been so long since Lady Pergamini has hosted a true dinner event. How do you know her?" Looking to Caine after he spilled his words, one of which involved 'murder', the red-haired Dwarf chuckled and nudged Bonzo with her elbow. "I hope there is roasted boar for him to eat and a new barrel of something refreshing. Reverend Copperhand, your humbleness is a grace upon us all. I hope those who we meet understand they are in the presence of two Clerics who saved someone today."
Outside the Carriage
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The coachman adjusted his hat and made room for Arka high up on the coach box. He turned back to look at Gwill to see if he's settled in his station. "Alright back there, mate? It will get bumpy once we transition to the Hill. The entertainers that are camping out alongside the road haven't been too much of a problem. Shoo'd two hounds that were on the road earlier, but I had a discussion with one of the camps." He laughed, blue eyes twinkling as he grinned. "One gold and that should keep the hounds at bay 'til the morning." He took hold of the reins and hee-yah'd the horses that pulled away from the Slipper with a bit of a jolt as the pair of horses clomped down the even cobblestone street.

"You're looking for another gig, Arka? Your Master or Mistress not treating you right?" The coachman shook his head, and yelled at some woman and child to get out of the way of the carriage. He shook his head at how they skipped about, cotton candy in hand and not paying attention. "I used to have a wand so I could give people a little shock to motivate them.." He laughed with a wheeze, and kept the ride steady. "The Manor has lost two workers in the past two days, and the Lady's junior valet is resting after becoming quite ill. He's been sent to one of the Temples. Pale a ghost and looked like he hadn't eaten for days. The other two, well…jail, and the other was also about to cross the Lord and Lady, which isn't right so he got the boot a few hours ago. They pay very well, but … the Lady rarely talks with anyone, and he...always has something going on. We all took a breather when he took his vacation. I even brought the Lady in town for shopping and tea. To be honest, mate, I wouldn't want to work inside the house. Being out back with the horses, and keeping the saddles polished, the carriage in tip-top shape, and ignoring any going-on's …that's the best work up there. I've refused outright to take on any other duties or 'help out'. When you're inside, I advise not to try to impress anyone by assisting manor staff, especially the kitchen - be available only to your employer."
To the Manor!
The ride through the countryside, once out of the city, was barely any different than your ride into the city this morning. Gwill learned during his time at Mercy Cottage this afternoon that Graceoak Manor was just up the hill - straight up, take the 'circle' to the west, then it's the first road that branches off to the north. Five minutes by horse. Mercy Cottage, a hundred years back, was part of Graceoak Estate before much of the grazing land parcels were sold, including the servant's Cottage or guest Cottage, depending on the time period.

As Coachman Heathcliff stated to Arka and Gwill, there were tented camps and small three or four wagon caravans scattered across open fields. This evening, campfires were burning and laughter could be heard over or behind music being played. Fiddlers were having their fun to the east of the packed dirt road, and to the west there was heavy drumming along with at least ten voices raised in song. A trio of children were seen up the road with their spotted black and white hound jumping around them as a turkey leg was being gnawed on by a lanky teenager with a swooped, feathered purple felted hat. Two younger children both in white and yellow robes, fastened by azure blue silk cords, no older than ten, dashed across the road twice in front of the carriage leaving a scattering of yellow and red flower petals yelling, "Blessings be upon you good sirs and madams! Blessings to the Moon! Blessings to your Muses!" The three of them chimed and the hound started to bark before one of the children threw some sort of cookie past the dog for fetching. The coachman smiled faintly, not wanting to be too encouraging, but…he still tipped his hat and threw a small leather pouch that clinked with coins to the side of the road for the children to pick up. "It's bad luck to not give children a coin or two under the Harvest Moon. They could be the goddess' messengers or guardians in disguise."

Smaller fires were seen scattered across the hillside; at this time of the year, the nobles and farmers welcomed (and tolerated) the visitors as tradition has always been in this kingdom - it's a rule of hospitality.

When the road split at a large grove of oak trees that stretched on either side of the road, the carriage traveled to the west, and then within a minute's time, to a narrow dirt road that remained lit only by the moonlight. Scrub bushes and thick old trees lined the road. Amber lights could be seen up ahead and the carriage turned again to another dirt road that looked to circle the lit manor. Candles were in the windows, and a pair of magical amber lit orbs greeted everyone at the front gate. Water could be heard in the near-distance, bubbling away in that distinctive fountain sound.

