View Full Version : Julien's Diamond [IC]

2012-11-17, 02:06 PM
Tale of King Julien

It is well known that to the North lie the monsters. Horrible, grotesque beasts and sorcerers and wizards who call upon hellish spawn. Today, it is a wasteland, where they prowl in unorganized swarms and fight amongst each other. But this was not always the way. Once, they were legion, and they were united, under the foul Sorcerer King Archimago.

Archimago marched his foul hordes to the south, were he burnt and pillaged the innocent villagers and farmers, leveling strongholds and slaughtering knights. The barons and dukes could not respond appropriately, for they had no king. Archimago's forces reached the walls of the capitol of Valeria, Calaspia. But as he stood poised to destroy the way of life of the south, a man rode out and single handedly turned the tide of battle. The man was Julien, a man who wrought magic not with words, but with his blade. Archimago retreated, and Julien united the squabbling nobles under his own banner and defeated the sorcerer king for good.

King Julien reigned for a decade longer, before passing away and leaving the royal, eternally just House of Pryden ruling the now united kingdom. It is to King Julien whom we all owe our independence and liberty. He saved us all.

The players have been wandering for some time now, uneventfully. In a few hours, they'll arrive at the walled town of Shelm. It's not a busy place, but rumors of corruption from the archbishop of St. Cuthbert who rules there have spread far and wide. However, presumably the players are only going there with intentions of food and lodging (they will, however, have heard the rumors, and your players motivations are in your hands).

Take a moment to introduce yourselves and your characters.

2012-11-17, 05:03 PM
Bossa sees a familiar midnight furred shape lope out of the forest and come up alongside him.

His first memories of this creature were under the name "Mr. Fuzzy". Although later she claimed this was just "a northern predator whose shape is convenient for travel".

Between one step and the next his old friend left what was, despite her denials, a shape she found prettier than the wolves common in the region.

"Have our friends put forth a plan for peaceful approach?"

Although the tall figure next to him strode along on two legs now, with a long spear bouncing lightly in her right hand, he knew that the large elven eyes and ears under her deep hood clearly marked this as no "human form".

2012-11-17, 06:14 PM
"What plan do we need?" the barbarian asks in a gruff, curt voice. Bossa seems nonplussed by her transformation. It's just something she did for as long as he knew her. When he was younger he thought it was an elf thing, turned out it was a Luna thing. "Walk to the front gate, ask to go in. Invoke sacred hositality if we have to. We are travellers, not bandits."

2012-11-17, 09:53 PM
Movd now, yay!

2012-11-17, 11:07 PM
"Perhaps a song may help?" Ann spoke awaiting for approval form her peers, she was always admirant of Luna's change, it never seemed to stop amazing her, she herself was capable of doing some interesting tricks, but nothing so amazing "with any luck they'd like it and won't bother to pay more attention than needed?"

2012-11-17, 11:19 PM
"I agree with the brute" says the slightly stubbled man, referring to the barbarian, but trying to sound friendly. "I don't think ye' need to do much more than walk in"

2012-11-17, 11:43 PM
"Corrupt priest? This is why I stopped going to church," Flick says trying to lighten the mood and make a joke. "One thing I know about these guys is this: they just brainwash the helpless masses. They're nothing but talk and speeches. We just expose him as a fraud, and the townspeople should turn on him easy enough.

"He probably has hundreds of gold pieces stashed up in his church. You'd better let me identify and appraise any valuables we find."

2012-11-18, 06:47 AM
"Gold? Valuables? My favorite words!" he says with a hearty laugh, but now seriously thinking about the riches to be found.

2012-11-18, 05:50 PM
"Your kind fears admitting foolishness even more than meeting outsiders. I doubt they would respond so well."

2012-11-18, 06:34 PM
"Just remember, the gold might be trapped. You should let me examine any valuables we find first so I can tell you if it's safe to own."

2012-11-18, 07:11 PM
"I stand corrected," Bossa says dryly, "only most of us aren't bandits. That a church-man is corrupt is not new, but you are counting chickens before they are laid. You have a rumor. That's it." He could also tell them there might also not be any treasure, but he's killed their buzz enough today.

2012-11-18, 07:40 PM
"And it's not nice to pre-judge people on rumorus alone" Ann added "I know it from experience. At least wait to have soem first hand experience before making that kind of plans"

2012-11-18, 07:48 PM
I wonder if humans are so obsessed with gems and gold because they wish to connect their brief lives with something more lasting... it's so sad.

Luna mused silently on the nature of humans who had so little time, yet wasted it accumulating things that could not love them back.

2012-11-18, 07:59 PM
"Better to plan for every situation. If this priest is corrupt, he'd wouldn't hesitate to do away with us. I say be prepared and don't let him have the opportunity," Flick says.

2012-11-18, 08:02 PM
"Couldn't we try to lay low for a change? it is easier to stay out of trouble if we don't call the attention so much."

2012-11-18, 08:09 PM
"Don't worry. I'll use my natural charms to learn everything we need to know."

