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  #136  
Old Dec 2nd, 2022, 03:04 AM
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Location Map Season Day Time Weather
The Dead Mermaid's Casino K8 Harvest 103 of 120 2:52pm Sunny

A Scene Outside the CasinoSandraminae's eyes rolled up in thought at Damien's suggestion. "I don't know exactly where she lives. It's somewhere on The more integrated in the city of you know that this is I7 on the mapBurnett Mews South so you'll just have to hope you spot someone else creeping around." Her eyes then hardened as they fixed back to looking at you. "But if any of you are leaving early, don't let Tilly spot you. She'll probably talk to Ariadne directly, and if she so much as smells something valuable then she could make things worse. I'd rather you all try and sneak out and tail her, but everything I've tried to keep her safe isn't working so maybe I'm the wrong one."




Location Map Season Day Time Weather
The Dead Mermaid's Casino J9 Harvest 103 of 120 4:42pm Sunny

Kara is playing: Cleaning & Catching Troublemakers Liana is playing: Diamonds and Dirt Vyegger is playing: Conch Shell Call
Earnings: 20gp Earnings: 35gp Earnings: 38gp
Grim is playing: Conch Shell Call Damien is playing: Conch Shell Call Tarbin is playing:
Earnings: 38gp Earnings: 28gp Earnings: TBDgp TBDsp TBDcp

The Dead Mermaid's CasinoJust before she left to get your 'uniforms', Sandraminae had to answer Damien's proposition of dinner. The twists of her head echoed the argument she seemed to have with herself, deciding between what she wanted and what she could get away with. There was a loud creak from the balcony, and she looked up to see Tilly marching from one room to another. That seemed to answer the question, and she looked back to Damien. "Pleasant as it sounds, I shouldn't fraternize with my colleagues, you know." There was a flick of her hair, with some strands falling out of the bun and lightly smacking Damien as if trying to take his chin and pull him away. Even as she turned away, her cheek twitching into a smile could be seen. "How about I make a reservation for whenever Tilly decides you're indispensable?" Then she walked away, allowing you all to start your shifts.


left-aligned image
During your shift, Sandraminae interrupted your work to point out a pretty dark-haired human woman giggling enthusiastically, her arms slung around two orcs' shoulders as she led them towards one of the bedrooms. She was a pretty good actor, though there was something grim in her grey eyes. Stormclouds gathering, darkening everything. "That's Ariadne. Her shift fully ends at 1am. If you're desperate to talk to her, I'm sure you'll find an opportunity before 7. Though again, you'll need to eat something and get some sleep at some point."
right-aligned image

A while passed, the games been played and each of you making a tidy profit. But there is someone who drew your eyes. A drunken old man with ragged clothes, his beard filled with the crumbs of meals past. His eyes were shooting all over the place, looking for someone. He didn't find them. With that, he clumsily, drunkenly, barreled his way through the crowd towards the Diamonds and Dirt table. He almost collapsed straight onto it, before glaring at Liana straight in the eye. His look was cold, full of a barely contained rage and hate. Then it narrowed with curiosity.

"Have we met?" he asked, looking like he was about to burp or vomit mid-sentence. Without waiting for any other players, he snatched up ten of the Diamond & Dirt cards and looked at them. "You know what, don't even bother bloody answering. Just tell me what the payout is for when I UERRP! - when I win." He already drew a fistful of gold coins from his pocket before he even heard the reply, almost punching the table with them. It had to have been 15gp on just one game, a mad bet that could see him either win three times that or lose his shirt.

Last edited by Lentil Sponge; Dec 2nd, 2022 at 03:06 AM.
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  #137  
Old Dec 2nd, 2022, 11:22 AM
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Liana Xirkul on patrol
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"Sorry, this Diamonds and Dirt table is closed. End of my shift." Liana Xirkul said. She abruptly tidied up as required for her duties.

She focused her psionic energies, coming around the table to the old man, speaking to him in a soft voice. She exercises her best diplomatic efforts upon the man -- giving him both carrot and stick.

Softly, skillfully, covertly: "I'll pay you cash out of my own pocket what you would have earned tonight, had you used your special gift. I have the coins. I want to talk to someone special who I suspect already knows that. But walk immediately out of the Mermaid.. If you don't, I would be sad to learn that someone will severely beat or kill you. Do you understand? "

 


If she leaves it was not with him; she was not attracting attention to herself. A trip to the ladies room before exiting, maybe? But it was all done and over quickly.

 


Last edited by CatCanCook; Dec 2nd, 2022 at 11:25 AM.
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  #138  
Old Dec 2nd, 2022, 04:58 PM
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Vyeggar Vugmuk
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Credit to @TSRodriguez14


The most surprising thing about the afternoon by the river was not the work, or the silent disdain directed his way, nor his exclusion from Liana's tete a tete with the rest of Tilly's newest batch of suckers. No, the most surprising thing was the fact that he hadn't burned his bridges entirely with the rest of my new nickname for the group, though I guess The Bucket Brigade might also workThe Indebted

"A Grimzinta always sticks to a deal. You carried the buckets to the river as I asked, so you get the payment, just as you will get your share of our other agreement. A deal is a deal, Mr. Vugmuk. Do not worry about the money, my friend, should I be lucky enough to find a redhead eager to share my bed again, I am sure I can find some other way of keeping her entertained without it"

Vyeggar stood there in stunned silence, his mind trying to parse everything that came after the word 'friend.' It wasn't real, obviously - an expression at most, like calling a doorman sir. It didn't mean anything. Still. It gave him pause.

"Thanks," he said quietly after a few moments. The coin remained fixed in his outstretched hand, awkwardly hovering in space as he cogitated; he regained some semblance of composure after a half minute and slipped the coin into his breast pocket. Tilly would have to pry that particular gold from his cold, dead hands.

