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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    ”Good morning, madam.” says César, tipping his ordinance hat “You are regarded as the foremost establishment for floral necessities. We are looking for lotus blossoms. Do you happen to be able to help us out in that regard?
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  2. - Top - End - #242
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    .. and I see you have some items of jewelry too - which leads me to twofold questions: Do you perchance have black pearls? And further, I'm looking to have a pair of ruby earrings fashioned. Would you be the person to speak to about that - or do you know who?

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    César regards his friends with bewilderment. 'It's a flower shop...', he seems to be wanting to say. But he keeps his counsel to himself. Surely the shopkeeper will speak for herself.
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTheShade View Post
    I originally chose the Spotted Dog because it was the only inn or tavern mentioned at the time, and I knew it was both quite close to the ambush site and on the other side of the river.

    So, does Tully have kids of his own? Is the Spotted Dog doing well financially? Because I feel like adoption be someone other than a Chaotic adventurer to be a pretty good outcome, here. And Tully seems to at least enjoy the help, whether he needs it or not.
    Tully does not have any children of his own. From what you have gathered he was at one time the captain of a small freighter ship, but he's been the proprietor of The Spotted Dog for fifteen years or so. The pub is unassuming and rough, but it has a loyal clientele and come evening it's almost always full. By all appearances Tully is doing reasonably well for himself.


    The boy stares shyly toward his feet when prompted for his name. "It's Corwin, ma'am." The boy glances at Tully and the barkeep makes an encouraging 'go on' gesture. "Thank you kindly, ma'am. Mr. Tully says they weren't nice folk I were't with before, an th't I'm better off 'ere." Corwin seems to contemplate for a moment, then a small smile creeps across his face. "It is lo-ve-ly not to sit in t'rain all day."

    Tully pats the boy on the back and laughs. "Ah, he's already fitting in fine. Truth tell, I'm beginning to feel my age, so a bit of help behind the bar is just what I needed. An' don't worry bout the tyke's ed-ucation, neither. Ol' Georgie's got quite the head for books an such, and is gonna teach the boy rhythm-tic too." The half-troll calls out from the beside the door, not looking up form his reading.

    "A-ryth-ma-tic, that's right. Always handy to know numbers and suchlike!"

    Tully notices the untouched ale before Rosa. "Well, you must be busy. Thank ya for dropping by, and don't be a stranger. Best you run along then." He adds in a lower, conspiratorial tone: "Need someone other than the Watch looking out fer the city, eh?" Tully winks and waves Rosa off.

    Back at Marigolds':

    The halfling woman smiles brightly and begins gathering up a number of white flowers and laying them out on a sheet. "Lotus blossoms, of course! Bundled up? Yes, I think so." The woman deftly wraps up a several handfuls of the flowers in plain paper and secures it with twine. She hands over the package to César. "One silver piece, if you please."

    She turns to Borgrim, tapping a small finger on her chin. "Hmm... no black pearls, I'm afraid. And earrings aren't something we usually have, and we don't fashion our own. However, if you're interested, I think we have some rough rubies that you could get cut for earrings. One moment." The halfling patters into a back room, returning in minute later with a plate of rough-cut red and brown stones. She places a lens over one of her eyes, and picks through the stones with a set of tweezers.

    "Let's see... aha! These two should cut very well." She holds two small red stones up to her lens. "Yes, no flaws I can see. I can give you the pair for 20 gold, and recommend a good jeweller. Ernstentine, on Garden Street. He's a gnome, but he'll give you a good price. If he doesn't, you march back here and I'll be sure to give him an earful. And if it turns out they can't be cut, then bring them back and I'll refund them. What do you think?" The halfling holds out two red stones roughly the size of Borgim's pinky nail.
    Last edited by Wogwoggle; 2019-09-26 at 11:35 AM.
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  5. - Top - End - #245
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Borgrim looks appalled.

