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Thread: Chapter Three: Another One Bites the Dust

  1. #1
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    Default Chapter Three: Another One Bites the Dust



    Korman accepts the flag from the eccentric bard without really seeing it, instead recalling the face of Yasmin the tiefling Sarenrae priestess who had spared him a fatal streetgang beating and taken him to her mission at St. Caspian’s to recover. How serene she’d looked every time she tilted her gazelle horned red brow up to the sun.



    His determination is renewed to pry her from the clutches of the vile and morbidly flabby half-orc druglord Boss Croat. That is, assuming his drow poisoner lackey in the Umbral Market had not been bluffing about her being imprisoned and starved in utter darkness.

    The ranger recites the incantation “Ando Avathar,” and as before his elven blood from his mother is strong enough to engage the portal. His mother who, he reflects, was taken too soon in the massacre of his village by the raving cultists of Rovagug. Some of whom might even have ended up in Riddleport as he had…and may be there still.

    If the portal to the Umbral Market on the Plane of Shadow had resembled an oval black glass mirror, this new portal resembles a porthole overlooking a foamy blue green sea and ringed by tiny replicas of the Cyphergate cinderblocks.

    They pass through and step onto a rocky shoreline steeped in the crash and sharp salty tang of waves. To one side beneath the darkening grey sky stretches a ramshackle city of muddy roads and soggy wooden structures lit by hanging gas hurricane lamps.



    To the other side in the far distance looms a secluded and abandoned looking, crumbling tower emitting yellowed light at the glass bubble of its pinnacle. The sight brings back a rush of memories for Ulvenn and Bel who lived there briefly trying to learn arcane crafting methods from the disgraced Chelaxian wizard Memnok.




    One night they had caught Memnok amid the usual disarray of calipers and papers that might be covered in red ink or blood, conversing with some gaunt phantom in tattered robes. He’d tried to pass it off as a harmless domovoi house spirit from his homeland, but his apprentices knew better.




    Now they feel a sense that whatever inhabits Memnok’s tower in his absence since his arrest and disappearance, it likely isn’t remotely human. Whether he deserves it or not after how he used and deceived them, the pair have made up their minds to find out what became of him.

    The companions study the map of Riddleport from Rhodal/Virren. Lucianna zeroes in on the cyphermage district where she will find Samaritha Beldusk to help her on her quest. She has yet to decide whether to enlist the others’ aid and the bard had merely encouraged her to use her best judgment on that point.

    Bel and Ulvenn and Korman mentally note the sites they have visited before. Although an important one for the Shoanti does not appear on any map---it is Korman’s father’s hunting cabin, where he hid the orphans misused by Croat. It is tempting to go there, but what if he were recognized and followed?




    Questions hang in the air of where to head and whether they ought to stick together with dusk fast approaching. Someone must convey their two prisoners to the fortress housing the garrison and prison straightaway, and their stomachs are starting to rumble for dinner thanks to Bello’s accursed spores and must be fed. But afterward numerous possibilities beckon…


    OOC:

    Decisions/discussion about where to go? Feel free to review new Planner for the major sites and what PCs know about them. It is not even a COMPLETE list but I don't want to overwhelm. Minor locations and NPCs will be recognizable along the way too.

    Also feel free to roll Perception checks...
    Last edited by magrat4; 03-06-2018 at 08:54 AM.

  2. #2

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    On their way to the gate Ulvenn fills in the party on the boss lords unapologetically. If they didn't know what kind of life he had lived by now they needed to open their eyes, and he wasn't going to save their opinions of him when information on the boss lords could help them, or protect them, in their efforts here.

    Ulvenn is unwilling, however, to take the prisoners to the jail. While he may not be known by face as The Wolf here, its possible he could be recognized from his time before being an assassin and mercenary... Which was still not an entirely moral living.



  3. #3

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    Korman looks around and breathes in the familiar scent of Riddleport, though awful compared to the woods it hasn't dulled is sense of smell - though that is a sense that has been boosted on initiation into his wolven clan. He nods at Ulvenn's confessions and takes a look at the man in a whole new light. "It is strange to be back, I feel now more than ever a sense of dread on entering this city."

    Mak has an extremely hard time believing so many people could live in so smelly a place. "It smells horrible here, like death." Korman only replies with, "No, just like Riddleport."

