The Adventures

This page contains the synopses of each group session. Solo sessions or sessions related directly to a character's sideplots will appear on the character's sideplots page. Each session post includes a write-up of the events of the session, the scrubbed chatlog and an introductory comment by the DM for play-by-post opportunities.

In-Character posts related to the aftermath of the session will be further comments on the latest session post.

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Rats

posted Aug 16, 2020, 10:47 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Decitina 15th, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

The Iris go their own ways for a couple of weeks to pursue some other activities now that their task for the king has wrapped up.

Dar Kalla, having asked around excessively about where there might be some pit-fighting, is clued into its existence by Claricia Robert at The Rogue Spoon Inn where he has been hanging out. She whispers the secret of its location to him while they are involved in other activities. The following day he makes his way to the secret site and proves he belongs there after flooring one of the bouncers with a hammer blow to the jaw. He slugs his way through the Novice division over the course of a week where he is to face another newcomer, a half-ogre named Tartarus, in a finale bout to advance into the next division.

In the meantime, Majestic has been tending to Majestic Wares and getting in contact with The Bard's College. The shop seems to be having a rough go of it for starters.

Eris Drew has been her time training her new dog, Orcus. He is a brute of a dog, but this will come in helpful when it needs to help out his owner in combat at some point.

Tazdar has been spending his time with Korald studying the mastery of great weapons. Also, Munkustrap, who already has this mastery finds that Korald is able to help him with improving his resilience to physical attacks that affect his concentration and body.

Cho Chi spends most of her time tending to her master and performing rites a The Temple of The Billiken. She gets out into the city regularly to keep up on the goings-on of the others. This is how she finds out about the pit fighting in which Dar is involved. During her jaunts, she lets the other in The Iris about Dar's upcoming bout.

The day of the bout, The Iris arrive at the now not so secret pit fighting arena that is in the catacombs below The Blue Siren Inn not far from the von Rumm Estate. They witness the spectacle of several fights before Dar enters the ring with a massive, brutally ugly humanoid that may be partially ogre. The giant is announced as Tartarus with a record of 3-0 with 3 knockouts weighing in at an astounding 317 pounds and a reach of 98 inches. Dar Kalla is announced as his challenger with a record of 2-1 weighing in at a respectable 240 pounds with a reach of 76 inches.

The Iris see that this fight is a mismatch and not in Dar's favor, so they decide they will try and help him out, especially Majestic whose bardic abilities have always been a boon to the rest of the group during combat.

While the fights are progressing, a bookie comes around taking bets. Majestic bets 30 gold, Eris 40 gold, Cho Chi 50 gold, and Tazdar 10 gold place bets of varying amounts and success. Majestic and Tazdar lose half what they wager, Eris makes half again her wager back and Cho Chi with hers extensive knowledge of fighting doubles up on what she wagered.

Dar's fight finally commences with Dar landing the first blow. Tartar quickly finds the smaller opponent too quick and begins grapples to keep Dar from avoiding his blows. This is when Majestic starts casting spells to assist Dar. However, it becomes apparent that someone is also helping Tartarus. The group splits up a bit to try and find out who. Tazdar has an idea and uses his rune magic, with a hit from Munkustrap's glaive, to try and assist Dar. The effect sends both fighters sprawling to the floor indicating that there is an enchantment about the ring leveling any cheating from outside.

The fight continues in brutal, barbaric fashion for some time when a great commotion erupts from the northeast side of the chamber. The crowd suddenly begins to crush toward the doors on the east and west sides of the chamber to escape an assault by a large number of rats of varying sizes lead by two rat-men. A number of attendees fall before the rush of rats as The Iris push through the fleeing to engage the rats. Dar and Tartarus brake to join the fray, grabbing their weapons as they do.

Majestic, having spent most of his supporting magic on Dar during the bout, chooses to search for the money from all the betting while the others combat the rats. However, those he identified earlier were closest to the doors and quickly escape in the chaos.

It is quickly determined that the rat-men are immune to the damage of most of the groups' weapons. Only Tazdar's greatsword and Munkustrap's glaive, being moon-touched, effectively wound them. The others focus on the several swarms of normal rats and a number of giant rats. After one of the rat-men fall, the other tries to make his escape through the east door, but he is chased down and put to an end by Tazdar, Dar, and Munkustrap. In the meantime, Tartarus and his gigantic maul proceeds to crush great swaths of rats along with Cho Chi and Eris.

In the end, there are thirteen dead spectators, seven from rat bites and six from being crushed to death trying to escape. At this point, the place empties out. The bodies of the victims are spirited away by bouncers and other event workers before they indicate that The Iris better become scarce before any questions are asked.

Trial

posted Jul 27, 2020, 6:06 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Decitina 1st, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

The chancellor is understandably upset that one of his valued mages has been killed. He wants to get to the bottom of what happened and currently holds all members of The Iris accountable.

