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  #121  
Old Jul 1st, 2023, 09:46 PM
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In the Ant Trap
left-aligned image
Bingle, you look at Gary and you whisper right into his brain, gnome to gnome. His crinkle-edged eyes narrow, and he regards you for so long you think the channel will close. Then he says back: You are a good, knid gril. Nad you are crocret, I am a salve. But I wno’t leave Lrod Vron, even for feredom, nad he will never leave teh Nat Tarp.

Aloud he assures you, Dno’t worry. I am right outisde, wroking to repair this sipder.

In you go. After introductions, you and Banx do a cool snooch over toward the gobbo in the corner. Vorn doesn’t seem to notice, but one of the (relatively) small spiders is sidling along as you go, staying between you and dais. Its little lens eye whirs and tracks you.

The Gob is young, about your height, with a shock of dark hair and lamplit eyes. He bows back, poorly. Perhaps he wasn't raised right, or perhaps his lab coat is too big. What he is doing over here, on a table littered with magical reagents and poisons and odd pincering tools and what looks like a jug of rat organs, is making matcha on the Bunsen burner. He whisks at it, getting it good and frothy.

Want some? It ant pizened. See? He pours a slosh into a delicate cup and swigs it down. Evil, eh? Well, welcome to the Underdark, evils. You’ll fit right in. He grins, and you see his teeth are filed to sharp, sharp points. Gotta serve. He pours the matcha into more cups, loads them on a tray, and heads over to your friends. The sipder watches you.

right-aligned image
Fela, Gary Gonme ushered you in first, and indeed, though Lord Vorn acknowledges Falco with a polite nod, his focus is on you. As you introduce yourself, he bids you rise with a fast, alarmed gesture and demures: Lady Knight, you mustn’t bow to me or call me “Grace.” I am a Lord only as the favored son of my mother, the duke. You may call me Vorn, if informality doesn’t read as too familiar?

As he speaks, he gestures, hands sweeping over the controls. He seems to be on some sort of wheeled stool or chair, so smoothly does he shift and spin within the confines of the tall circular desk. You (and all these casters with you) recognize the gestures as somatic, working the controls and the Weave simultaneously.

As he does this, the (relatively) small spiders zoom and click about, unfolding elegant metal chairs for you and Tempeste. They tote a long low table in, too and set it down in front of you, and by then the goblin is coming over to offer hot green foamy drinks much like Vorn’s. When that is done, almost as an afterthought, a chairs and drink are brought for Falco.

He is open to exchanging goods and information, and he has no visible reaction to your most hated names. In fact, he gives you a wry smile and says with what reads to you as frankness, I do not know these…enemies? of yours, Paladin. Upworld things are not my concern. You see, I do not even query why a sun god's knight, dripping goodness, would come asking to make trades, here. He doesn’t sell magical items; he collects them to remit to his mother. He will trade for or buy yours. He also sells ships. And information.

Tempest, you voice support for Falco’s ask, and Lord Vorn turns to you next instead of the smoking Hin. He pushes levers this way and that, making more somatic gestures, and a—something? rises from the desk. It is like parchment, covered in elvish writing, but translucent and insubstantial. Parchment made of light, projected out of the desk. He runs a finger down some text, then flashes teeth again.

I don’t have this boat you seek. But I may have information on it. Are you going after it? I will sell my information, and perhaps rent you the smaller of the two clippers that I have in stock. Should you retrieve this ship of yours, I can assist you in transporting it to the Above. But this is expensive. A great expenditure of Weave energy. You will need to leave me a deposit on the clipper, of course, in case you die or otherwise do not return it.

Bingle you hear this, that he can push things UP. Up! UP IS WHERE XO IS. Also, everything you care about.

left-aligned image
Tempest, You are looking to the tank, which is full of coiled animal. It uncoils as if it feels your gaze, looking back, and Oh! You know exactly what this is. Exactly. This is a Blue Eel dragon! A young one. It is at least ten feet long and very lithe and beautiful. These are solitary creatures, rare and tricky and dangerous and smart. It lifts its head out of the water, jaw fronds dripping, and hooks its chin over the tank.

Hullo, Siren, it says in gurgly common. Ah. It knows what you are, too.

Falco, Lord Vorn is a tightly controlled person. Non-reactive, polite, but you get a good read on him. You see your joke about “Walk-Ins” amuses him, and though he will not speak to you until he has settled with the women, he relaxes a bit when when he finally addresses you. Even drow are not immune to Hin charm, it seems. And though he plays it very, very cool, you see fierce avarice ignite as he watches the pipesmoke unfold into your stories.

It’s different from the way he examined at Fela’s offering. That was cool business interest, but this interest in the pipe feels personal. He wants it. Gary Gonme is right. He likes stories—books, art, music. He’d do a lot to get that pipe. You also sense that he wants something else from Fela. He seems to be considering her from several angles.

If you wish to purchase sailors, I do have about a dozen currently on offer. 50 gold each. Cheap, considering their skill sets, but I warn you, the seas we farm yield pirates, more suited for my mother’s mines than positions that require trust. They are stupid, cruel, and murderous. They will cut your throat if you give them the slightest opportunity. Still, Gary can take you to look them over, if your need is dire enough to risk it.

Wait, what? The seas he farms yields pirates? What pirates? You have been for days slogging through a part of the ocean that is considered a dead zone. No good trade currents, no inhabited islands, known for violent storms.


OOCWith that crit, Plaid, you can have the Dragon Eel stat block.
left-aligned image


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  #122  
Old Jul 4th, 2023, 12:52 AM
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goin' deeper in th' web
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Say whatever ye may 'bout what he were doin' down here but, after watchin' 'im at it fer a moment, ye couldn't deny that Lord Vorn were very good at it. Controllin' th' spider what skittered 'round th' room, maybe even watchin' through 'em all. It were all certainly interesting, even if it were equally evil, an' the dark elf were interestin' 'imself, handsome too, but he were in fer disappointment if 'is interest in Fela were more'n a fascination.

Falco didn't mind waitin' t' speak none, he sipped 'is tea, th' color o' Cleiophane an' th' swamps, listened, an' watched. He could see that Vorn clearly wanted th' pipe what used t' be Sanbalat's. He could work that somehow but not fer a gang o' starvin' cutthroats. "Oh, I been 'round me share o' pirates. We mostly gave th' worst o' 'em o'er t' th' sea. I'm more interested with findin' me old ship before crewin' it. Ye see, I were trackin' it with me fae map when we came t' knock at yer door."

