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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Day 47: Neth 8, 4707

    Seven days. That was how long you'd waited for Lord-Mayor Grobaras to send for you. Seven days of worried head-scratching, as you'd gazed in frustration down at thick tomes or stalked the cobblestone streets of the famed City of Monuments, wondering about what was really going on in Fort Rannick. Or who on earth Xanesha's mysterious correspondent had been. Or if you'd ever find a way to turn Sirus back to flesh from stone.

    Seven days was far too long to wait when there was someone out there out to murder folks and steal their souls. Someone powerful enough to draw upon the dregs of what little remaining Sin Magic remained in the world. Someone whose poisonous reach had snaked all the way into the justice courts and the sewers of Magnimar, summoning the powerful and the lowly alike in a clandestine mass assassination scheme that had very nearly claimed even the life the man you were now to meet. A scheme that was but one of many.

    Whoever it was, this being would have to be stopped. And be made to pay. With interest, if possible.

    (The more courteous of you might have perhaps also wondered if seven more days was overstaying your welcome at Verala's abode. But if the sagely elf scholar has thought so, she certainly hasn't made her displeasure obvious enough to notice. Your morning coffee still tastes as fine as ever, at any rate.)

    The letter had been a formal invitation for all five of you to dine at the Lord-Mayor's own estate, Defiant's Garden, nestled in the lavish Naos district. The paper had been gilt-edged, with dried rose petals pressed into the fibre and a pleasant floral smell. The words penned in a flowing, almost dainty cursive of black ink. It'd put you immediately in mind of perfume and puffery, of gems and jewels, of expensive and gaudy clothing. There was no question of the expected fashion in which you should arrive.

    Nevertheless, even those of you who did deign to spruce up your travel-worn clothing find yourselves feeling slightly awkward and out of place as you step through the curved arches of the gate to Defiant's Garden, torches flickering from the alabaster walls on either side and the Lord-Mayor's herald bellowing out your names from somewhere behind you. For Defiant's Garden is a veritable palace, all gleaming glass and marble, with vistas of silk-draped tapestries and room after room adorned with plush furniture, costly Tien vases and gold filigreed artwork. The place has clearly been built to impress. Yet there is little time to gape as you are solemnly ushered down the corridor, the lustre of hundreds of candles reflecting off the polished oaken floors beneath your feet, the foliage of exotic plants in some conservatory just visible through the windows...

    Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Gorbaras is easily the fattest man any of you have ever seen, nearly as wide as he is tall and with three chins jiggling beneath his bristly mutton-chop sideburns. The reason for this is readily apparent, for the meal that awaits you more than makes up for the indignity (if not the urgency) of having waited so long. The flavour and decadence of his table is unquestionable - cold capons with orange relish, hams studded with cloves and drenched in honey, cider-splashed roasted vegetables, goat roasted with fire-peppers and garlic, cheese and onion pies, creamy soup with wild mushrooms and buttered snails, mead-marinated venison steaks wrapped in boar fatback - never mind the lemon cakes, raisin pudding, and stewed plums that the Lord-Mayor primly tucks into for dessert with no sign of indigestion nor slowing down.

    Dinner is served in the Galtic style with each guest helping themselves to as much as they please. The Lord-Mayor appears to be in no hurry to begin, leaning back in his chair as he helps himself to yet another slice of soft cheese with his bare hands, chewing slowly with his mouth partway open as he casually observes the five of you from the other end of the table with his piggy little eyes.
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    While she's utterly out of place in a frou-frou get together like this, Brin enjoys three significant advantages. First, as a theoretical member of the Church of Pharasma, it's perfectly acceptable for her to wear clerical vestments in just about any setting, from the sewage-stained cobbles of Underbridge to...will...here. The lavengerds, violets, and grey of the order were a safe fashion choice in any setting.

    Second was the late Lord Foxglove's magical hat. Seeing as Brin didn't actually own any 'proper' vestments, it was quite handy. Particularly since she had not intention of wearing 'proper' vestments, and commissioning the flowing silk skirt that trailed several feet in her wake, the tightly fitted top with the plunging neckline the cloth of silver embellishments, and the black ermine scarf would have cost her a goodly portion of her savings otherwise. Only the complicated plaiting of her auburn hair is real--and rather pricey, as hairstyles go--though the opal-embellished silver fillet holding it together was the enchanted hat itself. In actual fact, Brin is wearing little more than a clean tunic and well-patched leggings.

