The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Valorean feels a strange otherly insight and knows instinctively that the magic has taken hold of Jarrus ... and some of his own companions.

    The man is utterly confused. "Don't know anything about any robberies. This? It's just a ring. Had it for years. I haven't been in Haligoth long and had no idea there were gangs that wear rings. Is this all a mistake, then? Can I be on my way?"
    Last edited by Gorgon_Heap; 2019-09-02 at 04:17 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #122
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    "Not quite yet, I fear. If we are fully satisfied that you are not in any way involved, then you will be free to leave." I say, truthfully. "So then, can you swear that you did not open the strongbox at The Inn on the Bridge? You stole nothing from The Flying Lancer or any of the other taverns that have been attacked recently?" I list each of the taverns, just to be sure.

    And I'll cast detect thoughts at this juncture, I think. The real questions are starting now.

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    We never actually named any of the taverns that were hit, did we? I just pulled a couple of names off that list from before.
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  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Grayshore frowns as she stands in the back row, hammer resting on the ground in front of her, and folds her arms, resting them on its wooden butt. She glares at Jarrus, skin prickling faintly from Valorean's magic, uncomfortable and on edge. The ancestors move restlessly under her skin, eager to reach out and shake the truth out of the sniveling man in front of her.

    She restrains that impulse with an effort, however, and focuses on the questions and responses, adding her own after Sorawyl's.

    "Also, if that ring is just a ring, who gave it to you? Why? Does it, or where you wear it, have any, ah, significance, that you know of? That is, does it mean anything?"

  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Jarrus shakes his head vehemently. “Nope. Never did any of that. What-what’s it with you and this ring? I just found it, years ago. Now I think I’ve been a pretty good sport, but if you’re not going to hurt me, I’m going to be going…” But he doesn’t actually move, as if waiting for inevitable violence…


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    You discern relief and truthfulness. Then frustration and an instant in which he imagines yanking the stupid the ring off and throwing it at Grayshore. And, of course, an intense desire to be away. He’s extremely afraid for his safety, and thinks if he tries to push past anyone to the door he'll be set upon.
    Last edited by Gorgon_Heap; 2019-09-03 at 07:44 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    "You were seen near several places where the robberies had taken place, that is supposed to be just a coincidence? What were you doing in the bar tonight?" Eren wasn't certain what to do next. The man had been their only lead, but didn't seem to know anything about the robberies. Perhaps they could go stalk the tavern some more, and hope to catch the real criminals red-handed, but they'd seemed rather elusive so far...

    Eren beckoned Valorean and Sorawyl, whispering to them. "Can either of you detect if something's been cast on him? Could someone have prepared for a spell like this with another spell?"

    They'd likely have to let the man go soon, but Eren tried to talk him into staying for a few minutes longer. "Now, now, like I said earlier, we all prefer things go smoothly. If you bear with us for a few more minutes, I'll buy you a pint downstairs."

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    Persuasion to calm the man: (1d20+5)[6] if it's possible.
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  6. - Top - End - #126
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    "Yeah! And having a pint. Nothing wrong with that!!! If this is you trying to be nice, you're a bunch of bastards. Good riddance." If nobody physically opposes him, he squeezes between you and leaves. Quickly.

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Valorean watched him go, glumly. Had they really just accosted and accused and innocent man? Mishakal taught compassion and understanding. Justice under the clear light of the law. They hadn't injured the man--physically anyway--but Valorean couldn't help but think that they should have known better.

    "Well," he said, "That was an unpleasant undertaking. I'd suggest we make amends, but I suspect keeping a dragon's distance between us will be enough." He sat heavily on the chair their captive had just vacated. "What now?""
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  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Jason sighs. "Not only did that go badly, but we are out of leads now, aren't we? We're back to square one."

  9. - Top - End - #129
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    I am upset to see him escape - even if he didn't actually commit the robberies, I feel sure we could have squeezed some other lead out of him, somehow. I plop myself down on the floor and wrack my brain for ideas. "Ugh... it cannot have been coincidence that he was at each of the crime scenes - and that he turned up right on cue tonight. Maybe... maybe someone else placed him there in order to frame him, or as a distraction... which means... we should go back to the tavern we took him from! Whoever is committing these burglaries is (or was) almost certainly there tonight." I sigh. They've probably figured out by now that it was a trap. "Did any of you notice anyone acting strangely when we abducted Jarrus?"
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  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    "The innkeeper was glaring daggers at us," Jason remembers. "But that was probably just because we were causing a ruckus in his inn."

