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Thread: Chapter Four: Are There Any Bad Seeds?

  1. Default

    Shade refrains from commenting on Casper's wanted poster for now. If he wishes to keep his real identity from her, then she can respect that. After all, she's no stranger to having a past best kept behind her--and out of polite conversation. As long as he takes care to hide his face when they leave here so no one else will connect him to the wanted poster as she had, she sees no reason to raise the subject.

    Besides, her head is already spinning as the flood of new information merges with what she already knows.

    "Mr. Zlatnik--or the canine traveling with him---was poisoned with an herb meant to incapacitate, not kill. It is often favored by cultists for weakening a victim intended for human sacrifice. I was told that just before his death, Mr. Zlatnik was after a play written by Rhodal, a play that heavily featured Rovagug the Devourer.

    "He was very interested in a blueprint of the bard college called the Kitharodian Academy where Rhodal's last script was auctioned off, and a blueprint of the House of Immortal Son opera house, the owner of which was said to hold the winning bid--but never collected the script. I was told a team had been sent after the script, and I had planned to speak with Rhodal's butler to see if any progress had been made by that team. I had believed that Mr. Zlatnik ran afoul of Rovagug's cult while pursuing the script, and they'd intended to sacrifice him."

    She looks to Lady Weslen. "You said Mr. Zlatnik got in the crate with the intention of smuggling himself out of the Umbral Market. Do you know anything about how he came to be drugged? Did he seem to be fleeing anyone in particular?" A frown marred the skin between her brows. "And you mentioned a half-elf ranger witnessed the murder. The murder of Mr. Zlatnik or the murder of Duffy the bard? And do you know where we might begin searching for him?"

    Her brain clicked and whirred as it processed information, demanded more. Always more information. She glances at Ulven and Casper. "You mention that you have business in Oppara. May I ask what it is?"
    Last edited by magrat4; 03-21-2020 at 07:49 PM.

  2. #12

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    Ulvenn's features harden for a half moment as the woman begins into his own business, but it passes so quickly that any but the most observant would assume they imagined it. He considers silently that there are a few things of business in Oppara beyond finding Siri which is more likely her concern. His first words carry just the hint of a bark over his usual softness, "We have a delivery for a contact, and a job for Lady Weslen which is her business to tell you," he says not actually knowing himself what he's tasked with... Although until he has reason to Shade doesn't need to be informed, "But I'm in the business of not sharing my client's information... The barking dog gets a boot, the silent stray gets scraps."

    He thinks over Shade's own choice of words, "You're looking for Rhodal's butler? Rhodal is a friend of a friend. What interest do you have in his play?" Ulvenn asks, silent to the fact that the very play currently sits in his own bag.

    He also speaks to Ashlan and Lady Weslen, "While it is dangerous for such a foul weapon to reside in the hands of that vile merchant prince, the bee doesn't fight every being that nears its hive, waiting only for some provocation to attack as a swarm. So do you have informants looking for more information or will you need us to shed light on that before carrying out such an operation?" Its interesting how quickly the Ulfen warrior switches from analogy and metaphor to the crisp clean language of an agent


  3. Default

    Shade's opinion of her new companions shifts with each new piece of information, each new tone of voice and changed expression. Ulvenn is less ameniable to an alliance than she'd at first thought. Not so easygoing. She dismisses an urge to proceed on her own without the new alliance as quickly as she has it. Wisdom comes with age and experience, and Shade is far too old and far too experienced to pass up the chance at help when it presents itself. This is a new world to her, but to Ulvenn and Casper, it is home. Close to home if Casper's Taldan accent is anything to go by. And so she lifts her chin, and opens her expression. If someone needed to get the ball rolling on forming a party, then she could be that someone.

    "I believe it was Mr. Zlatnik's pursuit of the script that got him killed. Lady Heidmarch asked me to find out who killed Mr. Zlatnik and turn them over to the proper authorities. I now know that it was this Mr. Splinterbone. But I would like to tell her why he was killed. It would help me to know if Mr. Zlatnik ever succeeded in laying his hands on the script. Perhaps he was killed for it. Or killed because he got too close?"