    The ever so slight stumble in Brin's gait as she's lead down the corridor to the party reveals her third advantage. A quarter bottle of absinthe goes a long way towards calming the nerves. Though it can be a dangerous strategy on an empty stomach--especially for someone how has been fasting for a day in anticipation of the Lord-Mayor's spread.

    Brin digs into the array of delicacies with a gusto that contrasts with fat Lord Gorby's restraint. The ham she favors with special attention, it being the king of all meats, and she piles a triple serving onto her plate before moving on to build upon that foundation with at least one of everything else. Given the abandon with which Brin shovels food into her maw, it's quite fortunate that illusory clothing doesn't stain, and that there's no actual corset to burst under the pressure of her repast.

    Well, perhaps there is a fourth advantage: a complete lack of shame.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Naya had no such easy out for dealing with her outfit, not being a member of organized faith of any kind (even though she did pay tribute service to The Great Dreamer).

    The outfit she was wearing for the last week was out of the question anyway, being pretty much opposite of "fancy", and the geneerosity of Lady Verala, while couldn't be overstated, didn't help much here. Granted, with the Mayor's generous reward, she could easily afford almost any dress she would want... but spending money on clothes seemed so pointless. Lamenting the impossibility of adopting the customs of her new philosophy, the sylph considered her options again. Chelaxian formal dresses were out of the question; she couldn't imagine how people managed to breath in them. On the other hand... formal - perhaps even noble - dresses of her homeland... she spent long decades dreaming of owning something similar one day, and to this day never did. (At first, she didn't have hearly enough money; and Naya didn't get reach until after meeting Kaylee... at which point it became moot)

    But, if one think of it, at the formal meeting, a formal dress was a necessity, just like armor was on a battlefield. The question was in finding a clothier able to sew one quickly enough, but Naya could compromise on quality, as long as it didn't affect the look. She wasn't expecting to wear the dress often after tonight, after all.

    In the end, she ended up wearing a relatively simple white dress with blue trim, simplicity and strictness of the design themselves indicating higher class - Naya's enchanted necklace, bracelets, tiara and belt serving nicely as accessories one was supposed to wear with it. As an added bonus, the dress was light, sewn from a thin cloth, and allowed the wind to reach her skin somewhat at least. (Naya toyed with the idea of copying Lady Hathor's favorite dress as depicted in the scrolls found in Akhentepi's tomb, but decided not to press her luck after all)

    As for the feast itself... what kind of adventurer ever refused a good meal? The fact that she was no threat to Major's vine cellars just meant she had to redouble the efforts on food.
    Tome of Radiance, a Magical Girl sourcebook for 3.5/PF.

    "Jamie" is fine. TH is mostly there to make sure the name would be free on any forum I'd want to register :-)

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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Setsuna

    While the tiefling had had the better part of a week to become accustomed to the rather shameless outfit that they'd taken from Xanesha's still warm body, even she had the sense to try to obtain something formal for the feast. Unfortunately, contacting Rynshinn in Sandpoint to have her make something that would be viable in a week's time was out of the question, so the tiefling had to make do with a rush job to have a simple, formal kimono sewn by a local tailor. In truth, it was actually almost as good as anything she'd worn before she'd run away from home, though it lacked the sentimental value of gifts from her father, it still reminded her of a time she didn't like thinking back on.

    But now wasn't the time for dwelling on a past she couldn't get back. This was supposed to be a feast, and while there was certainly far too much food here it was nice to eat something with meat in it again. Taladron's aunt was the perfect hostess, but Setsuna hadn't ever really enjoyed elvish dining even if she did find it perfectly edible. Though she certainly held back more than Brin did, it was more because she wasn't quite as voracious than because she had more shame. The wine on the other hand, she took to heartily, her recent drinking habit a result of Rico's hasty, alcoholic solution to all their recent troubles. It wasn't long into the meal that the tiefling's marble cheeks were flushed pinkish and the usual decorum that she'd show at events like this one quickly fades into her more natural excitable and emotional state.
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    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Red

    There was food. So much food. More food than she'd ever seen in her life on one table.

    Red's knees had almost gone weak upon beholding the feast, all worries about the criminal brand on her hand going clean out of her head. So much. It was the sort of thing she had dreamed of as a child, hollow-eyed and bone-thin. No way that six people could finish this. Groby could probably feed a whole village with this spread and still have leftovers for the dogs and pigs and the rats. Was this was it was like to be rich? How could one person have so much food when there were poor people on the other side of the city? Children like how she'd been back then, when she was weak.

