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  #1  
Old 07-24-2014, 12:41 AM
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Aarroun Aarroun is offline
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Trouble in the Land

The country of Loran is a peaceful place; the slow moving Loran River, from which it gets its name, feeds fertile farmlands and Green-bough Forest before spilling into the expansive Lake Karanda to the east. Passes through the white-capped High-ridge Mountains to the west provide trade routes with lands beyond with caravans arriving in Spring and early Summer only to leave again before early snows close the passes again.

This year, no one has seen the caravans and already mid-summer approaches. Lord Elkheart has dispatched runners to hang notices and spread word in the surrounding villages that willing and capable individuals should apply to the palace in three days time to receive an urgent quest to aid the land.

We go now to the palace courtyard where people have gathered to the summons. A fountain burbles away merrily in the morning sunlight as a crowd of onlookers slowly forms around it. To their back more people filter in across the two short bridges that lead into the city. Four guards circle the dais that leads to the broad double-doors of the palace with a few more dispersed around the crowd; they wear shining breastplates with a Sun motif and carry pole-arms. A number of people stand between the crowd and the guards awaiting Lord Elkheart's appearance.

OOCI assume the PC's are among the people gathered before the dais. This would be a good time to describe your character's appearance.

Last edited by Aarroun; 07-24-2014 at 01:27 AM.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:23 AM
Explosionguy Explosionguy is offline
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A tall, thrifty-looking blonde man with blue eyes and a shaven face who is garbed in tan pants, a yellow vest, a yellow sash, a white undershirt with sleeves rolled up, a leather belt, and brown leather shoes stands amongst the crowd and contemplates the issue for which the people have gathered today. A broad, curved sword in a sheath whose exposed spine is threaded with loose gold rings hangs from his belt along with a couple of pouches. A backpack with provisions in it is on his back, held by a couple of leather straps.

He reaches into his shirt and pulls out a silver key symbol of Abadar on a cord. He looks at it for a moment before nodding and putting it back in his shirt.

Last edited by Explosionguy; 08-22-2014 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:36 AM
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Zuma is a rather young and very androgynous half-orc with green skin, long jet black hair, and dangerous looking violet eyes. It's build is short and slender but still muscular. The half-orc wears black studded leather appropriate for the inquisitors/taxmasters of Abadar. At its waist hangs a rapier and on it's back is a very well designed backpack. While there is a crowd, very few people are close to the half orc despite being smaller than most others in attendance. After all, it is never a good idea to mess with the inquisition.

Zuma looks around the room, mostly glad that no one was hanging out close by. Never was much of a talker unless the law was being broken or some sort of heresy was being committed. Zuma was almost nobility being the bastard child of the king's brother or something like that. Being that Zuma showed talent from birth the half-orc got sent to be a ward of the church of Abadar, trained from a young age in magical arts as well as being primarily trained to be a taxmaster, the inquisitors of Abadar. Normally, someone as young as Zuma would be an apprentice in training and not allowed to really do anything, but Zuma had proven that not only could the taxes be collected efficiently but also without any embezzlement or theft involved either. Usually when Zuma was out on duty it was done as a team, mostly due to being under age.

Zuma rarely got picked on when in training due to a natural talent for intimidation. Few could hold up under the stare of death before backing down. Zuma wasn't perfect of course given the inclination for causing people pain. The half orc always stayed within the law, but inquisitors had always been able to get away with a little more under the law than most could. Probably would have been a little nicer but Zuma's parents weren't exactly around pretty much ever and Zuma's father was a pretty bad person anyway.

Due to Zuma's talents for intimidation the church eventually decided that Zuma should get some experience outside the city. They outfitted the half-orc reasonably well and directed Zuma to appear at this meeting with Lord Elkheart. Which brings us to the present with a dash of wanting to stab the damned bard with all his bragging stories standing only a couple yards away. Silly braggart definitely hadn't done even half the stuff he claimed. Zuma snorts in his direction before going back to standing at parade rest waiting for the Lord to appear.

The half orc looks over at the thrifty looking man. "So you got saddled with this too? At least this won't be completely boring." Zuma had never been one for crowds, unless the crowds were there to bring taxes, then it was alright. This crowd was not, which was sad.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:49 AM
Explosionguy Explosionguy is offline
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The man's head snapped to the voice, a bit surprised. Was that his cousin over there?

"Oh, Zuma! I didn't see you there. It's good to see you, cousin. Yes, the bankers thought some of us ought to come to accept the king's quest. It won't do to have trade and commerce stifled any longer."


The man holds out his hands and begins to clench them as he speaks.

"I may be but a scribe, but I intend to do all in my power to get the wheels of progress rolling again!"