He was within earshot when Sandramine spilled out her own little tale of the woeful Ariadne, but said nothing. Not until the rest of the bucket brigade went and had their own private powwow did he go approach Sandramine. "We need to talk. Privately." It was not a question. He was making a point of keeping his hands off of the woman, while keeping the rest of the party in his periphery, watching for any sign that they were approaching the duo. He had gathered up his "clean" buckets and brought them together with the others. Now, under the pretext of having Sandramine inspect his work for thoroughness, Vyeggar began to speak.

 

"So anyway," he said a bit more loudly, "I'm glad you approve of the job I did with these buckets, you know? I feel real bad about what I said earlier to everyone and how I've been acting, and I just... I want to show that I can be a team player. The kind of guy you can count on. I mean, if you think about it, we're all that we have, just like a family. And nothing is more important than family." Vyeggar gathered up a cluster of the now empty buckets in each hand and called out to the rest of the bucket brigade. "Hey friends, daylight's wasting. We should be getting back so we can wash up for our next shift. Don't want to make a bad impression for the boss, do we?" He grinned brokenly at Sandramine. "I think honesty in a relationship, whether personal or professional, is important. It's my most admirable trait, if I do say so myself." The grin turned into a snort, the snort into a chuckle, and by the time he had begun to set off in the direction of the casino, hands full of buckets, he was laughing.


Tired, sweaty, and filthy, Vyeggar finally reached the door to the casino. The buckets might have been empty, but he had been quite exuberant in carrying multiples in each hand. His pale green fingers were cramping up, and he wanted a pitcher of cold water to drink and two pitchers of hot to pour over his disgusting body. He was about to grab for the knob when it opened of its own accord.

"Of #*@!ing course," Sandramine bellowed from behind him. Vyeggar looked up into the faces of Larzon and Rozitto Maztablazta, and rolled his eyes: the gruesome twosome in the flesh. While the big ugly one stood there drooling,, the small ugly one opened its filthy kobold mouth and began to speak. "Hey, friends. All the staff are on notice - if there's an old man making trouble tonight, make sure you tell us, ok? He is consistently a danger to other customers and himself, so it's been decided that we have to permanently ban from our reputable establishment."

"Is that an order direct from Tilly herself, or are you just deciding it's time to start culling the homeless population?" He watched the orc turn aggressively toward Sandramine and put up a hand as though he were about to intervene, then stopped. Apparently this was just the nature of their relationship to be nearly aggressive towards one another. In short: it wasn't his business.

"Old guy. Great. I'll keep an eye out. And now, if you would please most kindly and graciously get the hell out of my way so I can put these buckets down and scrub this sh*t off my body before my shift starts. Not all of us have the luxury of getting horseyback rides all day."


 

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  #139  
Old Dec 3rd, 2022, 02:06 AM
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Location Map Season Day Time Weather
The Dead Mermaid's Casino K8 Harvest 103 of 120 2:52pm Sunny

A Scene Outside the CasinoAll of you noticed Vyeggar pulling Sandraminae to the side. It looked like he just wanted her to inspect his work, though her smile was oddly dry and cold. She replied, and there was a silent intensity, as she fanned her fingers out and rested them on his chest.


Location Map Season Day Time Weather
The Dead Mermaid's Casino J9 Harvest 103 of 120 4:42pm Sunny

Kara is playing: Cleaning & Catching Troublemakers Liana is playing: Diamonds and Dirt Vyegger is playing: Conch Shell Call
Earnings: 20gp Earnings: 35gp Earnings: 38gp
Grim is playing: Conch Shell Call Damien is playing: Conch Shell Call Tarbin is playing:
Earnings: 38gp Earnings: 28gp Earnings: TBDgp TBDsp TBDcp

The Dead Mermaid's Casino
left-aligned image


At first, the man looked ready to fight. "The game's only over when I ****ing say..." Then, suddenly, he stiffened. His eyes widened at Liana's words.

He interrupted.

"Who put you up to this?! It was her, wasnt it? She kno-"

He looked ready to attack, but then Liana finished her sentence.

"If you don't walk outside, I would be sad to learn that someone will severely beat or kill you. Do you understand?"

There was a moment of his shaky eyes narrowing, trying to find any sort of lie in Liana's words. They darted off her, off to the side, and then he nodded. "Ok. Ok, outside. Then we can share what we know." Liana walked to the ladies room, feigning the need to "powder her nose". He began his stumble out.
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  #140  
Old Dec 3rd, 2022, 06:44 AM
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Vyeggar Vugmuk
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Credit to @TSRodriguez14


"Last bets, gentlemen, last bets. This gravy train is coming into the station."

For several hours, Vyeggar had been standing almost perfectly still, with the only things moving being his arms and his eyes. The shells seemed to move almost as fast as the coins moved into the half-orc's coffer, enough to make him wonder if he'd ever go back to the ring. Probably. They can't have halflingslittle boys to fight every night. Part of the reason was also the fact that he had just gotten done cleaning up after his work down by the riverbank and didn't want to get all sweaty and gross in the ring. He was quiet as he stood there, save for the patter the customers heard. There was a lot to unpack. Fortunately he could be pensive and pass himself off as focused. No one called him on it; in fact, aside from the customers, the only one who chose to interact with him was the other green skin, the good looking guy - Damien.

"Hey. Tonight, before sleep. We need to talk."

Vyeggar looked down at the man who, in his humble opinion, was the closest thing this group had to a real leader, and gave only the faintest of nods. "Yeah. I think we oughta."

It was then, in the smoky haze of the casino, the duo both heard and witnessed the next big test of the evening.

"Have we met?" A pause, then:*"You know what, don't even bother bloody answering. Just tell me what the payout is for when I UERRP! - when I win."

And, in the distance and drawing near, the gruesome twosome themselves.

"Yeah, we'll talk. Later. If I survive this." He was already removing his shirt and tucking the fistful of coins into it, forming a makeshift coinpurse. "Give this to Tilly from me, or hide it under my pillow. I'm going to go do something stupid." And he marched off to go intervene while Liana helped save the old man.

What was it I said to her earlier? "We're all that we have, just like a family. And nothing is more important than family." I said it partially in jest, but I was actually being serious...


