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  #46  
Old 01-24-2020, 01:33 PM
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Games among friends
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Tarina raised an eyebrow at Sarillar's talepathy, looking like she might answer before Unferth broke in. With another subtle movement, the dagger disappeared into her sleeve as fast as it had appeared.

"It seems as if your friends are a little less inclined to privacy than you are," she said to Sarillar as a smile broke across her face. "There's no need to worry. There are plenty of captains out there on the bay, and more than a few men that claim to be on in an effort to get in some poor girl's bedchamber. Women too, for that matter."

"However," she said, turning her attention to the dwarf, "there seems to be some sort of misunderstanding. I didn't agree to a meeting, nor did I invite him to send the likes of you to gather information. It seems as if he has taken the initiative upon himself - which also tells me that he's in a bit of a bind himself. Let the masked one stay, for if not for his telepathic intrusion, I wouldn't have any clue what it is that you are after."

Tarina leaned back in her chair, throwing her elbow over its back and flipping cascades of brown hair over her shoulder, stealing a glance at the stairway as she did so. Falten's head appeared above the floor as he made his way up and her posture relaxed slightly. Turning her attention back to Relena, the woman gave a warm smile. "Perhaps you are a boon from Lady Luck," she said. "You see, I received news earlier today that a few old friends of mine would be stopping by any time now. It appears as if they are still harboring a grudge after they were relieved of some of their funds a few years ago." She paused as Falten walked by the table, giving him a slight nod as he passed before resuming her explanation. Falten moved on to the next table where the others still gambled and drank with little interest in what was happening at the table with Tarina. "That wealth contributed significantly to my ability to establish myself in this city as a person with access to certain information - a position that you seem uniquely poised to benefit from. However, while I have a bit squirreled away, of course, a vast bit of it has been invested in one way or another. I fear that leaves them few options in regards to what recompense they can hope to retrieve for their own captain. If, perhaps, you three were to help eliminate the threat that they pose when they arrive... well, then of course the information at my disposal would be yours in return."


 



 
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  #47  
Old 01-24-2020, 02:39 PM
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Sarillar


Sarillar ignored Unferth's and Relen's jabs without a second thought. Spending years fighting each day just to stay alive, living moment to moment, hardened Sarillar in ways he had not realized. These words that assaulted him were like the flies that clung to the corpses pushed to the edges of the fighting pit. Just noise.

Looking back toward the only person that mattered to him at that moment, he nodded to Tarina. "I accept your price of blood."

Sarillar took a step back from the table and turned toward the stairs, awaiting the arrival of Tarina's friends. "Assist or stand aside as you will", he added to his two companions.



 
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  #48  
Old 01-27-2020, 01:09 AM
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Bethani picks up her cards again and looks down to those played by the others. She fans out her cards, rechecking for something she missed. Then with a frown she lays down a solitary card, the Queen of Nooses. "Again, what do you do if you don't have a card of the lead suit, or a Knave?" she asks before taking a hefty draft of the ale.

WhiskeyJack
HandHenrickErnaBethrynnaBethaniWho's?
014 NoosesKn Leafs6 NoosesQ NoosesErna's
02     
03     
04     
05     
06     
07     
08     
09     
10     
11     
12     
13     

Horns Left: 1-10, Knave, Queen, King
Hounds Left: 1-10, Knave, Queen, King
Leafs Left: 1-10, Queen, King
Nooses Left: 1-3, 5, 7-10, Knave, King


 

 

 
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:05 AM
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Erna Luckschild
Half-orc Cleric of Tymora (Life Domain)

 


Erna blushes through her green-gray skin, turning an oddly-mottled darker gray. "Oh, um. Sorry, I am bad with names. But I thought I'd remember this time."

Henrick laughs. He says, "Erna takes the first trick, and mixes up everyone's names. Seems like a pretty typical game so far. Don't worry ladies, her game falls apart after the first three hands."

"Henrick!" Erna scolds him but her smile takes the bite out of it. "I'll have you know I typically play pretty well through the first half of the game."

"So she says, so she says," Henrick says with a chuckle. "Come on, Erna, play a card."

Her blush goes all the way out to her ears, but she tosses down the 2 of Horns, then reaches for her ale.

