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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Rise of the What Now? [IC]

    Rise of the Runelords
    Chapter One: Burnt Offerings

    After waking up with the sun and traveling for several hours without break, the last leg of the journey was over! Though they had come from many different areas and joined up at different points throughout the trip, the five adventurers who had tagged along with the ever-growing caravan of merchants and farmers had reached their destination. Before them stands the Light of the Lost Coast, Sandpoint, a bustling small city of tile and thatched roofs over which looms the the Old Light, the crumbling remains of an ancient lighthouse, according to one of the locals.

    Sir Talbot, leader of the caravan in nothing but name, was happy to have each of the adventurers along for the trip, if for naught but company. Although no major incidences occurred, there was always the chance for bandits, monsters, or even the fabled Sandpoint Devil to interrupt what was otherwise a very serene and scenic route along the Lost Coast Road. As the adventurers began unloading their gear, Sir Talbot thanked them, and told them "Be safe, enjoy yourselves. Looks like we arrived just in time for the Swallowtail Festival to begin. I'd tell you to go find a nice inn to stay at, but I doubt you'll find anything open while the Festival is underway. Follow the sounds of cheering and you'll quickly find the new Cathedral being blessed today. Hurry on now! We can handle our jobs just fine here. Take care!" before turning to the rest of the caravan, none of whom appear to be particularly interested in his presence.

    The five of you find your ways down a few long, winding streets making your way north towards a large Cathedral looming above the various wood-and-stone buildings near the south entrance to the village, where the caravan entered the city by crossing a long bridge. As you all make your way down a street labeled "High Street" by various signs, you crest a hill and see a sight that is all too welcoming after the days of empty roads you have crossed: People everywhere, music, dancing, stalls with merchants and vendors offering every kind of goods and foods and drinks, many of which are being given away for free! Someone is finishing a speech on the top of a large stage constructed in front of a magnificent cathedral. Listening closely reveals that the speech is one of welcome and rejoicing, with a friendly and energetic tone. Though you all came up during the middle of the speech, it quickly becomes evident that the person speaking, a female human, is Mayor Deverin. Her speech appears to raise people's spirits as she makes well-spirited jabs at some of the local townsfolk, and she concludes by thanking everyone for joining in the festivities. With this, she invites Sheriff Belor Hemlock to the stage to give another welcome speech, to much applause for both the Mayor and the Sheriff.

    You find yourselves each standing on the edge of the celebration, with the stage to the east, and some stands selling goods just a few paces to the north. On the northernmost edge of the large space reserved for the festival, several games and contests appear to be being played, with people competing over various feats.

    What do each of you do?
    Last edited by Syekate; 2015-05-29 at 09:46 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    "I don't know about you folks," Rose says cheerily to her nearby companions from the caravans, "but I haven't had anything to eat but the rations I packed for the road. Some real food sounds mighty fine right now." With that said, she wanders off towards the food stalls, looking for something slightly exotic to try. The energy of the festival is quite invigorating, and she can't help but keep a smile on her face as she wanders.
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    Kurad stands and watches for a few moments, trying to process what's going on. He doesn't consider himself uncivilized, and this certainly isn't his first time in a city, but he has to admit that this kind of spectacle isn't something he's comfortable with.

    A decent meal does sound good, but he thinks he might be better off to wait until he's feeling less unsettled by the strangeness of this festival. With that in mind, he settles in at the edge of the crowd to wait for the next speech. It seems as though the sheriff is a well-regarded speaker, so Kurad thinks he might learn something by watching how the man handles speaking to such a vast number of people. And, if nothing else, it will at least give him some time to adjust.
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    Grotar eyes the crowds with a judging eye. Compared to the orcish celebrations he had taken part in, everything here was... tame. Where he came from, celebrations were more than just merry making - they were a chance for an orc to prove himself among other orcs, to show off their strength. While there were the physical contests here, they seemed to be more for fun than a demonstration of power. An odd way to celebrate. Maybe there's something I'm not seeing here... I will have to learn from them. Despite how weak they seemed to appear, he could not overlook the fact that there may be something hidden beneath the surface. The only way to learn would be to join them, he supposed. "Make merry to your heart's content, halfling," he said in response to the little one. Such an odd race. How are they still alive? I would think they'd have been crushed ages ago. Another thing to learn. He started moving towards the celebration, returning any suspicious stares from the townsfolk with an intimidating look of his own. "I plan on testing my strength."

    The crowd made room for him, few wanting to stand in his way. It was only the occasional villager that he had to gently move out of the way - no sense in causing a disturbance before he could learn - and was amused when he saw the shocked expression of the oblivious villager when they saw Grotar. In short time, he had made his way over to a game of wrestling. For a minute, he watched as shirtless men threw themselves at each other, unarmed, in a test of who was mightier. While watching, and looking at his competition, he had to give some of them a begrudging respect. While most humans seemed fragile, this group had a few that could hold their own quite well. He watched two in particular go at it, and he could see that they were quite skilled. They would be perfect to test himself against. He stood tall, arms folded on his chest as he watched. Then, in a deep voice he called out, "I claim the next fight!"

