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Thread: Old Ways IC II

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    On a warm summer night in late Klarmont, the town of Threshold was once again quiet. A bloody melee down the street from the now-dark market square had come to a decisive end. The town guard had hauled off the losers and the onlookers had gone back to their ales or spread through town to share what they had seen.

    In Old Town, situated on a small island in the Windrush River, the city's poorer residents drink away their troubles and some of the town's more questionable enterprises take advantage of the islands narrow alleys and near omnipresent darkness. West across the twin bridges lies the rest of town, with its well-spaced homes and buildings, and wide streets lit by the occasional lantern. Now quiet and dark save for a few well-lit taverns and the temple, the stillness belied booming nature of the border town, all of which would become obvious at again dawn.

    The powerful and self-made Lord Bost had assembled a group of promising young adventurers to help in his more dangerous commercial enterprises. So far, they had reclaimed the old mill from giant vermin and kobold squatters, captured an abandoned castle of ancient origin held by a goblin king and his retinue, and chased a foul necromancer out of his hole in a hill west of town, twice defeating his evil creation, the thoul.

    While the necromancer, Ederick, had fled to the west, his allies, members of a local criminal organization called the "Fangs" still plagued Threshold.

    This day was an eventful one as the group many knew as Bost's Rangers had obtained leads on the disappearance of Marie Takish, daughter of a powerful council member, and managed to slay and capture many suspected members of the villainous Fangs.

    The party again split up to engage in a variety of tasks, Ashala to report to her uncle, Talsarios and Alanna to interrogate the prisoners, after a fashion, and Artanis to track down the sword-stealing thugs that had nearly killed him ignobly in the nearby alley.

    Nathros and Mycah had yet to declare a path, and the young Brandon Bor was just returning home with his torchbearer, unaware of the evening's events.

    IC for Old Ways Ch. 1
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2012-10-07 at 05:45 PM.
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    "Oh, hello Alanna! Come to watch the magic happen?" dark-haired Talsarios says as the cleric joins him. He smiles deprecatingly: "You'll not see much - it all happens in my mind, you know. Before we get back among the guards, I should cast my spell. I believe that spellcasting within the town - ahem - city limits is frowned upon."
    Once they are within a few minutes walk of the prison, the well-dressed scholar looks about for a suitable spot to cast his ESP spell undisturbed.

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    ASH

    Ash would have agreed with Talsarios, "Everyone back at the Nut in an hour then. I'll be better armed and armored this time, should they try anything again. I'll ask Lord Bost what action would be within our boundaries. Be careful everyone. Let's do this together, whatever we decide."

    She'll take an eager yet competent looking spectator to the side to request, "Will you bring a message to the Bor farm to have Brandon meet at the Nut in one hour?" She didn't want anyone else (onlookers) to know the plan for fear of an overpopulated tavern with too many ears. She'll add, "Here's a silver for your troubles, but the extra bit is for your silence. This gathering is not to become rumor this night."

    ---

    At the Manor, "Uncle, I'm sorry to interrupt this evening. There's been an incident with my group, the Vigilant Companions..." She'd explain what she's heard has happened. Then she'd ask, "Would we be acting against the law if we tracked down those Fangs to likely rescue Marie, Councilman Takish's daughter, and try to stop them from continuing to cause trouble for the people of Threshold? I believe it likely that they'd want to collaborate on a counter attack directed at us. I don't want anyone caught up in the middle of our trouble."

    ---

    When these matters are resolved, she'll change into her armor and gear, then head back to meet the others at the Nut.

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    Mycah sees torn over what should be done next. He feels some duty of Ash, but realizes it won't take two of them to inform Lord Bost on what's happening. He also agrees that some time spent planning will better prepare them for the trouble which is likely ahead with the Fangs. Finally, seeing Artanis starting to head off on his own, calls out to the elf.
    "Artanis, wait! You've already seen the trouble with haring off alone, just wait a minute while we sort out the best path to follow here. I think you're right that we need to follow that trail while it's fresh and see where those men have gone, but once we find their hole, we can't just run in and attack, we'll just get ourselves killed doing that. I'll go with you and we can see what we discover, but then we need to bring that information back here, meet up with everyone else and make a plan of action. Does that seem reasonable?"

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    Brandon Bor


    Like the rest of his farming family, Bran prepares to go to sleep quite early, since he intends to wake up before dawn.

    Within a short while he is asleep in bed, unaware that some of his party-mates recently escaped death and might choose to come and wake him up.

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    Artanis merely looked back and replied flatly.