    Um .. sorry but .. no, I couldn't, that just wouldn't be right. It's like flowers, right? Sure, you can buy a bouquet, but it's just not the same as if you'd picked them yourselves. No, I'll need to .. get .. the rubies myself. I'd make the earrings too, but, he waves his huge hands around in explanation, I'm not really 'cut' for making jewelry.

    He manages to look immensely smug at his own pathetic pun.

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogwoggle View Post
    "It is lo-ve-ly not to sit in t'rain all day."
    "There's great wisdom in that, Corwin. Better dry than sorry, surely?" Rosa smiles to the boy.

    Tully pats the boy on the back and laughs. "Ah, he's already fitting in fine. Truth tell, I'm beginning to feel my age, so a bit of help behind the bar is just what I needed. An' don't worry bout the tyke's ed-ucation, neither. Ol' Georgie's got quite the head for books an such, and is gonna teach the boy rhythm-tic too." The half-troll calls out from the beside the door, not looking up form his reading.

    "A-ryth-ma-tic, that's right. Always handy to know numbers and suchlike!"
    "I see Corwin is in good hands. Y'all take good care of him. And you, Corwin, you listen to them. They're gonna take good care of you, not like before. Anyone gives you trouble you tell Tully and you know for sure Tully will tell me and I'll go twist them by the ear, alright?"

    Tully notices the untouched ale before Rosa. "Well, you must be busy. Thank ya for dropping by, and don't be a stranger. Best you run along then." He adds in a lower, conspiratorial tone: "Need someone other than the Watch looking out fer the city, eh?" Tully winks and waves Rosa off.
    Rosa notices Tully noticing, and gives a deep sigh heavy with resignation. She downs the ale with a series of loud gulps, without taking her breath. She slams the tankard back on the counter with dry clang, wipes her mouth with her sleeve and gives an ungraceful belch. "Well Corwin, you listen to Tully and Georgie, might be you turn up into a finer gentleman, as much unlike us drunkards and tramps as is possible."

    Rosa leans towards Tully: "Seems I met one watchman unafraid to get his hands dirty. Once we're done with our current affairs, might be I'll drag him in here. Now it's time to go, before my partners find themselves in trouble once again..."

    On her way out, Rosa whispers a thank you to the bouncer.
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Marigold spreads her hands in a gesture of understanding. She replies, as she gathers up the stones: "Of course, no matter! If you change your mind, please consider returning." She smiles and nods at César. "Thank you for your business, sirs! Good-day, officer."

    As Borgrim and César turn to leave, a well-dressed woman with her hair done up in a prim bun enters the shop. "Ah, miss Sarah! We've got your spices ready for you!" Borgrim and César step back out into the bustle of Glove Street, and head toward Market Street. At the corner, they wait for a minute or two beside a vendor selling baked apple slices seasoned with cinnamon and honey. Shortly they spy Rosa heading down the busy street toward them.

    ******

    Corwin calls out "G-goodbye, ma'am!" as Rosa heads out of The Spotted Dog. Georgie looks up form his book and nods to Rosa, adding a quiet "Take care, miss Rosa."

    Rosa heads down Market street and rejoins her compatriots. Reunited, Rosa, Borgrim, and César continue along Market Street north to Market Square, the ultimate goal being Nicodemus' shack. As they enter into the square, a great clattering on the cobbles can be heard to the west, and the crowds quickly part to make way for a gilded four-horse carriage barreling down the thorough-fare. {Dex Saves: Rolls} Borgim, perhaps because of the unfamiliarity of the city, is slow to act. The carriage is almost upon him when Rosa and César yank the strapping lad out of the way of the horses. The driver yells out as the carriage clatters on its way toward Palace Street.

    "Make way for the Lady's carriaaaaage! Make way!"