2012-11-18, 08:55 PM
"I like where Half-y over here is going with this" he says, referring to Flick. "Any chance to proliferate plentiful pounds of platinum and gold, is a chance I might take."

2012-11-18, 09:20 PM
"What makes you think he would do away with us? He knows nothing of us. We are not even in the city," Bossa says, being strangely rational for a barbarian. "I also don't like the idea of beating up a church-man and taking his money. Some old, fat man would bring me no challenge. Let's enter the city. We may find a better way of earning than rumors."

2012-11-18, 09:35 PM
The players begin to proceed to the town. However, the walk seems to be taking longer then they expected, and just as they think they're about to arrive, they instead encounter a quaint little house in the middle of a clearing. It's made out of wood, but seems to be well kept. There's a small garden around the front. The door is very slightly ajar.

It should strike the players as a little odd that they came upon such a clearing so suddenly. It seems to them as though it should have been visible from farther away.

2012-11-18, 09:50 PM
Kelsier stops walking immediately. "Hold on 'ere. Something isn't right" he says, clearly suspicious.

2012-11-18, 11:47 PM
"┐Could it be a magic aura?" Ann started focussing her mind while chanting and making gestures in order to sense if anything out of the ordinary emanated from the house (OOC Cast Detect Magic).

2012-11-19, 07:38 AM
"┐Could it be a magic aura?" Ann started focussing her mind while chanting and making gestures in order to sense if anything out of the ordinary emanated from the house (OOC Cast Detect Magic).

You sense some vague wisps of magical energy, but nothing that could really be considered out of the ordinary.

2012-11-19, 07:49 AM
Flick places his hand on his rapier and readies an action to draw it at the first sign of a hostile enemy.

2012-11-19, 07:56 AM
Kelsier pulls his crossbow out and places in a bolt. He slowly moves up to the house, trying to be stealthy, and looks for a window to peer into.

2012-11-19, 11:51 AM
Luna frowns disapprovingly at her companions unseemly concern.

"Treating unknowns as enemies is a good way to make it so."

She walks calmly up to the front door and knocks firmly:
"Hello! Friendly travelers would like to exchange news."

2012-11-19, 12:05 PM
Bossa agrees with Luna's words, just not so much her actions. If he sees something iffy, he'd much rather go around it. Since the team has decided to approach the cabin, he'll have no choice but to err on the side of caution. He draws his club and keeps an appropriate distance. He can rush in if anything bad happens.

2012-11-19, 12:58 PM
Luna repeats her greeting in sylvan.

2012-11-19, 04:32 PM
Kelsier, you peer into what appears as a completely innocent little room, with a fireplace, two rocking chairs, and several tables located low enough that you can guess they are for children. You don't see any signs of people, and the fireplace is dead.

Luna, your firm knocks push the already ajar door slightly further open, though you still cannot see well through the crack. Clearly, whatever room you have opened the doorway into is windowless.

2012-11-19, 04:42 PM
Luna takes a step back from the doorway, plants her spear firmly in the dirt and leans on it.

She is prepared to wait a while for a response, or for her friends to decide to investigate more deeply.

(She has noticed some of them have a great deal of curiosity and very low respect for privacy or ownership.)

2012-11-19, 05:34 PM
Flick, tired of waiting for something to happen, ignores the house and proceeds to continue to town. "Come on. We have a priest to investigate."

2012-11-19, 07:31 PM
To curious to heed Flick, Kelsier signals silently to Luna that it is empty, and moves around to the back of the house, searching for a back entrance.

2012-11-19, 07:42 PM
Noticing no one following him, Flick says "What are you guys doing? This is clearly a trap. Since no one's coming out, they want us to come in so they can ambush us."

2012-11-19, 08:06 PM
"I agree with Flick. Even if it isn't a trap, it's still someone's home. I would not be happy were you to enter mine, so do not enter their's. We should go." Anyone who entered Bossa's home while he was away would have a friendly conversation with his axe blade. He expects the same may be awaiting his friends.

2012-11-19, 09:21 PM
"I concur on us leaving this place alone. We doon't want free enemies, specially by a misunderstanding. I don't want problems. Let's leep moving ahead and respect this person's house"

2012-11-19, 09:26 PM
"Excellent. Let's be off then."

2012-11-20, 07:41 PM
"No need to intrude without an invitation."

Luna starts walking towards the road as well, watching to make sure Kelsier follows after examining the rear of the building.

2012-11-24, 10:04 PM
Flick continues to stand there and contemplates Flick's sexual identity.

2012-12-06, 08:36 AM
Leaving the strange little home behind, the traveling quintet resumes their movement along the road to Shelm. Those who happen to glance behind notice the clearing is not there, seemingly having vanished as quickly as it appeared.

After another hour, the trees begin to give way to rolling pastureland, and brown-spotted cows graze peacefully on the grassy hillsides. The ground slopes gently down toward a river valley, and before long the high grey stone walls of Shelm come into view. Blue paraments hung from the four corner towers waver fitfully beneath the breeze, nearly matching the deep hue of the sparkling waters that roll peacefully by from east to west. A flotilla of fishing vessels is scattered on the slow-moving expanse of the river, participants in the daily grind of commerce that keeps the populace of several thousand souls fed. Beyond the river, lavender-heathered foothills lead up to sparsely grassy mountains, a jagged backdrop separating the nearly cloudless azure sky from the darker waters.