Another green sip and a slow draw from th' pipe before Falco spoke again. "Do ye know o' a Starless Sea or a ship crewed by monsters? Cap'n Cinderrabbit an' 'is Red Feathers what can appear outta nowhere an' board a ship?" Surely a man what dealt in pirates would know somethin', maybe. "On second thought, maybe I will go look over yer sailors with Gary. See if'n I know one an' would part with some coin t' make sure they stay under th' sea." If there's any red feathers they may be willin' t' talk their way outta here. "Forvige me fer askin', but where do yer pirates be comin' from? Me crew used t' ply a similar trade, we took from pirates, an' I've never known any t' be this far out. no trade routes or much o' anythin' really. Is there a rift nearby or somethin'?"

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  #123  
Old Jul 5th, 2023, 04:19 AM
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"Hullo, Dragon. I do not understand your presence here. What purpose do you serve?" Tempest looked up to the sweet, deadly, clever and stormy blue eel dragon. It is just like her with its lightning and blueness. The very existence of the eel dragon not free to swim about absolutely tears at her heart. Certainly it could kill her, outsmart her, and hide far better than the Siren ever could - that she understood from what her mother had told her when comparing land dragons from stories, and eel dragons in the ocean. It was so lovely to behold, to be this close to one and not be sizing each other up properly was so wrong. This was WRONG.

Tempest's gaze lingered on the Dragon, sad with equal parts anger, coated in thoughts that did not involve the ship. Under her shield she knew her shoulders tensed, but she had to relax, and turn, and recognize that the Drow Lord Vorn was in control and they were…guests. After a long moment with her back to everyone, hearing the chairs get set up along with the table, the matcha delivered and the exchange of words, she finally turned to eye the Drow. She dared to stride closer but stopped where she was expected to stop. "Vorn, I am Tempest, and I recognize this as your territory. I am honoured to be in your presence, as you would be honoured to be in mine for we are both worthy beings, exceptional in our own right. Unlike you, I expect no less than gifts upon greeting. It would be acceptable to me, if it was acceptable to your glorious self, to offer you and I the opportunity to trade gifts, and that being the blue eel dragon. The eel obviously belongs in a territory of ocean, not a pocket of air in the sea. There is no purpose for it to be here, and I have purpose for when it is released to me."

right-aligned image
The Siren paused to clear her head, detesting that she is calling the dragon an 'it' and speaking of it as a 'gift', as a …THING to be traded. It's horrible, but this was the language Vorn spoke, wasn't it? Turning her back, she strode to the offered table and raised the frothy green matcha to her steel blue lips to take a sip of the bitter, earthy-grassy-barely sweet drink. "This is absolutely delightful, Vorn. I am not one for the sweets of the surface world myself. You may enjoy mint tea, or at least the scent of it. Are you familiar?" Tempest opened her colorful leather bag, peeking inside of it before sinking her arm into it, feeling around for the tin. On the table before her she placed the rectangular tin, and then removed a silver platter to place the tin upon. She glanced over at Fela and Falco, seriousness etched across her expression. Then she lowered her arm back into the bag and removed a black wood box, no longer than ten inches and no taller than six, and placed it on the tray as well. Then came a cloth-bound book, followed by a squat, round cherry-red glass perfume bottle and a white, blue speckled earthenware whisk. Then, dramatically as she flashed her own pearly teeth at Vorn, she set another one of her prized possessions, a crystal bottle of a fancy liquor that a fine Captain gifted her only months ago for a night of dancing and not dying.

"I am here to also ensure Captain Falco's success and have items that are not magical, but have splendor, wonder, or a deliciousness about them. I will start with these items for both the eel gift, and to add to my companion's ship hunting. Between the artifacts Lady Fela MarkWig Springer has offered, and the offerings of my other companions, I expect a satisfying outcome." Tempest remained standing, sipping at the matcha as she stood by her goods, prepared to bring them to Vorn. Her gaze drifted over to Bingle and Banx to see what they were up to, concerned that they also wanted something but were not making that known just yet. There were so many curiosities in this chamber full of nooks and crannies, and …did these things all serve a purpose with this strange mechanical magic the Drow mastered? Never had she ever seen or heard of metal spiders, with poison, without poison, metallic-ish threads, and eyes that watched. Nor had she ever seen a Drow, but as a Siren, she knew power when she saw it - in that smile, and his manners. If only they could provide what this Lord wanted, that which did not involve their enslavement, and continue on their way to battle ahead before something rose from the ocean, making the sea dead or undead and invading her precious, lovely parent's territory. How proud would her Mother be if she was not on foul terms with a blue eel dragon, one of which might be convinced to assist in destroying the other Siren before amiably going on its way. Or maybe becoming a friend! Or, probably just go on its way to find solitude as stormy eel dragons tend to do. What a BRILLIANT story she could tell about knowing such a wonderful being.
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  #124  
Old Jul 5th, 2023, 10:42 AM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/Warlock
right-aligned image
So Gary is loyal. That makes Bingle think that Lrod Vron is as stuck as Gary is, and that the real villain is elsewhere. This is a pleasing thought because she likes the Nat Tarp, and this room, and everything about this. Lrod Vron does talk about "purchasing" people and that is definitely bad, but he must have a story to him. Or be just a nice, unfortunate middleman, part of a big world and helpless to disrupt it. You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their minions. If Gary is loyal, and Pozzik is cheerfully slinging matcha, how bad can Lrod Vron really be? Pozzik doesn't seem oppressed. What a funny, cute coat he has on. And he's very brisk about the drinks. Bingle likes this. She has a sudden pang of thought for Mad Robin, and wonders where the fairy has gotten to and what she's doing. Now that was oppressed, the sad little operetta of fairies getting blood-drained by a vapmire. But even then -- not Xolec's fault! Nexa Banishae. Lady M'lezzinir. They are the real bad news. Xolec and Vron? Just soulful fellows, stuck and searching for someone to love, obviously. This underground pirson. That underground pirson. The fate of it all makes her ears tingle.

When Pozzik returns from serving, Bingle and Banx politely take matcha but Bingle clamps her mouth down when she tips up the cute little cup to her mouth, leaving a green froth on her upper lip and drinking nothing.

"Mmm," she says ambiguously, and sets the cup back down. Not that she thinks it's poisoned. But. Starnge
cocnoctions!

"Pozzik," she says, "Are you also a wizard? I am a Transmuter. That means I can turn something into gold. For one hour, anyway."