    Feeling sorry for hungry people who weren't here wasn't going to get them fed though. Rathi had always said to be thankful for whatever you got. To not let anything go to waste. So that sweat of those who had toiled and and the blood of those that given their life for her meal, their sacrifice might live on in her strength.

    This food, it was delicious. But she couldn't eat of this. Not all of it. Not even if she ate until she burst.

    She would just have to do the best she could then.

    Red sits a little apart from the others, slightly abashed by their hearty eating, visibly tense as she doggedly studies her plate, trying to decide just how much more venison and bacon she could stand before her stomach rebelled. Though her armour shines bright and her tunic is freshly washed, her hair is still wild and tousled, a small tear already rent in her tunic sleeve from playfully wrestling with Rico on the way here, the tips of her boots scuffed from where she'd kicked pebbles into the drain. And she'd chosen to remain in her travelling clothes - a poor choice, she'd guessed, based on the twitching eyebrow of the herald at the door. (A pretty dress, she knew, would have been more proper. But she hadn't worn a dress since she'd left her father's house at all of ten years old, and there was no power on earth that would make her willingly wear one again. Nor would she spend on something to be worn but once.)

    *****

    GM post

    From his end of the table, the Lord-Mayor pops the cheese into his mouth, chewing with mild relish before waving at an aide to clear his plate. Porcine-like as his visage might be, the more perceptive of you would have noticed by now that the gleam in the man's eyes has likely little to do with his excellent Ustalavian vintages. Indeed, Grobaras is reputed by even his bar-room detractors to have a mind like a sharpened bear trap, making it a decision most unwise to underestimate him.

    "My friends," announces the Lord-Mayor as he genteelly settles back into his high-backed chair, one outstretched hand accepting a goblet of warm brandy from a liveried butler. His voice is uncharacteristically deep and mellow for a man of his size. "I believe there is the matter for which I invited you here to discuss. As regards our mutual concern over Magnimar's communications with our holding at Turtleback Ferry. If you would be as kind as to join me at this side of the table?"
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Brin is only too happy to pick up her plates and join the Lord Mayor on his end of the massive feasting table. The platters withing easy reach of her original seat had been well picked-over by that point. She makes her way over, and only the fact that her hand are already full prevents her from reaching over shoulder and between elbows to grab choice tidbits during the trip.

    "That's right." She says, plopping down in the proffered spot. "...er, Lord Mayor." Clearly the man was trying to be oblique about it for some reason. There was no way he didn't know about all the information that had been gathered--bought in blood and worse--but here we was yammering about communication problems.

    Well, Brin could be subtle if she tried, hadn't overindulged. Which she might have. The only way to judge was to plow forward and see if she wound up gnawing on her foot. "We're as interested in answers....er...a timely reply as anyone. I'd been considering a trip out that way regardless, and wouldn't mind offering my service as courier."

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    GM post

    Grobaras beams at Brin, his ruddy cheeks nearly hiding his keen eyes as he breaks into a wide smile and gives a deep nod in her direction. "Yes. And your services as courier - Lady Zafira, was it? - are precisely what we are interested in. Things down here in the city are rather... shall we say excitable at the moment, and leave our beloved Watch most busy indeed. But we have not heard from Commander Bayden. It has been nearly six weeks since his latest missive should have arrived, and we cannot delay any longer in investigating the reasons behind this- most unwonted silence."

    The Lord-Mayor's gaze roves across the table as he speaks, fearlessly meeting each of yours in turn. The faintest indent appears between his brows as he beholds Red's scruffy form, but vanishes just as quickly as he glances at Naya, inclining his head solemnly in her direction. "I understand that it is the five of you who are responsible for foiling the plans of that no-good beast holed up in the Shadow Clock. You have my thanks and my deep gratitude. And that is why the Council has finally acceded to my humble suggestion that we employ a band proved so capable. We need a reliable task force. Not just any tangle of riff-raff, to travel to Turtleback Ferry. From what Captian Uriana tells me, all of you are exceedingly well-suited for the job, just positively raring to go, as she tells me."

    "Magnimar would, of course, provide for your expenses on a trip of official purpose. May we rely upon the five of you then? As well as your discretion and a swift departure, should you agree?"
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    "I can't really talk for anyone but myself..." Naya says nodding, "since I only joined this group recently, and by pure luck - or misfortune, as I thought at first... but it appears the Great Dreamer knows better... eh, that is..." she suddenly realises where she is, and stops herself, "I mean, I, personally, would gladly accept that mission, Your Lordship"
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Having exploited the Lord Mayor's natural loquaciousness to take a long draw off her goblet, Brin nearly chokes when she hears that, indeed, all her requests had been granted. Plus expenses!

