The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Crimson Throne's Curse [IC]

    As she makes her way inside, Astaria glances at the assorted items Xen has relieved from their previous owners, but shows no real interest towards any of it in particular, aside from squatting down and commenting on the runed stone, before moving on.

    "Hmm. Dwarven script. Means 'thunder.' I guess that's neat.

    ...So, should we interrogate first, or explore the premises? We weren't exactly quiet, so if there's anyone behind those doors, they likely know we're here. Possibly preparing an ambush, or we may be alone. But it might be best to find out sooner, and on our terms, rather than later."
    She gestures at the doors behind Yargin's desk as she speaks.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    "I know I made a promise about keeping the guard out of this, but if nobody objects, I'm sure the Watch will be happy to look after these fellows once we're done with them. Thanks for gettin' me out of the rat's nest, too. Not the smartest thing I've ever done..." Kat leans on her hammer and catches her breath, peering interestedly at the gear Xen retrieves. "Let's see what else they've got here..." Eager to help, she joins in by rifling the desk with a sort of practiced ease that seems out of place on a big, honorable guard.

    Kat frowns at Astaria's questions, her eagerness to find Alika clashing with having literally just escaped an ambush. "Well, I'd like to know if we're walking into a trap. Don't have a need to do that twice in one day. From our little chat, Yargin's the one who'd talk. He had an oily feel to him, the sort who'd save his own skin. The gnome wasn't much for conversation. I can loom with the best of 'em if he needs convincing."

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Crimson Throne's Curse [IC]

    Kamorkas agrees: "Yes, let's ask a few questions. These guys clearly have something to hide, or they wouldn't have jumped you so fast. And you're welcome. We're in this together, t'was the cards saying so. Not gonna let you fight the bastards on your own.

    And they deserve jail, it's fine if you take them there. As long as I don't have to answer questions, I'm good."
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2019-07-22 at 12:38 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    "Um, all right. Let's try him first." Kat crouches uncertainly down next to Yargin's trussed-up form. Rather than pulling out a potion, she simply puts a hand over the spectacular bruise spreading across his jaw. There's a warm flash of sunlight, and the wound retreats. "The Dawnflower offers mercy to all, so also do I... There we go."

    The grin that greets Yargin waking up soon turns into something unsettling. "Feel like talking? Let's start with why you jumped a watch member just doing her duty, hm? I wasn't lying about that. You're in a great deal of trouble, Yargin. What's so important that you'd take a risk like that to keep me out of a rotting pile like this? Now, I know you're the smart one here, so think about how much we'll appreciate you being honest, and have a good think about the difference between bein' a guest of the little guard and bein' a guest of the Citadel... or the Order of the Nail." The Hellknights straight-up frightened Kat, and she had no contacts in the Order, but that didn't matter. They made excellent bogeymen.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Using Lay on Hands on Yargin: (2d6)[5]
    Intimidate: (1d20+9)[29]

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Listening intently to Kat's razor-sharp tone, and especially looking at the hulking half-orc's face as she delivers her punchline, sends a shiver down Kamorkas' spine. Reflexively, he glances towards the nearest exit. The Order of the Nail! What acquaintances does she have there? It doesn't cross his mind that she might not be telling the truth about her connections to the fanatical group.

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    This massive intimidation roll is more than enough to scare Kamorkas :-)
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2019-07-24 at 09:36 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Xen, who'd rather doubted letting Kat take the lead in the interrogation, finds herself shuffling to take a peek outside the room. Just to make sure nobody is coming, obviously.
    Last edited by Hazuki; 2019-07-23 at 08:46 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Astaria's eyes widen at the vehemence in Kat's threat. She's glad she took up a position behind Yargin, where he can't see her face. She's not sure how much of what the guard said was true, but it's probably best not to let him know the limits of how well they knew each other.

    She readies her bow though, as she watches Xen try to learn what awaits them further into the fishery.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Yargin groans as his eyes open, looking confused for a moment before attention returns to his face. As Kat begins to speak, his sneer returns briefly, but rapidly crumbles in the face of her threats. "I...there's - there's no way," he says, a sliver of confidence returning to his voice as he speaks. "The Order of the Nail would - would never. Not for...this is a small crime, not even worth their time," he pauses, and swallows, losing whatever scraps of imagined security he had gathered with his denial. "Fine! I'll tell you everything! Don't get the Nail involved, it - there's no need. I'll tell you everything!" He says, voice rising as if a loud, hasty declaration was the only thing between him and a cold cell.