He had said a lot of things to Sandramine that evening, only a sliver of which related to buckets. The fact that he had finally gotten through to someone, that he had a new lead to follow, was revelatory. He should have been happy, or at least content. He was instead just confused.

"Kasturr?" he said quietly, suddenly feeling cold. The wind coming off the river was chilling his wet arms and making him shiver - or perhaps that was just because of what had been revealed. "I... okay." He turned away from her then and stared out over the water like a sailor watching a gathering storm. There was a narrative forming in his head from what he now knew, and he began working the puzzle out in a quiet voice, much more subdued than Sandramine had ever heard from the big man. "Okay. So. Valdik comes to you, you share a lovely evening, and then he departs looking for Kasturr. Kasturr is, from what I understand, a private investigator with loose lips. Valdik needed his help on his final night, despite Tilly's objections. 'He won't save you,' Tilly tells him. Save him from what? Clearly Valdik knew something big, possibly about the casino, though if that were the case, Tilly would have had him killed. Could it be about what happened 18 years ago? Possibly, but no way to find out from the casino folk. Whatever it was, he expected he was going to be caught or killed, hence the four months salary sexual send-off." He caught himself checking out Sandramine as he talked and simply nodded. "Worth every penny. Anyway..." He went quiet again, his eyes returning to the distant horizon. "So what it boils down to now is Valdik is either alive somewhere out there, or he's not - but either way, Kasturr is the one to speak to next, only Tilly - who used to want him monitored, now wants him dead on sight, with no words exchanged. Obviously I can't do that now. But why does she want him dead? What changed? He came out of the woodwork to kill the swamp witch, or to threaten her at least - her, or her boss Talafax. And Talafax is a customer of Tilly's. Bah! So many questions and too few answers." He had balled his hands into fists, then sighed and forced them to relax. "And you don't know anything else about Kasturr or where he might call home? No, never mind, stupid question. You're her best friend, you would have told her by now if you knew." He sighed. His shoulders drooped low, and his whole posture seemed defeated. Turned away from everyone else, no one can see the deep worry and sadness that carves and lines the half-orc's face like a deep canyon after an ice age. A choked sob escapes his lips, and he says weakly, "Little bro, why didn't you come to me...?"

Vyeggar allowed himself only a few moments to mourn. He turned back and found a section of river by the dock which wasn't contaminated. Washing his hands the best he could, he splashed his face, which had the double purpose of waking him up and masking any possible traces of tear-tracks. He dried his hands on his pant legs, then turned back to Sandramine. He reached gently for her hand. "Thanks for your honesty, and for showing my brother a good time. He... he was always the best of us. I helped raised him the best I could, the best I knew how. I just wish I could have done better. And I'm sorry for how I've been treating you and your... your casino family. This has been a very challenging time and... and I didn't know if I could trust anyone connected with the place. Trust is... it's hard to gain, but so easy to lose. And you can count on me to help your girl tonight, that and whatever else you need." He cleared his throat and gathered up the buckets.

"So anyway, I'm glad you approve of the job I did with these buckets, you know?... "


Hours later...

The orc and its stupid kobold rider were walking steadily down the aisle, the same aisle which Vyeggar was walking with his head deliberately turned away. He made no move to turn aside, and as the two large beasts were about to pass, Vyeggar stuck out his shoulder and checked the orc hard.

"Hey watch out a$$holes! You'd think between the two of you, you'd have enough brains to walk in a straight line - or is that kobold looking thing just a big tumor? Hey Larzon, do you let that thing down to go do its business, or do you like the feeling of it pissing and sh*tting down your back?"


 

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  #141  
Old Dec 3rd, 2022, 07:03 AM
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Grim
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Grim barely heard to softly muttered thanks from Vyeggar but he was sure he heard it right and gave the half orc a smile of recognition and a reassuring pat on the hip as a silent acknowledgement. He would have aimed for the man's shoulder but he was only a magical goliath not a physical one. He could tell how hard even that one small word had been for their belligerent friend, words and languages were his trade after all and he knew not everyone had the same gregarious nature he had, even if he was tired and grumpy right now

The prospect of a shift at the tables was not improving his mood any either but surprisingly he found himself cheering up immensely as the evening went on, he was a social animal and despite the somewhat tasteless atmosphere of the casino he enjoyed interacting with the patrons, flirting with the ladies and joking with the men, turning on his not inconsiderable charm when needed to run the conch shell table, he should perhaps try his hand at another game but his talents were uniquely suited to this one and he was rapidly recooping his losses from the previous night

The night was also proving to be very interesting when the old man they were all looking for made his appearance, just as drunk and argumentative as the last time Grim and Damien had encountered him.
During their small private conversation Grim had agreed with Damien that the person they were looking for was very likely the man they had met at the Gebata table on their first night in the casino, back when they were still free men and women.

This time though he had set his sights on Lianas table as the husband and wife team drew closer. Liana appeared to be dealing with the drunk man but they would be spotted soon if he didnt intervene

Once more Grim turned to his magic, focusing his attention on Larzon and whispering his charm, sending the whispered words across the room into the largemans ears alone.

"Hey Larzon! That old guy yoose was lookin' for, just seen him duckin' inta the kitchen, looks like he snagged a bottle from tha bar"

Grim called on his talents for voices, mimicking the cadence and accent of one of the staff members he has spoken too over the last few days, in the crowded casino it should sound like someone had called out from close by the man ro get his attention and hopefully send him running to the back of the room before his wife asked where he was going.

Just as Grim sent off the whispered charm, he saw Vyeggar confront the couple also, though in usual Vyeggar fashion it was much less subtle than his own trickery, he couldn't help chuckling at the man's antics, between them both the guards should be more than distracted enough for Liana to deal with the old man


Actions & MovementTurn Summary
Initiative:
Move:
Action: Message Spell to Larzon. Sound Mimicry to sound like a generic julianoplian staff member
Dice Bluff Check:
1D20+15 (6)+15 Total = 21

Bonus Action:
Reaction:
Other:


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  #142  
Old Dec 4th, 2022, 12:46 AM
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Liana Xirkul heading out to catch some fresh air.
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In her way to the ladies room, Liana was of two minds -- which was normal for her segmented thought process. With one mind she was was anxious. This establishment runs by fear, intimidation, and harsh punishment, even if getting rid of the old man permanently was her goal too -- but just without violence. But she could be caught, beaten, even killed ... for simple human decency. (Even if it wasn't just decency, but her own purposes to learn a thing or two.)