The penetrating sound of the double-reeded aulos was heard from behind the manor, along with a lively epigonion harp and the drumming of a toubeleki.

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Coachman Healthcliff steadied the horses and climbed down while a bulky silver-scale-mailed guard with a simple white and amber-orange tabard opened the gate, one hand gripping a six foot tall halberd and a longsword strapped to his waist. The step was placed in front of the carriage doors with Healthcliff holding out his gloved hand to assist anyone in need of extra balance.

An elegant path led up to the manor with Dwarf-tall wide-petaled purple flowers and plump, shining white petal clusters of nearly glowing moon-flowers lining both sides of the path. A round white marble fountain with a sculpture of a golden bee nested in the center of water streams was off to the side, burbling away.

A six foot-five Half-Orc brute of a serious nature wearing a well-cared for flowing black leather coat that landed at his ankles, with strips of a lighter brown protecting his forearms, over a fine white linen shirt, stood inside the doorway, arms crossed. A pair of thick silvery-metal rings could be seen on his right hand, glinting in the bright light of the interior of the Manor. His bottom tusks were apparent as he spoke in a gruff but clear voice. "I am Chamberlain Ghorlog at your service. On behalf of the Pergamini family, I welcome each of you to Graceoak Manor, honored guests of Lady and Lord Pergamini. Before you enter, know that weapons are welcome, but un-scheduled dueling, including magical, is not. No harm will come to any guests, but unexpected events can happen from time to time, and Lord Pergamini will take full responsibility - therefore discretion above all else is expected. Is this understood?" Ria shifted her weight uneasily for a moment but kept a straight-face, looking to the others to take lead in this interesting formality.

Beyond the door-blocking Chamberlain, there is a fine Elven green and blue rug before the floor turns to a delicate pattern of pale gray and white marble. A ten-foot circular medallion crafted of gold and actual ambers is set into the center of the floor under a sweeping antlered chandelier that holds magical, flickering candles. The medallion is of a phoenix type of bird and has a gentle glow about it. At the end of the hallway is a curious inky-gray faced male Drow in a high-collared black jacket with a shock of long, white hair can be seen from this distance, standing in a doorway.

Once everyone agrees to the 'terms', the Chamberlain will usher you in.
OOC DM Notes
Adventurers - I know one or two of you were planning on sneaking about the grounds. Please note the Coachman is right there for the moment, but he will not linger, bringing the carriage to the stable area off to the NW grounds via the road (part of the Manor's property). There is a Guard at the gate that can obviously be seen. If you want to take this course of action, please roll Stealth +1 since you are under the cover of a moonlit night.
Rasgorn/Gwill: I will use your rolls for this part of the chapter but I need direction, please. We'll chat in your private thread if you are going to sneak about and scout.

Map Correction: There is a sliding pocket door into the Great Room from the hallway. This is where the Drow poked his head into the hallway from.
 
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Old Oct 23rd, 2022, 08:32 PM
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Bonzander Bloodbeard | Hill Dwarf | Cleireach of Selune | Wha wha wha, oh my
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Bonzander sees Ria blush and it occurs to him, she may be as shy and nervous as he is. He thinks to himself how much strength of will it must have taken her to hint that she was available for an early breakfast and even that she was interested in him what seemed like days ago, and yet was only hours. He chances a sideways glance at Ria Eagleshield and he thinks, "Ach Laddie, she looks even beautifuller than she did when she first strode up ta us."

"I hope there is roasted boar for him to eat and a new barrel of something refreshing. Reverend Copperhand, your humbleness is a grace upon us all," Bonzo hears Ria joke and he chuckles a bit as another snore escapes from Caine's slightly open mouth. "I hope those who we meet understand they are in the presence of two Clerics who saved someone today," Ria finishes. It was Bonzo's turn to blush. "Ach, twasn't all that much we did Ria." Bonzo thinks for a pebble's fall and then continues," And in truth, twasn't the only thing happened ta us today. We was ambushed at the library by a Mortaloona Pigspleen. Some curious goings on here 'n there. Insight 1d20+5: (16)+5 = 21Bonzo keeps his eyes on Ria as he tells her the story to see her reaction."

