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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default [5e] Shackles of Blood

    Hillsfar. The walled city sitting proudly on the shores of the Moonsea, it is a true metropolis. The city and the lands surrounding its walls have always been fruitful and prosperous, and yet the city has seen a fair share of harsh rulers. The wizard Maalthiir, who ruled almost a century ago, set forth two rules for the city. First, the Great Law of Trade; that no one is to interfere with any legitimate trade, as trade is the lifeblood of a city sitting above a harbor. Secondly, the Great Law of Humanity; that only humans are allowed within the city's walls, as it is the inconquerable human spirit which drives ingenuity and cunning. Upon his death, the city called for a senate to keep the order and peace. Unfortunately, the squabbling merchants were unable to do so, and the city fell upon difficult times. The Red Plumes, the mercenary company hired to keep the streets safe, were called upon to enforce the Great Law of Trade, and thieves were driven out, guild disputes were handled quietly, (at least to public knowledge), and the city began to recuperate its losses. The city was opened once more, and nonhumans found themselves able to settle within the city once more.

    However, recent events have certainly shaken up the peaceful city. Torin Nomerthal, one of the First Lords of Hillsfar, has claimed stewardship of the city, his claim supported by the Red Plumes and the Mage's Guild. The squabbling senate has been all but deposed, and one of Nomerthal's first decrees was to reinstate the Great Law of Humanity. Nonhumans found themselves thrown out of their houses, escorted outside the city, and left to fend for themselves. Most of them turned to the farms outside the city's walls, becoming laborers for stingy human masters, or colleagues among fellow nonhumans who owned their own land and farms.

    It is under these mysterious circumstances that each of you, no matter where you come from on the great continent of Faerunn, have each received a curious invitation. Delivered in the most curious of manners (found inside one of your boots in the morning, dropped in your lap by a songbird, or even found at the bottom of a mug of ale), the invitations all read the same:
    Greetings, [adventurer].

    We, the travelling company of Poppet's Playhouse, are most delighted to invite you to a performance of 'Poppet's History of Hillsfar' at the Cloverwall Roadhouse, by the Moonsea. Though we understand that the distance for you to travel in order to attend our performance may be considerable, we strongly urge that you consider attending, as the opportunities to see our shows are quite limited, as this will be the only performance: one night only. Only those with invitations will be allowed entrance, so do take care to not lose yours. We do hope to see you at the show, and bring to you the unique merriment that only Poppet's Playhouse may provide!

    Cordially yours, Lady Lightsong

    For reasons that may be your own, or reasons which may be as plain as the nose on your face, you have decided to set out to the Cloverwall Roadhouse to accept this curious invitation, and see what may come from your decision to do so.




    Having made the journey from wherever you have come from, each of you arrives separately at the Cloverwall Roadhouse. The tavern draws its name from the thick bunches of clover that line each side of the well-rutted, dusty road. For some of you, the tavern may be a familiar site; only a day's ride from Hillsfar itself, the Cloverwall Roadhouse is often a stopping point for traders headed to or from Zhentil Keep and Phlan. The tavern itself is fairly well-kept, a two-story building complete with stables on the left side and what, at a glance, appears to be an amateur forge and smithy on the right.

    Within, the tavern is busy as usual; plenty of traders and travellers have stopped for the evening, and have begun to swap stories, coins, and wagers over their drinks and meals. A group of dwarves stand in one corner, observing and commenting on an elf playing dragonchess against another dwarf, presumably one of the companions of the spectators. At the bar, a trio of halflings wager eagerly amongst themselves on a half-orc and an earth genasi who have begun arm-wrestling while the bouncer, a burly dwarven woman, watches with wary eyes. The bartender, a gruff looking woman who only introduces herself as Lucinda makes sure that the ale flows freely for those who are able to pay, and the smell coming from the kitchens is enough to tantalize anyone with even a bit of hunger to spend some coins on roasted meats and grilled cheeses.

    Aside from the usual sights, sounds, and smells of a tavern in the evening, a tall-broad shouldered human man with yellow-bronze skin and black hair tied up in a small knot stands a simple watch by a staircase which seems to lead down into the basement, leaning against the inside of the open doorframe. A banner reading "Poppet's Playhouse" stretches over his head, and anyone who observes him for a few minutes notices that he turns away seemingly everyone who seems to express any interest in going downstairs. A particularly intoxicated elven man even flirts with him for a while to attempt to gain access, but the stranger from Shou holds his ground, and the elf finally acquiesces, turning back to stumble towards the booth he had emerged from, grumbling and muttering under his breath.

