The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    The Qwermish are an animated people - they gesticulate a lot when they talk, which they do loudly and laugh often. The food stands and eateries you see (and smell) focus on cabbages, beets, and potatoes. Tangy stewed beef and rabbit.

    As the day goes by, Valorean pays closer and closer attention to these details and becomes increasingly unnerved. He sees no iconography, no streets named for gods or their tenets. Though there's a language barrier, he'd still understand common greetings by gods' names and context, or see hand gestures for luck, well-wishings, or prayers.

    He doesn't.

    Aside from the ramshackle temples and shrines near the docks, he sees no sign of veneration of the gods (or any entities at all) in Haligoth.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    While the others clean up, Eren tells retreats to his room, to just ponder things over. He was still wondering, what fate might have in store for him. There was a cleric of Mishakal in the group, and Eren really hoped his purpose wouldn't be to clash with the Draconian. Well, it probably wasn't anything as awful as that, he'd seemed nice.

    Still, he was interested in where he was headed, so a little divination wouldn't hurt, though Eren wouldn't change his course no matter the results. About ten minutes before he was going to leave for the guidl, Eren sat on his bed, cross-legged, and laid the tome in front of him. Then the half-elf took out a silvery chain that had been tugged under his shirt, wrapping it around his hand. The odd metal of the chain seemed to glitter even in the dim room. He took deep breath and closed his eyes, starting to chant in the language of magic he didn't really understand.

    After ten minutes, Eren opened his eyes and flipped the book open at a random spot, letting the spell to guide his hand. He eyed the page, looking for a sign. The contents of the book seemed to change overtime, lot of it seemingly seemingly meaningless. What he wrote usually stayed longer, though it might appear on a different page. When he cast the spell, he could get some indication what the near future might hold for him, though often the result wasn't definitive, if he even got a response.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Cast Augury concerning the job they were about to accept.
    Didn't use any special materials with the spell, though I've deducted the spell cost in any case.


    On the way to the guild hall, Eren kept reading. He'd picked another book, and held it before him even as he walked, apologizing absentmindedly if he happened to bump into anyone. He put way his reading material only when they reached their destination. For now, he decided to keep quiet and observe, his hands crossed behind his back, letting someone else speak for the group.
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    Darrik Proudfoot, Kender ranger by Gorgon_Heap

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    I curtsy to Vletlic and say: "Indeed we are looking for work, good sir. My name is Sorawyl Kassonor, and these are my associates Jason, Valorean, Grayshore and Erendriel. We saw this notice posted in the market Square -" I show him the copy I made - "regarding a bounty on a certain thief. I have some experience in tracking down thieves, and so I have come to inquire about the details of the bounty. If it should please you, sir."

    I aim to convey confidence and competence with my manner and bearing. More so than usual, even.

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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    The pages flip seemingly of their own accord and Eren's finger lands upon the word, "from," which makes no sense, so he reads the entire sentence: "My initial reservations were proved out, as the baseless guesswork once again fails in producing the desired effect while more deliberate experimentation is a success."

    There are a number of ways to interpret this.


    Vletlic is impressed with the look of you all. "You catch thieves before? This is good. This one is a pain in ass for months. Sit, please. You tell me experiences and I decide if you can do what Watch does not, eh?"

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    I chuckle as I take my seat. "From what I can see, the Watch does not do much at all - I should be quite ashamed if we cannot offer you more than they!

    Myself, I am a wizard; a diviner."
    I create a minor illusion of a crystal ball and wave my arms around it dramatically to illustrate the point. "No one can hide from me for long: I can see what is invisible, hear a man's very thoughts should the need arise. Not that I am wholly reliant on magic. Let me tell you the tale of the Brass Cat.

    Last year, I was in distant North Keep, tasked with the recovery of a valuable work of art, a sculpture called the Brass Cat. With nothing to go on but our wits and powers of deduction, my then-companions and I found the object in less than 48 hours - and uncovered a plot to use a replica of the statue to deliver poison gas to a gathering of very important individuals. Of course, unlike a city Watch, which must adhere to its procedures and protocols, we were able to take quick and decisive action to track down and subdue the would-be murderers. Thus, not only did we recover the stolen goods, but we also saved dozens of lives."