At some point along the way Bonzo's hand brushed against Ria's and it took almost all the courage he had to take a hold of it. He does awkwardly, but he does it. He looks at Ria and smiles, "Thank ye fer comin Lassie. 'Twould have been a far less fair soiree without ye there." The ride itself wasn't too long and rather smooth. Bonzo would have to remember to tell the coachman that he did a good job.

Bonzo stares out the window now and again, asking Ria where they are, what this and that is, facts about the city itself, anything to help him get his bearing and maybe Perception 1d20+5: (2)+5 = 7help them piece together what's going on. He desperately wants to tell her about everything, about the boat, about the tritons, about the prophecy, all of it, but he doesn't. He holds back because he doesn't know her that well yet, even if she is the first date he's ever had, nor does he know what might happen to her if he brings her into his troubles.

As they arrive they are met by Chamberlain Ghorlog as he introduces himself and presents them with conditions they must agree to before they enter, "On behalf of the Pergamini family, I welcome each of you to Graceoak Manor, honored guests of Lady and Lord Pergamini. Before you enter, know that weapons are welcome, but un-scheduled dueling, including magical, is not. No harm will come to any guests, but unexpected events can happen from time to time, and Lord Pergamini will take full responsibility - therefore discretion above all else is expected. Is this understood?"

Bonzo had come too far to turn back now, "Mum's the word then. Oh, and your coachman did a fine job o' taking us here." Bonzo notices Ria's reticence and at his forst opportunity his whispers, "Do ye have any reservations aboot this Ria?"




 


 
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Old Oct 23rd, 2022, 11:31 PM
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Arka settled in on the drover's seat and fell fully into the role of hapless lizard-in-waiting to the gentry. "You're looking for another gig, Arka? Your Master or Mistress not treating you right?" "Oh, these lot are alright but they're just in town for the Festival. Got to keep an eye out for a steady thing, you know how it is." Heathcliff spilled gossip, Arka counted off the old man, the lunatic, and a third one to watch out for. "Run of tough luck there! Thanks for the tip, I'm more of a back-of-house guy myself too. If it's good pay though, I'll keep it in mind." The whole thing sounded shifty. One loonie could be chance, two, not so much. Something funny about Lady P only going out when Lord P was away. Something really funny about any guy living with his sister-in-law. You'd think a past mayor could afford his own place. You'd think no one would want to live with a total knob-end like Perg. So probably she didn't want to. He must have something on her. Shifty.

Up the Hill twice in a day, people would think he was going fancy. Arka tossed a few coppers to the traveler kids, absently trying to catch the notes of the tunes that carried from the camps. Didn't seem like such a bad life sometimes, roving and playing, but no one would catch him sleeping outdoors. He liked a roof over his head. The carriage wound through narrower lanes, way off his patch and back into Flowerfoot turf, and finally rolled up in front of...he didn't really know what he'd been expecting, maybe a foreboding castle with lightning rods and cages of exotic beasts, what with Perg involved.

The actual Graceoak Manor was plush, landscaped and all that, maybe a little dinky for a mayor's house, but otherwise normal. Could be that Perg spent all his cash on bothering weird animals and smuggling weird orbs. There was a little jam going somewhere out back and Arka immediately planned to skive off to it as soon as he could. He jumped down and did the valet thing while Heathcliff and Gwill unloaded the cargo, putting on his best speaking-to-nobs voice. "My Lord, Guardian, Reverend, Lady. Will there be anything you require, or shall we make ourselves scarce?" In the moment Heathcliff was stowing the steps, he attempted to convey 'You owe me a million beers, Bonzo' in a single glance, sent out a thought to Ayumi, Scarce! Scarce is the answer!, then trailed along to the doorway.

Entering the manor raised the ugly point that he'd been happily insulting Perg at the Captain's table on the Star a few days ago, which might be awkward now. It wasn't like he'd ever expected to see the creep again. He waited behind until the invited lords and ladies had entered, then nodded to the chamberlain. The chamberlain who had rings. Everyone had rings though, Arka couldn't tell one damn ring from another. "Understood, sir. Where shall we wait during the entertainment?" There was music out back, Arka had a bottle of high-class booze in his pocket, and Perg was around somewhere. He really hoped the chamberlain's answer would be 'anywhere but the dining room'.




