The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    MesiDoomstalker's Avatar

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    Default Re: Planar Odyssey [IC]

    Atticus recoiled at the Efreeti's outburst. Curse his hometown slang; it just doesn't translate like he hope it would. Ach, naw, that's not what I meant! Its a sayin'- ah not important. Just tryin' ta be neighborly was all. I hope yer stuff is ok; that thing that started the fire looked like a doozy. Big Efreetah like you won't mind no flames though. Whats it's output eh? Third circle? Fifth?

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    Circle = level in case it wasn't obvious.
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Sasha approached the Efreeti along with Atticus, reaffirming his strangely accented words with a nod. She followed him up with "With all due respect, you positively radiate evocation. That fire wasn't entirely caused by the imp, and whatever you're carrying may be a danger to yourself and those around you. Clearly, it's already caused some issues.", nodding her head towards the formerly burning cart.

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    As the crash alarms, the party, Kethor's body tenses up as he quickly makes his move towards the source of the noise. Hands clutched tightly behind his back, he is somewhat relieved to see it was merely some collision between the carts of some merchants. As the others do what they can to douse the flames, the half-orc keeps an eye on the surrounding crowd. Seemingly random chaos like this is when one's guard to the unpredictable often drops most readily. He watches the peacekeepers with some suspicion, though seeing the other two members of this unfortunate group among the enforcers of low calms him down somewhat.

    Instinctively, he moves up as Sasha does the same, though he approaches a nearby peacekeeper. "Pardon me. Has the imp or genie any previous record?"

  4. - Top - End - #64
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Planar Odyssey [IC]

    The Efreeti furrows its brow at Atticus and Sasha, "all you need to know is that this is a rush procurement for a particulary valued client, who has paid handsomely for its timely delivery. Of course it is dangerous if misused or misdirected, but so long as stupid imps don't fly into my face again there shouldn't be further complications,"

    The Efreeti turns to Lt. Ghomm and barks at her, "I'm late enough as it is. You can contact Lord Fairwind if you need further account from me. I doubt it will be necessary," his feet lift off the ground on the power of his own flight, and the Efreeti takes off at a leisurely pace.

    Lt Ghomm turns to Kethor as he speaks, "never seen either of them before. Imps come and go all the time, but are almost always serving a greater devil or a wizard. Finding its master is our priority. As for the Efreeti, their kind don't deal with trifles. Wouldn't be surprised if this really was some special order on behalf of Lord Fairwind, though if it was just a bluff to get me out of his hair it certainly worked,"

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: Planar Odyssey [IC]

    After Ghomm finishes, Zaraweti smiles, but it does nothing to hide the edge in her eyes. "So, you think you can get the imp to talk? If it was doing what I think it was, I'm a lot more curious in that bastard than I am in whatever your Lord Fairwind is getting up to." She takes a step closer to the devil, trying to gauge their reaction.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: Planar Odyssey [IC]

    The disoriented imp seems to realize it's not the center of attention, and that it's been manacled to one of the peaceguards. It squawks in a slurred voice, "was accident! Just accident! Was minding my business when carriage come from behind and smack me!"

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: Planar Odyssey [IC]

    Sefariel focused his magic, muttering a few arcane words before progressively narrowing his gaze upon the imp.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Casting detect thoughts, because why not, and focusing in on the imp for now, unless something awful happens in the meanwhile.
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: Planar Odyssey [IC]

    Zaraweti scoffs. "You think we're dumb or something? We know an imp was following us. Do you really expect me to believe you're some innocent unrelated imp that got smacked out of invisibility the second we walk out of the precinct building? " She advances and bends so that she looms over the imp. "So, do you want to start talking sense? Or are you betting that Lt. Ghomm here won't let me tie your wings into a knot?" she says, grinning.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    I think I roll intimidate now? If so:
    Intimidate: (1d20+21)[30]

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Spoiler: Sefariel only
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    The Imp's mind opens up to you. She's afraid and panicked; not by the Efreeti's vicious manhandling, or the authority of the peacekeepers, but rather her master that terrifies her. As she desperately tries to find some way to escape her quagmire, the visage of her master flashes across the imp's mind. Though the vagaries of thought and memory make positive identification more difficult, the imp is dwelling on all the horrible things its master might do to it - enough for Sefariel to narrow down what kind of devil it must be. This devil's master is a Mnemor Devil, or memory devil. This cruel individual has used its powers of memory modification to punish subordinates that displease it, and takes perverse artistry in modifying the life experiences of a subject to mold them to its whims.