Magic: Come quick! Monsters are attacking from the portal!
Magic: Alarms are blaring!
Magic uses minor illusion to duplicate the sounds of the alarms and projects them down the halls.
The Chancellor storms down into the reception area of the tower.
The Chancellor waves his staff and silence descends upon the area.
Munkustrap von Rumm experiences a vision of his father on his deathbed.
Magic experiences scowling, hateful faces of all the people he knows including his own.
Dar Kalla feels his strength fail and his arms hang limp.
Magic casts see invisibility, but the spell is snuffed out before it can take effect.
Cho Chi experiences a sudden sense of utter dread that her master has just died.
Munkustrap von Rumm drops to his knees with a stunned look on his face.
Eris Drew sees her companions begin to fall dead around her.
Cho Chi starts to weeping.
Eris Drew draws her sword.
Sloth finds himself floating in the middle of the ocean with mannequin duplicates of his companions floating around him.
Cho Chi heads towards the door.
Magic pretends like there is nothing wrong.
Dar Kalla panics a bit.
Dar Kalla (in his head because his voice does not work): What dire sorcery is this?
Magic (states silently): We are in some sort of antimagic field.
Magic (silently): My spell won't work.
Magic (silently): Why all the long faces? It is me, your best friend Magic.
Eris Drew runs over to Dar Kalla's body.
Eris Drew drops her sword and kneels on the ground.
The Chancellor (in each one's head): A serious transgression has occurred here. Until otherwise determined, you are accountable.
Dar Kalla walks towards The Chancellor though it is as if in slow motion.
Magic (silently): I love all of you. You are all so special in your own way.
Dar Kalla (projecting his thoughts at The Chancellor): Explain yourself, Wizard! What devilry is this?
Magic (mouthing vehemently): I demand a trial!
Cho Chi walks dazed to the door.
Sloth (thinks): Umm, guys?
Munkustrap von Rumm sheds a single tear that runs down his cheek.
Eris Drew [Quori] (silently): What in the name of the divine is going on?
Magic (thinking now to himself): I can not wait until I am a chancellor and I can accuse people without evidence. Sounds like corruption to me.
Sloth [Abyssal] (silently): Well, this is fucked.
Magic starts attempting to magically mend his clothes, but cantrips do not work either.
Magic (thinks): You can't bother me if I ignore you.
The Chancellor: One of my colleagues is dead and I will get to the cause of it before anyone is released.
Sloth [Deep Speech] (silently): Well at least there are not any monsters at the surface.
Magic pulls out his lute and begins to play but no sound is emitted from the strings.
Cho Chi (silently): I must go.
Magic (singing silently): Oh visions, oh visions.
Magic (singing silently): How you corrupt my head.
Munkustrap von Rumm (projecting his thoughts): Whoever is in my head, I can tell you what happened.
Magic (singing silently): Oh visions, oh visions.
Magic (singing silently): Do you want me dead?
The Chancellor: No one is leaving until this is resolved.
Sloth floats and falls asleep.
Magic (singing silently): Leave me alone for a moment so I may breathe.
Magic (singing silently): Please won't you leave.
Eris Drew gets up and is filled with anger.
The Chancellor: You will give your account in turn.
Magic continues to play for a minute attempting to give an enthralling performance, but the silence prevents it.
Cho Chi (projecting her thoughts): I will come back.
Cho Chi tries to open the door.
The door will not open.
Eris Drew (yells silently): How dare you kill my friends.
Sloth waits.
The Chancellor: The barbarian will begin.
Eris Drew: He is alive?
Eris Drew looks down at Dar.
Magic draws his rapier and repeatedly tries to stab himself with. Finally, the rapier is grasped by his hating self and it stabs him in the heart.
The Chancellor: Speak, barbarian! What occurred in the summoning circle.
Dar Kalla: There was dark magic in da tower. Dar no understand much. There was a big pool of fire. Someone toss small stone into fire. Fire turn dark...and tree large monsters jump out and attack. One killed the mage.
Cho Chi sinks to the floor.
Cho Chi tries to mentally find Master An Soo's spirit.
Magic still feels pain.
Magic it didn't kill him.
Magic only my heart aches.
Sloth swims over to Eris' mannequin and pokes it.
The Chancellor: Bard! This is the initial investigation. State what you witnessed.
Magic: I witnessed a poor job done by a representative of the school.
Magic: A wizard in charge of a portal could so simply be taken by a simple stone?
Magic: Is this the level of competency we can expect? If so, more will die and that is not our fault.
Sloth goes into the bag and pokes his head and uses it to float.
The Chancellor: Why was a stone being thrown into the portal. I am certain Orson would have warned against this.
Eris Drew picks up Dar's greatsword and puts it on his chest.
Magic: We did and yet the portal just lay open? A bird could have spat in it.
Sloth falls asleep.
The Chancellor: INSOLENCE!
Magic is rendered unconscious.
Magic (thinking as he loses consciousness): Anger is the first step in acceptance.
The Chancellor: The knight!
Cho Chi withdraws inward until all conscious thought and external stimulus fades.
Munkustrap von Rumm: My compatriots threw a stone into the portal resulting in extra-terrestrial creatures climbing out and killing Magister Orson.
Magic mouths words in his sleep, as a sleep talker, but the magic of the room prevents his speech.
Magic mouths, "Orson was bad at his job."
The Chancellor: And the actions leading to the stone entering the portal?
Munkustrap von Rumm: Magister Orson warned us to not throw anything into the portal, but my compatriot was stubborn and did not heed the warning.
Magic mouths, "Orson was bad at his job."
The Chancellor: And the efforts of Orson to prevent this?
Munkustrap von Rumm: I believe there was some arcane magic being used, but I am not knowledgeable of the arcane. Spectral hands or something like that.
The Chancellor: Who was using spells?
Munkustrap von Rumm: One of my compatriates and Magister Orson.
The Chancellor: Which of your compatriots?
Munkustrap von Rumm: Sloth.
Munkustrap von Rumm: He is young and foolish, but he did not mean for Orson to be killed.
Munkustrap von Rumm is released from his vision.
Munkustrap von Rumm wipes his cheek, blinks several times, and then stands.
Cho Chi suddenly receives all the testimony so far.
The Chancellor: Monk? Does this concur with your recollections?
Sloth (thinks): I have been bored before but this is...
Sloth [Deep Speech]: Shit.
Munkustrap von Rumm sees all of his other companions standing in a trance.
Cho Chi: Too wild and free and unrestrained could only learn through experience.
Cho Chi: Orson could not handle such students.
Cho Chi: He appeared to think words would stop them, they who have no sense of consequences.
Eris Drew goes over to Cho Chi and bows before placing Cho's guandao on her chest.
The Chancellor: It was only to be a lesson, not a lab.
Cho Chi: May I please check on my Master. I fear he is unwell.
Cho Chi is released from her vision. "Your master is fine."
Cho Chi: Some are not ready for such lessons.
The Chancellor nods to Cho Chi.
Dar Kalla is released from his vision and condition.
The Chancellor (to Eris Drew): Kalashar, you seem very compassionate for someone with your intentions.
Eris Drew: So?
Dar Kalla draws his greatsword and looks wildly about the room.
The Chancellor: What is your account of this incident, conquerer?
Eris Drew: My companion, Sloth, is stubborn, Chancellor. He is arrogant and far too curious. He threw a stone into the portal with the help of spells. I advised him myself that it was dangerous, however, he proceeded against our wishes.
The High Priest of Lehnbor enters the tower as the questioning continues.
Eris Drew is released from her vision.
Cho Chi meditates to try and calm herself.
Everyone except Sloth and Magic are back to themselves. These two still stand paralyzed in a trance.
Eris Drew: Oh thank the divine you are alive! You...you all died.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Not yet anyway.
Magic regains consciousness. "For what are you covering Sloth's indiscretions?"
Munkustrap von Rumm bows to the High Priest of Lehnbor.
Sloth: This sucks.
Eris Drew turns to face the High Priest.
The Chancellor: Our judge has arrived.
Magic: I am not covering, Cho Chi said what I meant with far more wisdom than I.
The High Priest of Lehnbor: What has transpired here?
Cho Chi sits crossed-legged near the door, tears drying.
The Chancellor (to Magic): Orson should not have had to react at all.
Sloth falls back asleep.
Eris Drew: An act of incompetence.
The High Priest of Lehnbor: An act of incompetence?
Magic: you are also wiser than I.
Eris Drew: Yes.
The Chancellor: This is clearly a case of hubris.
Magic: Perhaps you can teach me to be an inspiring leader like yourself.
Eris Drew glares at The Chancellor.
The Chancellor illuminates The High Priest of Lehnbor about what he has collected thus far.
The Chancellor (to Magic): You have been evasive and disruptive. What are you hiding?
Cho Chi tries to find the spirit of the recently departed mage.
The spirit of Orson seems to have already passed on.
Magic: I would be lying if I would say that I didn't want to see something come out of the portal. I encouraged him to be his best self and tried to aid him in his endeavor
Magic: I didn't think he would die, I thought him to be more powerful than he was.
Magic finds himself in the street somewhere within "The City."
Magic vanishes.
Cho Chi slowly stirs and seems more alert still sitting by the door.
The Chancellor: The bard has been banished from the university.
Eris Drew: Where did you take him!
Cho Chi: Where has he gone?
Magic, without skipping a beat, casts minor illusion and starts advertising his sale on leather at Majestic Wares.
The Chancellor: He has been moved to the streets of the city.
Magic heads to Bard's College, though he has no idea which way it might be. He finds someone on the street and asks them. They direct him north.
Eris Drew: There are a lot of streets.
Magic: Wait until the bards hear this.
The Chancellor: Now for this changeling known as Sloth.
Magic (to himself): I hope Sloth doesn't forget the wagon.
The High Priest of Lehnbor: What were you thinking, Sloth?
Sloth: Before I answer, how many snitched.
The High Priest of Lehnbor: You mean how many were honest, forthright individuals?
Sloth: I stopped believing in those.
The High Priest of Lehnbor: So you are unrepentant?
Sloth: No, I'm a lovely person who goes tho church every Tetratin.
The High Priest of Lehnbor: Then you show no remorse for what has happened?
Sloth: Did I say that?
The High Priest of Lehnbor: Give me a straight answer. Are you aware of the consequences of your actions?
Cho Chi: Sloth has rampant curiosity and no foresight.
Sloth: Ooo, a straight forward answer? How serious.
Cho Chi: You will learn cause and effect eventually, it may take many bruises.
The High Priest of Lehnbor: You are currently leading yourself to a death sentence.
Eris Drew looks at Cho.
Eris Drew: He certainly has a death wish.
The Chancellor: A very long time in a cell at the very least.
Sloth: Let me wake if you want to talk more. I would prefer to be awake.
Sloth's vision recedes but he is still held immobile.
Dar Kalla: Just don't turn him into a chicken or a hamster or someting like dat!
Sloth: That would be cruel.
Eris Drew: Killing a human is not cruel?
The Chancellor: Fitting for the attitude you display? Perhaps a pig?
Sloth: No, he died instantly.
Eris Drew: A hog.
Sloth: A sloth.
Dar Kalla: He may have been possessed by dark magic? We been fighting many strange creatures from Fey. Mayhap they took his mind and forced him to do bad tings.
The Chancellor: The only spell he is under is my restraints on him.
The Chancellor looks at the High Priest.
The High Priest of Lehnbor nods.
The Chancellor waves his staff and Sloth is turned into a...
newt.
Eris Drew turns away.
Munkustrap von Rumm: How long will he be a...newt?
The Chancellor scoops up the newt and puts it in a pouch.
The Chancellor: A year.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Well then, we best look for another recruit to join us.
Cho Chi: Are you going to try to teach him restraint?
Cho Chi: Chancellor are you going to teach him what he needs or not?
The Chancellor: We will see when he returns to his normal form.
Cho Chi: You are going to waste a whole year.
Cho Chi: He might be easier to teach as a newt.
The Chancellor: It is not a waste. He is still aware. He will begin to learn.
Dar Kalla: We did come here for help...tis likely too late for dat now.
Eris Drew: Quicklings
The Chancellor: Quicklings are nasty fey creatures. Just kill them on sight.
Eris Drew: This is what I did.
Dar Kalla: Any idea why dey is attacking da city?
The Chancellor: You are all free to leave.
Cho Chi: Are there going to be services for the mage who died?
Munkustrap von Rumm bows to the chancellor and the high priest, then turns to leave, motioning for the others to follow.
The Chancellor: There will be at the Temple of The Billiken.
Eris Drew follows.
Dar Kalla: Follows Munkustrap out.
Cho Chi: Thank you.
Cho Chi bows.
Cho Chi heads out to the street.
Eris Drew grabs the wagon.
Dar Kalla will help pull wagon.
Munkustrap von Rumm: We're close to my father's estate, so you may join me there if you wish for a rest.
Dar Kalla: We should find Magic.
Dar Kalla: I think I will visit The Rogue Spoon.
Maggi Hardcheese receives the wagon from Dar and Eris and provides each of them with ten pieces of gold.
Dar Kalla: Still looking for fight club.