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    Home.

    It felt good to be back. The town didn't appear to have changed much in the past three years It appeared they had arrived just in time for the opening speeches, as the Mayor just stepped by to let other speakers take the stage. A rumbling in his stomach reminded him that deliciousness was only coin pieces away. Not yet. I came back to see our cathedral consecrated, and I will do so. Though, getting too much farther in the crowd might cause a ruckus. And so Uriel stood next to his other companion who also watched the ceremony.

    Feeling chatty, he struck up small-talk, "Kurad, was it? If you're not from here, you might not know the history behind him. New sheriff after about five years ago, Belor Hemlock. Good man, through and through. He's Shoanti, though I couldn't tell you the tribe...nor do I think he would, either. He doesn't say much on that part, but he's been doing the town real well since."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lifeson View Post
    "Kurad, was it? If you're not from here, you might not know the history behind him. New sheriff after about five years ago, Belor Hemlock. Good man, through and through. He's Shoanti, though I couldn't tell you the tribe...nor do I think he would, either. He doesn't say much on that part, but he's been doing the town real well since."
    Kurad eyes the fellow. He's a strange-looking one, no denying, but they'd traveled together for a while, and that made him almost kin. He didn't seem so bad on the road, and now that they've reached their destination, Kurad can't deny that he's glad just to have a familiar face around, even if the face in question does have red skin and horns.

    "That's my name," he says, extending his hand. "And you were...Uriel, yes? I've seen you around, don't think we've spoken." He looks back at the stage. "Strange to see one of my people as the sheriff, of all things. I'll have to ask how that came to be."
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  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Heading toward the vendors, Rose finds that most of the food there is available free of charge. There are many samplers, but not much in the way of a full meal. Some merchants are selling exotic fares, cheese and wines, meat pies of rare beasts, ambrosia and nectars claiming to hail from exotic lands, but only those of the higher class appear to be purchasing these expensive goods. She finds her way to a stall emitting a particularly delicious aroma of spicy stew where a woman who looks equal parts beautiful and dangerous is dishing out stew to anyone who puts a hand forth. Her hair is dark with exciting white highlights slashing across her bangs, and her keen eyes and lopsided smile, along with toned muscles on bare arms, suggest a person who lives for thrills. She calls to those leaving the stall, "Remember the Rusty Dragon during lunch today! Oh, hello there, new to town?" she asks Rose as she continues serving the many hungry mouths gathered around the crowded stall.

    Kurad and Uriel are among few people giving the stage their primary attention at this time. Sheriff Belor Hemlock is a brown-skinned, tall, and muscular man with a dour gaze. He begins his speech with a warning for safety and vigilance. "Please recall, particularly around the bonfire later tonight, to exercise caution and good judgement. In conclusion, I would like to invite everyone to join me in remembering those we lost in the fire that brought down the old cathedral five years ago. May their spirits go with peace and Sarenrae guide them on their path." There is a very uncomfortable silence around the stage as the mood in the crowd suffers from dismal memories.

    Grotar is not dissappointed, for when the wrestling match is finished, and the victor declared, a hulking man takes his shirt off and enters the ring. A voice from the ringside calls out, "Current champion Rugar the Beast has been challenged by a new contender! Remember, no hitting, kicking, or biting. Let's make it a clean show, folks!" Rugar grins at Grotar; he has the sun-worn skin of a farmer, and enough muscles to suggest that he may pull the plow himself. The match is fierce, with a large crowd gathering the two contenders as they circle the ring, arms locked, looking for a weak point. The crowd begins to cheer as Rugar starts to gain the upper hand, but Grotar manages to reverse his position and brings his foe crashing to the ground. They tussle for quite some time, keeping everyone on the edge of their seats. The farmer has been unbeaten all day, and everybody is keen on watching the exciting matchup. Before long, Grotar has his foe in an inescapable lock, and Rugar pounds his fist on the ground to admit defeat. The crowd goes wild as Grotar is claimed the new champion of strength, and the half-orc has likely never been surrounded by so many smiling human faces congratulating him on his victory, including Rugar, who comes over to shake Grotar's hand.