    As Zaraweti speaks, the imp's mind races, looking for a lie. She clearly was the one following you earlier, waiting outside of the precinct for when the two of you left. You also get a momentary recollection of the accident from the imp; it seems what it said previously is true, and it didn't see the Efreeti coming since it was distracted.


    "I was loitering, okay! I admit it! Is that a crime!?" the imp cries out unconvincingly.

    "Technically, yes," Ghomm replies smugly, "and harassing honest citizens would also be a crime, so I suggest you come clean with me,"

    "I wasn't harassing anybody, just watching comings and goings in public. I just have a job to do for my boss, I'm not here to hurt anybody!"

    Spoiler: Sefariel
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    While everything the imp said is true, it's intentionally evasive. In particular, the imp is well aware that its boss means to kill you. It's technically the true that the imp isn't the one who is going to hurt you - that's the strike team's job, and the imp is to relay information to them on your movements once they arrive.

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: Planar Odyssey [IC]

    Sefariel lowered his chin, staring somewhat amusedly at the little imp while clucking his tongue in chastisement. "Now, now, little one. Perhaps next time your master will have you be more careful whilst stalking innocent individuals. Assuming you would be allowed a next time, that is, unlikely as that may seem."

    He addressed the lieutenant with whom he's just had such a pleasant conversation. "I did not think to trouble you with it earlier, Lieutenant, it being a personal matter, but we were previously informed that there was an imp meeting this one's description following us around, gathering information for his master, whom we do not know but seem to have offended in some way. It appears that the little scamp was unwilling to enter within your station, and was lying in wait for us, too distracted to notice its surroundings. I think you'll find that under sufficiently rigorous interrogation, more information might be revealed, including the master's identity. That is information I would be most interested in."

    "I admit to some uncertainty as to whether stalking another with the intent to provide information on that other's whereabouts to someone intending murder violates local ordinances, but I can assure you I would like charges pressed to the fullest extent possible." He gave a little smile, as much to the imp as to the lieutenant.
    Currently DMing: Ruins of Azlant IC OOC

  11. - Top - End - #71
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Rhenner has kept up with the others, but has stayed silent for the moment as this really wasn't his scene. What he could see no one had been hurt by the fire, so there were no wounds to see to, and talking to authority figures, well... Even the memories he had were enough to put him off their kind.

    That the spying imp had been caught might turn out to be a lucky coincidence, though he was a little unnerved by Sefariel's mention of 'rigorous interrogation'. Rhenner glances around, wondering if there are other eyes still following them. "You wouldn't happen to be able to tell if there were other invisible stalkers around?"
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  12. - Top - End - #72
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Planar Odyssey [IC]

    Lieutenant Ghomm nods at Sefariel, "it's a bit more complicated than that. If I'm understanding correctly, no attempt has been made on your life yet, and that would make it difficult to press charges even with divination magic to pry secrets from the imp's mind,"

    "Hey, that would be a violation of my-" the imp suddenly looks at Sefariel and shuts up.