    "That is why I was asking for volunteers. No, I was not planning on taking them on all by myself. If I know them, I suspect they are heading towards their base of operations, which means reinforcements. I want to keep an eye on them and inform our party of any movement. Such as fleeing their hiding place to another one. I am not that eager to meet death again. For once, I will run rather than fight."

    He did not mention that he wouldn't mind if it happened though.

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    Alanna grins as she walks alongside Talsarios, bouncier than usual because she's not weighed down by her armor.
    "Oh, it's totally fine. I love magic, don't you? I mean, of course you do, 'cause you study it so hard… what's it like to study magic? Like, I guess book magic is different from sacred magic, y'know? Because I just pray every morning and the spells are just… there. In my heart. And in my body, too, and my brain, so I can remember the words and gestures…"
    She rambles on, gesticulating all the while, until Talsarios stops her, either to reply or to cast his spell.
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    The runner nods to Ash and trots off in the direction of the Bor farm. He arrives a bit winded, having ran or jogged most of the way. Brandon had little rest, but more than his companions, when he was roused from his bed. The runner communicated Ash's message and lingered to accompany the young fighter back to town.

    ---
    The trip to Lord Bost's manner was a bit shorter and Ash found another night of revelry in full swing as she arrived. Her uncle shook off his inebriation and rose to speak to her privately. "Your what now?" he interjects, requiring an explanation of "Vigilant Companions." At that he smirks, but says nothing. After listening to her story and her questions he replies, "Well met, then, I suppose. The capture of several of those bandits will likely buy your friends a pass on weapons and spells. If you have a lead on the girl or these Fangs, by all means investigate. The law is not on the side of vigilantes, but my name and your recent good deeds will probably prevent you from being detained by the guard. Any further killings or destruction are permissible only so far as you continue to be as successful as you were earlier this evening. By all means, rid Threshold of this snake-sect, if you can."

    ---
    Alanna and Talsarios travel the short distance to the town hall, pausing for Talsarios to cast his spell. At the town hall, using the name Bost's Rangers and recalling the evenings earlier activities, they are admitted to the dungeon. Small stone cells are secured with heavy iron bars. Most prisoners are fast asleep, a few drunkenly passed out.

    ---
    Artanis and Mycah begin to follow the tracks toward the docks.

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    Stopped here for additional actions, rolls, conversation, etc. by PCs.

    Does Nathros return to the bar?
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2012-10-02 at 12:12 PM.
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    Talsarios turns to Alanna and whispers, "Now, this will work best if you ask the questions, and I listen in to his thoughts. He'll reveal plenty whether he tries to lie to us or not."
    Alastor peers at the prisoners in turn until he sees one he recognises from earlier. "You just need to ask general questions to start with - it'll take me a while to get into his head. Then ask him about the Fangs, where their hideouts are, who's in charge - everything you can. I'll take notes." He gets out his parchment and quill with a smile. "Oh, and don't get in between me and the prisoner. I don't want to read your thoughts!"

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    Nathros settles down at the Nut with a mug of brown ale and awaits his companions. He knows Artanis and Alanna are rushing off apart from the party, but figures it is not his responsibility, having already killed three men this night.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

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    ASH

    Ash will be grateful for her uncle's advice.

    After preparing, she'll head back to the Nut, keeping a vigilant eye out for any further trouble. For example, she worries there might be danger of the Fangs making counter attacks on the Companions while they're divided.

    When she sees Nathros at the Nut, she'll join him for a drink as she's feeling a little anxious of what's to come. She'll also offer the advice her uncle told her so that he knows the guidelines the group must follow.

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    Brandon Bor


    Brandon arrives at the Nut looking both anxious and annoyed. His armor, weapons, and gear show subtle signs of having been donned in haste, without Bran's customary care.

    "Why was I summoned? What's happened?"

    He yawns.
    Last edited by Frivolous; 2012-10-02 at 09:44 AM.

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    Alanna calls to the prisoner Talsarios indicates. "Hey! You! Yeah, you. Remember us? Only we'd like to ask you a few questions. Don't mind my friend here, he's writing down what you say. Oh, and be sure to answer truthfully and not lie!"
    She yammers on for a bit, asking filler questions like "what's your name?" and "where are you from?", looking to Talsarios every couple questions to see if he's ready. Once she gets a go sign, she proceeds more slowly and seriously.
    "Have you ever heard of the Fangs? What kind of things do they do? Do you know any members, or where their headquarters are? What kind of things usually happen to people who don't mind their own business?" If Talsarios hears something interesting and indicates he wants the prisoner to elaborate, she'll ask the follow-up questions he suggests.
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    Artanis wordlessly followed the tracks, unwilling to risk conversation in case unfriendly ears were present.
    Invincibility lies in the defense. The possibility of victory is in the attack.
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    Neutral Good Human Cleric (3rd Level)
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    STR.-11
    DEX.-15
    CON.-11
    INT.-15
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    Personally I think my Strength and Constitution are a lot weaker than this... I'm too stubborn to give up.