Bingle will offer Harlan to be held or pet, if Pozzik wants to. While they're talking, she puts a finger out to the jug of rat organs and begins to casually just turn it to gold (temporarily), shiny metal spreading out from her fingertip and around the circumference of the jug in little bands. This is mostly to make it opaque, because the muddy smell of the matcha and the meaty look of the organs, along with the dip and roll of the spider travel -- it's all a bit unsettling to her stomach. But also she's just looking to flex a tiny bit and see if he can also turn things into gold (temporarily).

Out loud she says: "Pozzik, what can you tell us about the energy being in the bottom of the Ant Trap? Is it alive? Is it anchored to the bottom of the world? How did it come to be there? How does it work?"

And in Pozzik's head she says: We come from Kivalia where goblins can be free, have jobs and live as they like, if they're not too evil. You ok with Vorn?



ۜ\(סּںסּَ` )/ۜ
 


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  #125  
Old Jul 5th, 2023, 07:53 PM
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Bargaining
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Vorn smiles, Falco, but answers none of your questions, saying instead, Perhaps we’d best come to terms before we go any farther.

His eyes drift to Fela and Tempest. You have a pretty good read on him, and you see he is politely including you because you asked the question, but his assumption is that you do not have the authority to bargain. And he is open to bargaining, you see. He might even enjoy it.

For a thousand gold, or, for the sword and the key plus two hundred gold, I will tell you what I know of the Starless Sea and the ship crewed by monsters. I know nothing of a “Cinderrabbit,” but Red Feathers? I have information on this topic, and with it can offer you a gift of little monetary value, but that will confirm, cement, and perhaps even expand your understanding. I will also tell you what I know of the Sunlands in relation to farming pirates. I value this information highly, for I believe it is key to your understanding what else you need from me ---and there are other things you need from me.

Tempest, you ask the dragon its purpose here, and it blinks and frowns and then says, Why, being amazing, I suppose? With no irony. Almost musing, as if this is a question here-to-fore unconsidered. When you demand it as a gift and say you have a use for it, you have the purest of intentions, but it rears its head back and speaks to Vorn in outraged tones.

Is she trying to buy me? And when you lay your things out on the tray, it rears back even farther and peers at the tea, the empty bottle, the well-loved book, etc, and says, Is she trying to buy me for — snacks and trash?

Now, Nithe, I’m sure not, Lord Vorn says mildly. Pozzik, can you—Some sort of gift exchange seems to be required? Culture thing. He waves a vague hand, and his attention shifts off you almost entirely. A moment later, one of the (relatively) small spiders sidles over and sits watching you as attentively as another is watching Bingle and Banx. Vorn is purely focused on Fela with a side of Falco now.

left-aligned image
Bingle, your friend Banx, curious as ever, tries the foamy drink and brightens. Tsates like hot pnod water, he whispers in gnomish, as if this is a good thing. He will polish yours off, too.

Pozzik cheerfully sets Halran directly into the fluffy nest of his dark hair and laughs at the tickling claws, then watches your magic with bright interest. No, I can’t do that. I’m a very great and amazing artificer, though. He puffs out his chest and you barely hear him add, in training. SEE, Look, I can do this!

He ruffles around in the great big jumbled mess of whatever on the workstation until he finds a couple-three colorful rocks, and then he waves a hand over them and says, Zaubersteine! Huzzah! He displays them on his palm. They ... sure are rocks. Magic! I made them magic. For a slingshot?!


Suuuuuuure he did, Banx’s eyebrow quirk says silently to you. But maybe he did. They might look a little shinier?

You start to ask about the alive energy under the nets and he gets rounder eyed-er and talk loud over you: IF YOU CAN CAST DETECT MAGIC AS A WIZARD SPELL OR THAT OTHER ONE, IDENTIFY, YOU WILL SEE THOSE STONES ARE MAGIC AS SUPER-**** BECAUSE OF MY GREAT ARTERFICERING. He shakes his head at you, no, faintly, faintly. Then Vorn calls for him to do a chore, and off he goes.

right-aligned image
artificer 3 band slingshot with stones loaded
Tempest , the gob in the lab coat comes over, looks at your stuff, and says, Mm Hm, yeah nice, super cultural and ****! He totes the whole tray back to the station where Banx and Bingle are.

Falco, bubbles come sloshing up in the tank and then a strange electric rotten smell wafts to you. Nithe is having some kind of a snit fit. It calls to you, Hey. Hey, pirate. I just farted an elegant nice fart. Want to trade your gnomes for it? Hey, Hey Pirate! I can throw in some dirty sand for the Paladin! It splashes back down in the tank and sinks into a sulky heap at the bottom.

Bingle, you talk into Pozzik’s head as he travels, and when he gets back to you, he says, quietly, but with his mouth, Lord Vorn’s okay. It’s okay here. Then wistful : I wish I had a girlfriend, though, you know? But my mom is Lolthbound. I can do the shriek, got the night-eyes, got the hair. He ruffles it, gently, careful not to bother Halran, and you see what you took for black is actually dark, dark purple. He is sorting through Tempest’s offering, dumping most of it into a box under the counter, but setting the liquor and the tea aside. Sooooo. I guess I am pretty evil, really. Like, half a ****ton. Which is much for your Upland gob-girls, and not enough for Lolthbound ones, and anyway, damn, but are they are some scary *****es? Yes!

He is picking bits of this and that off the table, and in your head he says, The first rule about the Ant Trap Is Alive is, we don’t talk about The Ant Trap is alive. He tilts his shock of hair at Vorn. He tries to not think about it or he gets all mopey, but if it was me I wouldn’t hardly think about nothing else. Right?? I mean, **** me! Right?

Tempest, Pozzik comes back to you with the same silver tray he served the matcha on, and sets it in front of you with a flourish. Lookit here. Really Underdarky. Culteral as ****-all. I made that shooter. And that jar of rat parts is part gold! Off he goes back to the workstation.



OOCThe sword and the key are worth about 400 gp each, maybe a little more. Goonie and Ptwids, you can bargain if you like. One of you can help action the other if you RP it.