    Spoiler
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    Curtains up! Feel free to make your appearances.
    Quote Originally Posted by fibericon View Post
    This seems like a really cool concept, so I feel like you're going to get a lot of applications. Best of luck sorting through them all. That said, I'm going to do my part to make your job that much harder by adding one to the stack.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: [5e] Shackles of Blood

    Guro
    Level 3 Ranger | HP: 28/28 | AC: 18

    Guro checks his invitation again and reads "Cloverwall Roadhouse". He looks up and sees the name on the sign and, with a nod, puts the invitation away and opens the door. The raucous noise that could be heard form outside is louder from within, and Guro slowly makes his way around the tavern to take in everything that is going on. He catches a dwarf playing a game with an elf, a game he believes is called Dragonchess. He has seen it played once or twice on his way through the mainland, but isn't familiar enough to know who is winning and losing. After watching a couple of turns, the smell of the food cooking in the kitchen gets his attention and he makes his way closer to the bar. He has made it a habit to try the food everywhere he has visited since leaving his homeland, but the invitation isn't clear on what time the show starts. The food will be here tomorrow Guro, but when will you have a chance to see another show put on by Poppet's Playhouse? he thinks to himself. He looks around the common room for someone that might be Lady Lightsong, and spies a large man with a banner over his head standing watch at a staircase heading downstairs. The banner reads "Poppet's Playhouse". Ah! Passing by an inebriated elf, Guro walks up to the man, Well met sir. I am here to meet with Lady Lightsong.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Sigrid
    Level 3 Fighter | HP: 34/34 | AC: 16

    Sigrid was more than a little curious about the letter that had fallen into her lap not long ago. She doesn't re-read the invitation before crossing the threshold of the Cloverwall Roadhouse, but only because at this point she had memorized every word. In her profession as a mercenary, it was always wise to know the exact wording of the contract. This one was mysterious and frustratingly vague, but she was going to have a look anyway. If she had to guard one more caravan with a bunch of shortsword-wielding amateurs in cheap leather who insist on flirting with her one more time...yes, she needed a change of pace. Even if this was a waste of time, it would break up the monotony.

    Stepping into the roadhouse, Sigrid's eyes swept the room and took in everything of note. She soon spotted the staircase to the basement, the banner over it, and the man guarding it. This was her likely contact, but she didn't want to charge in without thinking a bit if it could be helped. Old Bruth always said getting a lay of the land was key. Besides, the Tortle seemed to be making the first move anyway.

    So she walked up to the bartender Lucinda, taking a seat at said bar that would give her a decent look at the basement stairs when she half-turned to it, and spoke. "So" she began, and gave a glance to the kitchens that was easy to spot, and lay her off hand on the bar "What's good from the oven today?"

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [5e] Shackles of Blood

    Miras pulls some Cured leather from his component pouch muttering a few words under his nose

    Spoiler: Mage armour
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    Touch a willing creature who isn't wearing armor. The targetís base AC becomes 13 + its Dexterity modifier. The spell ends if the target dons armor or if you dismiss the spell as an action. Curent Ac 15. Spells left Lvl1/3 Lvl2/2
    .

    Better to be prepared then sorry. He then opens the doors of the "Cloverwall Roadhouse". Nothing inside suprises him he has seen this place so many times in his vision, He knows that the dwarf playing draggonches will make a fatal move losing the game in a few more turns he knows what's on the menu and prices not having to check. He goes towards the cellar with the sign he approaches and says "I think you are expecting me" pasing the invitation.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [5e] Shackles of Blood

    After a couple days' journey, the stout halfling has finally made his way to Cloverwall Roadhouse, ready and dressed for just about every occasio that might come his way- Maybe even a bit too much, by the look of the filled up backpack he has been carrying, making every step he has to make with it a bit sluggish. Hey, better to be prepared than to be caught empty handed at the worst moment, no?
    A couple feet away from the entrance, Zilo takes out his lucky charm, turning the golden coin to look at the engraved face of Tymora. "For fortune and good luck." Zilo mutters to himself, rubbing coin across the leather of his armor as if to "spread" the luck onto him, and, hiding the coin in his boots, finally opens the doors to enter the tavern.

    The sight of the filled tavern puts a smile across the lips of the halfling, the smell of alchohol and freshly made food reminds him of his time he hanged out with his crew, both while on the ship and in the days they where they grouped up in different taverns after a succcessful cruise. Taking a moment to breath in the atmosphere of the tavern, he tags his backpack up by the shoulder straps and walks up with heavy steps towards the man standing next to the banner-But not before making a quick stop next to the trio of halfling betting on who'll win the arm-wrestling. "If I had time, I'll be betting for sure on the green guy!" With a grin, he leaves the trio be to go to the man who seems to be standing guard.