    She coughs into her napkin--well, probably her napkin. It was a handy napkin, at least, and wasn't anyone's sleeve, which is the important part--before echoing Naya's sentiments. "Yes! I'd be...uh...honored to accept the mission! We can leave in the morning!"

    Hopefully not too early in the morning, though. Proper digestion requires time, after all.

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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Setsuna

    She'd taken a little too happily to the wine to be as solemn as she probably should've been...but at the same time, there were people in potential danger and they'd been stuck doing nothing to help them for over a week now. Not to say the week hadn't been a productive one, sure she'd had to endure something embarrassing, but it was fun too, and they'd managed to decipher her contract, something she hadn't truly looked at in detail in over a year and found a loophole that she could exploit, though she wasn't quite sure yet what it meant, but that wasn't the point, Turtleback Ferry was in danger, and apparently there was also trouble at Fort Rannick, which meant that they had a very obvious goal.

    So when the Lord-Mayor finally brought it up, Setsuna nodded her head perhaps too thoroughly, causing the room to continue shaking for her even after her head stopped, "We have been trying to get permission to leave for a week, of course you can count on us. We will stop whatever is happening and make sure that both the fort and Ferry are safe from any thing that might want to harm them, you have my word."

    Luckily she still was aware enough to know that she shouldn't try to use the Lord-Mayor's name in her current condition lest she make an insultingly slurred mispronunciation of it.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Red / GM post

    Red doesn't take a seat but lurks in Rico's shadow, listening as she slowly picks apart a seed bun with her fingers, heedless of the stray crumbs that fall to the carpet below. It was easy to tell that none of the others had done sellsword work before. There were certain questions that you had to always ask. Red hadn't known back then, when she'd first left the monastery. But she'd learned. Oh yes, she had. Because when you'd gotten yourself a hundred miles from the nearest town in orc bandit-land, with no food or money and hungry wolves on your trail, there were some things you never ever forgot to ask about again.

    "M-m-" Opening her mouth as she looks up at the Lord-Mayor, Red feels a sudden surge of nervousness that has her stammering and choking on the first syllable. Grimacing, she crushes the bun in her hand and tries again, this time keep her gaze fixed on Groby's belt. "L-lordship. T-the expens-ses. D-d-do you mean-"

    "The costs of the trip, yes," rumbles the Lord-Mayor, taking a sip from his glass as he pats his massive paunch. "A spending purse would be provided before you leave. I will have my aides see to that, rest assured."

    "It i-is... a l-long way. To the F-ferry. H-how-"

    Grobaras sets the brandy glass down delicately on the table before him before he interrupts Red once more, studying the rogue's face a little more closely this time. "Indeed, it is. Nearly two weeks by foot, should you take the road north of the Yondabakari River that goes around the Sanos forest, if I am not mistaken. Miss... Allin." He taps the arm of his chair thoughtfully, giving the thick glove worn on Red's left hand a cursory glance that is curious but not unkind. "Naturally, the purse should prove more than sufficient should you chose to take the river barge route. And I am sure that Captain Uriana would be able to procure mounts as well, if you would like to stick to land. She informs me that the last contingent of recruits - petty criminals from the Hells that'd thought to reform, you understand - they made the journey by horse in just over a week."

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    Turtleback Ferry is a small township located on the north shore of the Claybottom Lake, downstream of the Storval Deep. It is a rather isolated place, with the nearest town of Illsurian being a good 80 miles away. Nevertheless, the town has flourished despite its locale, mainly due to the ferry services that it plies to even more remote villages and towns along the many rivers and creeks that draw their source from the Storval Deep. As such, Turtleback Ferry has long since carved out a little niche for itself as the only trading town of any importance in the Hook Mountain region.

    Nevertheless, the Hook Mountain region is not without its dangers. The woods thereabout are positively infested with ogres and hill giants, not to mention the wyverns that dwell high in the mountains and the werewolves packs that are rumoured to roam the nearby Ashwood. It is for this reason that Turtleback Ferry offered its allegiance to Magnimar 45 years ago - with a contingent of rangers established at Fort Rannick to protect the town in exchange for nominal rule.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Need to stab. Must make sure. He don't bleed green. Blood don't lie. ...Hmph. He seems on the up an' up now, but who knows if this is but another mask over deviltry?

    From beneath her wide-brimmed silver-trimmed hat, Rico glares at the corpulent blueblood. Though her mouth waters at the sumptuous feast laid before them, her usual appetite seems absent. She forces herself to eat with martial efficiency and detachment, trying to wrest the paranoia from her mind.

