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  1. - Top - End - #481
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    Amnestic's Avatar

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    Kett Collier
    Human Shadow Monk/Rogue
    AC: 19 HP: 52/52
    PP: 19 PIv: 13 PIs: 13
    Conditions: Darkvision (~5 hours?), 5/6 Ki Remaining
    Concentrating: --

    She had expected this but it would have been nice if they'd just...talked. She wasn't really in the mood for a chase. With a quiet sigh she taps the toes of her right boot to the ground twice, letting the energy flow down from her belly into her legs and feet, then takes off behind the one that had gone towards the alleys. She's faster than him, she knows, catching up without even fully expending herself, easily navigating the path he took with feet just as light as his. She bounces off walls and streams round corners, almost as if she's weightless and carried by a wind she herself is generating. "Hey," she says as she reaches him, not panting at all from the 'exertion', "I asked you a question." She reaches out for his arm, first intending to lock him in place and then, if successful, sweep the leg to plant him firmly on the ground. When she speaks next it's loud, again making sure that anyone nearby can overhear her. "I don't think it's right for two men to follow a young woman like myself around the streets is all. Someone might think you're up to no good."

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Move: Full amount in chasing the alley/market guy.
    Bonus Action: 1 ki on Step of the Wind: Dash, bringing her movement up to a 90' that matches him.
    Action: Attack turning into Grapple attempt 1: (1d20+4)[9], contested athletics/acrobatics.
    Extra Attack: Grapple Attempt 2 or shove prone if he falls victim to the grapple attempt 1: (1d20+4)[12], contested athletics/acrobatics.

    DMing:
    Iron Crisis IC | OOC
    RHoD IC | OOC
    Playing:
    ToNG IC | OOC
    MoMiWoM IC | OOC
    OotA IC | OOC

  2. - Top - End - #482
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    Gathering Info

    The chase leads you out from the cramped quarters between the buildings and into the wider boulevard of the inner market. Unlike the hustle and bustle of Throneport's central economic quarters where the shops stand tall, here is the dappled shade of oak trees, open bakeries and cafes, little stands by the corner. Although there are shoppers and walkers-about, the conversations are quiet enough that your entrance makes an impression, and several of them look right at the pair of you. A patrol of a few more soldiers in silver and pale blue can be seen just up the street making their afternoon rounds, but they haven't noticed you yet.

    Catching up to your stalker, you try to pin him down, but he seems to be ready for your attempts. Turning on one foot, he spins to bat your outstretched hand away with his forearm and then leaps over your leg. At that moment, your quarry looks you level in the eyes. His hood has fallen by the wayside in the exchange, confirming what you saw earlier: he is the spitting image of the other half-elf, save for a difference in the way they part their hair. Up close, you see glasz eyes and slightly yellowed teeth as he grins and keeps going... right towards the patrol.

    "Help!" he cries mid-run, picking up on your idea. You note that his pace has slowed now, ostensibly to catch his breath but also you wonder if maybe he's inviting you to try grabbing him again. He waves his arms to get the attention of the men and women at arms. "I don't know this woman, she's trying to assault me!"
    Last edited by 3SecondCultist; 2021-01-17 at 10:53 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
    You divine bastard.
    Currently Running:
    - Tales of Neutral Ground

    Winner of Total War: Rise of Kingdoms (Ironfang Republic)


    "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it."

  3. - Top - End - #483
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    Kett Collier
    Human Shadow Monk/Rogue
    AC: 19 HP: 52/52
    PP: 19 PIv: 13 PIs: 13
    Conditions: Darkvision (~5 hours?), 5/6 Ki Remaining
    Concentrating: --

    Two options for her really at this stage. Keep following and have a potentially very boring conversation with the guards until they inevitably let them both go because neither has any evidence either way, or not bother with any of it and go into tail mode herself. The onlookers she'd attracted would now pose an issue if she wanted to slip away though, their gazes would get followed by the guards, and she could always use the chance to pump information. Snap decision then, boring conversation with guards it is. She can always tail him later. She had all of the day to herself. She would have to make sure she had rope on hand for when she jumps him later though.

    "Guards, thank goodness!" she calls past the man, relief in her voice. "This man was stalking me and then ran away when he got caught, I think he might be dangerous! His accomplice brandished a knife at me! Please don't let him get away!" She slows to not provoke any forceful reaction, but not enough that he could make a break for it away from her. Not that he could, at least. He signed his own warrant if he tried, and now he knew she was faster than him.
    DMing:
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  4. - Top - End - #484
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    Gryphon chuckles inwardly at his fellow Khorovarís performance. Getting these invites was proving to be such a simple matter. Like stealing dreams from a baby. The wizard thought to himself.

    Distracted by his own smugness, the idea of taking a little peak at the other names of the list doesnít occur to the half-elf till the clip board is almost out of sight! With only moments left to snoop, Gryphonís eyes are only able to read one name on the list: Hetrion Nikar

    The young wizard maintains his placidity long enough to say to the majordomo, Ambassador Gryphon Aksel Kellson of The Great Craig, Droaam, before the mere thought of Niksar causes him to clench his teeth involuntarily. He wills his hands to remain relaxed as he feels the little snaps of blue electricity build in his palm as the beginnings of a Lightning Bolt reflexively start to form.

    He takes a slow breath inward before exhaling. Visions of torture dance through his head like sugarplums and he resumes his placidity. Death by electrocution, his head burst with Magic Missiles, Suggest Hetrion to drink seawater until poisoned, Shatter his hands off, Detect his Thoughts and tell his friends all his deepest secrets...
    Last edited by (Un)Inspired; 2021-01-17 at 01:11 PM.
    amazing avatar of my favorite character, Gheera, by Pesimismrocks

  5. - Top - End - #485
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    As the steward take notes of names, Arimart tries to look at the list, but the man keeps moving it and it becomes impossible for the Paladin to read anything.