Oops

posted Jul 25, 2020, 1:46 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Nonotina 28th, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

The Iris arrive at Magus Universitatis and convince the guards that they need to talk to the mages about this creature they have killed in the market.

A mage named Orson assists them in their inquiry as well as has them speak with the chancellor. The chancellor has Orson instruct them on what to do about these extraplanar creatures after identifying the creature as a quickling of the Winter Court, likely sent by Queen Maub as assassins.

Orson takes the group to a summoning portal on the grounds and begins to instruct them in ways to avert these creatures. Sloth forms a mage hand and attempts to through a rock in the portal as the lesson is in progress. Orson uses his own mage hand to try and prevent the intrusion but both mage hands and the rock disturb the portal.

The portal changes from a soft reddish glow to a chaotic violet eruption and three chitinous creatures leap from the portal. One of them immediately rends Orson, who was closest to the port.

A battle ensues which puts Cho Chi, Munkustrap, and Dar in great peril. However, in the end, The Iris are victorious.

Several members of the group point out that Sloth committed manslaughter by getting Orson killed. Sloth retreats into his bag of holding which Magic takes possession of. Magic also seems complicit in the apparent crime as he encouraged Sloth to interfere with the portal.

They bring Orson's body back to the main tower and a number of mages are dispatched to deal with the portal.

Stocking

posted Jun 29, 2020, 2:59 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Nonotina 27th, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

Over the course of the week since the audience with the King, The Iris has had some downtime to consider how they might spend some of the vast amounts of gold we were awarded for their part in trying to retrieve the amulet of the planes.

Magic found a shop to purchase and opened up "Majestic Wares," stocking it, initially, with the gear he had collected up to this point. He has shoes, boots, and clothes. He hired a halfling as a clerk named Maggie Hardcheese who immediately made herself useful by stitching up some of the clothes that had damage from weapons strikes. Magic also asked Sloth to be his business partner. This prompted Sloth to replicate a bag of holding as he hardly ever uses his crossbow anyway.

Eris spent a bit of her time looking for a dog. She found a big, furry beast of a dog to keep her company while adventuring. She is calling it Orcus.

Conrad spends his time acquiring a suit of half-plate armor, which needed some adjustment due to his muscular build. The dwarven smith did a masterful job.

Tazdar managed to find a moon-touched greatsword at the smithy near the castle. He also noticed a glaive of the same enchantment. This glaive was later purchased by Munkustrap.

Cho Chi, not having any idea what to do with all this coinage, returned to The Temple of The Billiken to visit her master.

At the end of this week, the members of The Iris are in the market square where "Majestic Wares" is located when there is a sudden disturbance in the northeast corner. Munkustrap happens to be in a position to see a tiny, blurred figure who just attacked a halfling stallkeeper before it speeds off to the south. Screams can be heard twice more further south each time. The group mobilizes with Magic coaxing them toward the disturbance and ensuring all the commoners in the area know that The Iris is defending them. Munkustrap and Conrad get into a position to engage the creature when Eris with a vantage point between market tents fires and arrow and kills what is discovered to be a quickling.

Munkustrap then rushes to the fallen commoners and saves them, the halfling woman who was struck first just in the nick of time. Munkustrap offers the merchant an escort home. After securing her flowers and fruits, they leave the market square.

In the meantime, the rest of the group brings the fallen fey to Magic's shop and becomes determined to find out why one of these creatures would be alone away from the Feywild. They prepare their things and begin to head to Magus Universitatis to ask the wizards there about this creature. Along the way, Magic uses his illusions to advertise for this new shop.

Along the way, the largest contingent of The Knives yet, block their way. A pitched battle erupts during which Tazdar is knocked unconscious. Munkustrap, who was following at a distance after escorting his charge to her home safely, charges in to save the hobgoblin just as he was about to expire. Conrad, in a berserk rage, fends off a number of the rogues. Magic puts a number of the rogues to sleep, which begins to turn the tide of the battle, but Conrad, Munkustrap, and Sloth are all gravely wounded by the end of the fight. In the end, they keep one of The Knives alive to send a message back to the guildmaster that The Iris is not to be taken lightly any longer. They also collect all the weapons, armor, and other gear from the corpses and load it into a wagon that Magic procures from the owner for 50 gold before continuing on to the mage's school.

Requital

posted Jun 14, 2020, 3:16 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak   [ updated Jun 15, 2020, 3:12 PM by Meaghan ]

