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Though the night is young, it is almost pitch black when you arrive at the Red Lamb Inn. A soft rain strikes the ground, only adding to the dreary atmosphere. It has been a long journey over bumpy roads and inhospitable terrain, so the modest inn stands out of the darkness like a beacon. It is where you will spend the evening. Tomorrow a coach will arrive and take you to Earl Giovanni's manse.
Entering into the Red Lamb, you all find yourselves in a modest common room that could seat perhaps thirty guests. It's largely empty at the moment, perhaps indicating that the locals did not want to brave the impending storm to get here. Besides yourselves, there are five other people here. The innkeeper and a servant are scurrying about, attempting to prepare everything for the honored guests of Earl Giovanni. A young man who has the bearings of a solder sits alone in the middle of the room, staring forlornly into his drink. A middle aged monk sits near the fireplace, his eyes darting constantly towards the entrance to the inn. Finally, an old woman with a beggar cup in hand sits all the way in the back of the room, humming a folk tune quietly to herself.
The innkeeper greets you all in turn, a large smile on his face that nonetheless seems a little forced.
"Warm greetings to you yer Lord(or Lady)ship! Please come in, away from the nasty weather. Can I get you some stew? Perhaps some wine? Lord Giovanni has paid for everything for his guests. Please, sit anywhere you like. Still plenty of space near the fire."
He speaks first in Romanian, switching to Italian if it becomes apparent that you cannot understand. For those who still can't understand, he gestures to one of the tables near the fireplace.
Okay, welcome everyone. You all arrive at the inn individually, though feel free to arrive at the same time as some of your companions. Have fun!
Last edited by Dark Seeker : 10-13-2012 at 05:12 PM.
Luca had spent every waking moment of the last week in preparation for the job. He'd memorized the cover story, dabbled in the lord's area of expertise, and checked every element of his guise that might expose him. Even now, Luca couldn't relax. Giovanni probably had spies all through the town. The innkeeper would be a good choice. He flashed the man a smirk and coolly replied, "Stew and the best wine you have... though, I shan't get my hopes up." Luca breezed across the room, taking the time to examine everyone in it. The innkeeper probably meant him no harm, even if he was a spy. His servant could be an assassin sent by rival nobility, as could the soldier, the monk, and even the beggar woman. Luca flexed his ankles, reassured by the rigid steel of his knives. To take a blade meant for some noble swine... "Focus. Think of the money." He took a seat near the fire, keeping his back to the wall and some distance between himself and the monk.
For a moment the innkeeper scowls, before he remembers that he's in the presence of an honored guest of the Earl. He smiles widely again, nodding almost frantically.
"Of course yer lordship! Please, get comfortable, yer food will be out in just a moment." He looks at his servant, a young man that looks to be in his late teens. "You heard our guest! Go get him his order boy!"
The fire lets off a nourishing glow, its warmth helping to refresh Luca after the long and exhausting trip. He has barely sat for a moment before the servant returns, placing a steaming bowl of stew and a tall glass of wine in front of him. He leaves without saying a word, perhaps afraid to attract the innkeeper's ire.
Said innkeeper comes over to Luca's table, looking both eager and apprehensive. "I hope that my humble inn's fair satisfies yer Lordship," he chuckles nervously. " We don't often get guests of this stature. Earl Giovanni has done us a great honor."
At the mention of the Earl, the monk glares at Luca, but says nothing.
"Yes, well. Do a good job, and I shall see Lord Giovanni hears of it," Luca added with a small smile. He arched a brow at the monk, then looked at the stew. Eating slowly always tested his restraint, so he started on the wine. One glass would relax him a bit. Not enough to impair his judgment, but some.
He watched the new arrivals with some interest. "Some noble brat and his manservant. Now there's something to bear in mind. Maybe the guests have valuables, but don't get off track with frivolities."
"Of course, yer Lordship. But please, eat and drink first. My assistant will run you a bath afterwards. Don't trouble yourself with the horses m'lord. The stable boys will see to them.'
He offers Seth and Erwin a seat, and brings them out warm stew and wine.
"Are you both guests of the good Earl? Lord Giovanni has visitors from all over the world. He even has Turks visiting his manor," the innkeeper looks a bit uncomfortable. "Well, not my place to question my betters. Please, relax after your long trip. And if there's anything humble Sigismund can do for you, do not hesitate to ask. Tis my pleasure to serve you."