    "No one's allowed in, because of the workers. They're - they're orphans, from the street. They work here, to make slurry," Yargin explains. "And - really, it's, it's good! If they didn't have here, they wouldn't have anywhere. No food, no beds, nothing! But here, they can sleep, and, eat. They just need to work, f-for their keep! And some of them go and, you know, f-find things, and bring them back," he continues. "And Gaedren would look over it and decide what's good to keep, but he left! And it's too much work, for me, to do all the book-keeping and keep track of that, so - so they don't do that, anymore!" Yargin pauses, breath ragged; each time he'd seemed about to pause to breathe, he had simply spat out more information.
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  9. - Top - End - #69
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    It takes every ounce of Kat's good sense not to immediately leap up and rush into the next room. They had a lead to tug on first. She channels that tension back towards Yargin with a snarl borne of firsthand experience. "Well, that sounds downright charitable, Yargin. Why would you keep something like that from us?"

    "Does sound like a lot of work for just two people, though. Is there anybody else here? And if Lamm's not here, where is he? Surely you'd know."

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    "Oh, w-well, you know, sometimes...the law can be, ah, inflexible, even if you're not in the wrong," Yargin stammers. "And there's - one more. Giggles. He's a half-orc, scar, eyepatch..." he pales as Kat asks about Gaedren. "I - he told me, he went to the Midlands, but then came back to Old Korvosa, and, nothing more. I didn't ask, because, he said, if I just stay quiet for another month or two, we could ditch the fishery, and I would be joining him for something bigger."
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  11. - Top - End - #71
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    As sharp intake of breath from Kamorkas marks his reaction at the mention of orphans. For a second, he seems ready to strangle this disgusting Lamm crony, but he contains himself, not wanting to derail Kat's interrogation.

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    The Midlands? Great, he's narrowed it down to half the city.

    "Not now you're not." Kat can't resist a jab at Yargin as she looks to the others. "Anyone else have questions? I think we've got more important matters to deal with. You held up your end of the bargain, so I won't send a runner for the Hellknights. The Watch will pick you up. They just love when folk try to kill us. Treat 'em real kindly." The reveal that they're not alone has her on guard, and Kat moves to the door deeper into the fishery in case this Giggles wants to try something clever.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Yargin slumps, but still seems relieved. Approaching the door, Kat doesn't notice anything, but Astaria makes out the sound of walking, coming from the right of the two doors leading further in.
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  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Astaria's eyes narrow and her head snaps to towards the door. She gestures sharply to Kat and Xen, puting a finger to her lips and gesturing to the door. Footsteps. she mouths, as she quietly readies an arrow.

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    Nodding silently in response, Kat takes up a position along the wall where she'll be able to skewer whoever comes through the door, should they be hostile.

  16. - Top - End - #76
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    The room stays quiet. The door remains closed, though Astaria and Kat hear what sounds like wood-on-wood from behind it; Astaria recognizes it as the sound of either a trapdoor being opened and closed, or the lid of a rather heavy chest. After that, there's silence again.
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  17. - Top - End - #77
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    After a disgusted glance at the whimpering Yargin on the floor, Kamorkas nods at the others, silently signaling readiness to proceed.

  18. - Top - End - #78
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    "Any suggestions as to how to prevent any... unwanted interruptions while we examine the rest of the grounds?" Astaria asks, with a rather pointed look at the conscious Yargin, and a brief glance at the gnome.

  19. - Top - End - #79
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    "I don't think he's that stupid, but we could just knock him out again?" Kat suggests, grasping for what seemed the simplest solution, eager to move on and find the urchins rather than spend more time with the odious man who'd been keeping them under his thumb.

    "Shame there's no pillory in this part of town. Put 'em out on the street with notes around their necks, like the scrap peddler's coming to pick 'em up. Let the neighbors know the sort of fine folks they are."
    Last edited by Miss_Adventure; 2019-08-07 at 04:51 AM.

  20. - Top - End - #80
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    "I'm not!" Yargin says. "He's probably gone under, to the lower level! I won't cause any trouble!"