    She looks from Ulvenn to Casper and back. "It seems Lady Weslen has asked all of us for help. I would welcome an alliance if you are open to one?"
    Last edited by magrat4; 03-21-2020 at 09:53 PM. Reason: added phrase to clarify

  4. #14

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    Ulvenn steps over the question for a moment, and his measured words seem to indicate that he is gauging her response before answering her questions, "You keep mentioning this script... What is so valuable about a play about Rovagug? Why would a cult of a force of destruction care about a play written by one who opposes their object of worship?" More and more Ulvenn was coming to wonder about this script... Siri was currently the primary objective, but what if Rhodal was right about this being an actual global threat... If Shade had more information on it perhaps that would be useful.

    "Regardless of your interest in the play, more hands could certainly help if we seek to uncover the murder of the Bard," he says, "But although you mention your investigation I know nothing of your own capacities although ours are quite obvious by our weapons and garb." He keeps silent of the fact that he does in fact recognize that she at least fancies herself magical with the conical hat atop her head, but best to learn from the horses mouth.

    ((I promise, not trying to be difficult just trying to establish our teams working together.))
    Last edited by Zeros; 03-21-2020 at 06:53 PM.


  5. Default

    Shade barely keeps her eyebrows in check. "You want...a demonstration? Of my capacities?"

    One hand twitches with the desire to touch the top of her head, make sure her large, pointy, obviously witchy hat is still there. He'd mentioned that he and his companion's weapons and garb gave their capacities away, so she wasn't entirely certain why he didn't trust her traditional garb to do the same?

    Perhaps he realized as she did that garb and weapons could be very misleading. Shade could carry a sword if the urge took her, but it wouldn't say squat about her ability to handle it well. But then if he did understand that, and that was why he'd dismissed her hat, why would he assume she could draw conclusions about their capacities based on similarly potentially-misleading garb and weapons?

    Added to that, her potions and scrolls were tucked away, true, but Lady Heidmarch had loaded her down with magic items and garb. Perhaps her new companions were not trained in the recognition of magic objects? A bit odd, considering their companions.

    "I'm a witch," she said slowly, resisting the urge to point to her very pointy, very large, very witchy hat. "Not a wizard. But if you'd like a flashy demonstration of magic, I suppose I could give you one. But if I'm entirely honest, I would prefer not to waste magic." Or words, she added to herself. But alas...

    "As to the script, I'm afraid what I've told you is the entirety of what I know. Rhodal wrote a script about Rovagug. Mr. Zlatnik wanted the script and was pursuing it when he was killed." She shrugged, unable to think of anything she could say to convince the young man that she'd been up front about everything she knew.

    She considered emphasizing her desire to work together, but didn't. She'd been clear about her willingness and desire to team up. It was up to them now.

  6. #16

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    Ulvenn thinks back on Luci's request, or perhaps more accurately demand, that they find a spellcaster to help them, and now one lands right here... Although admittedly Ulvenn didn't really understand the distinction between a witch or wizard but that's not a major hurdle for him, he wasn't really sure what Luci really qualified as anyways.

    Ulvenn relaxes a little, after all she apparently has more motivation than his own (save his seeking after Siri of course), but if he takes her at her word she wants to work together... 'I wonder if she would still want to work with us if she knew who I am...' he chuckles a little bit, "Its always hard to tell 'selfless' people's motivations, and I'm not used to working with such. After all, the Wolf will grin right in your face before tearing it off but a buttefly's menacing spots hide their innocence," He halts a moment, torn between his desire to find Siri and alternatively working with this new companion to solve a murder that he frankly has no stakes in... "If we were to work together, do you think you could track down the actual murderer? I have no need of making more enemies than necessary right now and don't want to waste resources going after the wrong villain."


  7. Default That's what she said...

    Shade nods with all due confidence, encouraged that they seemed to be taking positive steps toward an alliance. "As you yourself heard Lady Weslen say, there were two witnesses who saw Zantog's second in command Mr. Splinterbone break Mr. Zlatnik's neck. I have to tell you, I dream of murder investigations with not one eyewitness, but two."
    Last edited by magrat4; 03-21-2020 at 09:51 PM.

