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  #106  
Old Apr 16th, 2024, 05:23 AM
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RollsI'm going to need:
  • Persuasion (CHA) from Clovis, to convince the Friar that Corporal Singer should be moved.
  • Performance (INT) or Arcana (WIS) from Azonar to accurately project images of how Corporal Singer remembers the two individuals. Please note that this is not a quick process. Professional police sketches can take hours. Magic of course gives you a big advantage, but it's likely to take 20-30 mins to cover both individuals, less time if you don't mind being less accurate.
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  #107  
Old Apr 16th, 2024, 11:18 AM
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Godfrey Goldenglow
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Godfrey smiled sheepishly at the corporal. 'I don't think you messed up,' he mused. 'No, I do not think the pair you met had any intent other than hurting people, aside from manipulating you into doing their dirty work for them. You trusted the wrong people, is all- and I suspect these two are very good at winning trust. If anything, your decision to move the box away from the market, as they had intended, saved a whole lot of lives,' he nodded.

He looked to Clovis, then nodded. 'I think you're right,' he said plainly. 'I can't imagine this being the safest place, if those two decide to tie off loose ends. I'm assuming there's an infirmary back at the fort?'

'I don't think they're planning an attack, though,' Godfrey mused. 'Not at the walls, anyway. They wanted this box to work its magic in the market square; moving the box to the tower was the corporal's idea.' Frowning, the halfling thought for a moment. 'So why attack the market? Just to cause as much bloodshed as possible?'

When the matter of where to go next was raised, Godfrey barely managed to keep up with all the ideas being thrown around. 'I will go wherever you think is best,' he laughed apologetically. 'But I'm afraid I was a bit less than frugal with my magic during our fight with the harpies. I have some tricks up my sleeves yet, never you worry,' the halfling reassured his companions, 'just... Not any of the really good ones,' he shrugged. 'Just something to keep in mind, while we plan our next steps, hmm?'



 

 
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  #108  
Old Apr 16th, 2024, 12:23 PM
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As has been the case, everyone - well, except maybe Conarr - has good ideas and directives that might work.

"Maybe Azonar can stay here with the Corporal while Godfrey and I go update the Commander so he can make a decision on how best to keep the Corporal safe, whether that be guards coming here to escort her or whatever. During that time, Conarr and Clovis can go look for that Box?
As for what the two were up to, are up to, that put this box into the Corporal's hands, who knows. Sounds like a distraction to have the Harpies attack so they could do their evil deeds - theft, or at worst an assassination."


 
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Old Apr 19th, 2024, 07:06 AM
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The House of Safe HarborDespite Clovis' reasoning, the Friar is unmoved, and shakes his head. "Well enough to speak ain't the same as recovered. Asides, look at the state she's in." The Corporal does indeed look exhausted from the outbursts of emotion, and the effort of reliving her choices. She is currently laid back down in the bed, her red-rimmed eyes barely open. If Azonar is going to get anything useful out of her for his illusions it will have to be right now - by the time she will have finished resting again you should be well on your way to Soft's Rest. "No no, she'll stay here a day or two. She'll be perfectly safe."

So the decision is made to split the group for now - Azonar at the Temple, plus anyone who decides to stay with him; all others leaving the Temple, Clovis and Conarr with the intent to find the box on top of the Tower, Zona and Godfrey to find and talk with the Commander (based on suggestions in previous posts).

Those of you who left the Temple, as you make the return journey back along the gently rising cliff road of the Fort, just after the interior gate to the Inner Fort a cart passes by you pulled by two mules, lead by two downcast looking Guards. In the back of the cart is the clear shape of four bodies, covered in canvas sheets. The fallen Guards on their way to the Temple of Valkur, to rest for now until identified by their loved ones and any funerary arrangements can be made.

The Commander, having waited until his Guards were brought down, is only now making his way back to the house, and is not quite yet level with the training yard. A couple of the Guard are with him, returning to whatever duties or off-duty activities they abandoned to assist here, though it seems likely their hearts will not be in it.