2012-12-06, 09:06 AM
"The green kingdom is majestic, but I pity those who spend a thousand years without going beyond it's leafy walls to enjoy the other sights nature has to offer. Look at those shapes and colors!"

What a magnificent human hive, it's almost like a real city.

2012-12-06, 12:42 PM
Very disappointed at the loss of a potential robbery, Kelsier followed behind Luna. "I may or may not have been there. I was very frequently too drunk to remember where I have visited."

2012-12-06, 05:43 PM
"Nothing like the forest-lands. I feel I may be like a fish out of water here." People and bigger cities were just not Bossa's forte.

2012-12-06, 10:03 PM
"This is my first time on a big city too. We can be out of the water together"

2012-12-07, 09:41 AM
Continuing on the final leg of the journey, the adventurers walk along the open road leading down into the city. The gates are open, and while the mixed group garners a few stares from the peasantry, the guards politely wave the fivesome through into the city proper.

The first thing that strikes new arrivals in Shelm is how narrow the streets are, and how none of them seem to go in one direction for long before twisting around some building and disappearing out of sight. The half-timber structures all seem to loom over the alley-like roads, ready to pounce on unwary passers-by. The smell of hay, dung, livestock, and unwashed humanity hangs heavy in the air, mixed with wood smoke from the chimneys that claw at the sky like stone fingers.

The other pedestrians and carts on the road bump and jostle each other with equianimity, but the adventurers are given a wide berth--likely on account of their weaponry. Only a small girl comes up close. "Gee, you look funny!" she giggles, pointing at Flick's azure locks. Then, as though noticing the hulking barbarian for the first time, she shrieks and scurries off into the crowd.

2012-12-08, 01:56 AM
As the little girl wanders off after laughing at Flick, Flick mutters under his/her breath, "You've made a powerful enemy this day!"

2012-12-08, 11:42 AM
"At least you did not send her away shrieking," Bossa tells Flick. He was not aware he looked so scary to small children. "Let's seek someplace out of the smell and stares. We may be sticking out like a broken thumb."

2012-12-08, 02:54 PM
"I too feel a bit uncomfortable in such a large pack of humans. Perhaps a smaller, more intimate location to observe, do these humans have smoke houses?"

2012-12-08, 04:25 PM
"Yes, we should seek shelter," Flick starts, "before that little girl returns with her minions. This is a new low for me: I'm archenemies with a little girl."

2012-12-08, 08:51 PM
Kelsier laughed heartily at his friends quandries with the town. "Let us find an inn, all of you may feel better there. Especially because an inn means drinks!" Kelsier said, and searched for an inn nearby.

2012-12-08, 11:18 PM
"Let's hurry to get to a more intimate place then. I'm not feeling very comfortable with so much attention, it brings back many bad memories"

2012-12-08, 11:45 PM
"Well, I agree with Kelsier. A bar would be the best place swindle some folks."

2012-12-11, 01:20 PM
With no specific direction in mind, the group wanders up one of the narrow streets, passing under an archway that joins two buildings and turning right to follow up a set of six shallow steps, where the road continues gradually uphill. On the left, a faded wooden sign painted with the symbol of clustered grapes seems as good a place as any.

The door opens noisily, and the room within belches a cloud of thick pipeweed smoke into the clearer air outside. Through the haze, the party makes out a cramped taproom that, were it full, would scarcely leave room to walk between the tables for the smallest traveler. As is, only one table is occupied, and the five men seated there spare only the briefest of glances to the doorway before returning to their pipes and playing cards. The bartender, a bleary-eyed gent in his late thirties with shoulder-length brown hair nearly matching his coarse burlap clothes, offers a faint wave of welcome before taking a rag and wiping out several wooden tankards in anticipation of the new arrivals coming with a thirst.

2012-12-11, 01:32 PM
Luna approaches the solitary barman, eager to interact with a human outside one of their intimidating flocks.

"Could I get a small bowl of fresh grapes, house master?"

2012-12-12, 12:06 AM
"Something to drink as well." Bossa adds. He takes a seat without being prompted a small distance away from the chatting group. He also keeps his eyes on Flick. Flick's mentioned an intent to con people, so Bossa feels the need to watch if it goes to far.

2012-12-12, 07:42 AM
The bartender looks at Luna, befuddled. "You want... fresh grapes? Not pressed? I... well, I can get them for you, but I don't... that is, they're not in season yet." He looks quite relieved to hear Bossa's follow-on request. "Now that, good sir, I can do quite easily." He takes one of the tankards he had "cleaned" and turns to the stacked barrels behind the bar to draw a foaming pint for the big barbarian. As he passes it across the bar, he looks to Luna to see if she is still interested.

2012-12-12, 09:13 AM
"All these buildings and none of them are warmhouses for fresh fruit all year? Do you have preserves to smear on bread, maybe a nice grape tart or sealed juice?"