But the other part of her was not afraid: just fixated on zealous executing her task. Act, conceal, deceive, fight, it was all the same. Serve the Family, serve the hundred and eleven gods of love as lust -- take whatever risks that required. That second mind was as warm in devotion as at was coldly calculating in execution.

So with that fanatic core intensely focused, she did not notice any particular commotion as she left the powder room and ducked out the door to rendezvous with the old man.

She'd like to step away from overhearing ears. If one of her companions were to join her, or at least have an eye on her, that would not be a bad thing. Not at all.

Since Liana is able to speak to the old man, she says her piece, her own high stakes gamble.

"Kawasumi Hajime, my name is Liana Xirkul."

"I know your daughter is Kawasumi Chika. I believe that she sent you to me having a glimpse of the future. Perhaps part of her vision was that at Diamonds and Dirt, with a certain betting strategy you would win big. Perhaps ... a near perfect hand of eight diamonds, or even ten diamonds? At 5 gold pieces a piece that would be forty or fifty gold coins?" She focused on the old man's face carefully, watching his expression and following her intuition. "Oh ... split the difference. That would be forty five golds coins. I'll pay that myself, out of my own pocket, with no loss to my employer, if you help me.

Or maybe Miss Chika saw something additionally? That I would save her father's life? And that I would come to her with an extraordinary opportunity for something much better -- that is, something hugely more advantageous than mere swindling a gambling house with her fantastic divination talents.

Please, do two things, Mister Kawasumi. First, my employer are brutal. They have decided you are problem that they've decided to solve permanently. And I can tell you, with absolute certainty, I've seen truly awful ... things ... taken out from the Mermaid and dumped in the river out back. I don't want that to be you. Go far away from the Mermaid, and never return. Please. I earnestly ask that, just for your own sake.

But the other matter, sir, is: take me, and let me speak to your daughter. For that, you can receive the Diamonds and Dirt payoff that she foresaw. I can make an offer to her that I think will be a great boon. And if she is willing, I hope she can help me in return. That is all. My service to her, and - at her free choice - her favor to me."


 


Last edited by CatCanCook; Dec 4th, 2022 at 02:32 PM.
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  #143  
Old Dec 4th, 2022, 03:53 AM
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Location Map Season Day Time Weather
The Dead Mermaid's Casino J9 Harvest 103 of 120 4:42pm Sunny

Kara is playing: Cleaning & Catching Troublemakers Liana is playing: Diamonds and Dirt Vyegger is playing: Conch Shell Call
Earnings: 20gp Earnings: 35gp Earnings: 38gp
Grim is playing: Conch Shell Call Damien is playing: Conch Shell Call Tarbin is playing:
Earnings: 38gp Earnings: 28gp Earnings: TBDgp TBDsp TBDcp

The Dead Mermaid's CasinoWith surprising deftness, Vyeggar swam his way through the crowd, shoulders rolling through until he was in position. Just the right position for him to collide with the Maztablaztas. Larzon walked through the shoulder as if it wasn't even there, but then came to a hard stop as Vyeggar spoke. Rozitto gave out a little yelp and almost toppled entirely off of his head, which turned to Vyeggar. Her tail swung about his neck and sank in enough to snap a tree. Larzon didn't even react. He just looked down to Vyeggar, leering down, and grimacing horribly. Every word Vyeggar said just made the expression worse and worse.

"Try to be more careful, dearie," Rozitto cooed, clambering back onto his shoulders and pecking the huge, ugly orc on his head. Larzon didn't even seem to register. Then she looked down to Vyeggar from atop her perch, fangs splitting her head from ear to ear. "Vugmuk! Tilly said you'd either be very well-behaved, or very fun," she explained, though it sounded like a threat. Then her long snout wrinkled. "The piss and **** comment's a bit rich, coming from you. The hell is that I can smell?"

Larzon's head ticked away, as if hearing a whisper in his ear. Rozitto carried on with a shrug, either not noticing or not caring. "Is that what this is? You're picking a fight so you can prove you're a tough guy, and Tilly stops having you clean the toilets? You know, there is a place we could arrange a friendly-"

"He's here."

No way was that Larzon's voice. The soft voice that sounded and felt like a silk curtain resting upon a pretty face. But it was, confirmed by Rozitto's reply as she patted him on his big, ugly head with such delicate care, as if they weren't about to go beat up and possibly kill some vagrant. "Get."

And Larzon was marching again, this time not caring about the crowd and smashing his way through, towards the kitchen. Not knowing they were Grim's suggestion. Not knowing he was going the wrong way.

Not watching as the old man tumbled outside in a drunken haze.


Liana & Anyone Following
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The old man... Hajime, presumably... was ready for Liana. When she found him, he was turned away from her, stewing in his thoughts, a half-full bottle in one hand and a frustrated 'pat-pat-pat' coming from his tapping foot.

"Took you long enough," he slurred, swaying from side to side. There was a murmur to himself. ["If he was full of sh!t all along..." Then dizzying eyes settled back onto Liana. First, she spoke of coin and of games of chance, and they stopped moving. A name was said. Kawasumi Chika. The eyes became thin little dots in his wide, bloodshot eyes. This man had not slept in days or drank anything that wasn't alcoholic.

This was rage. Unlike the drunken stumblings in the casino, this was highly focused. And the more she spoke, the more focused the rage became. The adrenaline began coursing, sobering him up. The grip on his bottle tightened. As she queried his daughter's powers. As she warned him about the dangers of the casino. All it did was focus his rage.