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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    “Agreed. Our behavior was....” he trailed off into silence. Mishakal has to have a reason to send them after Jarrus.

    He scratched ideally at an itch under his scales. “He initially thought we were members of the Sunset Guild. Less, I think than a solid lead, but if they are involved with the city underworld, we could see if they have heard anything.”
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  12. - Top - End - #132
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    I roll my eyes. "Do you not recall? We are working for The Sunset Guild. That is the name the taverners operate under.

    ...although, if the Guild was the first thing that sprang into the head of that man, he must have reason to be fearful of them. Gah, there is so much we do not know!"


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  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Haligoth/The Sunset Guild


    The following day you are called back to the guildhouse, and the moment you enter you realize something is amiss. Vletlic is present with the angry-looking fat man from The Dravic Inn. He assails Vletlic with angry Estwilde.

    “He says you take a man away last night, but patrons say you spread rumors that he is holding something expensive, and then strongbox is stolen in the night. He is very angry. He says he wants 100 steel for his weekly earnings, a new strongbox, and a public apology, or he asks guild to hire a barrister and sue you.

    “This is very bad. You do not make a good reputation and you damage the guild’s.
    ” He sounds bitter and resentful, and looks like he regrets trusting outsiders.

    "What happened to this man? Was he not the thief?"
    Last edited by Gorgon_Heap; 2019-09-10 at 05:52 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #134
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    Well, the last night had been rather disappointing, with their only lead turning out to be false. Eren was more disappointed the tavern owner had managed to pinpoint the rumors to them. He didn't look forward to paying the sum, though as the idea about the rumors had been his, Eren supposed it'd be decent to offer to as much as he could of the fine. He'd have to see if he could talk his way out of it first.

    "I am sorry to hear that. I do recall discussing a matter like that with another patron, though saying we started it is a rather heavy accusation, not to mention holding us responsible... "

    Deception: (d20+5)[22]

    "We thought the man we talked to might have been linked with the robberies, seems that was false... Apparently he knew nothing. His name was Jarrus, of Saltcove." Eren eyes the guildmaster, if he happened to give away any sort of reaction. Jarrus had certainly seemed to have had a run in with the guild before, and not a very pleasant one it seemed.

    Insight: (d20)[5]

    "We'll of course continue to chase the thieves, but I don't think us loosing resources would help our progress. Once the thieves have been captured, everyone should have their money back, and the satisfaction of justice being served. A court process against a group actively trying to find the thieves would to me seem to be almost aiding them. After all, if the thieves are free, who's to say they won't strike again, even at the very same tavern? They've certainly managed to work without leaving evidence" Eren spoke with a calm, reasonable tone, looking in turn at the guildmaster and the man who must own the tavern owner.

    Persuasion: (d20+5)[13]
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    Last edited by Majin; 2019-09-11 at 04:16 PM.
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  15. - Top - End - #135
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    Jason remains quiet for now, and lets the others handle it. Aside from the fact that he can't help but feel anything he did say would somehow only make matters worse, the truth was he couldn't think of anyway to fix this. Short of skipping town and hoping for better luck in the next place, he wasn't sure what they could do at all.

  16. - Top - End - #136
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    Haligoth/The Sunset Guild


    Vletlic and the taverner talk a lot while Erendriel makes his case. He sees no recognition of the name Jarrus and the fat man is unimpressed with Eren's defense - though he doesn't argue for your arrest. By Vletlic's following description and translation, you think the man seems far more interested in immediate compensation than fairness or justice.

    Whatever decisions you make, the following days prove deeply frustrating. You find no further leads and Jarrus seems to have vanished overnight. There's no sign of him anywhere. Though you note the thefts do indeed stop. You may feel conflicted about all this...




    OOC: You each earn 50xp, but owe The Dravic Inn 100 steel and the cost of a new strongbox (quality of your choice). Oh, and he requires an actual public apology from one of you. Vletlic makes it clear that without this - performed here at the Sunset Guild before other guildmember witnesses - there's no deal.

  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Jason will contribute 1/5th of the coin, so that's 20 steel plus another 3 steel for the lockbox.