    Borgrim picks himself up off the cobbles, physically unhurt. Market Square's crowd of city folk quickly return to their bustling, and the party resumes its travel to Nicodemus' residence. In the bright early afternoon sun the party spy no sign of would-be ambushes, and their short trek to the Singing Bridge is uneventful. A knock on Nicodemus' door does not register an answer. After a second unanswered knock, Borgrim pokes the door open. The inside is dim and slightly smoky, and a quick glance reveals the old wizard snoring quietly in his chair, several pieces of parchment lying under his hands which are clasped across his chest.
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  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Rosa puts her face in her left palm. "Told 'im to take precautions..."

    She looks at her partners, her lips twisting in a pout. Clearly, she doesn't want to be the one to wake the old wizard. Yet, she fetches the cultists' hair from wherever they were stashed.

    Yet, she has a moment of doubt. She watches the wizard again, her eyes narrowing.

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    EDIT: thought of it right after posting. Is Nicodemus in some sort of meditative trance? Guess not, but you never know. Rolls in OOC thread...
    Last edited by WalkingTheShade; 2019-09-28 at 05:43 AM.
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  9. - Top - End - #249
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Borgrim, ever stretched between ideals of morality, and his own curiosity and a seeming lack of understanding of the principles of personal property, thinks to himself hm - well, while he's sleeping, I might as well .. and starts quietly rummaging through the wizards belongings, looking for something interesting or valuable.

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    This isn't just Borgrim's annoying personality traits. There is a chance, however small, that Nicodemus isn't 100% honest. Also, I expect a sharp sting to be incoming =)

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Rosa's eyes narrow as she looks Nicodemus over head-to-toe. The wizard's chest rises and falls slowly, accompanied by soft snoring. Nothing about his appearance suggests anything except an early afternoon nap. Borgrim begins to quietly prod through odds and ends on a low dresser. As soon as the lad's back is turned, Rosa sees Nicodemus open one eye, slyly, then close it again. A faint smile shifts the wizard's beard, and he calls out:

    "If you could refrain from succumbing to your thievish predilections, lad, at least while you're in my home, I would very much appreciate it." Nicodemus gathers the parchment on his lap and raises himself slowly from his chair. He waggles his brows in an animated sign of disapproval at Borgrim. He turns and shuffles over to the kettle. "You'll be happy to know that I've managed to determine the third ingredient: Hag's hair, as it turns out. I was leafing through Nindana's Obscuratum & Miscellany when it came back to me, quite suddenly. I know of one or two of the sea variety that make their lairs in the city sewers; they may even offer up a few strands willingly!" Nicodemus goes about preparing a pot of tea as he talks. He glances back over his shoulder at the trio.

    "I take it you didn't just come back here for that, though, did you? Well, what have you got for me then?" The wizard stretches his arms and the walks back to his chair bearing the teapot and several cups on a plain tray. "Turns out I did have a tray after all!" Nicodemus settles back into his chair and works at filling his pipe.
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  11. - Top - End - #251
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Ah! Borgrim rallies admirably, you're awake. I assure you I had no plans to steal anything, until I had at least worked out what might be valuable enough to risk it. You'll be pleased to know, I'm sure, that while I may be somewhat light-fingered, I'm not reckless or stupid.

    Borgrim visibly weighs last statement internally, but shrugs and leaves it be.

  12. - Top - End - #252
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    "Aha! So you're a discerning would-be thief, then? Well, consider me suitably reassured." Nicodemus' eyes crinkle up in a smile. The wizard lifts up his right index finger, upon which a tiny blue flame sits, to light his pipe. Just before he does, however, he takes notice of the black lock of hair that Rosa has produced from her bag. Nicodemus squints at it.

    "Don't tell me you've already found some! No, no, that doesn't look right, it'd be much more, well, salty, for one. May I?" The old wizard reaches out and takes a few strands of the hair, holding it up close to his face. He looks at it first with one eye, then the other. He pulls a strand between his thumb and fore-finger, rubbing them together under his nose. "Hmm... funny. Give me a moment, will you?"