Nonotina 20th, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

The next couple darkdays are uneventful and then the sun finally returns to the sky.
Rael Octavius: I have been summoned to court and need to leave you for the time being.
Magic: Goodbye, so long, auf wiedersehen, goodbye.
Cho Chi: Perhaps we will see you soon.
Eris Drew: Ciao.
Magic: I will be on the lookout for your daddy.
Magic: How do you know? Maybe you should let us know where you are going.
Magic: In case you disappear too.
Rael Octavius: The Archmage Saemul from the court contacted me magically, via sending spell. I am easy to find. Just look in the palace...most of the time.
Rael Octavius: I thank you for your hospitality, Lord von Rumm, but I must be going.
Magic: On behalf of the von Rumm family, it has been a pleasure.
Lord von Rumm: You are most welcome, especially for taking care of that troll. Visit when you can. That applies to all of you.
Magic: So...We don't have to go home, but we can't stay here?
Lord von Rumm: Well, visitors are welcome, but one mustn't overstay their welcome.
Rael Octavius departs.
Magic: Remember to keep it real.
Cho Chi: I prefer to stay at the Billiken's Temple, but if you require assistance, I am available most of the time.
Magic: So, should we check in with the King?
Eris Drew: Are we supposed to?
Magic: I do not know. We haven't since we completed our mission.
Dar Kalla: I am confused...was our mission successful or not?
Magic: Both.
Dar Kalla: Me no so smart. Me confuse easy.
Cho Chi: I have not met the King.
Lord von Rumm: If you were on a mission for King Ran, you should probably complete it or bring him news of your success...or failure.
Magic eyes Lord von Rumm.
Magic: See, dad agrees.
Cho Chi: I would not want to deliver bad news.
Magic: Myself as well, I am personally responsible.
Lord von Rumm: The King is quite benevolent, so any kind of status on your progress will be taken graciously.
Magic: I agree with Pappa Von Rumm, let's see the King! You all will love him!
Cho Chi: Good to know.
Lord von Rumm: Just make certain that you are in his presence. His advisors aren't as, um, forthright.
Magic: Interesting.
Tazdar: We'd be best served to deliver our news in person, though we may not want to bring a whole retinue.
Magic: Are you an advisor von Rumm?
Lord von Rumm: Not directly. I am a member of the Senate.
Dar Kalla: I was not part of your mission, but I will stand with you if you wish?
Magic: Do you have a book on this...Senate?
Tazdar: Political battlefields can be more fraught with peril than physical ones at times.
Tazdar: I never had the mentality for it.
Magic: Dar please come with us! The more the merrier.
Conrad: Ready to go?
Dar Kalla: I will stand by you then! I pledge my sword to your cause!
Tazdar: We should be on guard against further ambush from The Knives. As far as they know, we still carry the medallion.
Magic: And I pledge to let you take as many hits as possible in my name.
Magic: So admirable you are, Dar.
Dar Kalla: Hey. It's what I do!
The group gathers their things from the estate and makes their way out to the square.
Magic: And I respect it more than you know.
Magic fixes his hair.
Magic: Up the stairs and to the King I go.
Magic: Over the river, and through the wood, To King's house, we go; the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted snow.
Magic: Hey, Sloth? If we flavored this snow, we could make a fortune.
Eris Drew: What flavors?
Magic: I will need to find a brewer.
Magic: Fruity flavors.
Magic: Staying clear of yellow and brown.
Magic: Here try this one. It tastes like berry wine.
The wet walk through the streets of "The City" is uneventful and you arrive at the gates of the castle. They are still closed when you arrive.
Eris Drew: So, do we have to open these ourselves or what?
Magic clumps snow together.
Magic cast prestidigitation to flavor the snowball.
Dar Kalla bangs on the gate.
Dar Kalla: Hello?
Conrad: What? No guards to talk to?
A guard steps out from his post.
Conrad: Greetings.
Tazdar: We have a report for King Ran, to be delivered directly to him alone.
Castle Guard: Greetings, travelers. Early arrivals?
Tazdar: We'd have been here days earlier, but the weather delayed us.
Castle Guard: You need to report directly to King Ran?
Castle Guard: Who are you?
Eris Drew: The Iris.
Tazdar: Please inform him The Iris is here.
Castle Guard: The Iris? Let me check with the captain. I am not familiar with this name. I will let you into the outer bailey where you can wait while I confirm.
Dar Kalla: You really do know the King, right???
Magic: Yes, I am his favorite person.
The guard begins to open the gate as five other guards appear from the post.
Magic makes another ball of snow.
The guards escort the group into the outer bailey of the castle.
Magic: Let me know what you think, guard from the bardy.
Magic casts prestidigitation to flavor another snowball.
Castle Guard: Wait here for a time. It shouldn't take long.
Magic: Neither will trying this snack.
Magic winks.
Castle Guard departs through a gate in the inner wall.
Magic is sad.
Magic: His loss.
Magic: Anyone else?
Magic: Sloth?
Magic: You have been quiet? Mouth full of food?
Conrad: I will have some.
Magic: what flavor, my guy.
Conrad: Apple if you have it.
Magic casts prestidigitation to change the flavor of the snowball to taste like an apple.
Sloth: What?
Magic: Much better than orange.
The other guards decline Magic's offer as well, claiming to be on duty.
Magic: Duty is for the outhouse.
Magic cast an illusion of bunny ears to the guards.
Cho Chi: Magic, behave yourself.
Magic: Alright, alright, but how long do we have to wait?
After several minutes of flavored snowballs and illusionary shenanigans, the guard returns with the Captain of the Palace Guard.
Magic (singing): Cho Chi don't bring those hands down on me, the bottom of her sandals I will be, there is no messing with the temple of she.
Tazdar walks to the guard.
Tazdar: Please tell me that we're ready.
Captain: Greetings to The Iris.
Cho Chi: You will have to get better manners if you want to meet master An Soo.
Magic: And so, what?
Cho Chi: An Soo he is the wisest man I know. Kind and gentle.
Tazdar (to the guard): Well met, and also my apologies.
Magic: None taken.
Captain: Master Majestic, you and the rest of the Iris are expected. It seems you have added to your numbers. Who are the newcomers?
Conrad: It is I, Conrad.
Dar Kalla: I am Dar Kalla, from the northern plains; master of the sword!
Magic: It would be an honor to meet such a man, Cho Chi. I could learn a lot from him and you.
Cho Chi (bowing): Cho Chi.
Magic bows.
Magic: Did you catch my last show?
Magic: Fans?
Dar Kalla: We met our fellow warriors when they were attacked by a group of ruffians. We routed them handily.
Captain: Very well. Please follow me into the palace. Court has only just begun to gather after the darkdays.
Cho Chi: Thank you.
Dar Kalla: I pledge my sword to the King and swear to aid my companions in their service to his lord.
The captain leads the way through the inner gate and up the stairs into the palace.
Dar Kalla grunts.
Eris Drew: I don't think I have ever heard a barbarian use so many words.
The setting of the dark castle walls changing into the white marble palace is like night to day.
Magic still plays his lute.