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    Talsarios finds the experience somewhat overwhelming given the number of individuals incarcerated here. He manages to hone in single mind of the chosen thug as Alanna poses the more important questions. Most of the thug's answers are non-answers and curses, but the actual answer dance fleetingly through his mind. To Talsarios, much of the man's thoughts on these subjects seem rehearsed, like mantras or oaths, but they also seem truthful and not fabricated.

    The Fangs do what they're told. I know Gerd; he's in the next cell. We're Fangs. The Fangs are everywhere and nowhere. Our orders come from the Viper.

    On the question of headquarters, the man's thoughts tumble through a series of images, which Talsarios understands to be the man's speculation or guesses: a warehouse by the river, a bar called Bloody Bill's in the docks, and a patch of riverbank.

    He seems not to understand Alanna's last question. Aside from the exact questions, the man's thoughts also envision a man wearing a Fang amulet similar to the one recovered in the caves west of town and his rescue by other Fangs.

    ---
    Brandon arrives at the Nut to find only Nathros and a small number of other patrons drinking ale by a dying fire. Ash enters moments later.

    ---
    Artanis and Mycah follow the tracks as they head a couple blocks toward the docks, winding through alleys and around corners, shortly after the third or fourth turn the tracks slow their running pace and become indistinguishable from the surrounding tracks. Neither Artanis nor Mycah can follow them any further. The pair retraces the route and retries, but they simply can't pick out the men's tracks. Some time is spent in this endeavor, but to no avail.

    ---

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    (Badly) failed Tracking checks by both Artanis and Mycah
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2012-10-03 at 01:54 AM.
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    Undaunted, Artanis merely looked at the surrounding buildings and tried to figure out where a secluded building with enough room to hide several men could be.

    He quietly whispered to Mycah:

    "Look for a spot that you and your friends would go if you didn't want to be found. Remember, even if it seems insane or a waste of time, check it, we don't have time to check a second time. Maybe check some of the buildings that are open around here. It is quite difficult to hide Solahel due to its size."

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    Alertness DC 14: (1d20)[15]


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    In case that didn't make sense, Artanis is checking for the typical areas that villains hide in. Such as:
    Warehouses, abandoned buildings, secluded buildings, and stores that are open.
    Last edited by Tsunamiatunzen1; 2012-10-06 at 10:50 AM.
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    Neutral Good Human Cleric (3rd Level)
    Ability Scores:
    STR.-11
    DEX.-15
    CON.-11
    INT.-15
    WIS.-13
    CHA.-13

    Personally I think my Strength and Constitution are a lot weaker than this... I'm too stubborn to give up.

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    Brandon Bor


    Bran yawns and sleepily says to Ashala and Nathros, "What happened? Why am I here? Who am I?"

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    His brows knit in concentration, Talsarios writes Ask him: what they do at the warehouse by the river, and who is "Viper"? - and shows his note to Alanna.

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    Alanna squints at the short note for a moment, having a little trouble with the word "warehouse." When she understands, she decides to phrase her question in an innocent-sounding manner to avoid arousing suspicion in case the prisoner knows about mind-reading spells.
    "Hmm… I hear there's a warehouse by the river. I wonder what goes on there… hey, how do you think the Fangs got their name? I'd imagine that they're names after a snake… maybe a viper? Wonder why they chose viper of all things… it could be a nickname. "The Viper" would definitely be a cool title."
    As she "chats," she feels a sense of excitement and has to resist the urge to laugh with merriment. This is actually pretty fun!
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    "So it is a warehouse? I figgered as much. Which one? How'd ya know?"

    "Viper, fangs, get it? Viper's the big boss, but no one ever meets 'im. 'Tis a good name."


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    As noted in the preceding post, he doesn't know where the hideout is, but a warehouse is one of his guesses.


    ---

    The tavern clears out eventually, most heading out into the street but a few stumbling back to the front of the house and up into the rooms above.