    Nicodemus puts down his pipe and takes a single strand of hair over to an armoire, upon which sits a small metal plate. He holds the strand over the disc and then sets it alight with a tiny conjured flame. He watches the dark wisps of smoke produced from the burning curl upward with intent focus. He sniffs at the smoke, then strokes his beard idly. "Interesting. Now, I know I've got Quin-Zaat's Bestiary around here somewhere... ah, here we are." Nicodemus flips through a large, thin-paged volume bound in dark leather. He turns to the trio.

    "Where did you find this, hmm? By some strange coincidence it is indeed hag's hair, but not from one of the local sea varieties. This is hair from a night hag, an altogether more dangerous creature. They're purported to feed off of dreams. Or was it nightmares? Anyhow. I wonder how it's hair came to wind up in Port Blacksand. And, I suppose, whether the rest of it is here as well. Curious indeed..."

    Nicodemus returns to his chair where he lights his pipe and stares off blankly, lost in thought.
    Last edited by Wogwoggle; 2019-09-28 at 08:39 PM.
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  13. - Top - End - #253
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Everything I do is a carefully calculated analysis of pro's and con's, the risk involved, the desirability of a positive outcome, the consequences of a negative .. and how much I want to do it.

    Anyways, what would nighthags hair conjure, do you think? I mean, quite possibly the nighthag in question - but what else?

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Rosa nearly interrupts Borgrim. "Conjuring? Not really. Actually it was more sending or contacting, I came to believe. Maybe even binding, but it seems unprobable."

    She turns to Nicodemus: "Remember these crow cultists? Seems they've been quite active over town all these last few months. The hair, they used in a ritual at A'tar's temple, the very one I suspect of being of a sending nature. If you say it comes from a powerful hag, it's either that they were reporting to their master or that they're trying to make a new ally..." Her voice trails off.

    "Oh, and it turns out (and it's not really connected to that crowing crowd) the local A'tar head-church-guy dabbles into illicit summoning and binding blood rituals, one of which he managed to botch and call upon ol' Rusty Bones himself. Which seems to have scared him sh!tless of rituals for now."
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  15. - Top - End - #255
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Actually, we have no idea what sort of ritual they were performing - all our sources seem to agree on is that a feather shaped dagger, and that hair, was used. But it occurs to me, there has to be a reason they chose to perform the ritual in At'ar's temple.

  16. - Top - End - #256
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    ”Good point, Mr. ‘Grim. For all we know, those people might have been looking for protection.” says César, surprising himself once again. “In any case, the first order of business is getting those black pearls you need to do your thing.I suggest we do it first thing when the shops open.
    Obviously, we must be able to deal with this night hag, even if we do not plan to hunt it immediately. Does that book of yours specify any weaknesses? From my childhood memories, I seem to recall something about coming in 3s...”
    My day job is killing me. But I will rise again, more powerful than ever!

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  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Rosa frowns towards Borgrim. "Do I tell you how to start a tavern brawl? Do I? Did I ever tell you to stop leaping from street to window and window to street? No! We all have our domain of expertise, and I believe you should trust me regarding the arcane, Mr So-scared-of-magic-evil-eye-but-too-proud-to-tell! Gods, only this morning you were calling upon tribal spirits to fend off evil wizards, and two hours later you've become a resident expert! Who knows, maybe next you'll apply for some professoral chair in Eldritch Rituals and Incantations at some wizard academy? Maybe Nicodemus can give you a recommendation for that? And you, Mr Double-Face," she adds, turning to Faust, "you better stop enabling Wildstryke's dellusions, alright? How many identities do you have anyway? I don't even know what I'm supposed to call you when you dress up as a guard?!"

    Rosa realizes she's been waving an accusing finger towards her partners' faces. She gathers her hands together as if to sheathe a weapon, closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. "Sorry for the outburst. Maybe I should be more forthcoming with my explanations, but of course these are just part of hypothesis and projections starting from what seems most probable knowing a. the rules of magic and b. whatever little information we gathered about that ritual."
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  18. - Top - End - #258
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Ohhh, look at me, I can do magic, so I know everything, Borgrim distorts his voice in mockery. We have testimonies from a lying, corrupt priest, and a young inexperenced - if rather cute - girl. Yes, I'm afraid of magic, and no, I'm not too proud to say so. I am not, however, any more afraid of magic than a well-wielded greatsword.