She had hoped the size of the human warren indicated it was more culturally advanced than Bossa's tribe, but if all they had was spoiled grapes in a specialty grape shop like this she would be quite disappointed.

2012-12-12, 09:26 AM
"A drink for me as well!" he said happily, and looked curiously at Luna, as she desperately tried to get grapes in some form or shape.

2012-12-12, 10:36 AM
The barman fills Kelsier's request as well, but his words are directed over his shoulder toward Luna. "Yeah, we've got jam and bread. One moment here." He pushes the second tankard onto the bar and slinks off to the tiny kitchen in the back, emerging a bit later with a small round loaf of brown bread held piked on a knife and a tiny jar of pale lavender goo. "There's some gooseberries in there as well," he advises the druid as he sets the items down before her. "The missus doesn't like how tart our grapes usually get around here."

2012-12-12, 11:24 AM
Luna translates the traditional elven preserve ritual for the human:

"Thank you, house master, for these fruits of the earth and your toil. May this coin ensure grain and berry are tended and harvested as long as there are... people... in the land."

She stumbles a bit where she normally uses the elvish word for elf, placing a single piece of silver slowly face up on his side of the bar.

Then she lays her odd curving elven blade upon the table, it's flattened handguards causing it to stand up like a sundial, and begins to carefully saw off thin slices of the round loaf.

"You are all welcome to partake in the frozen sunlight I am preparing."

2012-12-12, 02:03 PM
Ann just looks at Luna's antics, doing her best to keep herself from laughing, she however cannot help but show her amusement, giggling between words when she herself asks for something to eat and drink. "I'll ... just get... some...bread and ale..." she then starts laughing no longer being able to contain herself almost crying from it "I'm so sorry Luna...<laugh> I shouldn't....<laugh> promise to explain it later."

2012-12-13, 08:01 AM
"As you like, miss," the tender returns amiably, his quizzical expression evident as he makes a return trip to the kitchen, clearly wondering what he got himself into this day. By the time he returns with the second loaf for Ann and begins pulling her pint--extra foam indicating near the bottom of the barrel--the group of card players has begun to get a little rowdy.

"Ace of swords!" squeals a flaxen-haired, well-dressed gent in his mid-thirties as he throws down a card upon the pile. "The pot be mine!"

"Damn you and your bloody luck, Vense," a dark-bearded fellow says to the first as he drops all his cards and leans back in his chair, his slightly protruding girth causing the structure to creak in protest. The others offer similar sentiments, but the blond just grins as he rakes in the pile of coins to his quarter.

The bartender pays them no mind and turns instead to the last of the newcomers to speak. "Anything I can get you, la... erm?" he inquires of Flick, swallowing his last words somewhat as he takes in her unusually colored locks.

2012-12-13, 02:16 PM
Flick responds in Elvish "A bottle of Elven Wine sir."

2012-12-14, 09:27 AM
Luna lays the oblong slices out in a pretty spiral pattern as she works her way through the loaf.

After laying out about 10 slices, she puts down the loaf next to her odd blade.

Opening the jar of preserves, she gives it a critical look and sniff before shrugging and starting to apply it to the peices of bread, moving in reverse and setting the prepared slices into a line.

All the while she is stealing glances at the humans playing their primitive game of chance at the table.

2012-12-14, 12:34 PM
Kelsier starts noticeably eyeing the card game, but resists the urge to join in. Instead he downs his drink. "Another, if you will mate" he says to the barkeep.

2012-12-17, 01:57 PM
"As you like," the keeper rejoins Flick amiably, "But I'm afraid I'll need to see your gold crown first. Hard times, you understand."

Seeing Kelsier's mug already empty, the bartender scoops it by the handle and returns to the tap, nodding sympathetically. "Liquid courage, 'tis the best stuff when the going's bad. I take it you're making ready for the burning?"

The men at the table have begun dealing again, six cards to a player, and they each frown ritualistically as they regard their hand and their stack of coins.

2012-12-17, 09:46 PM
Flick responds "I wearing it right now. It's on my head."

2012-12-17, 09:51 PM
"Burning?" Bossa asks, openly displaying his ignorance. "No. We've just entered. Burning People?" He doesn't sound shocked or appalled, just curious and a touch mad.

2012-12-18, 12:11 AM
"I will explain it to you later Bossa, it isn't that complicated" Ann was getting more and more nervous about the attitudes form her companions, she was starting to fear they'd stick more and more in the croud and that worried her.

2012-12-18, 07:58 AM
The bartender smiles faintly. "Well-said. Your gold coin, then, for the fruit of the vine. 'Tis expensive to stock for such tastes."

One of the card players overhears Bossa's remark and is first to respond. "Naw, man, not people. A witch." He tosses his card down on the slowly growing pile in the center, shoving in a pair of coppers to chase his play.

2012-12-18, 08:04 AM
Kelsier perks up at the sounds of this. He walks over to the players, and pulls up a seat. "A witch? Would you mind explaining?"