Andrei entered the room, stepped to one side, and closed the door quietly behind him. As he waited by the door for the innkeeper to introduce himself, he took in the room as he set down his gear. First he unslung the quiver from his back and propped his bow next to it. Then he drew back and untied the bearskin hood and cloak, shaking it out once before neatly folding it and placing it in a satchel. Untying a strip of leather from his wrist, he pulled back his hair and tied it behind his head as he always did to eat.
After watching the innkeeper speak, he picked up his goods and moved to a seat between the old woman and the fire along the wall. He nodded at her as he set his goods down, stretched his sore neck and shoulders, and sat cheated out so as to miss nothing in the room.
The door opens once again and a tall, thin, middle-aged man with a long mop of dark hair and the clothes of a practising physician beneath his travelling cloak enters the room. Behind him comes a shorter but slightly sturdier young man in simpler clothes, who carries two large suitcases with some difficulty. The older man turns back to his companion and speaks to him quietly in Romanian.
"Take the bags up to our room please, Maxim, and then have some rest. We've got a long journey tomorrow!"
The younger man smiles wearily and hurries up to the innkeeper, exchanging hurried pleasantries, asking for directions to the good doctor's room and then (barring any problems) disappears with the bags into the room. The older man, carrying only a small satchel, stands for a few moments and looks around the room, his face screwed up slightly as he peers around. The other guests of the tavern seem like an unusual bunch, but the man doesn't appear to care. He waits for the innkeeper to become available and then approaches him and addresses him politely, again in Romanian.
"Thank you for your welcome. A little wine and some stew would be ideal, yes. Please bring it to me when it is ready."
He nods to the innkeeper and sits down by the fireplace, smiling politely to the short but handsomely-attired nobleman and the monk by the fire. Once seated he begins to drum his fingers on the table whilst his mind seems to wander, his gaze drifting towards some point on the distant wall.
Having arrived in town within the gentle embrace of a well-furnished carriage, Alenka Vasa peers out of her passenger window with barely restrained glee as it pulls up alongside the Red Lamb inn.
"We're here, Herman!" she spoke loudly as she turned to the other passenger, her blue eyes bright with possibility.
"Oh I know this dreary rats nest doesn't look like much, but it's just a stepping stone to Lord Giovanni himself!"
The carriage stopped and from atop its drivers seat stood a tall, broad-shouldered man that tested the vehicles suspension as he stepped from his elevated position. Gracefully, he lowered himself and opened the carriage door with one fluid motion. Entgraved upon the portal was the ornate heralrdy of Alenka's station.
"We're here." he uttered, his voice surprisingly smooth for a man of such a beastly physique.
"Thank you dear." Alenka smiled as she dismbarked. As she did, one of the stable-boys approached to take the vehicle to the stables.
"You must be exhausted after enduring that patch of bad weather up there, Aldric." Alenka spoke over her shoulder as she stretched her legs. "I'll see that a hot bath is prepared for you!"
"You're too kind."
Look ing back into the carriage, Alenka held out one arm and patted the nook that it made with her abdonem. "Come along Herman!"
A white cat sprung from the comfortable confines and into Alenka's waiting embrace. Following this, the woman grabbed an decorative cane from within the carriage.
Turning back to the Inn, Alenka twirled her cane around to hold it beneath her arm while carrying her pet within the other. Aldric was quickly by her side with several boxes of luggage affixed to his body for carriage. He gestured forward with an arm and opened the door for Alenka, who then slid into the Inn with her bodyguard/manservant in tow.
The pair are dressed well, but not with the flashy pomp one would expect of blue-bloods of the day. Instead they appear as well-to-do travelling merchants.
"Are you some kinda freak?!"
"Actually I am a lab mouse involved in an intricate plan to take over the world." - Brain
Last edited by BananaPhone : 10-14-2012 at 08:22 AM.
Don't worry too much about the timeline right now. If one of the NPC's is engaged in two conversations at once, we'll assume they happened roughly after the other.
The old woman smiles gently at Andrei.
Sigismund headed over. "Can I get you anything M'lord? M'lord?"" He switches to Italian, then finally sighs before disappearing. A short time later he appears with a bowl of stew and some wine, setting it out for the mute man.
Sigismund gives directions to Maxim, before hurrying over and greeting his new guest.