    Also, you're woefully ill equipped to deal with any sort of problem best solves by jumping across streets, or cleaving enemies in twain. But should you have any insights in how to better accomplish these things, I will listen intently - for I respect your intelligence, and even the best must strive to improve.


    Although Borgrim finishes with an 'harumph', it's clear he feels this response was necessary to save face, though not necessarily enjoyable.

  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTheShade View Post
    She turns to Nicodemus: "Remember these crow cultists? Seems they've been quite active over town all these last few months. The hair, they used in a ritual at A'tar's temple, the very one I suspect of being of a sending nature. If you say it comes from a powerful hag, it's either that they were reporting to their master or that they're trying to make a new ally..."
    Nicodemus nods. "Taking the risk to conduct their ritual in the temple suggests they were using it as an amplifier. Consecrated ground, even if from an unrelated deity, can be potent for some magics. As for whether they were contacting their master, I suppose an old and wily hag could dupe the cultists into following it, but that would be speculation. The picture is incomplete."

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTheShade View Post
    "Oh, and it turns out (and it's not really connected to that crowing crowd) the local A'tar head-church-guy dabbles into illicit summoning and binding blood rituals, one of which he managed to botch and call upon ol' Rusty Bones himself. Which seems to have scared him sh!tless of rituals for now."
    The old wizard raises and eyebrow. "You don't say! That's very much like Bone to keep a proverbial ear to the ground. And rather careless practice by the clergyman, I must say. Not taking preventative measures against unwanted visitors while conjuring with blood? Why, its bloody foolish, is what it is! Are you sure it was the archbishop? I can't imagine her eminence would be so sloppy." Nicodemus shakes his head slowly in a mixture of disbelief and judgement. "I hope you won't ever be so cavalier, Miss Rosa."

    Quote Originally Posted by iTookUrNick View Post
    ”Good point, Mr. ‘Grim. For all we know, those people might have been looking for protection.” says César, surprising himself once again. “In any case, the first order of business is getting those black pearls you need to do your thing.I suggest we do it first thing when the shops open.
    Obviously, we must be able to deal with this night hag, even if we do not plan to hunt it immediately. Does that book of yours specify any weaknesses? From my childhood memories, I seem to recall something about coming in 3s...”
    "Oh, there's a few things it might have right. The more powerful hags will be difficult to wound with mundane weapons. Silver may aid in that. And they tend to be slippery when it comes to spells. It might take a few tries to get one to stick to them, if you understand. And while yes, hags do sometimes form covens, I doubt this one, if it is in the city, is part of one. Nighthags are more aloof and reclusive then some of its brethren, and if it's in the city then it will be encroaching on the local hags' territory. Hags don't get along well at the best of times, and in this case the sea hags are unlikely to be welcoming. But I'm not an expert on the creatures, and the Bestiary is not nearly as well researched, in my experience, as one would like."

    Nicodemus rises once more from his chair and shuffles over to a shelf filled with papers and books. He pulls out three tightly bound scrolls, and hands them to César. "Either you or Rosa should have little problem using these. If you're having trouble finding readily available pearls in the harbour district, these scrolls will point you in the right direction. The spell lasts for several minutes, so that should give you a good idea where some might be hidden. Of course I'm definitely not suggesting you steal some." Nicodemus taps his nose and winks exaggeratedly at Borgrim.

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    Nicodemus hands César or Rosa three scrolls of Locate Object.
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  20. - Top - End - #260
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Ah! So, definitely steal some, thinks Borgrim, never one to miss a subtle hint.