2012-12-18, 09:24 AM
Elune's light, no wonder humans are so primitive. Do only Bossa's tribe allow their proto-arcanists to live long enough to pass down any knowledge?

Maybe we can save this one as we did Ann; although this den of humans is so huge I doubt we could escape if they became angry.

Luna finishes spreading jam on the last slice of bread, and pushes it across the counter, offering it to the barman.

2012-12-18, 11:08 AM
"Shore," the man--a short, lean gent with close-cropped red hair and a deeply ruddy face--says amiably as he continues playing, offering very little of his attention to Kelsier. "See, there's been kids disappearing from town--every now and again. At first 'twas just street urchins and the like; ruffians, you'll never miss 'em. But then there was the butcher's daughter, and the tanner's little guy, and..."

"Don't forget to tell him about the altar boy, 'Ret," the dark-bearded fellow chimes in.

"Just getting to that part. See, people started getting upset, and when the altar boy and the Lord Mayor's daughter vanished, well, then the bigwigs had to get off their duffs and do something more than blather about higher taxes for more sheriffs. The High Priest sends out his lackeys, investigates, and tells us there's a witch gobbling up children in the night.

"Now, there's a couple names floating around the mill, even the wives of some prominent merchants got summonsed up to the temple for investigation. But now they've got that old crone, Malanie, and the evidence to prove it."

"And they're going to burn her at the stake in the temple square not an hour hence," the flaxen-haired fellow called Vense joins in. "But we're not interested. Got better things to do than watch some spectacle." He lays his card down on the table in turn, adding three silver coins to the pile; this maneuver causes three of the others to toss down their cards, disgusted.

2012-12-18, 05:19 PM
"Thanks" he says with a nodd to the man. Kelsier approaches Ann and Luna. "Well, there you have it. Burning a witch. This seems like your sort of thing. Let me know if you want to take care of it. Another drink barkeep."

2012-12-18, 05:36 PM
"I feel we must look into this, but we do not know this place or situation."

Luna looked forlornly at the slices of bread, then sighed and wrapped the jar and loaf up in her bag.

"House master, could you see to it that these slices I have prepared are enjoyed? I believe we should go see justice done. Could you tell me who spoke for the evidence against the crone, and who spoke for the crone's innocence?"

2012-12-18, 09:03 PM
"Very well. How much?"

2012-12-19, 09:42 AM
The bartender responds blithely to Flick, "One gold coin, I say again. Merry, but is it not too early in the day for such a jest of words?" He refills Kelsier's mug and pushes the third pint across the bar, but his expression is much perplexed at the conversation with the half-elf.

As such, he is even more perplexed when Luna returns the prepared slices uneaten. To her query, he can offer little but hearsay. "The confessions were made in private, you see, but I can vouch more than a few souls hold her dearly departed husband, Milord Gerhert, in deep despite. He was a moneychanger, you see. But he was good friends with Lord Mayor, and you'd think if the crone was innocent his Lordship would put a stop to any nonsense."

2012-12-19, 12:50 PM
"ONE GOLD COIN!" Flick exclaims. "Do you not know what day it is? 'Tis the Elvish New Year. It would be very bad luck on your part to charge an elf full price on such a very important day in the Elvish calendar. I should only have to pay a quarter price at the very most."

(And yes, I will be making a bluff check.)

2012-12-20, 11:28 AM
"Oh!" exclaims the keeper, looking much abashed. He glances over at Luna, his color deepening a bit further. "I should have realized, what with so many of you here today. Yet the cost of such wares is great in these parts; have pity on a poor taverner and yield a half-crown, that my children will not go hungry."

2012-12-20, 11:29 PM
"I think we can let it slide this time. Isn't it Flick?" Ann was getitng too nervous, she wasn't used to be so visible. "Besides we should be working to make sure this so called withc ins't just a scapegoat"

2012-12-20, 11:49 PM
"Indeed, and I'm not sure we'll remain in town long enough to repay such a generous gift."

2012-12-22, 04:41 PM
Bossa continues his drink, paying no mind to Flick's scam. "If that is how you two feel, I will help," He tells Ann and Luna. Turning back to the bar tender he pushes his empty cup forward and asks. "The church-men are in charge of the burning, right? Do they have much grip on the Lord Mayor?"

2012-12-26, 08:58 AM
The bartender shrugs in response to Bossa's question. "They've worked together for years. I wouldn't call it a grip so much as cordial partnership. His Lordship is a kind man and forgiving man, so I doubt he'd be going along with a burning t'were it not a clear as day case."

2012-12-31, 10:06 AM
"I would speak with him then. Knowing that they are not burning an innocent would lighten my heart considerably."

Luna nods farewell and heads for the door, confident in her ability to find the mayoral mansion with it's attached council ampitheater by asking passerby.

2013-01-02, 02:51 PM
Luna departs the tavern, the others following her as quickly as they can finish their drinks. The streets are substantially more empty than they were upon arrival, but it does not take long for Luna to corner a commoner to inquire about the mayoral residence.

"Shore, you can find it plain as day catty-corner to the temple," the elderly peddler explains as he stops to answer the question. "I be heading to the temple square meself, you can follow along if you like."

