View Full Version : Choose Wisely! (IC)

2008-01-16, 11:11 PM
You awaken from the most realistic dream of your entire life to find yourself standing, fully clothed, in the bedroom at the inn, although you're fairly certain that's not how you fell asleep the night before. From the expressions on everyone's faces and the new objects in the room, you can easily tell that you all experienced the same thing last night.

Josiah: You look down to see you are wearing the necklace from the dream. The pendant on the end of the simple leather cord appears to have been carved from a single piece of granite. The stone has been shaped into a flat circle, similar in size and shape to a common coin, with a shamrock carved upon one side and a woman's face upon the other, which you recognize from church artwork as a stylized version of the face of Tymora. Running at an angle through the granite is what appears to be a tiny silver vein. For some reason, you feel even luckier and more confident than you ever have before, as if this is a true sign that you are favored by Tymora. A voice like that in the dream seems to whisper in your ear, "Tymora's Luckstone"

Jack Miller: You hold in your hands an incredibly old and dusty leather-bound tome, with no words or decoration on the cover at all. It feels heavy, somehow both physically and mentally, as if contains far more than a volume that size ever should. You open the book, and the pages turn freely, as if time had not touched the interior at all, but strangely, every page is blank. Suddenly, the book falls open to the very center, seemingly of its own accord, and words begin to fill the page. A heading appears, as if slowly writing itself, "The Death of Ignorance" Then, faster and faster, the page is covered with precise, flowing handwriting, a philosophical treatise on the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Before you can get more than a general sense of what it's saying, the page turns again, filling itself with spell descriptions, and again, an explanation of fractions, and again, a detailed anatomy of a dire bear. You finally grab the paper and turn back to a previous page, only to find a completely different entry refilling the once again blank page. You close the book for now, and a voice like that in your dream seems to whisper in your ear, "The Book of Infinite Knowledge"

Aaslyr: You find yourself wearing the most elegant wizard's robe you've ever seen. The swirls and lines of red upon the black cloth seem to shift slightly even as you watch them, so that from moment to moment the patterns are never exactly the same. You suddenly feel more confident about your appearance than you ever have before, and at the same time, you feel certain that you'll finally meet that special someone who appreciates you for your intellect and personality rather than your looks. A voice like that in your dream seems to whisper in your ear, "The Robe of the Beautiful Mind"

Jack Queen: You hold in your hands a deck of cards unlike any you have seen before. The back of each card is an image of the very treasure room you just left, gold, jewels, weapons, armor, and objects both magical and mundane strewn about. Flipping over the deck in your hands, you see that each card contains a completely unique symbol, drawn with an artistic talent so incredible as to seem almost real. A gold dragon in flight, a broken heart, an arcane scroll, a knight on horseback, a bloody dagger. A flash of movement and you look back, did that knight just salute you? Did the dragon's wings beat? No, when you look at a single card, it is perfectly still, but you continue to catch little bits of movement out of the corner of your eye whenever you shuffle through the deck. Attempting to count the cards, you find that the deck itself plays tricks on you; cards you already counted reappear at the other end of the deck, cards in two separate piles seem to switch places when you aren't looking. Giving up, you turn to idly shuffling the deck. A voice like that in your dream seems to whisper in your ear, "The Deck of Many Things"

Grum: You hold in your hand the most perfect mirror you've ever seen. It is an exact circle about the size of your hand, edged with gold overlayed on a wooden frame. The surface is completely unscratched, and touching it leaves no mark. Looking at yourself, you see two images of yourself occupying the same space. One is your normal appearance, but the reflection shimmers and a different version of you comes into focus. This version of you has fewer scars, all those born of the malice and cruelty of others, or your own mistakes, are gone, but those won through glorious battle remain. You feel confidently, unquestioningly, that this second image of you is somehow more true. While the others examine their newest possessions, you tilt the mirror this way and that, and it somehow guides you into discovering the proper angles to look at whatever you want to view in the room. Reflected in the mirror, each of the new items is surrounded by a faintly glowing aura. Josiah's necklace is surrounded by a halo of white, while Jack's book, Aaslyr robe, and Jack's deck of cards each give off a sort of dull gray light. You get a good feeling that now mean people will not trick you anymore, because you can see what is real. A voice like that in your dream whispers in your ear, "The Mirror of Simple Truth"

Each of you realizes you have been granted something incredible. The voice speaks to you all one last time, "Use these as you will, to become more truly who you are." Then, the dream-like feeling that has persisted even since you awoke ends, as if some enchantment has broken, and you all remember that you had plans for today. Jack Miller has asked you to accompany him to Oasis Nejev, to seek out the ruins of Jebel Badar. It sounds like a suitable adventure for a newly formed band such as yourselves, and this was the morning you were going to head out.

You are currently in a bedroom in the inn at Kerena, on the banks of Westwater. To the west, the desert stretches away, flat and barren. Oasis Nejev is about a week's travel from here, by foot, although many smaller oases and places to rest may be found along the way by those who know where to look. Outside, you hear the sounds of an unusual number of horses and wagons moving about, and people are already awake, eating and talking, judging by the voices coming from the common room down the hall.