    Paranoia? Yer not the one who got most frakked over on the Foxglove case. Ease up...

    Formal etiquette might have demanded something else. Something... Vernahs. Or even nicer. Coming here, the most that she'd done was getting her coat cleaned and repaired of mudstains, crapstains, bloodstains. Oh, and replacing the sleeves that had been made into emergency bandages. And spiffing up her armour. But for anybody who might have bothered to check...
    ...she'd restocked with a bandolier of explosives and elixirs, as well as having forgotten to bind her weapons into their scabbards in peace-bond ties as formal warrior's etiquette might demand.

    She'd be damned if she isn't prepared.

    ...EASE UP?! Somebody needs to keep WATCH, gorrammit.
    ...how could we ascertain if we don't BLEED HIM? Them. Anyone?
    ...Do I ask my closest comrades to bleed just for checking's sake? Why the bloody hell isn't Hellgirl getting suspicion-fever?


    Every so often, Rico's teeth gnash into a bone to try and bleed off her withdrawal jitters from not having had any heavy liquor at all for over a month now. From beneath her hat's brim, she glares at Setsuna's drinking, partly from envy, partly from concern.

    Ever since Xanesha's little... trick... Rico would be deluding herself if she hadn't begun looking at her comrades in a... more than friendly way.

    She growls, damns the etiquette and guzzles into her bowl. Yer a gorram professional, stahp geddin' destrakted!

    Spotting Red's reticence, amber eyes squint as she says over a shaking hambone, "Please. Don't. Waste. Make the most. Of what we got now. Dunno when the next storm or lean time be hittin'. Eh, hmm?"

    Hmmh! Logistics. Good job, Red. Taking a long draught of goat's milk, Rico's eyes narrow as she listens silently to the crowned jowl-wagger.

    Crossing her arms over her chest, Rico coughs at the others then grates, "Boat or horse, then? I votes fer boat."

    Ears twitching, she rumbles at The Groby, "Can ye spare some magickal doodad that can enable instant communication, yer lordship?" Turning to the mages of the party, Rico nods at Brin and Naya then asks, "Wossit called? Sendin'? Do y'all GOT that?"
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    "Sending, well, I'm sorry, Miss Rico", naya shakes her head, "I heard of that spell, but... it's a pretty advanced magic. There are... simpler analogues, but they are neither instanteous, nor their range is unlimited. And..." she pauses in thought. Boats... Naya doesn't really have the best of experience with boats, to tell the truth. And yet... Riding whole day, from dawn to dusk over a week sounds rather tiring as well... No! that's not the concern here!
    "Your Lordship, you said it would be two weeks by foot, week by horse - what about the barge? How long does it take to get to the Turtleneck Ferry? That... would be the main concern, I would suppose."
    Tome of Radiance, a Magical Girl sourcebook for 3.5/PF.

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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    "Faster would be better, but it can't be the only consideration." Brin cuts in, recalling how the simple day-long ride from Sandpoint to Magnimar had severely chapped her backside. She didn't actually know anything about Turtleback Ferry, but she doubted the ride was likely to be any easier.

    "The Constable's right about the boat. It will get us there fresh and ready to face whatever the danger is. And even a simple scroll of sending would let us inform you of the situation there immediately. Surely that's a reasonable expense for use to write off given the import of the mission" Brin smiles at the last part. She could, if she wanted, prepare the spell herself--but it was a legitimate expense, now wasn't it? After all, she could expect to gouge a desperate customer for a couple hundred gold pieces to case that spell, if she was at all inclined to get into the business of peddling the Lady's blessings.

    She wasn't, of course. That type of tawdry dealing was entirely the province of temple-bound charlatans.

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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    GM post

    "The barges, depending on the weather and any stops they make, usually take about six or seven days to reach Turtleback Ferry. I daresay they do sound more comfortable than horses, don't you think so?" The Lord-Mayor taps his stubby fingers lightly on the edge of the table, as if playing an invisible musical instrument, pursing his lips. "As for a spell of the nature that you speak of... given the distance, I'm afraid that even if you were to give us an instant appraisal of what is going on at Fort Rannick, we would hardly be able to send you any help to swiftly deal with a situation. Nor would it be very efficient - nor economical - to keep sending messages back and forth. I trust that you are aware that on a mission such as this, you would be acting as authorised deputies representing the Magnimarian Council? Perhaps some messenger pigeons would suffice to keep us here updated? Half a dozen ought to do the trick, I daresay."