    OOC

    HAHA! Alright, let's get these perception checks a-goin'. Korman takes 20 for a total 38 perception. Mak actually rolls. Authentic Forum Dice-rollMak - (d20+6) [19]

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    Thanks to Ulvenn, before they ever set foot in Riddleport the group has a sense of the rampant crimes in Riddleport and who is likely to profit from each type. They know the eight crimelords, whom the retired pirate Overlord Gaston Cromarcky apparently tolerates operating in his city, right down to their faces, their bases, their hierarchy, and their rivalries and alliances.




    Ulvenn knows a bit about each of their capps too, the highest ranking cronies, and a lesser lackey here and there but such positions are usually not held for long since jockeying for position often comes with a knife in the back. Rather than pass on outdated information he can point the capps out if he spies familiar faces.

    As to why the crimelords should have free reign, perhaps there are bribes paid as a kind of tithe, or perhaps the Overlord merely prefers dealing with organized crime he can monitor---or he just doesn't give a fig. It is shocking that anyone would tolerate a nest of wererats like the one supposedly led by Ziphras. But it may be that their nature or their location is considered unsubstantiated rumor...or else confrontation carries too great a risk of infection.

    A heavily fortified and guarded compound like Boss Croat's could not go unnoticed in a city this size, though it's conceivable he claims to the authorities that some legitimate concern goes on within its walls. Infiltrating Fort Gnash, assuming that is where they will find Yasmin, will require careful planning and staging. It is helpful to know which crimelords are likely to come to Croat's aid (none), which ones would almost certainly do the opposite (Avery Slyeg and Shorafa Pamodae), and which would be indifferent (the rest). Unfortunately they must concede that there's no guarantee the city gendarmes would be of assistance if they were told of the priestess' kidnapping, particularly since the new arrivals have no proof to back their claim.

    Near their position Ulvenn scours for signs of any creature's presence or passage, or anything else out of the ordinary. He notices nothing special.

    Korman examines the area closely and discovers two things. One is a half buried gas lamp about ten feet away in the tall grass that appears to be lit with tiny flame. The other is a sprinkling of fine glittering dust in the mud.




    OOC:

    EDIT: Knowledge (Dungeoneering OR Nature) on dust?



    P.S. Korman and Mak...rofl
    Last edited by magrat4; 03-07-2018 at 06:41 PM.

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    Korman identifies the shimmery grains as diamond dust. He recalls the diamond dust vials on the gloves used by Damir that were meant to shatter and blind an opponent, but he's also vaguely aware from talking to the Dreamspeaker that diamond dust can be useful as a component in a variety of spells. If the latter is the reason for the diamond dust, it could indicate a spellcaster was in the area recently.

    Bel points at the tower in the distance, frowning thoughtfully, and mentions Memnok to the others for the first time. "That spooky tower is were Memnok used to live, the one who tried to teach me and Ulvenn arcane crafting techniques. I say 'tried' because by the time we were apprenticed, something had greatly diminished his magic...and his patience. I am fairly certain he does not live there now. And I think I would not like to meet the new occupants unless I were well armed. Not exhausted, as I am now from dealing with these criminals." She gestures to Frek and Vanya, still bound and slumped against the back of her cart.

    "Toward the end of our apprenticeship I believe Memnok was contacting some highly sinister beings trying to bargain for powers and favors. But if we confronted him, he lied about it. It would be foolish to go anywhere near the tower until we are well rested and prepared."
    She looks to Korman who is studying something on his palm. "But I think we owe Korman's sun priestess a rescue from that gang boss, first."

    "There are a few places in town we could stay the night after we drop these two at the garrison."
    Bel points to different inns on the Riddleport map. "Across the arch is the Cypher Lodge run by cyphermages studying the Cyphergate, but though it's the closest that would not be my first choice." She brushes away thoughts of the Speaker's persistent and unwelcome attentions to her. "The next closest is the Publican House which is also a temple of Cayden Cailean. And two blocks from that and a bit closer to the garrison is the Mysteria Inn. It's very pleasant and always full of interesting people, scholars and treasure seekers of all kinds. Well, some of us could stay the night there..."

    The elven aasimar looks apologetically at the hippogriff and brine dragon and worg. "I am afraid we would not be able to enter a crowded city openly with companions as daunting in appearance to ordinary folk as Astirax or Svidhogg, and perhaps not even you, Mak. Harmony welcomed us all because we shared a reputation as their heroes. We will not find that reception here."