    Thinking he reached the location, the halfling happily removes his backpack and drops it on the floor, huffing in relief that he finally got to put this heavy thing down. "Hah, hah... One second,got the letter in here somewhere." Not noticing the other people grouping in at the moment, he begins rummaging through his backpack, searching about for a couple of minutes until, finally, he pulls up the letter. "There we go! Here's the letter!" Zilo then raises up as far as his dimunitive height allows, hoping the man has a clear enough view of the letter.
    Last edited by Detective; 2018-09-10 at 11:56 AM.

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    A slender deer stepped calmly towards the inn. It was sandy-coloured except for a brown face, the pattern in the fur resembling a mask, of sorts. Even a mile away, it could smell the stink of the city - sewage and sweat, smoke and steel. As its hooves clacked against the cobbles, it seemed to suddenly change, and abruptly it was a woman, garbed in woven fibres and carrying a sturdy staff. Narrow green eyes surveyed the inn from behind a wooden mask.

    Oak-Crowned Ophine made a soft noise in her throat, before she stepped forward once again, clatter of hooves replaced with the tap-tap of her staff and the patter of bare feet.

    She pushed open the door and stepped in through the wall of sudden sound and heat, taking a moment to survey the room. She made another soft sound of consideration then pulled the door shut. She leaned against the wall and quietly watched, waiting to see who passed through the Shou-man's watch.
    And the far stars cried, and the planets yearned;
    But no man may know, for she'll ne'er return.

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    Ferrin
    Level 3 Swashbuckler Rogue| HP: 20/20 | AC: 15

    A charming, yet dangerous looking young man enters the tavern. Certainly the most normal under the new guests his eyes quickly shift around to check for opportunities, for other dangerous folk and extravagant travellers. His eyes stop at the mostly naked female druid. Despite her lack of a charismatic aura, Ferrin likes what he sees. Beautiful hips and a decent posterior. Clean her up a bit and she'll look great in his bed. the womanizer focusses on the lady a bit too much and is almost surprised to see a turtle. No, a human in a turtle costume. No a turtle humanoid? Utterly confused he just stutters: M...m'am? Shouldn't you guide your animal companion towards the stables? he points at the turtle.
    Last edited by Spore; 2018-09-10 at 05:06 PM.

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    As Guro meanders through the tavern, those he passes by look up from their drinks and food to give the Tortle a glance as he walks past them. It isn't often that they've seen anything quite like him before, though some of them mutter about Lizardfolk once Guro is assumed to be out of earshot. When he reaches the human blocking the stairway to the basement, the stranger raises an eyebrow, but says nothing until spoken to. He returns Guro's greeting with a curt nod, and gives only a vague answer in response, "Well, we are all looking for someone, aren't we? The good lady is preparing for her show, and is not seeing any visitors at the moment."

    However, when Miras and Zilo each arrive and show the man their invitations, he looks at each of the pieces of parchment, holding them up against the backdrop of a nearby candle sconce, and gives them each a short bow as he stands aside and gestures for the two of them to go downstairs if they wish. "The show will begin when the other guests have arrived as well, make yourselves comfortable in the meantime." His gaze turns back over the bar, and his eyes meet the gazes of Sigrid sitting at the bar, and Ophine leaning near the doorway before turning back to keep an eye on Guro.




    At the bar, Lucinda sets down a pair of mugs sloshing with ale into the hands of a halfling who thanks her in turn before carrying his drinks back to his seat. Hearing Sigrid's question, the woman replies, "Well now, that'll be dependin' on what kinda appetite you brought in with ya. There's plenty of roasted beef goin' round tonight; the cook's been ravin' about how he finally got the proper spices all the way from Calimport and can finally make it the way he wants. There's a lentil stew to warm up your bones, and we've always got bread and cheese. So what'll it be?"

    Both Sigrid and Ophine watch as a halfling and a human who came in seperately fish out what one could easily deduce to be their invitations, show them to the man in the doorframe, and are promptly allowed to pass.
    Last edited by WhismurWanders; 2018-09-10 at 06:56 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by fibericon View Post
    This seems like a really cool concept, so I feel like you're going to get a lot of applications. Best of luck sorting through them all. That said, I'm going to do my part to make your job that much harder by adding one to the stack.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Ophine blinked as a dark-haired rake enters. He clearly looked her up and down, and her eyebrows raised behind her mask when he speaks. The Oak-Crowned's eyes moved smoothly between him and the turtle-person as she digested the source of his statement.

    Her voice was low and husky with disuse, but sounded vaguely amused.
    "It is standing and talking, with tools of iron on its back. It is not of mine. If you want it in the stables, you will have to ask it yourself."
    And the far stars cried, and the planets yearned;
    But no man may know, for she'll ne'er return.