    "We'll be taking this fellow into custody. We'll see what we can find out; I do not want devils trying to murder people on my streets," Ghomm shakes her head, "funny, devils are usually so good about following the rules, at least to the letter,"

    Spoiler: Sefariel
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    The imp's thought train converges on you as it speaks, realizing that you're a Wizard and may have cast a spell to read the thoughts upon its mind. A panic spreads as it puts the pieces together and arrives at this conclusion. Knowing it cannot blot out such magic, it instead opts for the next best thing: an irritating imp song:

    "This is the screed that never ends, the damned must sing it to descend; some people starting chanting it not knowing what it was, and they will keep intoning it forever just because-"

    As Rhenner speaks, the imp's attempts at childish diversion cannot hide a vision in its mind. Another devil, not an imp. A creature that looks like a grotesque fusion of a fly and a baby. An Accuser Devil. You also get a slight tinge of a rivalry. The thought is quickly masked again by the imp's mental song.
    Last edited by Darvin; 2019-09-19 at 12:34 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #73
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Planar Odyssey [IC]

    Sefariel shrugged his shoulders at Rhenner's inquiry. "With fortune" he whispered.

    "Thank you Lieutenant, I am sure that you will do what you can. I fear that this little rapscallion may not be the only one, however. We should remain on guard."
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  14. - Top - End - #74
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    After a brief discussion, the party decided to pay a visit to Lord Fairwind and perhaps coax some answers from the man. His mansion isn't particularly hard to find, and the educated guess that it might be the towering structure at the end of Fairwind Avenue proved to be correct. As the party approaches they can see the dominating frame of the efreeti at a distance, standing impatiently at the closed gates of the mansion complex.

    A carriage pulls past the party along the street, coming to a sudden halt outside of the estate. Stepping out of the doors is - much shorter in life than his statues would indicate - Lord Fairwind. He pauses to greet the efreeti, shaking hands as the gate to his estate is opened. The efreeti wastes no time to storm on ahead towards the building as soon as the gates are opened, leaving Lord Fairwind behind him. Fairwind turns over his shoulder just in time to see the six of you approach.

    "Aha! You must be the new crew that Thestos hired, and you got here a day early. I like that kind of enthusiasm. Please, come inside. I've got to finish some business with another associate, but we'll discuss your futures with Fairwind Merchant Company very shortly," he smiles as he signals his driver and servants to bring in the carriage and close the gates behind you. A servant quickly moves to the flank of the group, leading you into the mansion and towards a rather luxurious waiting room.

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    Shortly after the group had been lead into the waiting room, Atticus took the opportunity to slip through a side door unnoticed. Once he was sure the servants weren't right on his tail, he snuck through the corridors in search of something incriminating. Or possibly a chance to eaves drop on the Efreeti and Lord Fairwind.

    Spoiler: Stealth
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    (1d20+9)[13]
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  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Seeing a break in the movements of the servants, Atticus moves towards the doorway Fairwind and the Efreeti disappeared behind. He presses his ear against the door and hears... a language he doesn't understand. Though frustrated, a few proper nouns do seem to be coming up frequently: both Aster and Tanner's names are mentioned repeatedly, and there's mention of Agathions or perhaps an Agathion, Ankoro and the Astral plane.

  17. - Top - End - #77
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    This sudden turn of events that got them inside the house with such ease catches Rhenner momentarily off guard, though he does his best not to let it show. Then he spends a few minutes wondering if this arrangement was another thing his untrustworthy memory had simply lost, but eventually decides that it's unlikely. What would happen when the lord of the house realised his mistake concerned the healer a little, but there was nothing to be done about it at present.

    In an attempt to make use of their surprising stroke of luck, Rhenner approaches one of the servants working near the waiting room. "Excuse me, I'm sorry to disturb your work, but could I bother you with a few questions? It seems that, uh we'll be hired by Lord Fairwind soon. Could you tell me what kind of employer he is? Would you say he can be trusted to keep his word and pay what he promises?"
    Alamryn Kven, a druid who tries very hard not to be useless.
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    DMing Ljonarian Enigma: Imperial Affairs and The Pirate Dream: Sliced Heart

  18. - Top - End - #78
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    Default Re: Planar Odyssey [IC]

    "Our Lord Fairwind values loyalty very highly. He does have a bit of a habit of keeping favorites, but if Lord Fairwind finds you trustworthy and dedicated to him then you'll be rewarded handsomely for your service," the servant explains while maintaining his cheerful attitude.