    The others cast their gazes over the dirty city, the rune carved Cyphergate, the choppy water, the tall grass and thick mud all around, the far off derelict tower, and everywhere. Their thoughts are distant and nothing of immediate interest snares their attention.


    OOC:

    GM borrowing cohort to move us along a bit, try to spark some dialogue.

    Anyone else making Perception checks? Oh heck I need to try to move this forward a bit, I'll roll them

    Mammon Authentic Forum Dice-roll(d20+6) [9]
    Bel Authentic Forum Dice-roll(d20+1) [19]
    Hakon Authentic Forum Dice-roll(d20+8) [9]
    Lucianna Authentic Forum Dice-roll(d20+8) [19]

    And why not Syriaax Authentic Forum Dice-roll(d20+10) [15]
    Svidhogg Authentic Forum Dice-roll(d20+10) [13]

    EDIT: Nobody else sees anything new.

    Flint making a Disable Device check (d20+22) ?
    Last edited by magrat4; 03-08-2018 at 02:25 PM.

  6. #6

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    Flint has little business in Riddleport himself, but isn't willing to part from the group just yet. Following along he notices a trap and using experience and more than a tad of magical help attempts to neutralize the threat before a member of his party can be harmed.

    ooc
    rolled a 39 disable check in ooc

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayson Tagger View Post
    Flint has little business in Riddleport himself, but isn't willing to part from the group just yet. Following along he notices a trap and using experience and more than a tad of magical help attempts to neutralize the threat before a member of his party can be harmed.

    ooc
    rolled a 39 disable check in ooc

    Without a word Flint sets to work disrupting the rune by identifying its starting point (which is a fraction darker than the rest of it) and carefully erasing that point's connection to the rest with just the tip of a knife. The lines flare once and fade away.

    Bel looks startled. "What was that, Flint?! Some kind of trap?" She makes a soft exhale of frustration. "If only I had known it was there, I might have identified the spell it was set to trigger. We had better look sharp in case there is another, or the person who set it comes back."

    She glances again at the prisoners. "These troublemakers are tied to my cart, and I have met the Head Warden, Captain Mescher, and would be pleased to do so again. Will anyone come with me? Hakon, you may be needed as a witness to Frek's and Vanya's misdeeds. Mind you, I am not eager to split us up, but half and half might be all right." Her gaze drifts back to the magical creatures. "I hate to leave them outside town either. Any ideas on how we might smuggle them in? My cart isn't big enough to hold Astirax and...well anyone else, simultaneously. Or is there somewhere it might be safe to make camp, if we have the tents or can get them?"


    OOC:

    Flint Disable 39, fantastic. Success to disable glyph of warding.

    I have ideas where you might go or what alliances you might try to call on, but I'm trying to let the PCs come up with their own.
    Last edited by magrat4; 03-08-2018 at 09:01 PM.

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    Mammon steps out onto the sand and takes in the scene. What he can see from his vantage point indicates only the hustle and bustle of a port city, but knowing even what little he does about the city fills the paladin with dread. He mentally steels himself for their entrance to the den of corruption and lawlessness. "I can escort you to the fortress. I have to admit though, I am less than enthused about spending any more time than necessary here."



  9. #9

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    Flint shrugs, "I don't think I should be meeting with any wardens, I will go with whichever groups don't visit him"

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    Default Chapter Three: Another One Bites the Dust

    As the group makes ground, Hakon takes in a big breath of the damp beach and salty sea. Similar to home but not quite. Memories of home fill his thoughts as he first kneels down and takes a fistful of the sand and run a it through his fingers. He does this to get a sense of the port town and how he could be useful in a strange place. He will be at the mercy of Ulvenn or Bel to help show him around. Then he hears Bel mention about their beastie companions.

    Svidhogg too was distracted by the water. It has been so long since he had swam in its inky depths. Then Hakon snaps him out of it. “Svidhogg it is time to go back into the figurine or you shall cause a scene in the city.” Svidhogg ignores him and jumps into the bay, fulfilling his aching temptation to swim. Hakon does not blame him, he knows the Dragon will be back momentarily. “I will go with you Bel. There will be no need to conceal Svidhogg. He will return momentarily and will be held here in this coral figurine.” Hakon mentions as he holds up the intricately carved coral figuring to look exactly like Svidhogg.

    OOC: Hakon will use the command word to return Svidhogg to the figurine if he dose not return willingly after a few minutes.


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    Last edited by magrat4; 03-09-2018 at 04:37 PM. Reason: added bold

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