    "My name, as I already told you, is sir Arimart Kaessel, our other companions are Master Kleris Osten and Madam Kett Collier. We will be eager to meet the masters of this house, when the right time will come."

    Arimart nods gently at the stweard, waiting for him to go.
    When he can, he turns to Arrun, smiling: "You must have hard times with such renowned figures around, hope he is not in charge of security too, else you'll need a lot of help!" leaving time for a gentle laugh, the paladin starts speaking with the guard.
    "So, I didn't want to tell it in front of the steward, but who is Lady Layla? I'm not sure I ever heard her name."
    Does this poster have a sign?

  6. - Top - End - #486
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    Acquiring Assets

    Kleris leans back a bit in shock. Not from the kiss, that tied in nicely with their acting, but from the smell weirdly enough. That level of forethought and preparedness for your persona was amazing. He mulls over the other changelings goodbye words, they really resonated with him. They were a very changeling mentality, he would have to remember them. He can feel Kleros smile in his mind '"Find joy in change." I like that.'

    He fiddles with the shard for a moment, admiring the rose coloring of the dragonshard. After a second though he puts it securely away into one of his inner pockets. He would need to look through it later with Gryphon, ideally he would find another mage outside of the group to look through it and inform him before showing the group. However it seemed to contain secretive information and he didn't have any trustworthy mages on hand other then the ambassador.

    Well it was time to get back to business, he had several things to do today still. He pulls out a small black gem, the one given to him by Clervec, and puts it close to his mouth as he whispers under his breath to it "I'm looking for new papers for 4, meet at the inn tonight. Details will be provided there. Will pay in cash. Regards.
    Last edited by GameOfChampions; 2021-01-17 at 02:24 PM.
    "Facilis Descensus Averni." - Virgil, The Aeneid

    ďWhy would I want to win anything other than a beautiful game?Ē - Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man's Fear


  7. - Top - End - #487
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    Acquiring Assets

    The reply you get from the speaking gem is nearly instantaneous, and speaks with Clervec's voice, flickering with intensity that matches the volume and pitch of the man on the other side of the link. "Recieved, will send someone to meet you at the Reprieve tonight. They'll be there for seven o'clock. Make sure you have the cash with you." The moment that the reply comes through, the light within fades and you hear a faint cracking sound from deep inside the item. Whatever magic it once held within is gone, never to return.

    Paying your tab with a silver piece or two, you head out of the Sentinel with goods strapped to your back and a lead in your pocket. Looking about, you don't spot anyone who is giving you any unusual attention. There are plenty of similarly garbed and armored people around this part of Throneport, after all. Shouldering your pack, you begin to head back to your new headquarters to plan your next moves.


    Procuring Engagements

    The steward of the house dutifully copies down all four of the names provided to him, though he holds the list too close and at too awkward an angle for either of you to get a good look at the names beyond a single entry towards the bottom: Hetrion Niksar. Thankfully Gryphon is able to compose himself, as the full announcement of his name earns him a few sharp looks from the assembled guards and a barely suppressed sneer from Ghastor himself. "Very well, masters. The dress code is formal: tunics and matching breeches if you please, waistcoats and cravats at your discretion. Dining shoes only. Armor in suitable presentation is permitted, but all weapons will be peacebound upon entry."

    After Ghastor's departure, both of you are given a moment to say goodbye to Arrun at the gate. The Thrane guardsman does not betray the majordomo with a comment, but he does openly smile at Arimart's joke. When the paladin mentions Layla, his eyebrows raise slightly.

    "Lady Layla? She is the mistress of the house, the only living daughter of Lord Danilos and Lady Nymae. It's her ninth birthday..." the man screws up his face in obvious confusion. "You mean you don't even know the name of the girl whose party you talked yourself into, Sir?"


    Gathering Info

    As you step forward and call out to the authorities, they are already looking your way. Of the six present - two men, two women, an armored warforged and a dwarf - one of the men and the warforged approach first, hands on their weapons. Surprisingly for this part of town, it's the latter that raises a hand to try and pacify all parties. "Now why don't we calm down," the living construct sergeant says, the rest of the uniforms spreading out and forming a loose semi-circular cordon to block off potential avenues of escape. All eyes are on the two of you. "I'll need you both to put down any weapons you might have and then we can get this all figured out right here. Can we do that?"

    The half-elf you've been chasing seems willing to comply at first. A hand goes up in the air, as one of the guards approaches him to check for anything hidden. Then, nearly so fast that you don't even see the movement, the half-elf's hand is at his belt and he's drawing his knife. He flicks it outwards in a single motion - one clean cut - and the blade comes away red. When the guard tumbles to the ground, one of the other members of the squad yells and the others are already brandishing their own arms. Two hang back and pull out shortbows, while the ones in front get their spears and shields ready.

    This whole situation is about to go downhill, and quickly.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    So... your stalker just straight up KO'd a guard, and they're about to arrest / potentially kill (?) him. Let me know if you want this to go to combat, and we can roll Initiative. I'm available for at least a few more hours to run a combat on Roll20, or we can do it conventionally.
    Last edited by 3SecondCultist; 2021-01-17 at 03:11 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
    You divine bastard.
    Currently Running:
    - Tales of Neutral Ground

    Winner of Total War: Rise of Kingdoms (Ironfang Republic)


    "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it."