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    Rose

    Quote Originally Posted by Syekate View Post
    "Remember the Rusty Dragon during lunch today! Oh, hello there, new to town?".
    "Oh, yes," Rose replies, "I was just passing through the area when I came upon a caravan headed here. When I heard that it was full of travelers on their way to this Swallowtail Festival, I couldn't help but tag along. I've needed a little bit of a break, and this may be just the thing to help me do it. Name's Rose, by the way" She reaches for one of the bowls that the other patrons have been taking, holding it out for the woman to fill it. "The Rusty Dragon? That your place then? How'd it get a name like that?" Rose asks, before quickly adding, pointing to the fox at her side, "And if you had a little something for Medea here, I'd be awfully grateful."
    Last edited by The Hellbug; 2015-05-31 at 07:21 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
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    As the wrestling match he was watching drew to a close, Grotar kept an ear on the human speaker. Judging by the fact that he still held a few peoples' attention, it seemed that it might be more than a simple flowery speech meant for posturing. Such speeches about remembering the fallen were always used to amp up an army before a battle - remember the fallen, so that you might not fall as well. Or if you do, make sure it is a fall to be remembered. There was an odd lack of battle preparation, however, if this were such a speech. Could this speaker be genuine? It seemed a foreign concept to him, yet it resonated with him. Remember the ones who had fallen for your cause, and who they were. This Sarenrae must be one of the human dieties, perhaps one that guided noble soldiers who had fallen in battle. If so, Grotar would have to learn about him.

    Grotar raised an eyebrow as a different man entered the ring - he was expecting one of the two current wrestlers to be the champion. Surely this kind of crowd wouldn't care for a lesser bout - in his mind, only the champion's fights earned such attention. Orcs lower in the hierarchy fought and changed position so often that the only reason to watch was the anticipation of "accidental" bloodshed. Yet these humans seemed cheerful to watch the lower fights, even without any bloodshed. Nobody even cheated! While that was an odd notion, it was one that Grotar approved of. Yet it left him confused about why they cared to watch. These people did not seem bloodthirsty. Could it be a simple love of the sport? Such a strange people.

    Grotar eyed this champion carefully as he entered the ring. A man so comfortable on the top that he welcomed challengers. Grotar had fought this type before - they were foolhardy, and did not stay on the top for long. The moment they were threatened, they were likely to pull out every dirty trick as their expectations were challenged. However, the rules had been set. Grotar nodded at his opponent, flexing to show off his strength. He would not be the first to dishonor this competition. He stepped into the ring with Rugar. Judging by his size, Rugar was sure to put up a good fight. For a human.

    Then the fight started. The two slammed muscles against each other. They were equally matched. Grotar strained and pushed, yet it was for nothing. The human held his ground! The bout went on, as Grotar kept waiting for the inevitable betrayal of the rules. Rugar had too much at stake to risk losing, he figured. Yet it never came. Grotar gained new respect for his opponent, and pushed all the harder. The two sweated and strained, and Grotar shouted a battle cry as he attempted to overpower Rugar with brute force. The human held his ground. And pushed back! Just as Grotar feared he might lose, his legs wanting to buckle, he remembered his book of battle. Tactics came back to his mind - he would have to turn Rugar's strength into his weakness. He shifted his grip and pushed even harder, their faces barely an inch away from each other - and then, he twisted. The half orc moved his hand to Rugar's shoulder. The human's powerful surge forward put him off balance, and Grotar flipped him. He seized his new advantage with all the strength he could, holding the human down until he eventually admitted defeat. It was over.

    He took a deep breath, still stunned. Not at his victory, but that his opponent had fought clean throughout it. Their champion was defeated, and yet nobody cheated. He celebrated the only way he knew how. He stood tall over his foe, beating his chests and bellowing a cry of victory. Now they will show their true colors! He pumped his hands into the air, sweat dripping out of his hair as he looked into a crowd that should have been intimidated, or at least angry that he, a foreigner, an orc, had bested their best.

    Yet they all congratulated him. They cheered him. Rugar, the ex-champion, shook his hand. He did not understand, and that made him feel weak. He was obviously perplexed, looking back and forth from Rugar to the crowd with a tired gaze. Each time he thought that he understood these creatures, they proved him wrong. What was their angle? He fixed his gaze on Rugar, trying to understand this man that was not bothered by losing. "I... do not understand. I took away your title of being undefeated, and your claim to being champion. Yet you seem happy. You congratulate me, instead of cursing me. Why?"

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    "And you were...Uriel, yes? I've seen you around, don't think we've spoken. Strange to see one of my people as the sheriff, of all things. I'll have to ask how that came to be." An extended hand was met with a firm handshake...as much as an ink-stained scribe can muster, anyhow. Remembering the events in question, and the 'unpleasantness' that Sandpoint had termed it, he warned Kurad, "Um...there is a story behind that one...", but was cut off by Hemlock's address.

    "Please recall, particularly around the bonfire later tonight, to exercise caution and good judgement. In conclusion, I would like to invite everyone to join me in remembering those we lost in the fire that brought down the old cathedral five years ago. May their spirits go with peace and Sarenrae guide them on their path."