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    Grobaras seems (and understandably so) unwilling to part with any more money than he absolutely needs to without appearing stingy. If you want more money out of him, you're going to need to be a lot more persuasive...
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  16. - Top - End - #16
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Setsuna

    Setsuna, tipsy as she is, if you're being generous with the definition, hadn't been in such a formal setting in years. But still, she was a princess, and her mother had made sure that she'd been taught how to act properly in such situations and the marbled tiefling rarely forgot things like that, even when she'd been distracted by the sound of clashing steel than courtly proceedings. So, she knew how to talk to nobility, royalty, and government officials and how to get them to come around to her way of thinking, she just usually didn't because it required a certain level of deceit that the sober Setsuna couldn't in good conscience manage.

    Drunk Setsuna, on the other hand, was much more willing to bend the truth for the greater good, and if her friends thought that such a scroll was for the good of their mission, then they must be right.

    Smiling pleasantly at the overweight mayor, the marbled tiefling does her best to sound dignified and not at all lost in a haze of alcoholic bliss, "Lord-Mayor, it will take us many days to reach Fort Rannick, I am sure that the nobility here who have invested in the fort and Turtleback Ferry will be anxious to hear that all is well as quickly as possible. If they are forced to wait for a messenger pigeon, which could be lost since there are many things that are swifter than birds and hungry, some of them may do something rash as a result and they may wrongly blame your lordship should they come to the erroneous conclusion that the information was delayed because of what might appear from outside to be a lack of concern for expediency. And, should there be something wrong, you must be informed immediately so that you can act to protect Magnimar's holdings, if you are unable to even through no fault of your own, it may create concerns, unjustified though they would be, about your ability to rule, especially in light of the recent incident. And even beyond that, you must take steps to protect your own life! Xanesha was targeting you most of all, you recall, if she truly has allies, they may be targeting you as well and it would be best if you were on your guard as quickly as we can confirm that information."

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    Drunken, eloquent Setsuna, she'll be here as long as there's more booze.

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  17. - Top - End - #17
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    "Miss Setsuna's right", Naya quickly nods, supporting Setsuna's idea, "It's not about the speed alone, but reliability - pigeons can be lost... or, worse, caught, and the message tempered with... the more direct communication, the better. There is a reason why lashunta prefer to communicate telepathically in fight, even on short distances..."
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    Aid Another on Setsuna: (1d20+5)[17], assuming Naya got her tiara back. 1 less otherwise.
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  18. - Top - End - #18
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    "What they said." Brin nods vigorously. "We'd only use the scroll if there's something worth reporting. If we're forced to use it, there's ome great machinations afoot and the cost of the scroll will end up being the least of the city's expenses. If we don't, then it's only a temporary loan and not actually money spent."

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    Third Diplomacy is the charm?
    (1d20+8)[23]

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Red / GM post

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    Red's Diplomacy: (1d20)[11]


    At your chorus of resistance, a vein twitches at the Lord-Mayor's blubbery temple, just above his thin brows. Nevertheless, his voice is the same rich, rumbling baritone as before, neither hurried nor agitated. "Undoubtedly so, my lady. We are not lashunta, however, nor do I have any who have placed themselves at my disposal. As I have said, I am grateful - immensely so! - that my life has been whisked free from death's snares, all thanks to you. Yet I do not think that my title is so precarious thus far that it would be risked by a pigeon or two gone astray."

    Grobaras pops another slice of cheese into his mouth and chews thoughtfully, seemingly unaware of the implicit irony of his words as he idly surveys the lavish feast set before all of you. "The spell that you ask for, after all, is ever so costly... as a humble servant of the city, it would hardly befit me to bequeath something so expensive for a single use, on a mission whose importance, I must confess, I have not entirely been able to successfully impress on the Council... There are also those who say that a band of mercenaries of dubious background cannot be trusted-"

    "T-then don't... s-send me. Use t-the... m-money for me f-for... the sp-pell..." Her voice come out louder and rather more rudely than Red had intended them to sound. Blushing a palpable shade of scarlet under her tanned skin, Red visibly shrinks back in her seat, looking down at her hands balled on her lap.

    "Rest assured, Miss Allin, that unlike my fellow compatriots who run this city, your specific past has no bearing on the exceedingly high trust I have placed in you and your friends." There is a faint glimmer of smug amusement in the Lord-Mayor's beady eyes as he chuckles aloud, his entire chair shuddering along with his corpulent bulk. "What I was going to say was that if you all are so insistent, then very well, I shall oblige. You shall have your Sending spell. But only on the condition that I send a deputy of the Council's choosing along with you - to satisfy all parties that the scroll will be returned if unused, and to put the Council at ease of mind. What say you?"