Plaid, remove that stuff from your inventory and add:
A gold edged lab jar of rat organs that will be a regular glass jar of rat organs in 56 minutes.
A glass container of mushrooms pickled in wine and spices.
Three smooth stones with the MAGIC STONE cantrip cast on them for the next few seconds.
A strange, fancy sling shot.
Two small ornate bottles of potent mushroom wine.
A pewter hinged ring box lined in black velvet holding a selection of loose humanoid teeth
An vial of ointment with a handwritten label that says: Mushroom powder and saffron in lard.
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  #126  
Old Jul 8th, 2023, 01:04 AM
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T' make an equivalent exchange
right-aligned image

Falco were still smilin', it were hard not t' with bein' so close t' what he'd been chasin'. "Aye, comin' t' terms would be most worthwhile." Truth be told, he'd be agreeable tradin' away near anythin' he owned or could get 'is hands on t' get 'is ship back. Th' smilin' Hin turned t' Fela with a raised eyebrow. It seemed Vorn would rather deal with th' paladin fer cultural or social reasons.

"I'd very much like t' understand what we'd be needin' from ye, an' all I can come t' know 'bout th' Red Feathers. I've got coin," again another questioning look t' Fela, "an' I also have a set o' shackles what can keep someone from escapin' by magical means, might that be somethin' o' interest?" Surely it would fer a person in this trade.

Then, th' sea dragon started callin' 'im a pirate after Tempest tried t' negotiate fer it. Falco knew she meant t' buy th' dragon's freedom, not servitude. He were pretty sure anyway. He laughed an' replied, "Corsair, thank ye. I'm sure ye'd treat 'em all well enough an' offer me a bargain but, I already have a jar o' dragon farts an' I'll be needin' me friends." Th' part 'bout dragon gas did remind 'im o' somethin' else what might interest Vorn.

Falco produced th' glass globe o' swirlin' gas an' exclaimed, "See. Gnome made an' locally foraged, this came from th' venom sacks o' Cleiophane th' green dragon." He scratched 'is jaw an' looked contemplative. "Hmm, them spiders have got a bite but I wonder if'n this could help 'em work quicker." Probably not, t' be honest, they already packed plenty o' poison. Still, never hurt t' put th' thought out there. If this Deep Lord really knew where t' find 'is ship. he'd empty 'is pockets right here.

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Old Jul 8th, 2023, 01:46 AM
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Tempest was absolutely gobsmacked.

The Siren was embarrassed, a feeling so extreme and new to her, her cheeks blushed pink until her neck and face were nearly purple; the stripes darkened dramatically as did her eyes. Of course the Eel Dragon was amazingly amazing, but it wasn't free. Maybe it doesn't know what free is. Maybe Nithe has always been here, in a tank.

But.

The fit Nithe pitched. The dismissal of the Siren with chalking this up to cultural exchanges and to top it off, Vorn's attention was NOT on Her. Or her request. Or what she cared about at the moment. If she wasn't eighty-nothing, she certainly would be all in a tizzy like NITHE. Who has a name, which came to no surprise. Names sometimes come with attachments, unlike Pirate One or Pirate Sixteen for fifty gold.

Tempest must have quite the expression plastered to her lavender face when Pozzik not only took everything she had, but seemed to dump what was 'of little value' Under His Desk. She thanked him. Her gaze shot over to the Gobdrow and said, unclenching her teeth. "Thank you for your generous gifts. This …colorful stone creation looks very well-crafted." Man oh man did she want to punt that metal spider next to her bare feet. Luckily she was raised better than that. There were no tantrums allowed, even on a Ship of Humans who said Wrong Things because they didn't know any better. The colorful rocks and intriguing slingshot pulled her attention for a moment as did the odd marinated mushrooms in a jar. The distraction calmed her for a moment, but how her STUFF was treated, and….she believed the feeling she was having beyond embarrassment was hurt. Maybe even insulted, but the real sort of insulted…because she was misunderstood due to her dishonesty.

The Siren blew air out of her nose dramatically and tried to keep the scowl from her face when she watched Vorn, Fela and Falco. Then she turned and walked over to the tank and placed the flat of her hand on its surface, then tapped it lightly in an attempt to get Nithe's attention. tap tap tap. "Nithe? Lord Vorn…I need to make something clear, if you….will….Excuse my ..interruption." As if a Siren ever interrupts or asks to be 'excused'. This hurt more than the spiders needling her.

"I…"

"....Apologize." A beat passed and Tempest eyed Bingle. Bingle Bingle Bingle. The Gnome who has a grand way with words and who has been completely inoffensive to have gotten them here alive. Well, she will try to talk with honest, heartfelt words like her regal friend.

"I did not mean to offend, Nithe…Vorn. I wanted to buy Nithe's freedom, not Nithe. Since you sell pirates, I thought that was the correct way to approach you, Vorn. I did not consider if Nithe was a friend, or if this was a temporary tank while you worked. Nithe could have a personal underground lake to grow and swim in. I made a mistake in my assumptions." Tempest did not look all-too proud, but she straightened herself up and spoke with conviction. "The things that I have collected are not trash or treats to me. I find them of great value - red glass, unbroken, found in a chest in an old sunken ship. The musky, earthy scent of the small amount of oil in it is such an amazing, curious scent. And glass…red is such a rarity, and to think it was once only sand and ash - how wondrous is that? The book is a magnificent adventure full of magic, trickery, love and betrayal of these characters …how their affairs entwine, and the dangers they face! It was a spellbinding read. Just how the towering city was described …" Tempest was smiling with this wonder in her eyes as she described her former book and the glass perfume bottle. "I do not see gold as something of value because I never had a need for it. What I collect are things I find a different value in - is it interesting, or beautiful, or does it smell like places and things I've never experienced before and may never still. They can tell a story to me, but to Vorn, they could be commonplace. I will confer with my companions before I insult anyone again. Thank you for your hospitality."

Humbled, Tempest returned to her seat and did not pout, but she certainly looked more thoughtful having been put in her place. With a polite gesture toward Bingle, she opened her bag and offered a toothy smile at her.
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Old Jul 8th, 2023, 03:22 AM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/Warlock
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Bingle has been told, repeatedly, not to drink her bath water. This is one of Bongle's strictures that actually makes sense, so when Banx reports the tea is like a hot pnod, Bingle is reassured she isn't missing anything. Pozzik did say he was okay and he seems okay. Doesn't he?

"I've never met a goblin exactly as evil as you are before," she says, not knowing what Lolthbound means, but it seems pretty bad, "But there are all kinds of people in Saltmarsh. "Maybe a fairy or a market person would be your girlfriend. Do you have a rift around here?"

Bingle has also never met an artificer before but she picks up the meaning from context and it seems like a tinkerer. Tinkerers often will waggle their heads around like this. And have pieces of parts all over the place.

"Ah, yes, well I am also in training, and aren't we all just in training?" she asks generously, and loudly, since that's how he talks. "Did your mentor make the spider bots? We were looking at the controls in the great huge one. Very interesting."

