Bald Move D&D Play by Post (Level 2): Players Only Please

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  • CretanBullCretanBull Toronto
    edited December 2019
    Alkaid13 said:
    Aurelia

    Very well then, I’m uncertain how much you know about the current goings on in the shadows of this city but as it stands the entirety of Woodside and all of its people are under threat of total annihilation. The Rockbottom Rats have resurfaced as a fanatical death cult under the leadership of an insane ex-priest of Mormekar with plans to raze the city to the ground with an army of undead abominations. Normally we would have approached the local authorities with these concerns but the Rats have seemingly infiltrated multiple levels of society including the Falcon Guard and perhaps even the nobility thereby limiting our options for support. 

    Now, knowing that you are a legitimate businessman running a less than legitimate business makes me think you’re a rather cautious man who would be naturally resilient to an incursion of outside forces, especially one by unhinged suicidal cultists. Also we share a vested interest in preventing the ruin of this city, we of course would like to prevent the needless deaths of thousands and it occurs to me that you would like to protect your business interests. As I see it then there are two outcomes: either you assist us and we succeed thereby eliminating a dangerous underworld rival, assuring your continued operations in this city, and maybe even putting in a good word with the upper class who would no doubt feel indebted to the savior of the city; or you help us and we fail, I can assure you I’ll die before anyone has a chance to interrogate me so none of this ever comes back to you, and you can pack up shop and leave with none the wiser. 

    All in all, seeing as we’ll be doing most of the dirty work, what have you got to lose really?
    He stares back at you for a moment, nods his head and then removes the hourglass from his desk with several minutes still left on the timer.

    "I can see that you're serious and aren't here to waste my time.  You've done something that not many people have been able to do - you've told me somethings that I don't know.  While I sell time, my business is information.  I've been keeping an eye on the vermin and it hasn't escaped my view that they've become increasingly more violent and wreckless in recent weeks, but this is the first that I've heard of an insane ex-priest of Mormekar and the Rats being death cult in his service.  I trust what you're saying, but naturally will verify before I take any action."

    He stands up from behind his desk, looks down towards the floor and begins pacing back and forth, he mumbles a few words to himself - you can tell that he's considering his options or mulling over a plan. After a few minutes of this, he suddenly stops and says "Ok. So it shall be" and he takes his seat behind the desk once again.

    "I can and will help you...but a few matters need addressing.  First, this will take much time and preparation.  If I am to make a move against the Rats it must be done with a scalpel not a greatsword.  That will require my focus and attention...and I have an outstanding matter that would distract my concentration.  Perhaps you can take care of this for me?  I'll be taking a big risk in siding with you, I need to know that my new allies are competent.  I'll need a few days to prepare my plan for the Rats so no time will be wasted while you take care of some business for me."

    He doesn't wait for an answer and just keeps talking...

    "Several weeks ago, a very special woman in my employ by the name of Kindra Elstarin traveled up to Nordcamp on a business trip.  She was in the company of a trusted sell-sword named Calvin Markemp. The two were due to return a week ago but there's been no sign of them.  A few days ago I sent a lone man, Darrak Sertak, to Norcamp to retrieve them but he too has failed to return.  If I am to move against the Rats, I need to know that Kinda is safe.  She's very special to me.  I ask that you travel to Nordcamp and bring her back to me.  If some harm has befallen her I need to know who is responsible so that I can personally skin them alive."

    Dio stands up once and begins to pace - again it seems like he's carefully thinking things through before committing to them.  Through his mumbling, you can hear him say "I have no choice, it must be done" to himself.  He turns, places his hands on his desk and leans towards you.

    "Do this for me, and when you return I will share any information that I can gather and more importantly have a plan in place to deliver Hamnish Telfork to you.  He will be isolated and vulnerable, which is the only chance you'd have against one of the leaders of the Rats.  Whatever the vermin have planned, their plans will be hampered with their chief assassin taken out of the picture."

    "And of course," he says reaching into a drawer in his desk, "time is money.  And you'll need horses." With that he plops down a small sack of for each of you.  As the sacks hit the desk, you hear the unmistakable sound of coins clanking against each other.