    Uriel bowed his head, grasped his wooden holy symbol and repeated, "May Sarenrae light their path." Returning to the conversation at hand, Uriel continued where he left off, "I don't know how much of Sandpoint you know, but even a town as vibrant as this one has dark times. There once was a man named Jervis Stoot, an eccentric man with a penchant for birds. It was he who...er, how should I say...opened up the position of sheriff." Uriel adjusted his glasses, falling askew after the prayer, and finished his explanation, "In fact, it was shortly before the previous church burned down, the whole reason we're here today. That year was not a good year for us here at Sandpoint. I'm glad to see that they've gotten brighter since I last saw them."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lifeson View Post
    Uriel bowed his head, grasped his wooden holy symbol and repeated, "May Sarenrae light their path." Returning to the conversation at hand, Uriel continued where he left off, "I don't know how much of Sandpoint you know, but even a town as vibrant as this one has dark times. There once was a man named Jervis Stoot, an eccentric man with a penchant for birds. It was he who...er, how should I say...opened up the position of sheriff." Uriel adjusted his glasses, falling askew after the prayer, and finished his explanation, "In fact, it was shortly before the previous church burned down, the whole reason we're here today. That year was not a good year for us here at Sandpoint. I'm glad to see that they've gotten brighter since I last saw them."
    Kurad grins at this. He likes this fellow, he decides. Sure, he's odd-looking, and that mention of Sarenrae is a bit off-putting as well; Kurad's always been a touch hesitant about deities. You honor your totem, you honor your ancestors, and you honor the world around you. He figures making things more complex than that is just asking for trouble.

    But Uriel seems a decent sort, and there's nothing in the tribal teachings that says folk with red skin and horns can't be decent. "I'd wager that's a tale worth hearing," Kurad says, releasing the man's hand. "Dark times, a murdered sheriff and a burning church, a year of blood and fire...it almost sets itself to verse. Please, you must tell me the whole thing. I cannot stand to know half a story. It seems that you know Sandpoint better than I; do you know where we can get some food, while you tell me how these things came to be? I don't have anything to trade, but perhaps I could work for our meal."
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    The woman gets out a small dish for the fox and says, "I'm Ameiko-" right before a sudden surge of hungry people overwhelms her stall. As Rose is pushed out of the way, the woman quickly scribbles a note on a piece of paper and hands it to the halfling, then turning to the new customers to deal them their fair share. The note reads: Rusty Dragon, Market Street, Ameiko Kaijitsu.

    Meanwhile, the sheriff ends the moment of silence with an uncharacteristically warm smile and says, almost as if he'd forgotten, "Please remember to enjoy the festivities." The next speaker is supposed to be local noble Lonjiku Kaijitsu, but he has apparently fallen ill and will not be able to make it. Nobody in the crowd appears particularly surprised by this development. Just when everybody thinks the opening ceremonies are complete, a handsome, well-dressed man seems to just appear in the center of the stage, completely and totally prepared for the limelight. A cry of "Cyrdak we love you!!!" goes out from a few of the younger ladies in the crowd. The man quickly begins what appears to be a well-rehearsed speech, starting with a formal introduction signifying him as Cyrdak Drokkus, playwright extraordinaire, diviner of the fine thespian arts, and a few other larger-than-life titles. Judging by the reaction from the crowd, this a much more welcome change from the expected Lonjiku. Cyrdak quickly goes into a rousing tale about the ordeal the town went through to gain the financial backing to construct this new cathedral... Even taking some time at the end of his speech to advertise his company, the Sandpoint Theatre, and the new production of "The Harpy's Curse" which would be opening soon with none other than the famous Magnimarian diva Allishanda playing the lead role as the Harpy Queen!

    Rugar claps the half-orc on the back. "It's all good fun and games, mate!" He then goes off with some friends, boasting about how he almost had that huge half-orc on the ropes. Everyone agrees that it was a solid match, well fought on either side. A new pair enters the ring, but they are not nearly as big or well-muscled as the previous contenders. Many people give their congratulations to Grotar on being the strongest contestant of the day before wandering off to partake in other festivities.

    As Cyrdak leaves the stage to wild applause, a priest steps up to say his piece...

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    Kobold

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    Rose

    Receiving Ameiko's note along with the bowl for Medea, Rose sees that there won't be a chance to get in a word edgewise, Guess I'll have to come back later if the stew's as good as it smells. She looks like she could have quite the story to tell for an innkeeper. She awkwardly attempts to give Ameiko a wave but can't quite manage it with her hands full and only manages a quick nod and a smile before setting off back towards the stage and a place to sit down.