  8. - Top - End - #488
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    Amnestic's Avatar

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    Kett Collier
    Human Shadow Monk/Rogue
    AC: 19 HP: 52/52
    PP: 19 PIv: 13 PIs: 13
    Conditions: Darkvision (~5 hours?), 3/6 Ki Remaining
    Concentrating: --

    Time slows down for Kett as she watches the attack. Not out of any particular shock or dismay - it was unfortunate the guard had been hit, of course, but not really her priority. No, she was trying to work out the angle.

    Premise 1: He was attempting to escape her and avoid capture.
    Premise 2: He knew she was faster than he was, and didn't feel confident taking her in a fight.
    Premise 3: He'd just attacked a guard in broad daylight with multiple other guards, and Kett, in close proximity.
    Conclusion: Suicide by guard.

    Her feet burst her forwards before the guards can swoop in. "He's trying to get himself killed!" She calls to them, hoping they'll listen, "Knock him out if you can!" Her call gives her approach away but it's worth it if they listen. She opens with a wide swinging kick, aiming for his head, but he ducks. Kett carries it through though, going for a low leg sweep. He hops that one, evidently prepared for her follow up. Already crouched she pounces forwards, feinting with her left and then delivering a cataclysmic blow with her right, directly into the man's neck. The stunning energy she'd been saving slams from her fist into his body, halting any hope he had of moving.

    The moment she feels the stunblow detonate inside him she kicks again, this time catching his knife, sending it skittering across the stones away from the fight. One-on-one was her wheel house. She had him pinned now, and as long as the guards didn't go blood-crazy, she'd get her answers soon enough.
    Last edited by Amnestic; 2021-01-17 at 04:05 PM.
    DMing:
    Iron Crisis IC | OOC
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    ToNG IC | OOC
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  9. - Top - End - #489
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    Procuring Engagements

    "wrong question Arimart"

    Thinks the paladin at Arrun puzzled reaction. Then he prepares himself to explain his actions.

    "Well, I'm sad to admit it, but yes. What you are seeing here is nothing more than petty politics. My friend and I want to pay our respects to her father, and Lady Layla's party is the right event for it. That said, I don't want to think about the birthday of a young lady as the day when she's overshadowed by her father. Can you counsel us? Is there something she'd like to receive as a present? Or something me and my friends should do or not do when the Lady is around?"
    Does this poster have a sign?

  10. - Top - End - #490
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    Servants live longest when they can keep their expression in check, Mr. Ghastor. Gryphon intones sinisterly to the steward before he scurried off. You never know whose listening in on your thoughts or capable of prying open your dreams.

    As Arimart begins his exchange with iríSencrissí henchman, Gryphonís brow furrows momentarily. What do little humans want for presents?

    Voles. When I was a hatchling they were the only thing I wanted. Get her dozen or so, she can eat them, and then hibernate for the rest of the month. Problem solved.

    The wizard narrows his eyes. That didnít sound quite right. He tried to think back to his happiest birthday memory.

    His 12th birthday. Baba Maenya holding him down, one of her colossal claws pinning his arms to his sides, the other holding him still in the chair he was seated in as tears poured down his face. He openly struggled and tried to break free, to no avail, as Nona Tereza used her obsidian knife to carve the control sigil directly into the meat of his shoulder. Oma Katra completing the Planar Binding spell, locking the Hellhound freshly plucked from Fernia to the material world.

    Tereza rubbing volcanic ash into his freshly opened wound, before healing it to complete the process of scarification. Maenya releasing her titanic grip on him before giving him a a playful shove towards the Hound. Katra explaining to him that this devil was his birthday present and as long as he fed it and looked after it and never ever removed the control sigil on his shoulder it would always be loyal to him. The coal-black beast bounding at him, knocking him to the floor before breathing its oddly comfortingly warm breath on him and covering his face with licks.

    I named him Fireball , Gryphon softly mused to himself, while gently rubbing his right shoulder. He wondered how Fireball was doing back at The Great Craig as a wave of homesickness threatened to wash over him.

    I know the sorts of things children her age appreciate, Prosecutor Kaessel. We can stop by a House Vadalis kennel on the way back to the Reprieve.
    amazing avatar of my favorite character, Gheera, by Pesimismrocks

  11. - Top - End - #491
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    Procuring Engagements

    Arrun hesitates, no doubt feeling more than a few gazes on him as he escorts the two of you back and through the iron threshold. Only once you are on the other side and safely out of earshot of all but those posted at the gate does he run a hand over his chin as though in deep thought. "Lady Layla is a... spirited young woman. She has inherited her father's instincts and her mother's wilfulness; more than anything, I believe she desires to be an adventurer. Then again, last month she wanted to be a pirate."

    When Gryphon ominously mentions a pet called 'Fireball' with zero other details and subsequently raises the specter of going to a Vadalis kennel to get a gift, you see the sentry do an actual double take, blinking in rapid succession before staring wide-eyed. "I... ah. Um." What follows is a series of mostly incomprehensible monosyllabic sounds as Arrun's mind seems to be actively processing the horrors of such a future.

    "... rabbits," Arrun mutters eventually. "The lady quite likes rabbits. Something of that family, I think. And on that note..." Unsure as to how to leave now, he makes his exit with one last awkward salute before returning to his post and leaving the pair of you to the remainder of your afternoon.


    Gathering Info

    Even though he knows your movements enough to dodge the first few hits, your final punch connects with a solid thud and nearly knocks the half-elf to the ground. Standing still and blinking to try and center himself, he can barely stand as the rest of the Thrane guard get ready to line up their shots. "Rush now - no kill shots!" cries the warforged, and the rest of the assembled neighborhood watch take action. The telltale twangs of bow-shots can be heard before the grunts of pain from their target as both projectiles hit home. The final charge comes in the form of the warforged, who charges up to the half-elf and takes him down with a single well placed blow to the head with the butt of his spear.