    "A day and a half there, a day to find Kindra and a day and a half ride back.  That will give me 4 days to set my plan in motion.  You'll be able to strike Hamnish the day you return.  I guarantee it."

    -------

    Just a little reminder....

    Hamnish Telfork is one of the Rat's sub lieutenants, he's known to be a male human in his mid 20’s who is a deadly assassin often charged with carrying out the Rat's targeted murders.

    Nordcamp -  one of several camps that follow the tree-line of the Northwood forest between Woodside and Dorrington.  Typically, these camps are small - no more than 50 (mostly) men - and are used as base-camps for hunting and trapping parties.  The Emerald Dawn elves tolerate these camps and forays into their lands made by their inhabitants...as long as they don't venture in too deep.

    You can see its location on the map on the 1st page of this thread, I'll also make that area map the default map in roll20.




    CapeGabeFlukes
  • Aurelia 

    This seems like a fair enough deal to me, though I’m only in if the rest of my compatriots agree. While you’re doing your investigations in our absence I’d like to suggest a particular avenue of interest, we’ve heard tell that the next phase of the rats plans involve digging various tunnels beneath the Yard of the Last Guide in order to....acquire new recruits to their undead horde. Obviously, locating these tunnels would prove useful in preventing this. I’d also ask for a description of these three people in your employ just to help us locate them easier. 
    FlukesDoctor_Nick
  • I think we’re back in social order now so @Doctor_Nick
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    edited December 2019
    Stirling

    "Yes, Aurelia, quite right, quite right.  Any gravediggers your contacts may be able to rustle up may be able to tell you about the nefarious and unusual goings on."

    @Hatorian
     

  • Alkaid13 said:
    Aurelia 

    This seems like a fair enough deal to me, though I’m only in if the rest of my compatriots agree. While you’re doing your investigations in our absence I’d like to suggest a particular avenue of interest, we’ve heard tell that the next phase of the rats plans involve digging various tunnels beneath the Yard of the Last Guide in order to....acquire new recruits to their undead horde. Obviously, locating these tunnels would prove useful in preventing this. I’d also ask for a description of these three people in your employ just to help us locate them easier. 
    Stirling

    "Yes, Aurelia, quite right, quite right.  Any gravediggers your contacts may be able to rustle up may be able to tell you about the nefarious and unusual goings on."

    @Hatorian
     

    (I'm going to post an update now to keep the pace up...if I've skipped over your turn and you have something to add, we can work your turn/questions in retroactively.  Let me know if you guys are ok with this, or if you'd rather have a slower pace where everyone gets their turn in order).

    @Alkaid13

    "Providing a description of Kinda wouldn't be of particular use.  She's been gifted with an innate ability to change her appearance at will. You can imagine how...profitable...such an employee would be for me.  I've known her for years and I'm not even sure if I know her true form.  At any time she can appear to be however she wishes, with a few restrictions.  First, Kinda is human and cannot change her race, body type or sex.  She will always present as a slender, human female.  Also, on the inside of her left wrist, she has a birthmark in the shape of a star.  Regardless of what form she takes, that birthmark is ever-present.  Because of this, she'll often wear tops or dresses with long sleeves or gloves that cover her wrists.

    What might be more useful is a description of Calvin, who hopefully is still at her side.  Calvin is a heap of a man, a giant lump of muscle.  He's well over 6 feet tall and weighs in somewhere close to 300lbs I would imagine.  He's endured life on the streets of Rockbottom and has the scars and fractures to prove it.  His face has been cut and stitched several times and his nose has been broken enough time to leave it permanently disfigured.  Calvin isn't smart or clever, he's barely even likeable to most but he is deadly with a sword in his hand.  It's for this reason that I hang on to hope that no harm has come to my precious Kindra."

    @Doctor_Nick

    "My network of contacts is vast...and this fact makes your story worrying to me.  Something like this should not have happened in Woodside without my knowledge.  Either this insane former priest of Mormekar has formulated the perfect plan and is carrying it out flawlessly or, perhaps, some of my contacts have been lured into his service.  I have a shortlist of allies who I know that I can trust and will limit what I share with anyone else.  I believe that capturing Hamnish might prove to be our best source of information and I am confident that I will be able to deliver him to you in 4 days time."