He acts super intense about the stones he has, so she bends over them respectfully to look at whatever they are, but almost immediately he whisks them off and gives them to Tempest. When she sidles up to Tempest, she shows Bingle what all she has in her bag, and it is frankly amazing.

1. The rat organs: gross.
2. The pickled mushrooms and the other stuff: meh.
3. But the mushroom wine! Bingle is awed. This is not something she ever expected to see outside the village, where it was used only on the highest holiest days in the forest temple. Of course the forest gnome version was stored in pottery, not like these beautiful bottles. So weird and interesting and kind of frantic-making to have it here!

And the "magic" stones are here too. Bright and colorful. Something about the way Pozzik reported so loudly what they were, while shaking his head slightly at her. Did he mean no, no don't Message me in my head? Or did he mean no, no these aren't Magic Stone stones, they're something else!? And then he poofed them right into Tempest's bag?! Accident? PORBALBY? Or could it be a conspiracy, in the making, right in front of her? Bingle's eyes are getting bigger and bigger. Maybe they're sending stones, or scry beads, or...!!! Bingle looks up at Tempest's face and messages into her head: I think those stones have a message in them. Very secret! Very important! Don't say anything. She yanks her eyebrows up and down for emphasis, slips the peral into her mouth, and casts Identify, as Pozzik directed.

And now that she's over here where the main action is taking place, she can hear Falco doing great negotiations. She messages to him: I have money to contribute to the cause, and a gas bomb too. If he'll give us all that for a thousand gold, it seems like a good deal to me.

A thousand gold. Riches unimaginable, and yet not much more than she has in her pack.



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  #129  
Old Jul 8th, 2023, 06:19 PM
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Fela, informal
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Fela is puzzled and scowl-y at Vorn's disavowal of his Lorditude. Favored son of a duke doesn't sound like a minor title to her, where the land is a small strip of bog, the manor a small shack of rotting timber, where if you traded it on a cold and stormy night for a meal and a warm bed you'd be getting the better end of the deal. And anyway a title isn't just an honor you can wear or not as you see fit, like the crown that comes with it, it comes with obligations and responsibilities and Duties. Waving that off is something Finn would do, like hiding in Saltmarsh...except she remembers that he didn't run off, that he was going to marry for the family rather than love, right up until his fiancee proved to be completely insane.

Even with the guilt over her brother, she still can't fully swallow the distastefulness of Vorn's attitude, though politeness requires she try. "Very well then, uh...Vorn." Still. There are proper chairs and table brought and refreshments and other than the title thing, and the fact that they are still in this workshop instead of withdrawing to a sitting room or whatnot, she can mostly just get on with things. The tea, while unfamiliar to Fela and nowhere near as good as the brew Tumble had made up for, is enjoyable, and Fela has just about regained her equilibrium when Vorn questions why she'd be here dealing with him in the first place, and she's caught off-guard and mid-sip and matcha, it turns out, doesn't feel very good spraying out your nose.

"I -- it's -- " there's some spluttering and stammering but she can't really go on until she's taken the time to wipe her nose and dry her eyes and by then all attempts at dignity and formality seem pointless. "It's a fair question, Vorn, one I've asked myself more than once. Certainly not my usual way of doing things, but war has occupied most of my order, and I'm left to deal with these other threats as I can. I'm starting to get used to it." An awkward abrupt stop, as the words had left her mouth before she'd realized they were true. She was getting used to this way of working, a small group, operating independently far from hierarchy and command.

But there's no time to ponder this or let it sit in, as (Lord) Vorn seems intent on channelling the negotiations through her rather than Falco, and meanwhile there's the distraction of the usual cloud of chaos surrounding Bingle and Tempest, perhaps a thicker cloud of chaos than usual, what with a water-dragon thing and a goblin artificer in the mix. They were stressing her out, and normally she'd be trying to shush and calm them, cover and explain, but Vorn seemed to be just rolling with it, like a Lord wouldn't, and following the host's lead was generally a good rule...and then Tempest apologized, on her own and unprompted? Maybe she should give them a longer leash more often...

"We'll buy that first bit of information from you for the magic items" meeting Falco's gaze for reassurance she's doing this right "but I think you're selling us a little short on their value. The blade is really quite well balanced, and an intimidating show piece, and the key had some other functions locked away that we couldn't quite get working, but it shouldn't be too bad for a man of your skills. And for later...there's really no information we might have that you'd find value in?"

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Dice Persuasion to get a bit more for the magic items:
d20+7 (12)+7 Total = 19


Aura of Protection: +4 to saves for Fela and any friendlies within 10'

 
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Old Jul 10th, 2023, 04:30 PM
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DROW MONOLOGUE
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Tempest, Lord Vorn nods placatingly, but he hardly hears you. He is very focused on talking to Fela and Falco. When you say gold has no value, you lose him entirely.

But Nithe cannot resist the bag. As you show Bingle your things, the eel dragon fluffs and flimps around in the sand of his tank in a way that suggests he is just getting comfortable, but that also coincidentally means his eye ends up close to the glass right where you are unpacking your things. The necklace entices him, so much so that his head snakes up out of the tank and he peers at it.

As if, as IF anyone can OWN a dragon! He observes to the room, nose up, but one eye keeps pointing a bit down at the necklace, then flicks over to the ring, and then the red jasper rabbit. Now he looks at you. Pah and fie on lakes. LAKES! I have the whole of the Glimmersea, right outside, when we are out here ship-hunting, he tells you directly, and then because he is young and cannot help himself, he cranes down a little toward the red jasper rabbit and says, What is that animal? Is it from Up?

Bingle, Pozzik says, Lord Vorn’s brothers made most of those Spizers, before I was born even. Elfs. They live real long. Well, not his brothers. They died trying to make it go, so Vorn’s mom made him finish the Any Trap and he didn’t die. He sidles close and says, very low, He may still, though, Gary Gonme says, which would be bad because Vorn’s okay, and the next brother is a real turd, and Gary would know. He was around back then and knew all of ‘em. Gnomes. You live real long, too.

Banx doesn’t go with you to Tempest. He is boogering around on the workstation, fingering this and sniffing that. The spider watches him but doesn’t interfere. Tempest’s spider watches you, too, lens-eye clicking back and forth. Dinetify says the stones are TRANSMUTED, but just a little, into being a little harder hitting. It is a weak charm, and already fading.