    All in all, the 'battle' is a fairly climactic affair, started and finished in less time than it takes to drink a glass of water. The assailant has collapsed in the street, his clothes now stained with the blood of the slumped over man opposite him. Even a cursory examination of the guard is enough to reveal that the cut went right through an artery; he's bled out in moments. Whoever these mysterious followers are, they know a thing or two about knife-play. At their sergeant's instruction, two of the squad search and cuff the unconscious murderer while another is on crowd control, dispersing anyone nearby.

    "Thank you for your help, miss," says the warforged as they approach you. Unlike what you might expect of someone who just watched one of their own get cut down, their demeanor does not read as shocked or upset. You get the impression that this is someone used to combat. "You can go home now, we'll take him from here. Rest assured, he will be stripped of all weapons and kept under guard in our garrison until his sentence is carried out, which will be shortly."
    Last edited by 3SecondCultist; 2021-01-18 at 01:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
    You divine bastard.
    Currently Running:
    - Tales of Neutral Ground

    Winner of Total War: Rise of Kingdoms (Ironfang Republic)


    "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it."

  12. - Top - End - #492
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    Rabbits HA! I was close when I said voles.
    amazing avatar of my favorite character, Gheera, by Pesimismrocks

  13. - Top - End - #493
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    Procuring Engagements

    "Thank you Arrun. May the Flame guide your steps."

    As the Paladin salutes the guard, he turns to Gryphon and discuss with him their next stop.

    "It went well, maybe even better than I expected! We have enough time to take a stroll and reach Falstead. I know a couple of officers that could give us some information on Solstise House security."

    Arimart points at the direction they should go, then looks Gryphon in the eyes again, with a puzzled expression, his right brow slightly raised.

    "Ah, sir Gryphon... Fireball?"
    Last edited by CozJa; 2021-01-18 at 01:25 AM.
    Does this poster have a sign?

  14. - Top - End - #494
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    A broad smile spreads across Gryphonís face. Fireball was my childhood dog. He was very fiery and spirited and it seemed like the perfect name when I was a 12 year old.

    I agree; that went rather smoothly. Iím sure we have plenty of time to speak with your contacts, and still find the perfect gift for you to give to the young lady before we must reconvene with the others.

    Please, lead onward.
    amazing avatar of my favorite character, Gheera, by Pesimismrocks

  15. - Top - End - #495
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    Kett Collier
    Human Shadow Monk/Rogue
    AC: 19 HP: 52/52
    PP: 19 PIv: 13 PIs: 13
    Conditions: Darkvision (~5 hours?), 3/6 Ki Remaining
    Concentrating: --

    "I think it would be better if I went with you," she replies to the...Sergeant? Captain? She tries to deduce a rank, comes up short. Didn't really matter. "The man wasn't acting alone, and his comrade is still out there. They split when I confronted them." She looks at the unconscious man, restraining the temptation to kick him. She could do with buying a bag to go with her dress, but it might have to wait until tomorrow at this rate. "Not to mention they were following me in the first place, which leaves me in danger if the other one returns. If you want to catch his fellow, I'd like to give a...statement? Testimony? Whatever the right word is for it."

    As almost always with Kett, this was a part-truth. She mostly just wanted a chance to get the information herself, she didn't need the guards to track him down once she had that, and it would be interesting to see how much the two (assumed) brother's stories matched up when questioned separately.
    Last edited by Amnestic; 2021-01-18 at 06:27 AM.
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  16. - Top - End - #496
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    "Oh, the gift..."

    Arimart used the gift more as an excuse to gather informations on the woman, but Gryphon is right. They need to buy one.
    Not that he really needs to do it.

    "Well, I wasn't considering the gift... if you really want to buy her a rabbit from that Vadalis kennel, maybe you can already go. I don't know how much time my visits to Falstead can take, and we would risk not coming back early enough."

    Waiting for Gryphon to answer him, the paladin says good bye and walks to Falstead, looking for his old friend.
    Part of him is displeased that he won't be able to bring Gryphon with him, but he knows that things can become unusually long with Arcturus.
    Does this poster have a sign?

  17. - Top - End - #497
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    Acquiring Assets

    The Midnighters' man is right on schedule.

    Well, technically he isn't a man, so much as a halfling woman with indigo hair and a crooked smile. Opal is busy rolling herself a cigarette as she enters the Reprieve from the growing dark, though she puts the blunt away when she sees you on the other side of the room. She takes a seat at one of the tables fairly close to the door, ignoring any signs of renovation or disarray in the space as she calmly orders herself a sounten - really water, a classic trade trick designed to make a mark think one is more drunk than one actually is - and gives you a look as though to say 'we doing this?'


    Gathering Info

    The warforged in charge gives you a once-over, deducing that you aren't carrying any visible weapons on your person. "Under normal circumstances I would tell you to stay home, but since you may have information about this I would not mind if you sat in on our interrogation. Follow me."

    Wasting no time, the warforged - who offers their name as Sterling mid-stride - and the rest of their squad begin to clear the scene. Using their cloaks to wrap up both the body of their fallen comrade and create an improvised sling for the unconscious attacker, they calm down the other bystanders with reassuring words and promises that 'the matter's been handled' and 'go with the Flame' before making their way through the Thrane Zone back to headquarters. Though you're not exactly familiar with this part of town, you know well enough from your intelligence dossier that the main garrison in the Zone can be found in Falstead, at the intersection of Broad and Komar Street.