    ----------

    As he speaks to each of you, you can see that he's increasingly growing more uncomfortable.  He's shifting in his seat, constantly holds his hands up to his ears (or where you image his ears would be hidden under his hood) as if he's blocking them, he frequently squints his eyes and you can see an increasing amount of sweat building on his forehead which he wipes away when he's not blocking his ears.

    "I'm sorry friends, I feel like I'm approaching my limit here.  I believe that we know enough about our mutual situations that we can part company and reconvene upon your return from Nordcamp."  You can see a growing anxiety build as he tries to maintain his composure.  "I haven't even gotten your names yet.  No matter, leave them with Misty."  He closes his eyes and the flutter for a second. Almost immediately after opening his eyes you can hear Misty call out, "I'll be right there boss!"

    Dio smiles awkwardly and nods at you, still struggling to keep himself together.  "She'll be here in a moment to see you out."

    I've made insight checks for all of you.  As a group, it's obvious that Dio is uncomfortable for some reason, and his discomfort has grown more intense the long that you've been here.

    @Hatorian (you rolled a 21!) it occurs to you that you've been here for longer than the 5 minutes that he originally gave to you guys and while he's steadily gotten more uncomfortable since you've arrived in his office, after about the 5 minute mark Dio seems to have gotten worse at a much quicker rate.  It looks to you like he's really struggling to keep it all together, his eyes dart between you guys and the door behind you...it's as if he can't wait for Misty to arrive fast enough to see you out. 

    @Flukes (you also rolled a 21, but yours was a critical!)  You can't place your finger on it, but there's something 'off' about Dio.  Nothing about him makes you think that he's lying or being dishonest in anything that he's said to you - you're absolutely convinced that he's been telling you the truth throughout your meeting with him, but on top of all of the things that everyone can plainly see - his fidgeting, sweating, general discomfort, and anxiety - you get a feeling that something isn't quite right about him.  He looks human, but the paleness of his skin and something about the way he moves strikes you as odd and not necessarily un-human but subtly distinct and unlike any other human that you've ever seen before.

    As @Hatorian and @Flukes are processing this and before you're able to communicate it to your friends, Misty arrives at the door.

    As she enters the room, each of you instinctively turns to her.  @Flukes and @Doctor_Nick for a brief second you see what looks like a concerned look on Misty's face but she quickly covers it up with a nervous smile.

    "C'mon guys, you know what the boss says, 'time is money' and I think you're out of time here."

    She opens the door wide and motions her arms as if she's saying "after you" as she waits by the door.

    Flukes
  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    edited December 2019
    Aurelia 

    As I leave I’ll pick up the coin sack and say to Dio

    The ringleader is named Negrellis if that helps in any way. 

    To Misty

    Miss Mountainhop, it seems we’ll have to save our little chat for another time, if you would be so kind as to direct me to the nearest stable. 

    To the party

    Gentlemen, if you would still like to avail yourselves of the facilities here, I’ll give you an hour at which point I will expect you by the West Gate. 
  • Darcassan

    If anyone of you wish to stay I hope Plastalyn can conjure up a cure infections spell. Something tells me this area of town doesn't have a bookshop. I'm not too sure anyone we've passed in the past half hour can even read. The sooner we leave the better. I will be waiting at the West Gate also.
    CretanBull
  • Stirling 
    Will look for some insight or perception about what seems off about these “people.”  (What should I roll of anything?)
  • Stirling 
    Will look for some insight or perception about what seems off about these “people.”  (What should I roll of anything?)
    I rolled for everyone, only @Flukes and @Hatorian noticed anything odd (and they haven't had time/privacy to communicate it to everyone else yet).

    What you noticed from a perception check (I rolled in roll20 for you) was that when Misty walked in the room she had a concerned look on her face and then quickly covering up with a smile as she's trying to lead you out.

    There's nothing to gain any insight from (ie there's no reasonable way of decerning anything from a concerned look, beyond the fact that she's concerned about something).
  • I’m travelling the next few days so I will follow the groups decisions
    CretanBull
  • @Flukes you’re up 
    Flukes
  • You're led out of Dio's office and back to the parlour room in the Den of Sin.  As you leave, you hear Dio let out a huge sigh...as if he'd been holding his breath the whole time and finally let it all out.