Finally, she pleaded.

"Take me, and let me speak to your daughter."

His posture tumbled, and his shoulders fell. The pupils swelled back to a normal size, and his breathing became that steady heaving one did when hiding how drunk they are. The drink rushed back into him all at once. Initially, he was confused. ["But you sound like you've spoken to her..." He began to pick at his beard. "The Liana recognised this as one of Jeje's many, MANY epiphetsMother of Mind doesn't tell me you're lying..." he grumbled, more to himself than to Liana. The drink began to cloud his mind again and it weighed his head down. Then he looked to the casino, and his fists curled again.

Suddenly, he began chuckling. He looked to Liana with the eyes one sees through the noose at the gallows. Hopeless but knowing. "I'm not who you think I am," he said. His arms flew open, almost knocking him off balance. "I'm a respected member of the community! I'm from the Merchant's Guild! I'm just looking for a good time! I'll happily pay you to suck my dick! I have plenty of gold pieces back home if you'd like to spend the night with me!" he squealed, just barely catching the attention of some of the passers-by; a drunk man screaming at a woman at this time of night was happening every other street corner.

"Kawasumi Chika is a beautiful little starling, who... no one... has seen for two months... and she is the daughter of a... drunk... bloody... stupid ****ing priest who hurt her, betrayed their god, and drove her away!" He stepped, or fell and caught himself, and had to look up to the skies to stop his eyes from welling up. "I'd never associate with him! I'm respectable pillar of community! You know! If I was a private investigator, and not a... merchant... I'd... I'd tell him, that I knew where Chika was, and I'd tell him I could find her, and then... as a joke!" Forced laughs. Screaming now. "As a joke! I'd... quadruple my asking price! Out of nowhere! That'd be amazing!"

Then the laughing died, and the volume with it. "And if I was an insane bitch, I'd poison his clergy with lies and ban him from my casino," he growled. He looked to the Dead Mermaid, looming over both him and Liana. Suddenly, he launched his bottle at the top floor, which exploded in a shower of glass. "YOU ****ING WHORE! I HOPE YOUR ****ING CASINO BURNS DOWN WITH EVERYONE IN IT!"

Liana, and any onlookers, can't tell if Tilly heard that, but they know what would happen if she or her flunkies did.
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Old Dec 4th, 2022, 02:25 PM
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Hapless Liana Xirkul takes cover
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Liana tried her best at persuasion, and it only halfway worked, leading to progressively more unhinged revelations. He gave some confirmations of being Chika's father, as well as some denial.

His intense focus and rage was on something else, not her. So halfway through his tirade -- after perhaps he'd established he was one more drunk talking to one more lady of the night, she began slowly backing away.

When the presumed Kawasumi Hajime gazed at her with that look, she felt in her guts that he was signing his own death warrant voluntarily. "Run.... run please ..." she begged softly, hoping that some sanity was left in him.

What was driving him? There was a chaos of thoughts in her mind as pieces clashed and only half fit. The Mind Queen. The Private Investigator. The twisted clerical teachings. The hints of conflict she stood on the edge of were things she wanted no part of. Her fear and uneasy gradually ratcheted upward.

Toward the end, as he flew into an uncontrolled rage. She bolted for the "safety" of the Mermaid.

 


Liana returned to the heat of the Mermaid. Fortunate it was not bright, or she would be sneezing. She blinked, trying to make sense of what was going on; there had been some commotion?

 


Last edited by CatCanCook; Dec 4th, 2022 at 02:31 PM.
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  #145  
Old Dec 5th, 2022, 02:45 PM
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Tarbin Haldar
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Rather than take part in one of the casino games Tarbin decided to act as an additional layer of security as as far as he was concerned that would give him the best chance of both striking up a conversation with Ariadne and for keeping an eye out for individual’s of interest.

Wandering the floor with armour on and his usual straw hat removed the large man every so often muttered a prayer for guidance while he kept watch of the casino. Tarbin had to interrupt his patrol a couple of times when he had to throw out a couple of drunks or stop a patron who had been getting too handsy with one of the girls without paying but for the most part the young man diligently kept watch.

When the old man came in Tarbin cursed his luck that he had been busy with some other troublemakers though he noted that Liana seemed to be handling the situation in her own way. When the pair separated and the man headed back outside Tarbin followed though he lingered at the exit of the building and allowed the halfling woman to speak to the man in relative privacy.

When the man started to make a lot of noise and hurled his bottle at the Casino Tarbin could wait no longer. Rushing out of the door Tarbin made his presence known and loomed menacingly to his full height. ”You!” Tarbin snarled like a hired brute but surprisingly quietly hoping that the sight of a large armoured individual rushing towards him would convince the man to flee. If not well Tarbin was prepared to stride in and get a lot more physical to convince the man that fleeing for his life was his only option while at the same time providing Liana the perfect opportunity to disappear back inside.




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Old Dec 6th, 2022, 10:21 AM
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Damien Buranta
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Conch shell call was a popular game, and it drew plenty of ambitious gamblers and flirtatious patrons alike. Normally, Damien was up to the task of handling both without effort, though he found himself slightly less patient with the task than normal. He was disappointed by Sandraminae's answer; not really from the small hit to his pride, which was mostly forgotten given her obvious reluctance at rejecting him. Mostly it was having to find a different way to coax more information from the elf. What she knew that he might be able to use... and maybe what kind of flowers she liked.

Though his own mood was slightly more sour for the trouble, Damien noted that Vyeggar's mood seemed to have evened out a bit. Maybe the man was finally coming to terms with his circumstances? It was certainly still worth a little sidebar with him, which luckily enough, the half-orc proved receptive to. But that conversation would have to wait, for as their eyes collectively found Kawasumi Hajime on his way over to Liana, things were quickly put into motion. Whatever it was that Liana said to the old man seemed to convince him to follow her outside, and Damien immediately began to look for the Maztablaztas.

But it was Vyeggar who saw them (and acted) first. Before Damien could protest, the half-orc was stuffing his shirt into his arms and running off to confront the two.