    Spoiler
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    Though the employee seems to be very happy, Rhenner does get the sense of an underlying existential worry, and notices that the servant says nothing about what happens to those Lord Fairwind decides are not trustworthy.

  19. - Top - End - #79
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    Considering the stakes of the matter closely, Sefariel hesitated slightly, shaking his head at the thought of casting a long spell with so many servants about. Instead, he wandered out near Atticus, casting his own ear into the proceedings.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Perception, I guess: (1d20+9)[15]
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  20. - Top - End - #80
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    The servants ignore Sefariel's spellcasting, likely presuming it's benign. After ten minutes, the clairaudience spell comes into effect and Sefariel's senses enter the room. The voices of the Fairwind and the Efreeti come to him clearly, but they are speaking an unfamiliar tongue.

    Both Sefariel and Atticus attempt to discern what they can from the conversation, trying to piece together words in a language they don't know. A few words keep coming up, but it's difficult to put meaning and context to a conversion in a language you're unfamiliar with. A few infernal words slip into the conversation, referring to some of the satellite demiplanes captured by hell's sphere of influence; too small and fragmented to form a layer of hell proper, and often jutting into the astral plane.

    Suddenly, Fairwind's voice shifts to celestial; he sounds like he's reading from a text, but reading the words with mocking derision, "After countless deceptions and abuses of my trust, you have the audacity to make threats? I am half of mind to call your bluff, Fairwind, but unlike you I am not willing to treat the lives of others as pawns. But two can play the game of ultimatums. I'm taking everything that is rightfully mine, and everything that was never rightfully yours. If you retaliate against me or anyone else for their part in our dealings, I will destroy you. I will tear down your enterprise, cast aside your fortune, and leave you as a destitute nothing. That is a promise,"

    Both Fairwind and the Efreeti break into laughter as he finishes reading. It's unclear what's so funny about this letter. Maybe you had to be there.

  21. - Top - End - #81
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    Letting out a sigh of dissatisfaction at the unfamiliar language, Sefariel reached into his pack and brought out an ornate scroll tube. Fingering the scrolls without so much as a glance at them, he pulled out the third one and invoked its magic, before casting his ear back to the conversation at hand.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Fare thee well, Tongues scroll. I look forward to making another of you.
    Last edited by Stelio Kontos; 2019-09-27 at 09:11 PM.
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  22. - Top - End - #82
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    The incomprehensible speech of the two outsiders coalesces into intelligible words in Sefariel's mind.

    Spoiler: Sefariel
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    "-and with your salamanders doing the work, and both Aster and Tanner out of the picture, there's nothing stopping me from having my skiff returned and ready to depart within a few days. You've earned every last copper piece for your efforts, and I assure you there are more rewards to come," Fairwind chuckles.

    "Hmph, it's frankly hilarious that you're using that planetar's own work running contracts through the infernal principalities. That haughty old tard would be rolling in his grave if he know," the Efreeti snorts.

    "Oh, Aster's not dead. May as well be for all we care, by the time he returns this will all be long history and he'll be none the wiser of how thoroughly I humiliated him. Say, did I ever share with you the 'ultimatum' he sent me?" Fairwind asks.

    "No, I don't believe so,"

    "Oh, this is good. It has to be read in the proper celestial, though, to really get the full impact," Fairwind pulls out the letter and begins to read [see the previous post]

    "Hah, all empty bluster in the end," the Efreeti laughs, "I guess you've got something on that Zafritar girl? Her testimony could really hurt your reputation,"

    "Indeed; she's endeavored so hard to escape her past, and it would be oh so trivial for me to reveal that unsavoriness. So long as I have this" you hear a clink as if he tapped something metal, "I can bring the nightmares of her past back to haunt her,"

    "Well, it's been fun talking, but I need to go arrange the work on your skiff. We'll talk again soon," you hear the Efreeti rise.

    "Indeed, I have a new crew to speak to.