Please keep any OOC stuff you feel must be posted in this thread inside spoiler tags, including rolls.

I may from time to time Private Message one or more of you with information that only your character knows, leaving it up to you to decide whether and how to share that information, so please check for new PM's from me before posting. You may also, of course, PM me actions your character is taking which are meant to be hidden from the other players, but remember that party backstabbing is generally discouraged. You've already had one adventure and at least somewhat like/respect each other.

At the moment, please make only one post until everyone has posted once, followed by a post from me. After that, feel free to post whenever your character has something to say or do. If I ever fast-forward (e.g. "the next day...") and there was something you wanted to do during that time that you didn't get to, tell me and I'll consider allowing it. Remember that roleplaying XP will be awarded, but that has more to do with quality than with quantity, so don't go overboard with details.

Other info:

Your items:

These items are obviously unique and significant. Each has specific powers and even a backstory that your characters may attempt to discover. When appropriate, I will directly tell you about a power or a way to use your item, otherwise it is up to you to figure it out. As for the story behind each of them, you may make whatever knowledge checks you feel are appropriate (and you have ranks in) once per level in an attempt to recall some information. So, for example, if Josiah thinks Knowledge(history) and Knowledge(religion) might tell him something, and he has ranks in them, he may roll both types of checks now, and both again when he reaches level 2. You may also make knowledge checks about someone else's item, but that takes the place of a check about your own. You may also seek out information about these items in any other way you deem appropriate. I will let you know when and if you've ever discovered the entire story of an item. Finding out the backstory may give you clues as to how you can access more of the item's powers.

Specific crunch information available right now:

Josiah: You gain one extra luck re-roll per day.

Aaslyr: The robe negates your charisma penalty on any charisma-based skill check.

Jack Miller: Flipping through the book in your free time and reading what ever it presents you adds to your knowledge. You gain a +1 competence bonus on all knowledge checks, and may treat all knowledge skills as "trained."

Grum: Outside of combat, you may use the mirror freely; just tell me when and what you're looking at with it and I'll respond with what you see. In combat, it takes a standard action to look at something with the mirror if it's already in your hand, and it provokes an attack of opportunity as you have to look away from your opponent long enough to find the right angle.

Jack Queen: If readily available, drawing a card from the deck at random and throwing it on the ground is a standard action which does not provoke an attack of opportunity. You may also, of course, try to get someone else to draw a card at random from the deck while you hold it. This is NOT the Deck of Many Things listed in the DMG. This deck will cause many different magical effects, and while it does hold some danger, it is nowhere near as foolish to draw from this deck as compared to the one in the DMG.

These may or may not be all the powers available to you at the moment, and there may or may not be greater powers to come. *evil laugh*

What you know about the map:

The continent is roughly circular, with a hemisphere of mountains running from the central southern coast, up the west coast, and along to the far northeastern peninsula. All major rivers flow to the Inland Sea, a massive fresh-water lake with its own islands. Out of the Inland Sea flows Eastwater, which has carved a deep, snake-like canyon all the way to the east coast. The western third of the continent is almost completely desert, with Oasis Nejev being the only major city in the region, although villages and nomadic tribes have been known to come and go from the lesser springs and oases. The governments of the continent consist mainly of large city-states which rule themselves and an ever-changing area of nearby towns and villages, with the exclusion of the northeastern Kiljary Empire (ruled by only three or four different dynasties of human Kings for the last several hundred years) and the Elven lands on the southeastern shores of the Inland Sea, which seem to be united in some way, but their true form of government remains unknown to most non-elves. Territorial wars between city-states are not uncommon, although few dare challenge the borders established by the Kiljarian army.

If you want to know more about the geography, feel free to ask me, in which case I will decide if your character should know or if a knowledge(geography) check is required. Also, you may state things IC about the setting that your character would obviously know, for example, describing his birthplace.

2008-01-17, 12:17 AM
"Do not ask Why? Be cautious with How? Why? leads inexorably to paradox. How? traps you in a universe of cause and effect. Both deny the infinite," read Jack Miller.

What the devil could this possibly mean? Isn't the Universe one of cause and effect? Things don't simply come into being. Turtles all the way down and what not. Jack sighed before continuing on, I've got so much to learn. This is damned informative, but damned vague. If only there was someway to control what it shows me. What good is it knowing that the ladies of Erkland courted the men who were kept in towers and bred for beauty if I never see another reference to Erkland? I must have heard of something like this at some point. I wonder.

Knowledge (History)
Knowledge (Arcana) [roll1]
Knowledge (Planar) [roll]d20+9

If rolls get me no information/useless information I do the following, if they help me I seek to act on it

Ah well. I suppose there's nothing to it. This is nice, and I'll have to check it out more, but for now I suppose I have an adventure to live. How terribly exciting this is. Jack frowns, Yes, I do believe it actually is terrible in the full literal sense. Odd progression of language that.