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    Guro
    Level 3 Ranger | HP: 28/28 | AC: 18

    When Guro reaches the human blocking the stairway to the basement, the stranger raises an eyebrow, but says nothing until spoken to. He returns Guro's greeting with a curt nod, and gives only a vague answer in response, "Well, we are all looking for someone, aren't we? The good lady is preparing for her show, and is not seeing any visitors at the moment."

    Oh, Guro looks away in thought, Of course. I have not been to many of these... shows. In fact, this would be my first. It makes sense that she would have to prepare. Will you let her know that Guro is here and I will wait for her... over here, I suppose. The tortle smiles and steps to the side. When the man doesn't return the smile, Guro simply occupies himself by looking back at the various patrons of the Roadhouse. Within moments, two more patrons approach the man, and produce invitations similar to the one Guro received. After inspecting them, the man steps aside to allow them downstairs. Oh.

    Guro steps back up to the man, I have one of those. He pulls his considerable backpack off of his much more considerable shell, and fishes around until he is able to produce the invitation, Here you are, sir.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Miras looks at Zilo and says "I wonder how many of these got passed around? shall we find a seat, also be carful when you sit I think I remember a chair breaking"

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    Ferrin
    Level 3 Swashbuckler Rogue| HP: 20/20 | AC: 15

    Of course. It is still an odd sight. Ferrin replies to Ophine. May I introduce myself, I am Ferrin, friend of demi-humans, and very special enemy of the Red Plumes. He hits Guro on his shell before trying to advance the lady furthermore. Sorry, old pal. We don't get many of your kind down here. Can I buy you a? drink? salad? crusteaceans? He turns back to Ophine, takes her hand and tries to kiss it. What is your name, fair lady? And can we remove the mask? It makes our first date so impersonal. He smirks.

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    Guro
    Level 3 Ranger | HP: 28/28 | AC: 18

    As Guro waits while the man at the stairs inspects his invitation, someone claps him on the back of his shell. He turns to see a rakish young man eying him, Sorry, old pal. We don't get many of your kind down here. Can I buy you a? drink? salad? crusteaceans? Guro looks a little confused, Oh, uh, no, thank you. I don't know what a krustayshon is but I wouldn't want to miss the start of the show. Guro tries to invite him to meet later in the evening, a local guide is always helpful in a new place, but the man's attention has seemed to slip onto a barefoot woman beside him. Guro does not take offense, as the mating rituals in these new lands are different to those of his own people. Guro will spend most of his life adventuring, and finally return home to mate and produce a clutch that he will help raise and teach. But here, it seems the people are always mating, or trying to mate, and so their attention is often spent in pursuit of that goal. It's a wonder there aren't more children around...
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Zilo shrugs in response to Miras's question, unsure about the answer himself. "Hold on for a moment." The halfling then press hs hands on to his backpack and, with a bit of effort, pushes it to the wall near the downward staircase, and behind the human who seems to stand watch. "I'll just... Leave it here, and..." He mutters as he pushes it foward. "Done! Now where was I?" He turns himself around with a bouncy step, looking to get a better look of who else has gathered nearby, his eyes quickly darting up what can best be described by him some sort of tall, turtle... Person? "Wow..." He has seen his fair share of races in the past, from travelers that passed through the docks to races who are more abundant in different areas across the sea, yet still- He can't recall anything that would resemble a human-sized tortoise.

    "You're cool."

    Spoiler: OOC
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    I am not sure if Tortles are based more around turtles, or tortoises.
    Then again, I don't think Zilo would know the difference either way

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    As Guro produces an invitation and holds it out to the man, he chuckles and inspects it once it is in his fingers. "I had a feeling you had one if you could mention the good lady by name; but one can never be too careful, eh?" He also allows Guro to pass if he so desires.

    Spoiler: Anyone Who Goes Downstairs
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    The basement is dimly lit, with 6 wooden chairs set up in a row in front of a puppet stage designed to be used with marionettes; a wooden construction with an opening below eye-level where the puppets will likely perform, a painted background of what appears to be a busy town's market square, and plenty of curtains and other bits of cloth which will obscure the performers. The stage itself is the brightest point of the room, as several torches surround the stage's front-side to better illuminate it. The rest of the room seems to be devoted to storage for the tavern above; the scent of wines, dried meats, and cheeses hangs in the air, and a locked door to the far left reads "Root Cellar". There aren't any other humanoids in view, though whispers can be heard from behind a screen standing just to the left of the stage.
    Quote Originally Posted by fibericon View Post
    This seems like a really cool concept, so I feel like you're going to get a lot of applications. Best of luck sorting through them all. That said, I'm going to do my part to make your job that much harder by adding one to the stack.