If you don't have a card of the suit being played, you can pass," she says. "Your go Beth..." She screws her face up in concentration. ...Bethani."
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  #50  
Old 01-29-2020, 02:28 PM
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He took note of Tarina's stiffened posture as the serving boy clambered up the stairs behind him and then relaxation as she determined who it was. Ahhh, she fears for her life. Klank and Skoona would do little to defend a patron, especially if she was forcibly dragged off the premises. He also took in the information that the masked crusader could also speak telepathically, a skill that might become useful later. Unferth took a long draw from his cigar while the brute made a show of establishing himself as some sort of bodyguard. "A Thighearna uile-chumhachdach, thoir neart dhomh …" The dwarvish rolled off his tongue before he could compose himself and switch back to common.

"My understanding of your association is that the information is to be at our disposal regardless of your personal issues, but I am sure my companions and I are more than willing to take on a concurrent contract to ensure the completion of the first. After all, one can never be too careful in this city, am I right?" The dwarf lets out a slow line of cigar smoke off to the side of the table, practiced motions that prevent most of the smoke and smell from engulfing the two ladies. "But contracts require equitable exchange between parties, and this mercenary does not lift a finger unless the action is paid for." Unferth leaned back in his chair, back fully exposed to the stairs behind him and a look of confident ease.

"How much do you value your life, darling? A dagger for personal protection is one thing, but peace of mind from a band of armed thugs is quite another." He held eye
Dice * Persuasion check:
d20+5 (15)+5 Total = 20
contact while drawing once more from the cigar. "Ten gold per person of our company plus the taxes and fees due to the Fists for taking protection money from them. All in all, should be around 90 gold." His voice was low and quiet so that just the three were in on the conversation, but his gaze remained steady as a rock as he put forth the terms.

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  #51  
Old 01-29-2020, 08:19 PM
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Tarina nodded, a content smile appearing as she did so. "Well, this has been a pleasant turn of events," she revealed as she watched Sarillar take an offensive stance and accept the terms.

From the next table, snippets of conversation filtered in through the brief silence of negotiations.

"-ith Ravengard out of the way, who’ll be the next grand duke, I wonder?"

"My money’s on Thalamra Vanthampur," another voice said. "She was born in the sewers, she was."

"You’ve got naught for brains," the original voice replied with a huff, "but she might as well have been, I’ll give ya that. More vicious than a swarm of rats, that one -"

The rest of the conversation as Unferth mumbled to himself in dwarvish.

The corners of her mouth twitched downward, only for her smile to return full of mirth as the dwarf spoke more directly to her. "Oh no, no. There must be a misunderstanding. Either that, or you are as brash as the Captain himself. I wasn't offering to pay you, nor shall I. Your arrival actually spoiled my previous plan. I was in the process of winning as much coin as I could from whoever I could find, only to hire them back using that same coin," she said. "Everyone in this bar is for hire for the right price, including yourselves, it seems. For your friend, the exchange of information that only I have seems to be enough. To be specific, I have the location of those you seek at my disposal. If I die, that knowledge dies with me. I would have thought that you would have seen that we have a common interest in my survival."

"Besides," she said, leaning back in her chair casually once more, "the Captain isn't usually one to pinch coins. I would assume that you have a decent sum waiting for you at the end of your service. Consider part of that reward my contribution to your coffers." Tarina winked at Unferth and accepted a tankard from Falten who had just made his way back up the stairs with her drink. She took a long sip from it and waited for a reply.




Downstairs, the two men who had been speaking with Henrick got up, the legs of their chairs scraping across the floor as they did so. One of them slammed a hand down on Henrick's shoulder a twice in rapid succession. The grizzled fighter didn't even flinch.

"We're gonna head out," the man said. The other offered a respectful nod to the veteran. Klank's eyeless gaze followed them as they wandered out of the bar.

A few moments later, Falten made his way back down the stairs and checked back on the table. He eyed Bethani's barely touched soup.

"The soup a'right?" he asked, "can I be gettin' y'all anythin' else?"



 



 
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Old 01-29-2020, 11:38 PM
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Bethrynna sighed, glancing over at Bethani and giving a helpless shrug. "I could conjure some name tags for us," she suggested, "but I believe the purpose of our playing is to remain inconspicuous. I'm quite sure casting a spell of any level would draw attention, and wearing a name tag would place an identity with that attention, so it is probably ill-advised."

She pondered her move, wondering whether it would be better to continue to lay low with her cards, go for the hand, or draw people out. Drumming her fingers on the back of her cards once, she plucked a card from her hand with deft fingers and lay the Ten of Horns on the table.