  18. - Top - End - #138
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    It's bitter to have failed so badly, and I am angry at myself for getting outfoxed by the thieves. It's particularly painful, because I lack the liquid assets to contribute to the compensation at this time. If another party member is willing to cover for me, I will promise to pay them back, and I will also give the public apology. The guild people would probably like that best anyway, since it was my words that persuaded them to hire us.

    As I see it, the main reason we failed was because we lack local knowledge and contacts. Not knowing the ways of this place, we made mistakes that we wouldn't have made in Solamnia. Therefore, I would be against going to some other new place, since we'd surely encounter the same problem again. What we need now is a simple, low-risk job here that will help us rebuild our reputation. And, hopefully, let me take my frustration out on something flammable...
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  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Qwermish countryside

    (I am assuming you are walking, because nobody has said otherwise.)

    Having traveled many long miles through Solamnia, you were not entirely prepared for Qwermish. Though separated from the great plains, vineyards, and fruit groves of the province of Heartlund by only a mountain range, you find that, much like Haligoth itself, this place is deeply unfamiliar.

    The uncobbled road west winds over and around tall hills and through a smattering of villages close to the city. Hours later you are among old-growth forest is all around. Spruce, hornbeam, and beech trees are in thick stands surrounded by dense wiry shrubs. There are no roadside inns, and there are no standalone houses or sprawling farms – pale stone homes are hunkered behind thick defensive walls alongside barns and stables and coups. The remains of old stone walls and tumbles structures are everywhere; evidence of centuries of conflict.

    Birds abound, and you spot signs of bear, wolf, and lynx.

    Larger towns are sparse, and the road passes by tall stockades and heavy gates. Passersby are not uncommon, but always appear in groups with carts and wagons, and they eye you suspiciously as they pass. Only near towns do you see any guards or patrols, and they are all attired and armed differently.

    Each night you find a rest stop – commonly-used campsites with deep stone fire pits and large, three-sided shelters of questionable upkeep. Here you stay with local merchants and other travelers who open up a little over a hot meal and a few drinks, but nobody is aware of any monastery. “If they’ve locked themselves away in the mountains they must want to be left to themselves. And if they’re praying to some god, I’m happy to leave them there,” seems to be the consensus.

    They have, however, heard of the village of Loaz, which they agree is a nice enough place right at the base of the mountains. It’s even got a pretty little fishing lake!

    On the third night, as the sun is dropping behind the now-visible Southern Vingaard Mountains, you and a regular crowd wearily ease toward a rest stop. Three covered wagons and a dozen people – merchants and family members – stop ahead of you and all stand in surprised silence. Ahead are three figures, two of them, an angry-looking dwarf and what you can only assume is a bakali (the lizard people are notoriously insular, after all) stare at each other and you with equal trepidation. The third figure is a bearskin-wearing hill giant curled up and snoring thunderously in the shelter.

    A middle-aged man takes off his floppy hat and scratches his head. He says something quietly in Estwilde and then repeats it in common. “Vat do ve do?” he asks everybody and nobody in particular.

  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Erendriel Half-Elven

    Eren quickly jogs ahead of the wagons to get a look at the disturbance, even putting away the book he'd been reading. He raises an eyebrow at the situation, wondering exactly what was going on, though it seemed the hillgiant was the likely reason.

    "Evening, gentlemen, what seems to be the problem? Anything I might be able to help you with?" Eren asks in a conversational tone. The lizard man was a rather curious sight, and Eren had at first mistaken him for a Draconian.
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  21. - Top - End - #141
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    I've never seen a real, live giant before. I stare for a moment, slightly awestruck, before realising that Eren has started talking at people. I hurry to him. "I daresay the problem here is obvious, Erendriel." To the strangers I offer a slight curtsy: "Evening, sirs. Have you any thoughts about what we might do with this... fine... creature...?"
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  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    A little skeptical, thoughts of perhaps a lass of some naive nature, Morhar gruffly points out: "Fine creature? This be na' a sleepin' fawn, miss'ay. I'd just clear out if it were just mahself but a giant is as big a problem as tha name suggests! I cannae even tell ya where the bloody thing came from!"

    Going to nudge the sleeping beast with the hilt of his maul, Mohar thinks better of it, not wanting to earn its ire should it wake up.
    Last edited by MechaKingGhidra; 2019-10-09 at 06:50 PM.

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    Jason frowns, remembering an old Solamnic adage about waking sleeping giants. He looks to the man with the floppy hat. "I don't suppose there's another shelter nearby we could push on toward instead?" he asks.