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    Default Re: [5e] Shackles of Blood

    Slightly bemused, the druidess allowed the man to kiss her hand. She was silent for a moment, before she spoke, withdrawing her limb and shifting her bare feet on the wooden flooring.
    "Oak-Crowned Ophine is a name I was granted, when I learned the ways of beast and leaf."
    She raised her free hand to touch her mask. Her mouth quirked.
    "This mask will not be removed, Ferrin, friend of demi-humans. It is..." She paused for a second as she considered her words. "...A symbol and reminder, and not one I wish to cast aside so easily."

    She gestured with her head towards the bar.
    "I am not here to be courted, however, but on business."
    She reached within her garb and withdrew the invitation, dog-eared and slightly crumpled.
    "Know you of this show?"
    Last edited by Awful; 2018-09-11 at 02:12 PM.
    And the far stars cried, and the planets yearned;
    But no man may know, for she'll ne'er return.

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    Seeing everyone else shuffling downstairs and things getting started, Sigrid decided to follow suit. She turned to the bartender and said "Hold that thought. The beef sounds really good, but I think I have an appointment to keep first." with a casual air.

    Without further preamble, she stood up from her chair and made for the stairs. Along the short walk, she yanked her invitation out of the pouch on her side, and held it between her index and middle fingers on her left hand, holding it up plain for the doorman to see, and made her way downstares with the others.

    Best see what all the fuss was about before anything.

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    You might want to stick to "Ophine" here. People down here don't get along well with nobility. If you want to keep the mask, it is fine with me. Keeps a secret for the future. Ferrin winks in an exaggerated manner. I don't know the show, sorry. Lady Lightsong must be new to this town. He picks the invitation out of his vest. Ferrin then looks at the others. This might be a trap, just for him. But the Red Plumes would not stoop to engage a turtle person, from what Ferrin saw of his personality that would be the slowest assassin ever. Or a masked nutjob from the woods. This must be a very exotic job offer. Ferrin just hopes, Kiru's uncle Aelion - godfather of some kind of fey mafia - isn't behind this very excentric display. the rogue offers his arm to the druid. Even if we're not dating, may I?
    Last edited by Spore; 2018-09-11 at 07:42 PM.

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    Miras Sits on one o the chairs (2nd from the right). He has seen the future up to the point of when people arrive but not after that - he is curious what that means

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    Zilo notices that what he assumes to be the remaining invitees coming in to go downstairs as well, with quite the variety in between them to boot. Not wanting to come into too many assumptions and theories about each one of them of, he instead opts to go down the stairs as well, carrying his backpack with him and taking whatever seat remains vacant.

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    Guro
    Level 3 Ranger | HP: 28/28 | AC: 18

    Guro turns to someone speaking to him and looks down to find a halfling admiring him, You're cool. Judging from the little man's countenance, it appears to be a compliment, and Guro nods his head, Thank you. You... are also keewl. He turns back to the man inspecting the invitation, who says "I had a feeling you had one if you could mention the good lady by name; but one can never be too careful, eh?"

    That is quite wise. We live by those words in the jungles from where I come. Thank you. Guro steps through the doorway and follows the halfling down the stairs. There are a couple of humans, one man and one woman, already seated in the small, dimly lit room. How exciting! Guro thinks to himself as he eyes the stage and hears the whispers behind the curtains. Speaking aloud, he says Some of our traditions are passed along in displays, but I have never seen one here in the mainlands.
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    Default Re: [5e] Shackles of Blood

    The masked nutjob from the woods considered his arm for a moment, then said bluntly: "I am Oak-Crowned, not crowned on mortal thrones, but as the forest desires. Such is my name, and such I will keep it. If the people here wish to make issues of it, then I deal with them as it occurs."

    She looked down at the invite in her hand, then shook her head.
    "I will walk with you if you desire, but I will not hang off your arm like a crow perching on a branch."

    That said, she walked with or without him to the Shou, presented her ticket without a word, and made her way downstairs.
    And the far stars cried, and the planets yearned;
    But no man may know, for she'll ne'er return.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [5e] Shackles of Blood

    My god, I always get the sensible ones... Ferrin sighs under his breath. Well, down we go. He follows Ophine to better watch her and her "goods".

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: [5e] Shackles of Blood

    The large man waves everyone past as they show their invitations to him. Once Ferrin heads down the stairway, the man places himself squarely inside the doorframe as the interest of people being allowed inside has attracted others to attempt to get downstairs as well to see the show. Those of you moving down the stairs hear the man being forced to raise his voice, "This presentation is a PRIVATE show, by invitation only!" The sounds of people arguing start to rise up for a moment, but then quiet down quickly as things are explained and sorted out.