Hearing your footsteps behind him he turns and gestures you all to follow him. Now that he has turned you can see that he gingerly holds a small, wooden box. He speaks quietly to the Guards with him - they salute, and move on.

"Well?" he asks when you catch up, and continues walking up the road beside the training yard. "How is Corporal Singer? And where's the wizard, Azonar?"



Back at the Temple, Azonar is beginning his illusions, attempting to refine the features of his images to best reflect Corporal Singer's descriptions of the Tiefling and the blonde woman. Perhaps she is simply too tired by this point, or her memory is hazy with time and the drink and dark of the night in question, or perhaps it is Azonar who finds he cannot make the image match his imagination - whatever the reason, all attempts at finding a face in which Singer is confident seem to fall short. "A bit like that, I suppose..." she says. "Maybe the nose was a little bigger... no, not quite... and the horns perhaps a bit longer? No I mean at the tips... or do I? And his skin was a little lighter... no, not that light, maybe it wasn't lighter, I think perhaps there was a hint of red or pink?"

As you work you hear movement back in the main hall, and the Friar leaves to investigate. A few minutes later he returns, saying quietly to you so that the Corporal cannot hear "Them who died at the Tower. They're being taken into the Crypt." You continue with your work until you have two figures, though to what extent they fully resemble their subjects you remain unsure. You have a feeling these images would not help much in certain divination magics that work best with a true image of the person, like Scrying, but they may still help with a more mundane search. Almost as soon as you agree to end the image-building, Singer falls asleep again, her face frowning at bad dreams, small whimpers occasionally escaping her lips.

The window shutter creaks...
It's open a little, though you see nothing that might have caused it to open. Must be the sea breeze, a more or less constant fixture up here.

ChecksAzonar, please make a Perception check. Results here.
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  #110  
Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 02:01 PM
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Zona nods respectfully to the Commander, and then motions for Godfrey to She has no CHA bonus, and Godfrey's is +4, so she'll gladly let him speakgo ahead and give the explanations. She'll nod and agree as he does his delivery.

 
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  #111  
Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 03:21 AM
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Conarr Rocksmasher Thunukalataa
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A lot of words were spoken after the list of tasks. The first was from Zona, who asked Conarr to not immediately suggest killing menacing individuals, which seemed counter to how to deal with them.

"No," Conarr said as he jutted out his chin. "I will always suggest we kill our enemies. That is the surest way to stop their plans--" though the warrior did mention, with a wry expression. "--but I will not impede your attempt to speak first, for whatever good that might do."

It was Clovis that mentioned the potential threat, regarding the guard. That short human was crafty, his mind clearly well-versed at cunning strategy, and so Conarr found himself agreeing somewhat. Perhaps that had been the purpose, or one of them at least...

"I still believe this harpy box is important," Conarr said simply, though he nodded to Clovis. "It also stands that the pretty lady and horny man might try to reclaim it themselves, so I would want to hasten to it."

Nearby, Azonar began to display more magical aptitude, as he began to work alongside the Corporal to determine what the pair looked like. It was further evidence that the elderly Half-elf was more than met the eye, and gave the Goliath more reason to watch him closely, given the - increasingly misleading sense of - feebleness about him. As well as that, Godfrey offered thoughts and suggestions, all of which seemed helpful.

Yet.

"There is much to consider, but time runs short."




It was later, after the group had made the decision to get to task, that Conarr stomped through the port and looked about the crowds. It was fortunate that they stumbled upon the Lord Commander returning from the tower, who asked about Singer and Azonar, while being in possession of a wooden box - one he had not had earlier.

"There is a pressing threat to Port Imma," Conarr said as he stopped within several feet of the Lord Commander, peering down at him. "We seek a wooden box that was left at the top of the tower. Is that wooden box you hold from the tower?"

Perhaps one of the tasks had sorted itself out, by chance.

"If so, we need that box. It is magic and dangerous. Godfrey can explain further."