    Sure enough, after some time walking in the shadow of the law, you spy the unmistakable fortified profile of a barracks of pale stone, complete with towers crowned with focus crystals and an outer portcullis door. Magical everbright lanterns glow with the same hue as the local faith's namesake, casting a shimmering pattern on the masonry that forces you to squint your eyes slightly. You reflect a moment later that it's almost certainly designed a tactical advantage as well as a statement of architectural fashion. And there, basking in the glow as you approach is a familiar armored figure: none other than Arimart Kaessel.
    Last edited by 3SecondCultist; 2021-01-18 at 01:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
    You divine bastard.
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  18. - Top - End - #498
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    Yes, a rabbit... Gryphon responds pensively to Arimartís comment. Iím sure Iíll be able to select something appropriate for you to present to the young lady. Good luck at Falstead and Iíll see you back at the Reprieve tomorrow morning.

    After bidding farewell to his Paladin friend, the Half-elf draws his Phantom Steed back to reality and sets off down the road in search of an exotic pet shop.
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    Kett Collier
    Human Shadow Monk/Rogue
    AC: 19 HP: 52/52
    PP: 19 PIv: 13 PIs: 13
    Conditions: Darkvision (~5 hours?), 3/6 Ki Remaining
    Concentrating: --

    She quietly whistles at the building. It's fake, of course, she's not actually that impressed, but it might make them feel better about her. She was quietly glad she hadn't had to sell her participation harder, though there was always the chance the clanker was using this as a bait to pin her with something too. Possible, but unlikely. When she spots the prosecutor, Kett raises her hand high in greeting, before tapping Sterling on the shoulder and gesturing at Arimart. "That guy's a friend and a prosecutor for the city, he's probably interested too." She jogs over, lowering her voice slightly to a 'normal' level. If they did overhear her, she'd make sure they didn't hear anything concerning, but didn't want it to look conspiratorial.

    "Hey, hope your stuff went well, can talk about it later." She keeps talking, bulldozing straight through any response he might give. "While I was in the Four Kings that guy," she thumbs over her shoulder at the unconscious prisoner, "started following me with his buddy, possibly brother. Then when I confronted him he ran off and killed a guard in broad daylight. One hit and done, skillful like. Don't know if it's connected to any of our current stuff yet but I think it's a lead worth following. Want to come with?"
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    Walking through well known alleys, Arimart bask in this moment of lonelyness, trying to let himself go and feel the heart of the city, of the Thrannish zone, for what it can be: a living mess striving for justice. As the lights slowly go down, everbright lanterns punctuate the way, with lights calling forth many Silver hues.
    As the paladin reaches his goal, he stops by one of them, relaxing for a brief moment.
    But the time to unwind is not coming yet.
    As he stays there, a now familiar voice calls for him, assailing the paladin with a barrage of facts.

    "She is too much trouble!"

    Arimart lets out a deep breath, than walks toward the guards with his most convincing impersonation of the Prosecutor.

    "Prosecutor Kaessal here, this woman is working with me in a Tribunal investigation."
    He approaches Sterling
    "I believe you are more than eager to interrogate this man, but I ask you to give us five minutes with him. We need informations on this attack."
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    Acquiring Assets

    Kleris snorts a bit at the drink order, getting himself a light cider, but respects the Midnighters decision to stay sober for business. He brings over the drinks himself and sits down across from the Halfling "Good Evening, I believe I met you briefly the other night? Are you here at the request of my friend? I'm looking for some... portraits to be done. If you catch my meaning."

    He follows up with a big obvious wink.
    "Facilis Descensus Averni." - Virgil, The Aeneid

    ďWhy would I want to win anything other than a beautiful game?Ē - Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man's Fear


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    Acquiring Assets

    Opal nurses her non-alcoholic drink and shakes loose a laugh, though at the request or the wink you are not entirely certain. "Yes, I'm the one they sent for. I've got a wand to capture the images you show me and a dragonshard ready to store the names." Pulling out into her jacket pocket, the counterfeiter produces the very same items she just mentioned. The latter is your basic dragonshard - nearly identical to the one that Crick gave you only a few hours ago - but the former is a bright cherry-wood with a pair of faces carved into a few knots by the handle. Following your eyeline, Opal holds it up bemusedly.

    "You know it's funny, we got the Wand of Likeness for exactly this reason. It's amazing how helpful it is for things like divination when you don't have your own magic to show off a person's face. Now, why don't you start with the images, and we'll do names next."


    Gathering Info

    The warforged dips their head upon recognizing Arimart and waits politely for the Khoravar to finish speaking his piece. "Of course, Sir. I will see to it that you and your friend have the room to ask some questions, but I will ask to be present myself to listen in. You have my oath that I will not speak of anything I overhear unless it poses a serious danger."

    Having now acceded to your request, Sterling escorts both of you inside the Falstead barracks. Once you're past the light-field and under the portcullis gates, the cool interior looks a lot more mundane: a series of desks occupy a small antechamber, with one small corridor leading down a windowless hallway to your left while a spiral stair leads to the upper floors. The whole set-up remains imminently defensible, if perhaps less overtly martial than you might have been anticipating. Sterling and the rest of their unit begin to escort the half-elf down the hall and the warforged sends a few upstairs to fill out a report of the afternoon's happenings before turning to you.

    "We'll get him set up in a cell; how do you want to handle this?"


    Buying a Present

    It took six strangers, nearly as many unnecessary conversations, and over half an hour of traversing back all the way through the heart of the city, but at long last you've found what you're looking for.