  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Achuak

    Achuak disliked the brutish hillgiant kind, and then there was that dwarf as well... Of course it'd end in a hushed arguement about what to do.
    Personally speaking, Achuak had no interest in poking the sleeping beast. It's common knowledge to not tease the sleeping swamp hydra after all, and the Lizardfolk Cleric was very much sure the same 'saying' could be made use of with focus on sleeping giants.

    "This sleeping being, it should not be touched. We do not wish for needless fighting..." The Jarak-Sinn said with a deep, throaty rumbling tone, full of pressure on the S' and thick with the draconic accent of his kind.

    His reptilian eyes narrowed as he noticed the approach of others, turning halfway to put a shoulderfront towards the newcomers and towards the sleeping giant, eyes flicking back and forth with a slow calculating motion.
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    Qwermish/Endday Road Rest stop


    The man shakes his head at Jason, worry deep in his eyes. There's a lot of low muttering, and travel weariness and fear begin to set it. None of you understand the conversation held in Estwilde, but their furtive looks and tone say a lot. They are looking between the dark woods and the even stranger newcomers, and are definitely agitated. They grip small knives, heavy traveling staffs, and work tools. One man reaches into a wagon and brings forth a crossbow...




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  26. - Top - End - #146
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    "Perhaps we could bribe the beast with some meat? Eren suggests, speaking in a low voice. "I confess I have never dealt with a giant before, but food could be good way to resolve this..."
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    "I'd say leave it alone," Jason remarks. "As long as it's no threat, there's no reason to antagonize it."

  28. - Top - End - #148
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    Directing his attention to the more sensible people, Morhar hisses between gritted teeth, "I cannae say the lot of 'em over thar", pointing to the emboldened group preparing their weapons, "are all so willin' ta leave well enuff alone. I...suggest...ya all git ready."

    With that, Morhar readies his maul for what feels like the inevitable, attempting to keep an eye out for someone to make the first move. The tension's high and surely someone will panic.

    ((OOC: Perception (1d20)[4]+3))
    Last edited by MechaKingGhidra; 2019-10-12 at 06:39 PM.

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  29. - Top - End - #149
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    When the other travellers are talking amongst themselves, I feel an urge to eavesdrop, so I cast comprehend languages as quickly as I can.

    "Unfortunately, I think the dwarf has the right idea. We need somewhere safe to sleep, and I doubt this giant will respond to a polite request. Perhaps if we all co-ordinate our efforts, we can scare it off before it does too much damage..." I steel myself for battle, and hand 3 Potions of Healing to Eren. "Here, you might need these."

    Then I back away as far as practicable and prepare to cast chromatic orb II at the giant the moment someone else attacks it.

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    Attack: (1d20+5)[16]
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    Edit: am I allowed the comprehend languages retcon?
    Last edited by Ninja_Prawn; 2019-10-13 at 12:59 PM.
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  30. - Top - End - #150
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Gorgon_Heap's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Qwermish/Endday Road Rest stop


    Sora casts her spell …


    Spoiler: Conversation in Estwilde
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    “-d never survive a minute with that monster! But all the years I’ve traveled these roads I’ve never seen such a thing. Ours is a wild place, but the roads at least are usually safe.”

    “Usually. I’ve been attacked more than once by bandits and barbarians and worse. If I lose another stock of wares it’ll be the end of me. I might as well be the giant’s next meal for all my life will be worth.”

    “I agree. It can’t be a coincidence. These wild things show up the same time as a giant? I bet ya they’re working together. They want us to move on to someplace else, away from the road, and attack us all unsuspecting.”

    “Sounds like monster thinking, yeah. We can’t keep moving and they’re gonna have a trap for us out there. So what do we do? Kill these two fast before they can signal their friends in the woods and hope the giant doesn’t wake up? What if manage to wake him up before we can kill’em?”

    “And what are these other folk gonna do? They’re all armed to the teeth but they’re all outsiders. Don’t speak a word of Estwilde and maybe got nothin’ to gain by helping us. Maybe they’ll make our work that much faster.”

    “And the giant?”

    “I … I guess we can burn him. We got wood and oil. Kill these two, burn the giant while it sleeps, huh? Easy enough, especially with these toughs. We gotta ask'em to either help out or stand aside, but we gotta do all quiet like..."

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