Fela, your explanation seems to make sense to the drow. He says, musingly, War. Yes. It makes strange bedfellows, always. Or it does if you want to win. We drow are always warring, and we always want to win. Answer me this, because I’ve never met a Sun-Paladin, but I have heard of you. I heard your word, once given, is a bond, and if you do break it, there are consequences. Is this so? May I know these consequences? Have you ever broken a vow?

He looks at you so searchingly as he asks these things.

~~~~~~~~~

left-aligned image
Vorn accepts your counter offer, foregoing the 200 gold, and Pozzik collects the key and the sword.

Party, Lord Vorn tells you all:
You are in the region of the Glimmersea called “Starless Sea” because the glowing rocks that form the constellations and patterns that Underdark sailors use to navigate are not present in the ceiling here. It is also directly below a vast expanse of Sunlands ocean that has no trade currents and generally deemed not worthwhile to navigate. But unbeknownst to the good people of the Uplands, it has become a hub for pirate parley sessions, grudge matches, and floating markets. Boats lost here are presumed sunk, and indeed, they often have sunk farther than their former compatriots can guess.

The “Dusk Maiden” was not among my captures. But. Quite recently I pulled a little vessel whose manifests named it the “Dunk Maihem.” With an i. I assumed the illiterates aboard meant “mayhem,” but now realize it was lazy forgery. A dozen of those said illiterates---all bearing crimson feather tattoos or decorations---are in my holding cells, and one of those miscreants is your free gift with purchase. They know their lives in my mother’s mines will be unpleasant and of short duration; they might betray their fellows and spill information to you in the hopes of avoiding that fate.

To give you your money’s worth—I sold the “Dunk Maihem” almost immediately to a strange pair who arrived even before the spiders finished processing the Maihem. Very few sales happen when I am out here on gathering runs, so having them (and now you) appear in
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a johnny boat was odd; they were wild for a ship. Overpaid for me to simply hand the Maihem over, even before my people had inspected it. Stranger still, captain was a Cloaker. The first mate, a drow.

This should inform you on what else you need from me— A way to pursue, for example. I can rent you a small fast clipper. Alternatively, I can bring your ship down; this is inexpensive as the process is largely automated, and indeed, what the Ant Trap was made to do. Returning that ship (and/or the “Dunk Maihem,” should you capture it) safely to the Sunlands---reverse peristalsis, if you will—is costly. We can negotiate that once you make your plans.

His eyes go to Fela again.

~~~~~~~~

Falco, you know what a Cloaker is. Sort of. That drow you shipped with for a little, he hated em. The first time he saw a stingray winging through the shallows, he went bat-crap and tried to kill it. Once he saw it. Clearly he stopped, and told you about Cloakers.

They are Underdark fellas who mimic a cloak on a peg when they are standing still, down to the buttons and a clasp. But when they unfold, they look like the rubbery child of a stingray and a flying squirrel, but with a murder-face on the underside and a long lashing tail. They have horrid bites and weird voices, and his brother was in thrall to one, apparently. Smart, devious even, for all they look like evil clothing. Sounded made up to you, but now Vorn is saying one is captaining your ship!

OOCI reversed the BOLD for dialogie and straight text at the end to spare your eyes…HE MONOLOGUED.

Ptwids, he wants an answer about the paladin vows—and even with her low insight, it would be clear to her (and any party member paying attention) that he wants something from Fela, but he is trying to decide if he can trust her with it. If he thinks he can, this could really help you in negotiations . If Fela lies, roll deception. If she tries to convince him she can be trusted to keep her word, roll persuasion. Party, you can help action her if you figure out a way to RP it.

LAST GUEST GONE TO AIRPORT! Next DM posts THURSDAY and SUNDAY.


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  #131  
Old Jul 12th, 2023, 07:26 PM
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Fela, words flowing
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"Have I ever ... broken a vow?" the question throws her, so direct and personal and not at all permissible by the etiquette of Templetome. She wonders if he's playing with her, somehow, but his expression suggests otherwise, the intensity of his studying her making her and squirm and instinctively deflect. "Look. We just handed over a small fortune in magical items to get you to answer your questions, and now you're just volleying these at me expecting answers for free?"

But his question wasn't just socially uncomfortable, it landed, spoke to things inside her. She'd been asking herself similar questions, and while Saliber's comforting warmth had helped tamp down her doubt, it hadn't removed or reconciled her with it. A long sigh, "I'm a guest, and after our rocky arrival you've been an excellent host. This one's on me." and a pause to collect herself.

"So, there's a vow and then there's a capital-V Vow, yeah? Like, I'd do my best not to break a promise I make, just like I wouldn't lie or steal or hurt anyone, because those things are generally bad. But things are famously grey, edges nebulous, even to a follower of a sun-good who likes things lit up bright. The boat we got her on?" she looks nervously at Falco, unsure if admitting to stealing boats was against the pirate's -- excuse me, buccaneer's -- code. "I'm not fully happy that it's ours. But it belonged to somebody very bad, and we had great need for it, so..." Her stomach is unsettled, and not in that falling-kissing-fey magic way. Thinking about how they'd gotten the boat had been bad enough, talking about it was proving worse. "So I can lie. But I try to minimize it, and there could be consequences. It's important to my order, The Watchers, to be seen as trustworthy and good, so stories about Watchers misbehaving are taken very seriously. Small infringements are punished, and paladins could be kicked out even for medium lies. And even if word doesn't get back to the order, there's guilt. Soooooo."

"But when people talk about Paladins and Vows they usually don't mean any old promise or deal, but the noble ones we make to our order, the sacred ones we make to our god. As a Watcher, I'm sworn to protect against forces from outside our plane...which mostly happens to be Fey, but could be devils, demons...anything. It's this Vow that's connected to Saliber gifting me powers -- if I broke this, Saliber could take her Gifts away, and your spider up there shows I've still got them. So I can't have messed up too bad, but...why am I telling you this? I'm completely tangled up with Fey now. They should be my enemy, but...they don't all want to hurt us, and they could help against a bigger enemy? That War thing again. Ugh, I'm babbling. I just feel this a lot. Why were you asking, anyway?"


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Dice Persuasion, advantage from Bingle's help:
2d20+7kh1 (11, 12 (keeping 12) )+7 Total = 19


Aura of Protection: +4 to saves for Fela and any friendlies within 10'

 
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  #132  
Old Jul 13th, 2023, 12:30 AM
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Comin' t' an understandin'
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"I've never once known this Sun-Paladin t' be false. I'd trust her with me life, even as a Hin who typically operates on the fuzzy edges o' th' light where it meets shadow." Falco didn't think 'is opinion mattered all that much t' Lord Vorn but he gave it anyway. It were hard not t' volley a barrage o' questions 'bout th' state o' th' maiden or a certain Half-Orc but he were so close an' wanted t' hear ever'thing first. He tried t' calm 'is thoughts an' jus' listen.