    As everyone arrives and takes their seats, an air of tension settles as the whispering behind the screen gets a bit more excited and direct. Those of you with keener senses hear a faint whisper from a female voice, "Places, everyone." Bodies shift from behind the screen to behind the stage, still kept out of sight, and the faint sound of rattling wood can be heard. The torches in front of the stage flare slightly to gain the audience's attention, and a plucking sound can be heard as an instument is tested and tuned. Everything falls silent for a moment, but the stringed instrument begins to play a small overture as an amplified voice begins to speak, the same one that whispered before. "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Poppet's Playhouse, and tonight's show, Poppet's History of Hillsfar! We only ask that you remain in your seats until the end of the show, and enjoy yourself. Such a difficult request, we know, but we're sure that all the boys and girls among you will be able to handle it." As the music picks up its pace, several marionettes 'walk' onstage, their strings almost imperceptible to the naked eye. Four humans, each with a large red feather in their caps, enter from stage left, while a large mix of dwarves, halflings, and elves enter from stage right. The figures each walk to their assumed spaces, the nonhumans filing to the center of the stage, and the humans splitting up into pairs on either side. The sound of hammered strings draws to a close, and the marionettes pause for just a moment, and the play begins.

    A gruff voice speaks as a dwarf begins to move, arms moving as if conversing with the other nonhumans around him. "Ach, dear brethren. The city of Hillsfar, 'tis a mighty place indeed. Full of riches, plenty to eat.
    T'would be a fine place to live, don'tcha think?"
    He gestures to his surroundings, and the other puppets around him nod in approval. An elf speaks up next, "Veritably, o' short one." This address prompts the dwarf marionette to bop the elf in the hip with his hand, and the elf recoils slightly in response. Each of the motions is smooth, and well-practiced. The show has obviously been well-rehearsed, and the puppeteers are truly skilled at their craft. The elf stammers and continues, "W-what I meant to say, was that the city is indeed grandiose. We need only take what is rightfully ours; the riches of those men living within. After all, we live longer..." All of the surrounding nonhumans nods in unison. "Are often stronger." This time the dwarves nod. "Are craftier." The halflings nod. "And we even smell better!" The puppets pause from their self-praise, and look around as if slightly confused, and one of the halfling figures even shakes its head while looking out towards the audience. The elf who was speaking before looks around, and then leans in as if whispering, "I mean, we ELVES smell better." A chorus of 'ohhhh' echoes around the group, and the elves finally nod in agreement.

    Next, a halfling speaks up in a squeaky voice, "Then it's agreed! We take the city for ourselves, just like the Dark Alliance from days of old!" The halfling draws a sword and points it towards the sky, and the other nonhumans quickly follow suit, drawing swords, daggers, and clubs from their hips and pointing them upwards. "Take the city! Fall upon the dreaded Red Plumes!" the halfling squeaks excitedly. The sounds of marionette battle, wood knocking against wood, erupt from the stage as the nonhumans split up to attack each of the humans standing to the side. The music starts up again, a quick-paced song which invokes the ferocity of the fight, counterpointed by some of the nonhumans comedically dropping their swords, or fighting against one another at first. The humans quickly draw their own swords and return the kindness, and although they seem outnumbered, it is only the nonhuman figures who fall at first, one after the other, quickly thinning out the crowd until only two elves, one halfling, and one dwarf continue to duel with the Red Plumes individually. The battle seems to be evenly matched for both sides, and one of the Red Plumes calls out, "We cannot hold against this onslaught forever. Gods above, who can save us now from this horrible menace?"