    In the depths of Aundair's Greenwall district, away from the hustle and bustle of Throneport's more conventional and well-trodden streets, there is a store along the South Rampart Street in the shadows of the vine-covered wall: Craigh's Creatures. You can't help but notice the presence of a great many parks and tucked away town-homes here, which make this a perfect location for a store such as this. The moderately wealthy are privileged enough to shop at such an establishment, and they would certainly have the space to train and housebreak the kind of popular pets that you've heard sometimes come here.

    The storefront itself is expansive in size but otherwise nothing to write home about, but for a low chorus of brays, caws, and shrieks that meet your ear as you step below the swinging green sign. The interior, on the other hand, might as well be a different world. The second you cross into the shop you can feel beads of sweat beginning to form in your armpits, at your brow and the small of your back. The air is thick and humid in here, a soup of smells and sweet heat. The difference in temperature is astounding; there's no way that mere wooden walls and a shingled roof can account for that. Dragonshard lanterns are strung up in the ceiling, casting an amber-orange glow over the tremendous space, and your eyes are forced to adjust to the forest of foliage, of bright tropical flowers and roots that cover nearly all of the walls. Someone has done their level best to replicate continental conditions of Xen'drik in here, and done a damned fine job of it.

    The strangest detail in here surely has to be the little gnome in goggles and a cap standing behind a small desk in the clearing of the space. Wisps of white curls point outward like an angry cloud on a sunny day, and he leans forward to squint at you. "Eh? A customer? What's yer name, friend? What can an ol' gnome get you? All of my customers leave here with the companion of their dreams, or their money back - that's the Craigh way!"
    Last edited by 3SecondCultist; 2021-01-20 at 04:34 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
    You divine bastard.
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    "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it."

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    Stepping into the forested establishment, Gryphon winces at the sudden humidity before drawing water from his water skin and shaping it into a hand fan with a wave of his hand and an application of Shape Water, before freezing it solid. Snapping his fingers to summon an Unseen Servant, he hands off the icy fan and orders his conjuration to fan him. Pushing leisurely through the underbrush, Gryphon admires the combination of horticulture and magic that it took to create this emporium.

    He strides up to the desk, presenting the storeís proprietor with his serene smile. Good afternoon, Mr. Craigh, Iíve come to your establishment in search of a present for a young ladyís birthday. Sheís on the eve of turning 9 human years, so Iím in the market for something young that can grow with her. The sort of creature that will be deadly to her childhood enemies now and will grow to be deadly to her adulthood enemies in years to come. I have a slight preference for something that can spew acid or lightning but Iím not entirely averse to fire or quills. Oh, and in case it matters, Iím not one of those people who has a problem with Magebred.
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    Kett Collier
    Human Shadow Monk/Rogue
    AC: 19 HP: 52/52
    PP: 19 PIv: 13 PIs: 13
    Conditions: Darkvision (~4 hours?), 3/6 Ki Remaining
    Concentrating: --

    "The accomplice that ran off had a near identical face. Could be brothers. Could be a magical disguise or changelings. He tried to get himself killed instead of captured, so chances are he knows something." Kett muses, not really sure how hard to push it. They'd presumably execute him for killing a guard, no sense keeping him alive after all. "Two mutually exclusive routes to start with I think. First is that we hope the connection with the 'brother' is strong enough that we can sell letting the brother off the hook if he tells us everything, hope he spills to protect those important to him." She leaves it unspoken, but that might well work on her if Arano or Lia were threatened. "Second one is a classic prisoner's dilemma, except we're faking it. Do some minor interrogation for a few more hours. Then lie, tell him we caught the 'brother', then offer him a deal - he talks, he gets to live, but only if he does so before his 'brother' does."

    She glances between Arimart and Sterling. There was a third choice. She keeps it quiet for now, but she could just torture him, possibly in conjunction with either of the other two options. With the right tools and a touch of magic she could keep him alive almost indefinitely and while she did have a party to go to tomorrow, that was hours away yet. The promise of indefinite torture usually broke people. The downside was that it made a lot of law enforcement squeamish when they weren't suggesting or carrying it out.

    "Testing if they're changeling seems like the first thing to get out of the way. They presenting as elven, so a dark room test might work, unless they've got another trick up their sleeve." Like she does.
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    Acquiring Assets

    Kleris hesitates for a second, giving them pictures of them all would make it easy for the Midnighters to hunt them down... but they had already been down there as a group and been seen by probably a dozen of them or so. Also at least two of the group were high profile so getting an image of them probably wouldn't be difficult. He shrugs and then places his hand on the table palm up, he then proceeds to make a small illusioned figure the size of a mug and proportional in every way to the specifications that everyone gave him.

    Really it was just his own persona and Gryphons fake identity that were the different ones. He then proceeds to give the identity information the others had given to him, filling the dragonshard with the relevant info. He didn't have a name for Arimart so he just went with a generic half elf name that would hopefully fit.

    After everything is said and done he raises an eyebrow at the women "If that is everything then I believe its time for me to settle up. How much is this going to cost me?"

    As he is mentally tallying how much he will be spending on the identities he has another thought, the Midnighters must have their ears to the ground in the docks area. As he hands over the payment he pulls out an extra few gold pieces "I'm sure you are all pretty busy, you especially with the papers your making, but maybe if you could pass this along to some of your friends? I'm looking for some information and/or rumors in regards to the string of disappearances going down in the docks area. That guide that went missing, some others too. If you could get some of your colleagues to look into it and maybe stop by here to pass things along? My second would be able to handle the payment for such information if anyone does feel like taking up the offer."
    "Facilis Descensus Averni." - Virgil, The Aeneid

    ďWhy would I want to win anything other than a beautiful game?Ē - Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man's Fear


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    You've spent enough time around the rest of your crew to know their faces by memory, and in some cases enough to alter the details to fit disguises you imagine actors like Gryphon to be capable of. As you conjure each of the phantasmal images for the desired papers, Opal mutters an incantation and there is a brief flash from the tip of the wand. One by one, each illusion is siphoned away into the device, which takes on a slight glow close to the handle. Once that's been done, Opal hears you out as you list the dates and places of birth for each of the aliases and makes sure to copy the information into the dragonshard. The entire process takes perhaps ten minutes in total, and the Midnighter doesn't raise an eyebrow at any of the requests or images shown. The moment it's finished, she downs the rest of her drink and is about to stand when you mention the docks.