    Apart from Yargin's chatter, there's quiet - until a hesitant knock comes from the door to the west.
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  21. - Top - End - #81
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    "One moment!" Frowning in confusion, Kat holds up a finger to the others, and approaches the door, immediately figuring if there were something sinister on the other side, it should be her that takes the blow. She opens it softly, just wide enough to see who was there. "Yes?"

  22. - Top - End - #82
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    As the door opens, there's a bit of movement on the other side - as Kat takes a look, she recognizes that it isn't anything sinister, though. A boy, just tall enough to reach the paladin's elbow, retreats a step as she looks through, ducking away. He, and the two other children in view, are dirty, dressed in what look like poorly-stitched-together combinations of fabric strips and other clothing. The mishmash of colors would probably be more garish and unsightly if they weren't faded and covered in dirt.

    "U-um," he says, eyes wide. "Wh-who are you?"
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  23. - Top - End - #83
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    The change in Kat is so sudden and complete that even those who saw it would have a hard time believing this is the same person who just threatened Yargin with a long spell in Citadel Vraid. Eyes wide, she immediately sets aside her hammer and drops to one knee, visibly doing the "how many orphans can I fit in my house, anyway?" math in her head.

    "Name's Kat, love. What's yours?" offering the softest smile her tusks will allow. "No worries. You're in no trouble. My friends and I are here to put a stop to Gaedren Lamm and all of his toadies, and to make sure all of you are safe. We know what it's like. All been on the street. Couple of us even used to be Little Lambs. We'll get ye set up in someplace better than this." She shifts aside enough to let the children see Yargin and the gnome's current state, and to wave over her new companions. "Is anyone hurt? Are you all all right?" Kat fishes rations enough for the three from her backpack. Dried fruit, jerky and hardtack was hardly gourmet, but Kat could vividly remember being hungry all the time as a kid, and her lot had been miles better than the true urchins on the street. "Here! It's not much at all, but it's got to be better than those awful dock dumplings."

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Diplomacy, if needed: (1d20+7)[19]

  24. - Top - End - #84
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    Upon seeing the children, Kamorkas' face opens with a soft, slightly sad smile. Here are three shadows of his own childhood experience, right in front of him, but until a few months ago, his own hunger and destitute state didn't leave him much time to care about others' similar fates. Watching Kat warm up to them, he waves tentatively at the kids. "Hi there!" he calls out with a broadening smile.

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    Diplomacy, trying to Aid: (1d20+1)[10]

  25. - Top - End - #85
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    The children seem unsure, perhaps scared, at Kat as she drops down, the closest one taking another step back. Her words take the tension out of their posture, but the offering of food seems to break the dam. In moments, the paladin finds herself surrounded, though rather than a ravenous devouring of the offered rations, she finds several choice bits taken as one of the children runs off, calling a series of names while another gives an exceptionally detailed but difficult to follow description of what sounds like an injured fellow Lamb. After a series of what must be code phrases (consisting of one child at the door to another room knocking on the door and calling "It's no joke!", answered a moment later by "Laughing matter!") are exchanged, more emerge from deeper in the fishery.

    Before long, a total of nine children have gathered in the room, distributing the food amongst themselves and bombarding everyone present with an array of questions, running the gamut from oddly specific weapon questions ("Is that a morningstar? Is it bigger than a morningstar? Does - how many spikes, does a morningstar have?") to more practical matters of where they'll be going, if you'll be taking them somewhere, if Yargin and Hookshanks have been taken care of...

    Once most of the other children have already entered the room, two emerge from the door, one offering support to a young girl of decidedly different appearance than the other orphans: this one is a tiefling. One Kat recognizes: Alika.
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  26. - Top - End - #86
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    Kat adds the rest of her rations to the tidbits being passed around, and tries to wade through the torrent of questions as she wades through the torrent of children. This was a Lucerne hammer, it was significantly larger than a morningstar, but had fewer spikes. Morningstars have lots and lots of spikes. Yargin and Hookshanks were well and truly settled, and don't throw things at them. They deserve it, but it's rude.