  21. - Top - End - #261
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    Rosa nods with fascination, seeming to drink Nicodemus' every word. She smiles sycophantically to the old wizard's puns, whatever their actual quality. Beaming in intellectual surrender to a homeless hack, but how disheartening from one such destined as you are, whispers the Master, not without remonstrance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wogwoggle View Post
    "I hope you won't ever be so cavalier, Miss Rosa."
    Rosa looks like she's been suddenly waken from the sweetest dream: "Ah, huh, what, me? No no no! Never! And it wasn't the archbishop, sorry, just an ordained priest, but I thought he's the leader because, huuuh huuuh... sorry." She then turns and adjusts her cowl to hide her blushing cheeks. Turn any redder with embarasment and they'll call you the Bloody Tomato, quips the Joker in Rosa's ear.

    She avidly opens up the first scroll and peruses its contents. Shoddily written, ink stains all over and what about this mouldy parchment, is it rat hide? hah, yet the embedded spell should work shoddily enough., whispers the Master.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Ah! So, definitely steal some, thinks Borgrim, never one to miss a subtle hint.
    Rosa rolls her eyes at the self-satisfied expression on Borgrim's face.

    She then shakes her head, straightens her back and clears her throat, trying maybe too hard to look dignified. "First, you told us you knew how to contact one of these sea hags? They might be willing to provide information about a night hag. How may we find them? And second, I know it might be asking too much of you, but what about the possibility of somehow locating the night hag using her hair?"

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    Took some liberty with Nicodemus' writing style, but he strikes me as one to care more about actual content without any care given to presentation.
    Last edited by WalkingTheShade; 2019-10-01 at 04:06 AM.
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  22. - Top - End - #262
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTheShade View Post
    "First, you told us you knew how to contact one of these sea hags? They might be willing to provide information about a night hag. How may we find them? And second, I know it might be asking too much of you, but what about the possibility of somehow locating the night hag using her hair?"
    "I wouldn't know to contact them directly, but they make their home in the sewers that flow into the river and sea; the most convenient entry to which is along Harbour Street. The one or two that live down their are bound to be curious of any folk entering their domain, and they'll no doubt seek you out." Nicodemus moves to desk and pulls open a drawer and rummages through it. He retrieves a plain copper ring and hands it over. "This is enchanted to act as a tinderbox. Feel free to trade it for information or anything else you might want from the sea hags. You might also try enticing them with news of current events in the city, like the cult and such. They enjoy collecting magical artifacts and stories of magical folk and creatures. Of course it goes without saying that you shouldn't trust them."

    Nicodemus considers Rosa's second request for a moment. He shrugs and pulls a small leather-bound grimoire from his robes and begins leafing through it's weathered pages. He stops on a page and traces his finger across the page, his mouth moving soundlessly. "I suppose I could try a simple locating spell... here we are. If you could hand me a single strand of hair, thank you."

    Nicodemus holds the strand of midnight black hair in his hand and traces symbols in the air with it. The strand leaves slight shimmering distortions, like heat waves, as it moves. Nicodemus clears his throat and utters the words: "Lleolwch y creadur hwn, pwyntiwch fi ato!" A faint smell of ozone permeates the room. Nicodemus slowly turns about in place with his arm extended. He furrows his brow, and completes another turn. He very slowly completes a third, and then lets his arm fall to his side. The smell quickly fades, and Nicodemus shrugs.

    "Hmm. Either the night hag isn't in the city anymore, or more likely, is not in her true form. That's the trouble with blasted shapeshifters; the simpler divination magics only work to locate them in their natural state. I'm afraid I'd need to conduct a more powerful ritual to seek her out. If you are intent on it, then I'll need you to fetch me one of the following for it: A crystal ball, or a pure silver mirror. A large volume of holy water might work as well, but I think that may be even more difficult to acquire. But I leave that up to you."

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTheShade View Post
    Took some liberty with Nicodemus' writing style, but he strikes me as one to care more about actual content without any care given to presentation.
    I would agree wholeheartedly! (And I think Nicodemus would too)
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    César listens impassible at Rosa's outburst. "Baròn César de la Suerte. César, among close acquaintances." he answers. He ponders for a moment, before continuing: "As for the rest, you should know that 'self' and 'identity' are concepts which are lost and unachievable in humanoids. All humanoid beings wear masks which hides their identities: some masks are made by the individual, others are imposed upon by society. To believe in one true identity for oneself: that is the greatest deception."