Magic: Wow! Such beauty.
Magic: I can't wait to live here.
Guards open the palace doors for the captain and followers. He leads you into an antechamber of the grand hall.
Cho Chi looks to make sure she is not leaving muddy footprints.
Magic: We must look nice!
Majestic uses magic to tidy up the group.
Cho Chi: Thanks, Magic
Eris Drew: Wow it's magic.
Dar Kalla: Thanks, Magic Man.
Magic: Yes, now are you interested in a pair of beautiful shoes.
Magic: Ten gold.
Captain: Please wait here while the court gathers. It shouldn't be too long. All the summons have already been acknowledged.
Magic pulls out a very nice pair of house shoes.
Cho Chi: No, thank you.
Magic: I am going to get those sandals someday, Cho Chi.
Magic winks.
Cho Chi: Those are much too fancy for me.
The captain departs and leaves the hall guards to keep an eye on the group.
Magic starts laying out outfits.
Magic tries to pick the very best clothes to wear.
Magic puts on the fanciest clothes and a bowtie.
The volume of voices within the great hall begins to rise over the next half an hour at which point the Lord High Chamberlain appears in the doorway.
Dar Kalla: Grunt...Uggg...Grunt!!!
Magic: Hello! Well-dressed man!
Magic: What is thy nameth?
Lord High Chamberlain: The Iris, The High King is ready for you now.
Cho Chi bows.
Eris Drew: Finally.
Magic bows like Cho Chi.
Dar Kalla: Many thanks!
Lord High Chamberlain: Master Octavius has not arrived yet, so I will present you to the High King.
Dar Kalla: Your speech is most strange to me.font>
Magic leads the way.
Cho Chi lags behind.
The chamberlain and Magic lead the procession to the dais.
Magic pulls out his lute and readies himself.
Tazdar: Drops to one knee, helmet under his arm, and bows his head.
Tazdar: We have returned King Ran.
Magic bows again like Cho Chi.
Lord High Chamberlain looks at Majestic.
Magic: I'm classy, roll with it.
Lord High Chamberlain: High King Ran, I present The Iris, returned from their mission.
Cho Chi bows deeply to the King.
Dar Kalla bows deeply, fist over his chest.
Magic bows again in case he got it wrong.
Lord High Chamberlain moves to his customary location to the side.
Eris Drew does not bow.
Conrad bows.
Magic: May I lighten the mood, Sir King Ran the Highest?
The court is occupied by a few courtiers, one throne on the dais by King Ran. His advisors flank him on the stairs of the dais.
High King Ran: As you wish.
Magic: At first I was afraid, I was petrified Kept thinking I could never live without the amulet by my side, But then I spent so many nights thinking about how I might have done wrong And I grew strong And I learned how to get along And so you're back From the outer realms I just walked in to find you here with that happy look upon your face I should have changed clothes sooner, I should have made you leave your key If I'd known for just one second you'd be back to see me, Go on now, go, give me gold all over the floor, Just turn around now 'Cause you're always welcome here and more Do you think I'd crumble Did you think I'd lay down and die? No not I!
The Archmage looks sternly at the bard, clearly not impressed.
The Lord High Inquisitor smirks and raises an eyebrow.
The Lord High Chamberlain nods his head with the music and smiles.
Magic: That is all, my lord. Thank you for allowing me the privilege.
The Archmage glances over at the High King.
High King Ran: Thank you, Master Majestic, of The Iris. You have an update for the Court you would like to share?
Magic: As you see, my lord, I have exchanged the jewelry for a bowtie, if you watch my drift.
Eris Drew: The Forget-Me-Not got the amulet, my King.
Magic: Cho Chi, do you think now is the time to pitch it to the king?
High King Ran: Ah, so we should expect to see the amulet soon.
Eris Drew: Possibly.
Magic: I hope so. It was hard work my friends and I had to endure.
High King Ran: The timing of the darkday was inconvenient and probably delayed its release from where it was being held.
Magic: The darkness can do that?
Eris Drew: Is it ever convenient?
High King Ran: So the additions to the membership of The Iris were instrumental in the success of your mission?
Conrad: I like to think so.
Eris Drew: Yes, I suppose.
Magic: Yes, those here alive, and those lost to us will forever bloom in The Iris.
Dar Kalla: Swords were drawn. Blood was spilled. Much fun was had by all!
Eris Drew: The monk here does quite a good job for our party.
Tazdar: They've been proficient combatants so far and seem trustworthy.
Tazdar: All of them more dangerous than any member of the lowly Knives.
Cho Chi looks like she wants to fade into the background, but sees no avenue for this but one of here larger party members.
Eris Drew: True enough.
High King Ran: The Knives?
Magic: I can not help but feel this mission is not completed, though, until amulet's safe return.
Eris Drew: The Knives ambushed us.
Magic: King Ran! I would personally like to introduce Cho Chi! She was a random woman who stepped into our aid.
Tazdar: I've seen children stage a more dangerous ambush. It was barely a threat.
Tazdar: However, they were useful to our accomplishment of the true goal of the mission.
Magic: Out of the goodness in her heart!
Magic turns to push Cho Chi forward.
Magic smiles.
High King Ran: A loss for this city that will not be missed. The Knives are an unfortunate effect of civilization.
Magic: She knows the wisest man in the whole world.
Eris Drew: The Knives ambushed us and Cho Chi as well as the others helped us defeat them, while Magic sat on a box and ate jerky.
Cho Chi: High King the city it seems quite overrun by ruffians. I've had to help many.
Magic: Conrad and Dar are animals in combat! Tapping into the primal stages of youth too!
Cho Chi: I'm sorry to bring this to your attention.
Dar Kalla: Dar much like fighting!font>
Conrad: Combat Good!font>
High King Ran: I appreciate the dangers you have endured and the sacrifices you have made.
Magic: We fought an Ice Troll, Sir! There are dangers everywhere!
Magic: Whatever can we do to help!
High King Ran motions for pages carrying a chest to approach.
Magic's eyes widen.
Dar Kalla: Starts counting.font>
Dar Kalla: One...two...three...UMMM...TREE...more...
Dar Kalla: GRUNT!
Tazdar: Thank you, Your Highness, for this generous gift.
Dar Kalla: Many thanks Highness! Buy much ale now!
Dar Kalla: What do now?
Cho Chi: Thank you, Your Highness, This is too much. I did but a small service.
High King Ran: I believe this should suffice. Please use it wisely and spend it within my realm, so it will benefit the citizens.
High King Ran: You have done more than you can imagine.
Dar Kalla: What is "wisely"?
Cho Chi bows again.
Eris Drew: Not much ale.
Tazdar: Gladly, Your Highness. I believe it's time I regain some proper armor along with my honor.
Dar Kalla: Where be nearest tavern? Dar buy ale for all!
Conrad: Some new armor would be a welcome addition.
Dar Kalla: Armor? What need armor for?
High King Ran: I hope to have your services again in the future, but for now take this reward and put it to good use.
Eris Drew: We will.
Lord High Chamberlain: Thank you, heroes. You have your King's leave.
Dar Kalla: Many thanks, Lord!
The Iris take their reward and graciously leave court accompanied by a triumphant march strummed by Magic on his lute.