The peddler's path winds along the narrow streets, occasionally turning down dark, narrow stairwells as he takes a presumably short and direct route toward the center of town. The din of the populace grows noticeably louder as, upon descending the second stair, the peddler turns to the right and follows a somewhat wider road leading into an open square.

The square would be more open were it not for a massive crowd gathered in the cobblestone-paved space. Men, women, and children are packed tightly, and a buzz of hushed conversation fills the air as they look to the arched stone facade of the temple. On the wide landing before the temple's heavy wooden doors, a tall pole has been erected, the base of which is surrounded by brushwood bundled with hemp rope.

The two-story mayoral residence itself is less grandiose than the temple, though it boasts a small front garden fenced in by a low wall of mortared river stone; this is perhaps the only space with a view of the temple that is not occupied by the mass of humanity. The home's stone and wood facade is impeccably maintained, however, and every window boasts a climbing wreath of roses and ivy.

2013-01-04, 09:04 AM
Luna approaches the small garden she assumes is the entrance to the mayoral mansion and looks around for a bell disc or chime rope, as befits such a large, secured building.

2013-01-04, 10:36 AM
A small path through the garden ends at the front door. Luna pulls the chime rope, yielding a tinkling of bells from within the house. After a few moments, an elderly woman with white-as-snow hair pulled tightly into a bun answers the door. She curtseys with some difficulty, spreading the plaits of her black dress and white apron with her bony hands clasped tight on the fine linen. "Good day to you, madame; how may I be of service?"

2013-01-04, 03:43 PM
"I need to speak to the mayor urgently, in regards to the burning, is he here?"

2013-01-04, 03:55 PM
"I am afraid not, madame. He has been at the temple for consultations with the archbishop all morning. I do not anticipate his return until afterward, perhaps as late as this evening." She casts an unhappy look toward the temple steps, but adds nothing further.

2013-01-04, 03:57 PM
"Thank you, I will find him there."

Luna heads off to the temple.

2013-01-04, 05:28 PM
Bossa, who has been following his friend, merely stands back as she speaks with the various people. Luna has always been a "people person" in her own way.

As they leave the mayor's office, and heads toward the temple he becomes curious as to just how she intends to handle the chief and the church-man. "Do you know exactly what you intend to ask the leader?"

2013-01-04, 05:43 PM
"I merely wish to confirm that he has good evidence the crone harmed others, and that he is not blinded by human prejudice against many forms of magic. It is sad to say that I sincerely hope she is guilty, for I do not believe we could reprise our rescue of Ann in this place."

2013-01-08, 09:31 AM
As if on cue, as Luna tries to forge a path through the crowd to get to the temple, the doors open and two men emerge. One is clearly the archbishop; his white robes shimmer as he paces forward, the jewel-encrusted mitre on his head casts gleaming refractions of the sunlight. He smiles beneficently to the massive crowd, and almost at once the general din dies down to a faint titter. His grey eyes gaze out serenely from under the few tufts of grey-white hair that peek out beneath the heavy headgear.

The other man, by association, is the mayor. He wears a mantle of deep crimson, and the draped cloth seems to weigh down his middle-aged shoulders. He walks with a confident stomp-shuffle, his blue eyes bright as he sweeps his attention from side to side, trying to connect with each one of his constituents on a personal level to offer them a smile of comfort. Occasionally, he rubs his shaved-bald head as though trying to massage away some discomfort.

When the two men reach the topmost of the steps, they stop, standing with the temple to their backs and the pyre to their left. It is the archbishop, however, who speaks. "Good people," he begins, "It is mete that all of you come forth this day to see justice done. Our holy patron smiles on all those who have zeal for the law.

"But his holiness is also a god of divine truth, and greater righteousness walks among you when you seek out wisdom ere you dispatch evil with pure and just strength. And so it is that I tell you this truth: in the light of additional evidence, Malanie Gerhert is declared innocent of the crime of witchcraft. She shall again walk among you a free woman, and in the name of Saint Cuthbert I charge you all treat her with the kindness and respect due every citizen of this grand city. Under his righteous light, go in peace and justice."

The hushed murmur among the crowd becomes a torrrent of conversation the moment the archbishop finishes speaking and bestows his benediction upon the crowd. The mayor is the first to turn toward the temple, but he allows the archbishop to resume the lead as they stride back toward the opened doors.

2013-01-08, 11:13 AM
"That is a relief... do you think we should offer our assistance? We might be able to help them get to the bottom of this, and steer them away from automatically blaming the gifted among them."

Luna looks around at her companions who followed her so far...

"Where did the others go?"

2013-01-09, 04:50 PM
"I don't seem to be doing anything today, we might as well." Kelsier said with shrug.

2013-01-10, 10:40 AM
"Helping this town must now ride behind finding our own lost young ones. I haven't seen Ann or Flick since the bar... I hope they are just exploring, but we must make sure they are safe."

2013-01-11, 10:08 AM
Luna looks around and spots Flick "working" her way through the crowd. Ann, however, is not readily visible.