    He listens to the wizard's explanations attentively. "Thanks for the help, once more. We will see if we can find what you asked: it might come in handy anyway. Also, we can certainly look into finding those hags: we might find common ground in dealing with this night hag." he says. He lets Rosa pocket everything, as she seems better equipped to deal with the whole thing, and also because she can match the pipe with the tinderbox. "But wait, what do you mean 'polymorph'? What can we expect to find the hag as?"
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  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Borgrim looks puzzled for just a moment, then says: Nah .. I'm pretty sure I'm just Borgrim.

  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by iTookUrNick View Post
    César listens impassible at Rosa's outburst. "Baròn César de la Suerte. César, among close acquaintances." he answers. He ponders for a moment, before continuing: "As for the rest, you should know that 'self' and 'identity' are concepts which are lost and unachievable in humanoids. All humanoid beings wear masks which hides their identities: some masks are made by the individual, others are imposed upon by society. To believe in one true identity for oneself: that is the greatest deception."
    "Wait, what..." Rosa wasn't expecting so many words from Benedict or César, whatever his name.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Borgrim looks puzzled for just a moment, then says: Nah .. I'm pretty sure I'm just Borgrim.
    Rosa clears her throat and points both index fingers towards the half-orc. "Exempli gratia, my Lord de la Suerte, or should I add 'case in point' for Benedict's sake?" Rosa asks, with one raised eyebrow.

    "Maybe I get what you say. It's somewhat like the reputations I'm trying to build us. It's mostly trying to fùck with the bad guys mind, I don't really believe in them myself," yet Rosa's voice sounds uneven and unsure during that very last part.

    He listens to the wizard's explanations attentively. "Thanks for the help, once more. We will see if we can find what you asked: it might come in handy anyway. Also, we can certainly look into finding those hags: we might find common ground in dealing with this night hag." he says. He lets Rosa pocket everything, as she seems better equipped to deal with the whole thing, and also because she can match the pipe with the tinderbox. "But wait, what do you mean 'polymorph'? What can we expect to find the hag as?"
    "Or well... could her current shape be that of a giant murderous crow? Maybe the cultist have enslaved her and have her doing their killings? Maybe they were trying to renew that curse at the church? Seems a stretch but it would explain a few things..."
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  26. - Top - End - #266
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    Borgrim is literally itching for some lateral problem solving - and yet, despite a nigh infinite dislike of books, reading, people who write, and people who read - he feels a nagging doubt. It's all good to go out and righteously slay the miscreants, but there are too many unknowns. And it's not ok to go out and slay, only to later find the slain were not the miscreants.

    I feel we should go to the library. I feel we're being tricked. This At'ar lady is the goddess of sun and shadow. What does that even mean? Is she good, and evil? The 'giant crow beast' is attacking bandits, and the crow cultists at the temple were non-aggressive, and ran rather than fight. I believe it's time to shake some read-y guy until he tells us everything we need to know about all these things.

    Or, pfeh, I suppose you guys could read. Though that could take forever.


    It's pretty clear Borgrim himself is, at best, a slow reader. Apparently, even small amounts of reading take forever in Borgrims mind.

    Spoiler: Also ...
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    Did we already go to the library? I remember there was talk, but I have no idea if we ever went. If we did - simply chalk this up to Borgrim not paying attention, or being forgetful.