"Damn it... damn it." Trying to keep the money from spilling out of the loose garment, Damien tucked it under his arm as he tried to calculate the best move to make in the moment. He wasn't going to openly defy the bouncers like this... but maybe he could help Vyeggar in other ways. Looking around rapidly, the vishkanya looked out for Tilly first. No sign of her. His companions next. Liana was out of sight with the old man at this point. Tarbin heading for the door. Grim.

Grim was looking at Larzon... and he was muttering something. Immediately, the smallest trace of a grin flashed across Damien's face, and he watched as the duo, distracted by Vyeggar, suddenly changed course and made for the kitchen. All wasn't well however, and even though the Maztablaztas were being directed the wrong way for the moment, across the room, more attention seemed to be focused on the doors out. Had something happened? What more could go wrong right now?

He needed to escalate the pandemonium inside a little. Looking back toward the kitchen, Damien outstretched a free hand, focusing on the floor directly in front of the doors...
Rolls & ActionsDamien is going to wait until Larzon is right in front of the kitchen doors and cast Any creature in the area when the spell is cast must make a successful Reflex save or fall. A creature can walk within or through the area of grease at half normal speed with a DC 10 Acrobatics check. Failure means it can’t move that round (and must then make a Reflex save or fall), while failure by 5 or more means it falls (see the Acrobatics skill for details). Creatures that do not move on their turn do not need to make this check and are not considered flat-footed.

Grease
to create a 10 square foot slippery patch right beneath his feet.

He (and anyone else in the square) must make a DC 16 Reflex Save to avoid falling prone.

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  #147  
Old Dec 8th, 2022, 06:25 PM
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Location Map Season Day Time Weather
The Dead Mermaid's Casino J9 Harvest 103 of 120 4:42pm Sunny

Kara is playing: Cleaning & Catching Troublemakers Liana is playing: Diamonds and Dirt Vyegger is playing: Conch Shell Call
Earnings: 20gp Earnings: 35gp Earnings: 38gp
Grim is playing: Conch Shell Call Damien is playing: Conch Shell Call Tarbin is playing:
Earnings: 38gp Earnings: 28gp Earnings: 14gp

Chaos and Madness
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Before the old man could continue his tirade, Tarbin intervened. Apparently, the drunk was more bark than bite - the moment he saw a large armoured man approaching him, he turned in the other direction and began to flee. Tarbin would've walked back inside, when...


Larzon's feet were like sledgehammers into the wooden foundations. Everyone parted, and the world shook about him. But even on this rocky, wild perch, Rozitto's eyes narrowed. Just as Damien cast his spell, her eyes glowed. Then widened. She yanked on the orc's top-knot and he stopped dead in his tracks, just before he could slip over the grease by the kitchen door. The kobold began to look around the room with a glower. A whisper, though all of you in the room could easily read her lips. "Someone's protecting him." Now two pairs of eyes began flitting through the room, searching for help. Searching for betrayal.

"He's right there. He's a mad-man."

That snapped them both towards her. She had told someone else, but they were instantly by her side. Sympathetically, Rozitto cooed, "It's alright. We'll make sure he's safe." Larzon just grunted. That's when they stepped outside...


... and both Tarbin and Larzon collided with each other. It was a hard enough crash to nearly have Tarbin topple over entirely. Both the orc and the kobold were glaring ahead, watching the old man drunkenly vanish down a corner. Larzon let out a snarl that was low enough to rumble Tarbin's belly, but a few reassuring pats on his head immediately stopped him.

"Don't worry, he'll be back. He always is," Rozitto said softly. She gave Tarbin a suspicious glance, before her and her husband strode back into the casino. They stopped by Liana's side, and Rozitto slid down his arm with a practised deftness until she was at exactly Liana's height. Eyes were narrow, looking for something, but then her cheeks split with a fanged smile. "Good job, Miss Xirkul. Next time, we'll be there so he doesn't scare you like that again." And then, without another word, they were off, and the day was normal again.


Location Map Season Day Time Weather
The Dead Mermaid's Casino J9 Harvest 103 of 120 6:55pm Sunset

Order and Plans
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The day continued, and day became night. The business swelled and swelled, and the people became more numerous and more drunk and disorderly. For all of the anarchy, it just felt normal, no matter what you knew was not so.

And that was confirmed by Sandraminae approaching you each in turn.

"Ok, you have five minutes to discuss a plan with each other, then go up to your room and pretend you've got a customer with you," Sandraminae told you, gesturing to one of six rooms in a row. "Anyone going to Burnett Mews South to stake out early, the windows are open, but for goodness sake don't let anyone see you go, and you have to have to have to wait at least thirty minutes before going. I can't explain why right now, but trust me. The rest of you, sleep and regain your strength. I'll wake you up when you're needed to follow Ariadne."

When each of you meet in a secluded corner, there is an immediate suggestion from Kara. "The town guard like me. I'll see if we can't enlist any help, and I'll also find out what I can about Gwendoline. That way, we're ready for anything unexpected tomorrow."

Plans were discussed, and each of you retired to "bed."
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  #148  
Old Dec 9th, 2022, 02:41 AM
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Vyeggar Vugmuk
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Credit to @TSRodriguez14

Hours later, after the events in the casino, the half-orc Vyeggar Vugmuk found himself staring out the window into the distance, his golden eyes watching the sun settle down below the horizon, slipping away like an old man breathing his last. He had been in a brown study ever since the events by the river, and despite the earlier excitement in the casino with the giant top-knotted orc, Vyeggar had felt emotionally numb for the last several hours. He had made a fair go of it at the conch shell game, shucking coins from those too gullible to know he was conning them; he had then turned around and tucked the earnings into his shirt and passed the whole mess off to Damien for safekeeping or to do with as he pleased, while Vyegger himself had stalked off to straight up assault – and then insult – the Maztablastas. He didn’t care about the coins; it was only money, and an inconsequential amount considering the total debt he owed Tilly. At that level of insolvency, a fistful of dollars was largely beneath his consideration, especially with everything else going on. Afterwards, when Liana was safe and the old man temporarily rousted from the establishment, the scene descended back into the usual humid, smoky, depressing miasma. Standing there, watching the orc run haltingly off after the old man, Vyeggar found himself vaguely wishing the brute had finished the job on his head which the corrupt town guard had started only a few short days before. He wanted to sleep for a thousand years, but sadly there was no rest for the weary.