    Rose approaches the crowd at the stage just as the thespian steps down to wild applause. Seeing a couple other members of her caravan in Uriel and Kurdak, she joins them on the edge of the crowd, putting the smaller bowl of stew on the ground for Medea, who quickly begins lapping happily at the stew, and pocketing the note from Ameiko before tasting the stew for herself. "Wow, this stuff is really good," she says after the first spoonful, "they don't make it like this back home; I'll have to grab the recipe. You two should really go grab some since they're giving it away for free. Some place called the Rusty Dragon."
    Last edited by The Hellbug; 2015-06-02 at 12:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steinulfr View Post
    "Dark times, a murdered sheriff and a burning church, a year of blood and fire...it almost sets itself to verse. Please, you must tell me the whole thing. I cannot stand to know half a story. It seems that you know Sandpoint better than I; do you know where we can get some food, while you tell me how these things came to be? I don't have anything to trade, but perhaps I could work for our meal."
    Uriel blinked a few times in a stunned silence, that was not the response he was expecting! ...he's not wrong, when I think about it...Ameiko would love to--oh! Thoughts recomposed, Uriel responded aloud,"I happen to know a place in town to eat you'll love, and I know the barkeep would like you. It's called the Rusty Dragon. You'll see why when we go. As for the town history lesson, I don't know if you'll hear the whole story for a bit. I actually was raised in the previous church here as a foundling, where I guess Sarenrae found me, rather than the other way around," A rumbling stomach stopped Uriel from going further on his tangent, "...rambling again, sorry. Anyways, once we're seated for food, I'll fill you in. The sun is shining too bright right now to darken it with those memories, but food sounds really good right about now. I wonder if Ameiko is serving anything toda--"

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hellbug
    "Wow, this stuff is really good," she says after the first spoonful, "they don't make it like this back home; I'll have to grab the recipe. You two should really go grab some since they're giving it away for free. Some place called the Rusty Dragon."
    "...speak of the devil..." muttered Uriel, then snickered at his own joke. He then explained himself to Rose, "As I just said to Kurad, I used to live here in Sandpoint and once upon a time, I worked in her kitchen. I don't have Ameiko's skill or raw talent with food, though, she is something else. Where is she serving? At her place, or one of the stalls around here?" Uriel's golden eyes seemed to sparkle from excitement.
    Last edited by Lifeson; 2015-06-03 at 11:03 AM. Reason: Adding details. BECAUSE I CAN. >:D
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    Rose

    "Right up the road aways in one of them stalls," replies Rose, pointing in the direction from which she had approached, "but you're gonna have to watch out for the crowd. It was no mean feat getting up to the front of the line." She pauses for a moment, studying the faces of her companions and rethinking her statement. "Then again, with the horns and the tattoos there, you probably won't have nearly the problem I did," Rose adds, letting out a laugh. As Medea finishes the last drops of the stew in the bowl on the ground, Rose finishes with a question, "want me to lead the way?"
    Last edited by The Hellbug; 2015-06-03 at 01:13 PM. Reason: TYPOS
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    Grotar continued to watch the fights for a while, his curiosity not having been completely satisfied. Judging by everyone's reactions, it seemed they truly did enjoy the didn't itself more than coming out on top. Could that be where their strength came from? A love of the fight itself instead of the posturing that orcs often did. A race that truly care more about each other than being on top. It was a strange concept, and he didn't know if it was a weakness or a strength.

    As people congratulated him, he gave most people a brief nod to acknowledge them. One farmer he stopped. "Thank you. After the celebration is over, where might I relax with a drink?" The farmer seemed happy to reply.

    "You should head to the rusty dragon. The best drink and food around! For the time being though, Ameiko has a stall over yonder," the farmer pointed with a callused finger in the direction of another crowd. "It's all free today, too! Make site you get it while it's still there!"

    free food? What would this Ameiko have to gain from this? Curious, Grotar made his way through the crowd, having little trouble making his way through.

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    The priest on stage names himself Father Zantus, and he addresses the crowd with thanks for their attending, letting everyone know that the Swallowtail Festival is now underway! At the elder's command, two acolytes draw a tarp-covered carriage toward the stage. Father Zantus tells the parable of how Desna first fell to earth, and was nursed back to health by a poor blind child. "And for her aid, Desna transformed the child into an immortal butterfly. And so, on this day, we release the children of Densa to watch over the world!" With this, the acolytes withdraw the tarp, letting free a furious storm of swallowtail butterflies that swarm into the air in a spiraling riot of color to a great cheer from the crowd. The children jump and run in futile attempts to catch a butterfly themselves while adult spectators are content to watch the spectacle. This appears to be the signal to begin preparing for lunch, as the food carts have closed up shop and tables are being set for a great feast. In the meantime, the festivities continue, but lunch should be ready soon.

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hellbug View Post
    "Right up the road aways in one of them stalls," replies Rose, pointing in the direction from which she had approached, "but you're gonna have to watch out for the crowd. It was no mean feat getting up to the front of the line." She pauses for a moment, studying the faces of her companions and rethinking her statement. "Then again, with the horns and the tattoos there, you probably won't have nearly the problem I did," Rose adds, letting out a laugh. As Medea finishes the last drops of the stew in the bowl on the ground, Rose finishes with a question, "want me to lead the way?"
    "It's true, people tend not to stand in my way in these parts," Kurad agrees, shrugging helplessly. "Although in this case it smells good enough that I don't mind so much. Doesn't it, Medea?" He squats down to pet the fox, then stand and hands the empty bowl to Rose. "Lead on," he says. "I'm looking forward to a warm meal, and I think Uriel is looking forward to seeing his friend again."