    The practical matters were harder to answer. Kat knew one of the orphanages as well as anyone could, but while certainly better than living as slaves to a bunch of rotten bastards in a crumbling fishery, Riverside House was harsh and strict enough that Kat's best memories were of running away. She could put the throng up at her mother's place for... one night, and certainly no more, let them at least eat and sleep and wash up somewhere warm and safe, but she needed a real answer. A kinder orphanage, a temple, maybe? Sarenae's big shining edifice was... intimidating. She looked to the others, perplexed. "Any ideas where they could go? Were it up t'me, I'd be happy to walk you all over town until we found the perfect place for each of you, but, er, depends on how long it takes us to finish business with Lamm. Did any of you lot hear whispers about where he's gone? These two aren't much- Alika!"

    A flash of purple at the back of the group sends Kat rushing forward so fast it's a miracle none of the kids are flattened.

    Kat's sobbing with relief before she finishes kneeling. "Alika! Oh, thank the Dawnflower. Come here, Imp!" If the poor little tiefling got squeezed any harder, she might pop. Holding Alika's face in her hands, Kat babbles with joy, letting out all the tension and gut-twisting worry of the last few weeks. "Gods above, you're all right. You're safe, sweetheart! I've never been so worried in my life. How'd you end up here? Y-You're hurt! What happened? D-don't worry, I can help. Hold still!"

    Spoiler: Picture of Alika
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    Spoiler: OOC
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    Where could we take the kids? Knowledge (Local): (1d20+1)[9]
    Lay on Hands: (2d6)[8]

  27. - Top - End - #87
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    Astaria looks on as the children swarm Kat, her expression a little sheepish. She seems a little disappointed at not having anything to offer the children.

    But it passes, and she smiles and squats down, so that she can look at them eye-to-eye. "I don't think we know where we're going to have you stay yet, but I know we'll find somewhere, and it will definitely be better than this." She looks around and chuckles. "Though to be fair, that also isn't saying very much."

    Astaria is surprised, but smiles at Kat's exuberance and her sheer relief and joy at finding the little tiefling. This far her companions hadn't been quite so animated. "Before we get too carried away, we're probably going to have to take a look at this lower level."

  28. - Top - End - #88
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    Alika returns Kat's embrace with a tight hug of her own - of course, it's a bit unfair to compare the two; even if Alika weren't so much smaller, squeezing Kat while she's in her armor would be quite a feat of strength. "Kat! I - I'm sorry - I know - you said..." the tiefling's words take some time to arrange themselves into anything more, and she simply nods at the question of her injury, revealing a swollen leg that returns to the same purple as the rest of Alika when Kat uses her healing. After some time to calm down, she explains what had happened - she had made a friend one day, and when she stopped showing up at their usual spot, she went looking, finding the old fishery and then not being able to leave in the time since.

    Oddly enough, the emotional reunion seems to, combined with Astaria's words, have a calming effect on the other children; they settle down and before long the same ones that had used the code phrase from before (they seem to be some of the oldest, but it's hard to tell by how much, given the state they're all in) have begun to organize them again.

    "We can get - we can have everyone get their stuff, um, so we can go, right away, when you've got Giggles," one of them says, stepping forwards. "Um, you'll get him, right? He went down below, we can show you the way. He's..." the boy clenches his fists. "Real nasty. Can you hit him hard? And lots?"
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  29. - Top - End - #89
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    Kat listens to Alika's story with a smile and a shake of her head, fussing over her in between sentences, smoothing out her shift, wiping the dirt off her cheeks, as though making sure the little tiefling was real. "I can hardly be mad at you for bein' brave an' trying to do the right thing. Fetch me next time someone goes missing, all right? It's my job, ain't it?"

    She nods her agreement with the boy's suggestion. "He's right. Get your things. I'm not sure where everyone's going, but you, Imp, are going right to ma's place. Home. It's high time I start putting my words where my heart is."

    With great reluctance, Kat rises and regathers her equipment, giving a nod to the boy who'd requested Giggles get a beating. She wasn't going to pry at old wounds, but this wasn't going to lose her any sleep at night. "Sure thing."

  30. - Top - End - #90
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    Watching the reunion between Kat and Alika brings a tear to Kamorkas' eye. For all the hard life experience he has had himself, his heart is intact, and the joy of the pair's embrace makes his chest swell with warmth.

    When one of the boys calls out for the group to mete punishment on one of their tormentors, he bends down on one knee, to look at him at eye level as his face hardens. "You bet, kid, we can. Downstairs, right?"
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2019-08-21 at 07:35 AM.

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