"Wine and Stew will be out in but a moment, yer Lordship. In the meantime, please have a seat by the fire, rid yourself of the dreariness of yer trip!"
The monk does not return the smile. He scowls briefly before looking away, muttering to himself.
Sigismund greets the newest arrival. "Yer Ladyship! An honor to have such fine company in my humble inn. The Earl has chosen well for guests for tomorrow's dinner! Please, have a seat the both of you, and I'll bring some wine and stew out."
As he hurries off, Alenka notices that the young solder in the middle of the room is starring at Aldric.
The innkeeper looks flustered, then afraid. He forces a cheerful smile on his face before he responds. "Oh, as I said, it's not my place to question my betters. Earl Giovanni is a wise ruler. He can invite anyone he chooses. I'd assume the Turks are merchants, but I've only heard rumors, yew know. His guests apparently come from all over Europe an..." At that moment,a loud crash gets everyone's attention. The innkeeper's servant has tripped and broken a bottle of wine.
Sigismund growls. "What the hell is wrong with you boy! I give ye one task and you're incapable of even that?" He turns back towards Seth and Erwin, offering hurried apologies before heading off to clean up the mess.
A lean man indeterminable young age and skin that even by this dim light has seen quite a bit of sun walks in, a bit after the others. His green eyes and short, trimmed beard , and halts for a moment to take a stock of his surroundings, looking the inn quickly up from the floor to the rafters. His clothes are plain, but well made and a bit of metallic shine suggests that he seems to be doing quite well for one of his station. "Good even, all," he says in Italianto everyone and no one, making a respectful nod towards the monk before turning to the innkeeper, addressing him in accented Romanian. "A stew would be good, and some wine will not be amiss. His Lordship is most kind, bless him."
His eyes take in some of the others, some with more interest than others. He sits near the soldier, and nods at him. "Good health to you, man. May I have your company?"
Mr.Shizzles avatar by The Gremlin. Thanks!
Last edited by The_Shaman : 10-14-2012 at 03:17 PM.
"Lordship, ah?" Benghi repeats, as if weighing the word, then shakes his head and continues quietly, likely hard to hear by anyone not immediately nearby". "Not sure how I came to be called that - apparently the Lord Giovanni's power is so great it elevates others just by being near him, though I'm not sure why I've been selected. Last I checked, I was just a mate on a ship far from here. No reason why I can't have a drink with a soldier such as yourself," he says, raising a glass. "Are you a local man, or just passing?"
Mr.Shizzles avatar by The Gremlin. Thanks!
Last edited by The_Shaman : 10-14-2012 at 03:58 PM.
"This is as much as I can call a home for the moment. I'm not a solder, not anymore. I fought for Lord Hunyady in his crusade against the Turks. But I ... I was wounded in my left leg. I'll never walk without a limp again." he sighs.
"I came here because I heard that Earl Giovanni was hiring guards for his manor. Even with a limp, I could still guard his household, if I was but given the chance." His eyes take on new urgency, and a spark of hope shines in them. "You are a guest of Earl Giovanni, like the others? Could you perhaps put in a kind word for me? I have no skill but soldering. If the Earl does not accept me, I shall be reduced to a beggar. I spent my last coins in getting here. I can offer you nothing but my gratitude." He looks doubtful that that will be enough.
Sigismund brings the food over. He glares at the solder. "Paul, this is a guest of the Earl. I trust you're not bothering him?"
Last edited by Dark Seeker : 10-14-2012 at 05:00 PM.
"Yer Ladyship! An honor to have such fine company in my humble inn. The Earl has chosen well for guests for tomorrow's dinner! Please, have a seat the both of you, and I'll bring some wine and stew out."
Taking a small sweep of the inn, Alenka notices the young soldiers preoccupation with her brother, Aldric. The smile remained in her lips, albeit it twisted slightly by her devious sense of humor.
"It seems you have an admirer." she whispered softly in Latin,
Aldric said nothing, instead choosing a polite smile and curt nod of acknowledgement.
Enjoying herself thoroughly, Alenka moves to take a seat in one of the corners where her back is to a wall and everyone is within her sight. Aldric sits next to her, while her ladyship relaxes the tired muscles of her body and lovingly pets her cat.
"Are you some kinda freak?!"