Miller then sniffs the air, Ah, breakfast! Excellent!

2008-01-17, 05:37 AM

Aaslyr spins around in his new robe, watching the colors twirl. This goes on for several minutes, like a dog chasing its tail, but Aaslyr does it quite gracefully.

"I do have a beautiful mind!" Aaslyr exclaimed, more to himself than anyone else, "That's what Melkin used to say, though I never thought it would be of much help unless someone cracked my head open and looked inside... a process for which I'm pretty sure I would not sit still!"

"I've never seen anything like this, though I'm sure I remember reading something in a book once..." Aaslyr ponders, and then out of habit he adds, "I mean, I'm sure the magic in my blood will be attuned to this item..."

Knowledge rolls

Seeing all the other for the first time, with new items in hand, an almost comic scowl and note of concern finally registers on his face, "I think we should be a bit concerned about this. Don't you think?"

2008-01-17, 07:41 AM
Jack Queen

Jack hadn't really noticed the scenery of the treasure room fade away to be replaced by the rather dull-in-comparison tavern he'd stayed the night in. He was too focused on trying to sort his deck of cards by suit and counting how many there were; a task so hopeless that it was doomed to failure not ten cards in when three of what Jack thought were jokers had popped up already. He finally caught on that something was up with the deck when he lost count at 187, with a pile of 'useless' cards that was several times larger than any of the suits he'd tried to organize. He filed the deck away in his mind as a stack of tarot cards, but gave the deck a good once-over, he had a feeling there was something different about it that was purposefully trying to keep him from accomplishing things with it.

Spellcraft - [roll0]

Jack put all the cards back into a single pile, straightening out the edges with some difficulty, as it felt like some of the cards did not want to be in line with the others and were willing to fight off attempts to make them. A brief scuffle to stuff the cards into a pocket in his backpack later, Jack finally noticed he was not where he was when he got the cards.

"I do so hope they're serving bacon somewhere. Bacon and pancakes." Jack stared dreamily into a wall as images of pigs and wheat literally danced through his mind.

2008-01-17, 08:39 AM
As Grum notices the second reflection of himself within the mirror his sadness wains. He stares in wonderment as he uses the mirror to scan the room. As the others examine their own items, he slips the mirror securely within his backpack, in a pocket where he does not believe it will break. "Breakfast good, Jack. I hungry. Do Jack and Aaslyr and Josiah want to come with Jack and Grum to breakfast?"

2008-01-21, 03:13 PM

i apologize, i didn't see this was up, and this week has just been a hell week. my computer caught a virus and it's been gone for 6 days, ive been sneaking posts on my friends computers and at work when i can. but i am here... so i am sorry :(

Looking down at her necklace, and realizing that she has once again been blessed by Tymora, She puts her necklace under her shirt, but not before allowing her fingers to caress the metal pendant and fully feel each crevace and peak on it. With her eyes closed she finally places it to rest, but not before a vision of the Pendant sits firmly in her mind.

Looking around the room, seeing each of her companions with a blessed item of there own, and knowing that they too have recieved a gift from the gods, she smiles.

It seems that Lady Luck has smiled on us all this morning and granted us each with a boon to assist us in our upcoming endeavors. I do not believe we should sit back and let the opportunity pass us by. Turning towards Grum, Yes, let's go get some nurishment and then purchase any left over supplies that we would be needing and use this blessing by the fates, as a sign that we should head out right away.

2008-01-22, 06:44 PM
The party heads down to the common room of the inn and is served a barely edible breakfast of undercooked waffles and overcooked bacon, which is to say that Jack had not guessed too far wrong. The woman serving you appears to be in a particular hurry this morning, and looking around the room, you see far more people in the room than had been there any of the last few days you stayed in this normally quiet down. Nearby, one man in particular seems to be bartering with the innkeeper, and through the hubbub you barely make out mention of kegs of beer and coin amounts. As you consume your poorly prepared meal, some of you manage to recall some pertinent information regarding your recent acquisitions, which you share with the group.

Jack Miller: You remember a story about a particular wizard by the name of Bartleby Brown who was considered one of the foremost arcanists in the entire Kiljary Empire around the time it was founded. He was known for two peculiarities which led to him being remembered in the history books. One was that he only took on apprentices who could manage to defeat a devilishly clever set of riddles, puzzles, mazes, and other such tests of knowledge and cunning. It is said that those who failed were regularly driven mad with the desire to know which question they answered wrongly, and what the answers were, which of course, Bartleby never revealed. His other oddity was a particular obsession with the idea of knowing quite literally everything. His published works consisted almost entirely of essays on the possibility of obtaining truly infinite knowledge. At the moment, you are at a loss as to what ever became of old Bartleby, although you seem to recall there was some controversy over his death.

Aaslyr: You suspect that your robe may be operating on magical principles similar to those employed in a Cloak of Charisma, although you can't be certain for what ends precisely this robe was crafted. You recall many stories of wizards, nobles, royalty, leaders, and royal advisers who all had a particular ability to influence those around them in addition to good looks and a cunning mind, but at the moment you can't seem to narrow them down enough at the moment to suspect who specifically this robe might have belonged to in the past. Unique pieces of clothing are common enough amongst the nobility that any one robe in particular is unlikely to get remembered.