"Now it is your move, Bethani," she said with emphasis on the other woman's name, a teasing tone in her voice as she glanced at Erna. As they played, Beth noticed that several of the others had gone upstairs. Rather than waste time trying to see what was going on out of her view, she instead casually scanned the common room, trying to see if anyone else was taking notice, or interest, in the stairway.

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  #53  
Old 01-30-2020, 11:19 AM
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When Henrick's friends walk up behind him, Bethani's left hand automatically reaches for one of her shortswords, only to relax a moment later when they communicate their intentions. As they walk away though, she watches them. Something disturbed her about the two hard slaps to the man's shoulder. Was it a signal? She looks hard to the man to her left, now wondering if he might be an enemy.

When Erna calls her name, Bethani's attention returns to the game. She notices only one card, and looks to Erna with a question clearly on her face. She's about to say something, when Bethrynna does so instead. This brings a rare smile to her face, quickly falling away as to not blow her normally stoic features. She quickly follows Bethrynna's 9 with the Queen of Horns. "I would suggest she she just call us Beth, but I truly hate that name." Looking across the table to Erna, she allows the corners of her lips to lift for a heartbeat. "It is alright Erna." she says, trying to sound reassuring. In truth, she was starting to like both the Half-Orc and the Elf. She just wasn't sure if they should be allowed to know this or not.

When Falten approaches, mentioning her lack of eating, she quickly places her hand protectively over her soup. "It's fine. I just like to enjoy my food." she says, giving the man a frown. She takes another spoonful of soup, to prove that she's eating it just fine.

WhiskeyJack
HandHenrickErnaBethrynnaBethaniWho's?
014 NoosesKn Leafs6 NoosesQ NoosesErna's
02 2 Horns10 HornsQ Horns 
03     
04     
05     
06     
07     
08     
09     
10     
11     
12     
13     

Horns Left: 1, 2-9, Knave, King
Hounds Left: 1-10, Knave, Queen, King
Leafs Left: 1-10, Queen, King
Nooses Left: 1-3, 5, 7-10, Knave, King


 

 

 
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:13 AM
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Sarillar


Sarillar looked from the dwarf and back to Tarina. "The payment of your information will be sufficient", he said flatly, turning his gaze down to Unferth and holding it there for a moment to see if he would relent.

Finally, he turned back to the captain's informant. "But know this, if you deceive us, I
Dice Intimidation Check:
1d20+2 (20)+2 Total = 22
will return to exact further payment."





 

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Old 02-04-2020, 10:27 AM
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Erna is mortified. "Oh sweet kiss of the lady. I did it again. I am so sorry Bethrynna. And Bethani." She's gotten it so twisted up now that she's confusing herself, but she manages to get it right this time. "I am really embarrassed."

Henrick makes no effort to hide his amusement at her discomfort. "It's even funnier when she messes up her own name," he says. "Though it's been a few years since she has done that." He makes a face, then, and tosses down the Knave of Horns. He then scoops up the cards and sets them in a pile in front of him.

"One time!" Erna objects. "One time, and I didn't forget my name, I just got my tongue tangled around it!" Her gray-green skin now has a decidedly pink tone to it. "I didn't forget my name."

"Okay, Ernold," Henrick says. "Whatever you say, Ernold." He tosses down a 5 of Leafs to get the next trick started.

Erna grins through her blush. "I just got my tongue confused. I know my own name." She plucks a 2 of Leafs from her hand and sets it atop Henrick's 5. "Bethrynna, it is your turn. Bethani, I hope you can take this one!" She is clearly pleased that she got the names correct.
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Old 02-04-2020, 11:29 AM
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Unferth was annoyed to his core. First they all are nearly made by sight and then their contact is now altering the deal on the fly with no additional compensation. He hid his grimace well by chewing on the butt of his cigar and pretended to admire a small wart on his knuckle as Sarillar cut through with his standard bluntness. The dwarf would have been upset by the use of a cudgel instead of the scalpel, but in this instance he felt as if the delicate tool had not accomplished its task. If the carrot doesn't work, motivation is created using all stick.... He looked back to Tarina with a glint in his eye, about to argue his case more but thought best of it. "You might have more than our masked friend here to extract payment, you can be sure of that."