    "Well," she slouches back down, "I don't know if I'm the one you want, but I can ask the boss to task some people to look into it. We aren't the only ones in that game - the city's too big for one crew to cover it all - but it'll cost you. We're not in the business of ratting out our competitors, but if it's not related to any big names we can check it out. We charge by the hour, 15 galifars."


    Gathering Info

    Sterling nods in implicit agreement with Kett's opening assessment, and sends one of the dwarven comrades down the hall to douse the torches in the cell and then come back. After a minute they do so, detailing how they held out a hand in the dark and had the prisoner guess the number of fingers held up several times in quick succession; the individual was still quite delirious, but was able to successfully guess every time.

    "Not a shapeshifter, then," concludes the warforged sergeant. "I speak for Thrane when I say that this man will be tried, and swiftly. The faster you can get in and get what you need, the better - my choice would be to go with the first method, but since this may be your case I will defer to the opinion of the prosecutor. Sir Kaessel, what is your mind on the matter?"


    Buying a Present

    The gnome raises his eyebrows at the sudden creation of the fan, but does not opt to comment. Instead, he listens patiently to the specifications of your demand for a few heartbeats, mulling over what's been said. He tilts his head, as though about to ask you a follow up question, before shaking it to himself as though you weren't there. Suddenly, he turns around and screams over his shoulder: "TILLY! Get your thrice-damned arse in here and bring the storming egg with you."

    Rubbing his hands together, Craigh looks up eagerly at you. "Oh, you'll like this sir. I think this will be right up your alley, if you don't mind my saying so. Glad to see another enlightened chap around these parts, don't know what all the fuss is about the Twelve and their experiments. Progress is progress; someone's going to do it eventually, why not make a bit of coin while you're at it?"

    Eventually, one of the nearby bushes rustles and a towering figure emerges. The woman is tanned and boasts more than a few scars on her sleeveless, muscular arms, but what you notice right away is the silver-azure glowing dragonmark emblazoned on her left wrist: a Mark of Handling, by the looks of it. She carries a roughly ovoid object the size of a watermelon under one arm that remains wrapped up in a cloth, and although she speaks to you her attention never strays from the parcel. "Sorry sirs. You seen a fully grown thunderbird? M'cousins down in Gatherhold trekked out to the plains to find nests. They got a wingspan of ten to twelve feet when full grown, easy-like and they're good for a shock'r two. Need a strong hand, but they'll imprint on whoever they see when they come out of the egg."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
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  27. - Top - End - #507
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    Seeing the egg, Gryphonís eyes momentarily glaze over as he imagines squadrons of skullcrusher ogre lancers devastating battlefields from atop thunderbird mounts. He rapidly snaps back to attention and nods in approval at the womanís comments.

    Whatever they want to charge you for that egg, itís gonna be too much. Especially because youíre not even gonna eat that damn thing! If youíre gonna to haggle with him, come from the angle of bringing fame to his shop. How much business could he be getting currently?

    Smiling placidly at both the human and the gnome, Gryphon engages the two of them simultaneously.

    Mr. Craigh, Ms. Tilly, I have little doubt that egg houses a bird as charming as it is sizable. It will without a doubt be the perfect gift for the young Lady Layla, Daughter of Lord iríSencriss. You know, just this week she announced her intention to become an adventurer. With the gift of a creature like this, one neednít be a diviner to see that sheíll end up a good sturdy Ranger.

    Obviously, that will mean a need for a deeper understanding of exotic fauna, more trips from her and her father to the various sensational kennels of Throneport (although it seems this is the only one in the city, I suppose theyíll end up needing to make regular excursions here).

    10í-12í wingspan when fully grown; is that what you said, Ms. Tilly? Such spectacular animals, Thunderbirds, and having the egg presented by the Hero, Sir Arimart Kaessel. I mentioned that earlier, didnít I? Iím just a humble errand-boy gathering a present for my friend to bring to tomorrow nightís grand soirťe.

    I shanít wonder that such an opulent present being given by such a noble hero will cause quite a ripple among High Society. I hope your store can hassle the flurry of business thatíll no doubt result, after ever little Lord and Lady sees this gift and decides they want a magical beast of their own.

    Ah, but the two of you are so patient to listen to me ramble like this, Iím sure you both have quite a bit of work to do to prepare for the forthcoming wave of business that shall undoubtedly be surging into your tropical abode. Let us talk finances.

    Sir Kaessel is a paladin, of course, and he has no desire to see me act profligate with his funds. That Artificer fellow, in the Brelish quarter, whatís his name? díCannith something, I believe; he offered me one of those Steel Defender automatons, that can defend and attack and are designed to look like dogs, you know the sort; for 300gp. Iíd hate to bring that to the party, however. You just know how kids are with dogs, itís the sort of gift that will lead the young woman to becoming an artificer, and Iíve always been the sort to support more natural magics rather that things with so many clattery gears.