Jack Queen: You know that at the very least some complicated illusion spells would have been required to make the deck display the unusual properties you have observed so far. Without actually seeing someone draw a card from it or using a card yourself, it would be very difficult to determine anything more specific.

As you finish eating, the innkeeper wraps up his business and walks over to your table. He looks you over and begins to calculate a bill in his head, muttering numbers and prices, "..at one silver each...five plates of stew at three coppers, call it six with what that one probably ate, and..." Suddenly, he looks at the group again a spark of recognition shows on his face, "That's right, you lot, mayor paid for you in advance already, after that nasty business with the goblins. And there was something that man just said," he looks back toward where he was haggling a moment ago, but the other man is gone, "Ah, well, whatever," he says, before rushing off to deal with more customers entering from their rooms.

2008-01-22, 07:15 PM

Aaslyr raised an eyebrow as the bartender rushes away, an action that caused half of his face and its associated shoulder to scrunch up, "Well, that was quite a teasing thing to say! What did the man say that involved us, the mayor, or the goblins we vanquished? Well, if I remember right it was Grum that did the majority of the vanquishing, though the rest of us certainly did enough to earn free waffles...", he paused to look at the half-eaten meal on his plate, "albeit, stale, chewy, maple-syrup-less waffles."

The elf shook his head and tried to get back on track, "I hate teases. And I'm not fond of mysterious men talking about us either. Or strange voices whispering in my ear. Or burnt bacon. Someone should say something!" With that Aaslyr got up to try to talk to the bartender, but then he stopped and looked back at the party, uncertain "Umm, do you think he might be afraid of elves?"

2008-01-22, 11:24 PM
Jack Miller

Sorry to be rather dense, but are we or are we not aware that the others have had this same sort of bizarre dream that we just had? If not, I'm to do the following.

At Aaslyr's words Jack picks his head up out of the pages of his book,
"Hold on there, Aaslyr. Strange voices do you say? What sort of strange voice? What did it say? Something about choosing perhaps? As a matter of fact, that's quite the robe you've got there. Where did you get it? Perhaps a strange voice bearing gifts?"

Jack then reaches into his parchment filled satchel and pulls out a diary, half-filled with odd scribbles and charts; his well used inkpen, and a vial of ink. Pushing aside the remains of his breakfast, Miller leans forward anxious to hear what Aaslyr says.

I do the following if we are all aware the event involved all of us. If not, I'll do the crunch anyway once it comes to light we all had the same 'dream'. I'll just edit what I've said to suit the conversation a bit more.

"Whoa, steady on there chap. I'm sure he's fine with elves. Let's back up a bit though.What could that 'dream' have been? Who's voice? I'm certainly not a fan of having some 'higher' being mucking about in my mind."

Miller pauses a moment and glances at his new book before continuing,

"Although, I will say nothing bad appears to have happened. Oh, what could it have been? I must know something."

With a sigh of frustration, Jack leans back flip absently through his new book hoping something useful will pop up.

Jack's going to see what he knows about visitations, divine or infernal emissaries, prophecies... anything of the sort. He'll then tell the party whatever that information may be.
Knowledge History: [roll0]
Knowledge Arcana: [roll1]
Knowledge Divine: [roll2]
Knowledge Planes: [roll3]
Bardic Knowledge: [roll4]

"I suppose the other question is what 'gifts', if they are indeed just that, did we all receive? I got this book here, fascinating thing. Seems to have everything ever written in here. It's just that, well, the order appears to be entirely random. No sense of chronology. Makes it damned difficult to read at times, I must say. Still, it is extraordinarily rewarding. I've learned things I've never imagined. "

If Grum shows his mirror, I ask him if I can see it and make a Knowledge Divine check [roll5] and a Bardic Knowledge [roll6] check to see what I can find out for him.

2008-01-23, 11:44 AM

Well Aaslyr, I don't believe he would have anything against elves. Why would he? Just because your waffles were stale and a little extra chewy, doesn't mean he doesn't like you. She says towards Aaslyr with a smirk on her face.

Letting out a giggle, I'm just kidding with you, I believe we all got the short end of the breakfast stick, but that would just be fate evening itself out. In order for us to recieve these wonderful gifts we all got this morning, we had to have something be under par.

Well Jack, I'm not sure exactly what your dream entaled, But mine was wonderful. I was standing in a dark room with out light, the only thing visible and illuminated was me. Then she spoke to me, what a soothing, entrancing voice. Questioning me, no, Testing me. She wanted to know 'Who I was', and then I was asked 'What is it I seek'. Finally happy that I gave the right answers to Lady Luck, the rest of the room was illuminated.

Filled with Treasures beyond belief. 'Pick one, but choose wisely' Looking around one small box called to me. Upon me opening it, I was transported in a whirl of spinning colors back to the inn. Standing there in the room, I saw each one of us entranced almost. Each of us holding and looking at our new gift from the fates.