Leaning back, he then extracted a small set of ebony black dice inlaid with trace lines of silver for a design as well as coloring each pip. "Now pull out your dice and pretend to play. Have to give an excuse for us being up here other than chewing your ear off." As the table was being set up, Unferth whispered softly to Sarillar. "Mind using that skill of yours to inform our compatriots downstairs of the impending trouble headed our way?" He turned his head to Relena with a slight smirk. "I can spot you the use of my dice, dear, if you would like to learn to play." Unferth matched the rogue's pervious tone of playfulness at the old game table, deciding he would keep up whatever façade the woman had started.

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I am good to roll forward to the next scene, he will just pretend play dice until then.

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Old 02-06-2020, 08:12 AM
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Tarina ‘s eyes widened at the menace lurking in Sarillar’s voice as he issued his threat. When Unferth piled on, she put up her hands defensively, although a smile did reappear. "Do not fret, gentlemen. I have the information that you desire, in great specificity, to be exact. If you’d like additional payment," she said, her attention turning towards the dwarf, "kill them all so there are none left to exact revenge at another date and you’re welcome to everything on their persons."

She stood then as the others attempted to play out their ruse. From beneath a fold in her clothing, she pulled out a bag of dice and set them on the other side of the table where she anticipated that she’d be sitting when the time came. "I suppose I’ll keep a look out so we know when they’re arriving. I can’t imagine that you’ll miss my company," she said, though the sidelong look that she gave Sarillar indicated that the reverse might be all the more true. The woman left the group at the table and moved into what looked like a private dining room at the south east corner of the room.

At some point during the seemingly unending wait, Falten made rounds to see if anyone wanted drinks or food. The table nearby seemed unable to notice or perhaps just unconcerned about the tension at the nearby table, though more than one spared a glance at the group, especially the paladin standing and staring intently at the stairs until he decided to sit, if he did. Bouts of laughter and bits of gossip still bubbled up though amidst their games.

" I’ll bet…" Skrawldar started before hiccupping and having to restart. " I’ll bet my last copper that those refugees are advanced scouts for an army that’s preparing to attack Baldur’s Gate!" Skrawldar proclaimed, his voice slurring the words in the process.

"You already bet your last copper, Skrawl," Lala said causing Whaul to burst out laughing.

Some time later, Tarina emerged from the room, moving quickly with a crossbow in hand and scimitar peeking out from one of many layers of her skirts as she made her way back to the table. She spoke as she got closer, though not necessarily trying to hide it from the rest of the room. Olric took the hint, closed his book and retreated into the room that she had just come from.

"They’re here," she said in a much calmer manner than her speed would have suggested. "Dead-eye’s leading them. Looks like four, maybe six in total - maybe more. It was hard to tell and I didn’t stay to count," she continued even as she threw down some coppers on the table in front of Relena and Unferth. "I hope you’re good actors," she said with a little chuckle, "and try not to break anything. Alan doesn’t care about a brawl or two, but he likes to keep this place in one piece, and I like coming here."

She dug into the bag of dice and sat in one smooth motion, spilling three dice before her and then pushing the bag towards the middle of the table.

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Downstairs, a brawny man with a cloudy right eye and a sneer that seemed to radiate a penchant for cruelty marred his features. His swagger as he moved into the room spoke of a lifetime at sea and several unsavory, disheveled pirates filtered in behind him.

"We’re looking for an old friend of ours," the man shouted over the chorus of other noises, and even upstairs, though muted by the floorboards, his words could be heard. "Goes by the name ‘Tarina,’ or so I’m told. Loves to cheat at Baldur’s Bones. A tall mug of ale for anyone willing to talk." Several voices called out but silenced as he moved menacingly over to one of the men.

"Where?" he asked.

The tavern patron cringed but pointed upstairs.

Dead-eye clasped a thick hand on his shoulder, causing the man to wince a little at the intensity. "Good man," he said, then laid a couple silvers on the table, "as promised."

Upstairs, Tarina cringed slightly at the mention of cheating, but didn’t seem surprised when the screeching of chair legs against wood and the thump of boots against stairs indicated that at least one of the patrons downstairs had offered up her location.

" I knew it!" the redhead said softly from the table next to them.

As the boots got closer, she redirected her attention to the fictional game at hand. "Your turn," she said, her fingers gently brushing against Relena’s arm before reaching below the table to settle on her crossbow.

Dead-eye crested the top of the stairs, sparing a glance around and settling on Tarina.