  8. #18

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    "You said Mr. Zlatnik got in the crate with the intention of smuggling himself out of the Umbral Market. Do you know anything about how he came to be drugged, assuming the odor Annett mentioned came from him and not the dog? Did he seem to be fleeing anyone in particular?" A frown mars the skin between her brows. "And you mentioned a half-elf ranger witnessed the murder. The murder of Mr. Zlatnik or the murder of Duffy the bard? And do you know where we might begin searching for him?"
    Lady Weslen shakes her head and struggles to answer all the questions in order, and doesn't quite manage it. "I never opened the crate or laid eyes on Mr. Zlatnik. I can tell you nothing of whom he was hiding from. This ranger witnessed Mr. Zlatnik's murder, not Duffy's, and he could be anywhere on the Material Plane. You may however talk to the other witness, Blue the raven whose master Aleph sells spells in the main bazaar."


    [GM NOTE: Meta-knowledge, you CANNOT talk to the half-elven ranger witness, only to Blue the raven. The ranger was a PC whose player quit the game, his PC is written out of the story and gone far away.]


    She pauses, thinking quickly. "If Mr. Zlatnik was drugged, I have no knowledge of it. If it was the crate's other companion, the guard dog, who was drugged, then the person who might be able to shed light on that subject is Philossith. He---"

    Syriaax's ears flatten and the pseudodragon hisses like a cat at the name "Philossith."

    Jack the almiraj's reaction is similarly antagonistic, baring his teeth and rearing up on his hind legs to make himself taller. When he does so he exposes a grotesquely scarred underbelly with lots of fur missing, as though some mad vivisectionist plied his cruel trade.

    Flint/Casper suddenly has extra reason to be glad he tampered with the lock on Jack's cage, among others, at Philossith's booth.

    Their hostess finishes slowly, "--he is a lizardfolk, and the only rare animal dealer in the main bazaar of the Umbral Market. And he is a scoundrel, though that is putting it lightly."


    "You mention that you have business in Oppara. May I ask what it is?"

    "We have a delivery for a contact, and a job for Lady Weslen which is her business to tell you," he says not actually knowing himself what he's tasked with... Although until he has reason to Shade doesn't need to be informed, "But I'm in the business of not sharing my client's information..."

    "You're looking for Rhodal's butler? Rhodal is a friend of a friend. What interest do you have in his play?"
    Ulvenn asks, silent to the fact that he has it in his possession.

    The wtich explains, "I believe it was Mr. Zlatnik's pursuit of the script that got him killed. Lady Heidmarch asked me to find out who killed Mr. Zlatnik and turn them over to proper authorities. I now know that it was this Mr. Splinterbone. But I would like to tell her why he was killed. It would help me to know if Mr. Zlatnik ever succeeded in laying his hands on the script. Perhaps he was killed for it. Or killed because he got too close?"
    Ulvenn addresses Lady Weslen, "While it is dangerous for such a foul weapon to reside in the hands of that vile merchant prince, the bee doesn't fight every being that nears its hive, waiting only for some provocation to attack as a swarm. So do you have informants looking for more information or will you need us to shed light on that before carrying out such an operation?"
    Lady Weslen replies, "Our best theory is that Duffy the halfling herald of our Shining Quarter was killed by means of a soul-eating sword. I would like someone to confirm Zantog holds such a sword. I would also like confirmation that if he does, it has not left his possession since yesterday afternoon."

    She massages her temple. "I have one potential informant who has visited the arena recently, but I do not trust him. The difficulty is that my people, that is, the fetchlings and the various Shining Quarter merchants and the staff of the Dozing Dragon Inn, do not associate with the Gambling Quarter on principle. And everyone knows it. So I need investigators who could visit the Gambling Quarter and even Zantog's vile arena without arousing suspicion."

    "Lady Weslen won't let any of the Shining Quarter regulars get our hands or names in the muck,"
    Ashlan paraphrases with open bitterness. "Not even those willing to assume the risks because we see the necessity of it. Not even those with a past that would make such undercover work easier."

    A past...that is certainly a concept that the witch and both sellswords can relate to only too well.

    Ashlan's superior looks pained but doesn't deny it.

    Shade speaks up, "It seems Lady Weslen has asked all of us for help. I would welcome an alliance if you are open to one?"
    Ulvenn steps over the question for a moment, and his measured words seem to indicate that he is gauging her response before answering her questions, "You keep mentioning this script... What is so valuable about a play about Rovagug? Why would a cult of a force of destruction care about a play written by one who opposes their object of worship?"