At this point Josiah reaches up to her neck for a silver chain. Running her hands down along underneath it, slowly a shape emerges from beneath her shift. A silver pendant, intrigetly carved brushes her hand, the light flickers off of it, turning those spots to pure gold. Finally her fingers embracing the stone, A gift from the Lady. Tymora's Luckstone.

Well I do believe we should be moving as soon as possible, whether that be out towards the first Oasis, or up to the bar to find out who's been talking about us as he almost said.

2008-01-23, 04:10 PM
Jack Queen

Jack sat upright in his chair, swinging his legs back and forth, creating a minor cacophony of jingling bells, as he paid the utmost attention to his breakfast. He hadn't had much except trail rations in the past couple of days, so undercooked waffles and slightly blackened bacon were preferable to another day of dried fruit and nuts, even to a weasel. The King managed to sneak a half strip of bacon into his mouth while Jack was occupied with the waffles.

Jack swallowed the last mouthful of food on his plate, while the King curled into a ball in the center of the table, "I thought the food was good. I think the King liked it too," Jack poked the weasel's stomach, "I think he needs a nap." Jack lifted his jingling cap off his head with one hand, and placed the King underneath it with the other.

"What's all this hubbub about dreams now?"

2008-01-23, 05:50 PM

Gaping at Josiah, Aaslyr responded, "That sounds a lot like my dream, except the part about Lady Luck... two words that don't often go together in a sentence for me. You may be right about a price though, but then again this robe is too incredible, just like your book Jack, and your stone Josiah, and your mirror...." Aaslyr brightened suddenly, distracted, "Your mirror Grum! Can you hold it up so I can see how I look in my new robe?"

Aaslyr lifted up his robe like a skirt and started to scurry around the table to Grum, but then caught himself, "Umm, I meant to say, that these gifts are very wonderful, and although the waffles were bad, they weren't THAT bad. So I doubt our price has been paid... but perhaps that man knew something." Aaslyr noticed that he was still holding up his robe and he let go of it with a frown. "I don't think he had a treasure room in his pocket though."

2008-01-24, 09:53 AM

The orc stares wide eyed as the conversation goes quite over his head. He devours the food offered him and also snatches any uneaten morsels from his companions plates. He finally speaks up when his addled brain catches the gist of the conversation.

"I had dream. Nice voice asked Grum questions. Told Grum to take whatever I wanted. I took this mirror. It makes Grum look heroic. Takes away my bad scares." Upon mentioning his mirror, Grum pulls it from his pocket and offers it to the others to look at.

2008-01-24, 04:23 PM
Jack Miller

As soon as the words leave Grum's mouth, Jack grabs the mirror from the barbarians hands. "You don't mind if I look at this, right?"

Not bothering to wait for a response Miller begings to poke and prod at the mirror, looking at it from every angle. All the while he keeps muttering to himself, "No, it can't be that mirror. That hung from a wall. Mirror mirror on the wall, and then it said the truth. It wasn't mirror mirror in my pocket, show me the truth or else I'll...knock it? I don't know. Anyway, it could be related of course. Mirrors and truth spells have a long history. And of course, the fact that it shows Josiahs gift as white implies that it might show things from a 'holy' point of view. That makes sense, a dream-like visitation is a typlical divine modus operandi. Oh blast, it's just on the tip of my tongue.

Let's try to, at least once, get a roll made right the first time, eh?
Knowledge: Divine [roll0]
Bardic Knowledge [roll1]

Unless my book gives +1 to the Bardic Knowledge too, then tis +6
Whatever I find out I immediatly tell Grum

"Now Jack, you say you didn't have a dream? No shadowy voices, mysterious gifts, or strange otherworldy treasure rooms?" As he speaks Miller seems to grow more and more excited, his voice rising in pitch and volume, and his eyes growing wider. He's now living an adventure, just like those he's studied! Like Sir Erik the Knight of Glass, or perhaps Robin of Loxley, the bandit of the southlands. Yet still, the thought of 'divine' intervention was a little nervewracking.

2008-01-24, 09:54 PM
Jack Queen

Jack's head perked up a bit at the mention of the items the others had received, but promptly lowered it as his experience and rewards came into question. "I got something," his voice took on a darker tone, "I got something, alright. It's in my backpack, but the thing scares me. It's...Powerful. Like a, uh...I can't explain it like it deserves."

Jack reached down to his backpack and popped open the pocket he'd put the cards in and, for a moment, swore he saw them shuffling together, trying to organize themselves. He eyed the deck warily, briefly mulling over what his tombstone would say if a deck of cards saw fit to attack him en masse, before reaching in and removing a single card from the deck and tossing it face up on to the table.

"Whole deck of 'em. Dunno how many there are. They keep changing around 'n' stuff."