Blizzard

posted May 31, 2020, 7:08 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak   [ updated May 31, 2020, 7:13 PM ]

Nonotina 18th, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

Magic: Such a wonderful home.
Magic: I love the new arrangement of furniture.
Sloth: Where is the couch?
Magic comes out of one of the guestrooms wearing both costumes of elegant clothing, as well as a pair of lavish boots.
Magic: A little bulky, but it might work.
Magic: Makes me look strong, don't you think?
Sloth: No.
One of the guards has not returned from this shift and Lord Munkustrap has become concerned.
Magic: I happen to be the best detective on this side of the city. If you would like, I will assist and looking for him?
Magic: I am also Munkustrap's best friend.
Magic starts putting on a larger second pair of boots.
Sloth: Do you think I could fit in a bag of holding?
Eris Drew: Do you have a bag of holding?
Sloth: Not yet.
A snowy owl flies in and lands on a sofa.
Munkustrap von Rumm: One of my guards has not returned after his shift and I fear for his safety.
Magic: Emmerson, here can scout ahead?
Magic: My snow owl.
Dar Kalla: Is there any magic that can protect us from the weather while we go look for him?
Magic: We could press ourselves together for warmth.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Oh, great! That will help us scout around the estate to see if Greg is out there if you can see through its eyes, Magic.
Skimbleshanks the Butler approaches the mansion's guest.
Skimbleshanks the Butler: May I have your attention, please.
Magic: Ummm, sure. Emmerson has performance anxiety though, so we would have to do it alone.
Magic: I guess so Mr. Butler, a man of great servitude.
Skimbleshanks the Butler: The lord would appreciate it if you would join him in the dining hall.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Of course. Thank you, Skimbleshanks.
Magic: Will there be breakfast served?
Magic: You don't invite a man to the dining hall and not have food.
Eris Drew: That is what I was thinking.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Please follow me, my friends, to the dining hall.
Skimbleshanks the Butler: This will be a conference with the lord.
Magic throws his arm around Munkustrap.
Magic: You are the most gracious host.
The group begins to make its way to the dining hall.
Magic intends to take the seat at the head of the table.
Cho Chi hangs back trying to look inconspicuous.
Munkustrap von Rumm: You called for us, father?
Magic the seat closest to the head of the table to the right hand of Lord von Rumm already sits.
Magic: Could I play a little preamble before our meal? Only for a minute.
At the head the table sits Lord van Rumm, looking concerned.
Magic starts to play his lyre as background music.
Magic plays soft and soothing.
Eris Drew stands near the table with her hands on the back of a chair.
Dar will stand in the back, uncomfortable in the lavish room.
Sloth goes to the corner and sits on the ground.
Deuteronomy von Rumm: Welcome, my guests.
Magic bows while playing.
Deuteronomy von Rumm: Please take a seat. I have a matter of importance to discuss with you.
Cho Chi: Thank you for your hospitality.
Deuteronomy von Rumm nods to Cho.
Magic continues to play for a minute very close to the von Rumms.
Dar Kalla: Thank you, milord. You are most gracious!
Munkustrap von Rumm sits down in his usual seat.
Tazdar sits near the end of the table.
Cho Chi sits very formally.
Eris Drew continues standing where she is.
Conrad sits down.
Cho Chi: Lord VonnRumm can we be of some service to you?
Dar Kalla sits at the far end of the table.
Magic starts to grove back and forth, left and right.
Sloth wonders if there is beer.
Magic: Maybe we should sit. This is how most establishments work.
Deuteronomy von Rumm: Yes, as a matter of fact. One of my house guards has not returned from his latest shift.
Conrad: Should we search for him?
Cho Chi: With the weather as it is, this could be serious. He or she might need help.
Dar Kalla: Where was he posted? We must search at once!
Deuteronomy von Rumm: He is somewhere between the main entrance and the front gate, I presume.
Cho Chi: Do your guards live on the grounds?
Eris Drew: He shouldn't be hard to find, should he?
Munkustrap von Rumm: Visibility is greatly reduced in this blizzard.
Magic: What about if we had a dog?
Magic holds a puppy in his arms.
Magic: Konrad could sniff him out, with a K, not you buddy.
Eris Drew: The snow piled up higher than the puppy.
Munkustrap von Rumm waves his hand to catch the attention of Skimbleshanks.
Dar Kalla: I fear the knaves we encountered before may come back for revenge.
Conrad: Anyone have tracking skills?
Munkustrap von Rumm: Bring some thick coats for my friends and me.
Deuteronomy von Rumm: I fear with darkness lasting as long as it has that some creature may have entered the city and is causing trouble. It has happened before.
Eris Drew: Great, another chain devil.
Skimbleshanks the Butler nods.
Magic: We will need three things. Number one: warm coats. Number two: a warm meal, and Number three: I believe Sloth had asked for a beer, but hard liquor may stop the cold from numbing my giblets.
Tazdar: I have the ability to increase my size. I could act as a beacon for the man.
Skimbleshanks the Butler: I'll collect gear for you.
Sloth: Or a huge scary monster.
Dar Kalla: I used to track bear on the frozen steppes. I can find a man!
Magic: I will assist you!
Magic: I love being the hero.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I don't think we have any coats large enough for you when you increase your size, Tazdar.
Tazdar: The magic of the runes allows my clothes to grow.
Sloth: How?
Tazdar: Otherwise I'd be nude every time I use that ability.
Tazdar: I'm not sure how. My understanding of the runes is rudimentary at this time.
Tazdar: I was hoping King Ran might be able to aid my studies or one of his mages.
Deuteronomy von Rumm: It seems you have the skills and the feats to succeed in finding my guard. It will be worth more than the room and board that has been supplied during this darkday, as well.
Magic looks at Munkustrap.
Munkustrap von Rumm looks back at Magic and smiles ever so slightly.
Deuteronomy von Rumm: Skibleshanks will meet you at the door with coats so you can withstand the cold.
Munkustrap von Rumm: We shall begin the search at once, Father.
Munkustrap von Rumm pushes back his chair and stands.
Magic is wide-eyed.
Magic: Speech!
Munkustrap von Rumm: We have no time for speeches. A man's life is in peril.
Magic: Well spoken.
Eris Drew: Good enough.
Magic claps.
Dar Kalla: Let us go at once!
Magic: To the coats!
Magic runs out first.
Magic: First dibs!
Sloth follows the last person out.
Munkustrap von Rumm ushers the others toward the main door.
Dar Kalla readies his weapons and equipment.
Sloth does not ready at all.
The group leaves the dining hall and congregates in the foyer where the butler hands out gear.
Magic readies his lute.
Munkustrap von Rumm keeps his glaive handy.
Magic: Do you want to build a snowman? Or ride our bike around the halls? I think some company is overdue I've started talking to The pictures on the walls! It gets a little lonely All these empty rooms Just watching the hours tick by (tick-tock tick-tock tick-tock tick-tock) Eris, please I know you're in there People are asking where you've been They say, "have courage" and I'm trying to I'm right out here for you Just let me in We only have each other It's just you and me What are we gonna do? Do you want to build a snowman?
As the group exits the mansion, snow swirls around them.
Dar Kalla: Worst Heptatina we ever had!
From the front door, they can bearly see the ends of the wings that reach out before them.
Magic: Lock the doors behind us and hunker down.
Magic casts speak with animals.
Magic girds his mantle of inspiration Cho, Munkustrap, and Tazdar. These three move out into the blizzard.
Magic: Animals of nature, lend me your ears! I am looking for a friend who may be in tears!
Magic: The rest of you fan out!
There is chattering from the tree in the southwest corner of the estate.
Watch out! Monster!
Magic: Monster!
Magic: Ready yourselves!
Eris Drew moves out into the blizzard.
Magic: They do not want to build a snowman, Eris.
Magic: You also never answered me.
There is a low growl from the southeast.
Rooooaaaarrrr!
Heavy footfalls sound like they are approaching from Munkustrap's left.
Dar Kalla moves forward into the swirling snow and quickly finds the source of the roar.
Dar Kalla: A bloody troll! A troll!
Magic: Scary! Not a beast! Can't talk to that one.
Rael Octavius makes his way into the blowing snow trying to see the monster, but the snow is too heavy.
Magic: I am glad to have such brave heroes around me, but this does not bode well for the family's guard.
Rael Octavius: I can't see it!
Rael Octavius places his hands on the shoulders of Eris and Dar, blessing them with Lehnbor's emboldening bond.
Conrad moves forward searching for the monster through the blowing snow.
Munkustrap von Rumm moves toward the roaring and shouting and finds the troll. He slashes at the troll, missing, and then whacks it with the butt of his glaive.
Troll: Grrrr!
Cho Chi follows Munkustrap and races around Dar Kalla. She misses a strike with her quarterstaff but connects with one of a combination of kicks.
Magic: It may have stubbed its toe go get it.
Sloth begins to move up peering through the swirling snow, but cannot spot the monster. He goes into a defensive stance.
Tazdar moves over toward the battle and grows to twice his normal size. He throws a handaxe at the monster as it comes into view and hits it with a resounding blow.
The wind subsides a bit and visibility improves. Everyone can see the monster, but it can also see them.
Eris Drew runs forward through the snow and slices into the troll with a mighty, divinely-empowered swing of her bastard sword.
The ice troll regains some of its vitality as trolls are want to do. It bites at Cho Chi and claws at Eris and Munkustrap. Its claws only wound Eris.
Dar Kalla slides into the melee while entering a rage and swings his greatsword at the monster, but it misses its mark.
Rael Octavius remains standing where he is and launches a firebolt at the troll. It seems diverted by the wind, but then curves and strikes the monster, burning it.
Conrad moves around the melee to find a place to strike at the troll while entering his own rage. The battleaxe bites into the troll's back.
Magic: This is your troll song, You will be dead soon, I will make your hiiiiide... Into my armor with much pride!
Magic dissonantly whispers to the ice troll, but it seems little affected.
Munkustrap von Rumm swings his glaive again, the wind seeming to catch the blade. With a quick correction of the swing, the paladin manages to slice into the troll with divine energy. He follows up with the butt of the polearm and drives it into the troll's gut, more radiant energy doubling it over.
Magic: I had no idea he could do that.
Cho Chi pummels the troll with her staff and a spinning kick.
Magic: Whop, pow!
Sloth moves close enough to strike with his whip-like spell, but the strike misses.
Magic: It was a good try.
Magic: I respect nature.
Tazdar activates the rune on his armor and his muscles bulge even larger. He grasps his maul and takes a might overhead swing at the troll. It lands with the sound of a great thud and cracking bones as the troll is driven into the snow, no longer living.
Magic runs over to the tree and starts to ascend its trunk.
Magic: Little squirrels have you seen a guard out here?
Magic offering them rations.
Magic: I will protect you squirrels!
Eris Drew begins to search the ground, moving toward the gate as the wind picks up again.
Dar Kalla moves toward the path between the gate and the mansion, searching.
Snow gets in Eris' eyes as she searches.
Eris Drew [Quori]: Lia, be my eyes.
Lia [Quori]: I'll try.
Dar Kalla: Gregory!
Snow also gets in Dar's eyes.
Rael Octavius shields his eyes from the snow as he searches. He spots a bloody mess of flesh and clothing just off the path a few feet from the gate.
Rael Octavius: Ewww.
Rael Octavius: I think the troll got Greg.
Conrad moves toward the path, as well.
The swirling snow gets in Conrad's eyes.
Munkustrap von Rumm heads for the tree.
Munkustrap struggles with the swirling snow as well.
Cho Chi moves to the gate trying to find how the troll entered the estate.
Sloth moves up towards the gate and past Rael and nearly steps on the mangled body of the guard.
Sloth sees a mangled, bloody body between himself and Rael.
Tazdar moves up to the body, shrinking as the approaches.
A particularly strong blast of wind assaults the group. Eris and Sloth begin to shiver violently.
The wind then dies down again.
Tazdar: Let's carry the body inside. We'll learn nothing out here in the wind.
Tazdar: Any evidence has been erased by the swirling snow.
Tazdar: We can assume it was the troll, regardless.
Dar Kalla: Is he dead?
Magic looks for the squirrels.
Magic: Come with me if you want to live.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Yes, let's take Greg inside.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Is he dead?
Tazdar: Seems so.
Dar Kalla: He's quite dead.
Tazdar: To fall in the line of duty is a great honor. We can bring him in and celebrate his service.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Poor ol' Greg. We'll have to send word to his family.
Squirrels: No, no. You go, we stay in nest.
Magic: You can come inside.
Magic: All are welcome.
Magic: Think of the warmth.
Squirrels: We have each other, we are warm.
Magic: I will miss you, friends.
Magic with his head hanging low, he walks into the house.
They bring the body of the guard Greg back into the mansion.
Another blast of wind assaults them as they enter the mansion having the most effect on Cho Chi, Munkustrap, and Eris.
Magic: I think something is wrong with his feet.
Magic takes off Greg's boots.
Sloth falls asleep on the couch.
Cho Chi prays over the body.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Once the blizzard subsides, I will pay a visit to Greg's family to tell them of the bad news.
Skimbleshanks the Butler: Oh, my.