    "You mentioned stables...I don't think anyone in Rockbottom sells horses and I'm not sure if I'd trust the merchants around here.  If you bought a premium riding horse you'll likely find out that it was a half-dead donkey with some glimmer magic on it."  

    She stops and thinks for a few moments.

    "But...if you leave town through the East Gate, there's some farms just a mile or so beyond the walls.  The way the crops have been this season, I bet they'd be eager to sell you guys some horses."

    You get the sense that Misty is trying to evaluate the situation and can sense that you might have some questions.

    "I know that Dio is a bit, uh...strange...but he kinda lives off of having a bad reputation.  It's the only way for good people to survive here.  Well, I guess he's not exactly good - but he definitely isn't bad."  She leans in closer to the group and whispers "He's greedy, but his heart is in the right place!"

    You hear Dio call out "That's enough Misty.  Our new friends have urgent business at hand.   And I'm not greedy!"

    With that, Misty shrugs her shoulders and walks you to the door.  "I guess I'll be seein' ya again"

    Once you're outside, Plastalyn waves for you to follow him and he leads you a block or so away from the Den of Sin (towards the East Gate) and then stops and gathers everyone around.

    "Ok...that was weird.  There's something up with that guy, but I couldn't put my finger on it" (I made perception and insight checks for Plastalyn as well).  "I didn't get a sense that he was lying to us, in fact he seemed to be very sincere but the note that led us to him said N wishes to destroy us.  Trust no one but the most untrustworthy.  Talk to Dio Darkrainbow at the Den of Sin.  His help will come with a price, but it must be paid.  Trust no one but the most untrustworthy.  That guy was strange, but he seemed trustworthy to me.  The note also said that Dio's help would come at a price, and he ended up asking us to do him this favour.  How would the note writer know that?  Misty said that Dio lives off of having a bad reputation, so maybe that's why the note writer called him untrustworthy, and trading favours is just how things are done here so it was assumed that we'd have to do something for his help.  That could all add up, but it seems a little odd to me."

    "We don't know the note writer, but whoever it is has helped us and my intuition tells me that Dio is genuine as well even though the note writer called him untrustworthy.  I have an idea...why don't you guys head up to Nordcamp and I'll spend the next few days back at the church trying to figure out who's writing these notes?  It might be a long shot, but I could maybe try to compare the handwriting in the note to other samples written by some of the other clerics at the church.  Just an idea.  Or, if you want I can come with you guys.  It's been a while since I've been outside of the city and wouldn't mind some country air.  It's up to you."

  • You guys should decide among yourselves if you'd rather have Plastalyn come with you to Nordcamp, or send him off to do some research and maybe figure out another piece of the puzzle.
  • I’m fine either way as regards Plastalyn, have we reached the point where the sending stone is active again?
  • I am fine either way. If Plastalyn finds a lead that could be helpful but a healer for this party is not unwelcome.
  • Alkaid13 said:
    I’m fine either way as regards Plastalyn, have we reached the point where the sending stone is active again?
    I had to go through and check...you haven't used it yet today.
  • I will use the stone 

    ”Made contact with Dio Darkrainbow, runs the Din of Sin, can he be trusted?”
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    edited December 2019
    Ragnuk

    Listen, I don't think this Kindra is the only shapeshifter we're dealing with. I'm pretty sure Dio didn't tell us any lies but I don't think we've seen his true self yet if you catch my drift. He was sweating like a one-legged hooker working both sides of the street.

    More air-nudging and winking and then Ragnuk puts a big arm around Plastalyn's shoulders.

    As for Plasty here, I'd sure like to have him along. We've got no idea what we're going to run into up there.

    CretanBull
  • Stirling
    I vote for keeping the priest as well.... It was clear to see Dio was nervous and stressed about something - did he strike you as wholly natural, holy man?
  • So it looks like @Flukes and @Doctor_Nick want Plastalyn to come along with you and @Alkaid13 and @CapeGabe are ambivalent...so I'll take that as the group wanting him to come along. 
    CapeGabeFlukes
  • Alkaid13 said:
    I will use the stone 

    ”Made contact with Dio Darkrainbow, runs the Din of Sin, can he be trusted?”
    "I don't know him personally.  He's an influential figure in Rockbottom.  If he's helping that's good for us."