2008-01-25, 02:54 PM
Grum explains to Jack Miller in his simple way the things he saw in the mirror earlier, but all Miller sees in the mirror is exactly what one would expect from a normal reflection, no auras, nothing unusual at all. Aaslyr catches a glimpse of himself in it, but instead of his own face, he sees the face of one of his handsomest cousins, one whose looks and luck with the ladies was much envied. As Jack continues to turn the mirror, however, Aaslyr is unable to see the reflective side for a moment, and when it turns back toward him, he sees only himself in the mirror.

The fact that I rolled a d1000 should in no way, shape, or form influence any conclusions you may draw regarding the actual number of cards in the deck.

Jack Queen pulls a card out out of the deck and tosses it onto the table. It lands face up, and the party sees the image of a falcon in flight. The image begins to move, and the falcon flaps his wings for a moment before the card shimmers and disappears. To everyone's surprise, Jack Queen is now wearing a falconer's leather glove, and a hooded and tethered hunting falcon sits on his arm. The bird's weight and the grip of its talons are convincingly real. No one in the inn aside from your own group seems to have noticed this strange occurrence. The falcon shakes its feathers a little and then tucks its beak under one wing, seemingly content to just roost for the moment.

2008-01-25, 03:27 PM

Grum's eyes go wide as he sees the bird appear perched upon Jack. He claps his hands while bouncing in his seat like and excited child. "Do it again, Jack, do it again." He soon calms as he reclaims his mirror and uses it to examine Jack's new bird.

2008-01-25, 03:30 PM
In the mirror, Grum sees the falcon slowly fade and disappear, although when looks at Jack directly, the falcon is still there. Looking in the mirror again, the falcon is there, but slowly fades and disappears the same way again.

2008-01-25, 03:36 PM

The simpleton orc becomes oblivious to the conversation around him as he becomes totally enthralled in repeatedly watching the falcons disappearing act in the mirror.

2008-01-25, 07:40 PM
Jack Miller

When the bird first appears, Miller jumps back a bit, startled by the sudden appearance of a rather fierce raptor in the middle of what was his breakfast. As the bird remains calm, Jack warily regains his seat reaching out with a spoon to touch the bird, hoping to pierce the illusion. After the spoon is snatched away by the raven he slams his book closed and stands up, "Josiah, what game is your 'goddess' playing at? Whatever it is, tell her I'm not playing. Come on, let's get to the Oasis."

Suddenly self conscious,-when did the inn get this full anyway-Jack lowers his voice and visibly deflates. "Eh-heh...sorry about that. What I meant was, we should try to make time while we've got light. It's a long trip, we can spend time trying to decipher our 'gifts' on the way. I'm sure there's more treasure there, and if I can find a library in the ruins I'm sure there will enough knowledge there to help us figure out anything about these baubles."

2008-01-26, 11:07 AM

Aaslyr too jumped back at the sight of the bird, and a small head poked out of his robe, hissing. But upon seeing the falcon, Drake quickly dove back into Aaslyr's robe.

"That's it!" Aaslyr exclaimed, and he turned on his heels to find the innkeeper. Stalking the busy innkeeper across the room, he tried to get the man's attention, waving his arms up and down like a flightless bird.

"Excuse me Mr. proprietor, can you tell us what you were going to tell us before you rushed off, about that man who rushed off after talking with you, because we'd hate to rush off before knowing what you both rushed off without saying." Aaslyr spoke rapidly, his words stumbling over themselves. Drawing in a deep breath he added, "And if you're not in too much of a rush, can you tell us if he in fact had anything weird in his pockets, like my friend's new falcon for instance? Not the actual falcon, I mean, but something that might have led to the place that held the item which brought the falcon? "

2008-01-26, 01:18 PM

As Grum continues to observe falcons disappearance in his mirror. "Pretty birdy go bye bye," he mumbles during one of the vanishing acts.

2008-01-28, 03:48 PM
Jack Queen

Jack had stared at the card as it landed, but that stare was nothing in comparison to the stare he now gave the bird roosting on his arm. Sure, he'd seen hawkers before, he'd seen hawks up close and even had one eat a piece of jerky out of his hand once. This, however, did nothing to help Jack deal with the intense fear he felt of the magically-spawned hawk, not two feet from his eyes, from a deck of cards that he felt wasn't trustworthy. The only response he was capable of forming was a small series of whimpers. Enough to disturb the King, as it turned out, who poked his head out from beneath Jack's cap long enough to hiss at the hawk, before hiding behind the fabric of the cap.

2008-01-31, 03:25 PM
The innkeeper looks at Aaslyr blankly, rather stunned, in fact, by his ridiculous-sounding request. Taking a moment to gather his wits, he glances around the room and back at the party's table and seems somewhat disturbed by the sight of a falcon that wasn't there before. Turning back to Aaslyr, he finally manages to speak, "I, I, um, I don't know where that thing came from and, uh, I'd appreciate it if, ah, you took it out of here as quick as you can. And that, that man, uh.." He taps his fingers against his skull, "Ah, right! He had heard about you, ah, local heroes, as it were, and asked if I could point you out. He, uh, I think he said he'd try to catch you as you leave, too much hubbub in here, eh?" The innkeeper then turns and walks quickly away from Aaslyr and through the nearest door, muttering to himself in a manner consistent with someone who thinks they're the only sane one left.