Gin

posted May 17, 2020, 5:04 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Nonotina 12th, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

As the group stands in the midst of the battle site, the light of the day begins to fade. Looking up at the four stars that form the sun of this world, they see them quickly recede and then vanish from view. Darkness engulfs the world. This phenomenon is relatively new and still disturbing even after eleven years as no one knows how long the darkness will last or that the sun will return to the sky at all. Two patterns are known for certain. The first day of the year always has sun, even during a seemingly extended darkday, and the 13th of every month, the skies go dark. However, today is the 12th day of the month, so the sun may be back the day after tomorrow or not reappear for over two phases or weeks from now. The temperatures immediately begin to rapidly drop and snow begins to form. The bound enemy begins to wake up.
Magic: Thank you so much for protecting me, friends.
Magic: A job well done. Shall we continue to the Magus Universitatis: wizard school on the west side.
Magic: We have this knife tied up, what do you want to do with him?
Cho Chi: Those ruffians are monstrous. Thanks for your aid.
Eris Drew: Yes, of course.
Magic: I don't mean to alarm you but we are being surrounded.
Knife Soldier: Hey! Let me go!
Magic: Maybe we should drag him to an alley or a bathhouse?
Tazdar: You should be careful to not become outnumbered, as you were. Without stout armor, it's an easy way to end up dead.
Magic: Too late.
Tazdar (to Cho): You seem to handle yourself well enough though. You fight like Sark.
Munkustrap von Rumm: My apologies for the sudden departure before meeting the king, but I had urgent family business to take care of.
Cho Chi: Armor seems to slow me down too much.
Magic: Oh, that is Munkustrap.
Redshirt Greentoes: What's going on here? Have you checked his pockets yet?
Magic: I know him, we are becoming better friends since I tied him up.
Rael Octavius: We should find shelter quickly. It's going to get cold fast.
Tazdar(loudly): Magic, you still have the amulet, yes?
Magic: You should feel welcome, Mr. Knife.
Sloth: What a strange bunch.
Eris Drew: Agreed
Sloth: Oh, hello.
Magic: Hello!
Tazdar: We seem to have company again.
Magic: What brings you here to this normal non-threatening street?
Dar Kalla: Greetings! What be going on here?
Cho Chi: Me?
Eris Drew: Yes, who are all these people.
Magic: I do have it still, Tazdar.
Magic winks.
Cho Chi: I was out shopping.
Rael Octavius: We are on a mission for the King.
Magic: YES, A MISSION FROM THE KING!
Cho Chi: Wow, you know powerful people.
Rael Octavius: You may help or you may pass.
Sloth: Calm yourself.
Eris Drew: Do not mind him.
Cho Chi: I am always helpful. Kindness is a mission of mine.
Magic: I am Magic.
Redshirt Greentoes: Great! Let's bring him in for a reward. I could use a drink.
Sloth: Sloth.
Magic: Hello! Hello to you and you and you and you and you!
Eris Drew: Sloth?
Dar Kalla: That sounds noble. How much is the pay?
Rael Octavius: I am Rael Octavius, the son of the King's Herald.
Cho Chi: Very few understand the true nature of life. It is magic.
Sloth: You have a problem.
Redshirt Greentoes: Does he need both his ears?
Magic: We work out of kindness.
Magic: We do not get paid.
Knife Soldier: You are all going to die!
Sloth: Shut up.
Tazdar has pulled his rags back up around his face when all these other people showed up.
Magic stabs his rapier at the prone captive.
Sloth: Who are you?
Magic: That was a warning.
Sloth: You missed.
Magic: Lies.
Munkustrap von Rumm: What is this mission you speak of?
Magic: I do exactly as I mean too.
Cho Chi: Is there a shelter near here?
Magic: It is TOP SECRET.
Sloth: Shuuuuuuuuuuuuur.
Eris Drew: What are we going to do with him?
Rael Octavius: Oh, Munkustrap.
Tazdar: So what do we want to learn from this person. Usually, you can start breaking bones and just let them know it'll stop when they talk.
Magic: Shhhh.
Dar Kalla: Where are the king's guards? Maybe there is a reward for this one?
Magic: All you, Tazdar.
Tazdar: Start with the little ones and work your way up.
Magic: Please, break some bones.
Munkustrap von Rumm looks at the knife soldier.
Eris Drew: Oh no.
Cho Chi: That is most unkind.
Magic excitedly jumps up and down.
Tazdar grabs the Knives' pinky finger.
Magic starts uncontrollably clapping to the thought of bones being broken.
Tazdar: I'll hold on to this while we ask some questions.
Tazdar: Are there any more of you in the area or along our route?
Cho Chi: What is the mission for the King?
Magic: Tazdar begins to interrogate the knife.
Tazdar: We're to ensure an amulet reaches the mage's college.
Magic starts to narrate.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Allow me to escort you.
Magic: Would you all escort me? That would look intimidating.
Cho Chi: Oh, a guarding property mission.
Magic: If you tell me your name again, I will add you to the team roster!
Magic: Anyone else want me to add their name to the roster?
Knife Soldier: They are everywhere.
Eris Drew: Are they now.
Tazdar: Tightens his grip.
Tazdar: Be. More. Specific.
Eris Drew: Where Are They?
The captive's eyes wander to the south and he smiles.
Magic eyes widen.
Cho Chi: Cho Chi is my name, lately of the Billiken's Temple.
Redshirt Greentoes looks south.
Tazdar breaks his finger.
Knife Lieutenant: I think it's time you all handed over your loot.
Sloth: Betting on who's going to die.
Magic: Oh? Fancy Cho Chi, you, my dear are in!
Eris Drew: No way.
Dar Kalla looks south.
Tazdar: Looks like we don't need this one alive anymore. Plenty of more available.
Munkustrap von Rumm flourishes his glaive.
The group prepares to defend themselves from The Knives gather down the road to the south.
Cho Chi: I will protect you, Magic.
Magic: Cho Chi is my favorite now.
Magic looks at Eris and Tazdar.
Magic: She will protect.
Eris Drew: I try.
Dar Kalla draws his short bow and fires an arrow at one of the nearest opponents. The arrow pierces the ruffian directly in the abdomen.
Magic: Ooooooooo!
Magic: New friends! New friends!
Magic jumps up and down.
Dar Kalla: Die you dogs!
Eris Drew moves up between her companions and the rogues and takes a guarded stance.
Redshirt Greentoes moves up and to the side of the group, preparing to fire his crossbow.
Another Knife Soldier fires his crossbow at Eris but the bolt misses her.
Eris Drew: Hehe.
Magic: That was almost her eye! Quickly Redshirted dwarven man of superior stature!
Magic: Rael, can you give us some blessings?
Rael Octavius moves up between Munkustrap and Conrad and lays his hands on their shoulders. A warmth enters them, emboldening them for the combat.
Magic: Good stuff, Rael.
Sloth moves up into the group and takes a defensive stance.
The Knife Sergeant advances and takes his own guarded stance.
Cho Chi: I shall defend you from in front.