"Tarina," he said after giving her a long look, "or should I say Rhonda? It’s hard to tell what you’re going by now-a-days. Either way, I’ll save you the trouble of settling on a new name, since you won’t be seeing another day."

Tarina leaned back in her chair, flipping her long hair over her shoulder once more. "Hello Dead-Eye," she said smiling as if greeting an old friend. "At least, I’d imagine that you’re going by the same name since you don’t seem to have gotten any prettier since I last saw you. Still running Sessprin’s errands for him? I was hoping to see the captain again."

The cruel grin turned into something jarring as it slowly transformed into a wide, uneasy grin. The table with the gamblers grew quiet as they listened, save for some uncomfortable shifting of bodies and dice. "Ah, it seems as if you aren’t quite as clever as you think you are," he replied. He moved a step closer, unsheathing his scimitar as he did so, and paused. "Ol’Sess is dead. I’m captain now, an’ we came for what you took from us, and then some."

The straightening of Tarina’s back was impossible for either any of the group to miss, but her tone remained as it had through the night, smooth and confident. "So you have the ship to yourself now?" she asked. "Well, take that and be happy with it. I’ve nothing to offer you. Even if I did, I wouldn’t."

"I was hoping you’d say that," the man replied and the pirated behind him unsheathed their weapons.


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Old 02-06-2020, 10:49 AM
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Sarillar


G1Standing near the window, Sarillar watched as the pirates marched up the stairs and their captain, Dead-Eye, issued his demands to Tarina (If that even is her name...it matters little).

"Do not be so glad," Sarillar said before placing his hands on the captain's jacket, attempting to
Dice Grapple Attempt vs captain:
1d20+5 (20)+5 Total = 25
lift him off his feet and bring him in close. Once in hand, he physically dragged the struggling captain through the doorway into the room beside him.



 

 

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Old 02-06-2020, 11:59 AM
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...I shall finish the game.
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Bethrynna was so absorbed in following the game, she nearly missed the troupe of rough-looking sailors stomping and bullying their way through the common room. To be fair, all the raised voices and gesticulating tended to blend together for Beth, who was used to far quieter surroundings. The cacophony of noise and press of bodies was mostly a blur to her as she tried to tune it out, with little success.

Oddly enough, it wasn't the name 'Tarina' being shouted that broke through the haze, but rather 'willing to talk'. Beth glanced up from where she was in the process of playing the Queen of Leafs and finally noticed the sailor crew. Shifting in her seat slightly, she whispered a quick incantation, reaching within her robes for a moment. Her eyes shifted upwards toward the upstairs area for a brief moment and her lips moved noiselessly, her expression turned to concentration for a brief instant before dissolving back into her usual placid demeanor.

"I believe it is your turn," she said out loud to Bethani.

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Last edited by The Rat Queen; 02-13-2020 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:10 AM
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Bethani isn't paying attention to the game anymore. She's more interested in the dock-scum entering the tavern, some of which were heading up the stairs.

"I believe it is your turn," she hears Bethrynna say loudly, bring the ranger's attention back to hand. She looks down at the cards in play, then to the ones in her hand. She starts to throw one down, but changes her mind and throws down her 1 of leafs, instead. Grumbling something under her breath, puts her cards face down, downs to last of her ale, then gets up in a huff. She takes her bow with her, as she makes her way to the bar. "Gives me some of that Elven stuff!" she demands as she bops the mug on the bar harder than she even expected. She then turns her back to the tender, to get a better look at her opponents.

Just as Sarillar breaks all pretenses of diplomacy, in typical him fashion, Bethani will attempt to
Dice Sleight of Hand:
1d20+3 (6)+3 Total = 9
nock an arrow without being noticed. She's mostly interested in Pirate 7the dock rat nearest the door.

WhiskeyJack
HandHenrickErnaBethrynnaBethaniWho's?
014 NoosesKn Leafs6 NoosesQ NoosesErna's
02Kn Horns2 Horns10 HornsQ HornsHenrick
035 Leafs2 LeafsQ LeafsA LeafsBethrynna
04     
05     
06     
07     
08     
09     
10     
11     
12     
13     

Horns Left: Ace, 2-9, King
Hounds Left: Ace, 2-10, Knave, Queen, King
Leafs Left: 3, 4, 6-10, King
Nooses Left: Ace, 2, 3, 5, 7-10, Knave, King


 

 

 
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