2008-01-31, 03:45 PM

Well, it appears like our only course of action at the moment is to head out for the Oasis

2008-01-31, 08:00 PM

Aaslyr shrugged at the fleeing innkeeper and turned back to the party.

"I think you're right Josiah, we'll let that man find us if he wants. He probably had nothing to do with our dream any ways, or with the chewy bacon. I'm still suspicious, mind you, but on to the Oasis I say!"

Scratching his head for a moment, Aaslyr added "Are we going to need some supplies? I could ask the innkeeper, but I'm not sure I'll find him again."

2008-01-31, 08:17 PM
Jack Miller

A bit frustrated that nobody lept up to follow him, Jack looks gratefully towards the priestess.

Yes, good. The Oasis! Think of the treasure! The glory! Grum, you think that mirror is cool? Wait 'til you see these ruins, they'll have treasures you can't even begin to imagine. We just have to get there soon!

As he finishes, Miller turns and starts to leave the inn. Before he reaches the door, he spins and heads back to pick up his pack, and then again spins and leaves the inn.

2008-01-31, 09:00 PM

"Yes, Jack, I like Grum's new mirror. Grum will go with Jack and Aaslyr. I'm ready for adventure."

The orc shows surprising genteelness as he replaces the mirror, then shows his barely known strength as he hefts his falchion over one shoulder and follows his companions outside.

2008-02-01, 08:35 PM

Seeing his friends heading out the door, Aaslyr ran to grab his gear, shoving a book into his pack. The book would have looked like any other wizardly tome, except that large bold blue letters had been carefully painted across the front: "Tome of the Great Sorcerers - Histories not Spells".

Lifting his bow, he rushed out the door.

"Wait for me, Grum!"

2008-02-03, 07:28 PM
Jack Queen

Jack, at the mention of leaving, quickly picked up the blank card the hawk had left behind and shoved it into an empty pocket. He slid off his chair daintily, so as to not disturb the hawk, and kept his arm as straight as he could with his head turned the other way, so as to protect his eyes from the pointy, pointy beak.

"Leaving? Yes, yes. Let's do that. The bird may leave then."

2008-02-05, 07:36 PM
Jack Queen
Jack, at the mention of leaving, quickly picked up the blank card the hawk had left behind and shoved it into an empty pocket.

Actually, there is no blank card. The card fully and totally disappeared.

Stepping outside the inn, the party finally sees what all the hubbub has been about this morning. A large merchant caravan arrived in town late the night before, and now the wagons stretch from one end of the town to the other. A few men in expensive clothing appear to be trading with the townsfolk, and guards are taking it in turns to slip into the inn for a bite to eat. Jack's falcon seems to perk up a bit and takes off. He circles overhead, but is clearly reluctant to travel far from his master.

One man in particular approaches you, and you quickly recognize him as the man who was talking about you earlier. In the lighter, less crowded environment outside, you see that he is wearing a white robe and turban distinctive of a particular desert culture, and his skin is deeply tanned. He gestures with his hands as he speaks with a fairly thick accent, which indicates he is more comfortable with the desert speech than with Common, "Hello, friends, friends, I being Jasar, owner of caravan that you see. I buy, sell, trade, you understand. Anywho, we, ah, being attacked by goblins the, how you say, yesterday. I am losing guards, good men. People say to me here 'We have heroes, killed the goblins' so I says 'I must have heroes!' So, a deal, I think, for you. You be guards for me, here to Oasis Nejev, being my home. A week's travel. I give food, water, a silver a day, and if is fighting, I pay you more when I is arriving home." Jasar pauses a moment to let you consider his offer.

Just then, a pretty girl, looking to be in her late teens and with a similar style of dress to Jasar walks up and hugs him from behind. Her skin is dark, her hair long and straight, and her features striking. Jasar smiles and takes her hand, pulling her around him before introducing her to the party. "Ah, this is my Yolanda, my daughter. She being beautiful like her mother, no? She is wanting to see world, so I says 'Come with me and caravan for a time,' but I am thinking too many men see she is beautiful. I is to be happier when she is safe at home. So, what you say? There is a deal?" Yolanda winks charmingly at you, but it's very hard to tell if she's aiming at anyone in particular.

Finding no prey nearby, the falcon returns and lands on Jack again.

Jack Queen, if you hold out your arm, the falcon will land on the glove again, otherwise it will try to land elsewhere on you.

2008-02-05, 09:32 PM

Upon seeing Yolanda, Aaslyr feels a painfully familiar sensation: a thudding in his chest, a giant frog in his throat, and a sudden desire to be anywhere but where his two feet and sensibilities have abandoned him. Staring at Yolanda, he begins to stammer,

"A d-d-deal? With a d? With us? Through the desert? The one with all the sand? Sand, which really was giant rocks at one point, mountains really, that got ground down after ages and ages of pretty girls walking over them... well the pretty girls didn't wear them down, feet like yours are much too cute and petite and smooth.... Eh, umm, it was time really, with water, and ice, and yes there was ice once in the desert, whole oceans of it, but not anymore today, not even enough to cool your drinks or to refresh you while you're taking a bath in an oasis... or dripping... droplets of- umm, ah..."