At this point, because of his culture and personality, Conarr's approach demanded action, as he didn't want to waste time for potential greatness or glory on idleness; whereas the others were more prone to explanation, so it seemed reasonable for them to have them do that, if they so chose to...
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  #112  
Old Apr 24th, 2024, 08:58 AM
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Godfrey Goldenglow
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'Dire news, I fear,' the halfling warns the commander. He looks up as Conarr mentions the box in their employer's hands, then turns to point at it. 'The corporal is alive, but her wounds are as dismal as the story she told us. She mentioned two strangers who came into town the other day, who gave her a small chest.' Pausing a moment, he looks pointedly at the box, before looking back up at the commander's eyes again.

'They told her that, were she to open the box in the market square, she would create an opportunity for the guard to prove its worth. A few harpies, so that the guard could prove their mettle to the citizens. Their words were honey, and the corporal, regrettably, accepted them at face value. In a merciful show of common sense she moved the box not to the market, but to the more defensible tower, and, well, openend it. And, as per the strangers' instructions, read aloud the words within.'

Godfrey sighed and held up his hands. 'Clearly, the corporal grossly underestimated the threat. No doubt the strangers downplayed it, for whatever nefarious end. Regardless, the corporal informed us she had hidden the box underneath a loose stone. I... Don't suppose that's where you found that one?' he asked, pointing again at the box in the commander's hands.

'Regardless, with your approval, we think it prudent to find these two strangers. As for Azonar,' he continues, 'he is still at the temple, with the corporal. Trying to get a clear imagine of the two who gave her the box.'


 

 
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 11:33 AM
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The Old FortThe Commander sighs harshly at the news imparted by Godfrey, who appears to have become the face of the group, or at least the voice. "Always so trusting, that girl. Damn it all!" he shouts suddenly, his grip on the box tightening. "One of the Guards that went up to get the bodies found this. Under a stone in the parapet, as you say, on the cliff side." You all will realise that the Mother Harpy would have been perched directly over where the box was hidden. "They could hear the Harpy song in the air still, though the Harpies were long gone, and managed to track the sound to the wall where they found this box." No sound comes from the box now. The box itself is quite plain, and looks cheaply made. But then the box is just a vessel - Corporal Singer had mentioned a brooch, which the Commander comes to now. "Inside they found a jewelled brooch, and a slip of paper. They read the word on the paper, unwisely perhaps, but the singing did stop."

He pauses as you approach the far end of the training yard, the Commander's House in sight. "This thing brought death to my Fort, killed my Guards. I want to find and end those responsible... but I think I know exactly who did this. And I can't do a damn thing about it! Come with me." He suddenly quickens, and paces swiftly towards the House, to the point that Godfrey finds himself doing a half-jog in order to keep up.

Bursting through the front door the Commander is met by Captain Crystalson, rubbing his hands together anxiously. "Uh, Sir, I don't know what's happening out there but... Mr Highmoon is upstairs. He was looking very smug. I'd have sent him away only it's, uh, not my place, Sir, you know." The Captain looks embarrassed, and nervous of what the Commander's reaction will be.

"Highmoon! That's all I need," Landgrave growls. "You leave him to me Captain. For now... there's been an attack, Harpies. Four Guards are dead, and Corporal Singer is recovering in the House of Safe Harbor." The Captain gasps at this news, looking scared and pleading "Sir, may I be excused? Please?" The Commander nods, and the Captain dashes off out the door. "The two of them are close. How close, I don't know, but that's between them. Now, let's deal with this damned Highmoon." He stomps up the stairs, his shortsword clanking against his tassets.

On the corridor you all recognise from before, the Commander glances briefly into the Conference Room with the long table, confirms that it is empty, and continues to the next room down the hall. As he opens the door you see an office space, perhaps half the size of the Conference Room. A chair stands before a desk crowded with papers, another chair to one side, the padding on both imprinted with many years of backsides. A small shelf unit contains a few books and scrolls, while the wood-panelled walls hold pictures - etchings of the Fort in better years, maps, portraits of people in a breadth of fashions from roughly the last 200 years.

At the desk stands a Human man. His sharp face framed by straggly dark hair examines a triptych cameo - three small paintings, joined by hinges so that they might stand together, or fold to be carried. He holds the cameo in one hand, displaying immaculately manicured nails. As you all enter the room starts to feel very full, especially with Conarr's presence, but the man does not seem intimidated. He places the cameo back on the desk gently before addressing the Commander. "This is it for you, Landgrave," he says with a leery smile. "You'll be out before Sunstir."