"Actually I am a lab mouse involved in an intricate plan to take over the world." - Brain
The man relaxes a little in the chair but jumps as the bottle of wine breaks. Stirred from his reverie, he looks around the room and stares for a moment at the elderly dark-skinned man, curious as to where he comes from.
It's been said that physicians in certain foreign lands possess medical knowledge that is not known here. Perhaps this man could be from one such place, and be a useful source of information? Then again, perhaps not. He could be from anywhere.
The man drifts away again until he overhears a newcomer at another table talking with the soldier. The man pretends not to be listening but pays close attention, wondering what the sailor will choose to do.
The next man to enter is broad shouldered and just under six feet. He's fairly plain looking, commoner written all over his face. A wide, flat nose, dark chestnut hair with some hair as the light hits it. Most of all, it's the way he fails to make an impression of any sort. It's likely some in the room think he's just hired help. Soaking wet from the rain, he moves close to the fire.
Those who take more than a passing glance at him see he's wearing a piffelo at his side as a warrior might carry a sword.
Sigismund is slow to greet the newest arrival. Finally however, he wanders over.
"Aye, can I get ye anything?
Overhearing Seth's warning, the monk nods vigorously.
"You are correct! Tell me, are you a Christian? If ye are, I warn you, do not go into the devil's trap! Claudius Giovanni is Satan incarnate! He wishes to lead ye all into damnation!" As he says the Earl's name, the monk spits on the floor. Thankfully, Sigismund is too distracted to notice.
Other guests begin to arrive. A young woman dressed in upper class fashion. An aging priest. A gruff looking mercenary. A heavyset merchant. Sigismund greets each of them in turn, and they all take seats for themselves. There is a tension in the air. Some of the guests can't believe their fortune. Others are nervous at being summoned to a Lord's manor.
Last edited by Dark Seeker : 10-14-2012 at 09:35 PM.
The man looked around and could see bottles of wine on some of the table. "A simple drink will do. Whatever your normal patrons have." He offered a warm smile to the man, then focused back to warming his hands, until he overheard the monk. He sighed, if Claudius Giovanni was a sinful man it might make things easier, or more difficult. He did not know.
"Is Claudius Giovanni a pagan?" Solland did not look directly at the monk, instead looking at the fire. Anyone who bothered to look at Solland would see that he looked sad.
The older man smiles politely. As a child he'd learned of the gods of his ancestors. Passing through the holy lands and the lands held by the Ottomans, he witnessed many different ways of worship. In truth, he wasn't sure who was right, but since working for his employers, he'd adopted the rituals observed by them, which reflected the faith of Constantinople.
"Fear not, my friend, our faith shall be our shield," he replied, "and look, see, even a man of the cloth has been invited."
He nodded towards the priest who had just entered.
TC for short
Malcolm Reynolds avatar by Strawberries
"Bah! No, he is far more insidious. He presents himself as a good Christian man, all while he practices devilish rituals with his fiendish guests! You heard the innkeeper, he even invites Turks to his parties!" The monk slams his hand down on the table. "Of course he invites the pure hearted to attend his unholy mass. The devil that is Claudius Giovanni likes nothing more than to corrupt the pious! He sacrifices virgins and conducts foul orgies!"
Sigismund returns with the food and wine, looking more than a little annoyed. "Brother Clement. I'll not have ye say another word. These are the Earl's guests!
Clement ignores the innkeeper, leaning intently forward. He yells, spittle coming out of his mouth. "Listen to me brothers! Tomorrow ye enter into the abode of evil! Mark my words,you will lose the protection of our almighty God if you go into the devil's palace! If you value your souls, leave now and return to your homes! I swear to you that the harsh storm outside is nothing compared to the damnation you will receive if you enter into the dwelling of Claudius Giovanni!"
Sigismund looks rather displeased, but also reluctant to contradict a man of the cloth.
The other priest returns Seth's nod, but looks decidingly ill at ease. He crosses himself before taking a seat in the corner. Brother Clement notices and rises to join him, eager to convince as many of the patrons as he can.
Last edited by Dark Seeker : 10-14-2012 at 10:14 PM.
The physician looks slightly startled for a moment at the monk's pronouncement, then smiles wryly and turns away and returns to his absent-minded daydreaming. His smile begins to slip from his face as he focuses on his thoughts.