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    I'm assuming they're acquainted, at least enough that Kurad knows Medea's name and feels comfortable petting her.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hellbug View Post
    "Right up the road aways in one of them stalls, but you're gonna have to watch out for the crowd. It was no mean feat getting up to the front of the line. Then again, with the horns and the tattoos there, you probably won't have nearly the problem I did, want me to lead the way?"
    Uriel ponders it for a moment. Yes, right, though perhaps the horns were more personal to the townsfolk than the Shoanti tattoos. On the other hand, you don't mess with Shoanti with tattoos. Hemlock was dangerous enough without them, who knows what the 'barbarian' was capable of, and he's got the marks to prove it if the trickle of tribal knowledge is anything to go by.

    Quote Originally Posted by steinulfr View Post
    "It's true, people tend not to stand in my way in these parts. Although in this case it smells good enough that I don't mind so much. Doesn't it, Medea? Lead on, I'm looking forward to a warm meal, and I think Uriel is looking forward to seeing his friend again."
    Civilized or not, friends are friends, all linked by a common desire: good food. "No need to think of me that much, I'm sure we'll be here long enough for me to say hi to everyone who would want me to," Uriel muttered, thankful that red skin doesn't blush redder. "Yes, lead on. Hopefully before she runs out. Ameiko's cooking is in very high demand."
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    Rose

    Quote Originally Posted by steinulfr
    "Although in this case it smells good enough that I don't mind so much. Doesn't it, Medea?"
    The fox yipps happily in response, clearly sharing a similar opinion with her master about the stew, and leans into Kurad's hand, enjoying the attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifeson
    "No need to think of me that much, I'm sure we'll be here long enough for me to say hi to everyone who would want me to,"
    Rose had never met a tiefling before Uriel, but she had heard about them in stories: the descendants of mortal men and demons, cursed with demonic bloodlust and a desire for destruction of all that honest folk work for. She had to say, Uriel could not have been more different from the reputation his race had earned, and that was satisfactory for her. Like a sheep in wolf's clothing, she thinks to herself, grinning. "Nonsense, I've got to return these bowls to her stall anyway, and maybe with lunch coming up..." Rose nods towards the crowd and the now-empty stage, "...she'll have enough time to talk. She looked like she could have quite a story to tell."

    Rose begins leading Kurad and Uriel back towards Ameiko's stall, Medea faithfully in tow. You know, Rose, joining that caravan has already been worth it, meeting strange people like these. Think of what everyone would say back home! And it certainly is better than traveling alone. Maybe I'll stay around here for a while after the festival since I'm already dreading going back to traveling alone.
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    The three are approaching the food stalls area when they run into Grotar, who is also seeking out something tasty to eat. Unfortunately, they find most of the food stalls deserted as vendors have left to prepare for the lunchtime feast. A halfling is cleaning up and putting away dishes at Ameiko's former post. It appears that people are taking their seats at long tables in preparation for the big meal of the day. Joining the rest, the adventurers take their seats and enjoy the amazing feast set before them. Each tavern in town has cooked a specialty dish to be judged, and the result is a smorgasbord of delectable delights. The Hagfish's lobster chowder and the White Deer's peppercorn venison are delicious, but nothing tops the Rusty Dragon's curry-spiced salmon and early winterdrop mead. Following the late luncheon, festivities continue for a short time as preparations are made for the cathedral's consecration.

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    Kurad

    Kurad sits and eats happily. "So, Rose," he says between dishes. "You said that you've spent some time traveling on your own, yes? I imagine you must have some stories from that. And Medea, she's quite a wonderful creature. I'd love to hear how the two of you met."
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    Rose

    Rose is disappointed that she won't be able to ask Ameiko those questions she had wanted to ask, but it is short lived in the face of the the the festival's feast. When the group meets up with Grotar, Rose is again reminded just how huge the orcish warrior is. Though she had never really talked to him much, in fact, she wasn't sure if anybody else in the caravan had, she is still happy to see another familiar face. After sitting down and beginning the meal, Kurad starts trying to make conversation.

    "You said that you've spent some time traveling on your own, yes? I imagine you must have some stories from that. And Medea, she's quite a wonderful creature. I'd love to hear how the two of you met."


    "Unfortunately, my travels so far haven't been particularly interesting," Rose begins, reaching into her pack and producing a book titled On the Ruins of Ancient Thassilon. "I've come all the way across Varisia in the past few months, following in the footsteps of Arnhelm Strauss, the author of this here piece. As you might know, the Thassilonians were renowned for their arcane magic, and I was hoping the journey might shed some light on my own powers, both their origins and ways to strengthen them. Unfortunately, all I've found is dusty ruins with anything interesting already taken by scholars or thieves." She leans over to pat Medea on the head, "As for Medea, here, she's been with me since the beginning, showed up when my powers began to appear and hasn't left my side since. Sometimes I think she was the only thing that allowed me to keep going when we were on our own. Sorry I don't have any stories; there was one time we ran into a wild boar that had taken up residence in one of the ruins, but that's probably not interesting to someone as well-traveled as you."