Now, th' thought o' bein' so far away from th' stars that ye even needed glowin' stones t' navigate were unnervin', t' say th' least an' here were Vorn sayin' this particular region don't even have that. Well, that were somethin' else entirely. Falco subconsciously reached fer th' star chart o' wood an' vine hangin' 'round 'is neck.

Th' prospect o' meetin' th' crew what had th' Maiden pushed all th' fear an' uncertainty away. They would know how t' find Cinderrabbit. They might even know somethin' 'bout this Black Eye or th' Weddin'. He wanted t' jump up an' go there with Gary Gnomme now but there were still arrangements t' be made. "I's very much love t' meet one o' those sad illiterates after we all come t' satisfactory terms. Fer what it's worth, I too live by a code an' once given, me word is bond. We do be in possession o' a ship fer tradin', maybe as payment fer bringin' th' Maiden Upside? O' course, I ain't opposed t' handin' over coin t' rent a fast boat." Hells, they'd paid more before an' nearly lost a friend.

A Cloaker were captainin' th' Dusk Maiden somewhere out in th' Starless Sea. Soon, Falco would find her. Then 'is Captain could rest an' they could find Anders, Shella, an' Bramble.

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Old Jul 13th, 2023, 01:04 AM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/Warlock
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When you're speaking to an elder you're not supposed to start out with:

1. Look
2. Listen

Like they're not paying attention and they have to. No. They don't like it. But there goes Fela. Vron is an elder and born high. If she comes at him with Look! he might get offended. She looks around and understands: people here don't speak to Vron this way. There's no one here telling Vron to listen up. Fela is polite and was raised right but sometimes she gets into her explanations and is vehement. This is one of the best things about Fela and what Bingle aspires to be. Vehement.

Bingle is pretty sure that between Bongle and her mother and father and everyone else in the village with an opinion, and Fela's parents and order and teachers and whatever they have where Fela is from, the two of them have probably have the same amount of training on how to act. And getting pinched for bad behavior. Fela can just shake it off more. And say, "Look," to lords.

"I am Bingle Curiosa Wildwander," she says, politely. "Fela promised to protect me and help me when I was newly out of my village. Even though I had to turn evil because I got into a hell dagger and had to make a pact with a fiend to get out, she has not forsaken me. Fela is loyal and honest. Listen to how she tries to tell you the truth even though it might be rude or take forever."

She smiles apologetically at Fela. Fela is honest and loyal. This is true and if the elf needs Fela to be disloyal or lie, there are going to be problems, so he should just know that. She rolls the little magicked stones around in her hand.

"Vow, pact, promise, deal? I don't know how you define each here. I need to learn. But what got us our ship was a deal. Does Fela need to stick to it forever? No. It's just a deal. What got Fela into an agreement with a fairy: a deal. And a deal can be broken by an honest, loyal person. It's a deal! Now, a vow? Like the vow to protect a friend, or keep a secret, or always help? That I believe Fela would never break."


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Old Jul 13th, 2023, 02:01 AM
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An Eel Dragon's Hoard
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Tempest tilted her head as she watched Vorn's attention drift off, then cut her out entirely as he focused on Fela. Fela MarkWig Springer was more interesting. More captivating. Well, it's good to know that in such a short amount of time, her being in the Human's company has made the paladin that much more charming. Ah, her instincts were correct knowing she was a kindred spirit!

Bingle understood the importance and value of gifts and treasures clearly, as did Nithe whose eye she watched with a small grin on her lips. Pushing the red jasper rabbit to the edge of the table along with the opal and silver ring, she didn't turn her full attention to the glorious Eel Dragon until she had conversed with her Gnome Wizardly companion who told her not to say anything. "Anything at the stones? I shouldn't talk with the stones? Can I talk with them later? Am I talking to you right now or am I thinking to myself?" The Siren stared questioningly back at Bingle when she spoke with her IN HER HEAD, which is something she can do herself, but Bingle made it look so much easier. Her gaze flickered to the smooth stones and to the ones in jeweled colors, and was intrigued that they could be talking stones of some sort. But, as directed, she said nothing to them, or out loud. A brow was quirked at Pozzik before she handed the fancy bottle of mushroom wonder-wine at Bingle. "I would like to gift you with this, Lady Wizard Bingle Curiosa, and if you so desire, I will carry it for you."

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"Yes, Nithe, this carving is of a furred creature called a 'rabbit' that lives under the sun, eating flowers and land-weed. In turn, people and flying creatures hunt and eat it if they can catch it. They are quick and hop into the air. Their hearing is sometimes better than an Elf's with how long their ears are. Many Humans make blankets or leg wrappings out of their fur to keep them warm when the seasons turn making for long, cold nights." Tempest was joyful about being able to share her great knowledge of the Up Sunlit world of Land and not Sea with the Eel Dragon. "I have never eaten one yet, but I was told it must be set aflame or go into something called a 'stew pot' that is suspended over a fire. Humans think that is how to eat crab as well, so I am unsure how we would eat such a creature." As she smiled, her teeth showed with amusement in how food must always be cooked for those on the Surface. The Siren held the jasper rabbit out for Nithe to take if he so wanted it. "This is my first gift for you, Nithe, as you so deserve wondrous things."

Tempest's words were quiet since there was a discussion happening with Vorn and the Crew. Watching everyone as they spoke about Fela keeping vows and bonds and words and trust - this started to come together for the 'uncivilized' Siren…she did not have a truth or trust about her. Such complicated things were not earned yet, and therefore she did not emit such a presence as the Paladin naturally did. Intriguing.

The twin opal and silver knotted ring was held out next for Nithe, catching light on the fire orange, glimmered green, and pops of cobalt blue. "Take this as another token of my amazement of you." Tempest genuinely meant it, but also wanted to give a show of generosity to the Not-Pet of Vorn's, even though he was speaking of this Glimmersea. Glancing at Nithe, she asked. "What dangers are in the Glimmersea for one such as myself? I think I may take a swim on our journey."
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Old Jul 13th, 2023, 06:13 PM
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HOW THEY DO THINGS IN TEH NUDERDRAK
left-aligned image
Tempest Nithe seems pretty chill about the rabbit, but seems is the operative word here. Reality? He is SUPER into the rabbit. He leans his sleek head out, whiskers dripping, and seizes it delicately in his teeth. He tucks into a cheek pouch like a chipmunk, and also accepts your ring. He says, I wud like to eat a ravvit! The treasure in his cheek mucks up his Bs.I like to eat hairy things. Not cooked. I ate a whole Vugvear once. Alive! In a gulp.