 


 
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Old Oct 24th, 2022, 11:14 AM
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Bonzander Bloodbeard | Hill Dwarf | Cleireach of Selune | Wha wha wha, oh my
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Bonzander chuckled at the look Arka gave him. "This was actually quite a bit o' fun," he thought to himself. "Nay, nay laddie, we'll not be needin ya till it's time fer leavin. Now, be mindin yer manners while we're here. While yer in my employ yer a reflection o' Clan Bloodbeard. That said, enjoy yerself while yer here. Mayhap ye can walk the grounds and get a taste fer the culture herein. Could be useful if'n me uncle, the Thane, be wantin a country house some day in his retirement."

Bonzo made sure the coachman and chamberlain weren't watching as he blinked at Ria, hoping she understood there is more going on here than meets the eye. Now, he wished he had filled her in on everything. He didn't want her to think that he's some kind of stuck up noble, which he's not. Nor does he want her to think her presence here was simply because she's a guardian, because it wasn't.

Bonzo also knew he'd owe Arka and Gwill when this was over...but hey, ya gotta take advantage of situations when they present themselves. He has no doubt if the situation was reversed either Arka or Gwill wouldn't be ribbing him a bit. Yeah, right, definitely Arka and most probably Gwill too knowing what little he knows of his companions.




 


 
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Old Oct 25th, 2022, 03:49 PM
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Ayumi - Moon Elf - Student of the Arcane
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She pencil's Ria in and then ensures the other woman has a dance card so that Ayumi can pencil herself in as well. Then there was the question of how did Ayumi know the Lady P? Now there was a fascinating question as Ayumi had never met her and did not actually know her. However, "I met her late husband aboard a ship. He didn't say much about her, but he must have relayed information back to her somehow or perhaps saw that I was in town and wanted to know me better based on my familial connections?"

That last was true often enough she was after all Ayumi Maiyumi Selandria Fey’stria daughter of Anaria'trea and Han'sdelf. Her mother a well know Drow priestess and her father a wizard of no little renown. Plus, of course, the various deeds of other Fey'stria family members and an invitation to a party like this was nearly guaranteed.

When the ride finished, they were greeted by the Chamberlain, and she gave a simple nod. Then Arka asked his question and she spoke, "Do enjoy yourself and ensure the vehicle is ready when the party begins to wind down. I would not wish to stay beyond what is necessary for decorum." With that she was walking into the party with haughty disdain as it was so very human, so very much not, the delightful elven palaces she would prefer.


 


 
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Old Oct 25th, 2022, 10:15 PM
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Caine of the Western Swamplands
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As the carriage came to a stop outside the residence, Caine was awoken and groggily brought out in front of the Estate by aide of Coachman Healthcliff. Taking in the house, he had to admit it was beautiful, Graceoak was not like anything he was accustomed to from his years spent in a swamp!

At the emergence of Ghorlog, Caine listened to the welcoming speech with mild disinterest, though perhaps that was from the fumes still clinging to his brain? He wondered what would happen if he refused? Considering they had been specifically requested, and the effort spent to bring them all here, he doubted there had been a plan put in place for that. But decorum was still expected to be followed, and he didnt want to cost Ria or any of the others their chance at experiencing the wonders of the Perganini estate. "Yes, we're already quite familiar with the Lord's preference for...discretion... when it comes to things" Caine thought of the strange crates aboard the Shining Star, and the secrecy involved in what they held. "So it will be no problem to extend that to here..."

Extending his arm to Ayumi, Caine tried to live up to his role as escort. Painfully aware that of the two of them, she was far more experienced, and comfortable, in such luxurious social situations. 'Sooner we're in... The sooner we can be out again, and maybe even with something more useful than a few mouthfuls of food, and a few pairs of tired feet?' The thought an attempt to bolster himself.