Aaslyr stops abruptly, a wave of red breaking out on his face, starting at his ears and spreading quickly to his cheeks. A sudden image of beads of water sliding slowly over unseen dimples has popped into Aaslyr's head, overwhelming him. Trying to recover, and realizing he hasn't breathed in an awfully long time, Aaslyr draws in a deep breath, but accidently inhales a mouthful of dust. Hacking and coughing, the elf flees behind Grum.

"Help!" Aaslyr whispers urgently into his big friend's ear.

2008-02-06, 12:37 AM

The large orc blinks rapidly as he enters the bright sunlight outside. He has never been able get past his races sensitivity. Once he is able to see Grum stares wide eyed at the bazaar around him. Aaslyr's studdering brings the mostly gentle giants attention back to his friends.

"Is Aaslyr ok? Why does Aaslyr need Grum's help? Oh, it's another pretty lady. Hello, lady." Grum waves enthusiastically and raises his voice way more than the distance called for. "Lady, Grum's friend Aaslyr thinks your are pretty. Aaslyr doesn't know how to tell Lady so I tell Lady. That is Jack, Jack, and Josiah. They Grum's friends too. Would you like to be Grum's friend?"

All of this comes out in Grum's usual rapid fire speech.

2008-02-08, 03:12 PM
Jack Queen

As soon as the hawk left his hand, Jack relaxed visibly. No longer was his face twisted to the side to avoid any undue pecking that may or may not occur. He let his arm droop back to his side as he ambled along behind everyone else.

The exchange in dialogue from his friends prompted a grin from the halfling. He thought it was funny, partly because he hadn't seen Yolanda, positioned as he was behind everyone else, and also because it was just amusing seeing their reactions.

"Hi," Jack stepped out from behind Grum and caught sight of Yolanda, "Oh. So that's what the...Right. Hello to you too." He grinned sheepishly, "I'm Jack Queen. This is the King," Jack raised his cap and pointed at the sleeping weasel underneath, "The stuttering elf is Aa-Ah!"

Jack jumped as the hawk landed on his pointing arm, triggering Jack to revert back to the quivering mess he was before, "It just won't leave me alooone!"

2008-02-08, 04:41 PM

Finally coming out of the inn, dragging behind most of his friends, Josiah catches sight of Yolanda. Walking up to the girl he takes her hand and plants a kiss on it. Well Good Morning Sweetheart, What do we owe this pleasure today?

Seeing what's unfolding, Josiah takes a smirk as he sees Aaslyr stumbling over his words and hiding behind Grum, and also Jack's reaction towards the hawk once again...

Ah, a Caravan has come to town, I wonder what they have to offer, and if there are any games of "chance" being played. Anyone up for taking a look with me, or should we head out towards the Oasis immediately?

2008-02-08, 07:01 PM

Seeing Jack's reaction to the bird, Grum pulls out his mirror. "Look, Jack. Bird is Not Bird. Look in Grum's Mirror. Not Bird not in mirror. Jack not need be afraid."

2008-02-10, 09:03 PM
Jack Miller

Shaking his head and grinning at the antics of his companions, Jack walks over to Jasar and says, in fluent, accent-less, 'desert speak':

Hello friend Jasar. I am Jack Miller, a scholar of forgotten lore. These are my companions, stalwart adventurers all, and we are honored by your offer. I'm certain that we will accept--though, of course, as we have no leader I must discuss with the rest of them first. Allow me to complete our oft-interrupted interruptions, err...introductions: The merry halfling there is Jack Queen, and his familiar King. The large fellow you see with the axe is Grum, the true might of our company. The elf hiding behind Grum is Aaslyr, our eloquent sorceror and the gambler here is Josiah, divine servant of Tymora. As he speaks, Jack points out each person as they're named.

Those of you who don't speak 'desert speak' all see Miller speaking in gibberish to Jasar, then gesturing at each one of you in turn. He then motions the party into a huddle and whispers, I say we go for it. We needed a guide anyway...to be paid for our trouble is more than I could have hoped! Just mind your manners around his daughter. She's very pretty, but we don't need any trouble with Jasar. He's our employer, and our best road to the Oasis.

2008-02-13, 03:00 PM

Regaining his breath, and steadfastly not looking at Yolanda, Aaslyr peeks around Grum to say to Jasar, "In other words, we would love to help out."

He then pulls out his book and buries his nose in it.

2008-02-13, 04:34 PM
Jack Miller

Speaking mostly to himself Miller mutters, "Yes, well...it would appear that not all adventures are as glorious as those of Taliesen and his noble companions."

Back in Desert Speak Jack speaks to Jasar, My apologies for my companions enthusiasm. Still, that energy is certainly a valuable trait in a guard, yes?