    He's like me in certain inevitable ways =D

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    Rosa playfully elbows Borgrim in the ribs. "Can you stop with those interruptions? I'm asking relevant questions here! We already enrolled that Furtha priest guy to do our reading for us, mostly to preserve your misplaced illeterate sense of barbarity worth, but also in order to free Don César and me to concentrate on more immediate stuff. Stuff like the very questions I'm trying to ask now. Wait... is barbarity even an actual word? Shouldn't I say barbaric instead?"
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  28. - Top - End - #268
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    Barbarism .. but who's counting. Sorry, I stopped paying attention to Furtha about the time it was clear we weren't going to kill him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Borgrim looks puzzled for just a moment, then says: Nah .. I'm pretty sure I'm just Borgrim.
    "Self deception is the most accomplished kind of deception. I was fooled too, at first, but no more."
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTheShade View Post
    "[COLOR="#8B4513"]Rosa clears her throat and points both index fingers towards the half-orc. "Exempli gratia, my Lord de la Suerte, or should I add 'case in point' for Benedict's sake?" Rosa asks, with one raised eyebrow.
    "Indeed" he says simply.
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTheShade View Post
    "Or well... could her current shape be that of a giant murderous crow? Maybe the cultist have enslaved her and have her doing their killings? Maybe they were trying to renew that curse at the church? Seems a stretch but it would explain a few things..."
    César rises his shoulders in a shrug. "No sense in wracking our brains with such lacking information. Let's work our way to the answer methodically. I do not think much will go down before the festival anyway. We just need to decide what to pursue in the time we have."
    Last edited by iTookUrNick; 2019-10-09 at 06:20 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iTookUrNick View Post
    "Thanks for the help, once more. We will see if we can find what you asked: it might come in handy anyway. Also, we can certainly look into finding those hags: we might find common ground in dealing with this night hag." he says. He lets Rosa pocket everything, as she seems better equipped to deal with the whole thing, and also because she can match the pipe with the tinderbox. "But wait, what do you mean 'polymorph'? What can we expect to find the hag as?"
    "Ah. Normally, hags and similar creatures can cover themselves with a glamour of sorts -- usually taking on the appearance of a young woman. A rudimentary, if effective, illusory magic common amoung fey. More powerful individuals, in this case the nighthag, can fully transform themselves into -- again, usually -- a young woman. The difference being, the full transformation will throw off the lesser divinatory magics, which is why I will have to resort to more potent stuff. Even the more powerful are limited to transforming into a female form of similar size to their true shape."

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTheShade View Post
    "Or well... could her current shape be that of a giant murderous crow? Maybe the cultist have enslaved her and have her doing their killings? Maybe they were trying to renew that curse at the church? Seems a stretch but it would explain a few things..."
    Nicodemus ruminates for a short moment. "That too is a possibility, though I suspect less likely. As far as I know, a nighthag prefers to torment its victims in dreams and subtle influences; violent dismemberment would only be a last-ditch defence, as it is likely to draw attention. But again, I cannot profess to being an expert."

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    [COLOR="#008080"]I feel we should go to the library. I feel we're being tricked. This At'ar lady is the goddess of sun and shadow. What does that even mean? Is she good, and evil? The 'giant crow beast' is attacking bandits, and the crow cultists at the temple were non-aggressive, and ran rather than fight. I believe it's time to shake some read-y guy until he tells us everything we need to know about all these things.
    "I believe the sun and shadow is supposed to represent the potential for good and ill in all of us, or something like that. The duality of the cosmos, one can't have light without making shadows, order without first having chaos, all that. The older I get, the less inclined I am to listen to any of it, whether or not it happens to be true."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Did we already go to the library? I remember there was talk, but I have no idea if we ever went. If we did - simply chalk this up to Borgrim not paying attention, or being forgetful.

    He's like me in certain inevitable ways =D
    You've enlisted Furtha to research the crow cult stuff in the Temple of At'ar's private library, which has a reputedly wide selection of obscure and esoteric knowledge. The priest may well have already found something by the time of Borgrim's midnight ruby rendezvous. There is also a public library in Port Blacksand, but it tends to contain more general, mundane works. The weird stuff is generally kept in private collections.

    I'm not quite sure what you'd like to do next, so If you'd like me to move things along, let me know. Or if I've muddled the waters too much too early on, and you need guidance, let me know too.
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