"Get out of my house, Highmoon," the Commander rumbles. But the man only smiles. "Ah, but I would like to meet your guests! New recruits, perhaps? You're going to need them after this latest debacle. Five dead, is it?" His face briefly takes on an almost comically sad look, before he gives a little bow and brightly says "My name is Florian Highmoon, Seneschal to the Baron Idris Housta. A pleasure to make your acquaintance, you who have such misplaced trust in this Guard and its Commander."
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  #114  
Old Apr 24th, 2024, 01:06 PM
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Momentarily taken aback by the unexpected presence of a rather hostile seneschal in the commander's quarters, Godfrey nonetheless manages to compose himself and, wearing his innocent, most charming smile, steps forward to greet the new arrival. 'The baron's seneschal, you say? A pleasure,' he greets the man, with all the confidence of a nobleman's son. 'Godfrey Goldenglow, son of the honourable baron Theodore Goldenglow of Roodacre. A pleasure, indeed,' the halfling adds as he lets sink in that the seneschal was speaking not with ordinary riff-raff, but with the son of someone his employer would begrudgingly consider an equal. Almost, at least.

'We were just discussing the unfortunate incident at the tower with commander Landgrave. A tragedy, I assure you,' the halfling nods gravely. 'The men and women stationed on that tower fought bravely, and were able to hold of long enough for us to reinforce their position, and see the enemy routed. For that, they paid the ultimate price.' Smiling, he added, 'let us hope this tragedy will reveal to the baron that fort Imma's men have the heart, but could do with perhaps better support, hmm? For example, defending a tower against an airborne attack requires at the very least a proper tower- and this one had loose brickwork all over the place, or so I noticed. Cannot the mason's guild be contracted to restore and perhaps improve upon the defensive facilities, if such aerial raids become commonplace?'

Casually dismissing his own musings as if they were unimportant- though the undertone of shared blame should be obvious- Godfrey shook his head, granting the seneschal another pleasant smile. 'A, but never you mind,' he said. 'Simply the musings of an outsider, looking at the magnificent fort Imma with naught but appreciation and, perhaps, a fresh perspective.'



 

 
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 02:29 PM
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Zona bows slightly when greeted by the representative of the Baron.

Once Godfrey's introductions and musings have completed she nods and says, I am Zona, former Monk from the order at the Dome of the Rose monastery located in the Pevot Point. I parted ways with them a year or so back under mutually favorable circumstances.
I am now loosely affiliated with the Watch here and around as I pick up bounties on criminals and the like and bring them in."

He hands were on two of her weapons, one on the hilt of sword and the other resting on the handle of her Kama.

She got right to what she was thinking and said, "Whom should our trust be placed in?" She
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1d20+5 (13)+5 Total = 18
looked to the man to see if he was being deceitful at all.

 
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  #116  
Old Apr 25th, 2024, 10:45 AM
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For the second time in short while, Clovis' suggestions got snubbed. First the commander and now the priest. Maybe the people in Fort Imma didn't like outsiders or perhaps it was his accent of a street urchin that he had never been able to completely banish. He felt like kicking a stone on his way back to the fort but then thought better of it. He might still carry the accent but he wasn't a street urchin anymore. There more important things now than his ego. And after all, maybe the priest was right and the corporal was sfae?

"I do hope she's safe there," he said to Zona just before stepping back into the fort, "but I don't have a good feeling about it."

Clovis too was extremely curious to take a closer look at the box and at the brooch but any chance of making that known is gone when the captain arrives. Odd, Clovis thinks, There's a fight, four guardspeople died, are brought down to the temple and this captain is unaware.

Inside he closely observes the visiting seneschal. It suits him fine to let Godfrey do the talking. If the baron is of a similar character as his man, then he won't mind planning a visit to his house.