  • CretanBullCretanBull Toronto
    edited December 2019
    Stirling
    I vote for keeping the priest as well.... It was clear to see Dio was nervous and stressed about something - did he strike you as wholly natural, holy man?
    "I think like the rest of you I sensed that something was not quite right with him, but I couldn't exactly say what.  I found his skin to be unusually pale, and he seemed to have super hearing or something?  As loud as Misty's whispers were he should not have been able to hear them from how far away he was.  Add on the sweating, the nervousness, the dark room, how he seemed to break down the longer things went, his apparent obsession with time...and did you hear that huge sigh he let out when we left?  It's like he was trying to hold something in the whole time that we were there. I can't put it all together but there's a mystery surrounding him for sure."

  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    edited December 2019
    Aurelia

    I have known priests before who have the ability to detect any, ah, unnatural entities within a certain radius either via innate ability or some form of spell-craft. If you are capable of such a feat Brother, we could always make up a pretext to return and determine for sure whether this man is of this world or another.  

  • Alkaid13 said:
    Aurelia

    I have known priests before who have the ability to detect any, ah, unnatural entities within a certain radius either via innate ability or some form of spell-craft. If you are capable of such a feat Brother, we could always make up a pretext to return and determine for sure whether this man is of this world or another.  

    Just a reminder to you, Paladins have the "Devine Sense" ability:

    The presence of strong evil registers on your se⁠nses like a noxious odor, and powerful good rings like heavenly music in your ears. As an action, you can open your awareness to detect such forces. Until the end of your next turn, you know the location of any celestia⁠l, fiend, or Undead within 60 feet of you that is not behind total cover. You know the type (celestial, fiend, or undead) of any being whose presence you sense, but not its identity (the vampi⁠re Count Strahd von Zarovich, for instance). Within the same radius, you also detect the presence of any place or object that has been consecrated or desecrated, as with the Hallow spell.

    You can use this feature a number of times equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier. When you finish a Long Rest, you regain all expended uses.

    ------------

    As for Plastalyn he replies, "Yes I do have such an ability when it comes to the undead, this power is innate - granted to me from Mormekar - it just takes a moment of concentration.  By means of prayer, I can detect other things...demons, devil, aberrations and such.  The power to detect these things stays with me for about 10 minutes after my prayer.  If you thought it was worth trying, I could pray now and we could walk back to the Den of Sin and see if anything catches my attention.  I would need to be face to face with Dio in order to evaluate him though."


  • Aurelia

    Well, it does occur to me that perhaps we forgot to mention some key details that our new acquaintance ought to know about, how clumsy of me to overlook such a detail. We should rectify this mistake at once.   
  • If you plan to head back, I suggest you formulate a plan and tell Plastalyn exactly what you want him to do.
  • Aurelia

    I plan to simply walk back in and inform Ms. Mountainhop that we have one or two more things to to inform Mr. Darkrianbow about and that it shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds of his time. I’d like you to cast you spell before we enter and follow me in. 
  • Does anyone else want to weigh in on this?

    Plastalyn would like to know what the plan is exactly.  You want him to cast his spell, then you're going to head back there, demand to see Dio and tell him/ask him what?
  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    edited December 2019
    Aurelia

    Well personally, I can contain my interest in the mystery of Dio’s persona for a while longer and I’m certain we will be meeting with him again upon our return. If we’d like some more information immediately we can just say we’d like him to look into someone named Kasparian who we’ve heard is connected with this cult somehow and could he please meet with us face to face for a scant few seconds more because this information is rather sensitive and not for prying ears. It’s a very simple plan with little downside, either he sees us or he doesn’t. 
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    Ragnuk

    He was pretty relieved when we left. Will he be just as upset to see us back? You don't keep new friends by surprising them right off the hop. Doin something unexpected works a lot better if you don't do it all the time. If you wanna go back in I'll stay outside and watch the door, but I think we should go find some horses.

    CapeGabe
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