    Atticus hears some motion from inside the room, and realizes the door will soon be opening. He quietly moves away so as not to attract attention. Fairwind and the Efreeti walk out, shake hands, and go their separate ways. Fairwind meanders down to the waiting room where you're all seated.

    "Well then, I think Thestos has made a good selection. You all look competent to my eyes. We're not quite ready to embark yet, but hopefully we will be soon," Fairwind pulls out a series of charts of the astral plane, and there is a particular location marked, "this is where your predecessors and their cargo were lost. Your first task is to recover the lost cargo. I assure you we've taken precautions to ensure you don't suffer the same fate. I'd imagine this should be fairly straightforward for you, and Thestos should have already covered our standard compensation packages, but if you have any other questions or concerns I can answer them now,"

  23. - Top - End - #83
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    Default Re: Planar Odyssey [IC]

    Zaraweti knows she's a poor liar, but she relaxes anyway. She could play the part of an adventurer--from what Fairwind was saying, it sounded like the job was just about the same anywhere you went in the cosmos.

    A number of questions and concerns leap to Zaraweti's mind, and she decides to settle for the most innocuous. "Well, maybe I'm dense, but I don't think Thestos was clear on just what the cargo we're retrieving is." She gives him a sheepish look. "Begging your pardon if it's not my place to ask, of course. Just want to try and avoid mix-ups, mishandling, that sort of thing."

  24. - Top - End - #84
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    "Also, do you have a theory of what happened to the last group? Since their last location is known, they can't have vanished into thin air. And are you sure they didn't just... take off with the cargo?"

    Rhenner wondered how long they were planning to carry on with this ruse. Perhaps it would be better to leave as quickly as possible, unless they wanted to cut to the chase and ask Lord Fairwind directly what his claim to the skiff was.
    Last edited by CWater; 2019-09-29 at 09:24 AM.
    Alamryn Kven, a druid who tries very hard not to be useless.
    Celesta Halla, a fearless barbarian.
    Jheren Falconer, a drifter ranger.
    Rhenner Calami, a snarky medic with an untrustworthy memory.

    DMing Ljonarian Enigma: Imperial Affairs and The Pirate Dream: Sliced Heart

  25. - Top - End - #85
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    Nodding to Zaraweti and Rhenner, Fairwind speaks, "Ah, Thestos can be discreet to a fault. Even on a need-to-know basis, these are matters that you need to know. This isn't just any adamantine you'll be recovering, but a very special metal mined from an ore vein that pierces through planar boundaries and is infused by multiple layers of hell. We unfortunately underestimated the danger of transporting what is essentially concentrated quintessence of a major plane, and our previous transport was lost in what my personal wizard describes as a 'catastrophic containment failure'. If any of the previous crew survived, they certainly aren't going anywhere. I assure you that we have found a solution to the problem so you do not meet the same fate, and have accurate charts by which you can locate and recover the goods,"

  26. - Top - End - #86
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    What's our timetable on this fetch job? And what, exactly, are these accommodations for handling what is essentially raw Hell?
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  27. - Top - End - #87
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    "I am currently getting the legal paperwork out of the way and have arranged for a rush job on your skiff. I'd imagine two to three days and you'll be ready to depart. I've just acquired a new elemental core for the skiff, and we're having it installed tomorrow. I doubt you've ever had a ride as fast or smooth as this will be! As for the accommodations, that's the reason why we're acquiring that old ratty skiff. Some decades ago a previous owner - a planetar - inscribed powerful wards in its cargo hull to transport fiendish prisoners. The wards are far better than anything my wizards can create, and specifically designed to restrain some of the most dangerous fiends in all of creation,"

  28. - Top - End - #88
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    With a look of satisfaction that all matters of importance have been covered, Fairwind claps his hands, "well then, why don't the lot of you enjoy the offerings of Ankoro. We won't be quite ready for you tomorrow, but if you'd like to stop by the harbor you can take a peek at your vessel. It's the one in desperate need of a new paint job," Fairwind dismisses you. The last you see is the commanding janni loosening his posh attire and returning to his study before you are escorted out of the estate.