    "Regardless of your interest in the play, more hands could certainly help if we seek to uncover the murder of the Bard,"
    he says, "But although you mention your investigation I know nothing of your own capacities although ours are quite obvious by our weapons and garb."
    "I'm a witch," she said slowly, resisting the urge to point to her very pointy, very large, very witchy hat. "Not a wizard. But if you'd like a flashy demonstration of magic, I suppose I could give you one. But if I'm entirely honest, I would prefer not to waste magic." Or words, she added to herself. But alas...

    "As to the script, I'm afraid what I've told you is the entirety of what I know. Rhodal wrote a script that somehow concerns the worshipers Rovagug. Mr. Zlatnik wanted the script and was pursuing it when he was killed."
    It strikes Shade suddenly that Ulvenn recently said "Rhodal IS a friend of a friend." Present tense.

    The rather cryptic exchange between their respective guests has the fetchlings looking uncomfortable. Lady Weslen ventures, "Perhaps if we gave you privacy you would feel more comfortable discussing your respective commissions and clients? And how your goals might overlap and an alliance might benefit all, even just a temporary one to get justice for Duffy?"

    There's a knock at the far door, in a distinctive pattern. Then another fetchling sticks her head in. "Matron Chazserae the drow to see you, Lady Weslen. She came to offer condolences for the herald's death, she says."

    "I'll bet,"
    Ashlan growls.

    Lady Weslen communicates with the constructs in the odd machine language. Then she announces in *Taldane, "Please excuse me a moment? I will trust you to wait here, but I did feel it necessary to instruct my contructs not to let anyone use the Oppara Gate until I return. It is not you I am worried about, believe me."

    She exits the room, flanked at the front and back by golden golems, with Ashlan close behind.

    Ashlan turns around before closing the door. "Obviously the drow can't be trusted. They'll know we're on a skeleton crew here while most of our people attend Duffy's wake. As I've said, this Gate is our most precious asset. I suggest you get ready to defend yourselves and the Gate in case someone tries to force their way in?"

    The fetchling lieutenant seems strangely confident of her warning, almost as if the Gate has been the subject of attack before.


    OOC:

    Please feel free to post dialogue replies to things that have been said? Basically use the "quotes" function to keep the flow straight?

    But the last few paragraphs of this post will need their own reply---consider this a warning you should take the equivalent of TWO ROUNDS (which is 12 seconds) to prepare for battle.

    So you have some time to get a defense or weapon ready, and move closer to the door if you wish to do it, but don't take a whole lot of actions like you have all the time in the world?
    Last edited by magrat4; 03-21-2020 at 10:55 PM. Reason: verbs

  9. Default

    Shade glances at Ulvenn as his use of present tense fights its way to the front of her brain. "You said Rhodal IS a friend of a friend. I'm sorry if this is the first you're hearing of it...but Rhodal has passed away. Lady Heidmarch indicated it was old age, and he passed away in bed at home--someone's home--surrounded by friends."

    Ashlan's warning echoes in Shade's ears, and she flexes her stomach and arms, reassuring herself with the weight of the Cushioning Corset & Sleek Armor Sleeves that Lady Heidmarch loaned to her. Magic warms her insides as she flexes her fingers, ready to throw a spell if necessary. She also lifts the flap of the pouch at her waist and slips one hand inside. "Bizbee, the Rod of Echoing Spells?"

    [OOC: Shade readies Stricken Heart spell: Attack [roll]d20+0[/roll] Spell Resistance [roll]d20+14[/roll]
    Shade draws Rod of Echoing Spells]

    Behind her neck, Peasblossom squirms and readies Scruff's Band.
    Last edited by magrat4; 03-21-2020 at 10:55 PM. Reason: verbiage, sorry I know the names are too close together

  10. Default *&^$^*

    Can't add rolls in editing. Someday I will remember that ^%$#^%&* fact.

    [OOC: Shade readies Stricken Heart spell: Attack Authentic Forum Dice-roll(d20+0) [11] Spell Resistance Authentic Forum Dice-roll(d20+14) [26]
    Shade draws Rod of Echoing Spells]

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