 
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Old Oct 26th, 2022, 06:25 AM
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Gwill
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Gwill made certain to take "Lady Ayumi's " hand and help into the coach, first, as befitting her station. Once done, he stepped aside, just glancing at everyone else for a moment with a slight look of exasperation on his face. He watched Heathcliff closely and examined the Coach itself, noting any particular colors or symbols representing the House, or if it looked like a rented coach, how well had it been take care of. Seeing everyone seated, Gwill walked around to the front of the coach, looking over the horses, letting them smell him as he looked them over. He purposely meant to keep them waiting. He wanted to see Heathcliff's reaction. Seemingly satisfied, Gwill walked briskly to the back, and stopped for a moment, looked around for possible tails or perception 1d20+4 (19)+4 Total = 23spying eyes and then stepped into his place at the back of the coach.
Gwill snuggled in as much as he could for the ride, trying to hide himself as much as possible. I am good Heathcliff. Looks to be a fine night for a ride, even a bumpy one. Carry on, Gwill makes a short wave with the back of his hand, like he was giving Heathcliff permission to leave. Gwill smiles at Arka and Heathcliff, making sure to let them know he was acting sarcastically with his manner.
Gwill pays attention to the way there, watching the road, the turns and looking for possible ambush spots or hiding spots in case he needed to jump off and lose himself. He looked up at the Moon, remembering his mother, before whispering a prayer to Laverna. He took in the site of the small camps, the music, the laughter he heard. When he saw the children, he threw out a handful of the colorful beads he carried, along with two coppers, Make haste, not waste, he called out to them.
As soon as he felt the coach starting to slow, he stood up and made ready to leap down to help Ayumi out of the carriage first. He made a point of doing so. Once he helped her down and handed her off to Caine, he bowed to her and moved off to the side. He was a servant after all, not a guest. He quirked a small smile, thinking of the invitation in his vest pocket. He stood there, looking as debonair and patience as possible, the whole time Insight 1d20+4 (14)+4 Total = 18 taking in the House, the walk, the grounds and more importantly Chamberlain Ghorlog and the briefly glimpsed Drow.
He watches everyone walk inside, staying outside and looking to see Arka's plan. Gwill doesn't speak to Ghorlog, only bows respectfully as any servant would before following Heathcliff back to the Coach once they are dismissed. Gwill lets out a deep sigh as he climbs up onto the coach seat next to Heathcliff, clearly intending to join the man in taking care of the horses. Gwill feels around for the two bottles of wine he had intended for the Lord and Lady P. Resting his hand on one, he smiles at Heathcliff, As I said, a fair evening sure enough, not attending the table works for me.

Last edited by Rasgorn; Oct 26th, 2022 at 06:27 AM.
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Old Oct 28th, 2022, 04:02 AM
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The Arrival and Ria
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Bonzo's plus one, Ria, looked absolutely beside herself in the carriage when he mentioned Mortaloona. "Mortaloona Pigspleen the witch Goblin? Was her son there? He's absolutely mad. They both have wanted posters up for them and…did you catch them? If you took them down, there's a reward. They robbed the Jeweler's and Gems Guild four days ago somehow. They are running around with scrolls or potions that are allowing them to transform themselves into Hin, and they managed to fool someone into showing them their 'biggest quartz' collection. They um…the scribe said they were looking for clear stones to make crystal balls out of. Nothing very valuable was stolen - it was just very specific." The red-haired Dwarf's eyes twinkled with delight as she looked at Bonzo, then past him at the rest of the group. "So? Did you capture them? Did someone at the Library turn them into chickens? I uh…I'm just saying that because, rumor has it that…it's happened before when an unauthorized visitor tried to run with a book they didn't check out. Another time, they handed Crescent Central an angry pink turtle. There's always gossip about weird things going on there, but ..what do you expect from a Library with all of that knowledge and magic going on. Correct Lady Ayumi? You must have such wonderful stories. The only magic I ever see is..maybe fire being thrown at me, or maybe a little illusion trick here and there. What I'd give to see someone turned into a turtle."

Ria paused for a moment to unbox the chocolates with a blush brightening her cheeks. She plucked a raspberry chocolate from within and did not want to be rude, and therefore offered the other Lady of the Carriage, Ayumi one of the chocolate-covered treats to partake in. "Lady Pergamini's husband is no more. If you saw him on a ship, he would have been a ghost. It became common knowledge that he disappeared while on a diplomatic voyage up the coast - the ship never returned, and it is believed to be a ghost ship now in the deep, dark parts of the sea. You may be referring to Lord Gyles Pergamini, her brother-in-law. He was also believed dead due to a storm out at sea, but he was found washed ashore on the island; at least that is what I heard this afternoon. The Guard has been told to 'correct' any mercenaries who are spreading rumours. It's as though someone wants to force a different narrative - for political or business reasons one would imagine."