Despite his misgivings, he joins in the general introductions. "Clovis, from Goldhollow. Pleased to meet you and I must congratulate you on your lightning fast information sources. It seems you know what happens here before the guards themselves know it! But of course it is very tragic, so many dead. Five, you said?"

Clovis too pays close
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attention to the man's reaction.


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  #117  
Old Apr 27th, 2024, 02:49 AM
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Conarr Rocksmasher Thunukalataa
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It seemed the box the Lord Commander held was, in fact, the box. That meant the trip up the tower wasn't needed, to which the Goliath reached out to take the box - but the suspicion Landgrave spoke of caused the warrior to pause, curious, as finding out who was responsible would check a number of tasks off the list. So, behind the others, Conarr began to follow and continued to frown as he was pulled deeper and deeper into odd, unexplained and complex human dramas.

When the office was reached, Conarr ducked inside the doorway and looked across at the individual that waited. The man was filled with contempt, it was like thick fog in the room, and Conarr glared with increasing annoyance. This Florian seemed happy to speak down to others, especially the Commander, and it confused the Goliath as to why the Commander didn't just slice the other down. Though, more confusingly, the others began to introduce themselves, complete with bows and introductions.

What is this?

"I am Conarr."

There was nothing else shared, especially no bow, not to someone Conarr did not respect or couldn't be defeated by. The statuses of this lower realm were a confusing muddle of titles and names and places, it was enough to make the mountain warrior balk; so, instead, Conarr kept his stare on the Baron's helper and a large hand near the handle of the greataxe on his back.

It was time to observe and learn more about this kind of interaction.
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Old Apr 29th, 2024, 11:08 AM
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Commander's House"My goodness," the Seneschal raises his eyebrows. "We have a Goldenglow among us! We are honoured indeed. Godfrey..." He wracks his memory, then smiles. "Yes, I did hear about the.. issues in Leistmoor. We have no such downtrodden minorities in Fort Imma," he says proudly, before his smile turns wry, "so I would not expect such an uproar here. Unless you are here to speak on behalf of the Guards? Believe me when I say, there are better things coming. Do not attach your cart to a lame horse. My Lord Housta will no doubt be in town in a few days once he hears the news about this travesty - I would be glad to arrange a meeting between you, to discuss the state of the old buildings. Sadly the Mason's Guild are fully employed currently, constructing warehouses and docks for Lord Housta along the waterfront, though I am sure they would relish the chance to.. renovate this old place."

Turning to Zona he comments, "Yes, I have heard of some of your exploits on behalf of Landgrave's Guard. I would urge you to find me at the Baron's Manor - Lord Housta will have much more fulfilling work for you. Trust me," he ends, both to emphasise his last point and as answer to your question. But Zona's keen eyes pick up those little tells that last fractions of a second, micro-expressions that give away a person's true thoughts. Highmoon oozes deceit - his loyalty is to Baron Housta only. You could no more trust Florian Highmoon than you could trust a bridge of wet paper to support your weight - if you did, you would find yourself plummeting to the depths, a sure end approaching you swiftly from below. However, that isn't to say that you should disbelieve every word that comes from his mouth - he truly believes in the uselessness of the Guard as well as their imminent end.

Highmoon acknowledges Clovis's comment with his hand on his heart and a small bow, barely a nod of the head. "I thank you for the compliment - I am indeed well-informed. I must be, to provide my Lord with the best service possible. And yes, five is what I was told." He looks at Clovis with curiosity, with narrowed eyes and furrowed brow. "Have I been misinformed?" Clovis cannot read minds, but he can in this instance accurately guess the paths the man's thoughts must be taking - was my information wrong? If so, was it out of date? Or was it incorrect by stupidity, or by malice? He does seem overly concerned with the outcome of the tragic event, rather than the nature of it. As you read him he is also trying to read you, so intently that it takes a few seconds for him to realise Conarr has introduced himself.

Tearing his eyes away from Clovis, Highmoon comments "It speaks! Well, Conarr, a young man like you would do well in Baron Housta's private guard. Plenty of opportunity to prove yourself while keeping the Baron's assets safe. That is who we need more of in Fort Imma, not these pitiful pretend soldiers."