    Of course, none of the other four people here were part of that. I turn to Jason, since I know him a good deal better than the others. "Jason, that work we did for your man Sanford... are we at liberty to discuss that here? I imagine it would constitute relevant experience..."
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Haligoth/Sunset Guild


    Whatever his position at whatever this place is, Vletlic is a commoner with seemingly little to no experience with adventures in exotic lands or the stuff of magic. Sora can also tell he's quite taken by an attractive lady, and her oratory skills have improved by the past half-year of of intense lessons with the younger apprentices.

    He applauds. "Oh, wonderful. I don't know what the rest of you do - maybe chop? - but you can maybe do what we need, da. But the Watch isn't without skill. Do not insult them. They are worth every copper - this thief is very good.

    "In two months, five of our businesses have been robbed, all taverns. Odd. No damage and no ideas. People know faces of regulars, and strangers have been asked and they have ... eh ... people say they were someplace else, da? Maybe magic tells you what people cannot? You catch or kill thief and give proof, guild pays 100 steel. You do this and get back stolen stuffs, you maybe get bonus."


    He gives the names of the five taverns (just use your own ideas from the OOC thread, cuz who cares) and waits for other questions.
    Last edited by Gorgon_Heap; 2019-07-19 at 12:43 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Grayshore stands in the back rank of the party, largely happy to let Sorawyl do the talking. Even now, with clean and with her head freshly shaven, she suspects that she is not quite respectable. However, she listens attentively to Vletlic, and, when he pauses for questions, moves forward to face him.

    "What kinds of, ah, goods, where taken? Just gold and valuables, or more, how-do-you-say, mundane things?"
    Last edited by Mr. E; 2019-07-19 at 03:02 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    "If there was something very unique that was taken, I might be able to track it... Provided we are in the vicinity", Eren adds.
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    Darrik Proudfoot, Kender ranger by Gorgon_Heap

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    "Not only that," Grayshore notes, half-replying to Eren and half informing Vletlic, "but the amount that was taken will tell us how many thieves are, uh, involved. The more goods stolen, the more thugs it would have required to move them."
    Last edited by Mr. E; 2019-07-19 at 03:26 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    "And even if our magic cannot track the goods, knowing the details would surely give us some clues to follow up on. Yes, we need to know exactly what was stolen, and on which days. Times of day even, if you can narrow it down that far.

    But I have another question: 100 steel? Between the five of us that is but 20 each. I daresay our skills are more valuable than that, not to mention expenses... in fact, you are a guild of tavern-owners, yes? Could you perhaps provide us with supplies of food and drink for... say 10 days... in addition to our fee?"
    At least that way, we won't be out of pocket while we're searching for the thief.
    Last edited by Ninja_Prawn; 2019-07-19 at 03:42 PM.
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  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Vletlic is both astonished and insulted that you think 100 steel isn't enough. "That's months wages. If you're so very good, you find thief in a day, you make lots of money. You do this, I put in good word with wherever you're staying. And find all stolen and get bonus. All very nice."

    He opens up a ledger and recites the dates, telling Grayshore he obviously deosn't know the number of thieves. He also says he doesn't have any exact numbers or details about what's stolen - forestalling an argument about his competence by explaining it's partially because owners are only required to pay dies - not percentages - so they don't report their total income. Also, the thief has managed to steal each tavern's entire strongbox undetected, so there's likely all sorts of uncatalogued items missing.
    Last edited by Gorgon_Heap; 2019-07-19 at 05:06 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    "So the thief or thieves must be using magic, right?" Jason reasons. "I mean, nobody is that good. Is there some way we can trace it somehow?" he asks Sorawyl.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    "It is certainly possible. A worth foe, then! Aye, we will find your thief, Vletlic, dead or alive.

    Now, I know you said your previous investigations had turned up no ideas, but... was anyone from the Watch involved in those? I may want to get their thoughts on the case as a starting point."
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Vletlic provides directions to the nearest Watch House and a note of introduction.

    Within ten minutes you find yourselves at a large, white, ill-kept structure with a flag hanging at the front door; crossed spears on an open field. Very inventive.

    Inside is an extremely overweight officer at a desk in a smelly office, polishing a tin mug from a basket of other random tin items at his side. There are benches for waiting and nothing else. Two sets of double doors are behind him, alighting your curiosity. As you approach, he frowns several chins deep and wearily grunts, "Shto?"

    Upon reading the note, he tersely answers any questions he can while saying Watch officers are still on the case...