At the entrance to the manor, Ria slowly nodded at Bonzo and smiled sweetly to Ghorlog. Commenting after Bonzo spoke, she said, gesturing with her hand toward the foundation of the house. "If this sort of stonework is the norm for this area, your uncle may very well enjoy it. It is finely cut and fitted, it seems, from where I stand. It's been said that most of the Hill estates have stones cut by Dwarves, wood carved by Gnomes, and Elves worked the finest of glass and even some metal work that rivaled Dwarven mastery."
Into the Manor
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Graceoak Manor, a modest estate with warm polished wood, light tapestries that depict chivalrous scenes - of a bard playing a flute for a maiden under a broad-branched tree; a knight in full armor on a charging black steed with mountains as a backdrop - and the phoenix medallion set into the marble floor, radiating a low magic that Arka and Ayumi could sense; all who passed over it could feel a comfortable warmth emanating from it. "If you please, step on the circle before going further into the manor. It cleanses most diseases. The Lady of the House tries to keep her guests healthy."

On Ayumi's note, and Arka's question, Chamberlain Ghorlog turned to the Dragonborn after a slight bow in the elegant Elf's direction. "The way to the stables and carriage waiting area is through the backdoor and past the fountain. Please do not cut through the woods or you'll likely get lost or have brambles tear your finery, sir. Until you are needed by the Lady, you may do as you will, just do not disturb anyone and be wary of private areas like the Lord and Lady's personal quarters upstairs. There may not be much in the way of a warning if you set something off. A closed door, afterall, is closed for a reason." Ghorlog gave Arka a curt nod, and gruffly said. "If your Lady wills it, you can have a seat to dine wherever she so desires your presence."

Turning his attention to the inebriated Caine, Ghorlog bowed to him next, and asked. "Your holiness, may I tell the staff what in particular you would enjoy this evening? Pax is sure to offer a variety of delicate drinks that are the finest in all of Bon, but I am aware that a keg of Black Eel Brew, thick and hearty with a slight flavor of anise and a kick of mountain pepper exists on the premises. It would be an honor to bring such to you in welcome." This is almost obviously coming from Ghorlog's private stash, and is therefore fit for a hulking Half Orc such as himself.

"Did I hear my name?" A thirty-something year old dark-blonde haired comely woman in a simple lavender dress and deep purple bodice, rounded the corner with a black rectangular tray in her hands. Colorful drinks sparkled in crystal glasses with one emerald green drink emitting a trail of pure white vapors as Pax padded quietly to the open door where you saw the gentleman Drow a moment ago and disappeared into the shadowy room.
The Lady Gilda Pergamini Appears
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The scent of a hearth's fire entered the hallway, along with a graceful woman who seemed to have a weariness about her. She smiled graciously, a thankfulness that reached her sea-blue eyes when she saw you all in front of her. Chamberlain Ghorlog bowed his head respectfully to the woman and said in a strong voice. "Lady Gilda Pergamini, Mistress of the Manor, I present to you Lady Ayumi Maiyumi Selandria Fey’stria, Guardian Gavuria Eagleshield, Lord Bonzander Bloodbeard and Reverend Caine Copperhand. Now, if you will excuse me I must attend to the kitchen and our guests out back. If there is nothing more you wish for me to do, Lady Pergamini.."

The Lady of the Manor raised her hand and turned it in a dismissive gesture. "Thank you, Chamberlain. You have done well this evening, and I appreciate your attention to our guests." She then slowly smiled at each of you, noting who was who and slowly narrowed her eyes in amusement. "One is missing and another does not have an invitation. How bold and daring you are. Guardian Eagleshield, you are most welcome in my humble house. I hope you have a memorable and enjoyable evening." Her eyes then focus on Lord Bloodbeard before she questions Caine. "Reverend Caine Copperfield. Who do you serve, Reverend? The Captain did not go into detail with his suggestions for dinner attendees."

Before Arka tried to escape, or blend quickly into the background, the Lady Pergamini clucked her tongue at him. "You may want to join us in the study, Master Arka, I presume. You can wash up in the room just past the dining room on the right." Turning her attention back to the collection of invitees and one uninvited, she said. "Please allow me to introduce you to Captain Ilmdae'ri Mizzrym of the Merchant House Mizzrym before we speak. I have a couple of things to discuss with you." The Lady looked to Ayumi for her reaction to such an invitation before studying the rest of the group. Ayumi certainly has heard of Merchant House Mizzrym, a noble Drow House that has clawed its way into admirable recognition by the top four Houses of the Underdark while not being true to all of the Underdark ways. Being merchants and traders of renown, they have managed to gain respect (and fear) not only in black markets, but in respectable circles of archaeological objects of note and rare magical items. They are discerning with whom they do business with and do not take kindly to being slighted or cheated.