You are not the most insightful party member, but you can see laughing would be a mistake. He is very proud, and also a big fat liar. There is no way he ate a whole bugbear. But he insists he did, and in answer to your query tells you that the Glimmersea holds aboleths and froghemoths and chuul and is dangerous even for a thing as magnificent as himself. But it is beautiful, as well.

Vorn chimes in, his tone fond, indulgent. Why not take her out to see, Nithe, perhaps gift her something from your horde in return, as is culturally correct. Apparently. He turns to you. You will be safe if you stick with it. It knows exactly how close it must stay to the Ant Trap to be safe. I have treaties with (and defenses against) the Glimmersea’s horrors.

Want to? Nithe asks. He splashes back down into the tank and swishes sand away with his tail until he reveals a closed hatch. He manages to tug it open, though hampered by his treasure cheek. You see a smooth black-dark water-filled tunnel leading down down down.

Falco, Vorn listens to your testimony closely. You are the most insightful person in the party, and as he defers all decisions to Fela but seems to value your opinion of her, you see that he assumes you are Fela’s underling (if not her belonging).

right-aligned image
This is cultural, embedded deep. Dinin could be weird about women, you recall. He had a mocking shanty he sang to all you upworlders about how to handle yourselves should you ever visit his homeland. Part of it went like this:

When you're wounded and fall on the Underdark’s plains,
And drow women come close to divide what remains,
Just roll to your dagger and stab out your brains
And go to your god like a soldier.

They will take every piece of you, take it out slow
And if there’s aught to use, they won’t let that part go
They devour by inches, the Underdark wenches, and ye’ll never get up from below,
So roll to your dagger, ah, laddie, heave ho,
And go to your god like a soldier.


Bingle, as the second-most-insightful party member, you are catching on to the effects of matriarchy, too. If you say a thing, he will take it more seriously than if Banx does. He likely wasn’t sure at first who was the head female, but Tempest’s inability to understand commerce reframed her and you snooched past him to consort with junior male under-goblins, so this is why Fela alone has been told not to call him Lord. It’s okay for her to say LOOK! And LISTEN! At him. At the same time he isn’t behaving like she is the boss of him, exactly but…OH! IT IS LIKE BONGLE!

He sees himself as Bongle saw herself when you were kids. She loved being the eldest daughter of the cleric, his acolyte, in training to one day be the cleric. She would be respectful and mannerly to adults, but she never forgot (never wanted them to forget! NEVER LET THEM FORGET!) who her dad was. Except with Vorn, it is his mother, who seems not nice, while your dad seemed nice and actually is nice except for all the LYING AND DECEIT AND WHO IS PIM?

left-aligned image
Oh, but Vorn is talking to you. Pardon me, Warlock. I took you for a wizard. He inclines his head with more interest in you now and wishes to know your patron. If you tell him, this male child of a matriarchy will be even more impressed.

Falco, he seems fascinated by what Fela has to say. Her self-criticism. Her forthrightness, and even her doubt seems to please him. Once he sees that she is backed by you and Bingle, he comes to a decision. He says an elvish word, quietly, moving three fingers in a small somatic circle over a piece of his huge circular desk, and the door to the stairs open. Gary comes through holding a wrench, hands greasy to the elbows. Vorn tells him, Take the pir—Corsair to the pens. He may have his pick of the litter in two.

Party, any of you may go along with Gary. He will not mind. Banx is staying at the lab station, tinkering about.

Fela, Vorn adds, The dragon will take any who wish to see Glimmersea. You are safe with it. Pozzik can lend you a bubble hat. Fela, I ask that you will stay? I’ve a proposition of some delicacy to discuss with you. Please, come closer?

He gestures, inviting you all the way to the foot of the first step. The spiders rustle as if nervous, coming in closer. Before your boot can so much as touch the edge of the lowest stairs he holds up a hand to stop you. The spiders are close in, one on either side, bodies tense. He is above you. You can now only see him from the shoulders up, but you can read his expressions better, and he wants to look you right in the eye.

right-aligned image
He doesn’t speak until the eel dragon has slithered down the hole and the hatch has closed. Even then, his eyes keep turning to the tank, keeping a careful watch, and his words are circumspect. My dearest creature — I’ve known it since egghood — my dearest creature lives in captivity. It would say I do not own it—say it vehemently, and with fury—but understand, I own it. I have long sought a way to send it to a place where it will not be flayed alive for the pleasure of my mother, who would enjoy nothing more than for it to watch as its own skin is removed by slow inches and made into a cape for her.

Is it good? No. It is dangerous and vain. It can be capricious, temperamental, dishonest, proud. It has killed. I am not blind to the faults. It is also beautiful and clever and a glory. I cannot trust it to some liar or nogoodnik, and I cannot—I cannot leave the Ant Trap. For years I have said to myself, I must have a trustworthy and powerful accomplice, but what holy soul would deal with such a thing as I am? Here, today, I see my answer: a sun-paladin, stout hearted and honest, but who travels with the Warlock of a fiend, and a pira—Corsair, and a monster. You have their loyalty, you clearly return their trust, and yet you shine, Lady.

Paladin, swear me a holy oath that you will take my wild beloved with you to the Uplands, that you will protect it to the best of your abilities, that you and your powerful friends will see it settled—well-established— in some safe and lovey place where its life can have some pleasure and longevity. It will want to return, it will rail and swear and threaten and demand to come back down to me, but it will not know a way once the funnel closes; you must also swear to never help it find a way back down; it would be a death sentence, courtesy of my mother.

If you make me a holy vow that you will do these things, then I will freely loan you my clipper, crewed, to chase the Dusk Maiden. More importantly, when you return, I will send the Dusk Maiden up the funnel and home intact, with you and all your vassals and belongings and my creature safely on it. I swear this on the life of my monster, and I swear it on my own near endless life, which I love considerably less. What say you?

__________________
Because the real treasure is the half-caf chimera milk cappuccinos we made along the way
✨🌟LEGENDS & LATTES by Travis Baldree🌟✨
High Fantasy. Low Stakes. RPGX Book Club

Last edited by Fillyjonk; Jul 13th, 2023 at 07:04 PM.
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