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    'Worth every copper,' eh? I get the feeling the guild isn't contributing very many coppers here. I try to make us sound as un-threatening as possible. "May we please... speak with these officers? We would like to help catch the thief, and it would be a shame if we had to duplicate the work they have already done."
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  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    The officer scowls flabbily and spits something in Estwilde before saying, "They aren't available. You think to do Watch's work, you are so smarter than Watch, then go - do Watch's work." He immediately, if a bit angrily, returns to his pile of tin.
    Last edited by Gorgon_Heap; 2019-07-23 at 03:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    "Now, I don't believe that's what Lady Kassinor implied. I'm sure we'd all just like this thief to be caught as soon as possible, no? The longer they're free, the more trouble they'll brew. And I'm sure the Watch has no shortage of work even without this." Eren tries to speak in a calm, neutral voice. "We may not have the insight and experience your people have, but we can focus solely on this one task, and perhaps bring a new perspective into the case."

    "But back to the point, could you tell us when those officers would be available?"

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Persuasion: (d20+5)[25] to get the officer to soften up a bit.
    Last edited by Majin; 2019-07-23 at 04:01 PM.
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  18. - Top - End - #78
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    They seemed to be getting nowhere with the watchman.

    “Perhaps,” he said, adding to what Eren said. “Perhaps you could give us an additional note of introduction so that we are not accosted by your watchmen while we perform our own investigation of the scene? Surely, that much is reasonable?”
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  19. - Top - End - #79
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    The fat man shrugs and waves you out. "Note says we leave you be - we leave you be."

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    I walk out, not especially perturbed. "Not to worry, people, we can do this without them. I suggest our next stop is to visit each of the places that were burgled, unless anyone has any better ideas..."
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  21. - Top - End - #81
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    “Yes, I think investigating the scenes would be a good start,” Valorean agreed. “Perhaps we should interview the tavern staff as well.”

    Assuming the Watch was competent, he guessed they had already enhanced their search with magic. But their group had plenty of magical power and Sora’s cando attitude. What could go wrong?
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  22. - Top - End - #82
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Haligoth/Streets


    Three straight days of investigations commence …

    Sorawyl/Grayshore

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    While Sora doesn’t debase herself with actual flirtation, she quickly finds the need for effusive courtesy. The people of South Shore don’t seem to care that you are outsiders, but they obviously don’t much like Solamnics and respond poorly to being addressed in their language. Of course, a pretty face doesn’t hurt either. That does not translate to getting information about local thieves and fences – you’re an unknown with no money, so nobody opens up about illegal activities. They are not comforted by your nomad “bodyguard,” who also obviously has no local affiliations.

    Spoiler: Grayshore
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    For Grayshore’s part, she finds herself distracted. Hours of questioning lazy cityfolk about illicit activities and criminals begins to give you a headache as whispered voices increasingly gripe snidely about what pathetic and dishonorable people these are, and why are you wasting your time in this stinking city to begin with? By all rights you should be resting at home, deeply pregnant!


    The staffs at these places are longtime employees, deeply entrenched in their work and neighborhoods. Taverning is good work, and the owners know how to reward loyalty. Turnover isn’t common. After some in-depth questions with staff at different locations, you learn they mostly serve regulars, but it’s not uncommon to see new faces in a city this size. You realize it’s a commonality not everyone would recognize, so you also inquire about new faces or those who began frequenting the taverns shortly before they were burgled. You get the descriptions of several men who may match this profile.

    You find no sign of the places having been physically broken into (to the best of your untrained eye). Within the offices where the strongboxes were kept she finds no evidence of the use of magic, which is odd, because she expected some sign of Transmutation; or at least the trace leavings of common components. On a hunch you try searching the common areas for the same, but these are cleaned daily. Oddly, the second place’s owner keeps his office locked and here you do just see a fresh scratch within the lock’s teeth




    Valorean/Jason/Erendriel

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    Valorean finds no signs of damage or tampering on doors, windows, or locks, much to his annoyance, and finds that while people don’t generally mind that he’s a draconian, they keep mistaking him for a particular loudmouth who’s been slumming around the city for the past few months. He makes little headway in his investigation until he starts using more leading questions. In particular, there’s some resentment toward the Watch for letting this happen to “loyal, dues-paying guildmembers,” which sounds to you suspiciously like the guild bribes the Watch for extra attention. A Zone of Truth confirms this, and that for these payments the Watch often has members spend their off-duty hours at businesses in good standing. Few are aware this is an actual policy, but it certainly works as a crime deterrent. The Watch officer you speak with confirms (under magic) he’s seen one of the men Eren has been told of…

    Eren learns little from staff or patrons besides some vague descriptions of strangers (you think one somewhat inebriated fellow is actually describing you), and has no luck with the first owner, but the second sees something to the utility of magic, even if he doesn’t necessarily trust your motives, and describes a silver letter opener that once belonged to his father. Locate Object has no result; either the description isn’t good enough or it’s out of range.