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    Given how quickly he arrived at an offer of compromise, it's unlikely that Grobaras had actually come up with this on the fly. He's likely had a person in mind that he would have sent along with you either way, and this is just his way of turning an increasingly expensive situation to his advantage.
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  20. - Top - End - #20
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    "But, Your Lordship", Naya protests, completely missing the implication of Major's words, "Would it be possible to find a person the Council would trust and convince them to join our group in this journey quick enough so as not to delay us leaving? I thought time was of essence?"
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  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Setsuna

    Shaking her head at Naya, the drunken tiefling smiles, and puts a comforting hand on Red's shoulder when she tries to sacrifice her own position, not that she'd ever let the rogue make that sacrifice if she could prevent it but still she tries to show support for her. But as Naya speaks up she notices the ever so subtle look of cunning hidden in the mayor's beady eyes, "I am sure he already has someone in mind to send with us, he did not just think of this. But it should not be too much trouble to take one more person along with us. Who did you plan to send?"
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  22. - Top - End - #22
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    There was something about the greasy twinge of a smirk on the Lord Mayor's face as he acquiesced that Brin didn't like. Somehow she knew that the bloated aristocrat had managed to trap them all in orbit about his center of gravitas, and the thought was as appetizing as a pit in a plum pastry.

    She tries to hide her sour pucker as she asks echoes Setsuna's question, "Yes, who? I hope they're prepared for the rigors of travel. I charge extra for babysitting courtiers."
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  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    GM post

    Grobaras gives a dainty little clap of his hands, a pleased grin stretched across his pasty face as he nods at Setsuna. "How very astute of you. Yes. As it so happens, only this morning, a certain ranger had seen fit to seek an audience - to petition for a grant of safe passage to Fort Rannick. It seems she has some unfinished business with one of the Black Arrows there, and wanted guarantee that she would be let past the gates - you know how rangers can be - so secretive, they are. This one was no different - what her unfinished business was, alas, she would not say." Leaning forward with a motion that makes his prodigious belly jiggle and flop over his bejewelled belt, the Lord-Mayor continues, a knowing gleam in his eyes.

    "Well. A solo ranger on her own would hardly be a suitable emissary, not when she has her own aims in mind. She might be, hm-hrm- even waylaid by scoundrels. Perhaps those same scoundrels you have in mind that would catch a messenger pigeon! I was about to send word to her on the morrow that her petition was not to be granted, but that if she pleased, she might leave a missive with you to take to the Fort. Yet now, it seems that her services may be be required after all. Travelling with your group would suffice as the grant that she requires. And in return, she will serve as the Council's representative."

    Plucking up yet another slice of cheese, the Lord-Mayor pauses and looks over at Setsuna and Rico. "I believe you know who this ranger is? Captain Uriana reported that she was a part of that little rumble with the Sandpoint goblins last month. Shalelu is the name she has taken to wander the lands of men with."

    Knowledge (local) DC 20 (only if your PC was not part of the Burnt Offerings chapter)
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    The name is of elvish origin and sounds familiar, though you've never had the chance to meet its owner. Perhaps it was in a small seedy tavern, or when you were deep in your cups gossiping with fellow travelers, that you heard tales of a mysterious elven ranger who roams the wilds of southwest Varisia, as beautiful as she is fierce - slayer of goblins, bane of bugbears, able to hit the eye of a hare from four hundred paces away.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    "Who?" Brin bites her lip as she thinks hard, muttering a low prayer to help jog her memory. It's hard to say whether it's actually Pharasma whispering in ehr ear, or just the calming influence of the ritual, but she does finally recall a few scraps of information about that name.

    "Oh, the archer?" She says, trying to hide the touch of jealousy in her voice. The rumors of her skill with the bow had to be exaggerated, clearly. Hitting a rabbit's eye at that range was just a matter of luck. Brin could totally do it if she had enough rabbits. Probably. "Never met her."

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    "Just as long as this damn bugger doesn't object to..." Rico says with a glare. "...a bleed test."

    Or rather, she but opens her mouth to say it and then the world around her swims out of focus.

    Smoke chokes the evening air, moans and screams rising into the night. Burning buildings paint the clouds above the hues of the Hells. Craggy mountains take a bite out of the sky.

    Blood cakes her limbs. Vomit taints her lips.