    The music promptly switches to a grand fanfare as another human puppet, clad in golden armor appears, strutting slowly and confidently to the center of the stage. He simply looks about at first, and then proudly strides to one of the elves locked in battle with one of the Red Plumes. The figure taps the elf on the shoulder, and then waits, impatiently tapping his foot and crossing his arms. The elf slowly turns around, looks the figure in the eyes, and then turns back as if not caring what was happening. Then, the figure shakes and whips around to look the golden figure in the eyes. "L-Lord Nomerthal?!?" the puppet asks in a shaky voice. The armored puppet only nods, prompting a shriek from the elf, who drops his weapon and runs off-stage, shouting, "Retreeeeeat! The First Lord Normerthal has arrived! Our hope is lost!" Lord Nomerthal's puppet springs into action, leaping across the stage and pulling the dwarf off the Red Plume he had been duelling, and he easily tosses the dwarf over his shoulder, the marionette flying out of sight and 'landing' with a crash of wood off-stage, marked with a shower of little splinters being thrown on-stage. The halfling is the next target, and Lord Nomerthal taps the puppet's left shoulder before jumping to the right. The silly halfling looks to the left and seems puzzled as Lord Nomerthal sneaks up behind him, giving the halfling a swift kick in the rear, sending the halfling to the center of the stage before it stands back up and runs off, hands wiping at its eyes as if crying. The other Red Plumes, free to help their last companion, jump atop the remaining elf, wrestling it to the ground, the tumult carrying those marionettes off stage as they roll away. The music slows and stops, and Lord Nomerthal looks left, looks right, and notices all is calm again. He nods succinctly, and then crosses his arms again as if making sure none of the nonhumans come back. One of the Red Plumes runs back on stage, and falls to his knees, exclaiming, "Thank you kind lord, for continuing to protect us and our city from the dangers that threaten us from outside. Truly, you are the pride of Hillsfar, and everyone should be grateful for what you do."

    The small curtain falls over the stage, marking the show's end. Behind the stage, the sounds of actors congratulating each other can be heard, murmuring to one another as a regal elven woman appears from behind the screen, holding the golden puppet of Lord Nomerthal in her hand. Her hair is long, easily down to the small of her back, and the same color as the silver moon on a bright night, matching her pale skin, but contrasting sharply with her bright blue eyes. She chuckles and claps, the puppet rustling with each movement of her arms. Welcome, friends. My name is Olisara Lightsong, and I thought a glimpse of the propaganda which passes for entertainment in these parts might be illuminating, though I'm aware that many of you already have heard the stories, or lived them yourselves." When she says 'heard the stories', her gaze moves over to Ferrin, and when she says, 'lived them yourselves' her eyes meet Zilo's. We who harp wish to enlist your services. For six ten-days, several farmsteads between Hillsfar and the Cormanthor Forrest have been raided; the farmers disappeared, never to be heard from again. The latest clan to go missing was the Tinfellows, a family of halflings who have aided my allies in the past. We would enlist you to discover what became of our friends and rescue ... or avenge them."

    Spoiler: Zilo
    Show
    The Tinfellows are a well-respected clan among the halflings living close to Hillsfar; when they had heard the news of your misfortune, they were one of many clans to offer a place to stay while things were sorted out (whether or not you and your father accepted is up to you).


    Spoiler: Ferrin
    Show
    The play itself is obviously exaggerated, but does contain a fair bit of truth as well. The humans of Hillsfar are often xenophobic and afraid of a nonhuman horde rising up to claim their lands. This has become more and more clear recently, with Nomerthal's reinstatement of the Great Law of Humanity being the most obvious evidence of such.


    Spoiler: Ophine
    Show
    The play itself is obviously exaggerated, but does contain a fair bit of truth as well. The humans of Hillsfar have been xenophobic and afraid of a nonhuman horde rising up to claim their lands in the past.
    Last edited by WhismurWanders; 2018-09-13 at 02:52 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by fibericon View Post
    This seems like a really cool concept, so I feel like you're going to get a lot of applications. Best of luck sorting through them all. That said, I'm going to do my part to make your job that much harder by adding one to the stack.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [5e] Shackles of Blood

    Ferrin rubs his temples. While certainly enchanting, there were easier ways to contact him and simpler ways to show why their help is needed. But he assumes a few of the people in here are quite glad about the simplified display of local history. Standing up, he says: Lady Lightsong I presume? Just to get everyone on the same page, I am Ferrin. Do you think the government is involved? After all a lord should invoke the safety of his subjects, even if they are non-human. They live outside the city but their work is vital in providing food. They are important economically even if they are not important on a political scale. Or do you presume helping nonhuman farmers would show political weakness? He thinks for a bit, scratching his badly shaven chin in the process. Yea, no, unlikely. The good people in the city rely on smuggled food far too much that the Lord Regent would loose any sleep about the matter. What is in it for us besides the obvious pride of doing something right? We have bills, too, you know?

    Spoiler
    Show
    I am away until Sunday. I can post in between but maybe dont focus the talking on Ferrin too much.
    Last edited by Spore; 2018-09-13 at 03:49 AM.