2013-01-11, 10:40 PM
Flick approaches the nearest person. "Sure, they might not be a witch, but if you ask me there's still a witch problem in this town. Thing about witches, they always leave behind an invisible residue where ever they go. It's near impossible to detect without proper magical training. Luckily, I'm a elf so I've of course had such training. If I were any of you, I'd have my home searched for any witch residue before the problem escalates into something serious."

2013-01-12, 11:13 PM
Luna approaches Flick:

"Did you see where Ann went?"

2013-01-15, 12:02 PM
Flick replies "Not now. I'm trying to help these people with their witch problem." *wink*

2013-01-15, 01:12 PM
"If you must; be careful. I'll circle back to the grape house several times tonight."

Luna heads back that direction to look for her missing friend.

2013-01-16, 04:01 PM
The crowd starts to disperse, albeit with much muttering and grumbling. The woman accosted by Flick is none too interested in the elf's musings. "Me, I doubt there is such a thing as a witch at all. Three times now they've caught one, and each time it's the same story. They're just covering up the incompetence of the town guard, that's what I say."

Luna, Bossa, and Kelsier mingle with the common folk returning to their homes and businesses. The three try to keep a sharp eye out for Ann, but she's not to be seen on the narrow roads, nor the wending alley-staircases that cross between the streets on a common hillside. It's not a long trip, but it takes longer than before on account of the streams of people flowing away from the temple square. The congestion does not ease noticeably until the group reaches the faded grapes sign they recognize from earlier.

2013-01-17, 09:37 AM
Luna tries to enter the grape house. Ann never did get a chance to explain what was so odd about it.

2013-01-18, 03:04 PM
"So there is our missing companion, and there is still the missing children, and maybe a witch." Bossa recounts as he follows Luna. "We should ask about the children. Someone may actually be burned at the stake."

2013-01-22, 11:17 AM
"Our someone is missing, and other missing folks have not come back. This seems connected to me, and Ann's life may depend on our speed and focus in finding where the lost ones go."

Luna yanked on the door to the Grapehouse.

2013-01-22, 01:54 PM
The door to the tavern swings open again, revealing the interior basically identical to as the group left it. Luna's bread and jam remains on the bar, uneaten. The bartender's eyes, drawn to the door like a moth to a flame, spare a guilty glance to the food as he recognizes the elf upon her entry, but he covers it up quickly by starting the conversation toward the event of the day. "Back so soon?" he asks with unfeigned curiosity. "No stomach for the business?"

2013-01-22, 03:12 PM
"It was called off. More urgently, I lost my young friend Ann, the one with blonde hair. Did you see her speaking with anyone after I left?"

I can't actually find her hair color right now, but young girl with us and non- blue hair ought to identify her.

2013-01-22, 04:09 PM
The barman shakes his head. "She left with you, that's the last we saw her," he responds. "Hasn't been a soul that's come in here since then, to be quite honest."

Flaxen-haired Vense nods knowingly at Luna's pronouncement. "Ain't the first time they've had someone and let them go. Closest we've seen to an actual burning. Maybe the next time there'll be something worth watching."

2013-01-22, 04:18 PM
Luna looks at her remaining freinds.

"I think we should retrace our steps to the mayor's house then, and look for anything odd. If we spot nothing suspicious, we can ask him for help, and information about the other missing young ones."

"What say you?"

2013-01-22, 04:49 PM
Kelsier weighs his options. "Beer, friend, beer, friend, beer... Well, guess I'll help find 'er" he says with a shrug.

2013-01-27, 09:43 PM
Suddenly the bar door opens in a violent burst and the young 'witch' enters rushing and quickly scanning the place, she is visibly shaken "Oh! what a relief you guys are here!" she quickly closes the door and hurries to where Luna is "I think I just did something very stupid"

2013-01-27, 10:31 PM
Well that problem solved itself. Bossa grunts at her return. "Like separating from the group when a woman was almost burned like meat." He sits down giving her a slightly worried and annoyed look. "Bar man? Is the Elf holiday offer still open? I am with her." He thumbs at Luna.

2013-01-28, 01:31 PM
The barman gives a resigned shrug. "I've only one more bottle like that left, but if you've the quarter crown to spare I won't withhold." His attention, however, is primarily fixed on the face of young Ann, who had burst in moments before.

2013-01-28, 05:22 PM
"Are you alright? What happened?"

2013-01-28, 07:33 PM
"Well you see, when I lost sight of you I relaxed a bit and felt confident enough to try to earn some coins by playing on the street. It didn't go that well, nobody payed real attention, so since people were mostly ignoring me I decided to summon a dragon just to spice things up" Ann pauses to catch a breath "It wasn't a real dragon or even a real thing, but it got the wrong kind of attention"

2013-01-31, 01:05 AM
"Someone is doing strange and terrible things in this town, and strangers with few allies cannot afford to stand out."

Luna smiles and lays her hand upon the small human's shoulder:

"And stay close... I feared we had lost you to whatever foul hungers preys upon this town."