With a graceful gesture, Lady Pergamini swept her hand toward the fire-lit room, dotted with pale blue magical lights in stained glass lanterns, and waited for whomever wanted to join her to enter.
On Manor Grounds
Heathcliff tipped his hat at Gwill as he walked around the fine dark chestnut brown horses. They are actually shoed, groomed with healthy hooves and protective leather boots fastened to each leg. "That there's Whiskey on the right with the little diamond on his forehead, and the one that just tried to nibble at your coat is Jumper. Your people will be fine. Never lost a shoe, and they rarely spook…and it wouldn't be because of the crowds." The coachman sighed and looked at Arka, shrugging. "Can't control uneven cobbles or a dip in the road, you get my meaning?"

As Gwill pretended to be a simple servant in fine gentleman's clothes, he did a rather exceptional job hiding his true upbringing and channeling his noble experience with servants so he could pass himself off as one. Noting the one guard, he knew such creatures worked in at least pairs. Giving a casual glance here and there from the path, standing behind his 'employer', he noted another guard at the eastern edge of the manor beyond the pale light that spilled from a tall first story window, also holding some sort of polearm.

The upstairs of the house had lights in the windows, but it was not a full glow (except for the one) as though someone were obviously in one of the rooms, but again, most of the curtains were drawn for the evening. Nothing seemed out of place except for the music outside that pushed what would have been an uneasy quiet …away. Smoke drifted out of all of the chimneys giving the night air a pleasant aroma of meats cooking and wood burning.

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When Gwill followed Heathcliff back to the carriage after the elite guests were announced to the Half-Orc, he easily smiled and laughed a touch at the wine. "I get help tonight? That's a first. Let's water the horses and give them a short break. I've learned to always expect the unexpected. Someone could just turn around and demand to return home at the slightest of slights. The Drow …we have a few silver in the pot to see if they last past an hour. We certainly don't want anyone to smell liquor on our breath if called to action." The carriage that dropped the group off clomped west and disappeared around the bend heading north, following the line of protective shrubberies. Gwill could see a second gate that was open; beyond were little yellow and golden faerie lights drifting around an open dance area, with possibly three musicians on the other side of a thick-stoned well. But, the carriage moved to another area where there's an old but steady stable area and large ring for the horses. A vegetable garden rolled across the land under the moonlight with familiar fruiting trees along the edge with a few bordering a forest grove. In the not-too far distance on the other side of the garden is a small shed/storage/maybe an unlit cottage. Two other carriages were parked in this area, with at least three or four people sitting about, smoking pipes, while a thick blonde ponytailed teenager in a navy blue footman's long coat was pushing a wheelbarrow of bright green hay over for a pair of gray-muzzled, snow white horses. A huzzah! was heard from the stables before an older, gray bearded gentleman in the same outfit as Heathcliff, trotted out to take the reins, saying he'll take it from there. He gave a tired-voiced report that 'everything was fine' and 'there aren't any problems' except for a small rock he removed from one of the horse's hooves. Troughs were full. Saddles still needed to be polished and the last two stalls can be shoveled out in the morning.

"Mate, if you want to fetch something to eat in the kitchen, I'll bring you over so you don't scare anyone. It doesn't look it, but the family has this place very secure, very discreetly-like. I saw one of the hounds tear this trespasser's leg nearly off the other day. Troublemaker." Heathcliff shook his head at the thought and then smiled, brushing away that foul memory. "I'll introduce you to Tildie. She makes sure something is routed our way in the chaos. We usually eat best once everyone's eaten. The 'scraps' are something to be savored."

A storm-gray Tiefling bard playing the double-reeded aulos was jamming solo, while the other two male Tiefling bards danced with harp and the drum at the ready. From this not-too-far distance, Gwill could see the firefly-like-lights glowing around four individuals who were dancing, one of whom was positively Lord Pergamini.
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Last edited by PlaidPeregrine; Oct 29th, 2022 at 02:24 AM.
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Old Oct 28th, 2022, 04:26 PM
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Ildrahil Ildrahil Ildrahil Ildrahil Ildrahil Ildrahil Ildrahil Ildrahil Ildrahil Ildrahil Ildrahil
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Bonzander Bloodbeard | Hill Dwarf | Cleireach of Selune | What a Wonderful House
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"So? Did you capture them? Did someone at the Library turn them into chickens?" Bonzander hears Ria say. He chuckles a bit, "Aye, capture em booth we did, though it took us all. They had the help o' a Gnome called hisself the Crab King...although I ken they lied to him aboot us and our intentions. I dinnae knoow wha' the library did with 'em but turnin them into chickens woulda been good by me."