    After she finishes her tale, Rose turns he attention back to the food but adding one last thought: "this festival's been pretty great so far. I wonder what they have planned for the actual dedication of the temple?"
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    I guess you could say we accomplished the mission anyways, even if we didn't get to see her in person. I'll have to ask her for that curry recipe sometime, Uriel thought to himself as he finished his portion of the feast. He listened to his companions talk, making it their turn to reveal themselves. Especially a mental note to ask about learning Thassilonian. So much of their history entrenched in Varisia, and much of it behind a language barrier.

    But, there was a fourth who had been apart from the rest of the group. Uriel dragged him into conversation, "How about you, Grotar? What brings you to lovely little Sandpoint?"
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    Grotar greeted the group with a cordial nod. He had not yet spoken to them, not having seen a reason to before. Now, however, he eyed them a bit curiously as they walked towards the food cart. A diverse group of poeple - a halfling, a tribal human, and demonspawn. He would expect them to be enemies before friends, yet they seemed to enjoy each other's company. He would learn from them.

    Grotar's lip curled into a slight frown as he saw the carts were being put away. He had missed his chance - it seemed he would have to eat with the entire group, instead of being able to take his food and eat in privacy. His eyes scanned the crowd, as well as the talkative people he had arrived with. He was hoping to reflect for a bit on what he had observed so far, but that might be difficult in such a crowd. He made a mental note of his thoughts, and determined that he would have to commit them to paper later. Only then might he be able to piece this riddle of a society together. From what he could tell, however, was that everything here seemed to be genuine. And since they were still standing after hardship, that meant that it had to work. What he had yet to discover, however, was how?

    As they ate, Grotar rested his elbows on the table. His eyes raised in a pleasant surprise as he tasted the quality of the food in front of them. Having only tasted trail rations and orc cooking, this was a caliber beyond what he knew. He took his bites slowly, savoring the taste and being sure not to gorge himself. In order to distract himself from the food, he listened to the halfling talk of her power. For a moment, he rested his chin on his hands, taking in what she had said. She claimed she had a power of some kind, but looking at her Grotar could not see it. She seemed too timid and untested to truly have power, but he would hold out his judgement for now. Even though he did not put much stock in magic, the half-orc knew that he was out of his element. Perhaps this more subtle power was the key. Was magic more common among these people than he thought?

    He was abruptly pulled from his thoughts as he heard the demonspawn utter his name. He blinked in surprise, and for a moment merely stared at Uriel in confusion. He did not understand the interest this demonspawn had in him... but he would oblige. He would never truly learn of these people by being a mute observer, he supposed. He shrugged as he spoke. "It was the first caravan I saw. This is where it happened to be going." He paused for a moment, frowning. Learn by doing. You can do better. He would have to do as the halfling did, and expand more on his past. His eyes narrowed. This would be a test to see if this hospitality he had observed was true or feigned.

    He took a breath, and continued. "Nowhere better to go, really. I had to flee from my brothers due to a... disagreement. I decided to use this chance to grow both in knowledge and strength. This caravan needed protection, and I hoped to test my might." He paused, reflecting on the trip to sandpoint. "The trip was unfortunately boring."

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    Rose

    Rose had never really learned a lot about orcs. They had a reputation for savagery and violence, and that hadn't been terribly interesting before. Grotar had been traveling with the caravan when Rose arrived in it, and she had never seen him act out of line. Sure, he was strange and quiet, and he looked as if he could wrestle a bear to the ground, but Grotar had never been uncivil, just distant. The other members of the caravan had tolerated him, at least.

    Rose realizes that Grotar isn't going to be saying anything more about himself at the moment so she turns her attention to Kurad. "And with Uriel being from Sandpoint here, that only leaves you. You're obviously not from around here. What brought you into our company, Kurad?" she asks, sopping up the last of her lobster chowder with a hunk of bread.
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    Kurad didn't pay much attention to the half-orc, the same as he'd tried to ignore him throughout the journey. His people had warred with those creatures for as long as anyone could remember, and to say that there was bad blood there was a criminal understatement. But Grotar seemed relatively civilized, lacking the brutality and stupidity that brought out the worst in many of his kin. Kurad wasn't going to start a fight with the other fellow, but it would take more than a handful of days for him to earn trust or respect.

    He focused on his food, and on watching the crowd while he ate. His attention was brought back to the rest of the group, though, when Rose spoke up again. "And with Uriel being from Sandpoint here, that only leaves you. You're obviously not from around here. What brought you into our company, Kurad?"