2013-01-31, 06:16 AM
Kelsier looked at Anne with a concerned face. Although this one wasn't for her. "Am I just really really drunk, or did you just tell us you cast up a fake dragon in a town full of people who clearly don't know squat about magic?" he asked, a little to harshly.

2013-01-31, 10:28 PM
"I couldn't help it, I got mad from being completely ignored by the people poassing by. But don't worry it was entirely harmless."

2013-02-02, 03:50 AM
"What? No. Not wine. Ale," Bossa says curtly. He likes the explanation Ann is giving less and less. "I say you keep your anger in check next time. As for this time, thank whatever god you worship you were not taken. I also say we speak with mayor-man and families about the children."

2013-02-02, 09:35 AM
Luna gave the cold smooth face that was the elven equivalent of a stern scowl.

"We are not entitled to the attention of strangers, nor to bully them into giving it. Do you need braids in your hair?"

Luna ponders.

"Given our recent scare, and the debt we have incurred to the people here, does anyone NOT wish to help?"

2013-02-02, 06:59 PM
"I'm sorry, I acted by reflex in the spur of the moment. I'm kinda thankful I'm not really dangerous, but couldn't really help it." Ann was both sad and scared "anyway count on me, I wanted to help from the beginning"

2013-02-07, 02:31 PM
The barman returns with Bossa's fourth ale of the afternoon. "You all planning on staying in town awhile?" he asks the big man with an obviously forced as he slides the tankard over. "My brother runs a nice little inn the next street down the hill." He keeps stealing glances over toward Ann, whose admission to conjuring an illusory dragon has also garnered attention from the otherwise imperturbable card players.

2013-02-09, 11:45 PM
"My people would call me a student of human culture..."

Meaning it as an insult

"And I feel we must help stop whatever is kidnapping your young people"

2013-02-14, 10:09 PM
Already growing uncomfortable Ann moves closer to the keep "Can you tell us how can we can find this place sir?" she says it on a very poorly hidden termbling voice, while trying to avoid eye contact, extremely embarassed and scared of the man, either he should think she is crazy or a menace and she has problems deciding which one is the case.

2013-02-19, 09:52 AM
"Certainly, miss," replies the tender, relieved to turn the conversation to more mundane topics. "Uphill three houses, you'll find a stair leading down to Sable Lane. Turn right and you'll find his place five houses further on the left--look for the sign of the white lamb."

2013-02-19, 11:00 PM
"NNN," Bossa makes a sound approaching something like gratitude into his mug. Setting it down on the table, he mumbles, "Fine. Will we set up our rooms before or after we speak with the mayor?"

2013-02-20, 06:50 PM
"Perhaps we should go talk to the major first? The sooner we try to explain everything, the less we will have to deal with unexpected delays."

2013-02-21, 10:36 AM
"Speaking with him first is fine."

2013-03-08, 02:58 PM
The group takes its leave of the tavern and heads back toward the large square in pursuit of an audience with the mayor. Luna once again pulls the bell chime cord, and the same white-haired servant peeks out from within. Her curtsey is equally stiff as before, creaking knees and tightly clasped bony hands, but her tone is somewhat less cordial. "Back again so soon? His lordship is still away. Tomorrow would be better, really."

2013-03-13, 11:13 AM
"Where is your Mayor, exactly?" Bossa asks forcefully. "We want to end your town's witch hunt before an innocent gets burned."

2013-03-19, 10:09 PM
"We are so sorry for unconvenniencing you, really, that is far from our intention, but are only looking to help. Please forgive the rudenness of my friends, but could you please be so kind to show us the right path to your lord?. It is of the outmost importance we find him as soon as possible. " Ann bowed in respect and with a servile tone, treating the servant as if she was somehow very important

2013-05-01, 03:07 PM
The frosty servant's wall of ice starts to melt under Bossa's suppressed fury, and she starts to crack when Ann offers a soothing word. "He is still..." she begins, before being cut off by a voice from the street.

"Right here," a deep bass voice carries across the lawn. The inquirers turn to see the crimson-mantled fellow from the temple steps. He rubs one thin hand over his shaved head. "I don't recall having an appointment on my calendar, Soubina."

"Unscheduled visitors, your lordship," the maid answers in a disapproving tone. "They claim it is in connection with--with the business, sir."

The mayor looks a bit surprised. "Really? Well then, I suppose you should come with me." He walks up the path, cutting his way through the crowd of adventurers with deft steps, and beckons for everyone to follow him. The aged serving-woman curtseys out of habit, her face betraying continued irritation as the uninvited guests enter her domain.

The entry foyer is dimly lit, but stairs lead up straightaway to a brighter chamber with two windows that look out over the side garden and the square. The mayor takes a seat at the desk set between the windows and gestures for the party to take any of the cluster of red leather-upholstered chairs in the open space between the desk and the stairs. "You'll have to forgive Soubina. Nobody actually WANTS to be involved in this sordid affair, so your request no doubt surprised her. It surprises me as well, I must confess. I don't recognize any of you, so I must assume you are visitors from out of town. Why concern yourself with dark dealings that could get you run off, or burnt at the stake?"