”Ok, you have five minutes to discuss a plan with each other, then go up to your room and pretend you’ve got a customer with you…” Vyeggar was hardly enamored with the task at hand; he knew that the likelihood of further damage to his reputation with Tilly would be high should this whole cockamamie plan go tits-up, but he had no choice. Sandramine had succumbed to his own unique blend of diplomacy and told him, if not the truth, the direction he should turn his investigation towards regarding Valdik’s whereabouts. But that avenue of inquiry was fraught with its own peril, for his newfound lead pointed to the one man that Tilly demanded be slain on sight, with nary a word exchanged. At this point, to borrow an expression or two from the casino world, he had played his card against Tilly’s second in command, and in so doing he was now pot-committed. He needed to find Kasturr, or at the very least, where the treacherous kobold bastard laid his filthy, lice-ridden head at night. And then, once he had gotten his pound of flesh in the form of information – and only then – would he end the wretch’s life. He’d just have to make sure the others were on the same page – assuming he hadn’t become a complete pariah to them.

He had lagged back with the others at the end of the shift, uncertain how to go about formulating their midnight machinations. The dynamic felt like it had changed. The focus of his ire had changed. Everything was different, and that difference made him uncertain how to proceed. His uncertainty, a truly foreign concept for the beastly, hedonistic brawler, left him feeling raw and vulnerable. When the it’s canon now, dwibucket brigade reconvened in a little corner of the staff room, they surely could not miss their half-orc companion’s subdued manner, for it was a far cry from his typical boisterous, brash braggadocio.

Vyeggar took a deep, weary breath. He shouldn’t have been feeling nervous about this; none of them could claim to be better than he, for they were all passengers on the same sinking ship. Yet there was distance between them that could be almost physically calculated, measured out in every exclusive huddle he was disallowed from. He cleared his throat.

”Right, well, I’m sh*t at this sort of thing so I’m just going to say it. I’ve been an ass to you all, I don’t deny it.” It was an acknowledgement, not an apology, but as tangential to remorse as it might have been, it was a great leap forward for him. ”Had some personal issues with this place. Didn’t know who to trust, so I just didn’t trust anyone. Well, things changed, and I can’t do what I need to do flying solo. Don’t expect you’ll have me, but if you do, well…” He trailed off, uncertain where to go from there. His arms flapped once loosely at his sides – “what do you want, this is who I am,” the gesture tried to say. ”It’d be kind of you, and more than I deserve. I’ll not work against you, long as we can agree on one thing: when we find Kasturr, we keep him alive until I can talk to him. You feel the urge, after I get what I need, to tell Tilly that I openly defied her orders by talking to him first , I won’t hold it against you. I don’t expect things to be peaches and cream between us, but I’ve got personal business with that kobold sh*thead, and as long as none of you stand in my way getting to him, I won’t be a problem to you.” He flicked his eyes in Liana’s direction. ”You hate me most of all, and for good reason. You may as well hang onto that, because I’m not like to change enough to suit you. I put my ass on the line trying to keep that orc halfwit from clubbing your crazy old friend into the goddamn ground, so maybe keep that in mind moving forward that maybe I’m not the biggest piece of sh*t on the planet. Compromise is a two-way street, honey. Anyway, enough of that, let’s talk about this stupid plan with the boyfriend…”

He had tried to keep it brief but ended up cutting a minute out of their allotted five. It didn’t matter. Saving the boyfriend was not a priority. Appearing to try was. When it came to brainstorming ideas for how to handle the boyfriend, Vyeggar was nothing if not pragmatic. ”So we’ve got two objectives, eh? – keep the girl safe, and keep whatever the magic thing is from changing hands. Well what’s to stop Liana from walking her home all friendly like, strike up some little banter about your gods or whatnot, something pointless and innocent that won’t connect with Sandramine or Tilly. As for the boyfriend, if he’s just some low-level wannabe gangster, I don’t see why we don’t just beat the sh*t out of the kid when we see him and rob him. Either that, or we’re going to end up having to storm wherever his crew is holed up – and at that point we might as well set the place on fire, smoke ‘em out and pick ‘em off as they flee.” He shrugged. ”Or we could ask nicely like a bunch of p*ssies.” He paused, realizing too late that being crass like that would not score him any points – and then he just shrugged. Can’t please everyone.


As the meeting wrapped up and the others filed off, he grabbed Damien’s shoulder before the green-skinned fellow could depart. ”I’m guessing a good part of what you wanted to talk about I covered earlier? Or is there something else we need to hash out?”


Finally, back upstairs in the quiet of his room, Vyeggar turned away from the window which he had been staring out, his thoughts interrupted by the unexpected guest.

”I’m sorry?

The little goblin girl smiled politely in the dark.

”I said, I’m just here to get you food, and leave when the sand timer is done.” She paused, adjusting her skirt. ”Although… if you had, say, 30 gold to part with, I could make sure you’re very well rested…”

”Oh,” he said quietly, his eyes turning back to the horizon. ”No, that’s…” He sighed deeply. He had never been an attractive man but after the savage beating he had received and the resulting damage to his dental work, he now resembled a pale-green gargoyle. In the gloom of his temporary bedroom, this little goblin whore either couldn’t tell, or couldn’t care less, what Vyeggar looked like. It was comforting to be wanted, even if it was for coin. The thought of sleep seemed so seductive at this point. The psychological entropy his mind had been battling ever since leaving the clutches of the church of Sophi had worn him to the brink, and in the room’s quiet solace, broken only by the gentle come-on from this sweet little thing, Vyeggar felt the exhaustion begin to take him.