    He looks at her and shrugs awkwardly, his shoulders hunched forward a little. "I'm a storyteller," he says. "And I thought I might learn more about the stories of my people, things the tribes have forgotten or never knew, by wandering for a time. That's...all there is to say, really."

    He then grabs another piece of venison and takes a large bite out of it, rather pointedly ending discussion of the topic. Or so he hopes, at least. He likes Rose, and it sounds like they might have something in common, considering her search for ancient knowledge, but sometimes she's almost too personable for his liking.
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    A healer needs a good bedside manner, something Uriel tried his best to work on. A gentle smile, and the occasion nod of affirmation to let the speaker know you're truly listening. Though he wasn't as good yet on the speaking part, he was glad to have a conversation partner as awkward as he was.

    And he could relate. "I think you will find plenty of opportunity soon. Sandpoint needs heroes like trees need the sun." As Grotar didn't look like he wanted to open up about his disagreement, Uriel didn't press. But certainly he can continue creating a unique band of misfits. He could see the half-orc was visibly uncomfortable laying himself bare, so Uriel told his own tale in return, "When I left this town, a lot of people had died. I lost a sister and a father in the fire of our previous church. Between the fire spreading, and Jervis Stoot gone mad, it's good to see these people celebrating again."

    Uriel's own eyes narrowed a bit, averted in sadness. He switched the topic to steer away from past darkness, and on a topic he knew nobody could resist, "By the way, the exotic lady who made the curried salmon? I happened to learn some of her craft as well, and some of it you can take on the road with you." Maybe too much? "I could introduce you to her, Ameiko works at the Rusty Dragon. We might have passed it, the tavern is...aptly named. She has a variety of dishes, lots of meaty dishes to keep yourself healthy." Yeah, now would be a good time to stop. Any more, any faster, and Uriel was sure to be accused of witchcraft.
    Last edited by Lifeson; 2015-06-08 at 06:57 PM.
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    The tribesman was about as forthcoming as Grotar was. He looked into the tribesman's eyes, trying to get a decent judge of his character. A traveler wanting stories of the past... He frowned a bit in thought. What benefit could there be in learning about the past? The past was as irrelevant as yesterday's dinner. A species that obsessed with its past could only fail, as that effort could have been put into the present and the future. He turned his attention back to the demonspawn. Grotar found it odd how much Uriel was listening. Could it all be an elaborate trick? Such a thing was not unheard of from the demons that made up the man's ancestry. If it was a trick, it was frighteningly well done. Everything about the way he spoke said that he was just like the rest of the people in this town. Soft, friendly, and welcoming. He didn't let his guard down yet, however.

    "It would be interesting to meet her. I am curious as to why someone would give food of this quality away for free." He took a large bite out of a salmon, emphasizing his point. "You say Sandpoint needs heroes. Why? Are they not strong enough to stand on their own? If so, then why would anyone try to save them?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by rezplz View Post
    "It would be interesting to meet her. I am curious as to why someone would give food of this quality away for free." He took a large bite out of a salmon, emphasizing his point. "You say Sandpoint needs heroes. Why? Are they not strong enough to stand on their own? If so, then why would anyone try to save them?"
    Maybe I should've stuck to one topic. Next time... the tiefling thought to himself as the banter played out. Though, he didn't quite expect everyone to be forthcoming on only the first meeting, all around it seemed like the initial barriers of communication had been broken, and now they were all simply folk...even if you couldn't get four more different looking folk, all from as many walks of life. Not that it was a bad thing! If anything, Uriel enjoyed the meeting of philosophies.

    "For the salmon and the rest of the food, think of it from the perspective of the cooks. This is a chance to woo many potentials to their place, as more customers means more money which means better business. I've heard the merchants in Magnimar refer to it as 'Advertising', but I can appreciate the concept. Of course, only one can win such a competition. The Two Knight brewery can certainly craft a good drink, but there's a reason I learned cooking from Ameiko," explained Uriel, also finishing off his salmon with the winterdrop mead.

    Setting down the mug, he started answering the second set of questions: "We do have a few who can stand on their own, Sandpoint does train a local militia. The biggest problem we usually deal with here is just goblins, but their numbers could be overwhelming if they learned how to count past their fingers. Apart from the militia, we do have some individuals who can take care of themselves, as we do have industries that lie outside the town walls, like the brewers and trappers." He paused to take another drink. "Speaking of the industries, that's one of the two big reasons that this town is valuable. This town was initially formed by four merchant families who all specialized in something different. There's glassmaking, brewing, and lumber, both logging and carpentry. Of course, it's not just them alone, as you'll notice that The Lost Coast roads are also heavily traveled by the roaming Varisian gypsies as well, so between those two Sandpoint has grown really quickly in the past sixty years it's been here. And it's a nice enough place even someone like me can call this place home." The last sentence came out as more of a mumble, but the points was made. More or less.
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