    Spoiler: Atticus and Sefariel
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    [successful wisdom check] you notice that earlier Fairwind described the planetar Aster as an owner of the skiff, not a lessee. A careless slip of the tongue in trusted company, but the closest thing you've heard to an admission that he's acting in bad faith.


    Having been dismissed, the group agrees that it's time for a second visit to Tanner, hoping that her intransigence has softened. The same tavern she was at earlier, Laughing Ludvig's Loft, seems a bit quiet. As the party enters, they see why. Much of the table and furniture has been smashed. Whatever commotion caused this has passed, and the floor has already been cleared. Off in the corner with of the bar is Tanner, sporting a black eye and slowly sipping a drink. She turns as she sees you enter.

    "Oh hey, the cutie returns," she remarks to Sefariel, then quickly eyes up the other men, "and you brought friends. Pleased to meetcha, the name's Tanner, formerly Captain Tanner of the Cerulean Gray, and currently the undefeated champion of pushing her luck," she points at her eye.

    "So, you given it some thought? Think you can get a gal out of a tough spot?"

  29. - Top - End - #89
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    Default Re: Planar Odyssey [IC]

    "There's a very good chance" Sefariel replied, with a smile, as he took a seat at the table opposite Tanner. "And yes, these are my friends", as he made the relevant introductions. "We've a common purpose here. All of us, I think."

    "We've almost got the pieces put together, including access to the skiff, in a few days time. Unfortunately, we find ourselves looking for something, without knowing what it is; I fear by the time we are able to discern that information it won't be your skiff any more, nor Aster's. So for now I'm afraid I've nothing better to do than have you teach me that card game you're so fond of, while I sit here and let the subconscious cogitate on the matter. Low stakes, please; I can't afford much of your luck." As he spoke to the tiefling, remarking on how he was going to sit and think about it, he tapped his temple.

    All the while, he was deep in his mind, trying as he could to transmit a message he hoped only she could read.

    How can we help you, Zafritar? That is your real name, I presume? We know Fairwind's dirty, that he has something on you... if we were to obtain that something, would that free you to speak?
    Currently DMing: Ruins of Azlant IC OOC

  30. - Top - End - #90
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Darvin's Avatar

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    Jan 2017

    Default Re: Planar Odyssey [IC]

    Tanner winks at the mention of Aster, "So you've been asking around, have you? The old man and I go way back. It's a long story how I ended up piloting for him, but it ended up working out for both of us. When he didn't need the skiff anymore, he gave it to me, told me I deserved it," Tanner starts to explain the rules of Keys and Crowns until Sefariel mentions the name "Zafritar", when she stops speaking suddenly.

    Spoiler: Atticus, Kethor, and Rhenner
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    Tanner flinches visibly at the mention of this name. Though it's only momentary, the reaction is very distinctly one of visceral fear. Certainly not the reaction you'd expect from someone hearing their own name, even if they're surprised to hear it.

    Spoiler: Sefariel
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    Tanner flinches visibly at the mention of this name, though her reaction isn't quite what you'd expect. You find yourself second-guessing whether this is, in fact, her name.


    "Is Fairwind being that loose lipped? If he is, I'm already screwed," Tanner lets off a string of obscenities in infernal before recomposing herself, "that ain't my name, but it is something that can bring a whole hell of trouble my way. And all Fairwind has to do is give a sending to the right person saying 'here she is, come and get her' and then that's it," Tanner bites her lip, "it's a game of chicken, y'see? I got dirt on Fairwind, and Fairwind knows my past. I wanna call his bluff, I wanna call it so bad, but the stakes are lopsided. At worst Fairwind will be scandalized, while on the other hand it'll be the end of Tanner,"

    Spoiler: Anyone with a Smidgen of Wisdom
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    Tanner doesn't seem to be aware that Fairwind's leverage - whatever it is - is contingent on a physical object. She herself seems to be missing an important part of the puzzle.

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