Landgrave has been getting more and more visibly angry throughout Highmoon's discussions as the man promotes the Baron and denigrates the Town Guard. His jaw clenches, his fist tightens on the hilt of his sword. This last jab at the Guard sends him over the edge, and he roars at Highmoon, shaking with rage, "Those men and women gave their lives to protect the town you and your idler of a Master pretend to govern! Now get! Out! Of my house!"

Highmoon grins, pleased to have provoked Landgrave into such an outburst. "Touchy," he raises a finger. "I must be off in any case. I have a Manor to prepare for my Lord's return." At this the Seneschal swishes his cloak around him and exits the room.


Meanwhile, at the Temple to Valkur, Friar Nick is busy preparing the bodies of the fallen Guards down in the Crypt; Corporal Singer has fallen asleep once more, having helped Azonar with a description of the two suspicious individuals, as best as they can manage together; and there is apparently nothing at the window. As Azonar waits patiently for the rest of the group to return, he moves about taking in the Temple's decor. Something like a shrine is set up at the back, behind the mounted wheel. A brass statuette of Valkur's symbol stands there, the three lightning bolts mounted into a simple wooden base. A cutlass rests on a stand, and an astrolabe is laid close by.

As Azonar stands at the table, the door at the far end bursts open, and Captain Crystalson dashes in, puffing for breath. "Where is she, where's Arabella? Is she alright?"
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Last edited by EMIW; Apr 30th, 2024 at 04:50 AM.
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  #119  
Old Apr 30th, 2024, 06:49 AM
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In the shadow of the moon
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A simple question to confirm the number of deaths reported to him and the man is rattled, Clovis thinks as he observes the seneschal. No nerves at all, that slippery fellow. But it gives Clovis important information. The man has an insider here in the fort but not one that is fully current with the situation. Hard to imagine one of the guard not being aware that Singer survived. I wonder who...

Have I been misinformed? Clovis lets the question hang in the air. It is natural enough to remain silent as the man has gained back enough of his composure to address Conarr. He has found back his superior tone too. Making the guards look bad like this, you'd think it's him who gave the box .... He already breathes in to call after Highmoon that he can have his box back but ..

Clovis checks himself. This is not the time for idle speculations or games. The man might go on to confront his informer. Clovis wouldn't mind being a fly on the wall to that scene. Of course he might be going to this baron but even then, something might be learned. Of the more sinister possibility, that he might be going to the temple, Clovis doesn't want to think at present.

"I'll shadow him," he whispers to Godfrey, who happens to stand closest to him. He should really report to the commander but with the man's emotions flaring as high as the moon, he doesn't trust a whisper to be picked up.

When the disagreeable fellow has left the room Clovis slides after him, a hand on his dagger and sending a short and silent request to any god willing to listen that he can follow unobserved.

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Old Apr 30th, 2024, 08:34 AM
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Godfrey Goldenglow
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Godfrey's expression fell at the mention of Leistmoor. The seneschal was no amateur in political matters, it seemed. The halfling had hoped news of his failed exploits had not reached so far south; hearing the seneschal's jab both reminded Godfrey that rumours travelled far indeed, and informed him that he had underestimated his opponent. A reputation was little protection in the political arena, once it had been dragged through the mud. Escpecially for the one who had been doing the dragging.

For now, all he could do was concede defeat with grace, by ignoring the barb with a smile, and hinting at his delight at a chance to sit and speak with the baron.

When Clovis offered to shadow the seneschal, Godfrey kept his tongue but, after a moment, nodded slowly. If Clovis had intended his message to only him, them Godfrey was not about to betray that trust. And, truthfully, seneschal Highmoon seemed a worthy opponent. If Clovis wanted to get some dirt on him, then Godfrey could only applaud his new ally's decision.

Looking up at Landgrave, Godfrey offered a look of sympathy. 'It is a sad thing indeed,' he spoke diplomatically, 'when politics are used to better oneself, rather than one's people. I take it this was not the first time you clashed with the baron's man?' he asked, keeping his question open enough to allow for a broad answer.


 

 
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