Last edited by Explosionguy; 07-24-2014 at 02:51 AM.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:16 AM
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Zuma raises an eyebrow at his comment. "Ah, but cousin 'progress for progress's sake must be discouraged, for our tried and tested traditions often require no tinkering.' Unless of course by progress you mean taxes and revenue." Tradition was what kept the taxes flowing from the hands of the chaotic public to the lawful and orderly hands of the church of Abadar and the government. Except the problem was that there were corrupt people in both organizations. Luckily, it was one of Zuma's honored jobs to help weed out and expose those people. The half orc rubs it's wrist a bit. Some of the new equipment was going to take some getting used to.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:28 PM
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Gabby adjusted the homemade pack her adoptive mother had made from a tent left behind by a hunter who was mauled by a bear. There were stains on it Gabby didn't want to think about. She had tried to cover the worst of them with embroidered vines and orange flowers. She cocked her slightly pointy ear at the sound of a half orc discussing taxes with a young man, calling him "cousin." She thought it interesting and turned to inspect them more closely. They seemed to know what was going on better than she did. She needed work, so she stepped closer in the boots the hunter didn't need anymore. They were a surprisingly good fit and well made. Thankfully, her mother had sent her with a good supply of dried cherries and semi-hard cheese, as well as some oat cakes.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:07 AM
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Few people that didn't already work with Zuma that had encountered hir before were ever willing to come close on their own. This meant that the woman who had just stepped closer didn't know Zuma, was from out of town, or was just plain that good at avoiding paying taxes. Zuma gives the woman a menacing look for a moment and when the woman doesn't immediately back down Zuma gives her a smile. "Welcome to the city, may I help you?" The half-orc asks. At this point Zuma was pretty sure this woman was definitely from out of town and didn't know Zuma and likely didn't even earn enough money to warrant paying taxes.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:58 PM
HBlossom HBlossom is offline
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Gabby's pack wasn't the only thing the hunter had left. He had been a friend of her mother's for years, trading game for herbs. He had brought her a small bow when she was 7 and taught her to track and hunt small game. When the man was killed she and her mother decided not to bury his bow with him. The bow had malachite inlay of vines and orange coral flowers.
She heard someone addressing her. It was the half orc with a brother.
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Old 07-27-2014, 06:03 AM
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When Zuma gets no response from the odd woman the half-orc turns hir attention back to the task at hand... waiting for the lord to show up. "People are weird and I'm bored of waiting for the lord. Maybe it's time for a game of finding the biggest guy I can and scaring him away." Ah boredom, Zuma's oldest foe. Unfortunately, now was not the time for the intimidation game so Zuma resorts to casting dancing lights and launching three of them through hir cousin as if they were magic missiles while having the last one "sneak" up behind the strange woman.
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:41 AM
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The man continued to wait for the lord's appearance. He would show in time. As Zuma's dancing lights attempted to bump into him, he made an effort to dodge them by weaving around them.
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:02 PM
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Gabby turned at the sight of some strange lights. She asked the half orc, "What was that?!" She pointed in the direction of the lights. They moved strangely. Gabby's eyes were big and round, trying to take in all the unfamiliar sights. This person seemed to have an authoritative manner. He might be a good person to watch.
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:06 AM
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Zuma shrugs, "It is a very basic spell called Dancing Lights. Easy and versatile for very simple entertainment. On the other hand, it can be put to good use in scaring people when it is foggy or being able to light up places not normally able to get light. Completely harmless." Zuma directs one of the balls of light to rest in mid air close to the woman. "You can try to touch it if you'd like, but since it is just pure magical light you won't feel anything." Zuma had other spells of course, but few were as safe to use around others as the dancing lights spell.
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:22 PM
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The crowd continues to trickle in and an announcement is made for the prospective adventurers to step forward to present themselves. As the sun reaches its zenith the murmuring of the crowd dies down, leaving the chattering fountain alone in its noise making. The great double doors silently swing open on well oiled hinges and Lord Elkheart strides out preceded by two more guards.

He stands just over six feet with shoulder length, light brown hair going white at the temples and greyish blue eyes which he casts over the assembled peoples. He is garbed in a white robe-like garment of cloth that seems to glow in the bright light and over this, a breast and back plate similar to the guardsmen, with the sun in gold leaf upon his chest.

He speaks loudly, his voice easily carrying to the back of the assemblage, "Welcome and thank you for coming. As I'm sure you've all noticed by now, the annual caravans have not yet come. I have sent forth scouts and emissaries to our neighbor, Argent, yet none have returned. And so, rather than call upon the army and lead what surely must seem an invasion, I have called for you, brave adventurers, to discover their (Argent's) fate.

"Individuals and parties that accept will be given a marker to identify themselves as working for the crown of Loran."
As he speaks, a trio of men emerge from the door way to stand off to the side: one carries a writing board fixed with an ink pot and parchment and a quill in his other hand, the second carries a stack of baton-like scrolls, and the third holds nothing. His lordship carries on in typical inspiring fashion to encourage only the bravest souls to undertake this quest and mentions a reward of five thousand gold sovereigns, tax free to each individual that can return with a response from the ruler of Argent (in writing). He turns back inside, leaving the matter of applicants to his loremasters and the three scholarly men step forward as a small crowd of roughly twenty individuals press forward, eager for a fat reward.

A shadowy group of three stand off to the side, patiently waiting for the press of people to disperse. They each have black hair and pale skin; not natives of Loran then, perhaps mercenaries looking for work. They step up after the crowd disperses and give their names to the loremasters who in return hand them one of the scrolls, a few of which remain.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:35 PM
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Well, lack of merchants means a lack of money being spent and thus fewer taxes being generated. I'd say this counts as a good use of my time. Zuma thinks before turning to the other two nearby. "Assuming there is danger, which inevitably there will be, it would probably be best for us to work as a group so lets go get one of those scrolls and get on our way." Zuma heads toward the men with the scrolls to get through the application process. Zuma was under no delusions that they would necessarily get the reward. There were other more experienced adventurers here, likely the black haired pale skinned people off to the side. Maybe others. Heck, if the bard that had been bragging this whole time did half the stuff he claimed then he probably already has the letter from Argent.

Zuma was not one to just sit around if work could be done, so as soon as the application process is completed Zuma addresses the others (assuming the strange woman decided to join). "Well, no sense in just hanging around, lets get a move on and hope that it is merely a couple bandits."
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:02 PM
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"Absolutely; I fully intend to go through with this quest. And I couldn't be more pleased to work with the likes of you, my dear cousin. Regardless of how much success we really have, I do hope we serve more as help and less as a detriment to this kingdom's needs."

He turns to the woman who was staring at the dancing lights previously.

"Are you here for the quest as well? What is your name, madam?"

Last edited by Explosionguy; 07-29-2014 at 06:03 PM.
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