    What sort of price can you offer me for the egg that will prevent me from being forced to purchase that horrid Cannith robot? I may well be willing to be talked into some other creature you have to offer, but you know how it is with making an impact at a party and the sort of future business it might bring. Iíd hate to show up with something that fails to show off the scope of your operation.



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    Spritz takes the help action, by suggesting an avenue to argue from, and Gryphon makes a Persuasion Check with advantage

    Persuasion Check: (1d20+5)[9]
    Advantage: (1d20+5)[6]
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    As the Warforged speaks, Arimart nods to him "Yes, it makes sense starting from there, although I fear that if he was ready to get himself killed he may be equally ready to ignore the safety of his supposed brother. But it is worth a try. Did he have documents on him?"

    As he asks this, the paladin starts walking toward the room where the captive is kept.

    "Let's get inside. Kett, I suppose you want to have some 'fun' with him. Lead on."
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    Kett Collier
    Human Shadow Monk/Rogue
    AC: 19 HP: 52/52
    PP: 19 PIv: 13 PIs: 13
    Conditions: Darkvision (~4 hours?), 3/6 Ki Remaining
    Concentrating: --

    She gives a short nod, and indeed leads the way into the interrogation room where the man is "waiting". She gives two claps to get his attention before dragging a chair to sit a few feet away from him, making sure to scrape the legs against the floor for a markedly long time. "You're in an unfortunate position," she begins. Her voice has lost its smug, confident edge that she'd had when chasing him. She's traded it for gentle, conciliatory, and patient tone. Almost motherly. One she's familiar with, though with Lia more than interrogating prisoners. "The people out there are pretty upset that you killed their comrade." She holds out her right hand and generates the image of the brother - almost identical to the bloodied man in front of her, albeit with the differences spotted earlier. She maintains it, making sure it's directly in his eyeline, bridging the gap between them, so that only half of her face is visible behind it. A striking image, one full of malicious promise belied by her tender voice. "By accounts this man is an accomplice to the death of a loyal, upstanding citizen in service of the city. At best he faces lashes, a brand and jail. At worst, he faces execution, same as you. And that's if they find him before I do." She leaves it up to the man - and Sterling and Arimart, for that matter - to imagine the promise left in those words. She had made the tail, she had dodged the tail and ambushed them in return, she had chased him and caught him. The superiority of skills was clear, and being the hunter instead of the hunted would only exacerbate that. But she hadn't said she would do anything. Not yet.

    "So, first I'll tell you what I want. Then you tell me what you want. And we'll see if we can't find some way to make this work, shall we?" Kett sits back in her chair and lets the image drop, crossing one leg over the other and resting her hands on her knee. Back straight, posture professional. "I would like you to convince us to recommend to the people outside that we don't need to track down your...brother, I assume? My friend here holds considerable sway with the Magistrates." She gestures offhandedly to Arimart, but doesn't look at him. Indeed she seems intent on keeping the man's focus on her and her alone. "And if we're going to make a recommendation, I'll need to believe that your 'brother' doesn't know anything that you've not already told us."

    "So, those are my cards on the table, so to speak. Lets work on what you would like now." Another small gesture, inviting him to speak.
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    Gathering Info

    The room is precisely as you expected: barely more than a cell of start stone, save for a wooden table and a few chairs. Thanks to your abilities you have no need for any light sources, and in fact the other guards haven't put any in, so the only illumination comes from the tiny barred window, creating a single corridor of flickering orange that plays eerie patterns across the hewn floor. Sterling positions themselves by the door on one side of that divide, giving the two of you the space you need to do your work.

    The half elf sitting across from Kett doesn't show any fear at the tactics displayed here. Dripping wet from being awakened, he fails to make eye contact initially, but when he raises his head there is nothing there but resolve. He regards the image set before him dispassionately. "He's not my brother," he replies with a curl of his lip. "And you just confirmed that you don't have him. Otherwise, you'd have gone for the bluff. You won't torture me, not with the likes of these two in the room. I'm being held for crimes committed on Thrane soil, and the Code of Galifar is pretty clear: I'm to be taken before a local magistrate and asked to accept or refuse their ruling, at which point the case goes to a trial before a jury of my peers. Nowhere in that process does any intrusion to my person - physical, magical, or psychological - enter into the account. If it is, any Sivis defender can argue for coercion, and I'll walk free."

    He then waves a hand in Arimart's vague direction. "The prosecutor here can confirm all of this."


    Buying a Present

    Your pitch to the storeowner and his Vadalis attendant is measured, well-crafted, and eloquently stated. It also unfortunately falls on rather deaf ears, as Craigh promptly waves his hands in front of you to stop before you can even fully finish speaking. "Enough, enough! Don't know any of the folk you're talking about sonny, and I wouldn't much care if I did. Price for this here egg's going to be two large, paid up front with no exceptions. I don't do loans, discounts, or payment plans -nobody in the Banking Guild has ever done a day's honest work in their lives. If my pappy taught me anything, it was never trust a dwarf!"

    Letting out a deep breath, the gnome adjusts his goggles and gives you another once over. "We can't have you going to those Cannith hacks. If you want something a little less pricey, should have just spoken plain when you first walked in. I got just the thing for a tot." Raising one finger to dismiss Tilly, Craigh disappears behind a rocky outcropping before returning after a minute with a small crate that shakes slightly. You hear a faint mewling sound from within as the gnome places it down in front of you, and a small black wet snout presses itself up against the grille.

    "This here's Jaunt. He's only a few weeks old, got him special from a kennel. He's a blink dog puppy, a fae creature with some of that Thelanis lineage. They don't grow into their powers until the six month mark, but they're smart and easy to train. I'll let you take him off my hands for 400 galifars, how about that?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
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    "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it."

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