Such a disparate group of people are being assembled here. What Earl Giovanni possibly desire with some of them is a mystery. I myself may well be of some use, and the nobles here are probably of interest, but what of the common folk? There are many things that do not make sense yet. With luck, all will be revealed soon.
As the monk speaks again the man finds himself disturbed once again and turns to face him as he rants about the impiety of the Earl. For a few moments the man looks perturbed but quickly regains his composure and returns to his thoughts.
Rumours and nonsense, I'm sure. These people always invent stories about those they don't like, and never consider the activities of those that they barely notice. At least that is to my benefit.
Solland is surprised by the reaction. No Brother Clement was not exaggerating his claims, he truly believed in them.
Solland looked troubled, and unlike the physcician, his face stayed in the state. His eyes searched for an answer in the flamers. "Maybe I should go." His words this time were much more quiet, but it was likely a few could here.
Luca had been content to merely observe the other guests' conversations but could not resist a wry laugh at the musician's barely audible remark. "Really? You would travel all this way just to turn back now?" He inched a bit closer, lowering his own voice. "I'm sure our dear Brother has his heart in the right place, but the man is clearly delusional." Luca thought the same of all religious people, but could not say as much. He smiled and took another sip of wine. "Even if he is right, someone will have to rescue all those extremely grateful virgins." Luca laughed at the shocked reception. "Good lord, man! That was a joke." He extended a hand. "Augustin Golescu, Lord of Giurgiu. Apologies for any offense. It was purely unintentional." The introduction rolled right off his tongue. If the real Lord Golescu were here, Luca could probably convince most of them he was the genuine article. Fraternize with a few more of the guests, and he would be all set for the party tomorrow night.
The guests had disappeared from Andrei's world for several minutes as he proceeded, in workmanlike fashion, to down the contents of the soup bowl. Life as a peasant, and more importantly as a younger brother, had trained him to down his meals quickly. The faster down, the faster he could go for any seconds, and the less chance that what he had would get stolen. The stew proved good, but that was a secondary concern.
He finished just in time to see the serving boy drop the bottle of wine. Andrei cringed inwardly, knowing that the boy would probably have the value of that bottle pulled out of his hide. He watched the others file in, regarding each in turn.
His eyes came to rest on the monk as he spoke. While the way his mouth moved was a bit unusual, Andrei thought he could tell what the man was saying . . . but it made no sense. If some of these people are pious Christians, then I'm a newt. And even supposing he brings in the pious, why would he draw them from around the world rather than right here? He leaned forward slightly, trying to catch his wording better. Gavril had always said Andrei was good at telling when someone was lying; he figured it must have been because of how closely Andrei watched faces.
"Solland Rowe, and no offense taken friend." Solland shook Luca's, going by Augustin, hand.
"Yes, you are probably right about the monk. It's not his words that give me pause though. I came here to turn down Lord Giovanni's request. It only seemed righ to do so in person though." He turned his attention to Luca. "It seems as if he is looking for men and women of many talents. What brings you to his company?"
I call dibs on the first roll! Solland isn't looking for any lies, moreso he's trying to get a general impression of him.
Perception + Empathy = 8 (8d10)(49)
Damn, that's some roll! Let's see if I can match it.
Manipulation + Subterfuge = 8
Not to uphold the lies, but to obscure his true emotions. Should Luca fail (likely), you get the sense that he's equal parts nervous, excited, and starving.
"Turn it down? Really? What did Earl Giovanni ask of you that was so objectionable?" Luca half-wondered if Solland might not be working an angle himself. To reject a nobleman's coin... Some people were just notoriously moral. All the better for the rest. "Well, if you're going to do it, definitely better to come in person. Shows respect. Best of luck to you." Luca called up the research he had done. "I'm in the business of textiles down south. Earl Giovanni has his fingers in markets all across the country, so I'm hoping to make a rather profitable business connection." That last part was technically true, nevermind that Luca intended to partake of the Earl's vault instead of his contacts.
Actually I meant more of the content of Luca's character than his emotional state. More on if Luca's a good person deep down and the like. Only one more success though, so looks like Solland only gets a small glimpse.
"It's nothing of consequence, just that I'm no longer in the trade he seeks from me." It was clear he did not want to share details. "I offer you luck with your business deals. I never have had much mind for coin. Just enough so I can stay well fed." He chuckled as if it was somehow funny.