    Hard rock thuds painfully against her knees---


    thunk

    ---her knees suddenly hit the table with a jerk. She sways where she stands, breath suddenly shallow, ears flushed flat and low. She seizes the nearest cup of water to steady herself.

    What the utter frak... More of this crap! Gorrammit. Fookin' hells, no more puttin' off, I need ta grab Brin fer this. Oh, and THAT other thing... tch...

    Shaking her head and blinking beneath her hat's shadow, she deliberately focuses on the lord mayor's words and nods, then says, "Hrmm. Ma'am Andosenna. Ain't that a mite stroke o' good fortune."
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    "Yes indeed, my good Constable. It is most excellent fortune to have our interests align so perfectly, don't you agree?" The Lord-Mayor continues to beam genially across the table at all of you. "Now then. Six places for the lot of you on the evening barge departing tomorrow - yes, I believe that can be arranged. Can I expect everyone to be at the docks by the Silver Shore at the first call of the Night Watch - at the fifth hour past noon? Or do you have other concerns that I may assist you with before departure?"
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  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Setsuna

    The tipsy Tian tiefling tilts her head for a brief moment in thought before nodding, "Shalelu-san can take care of herself, it should be no trouble to bring her with us, and I think we will be ready to move on by tonight. I do not think there are many last minute things we need to take care of before we go."

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    I hate not knowing what I want to say
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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Brin had been preparing to mount an expedition of her own if this hadn't panned out, so there's not much left in the way of preparations. If anything, she wishes the barge was leaving earlier.

    "No, we're ready. We'll be waiting there at the fifth bell." She says.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    "Yes", Naya nods, "We can't waste any more time..." not like anything kept her in Magnimar any longer. Or anywhere at all, for that matter.
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    GM post

    "Capital. Most capital, indeed." Grobaras bobs his head, causing all five of his chins to waggle comically. For the briefest of instances, the less soused of you seem to catch a new light in the Lord-Mayor's eyes - something much colder, clean as a knife in the dark - but the instance is over, and all you see is a plump gold filigreed bobble-man giggling as he reaches for yet another slice of cheese in one hand and for his goblet with the other.

    "A toast then, shall we say, to the success of your mission? I believe you are already raring to go! Lenardi, if you would be as kind as to fill up the glasses of our honoured guests..."

    *****

    Day 48: Neth 9, 4707

    Just before 1700hrs

    Your stay in Magnimar several days earlier had begun with a hurried scamper through the district of Ordellia under the cover of darkness for fear of the guards. Perhaps it is only appropriate then that you now leave Magnimar from the docks on the northmost shore of Ordellia, with the captain of the Watch herself here to escort you off. Fortunately enough for those of you who had eaten and drunk too much the night before, the hour of departure certainly leaves enough time for you to recover from your hangover and appear mostly presentable.

    Captain Uriana glowers up at the seagulls circling lazily overhead, shielding her eyes with a gauntleted hand before glancing back down at your group. "Damned flying dung-sacks," she mutters viciously to herself. "They'll follow you for miles up-river. Best to stay off the decks 'lest you fancy washing your digs in the river, and the Yondabakari isn't awful clean at this time of year. Now, bandits - you want to keep a look out for those. You're on a big barge and most scoundrels are canny enough to stay away, but you'll be in the thick of the 'Fens for a day or two and I don't rule out goblin packs desperate enough to try a quick raid or two. Be firm, be quick, and they'll scare off in no time at all."

    She nods towards Rico, whom instinct had suggested was likely to be the safest member of your group to leave the Lord-Mayor's purse with, lowering her voice without glancing around. "It's seven-fifty gold for each of you. Don't go flashing that around, hear? Now where's that ranger got herself to-"

    The more alert members of the party prick up their ears as salt-swollen planks creak on cue, marking Shalelu's unceremonious arrival on the docks. The elf hardly looks the part of appointed deputy of the Magnimarian government - her golden hair remains tousled with eagle feathers askew, her travelling cloak still caked with mud from the road and her pack coated with the reddish dust of the city's cobblestones, her jaw lean and hard. Only her bow - a beautifully carved darkwood polished to a high sheen - and the haughty carriage of her head give the lie that she might be anything more than just another harried mercenary. Shalelu's eyes gleam as hard as emeralds, though at the sight of familiar faces gathered on the dock, they twinkle as her chapped lips break into a genuine smile.

    "Well, well then. I had wondered whom the Lord-Mayor meant for me to escort. My heart is glad to see that he had meant you lot. Though I do see that not everyone remains... Has Taladron lost his heart for the road then? And where is Master Sirus?"
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