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Re: [5e] Shackles of Blood

    Guro
    Level 3 Ranger | HP: 28/28 | AC: 18

    Guro laughs and gasps intermittently as the show goes on. When it ends, he claps and laughs in appreciation, looking at the other guests to share in their enjoyment as well. The man that offered him food doesn't seem too impressed but perhaps he has seen this play before. A woman emerges from the curtains, clapping along with them. She is a tall elf, with pale hair and skin, and bright blue eyes. "Welcome, friends. My name is Olisara Lightsong, and I thought a glimpse of the propaganda which passes for entertainment in these parts might be illuminating, though I'm aware that many of you already have heard the stories, or lived them yourselves." When she says 'heard the stories', her gaze moves over to Ferrin, and when she says, 'lived them yourselves' her eyes meet Zilo's. "We who harp wish to enlist your services. For six ten-days, several farmsteads between Hillsfar and the Cormanthor Forrest have been raided; the farmers disappeared, never to be heard from again. The latest clan to go missing was the Tinfellows, a family of halflings who have aided my allies in the past. We would enlist you to discover what became of our friends and rescue ... or avenge them."

    A look of concern crosses Guro's leathery face, What remains at the farm? he asks.
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  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: [5e] Shackles of Blood

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    "What is in it for us besides the obvious pride of doing something right? We have bills, too, you know?"
    Lady Lightsong chuckles and her lips curl upwards in amusement. "I don't suppose I could have expected a smuggler so brazenly working out of the Rolling Barrel to talk about anything other than payment." She goes back behind the screen, and returns quickly with a medium-sized pouch which jingles with each step. She lets the pouch fall down to the ground between herself and the group, and announces, "Forty gold pieces up front, sixty more when you return and report what you've found. The more details you bring back with you, the more enticed I will be to pay you the full sixty."

    "As to the government's involvement ..." She pauses to choose her words carefully. "We do not believe that Nomenthal, or even the majority of the Red Plumes are involved. They may have backwards attitudes and fear that which they do not understand, but neither the First Lord nor his cohorts are bloodthirsty. However ... rumors have been spreading that Red Plumes are the ones behind these raids and kidnappings." She sighs and rubs the left side of her face tiredly with one hand, "But only with recent developments did we begin to take these seriously. We thought it was merely a tall tale; something to scare children into behaving. Had we only known..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Samurai View Post
    A look of concern crosses Guro's leathery face, What remains at the farm? he asks.
    The elven woman looks a bit crestfallen for a moment as she considers her answer. "Not very much, I would assume. Unfortunately, my brief investigations of the raids have turned up very little; the disappearances only came to my attention when concerned relatives took rumors more seriously and reached out to us. The other farms which have been raided have been burned down, and the owners haven't been seen since the raids. You will be our first eyes on the ground in Tinfellow Valley."
    Last edited by WhismurWanders; 2018-09-13 at 01:06 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by fibericon View Post
    This seems like a really cool concept, so I feel like you're going to get a lot of applications. Best of luck sorting through them all. That said, I'm going to do my part to make your job that much harder by adding one to the stack.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: [5e] Shackles of Blood

    Guro
    Level 3 Ranger | HP: 28/28 | AC: 18

    Guro looks puzzled briefly at the mention of the Red Plumes. Then he understands that maybe the play was supposed to be more funny than serious, and that the Red Plumes might not be as good as they appeared. In Chult, and on the Snout, most peoples keep to their own, coming together to trade. Guro is starting to see maybe this way of life has to be enforced here, and not everyone thinks it a good idea. His eyes turn back to Lady Lightsong with sincerity.

    I... can't speak for everyone here but... I will find out what happened to your friends. I am good at tracking. If there is anything to be found there, I will discover it.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [5e] Shackles of Blood

    Zilo has moved about on his seat in discomfort as the puppet show's display continued, the hidden meaning behind it doesn't fall to slip across even his own, more naive mindset.
    After the show's conclusion and the lady Olisara Lightsong revealing herself, he listened intently to her words, with an expression of distraught upon him as he hears about the current predicament of the Tinfellows. When the great law of humanity was restored by Lord Nomerthal, they were charitably willing to prove shelter for him and his family, the only reason their kindess was declined was because we had accept the help of others by the time we heard word of their offer.

    Remaining quiet for a bit as the others spoke up before him, words of the farms being burned only makes him more restless, worried about what might have happened to the Tinfellows, and everyone else who had to live through those raids. Having heard enough, he decides to speak up his mind as well:
    "I'll like to believe the red plumes aren't involved, myself... Besides that, the Tinfellows family are filled with good people, and if there is anything I can do to help them, or anyone else who had to endure those raids? You can sign up me up!

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: [5e] Shackles of Blood

    Yes yes, helping friends and what not is very nice and all, but things become difficult, money does not abandon you. The smirk has vanished out of Ferrin's face. He then remembers. But it is true that real friends stay through the worst. He smirks again. If this small task means I can call you a friend, it will be my pleasure. Ferrin bows before Lady Lightsong, then enters the background.

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