”I don’t want that, but… but…” This weakness was unbecoming, but he felt paralyzed and broken, his limbs moving through air thick as syrup, his spirit beaten and degraded. All he wanted was a safe place, a place where he could find rest.

”What's your name, if you don't mind me asking? [Insert name here]? That's a nice name. A pretty name for a pretty lady. [Insert name here], could I just, maybe, lay my head down on your lap? I- it’s…“ His sudden yearning for someone to hold him was so strong, but he could hardly find the words. It’s been so long since someone just held me.

Only the darkness could tell if there were tears in his eyes, and it revealed nothing.

 

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  #149  
Old Dec 9th, 2022, 10:54 AM
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Liana Xirkul and the Goblin Boy
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(Earlier) Liana tried to assess the chaos of the evening. Returning to the hall there were odd clues that almost tantalizingly made sense, but also slipped away as she tried to grasp them. Tarbin had arrived, just in the nick of time. The agents of the Mermaid who might have murdered the old man had been distracted. There was tension, on the brink of an actual fight, but it was resolving. Some idiot serving boy seems to have spilled a load of grease near the kitchen. It was chaos -- as usual -- except it had somehow worked out all right, and from her psionic network it seemed that the team had actually functioned, for once, as a team. She whistled tunelessly, and completed her Dirt and Diamonds tasks until it was time for Sandraminae to call them together and issue orders.


(As the group gathered)

Right, well, I’m sh*t at this sort of thing so I’m just going to say it. I’ve been an ass to you all, I don’t deny it.

Liana was wide-eyed as the fool orc showed the first hint of mature self awareness. Where would he go with this? Was he just flirting with leveling and would he fall immediately back into his wrath and self-pity? (Her community of pleasure workers had a lifetime supply of wrath and self-pity, such drama went with the profession -- and it got old after, oh, a year or two. Not to mention ... twenty years of it. This orc could be as much of a drama-queen as some of the ladies she knew.)

"Vyeggar Vugmuk -- I too want to talk to Kasturr, and get some information about him. About two missing persons. A talented girl, and a man who murdered a friend. It seems like ... this Kasturr might be on the edge of humanoid-trafficking -- though exactly what is role is, I don't know. So, yes, he has to sing like a song-bird. We finally agree about something."

She too felt a hint of something in common with the orc. It was hard to find anyone to trust, to let one's guard down. Tilly. Fear, intimidation, cruelty, dark secrets. Villainy radiated from the bully-boss and infected this place.

Of the two missions, well, frankly they were annoyances in the way of her own personal agenda. She had work to do. But of the two options, the choice was obvious.

"I'll go with the group to protect the girl. I can be Last time I rolled Stealth I forgot about her +4 size bonus. Could be handy.stealthy, enough. And if someone comes to attack her, well, I know a thing or two about retaliation."


(Later, in private)

To the pretty boy goblin's offer, she just laughed. "I've been born and raised among the Silk Sheet Society -- and an entertainer for the Cirque. For me to pay a client would be ... altogether upside down. Are you sure you don't way to pay me the thirty coins and then I'll show you a thing or two?"

She was quite flirty and alluring ... but with so much going on her heart wasn't quite into giving the full pitch.

If he wasn't down for paying her, well, maybe they could have a nice chat about the theology of the pantheon of gods and goddesses of love and lust. She did, after all, want to spread the good news of the Most Highly Endowed and his many divine and demigod and semigoddess friends.




Success or not, she remained friendly with the Goblin boy. And she had a story for him, and a question.

"There is a man I'm looking for. Someone who killed a pleasure-worker -- a member of the family so to speak. By the hundred and eleven gods of love and lust, he must pay for his crime. I am a Zealot of Erotes. My mission is to care for and defend our community. I am wondering if you could keep a matter confidential, but let me know if you know such a person?"

She gazes at him, attentively, concentrating: can he be trusted? He should be aligned in motives with her, but she tries to get a read on him.

Her psionically augmented senses are keen...

 


 


Last edited by CatCanCook; Dec 13th, 2022 at 10:50 AM.
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  #150  
Old Dec 9th, 2022, 08:49 PM
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Tarbin Haldar
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Tarbin stumbled backwards slightly from the collision and reached up to adjust a hat that currently wasn’t there. ”Careful there friend, I reckon you need to pay a little more attention to where your going…” Tarbin replied not letting the growl from the orc intimidate him, he had after all faced both larger and more aggressive opponents in the arena and the trick he found was never to show any hint of fear. ”Less haste more speed as they say… or was that the other way round…” the young man then added.

Following the orc’s and the kobolds gaze Tarbin then threw in a comment. ”The drunk was making a racket but as soon as I stepped outside he made a run for it…” Tarbin replied with what actually was the truth.

With the pair gone Tarbin then let out a long breath. ”Well guess we should get back to work…” Tarbin commented with a slightly raised eyebrow as he looked down at Liana. ’You ok?’ Tarbin then mouthed silently.




After a few more hours of throwing out trouble makers and breaking up fights Tarbin was a little disappointed to find that during the whole shift he hadn’t had much of an opportunity to approach Ariadne. When the group huddled up to hastily discuss their plans Tarbin was content to listen to the others ideas as he knew he was not the brains of the operation. He was however a little surprised that Vyeggar was the first one to speak.

”Your certainly an ass I’ll give you that…” Tarbin replied with a slight nod. ”But I’ve known worse…” the large man added with a small smile. ”Guess you just need the lesson that my ma taught me when I was younger. If you’ve got nothing nice to say sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all…” Tarbin added as he lightly slapped the Half-orc on the shoulder making it clear that he personally didn’t hold a grudge.

Tarbin then listened to the half-orc’s plan such as it was. ”Simply taking the item might not be enough. Those interested in the item might not believe he lost it. We might need to grab him and convince him to leave town…” Tarbin reasoned.

”I’m not too stealthy but I know how to keep someone alive so I should probably stay close to the girl…” Tarbin suggested though he waited for one of the others to hash out a more detailed plan.









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