    ---

    Dark shadows abound in the dock district. No obvious hiding places suggest themselves, though they might have entered any of these quiet buildings. Mostly houses, warehouses, and closed and heavily barred shops line the streets. The buildings vary from well-kept to dilapidated, but none stood obviously abandoned. Some lots have stacks of empty crates alongside the building. Examining a couple blocks reveals a quiet neighborhood save for a building right on the docks containing a bar called Bloody Bill's and a flophouse called, apparently, "Sleep." Across the street lies the docks themselves and a handful of ships sit quietly in the river.
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    Artanis started to become slightly frustrated. He turned to Mycah and laid out his quick alternative.

    "We need to find information on any recent activity. The best place would have to be this tavern... unless you have any ideas?"

    He had no idea what a flophouse was, being raised in a relatively small elven town and not a city and rarely staying indoors in his persuit of his quarry.

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    Disclaimer:

    O.K. once again I am not trying to intentionally metagame in any way, shape, or form.
    My first honest thought was to go to the tavern since I had no idea what a flophouse was until I looked it up and I thought that since Elves are more prone to live in forests that might explain this.
    Plus, my character is supposedly relatively ignorant of unfamiliar places.
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    Ability Scores:
    STR.-11
    DEX.-15
    CON.-11
    INT.-15
    WIS.-13
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    Personally I think my Strength and Constitution are a lot weaker than this... I'm too stubborn to give up.

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    ASH

    Ash fills Nathros and Brandon in (Brandon on what's going on, and both of them on how far they can take this pursuit based on what Lord Bost told her).

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    Brandon Bor


    Bran splutters in fury as soon as Ash's words register in his sleepy brain.

    "This is outrageous! Attacked? Here, in town? An elf? This is horrible!"

    "So what do we do?"


    He yawns again. Even this breach of what Bran thinks of as hospitality is not enough to wake him up completely this late at night.

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    Underneath where he wrote his earlier questions, Talsarios adds Who gives him his orders? - and shows this new inquiry to Alanna with a smile and a wink.

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    ASH

    Ash smirks at Brandon's slightly disheveled presentation, but her face is more solemn/serious as she declares in response, "We shall wait her until the rest of our companions return with more information. Then we'll probably mount a counter attack on the Fangs and hopefully rescue Marie, if we can find her."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevaera View Post
    ASH

    Ash smirks at Brandon's slightly disheveled presentation, but her face is more solemn/serious as she declares in response, "We shall wait her until the rest of our companions return with more information. Then we'll probably mount a counter attack on the Fangs and hopefully rescue Marie, if we can find her."
    Brandon Bor

    "Marie? Her disappearance is connected to the Fangs?" Bran asks.

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    "Well, four of our companions are out and about in town now. If we can link up with them all well and good. For my part, I have had enough ale for the evening and now that you are both here we may make some progress in the hunt. I believe Alanna and Talsarios have gone to the prison, whilst Mycah and Artanis are attempting to track the "fangs" who fled through the city. I do not hold out much hope for the latter endeavour, but prisoners seem like an obvious source of information."

    If Ashala and Bran are agreeable, Nathros pays his tab and leads them to the prison to rendezvous with Alanna and Talsarios.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

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    Alanna grins some more before proceeding. "So who gives you your orders? And what else about the Viper? Is he the absolute top of the heap?"
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    Default Re: Old Ways IC II

    Bloody Bill's features a couple of tables of maudlin looking fellows well into their cups sitting outside the front door. The sign for the place is a large wooden affair featuring "Bloody" and "Bill's" painted on in two separate colors by two separate hands. The sound of raucous laughter spills out from the open doorway. The place within is poorly lit and little inside can be seen from the street.

    Next to the bar is another door, bearing a sign stating, "Sleep."

    ---

    Alanna relays Talsarios' next question. "Viper gives all the orders."

    The man's thoughts are more specific. A cloaked figure wearing a fang amulet, who he knows was not Viper himself, barged in on he and Gerd, who were sharing a second-floor room overlooking the docks.

    The order itself echos in his head for Talsarios to hear: "A wealthy elf has been asking around about the Fangs. Six pairs of fangs will be meeting in the market square at dusk to deal with him. Be there."

    The man says, "you two are probably already dead for asking about Viper. He's the headman."

    His fear is real and he means what he says, his thoughts betray the fact he's never seen the one called Viper.
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2012-10-08 at 12:37 AM.
    Constable Roland by Balford
    Old Ways, a long-running RC/BECMI game is now recruiting for a replacement player.
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  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Altair_the_Vexed's Avatar

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    Default Re: Old Ways IC II

    Thank you for the warning, Talsarios thinks, and writes a new question on his notes: Where is Marie Takish?

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