They continue talking about this and that and Bonzo hears Ria say, "You may be referring to Lord Gyles Pergamini, her brother-in-law. He was also believed dead due to a storm out at sea, but he was found washed ashore on the island; at least that is what I heard this afternoon," His eyebrows arch arch when he hears this. "Well Ria, that be good ta know. For Lord Pergamini was on the boot as us and he may well have been the one that saved us from the...storm. Course, it be possible he may have caused that storm." Bonzo notices Ria's look of confusion and he pats her hand, "I'll explain all ta ye afore the night's ending," he tells her.

Then Ria continues, "The Guard has been told to 'correct' any mercenaries who are spreading rumours. It's as though someone wants to force a different narrative - for political or business reasons one would imagine." Bonzo shakes his head, "Aye, we been the target o' some o' that narrative. But that is for another time Lassie. Tonight, tonight let us enjoy ourselves at this little soiree, for as me dear granny said more'n once, You're a long time dead. And it looks like we are arriving."

After they arrive, Bonzo watches as Ria nods at his wink and says, "If this sort of stonework is the norm for this area, your uncle may very well enjoy it. It is finely cut and fitted, it seems, from where I stand. It's been said that most of the Hill estates have stones cut by Dwarves, wood carved by Gnomes, and Elves worked the finest of glass and even some metal work that rivaled Dwarven mastery." "Phphphlblbphph," he harrumphs, "rival us Dwarves in metalwork ye say?" Then he eyes the work earnestly, "Ya know Ria, ye may just be right."

Bonzo stays quiet as they enter the house, listening to the Chamberlain explain things and Perception 1d20+5: (20)+5 = 25looking around the house for any oddities or things of note. He also looks for exits, windows, or places of potential danger...just in case. Then they turn and an auburn haired woman appears and Ghorlog makes introductions, "Lady Gilda Pergamini, Mistress of the Manor, I present to you Lady Ayumi Maiyumi Selandria Fey’stria, Guardian Gavuria Eagleshield, Lord Bonzander Bloodbeard and Reverend Caine Copperhand. Now, if you will excuse me I must attend to the kitchen and our guests out back. If there is nothing more you wish for me to do, Lady Pergamini..."

After introductions are made, Bonzo listens as Lady Pergamini speaks, Insight 1d20+5: (16)+5 = 21seeing if he can discern anything untruthful or odd about what she says or her mannerisms, "One is missing and another does not have an invitation. How bold and daring you are. Guardian Eagleshield, you are most welcome in my humble house. I hope you have a memorable and enjoyable evening." This gets Bonzo's ire up immediately and he begins to protest, taking a big breath...and then he thinks, "Maybe this be a time to show a bit o' restraint Bonzo."

Bonzo lets out his breath, smiles, bows slightly at the waist and says, "I fear it be me own fault fer the plus one Lady Pergamini. Guardian Eagleshield 'n I met earlier this day and 'twas I invited her along fer the festivities, relying on yer and Lord Pergamini's goodwill." Bonzo rises from his slight bow and looks especially closely as he mentions Lord Pergamini's goodwill to see Lady Pergamini's reaction. "After all, what be an affair such as this if not shared with one ye want ta share it with?"

Then, Bonzo reaches out and produces the fortified wine he bought, "Lady Pergamini, as a partial apology I offer ya this desert wine, which I'm told by Madame Wootenberry has a hint o' fresh citrus and raspberry undertones, though she recommends we keep it and our breath after it's been drunk away from the fire lest we burn yer fine manor ta the ground," he chuckles. Then, he hands the bottle to the Chamberlain before he leaves to take care of other business.

Finally, Bonzo looked over the Drow with a critical eye. He knows, however of the Drow House Mizzrym's reputation and he immediately relaxes somewhat. "Well met Captain Ilmdae'ri Mizzrym, I be Bonznder Bloodbeard nephew and son of the Thanes Bloodbeard." Bonzo turns to his hostess, "Please lead the way, I look forward to our conversation."




 


 
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