    Together, you ask the Watchman who else has seen this man, and he points (grudgingly) to another current patron. This fat little rat of a man practically spits in annoyance and tries to rush out, but Jason grabs him and pins him to a table, spilling ale all over him. Rat-man, knife to his throat (the Watchman doesn’t seem to mind this; Rat-man isn’t a paying member is good standing!), says the man’s got greasy brown hair, a birthmark above his brow, and a brass ring on his left pinky. Birthmark had been in weeks ago, “making pointless chatter, forgettable stuff, and refusing to play dice. Or cards, or anything, and he was watching the bartender like a hawk.”

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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    "Should we regroup with the others, and compare notes?" Jason asks his companions after they are finished.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JadedDM View Post
    "Should we regroup with the others, and compare notes?" Jason asks his companions after they are finished.

    OOC: Let's just assume that's exactly what you are doing now.

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    The search for clues has been far more frustrating than I'd have liked, so I'm hoping Valorean, Jason and Erendriel have come up with something. Before we get together to compare notes, I do my hair up in an extra tight bun and put on one of my best dresses (the long black one I got from Berrican Brellis), in an effort to revitalise my mental energies a bit.

    "Good to see you all. It has been a long three days, eh? Who would like to start?" I'm not keen to go first, having uncovered only (what I consider to be) relatively slim pickings. Perhaps hearing what the others have to say will enable me to synergise something though...

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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    "We found plenty of corruption, which does not endear me to this city," Valorean said once they were all back together. He wasn't so naive as to believe that that this sort of "protection" was uncommon in most of Ansalon; nonetheless, its blatant practice (or a least barely hidden acknowledgment), irked him mightily. "I believe me may also have a person of interest."

    He went on to describe the man with the greasy brown hair, a birthmark above his brow, and a brass ring on his left pinky, allowing Jason and Eren to interject their own interpretations.
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    "The, ah, small finger is an odd place for a ring, is it not?" Grayshore asks, trying to remember how non-Abanasian's wear their jewelry. "A criminal symbol of some kind, perhaps?" She shrugs, idly trying to remember whether any of her sailing acquaintances wore such a thing. "It sounds as if you have had, ah, more productive days than my own. I do not remember seeing anything more interesting than pickpockets and drunkards..."

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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    "I didn't unfortunately learn anything too useful. I did get the description of one stolen item, but it was either out of my divination's range, or I couldn't imagine the item well enough. I can try it again later, once we have more leads." Eren says, shrugging. As the group talked, he was sitting with yet another different volume in his hands, idly leafing through it.

    "Hmm, this man with a birthmark does sound to be the best lead by far. But we should be careful about asking around, if he hears someone's searching for him, he might just go in hiding... Or send someone to slit our throats in the night."

    Eren tries to recall if he's heard of a ring being worn on the pinky having any particular meaning
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  29. - Top - End - #89
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    Ninja_Prawn's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    "Hmm, it is interesting that you mention a man with the birthmark and the greasy hair. I also heard about a man of that description as being someone who had patronised one of the establishments I visited - a new customer who showed up shortly before the burglaries. We must endeavour to find this character...

    Beyond that, I could find no trace of magic at any of the scenes. Perhaps we were too late, but I think it more likely that the thief did not use magic. A good thing, I suppose. The last thing I have to report is that I saw one door that may have had its lock manually tampered with, so I suspect we are dealing with a skilled fingersmith. Now, what would be the best way to track down our person of interest? Do we even know his name?"
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  30. - Top - End - #90
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    JadedDM's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    "If he's not using magic, he's either working with a well coordinated team or just the world's greatest thief, since he managed to make off with multiple taverns' entire strongboxs on his own without leaving behind any clues," Jason observes. "And no, we never got a name. Maybe the brass ring on the pinky is a lead? It's an odd place to wear a ring. Maybe it has some kind of significance."

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