Cho Chi bounds forward and into a defensive stance.
Another Knife Soldier fires his crossbow at Eris but this bolt misses the mark, as well.
Knife Lieutenant: What are you doing, Knives? Charge!
Magic: Her anger is not misplaced. I completely understand her frustrations.
Magic: I will help her work them out after this show
The Knife Lieutenant leaps forward covering a lot of ground before aiming three thrusts at Eris. Eris deftly avoids them all.
Magic: If I can help Alsis with his anger, I can help her.
Munkustrap von Rumm advances on the leader of the Knives slashing with his glaive and following up with the butt of the weapon. Neither attack hits, however.
Cho Chi (to Eris): Do not worry Madam Knight, I shall protect you also!
Magic, satisfied with the superior number of his allies, takes a seat on a crate in front of one of the buildings and pulls out some food to eat while he observes.
A third Knife Soldier fires his crossbow at Munkustrap who is now the closest target. The bolt whizzes past the paladin causing no harm.
A fourth Knife Soldier also aims his crossbow at Munkustrap. The bolt leaves the crossbow with an odd-sounding twang and flies off into the bushes.
Magic sits down on a wooden box and pulls out a salted meat ration and begins to eat.
Magic: Fight in my honor!
Magic: I do love a good show in my favor
The Knife Soldier hit by the first arrow of the combat rushes forward and swings a scimitar at Munkustrap, but it glances off of the paladin's chainmail. Munkustrap slices at his assailant with his glaive and catches him in the throat. The ruffian falls dead.
Magic starts to play with the medallion with his clean hand in between eating small portions.
Magic eyes widen as Tazdar moves forward and enlarges to giant size.
Magic: This is my favorite part!
Magic: I was hoping for a bit more tension first, before his final form, but I sure love it!
Magic: And a surprising attack from Munkastrap!
Magic: Wow!
Eris Drew: Woohoo!
Tazdar swings his maul and the leader's head but misses.
Conrad flies into a rage and flings a javelin at the sergeant of the Knives, catching him in the arm.
Dar Kalla fires an arrow from his short bow and one of the soldier rogues, but it flies errantly down the street.
Eris Drew swings her sword two-handed at the leader, but they are too quick and avoids the attack.
Redshirt Greentoes fires his crossbow as the dodging sergeant but hit him anyway.
Magic: Here comes the dwarf in the red shirt! Is that a crossbow?
Magic: A turn of events! Wow!
Magic: That shot! The blood!
One of the Knife Soldiers finally manages to hit Munkustrap with a shot from his crossbow.
Rael Octavius moves to the side and launches a bolt of fire at the sergeant, but it is dodged.
Sloth points at a stone on the ground and causes it to fly into down the street, striking one of the soldiers hanging behind. He then retreats to just behind Magic.
Magic: That rock just threw itself!
Magic: Now that was fun.
Sloth (to Magic): Sup, dude?
The Knife Sergeant charges forward brandishing his scimitar and dagger. He slashes and thrusts at Munkustrap, hitting him three times. It is too much for the paladin to endure and he falls to the ground starting to bleed to death.
Cho Chi tries to tumble past the leader and the sergeant to engage the crossbowmen but is impeded by the leader. She takes the opportunity to club the leader with her quarterstaff before using her step of the wind technique to advance to the crossbowmen anyway.
Magic: Now watch, Munstrap has gone unconscious in both times I have met him and he gets back up happier and stronger each and every time.
Magic: She is better with her staff than they are with swords. Haha.
Magic: She is so brave.
The Knife Soldier Cho Chi approached drops his crossbow and attacks her with his scimitar and wounds her.
Magic: No!
Magic: She was hit!
Cho Chi: Just a scratch.
The Knife Lieutenant makes a series of thrusting attacks at Eris, but they all miss their mark.
Magic, seeing Munkustraps peril, bestows his mantle of inspiration on Dar, Conrad, and Tazdar. Tazdar surges forward to assist Cho Chi, while Conrad and Dar move to flank the Knives' leaders.
The other Knife Soldier next to Cho Chi slashes her with his scimitar.
Magic: Please, do as you must and do as you will! Just don't let this battle grow shrill!
Magic continues to eat.
Seeing the giant approach, one of the Knife Soldiers drops his crossbow and attacks Tazdar, but to no avail.
Conrad, raging and emboldened, swings his greataxe at the leader and gashes him.
Magic: Wow!
Magic: A nature he is, I knew he would spice up the battle.
Tazdar swings his maul and the soldier assailing Cho Chi, apparently missing, but the awkward swing is only a ruse and maul crushes the ruffian.
Magic: Impressive!
Magic: yes, indeed, a fun battle it is
Dar Kalla strikes the sergeant in a rage with his greatsword, wounding him.
Magic: More manticore beef, Sloth?
Magic: Another great smack.
Magic: A lot of anger in there, a lot of sweat.
Magic: Gross.
Eris Drew strikes the leader with her bastard sword.
Magic: Eris of the ground equally as devastating as the one from the sky!
Redshirt Greentoes fires another bolt from his crossbow but the bolt spins of down the street harmlessly.
One of the Knife Soldiers maneuvers around Tazdar to get being him and swings his scimitar at him. The strike only bounces off of his chainmail.
Rael Octavius moves up carefully and revives Munkustrap with a healing spell before stepping back again.
Sloth points at another rock on the ground lined up to hit the leaders of the Knives. Unfortunately, it sails ineffectively over them both.
The Knife Sergeant tries to keep Munkustrap out of the fight be aiming a shot at him while he is still prone. It yields nothing, so he aims his subsequent attacks at Dar who absorbs most of the damage in his rage.
Cho Chi turns into a whirlwind of wood and limbs, bludgeoning her opponent multiple times before he collapses to the street unconscious.
Magic: Wow that girl can kick!
The Knife Lieutenant continues to focus on Eris and manages to pierce her with his rapier twice. The dagger misses, however.
Magic: He is up!
Munkustrap von Rumm gets back to his feet and slashes at the sergeant with his glaive. The blade misses but the butt of the weapon connects.
Magic: You are not as beautiful as you think you are, hitting my friends like that.
Magic's vicious mockery flusters the leader as his words cut him.
A Knife Soldier attacks Tazdar and connects solidly, but the giant seems completely unfazed by the strike.
Conrad rocks the leader of the Knives with a devastating overhand swing of his greataxe, nearly knocking him off of his feet.
Magic: Is he giving him a shoulder rub?
Magic: Oooo!!!
Magic: This guy is angry.
Magic: Wow, So much pain in those large, muscles.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Nice of you to notice!
Tazdar takes out another ruffian with the giant maul.
Tazdar turns intimidatingly to the ruffian behind him and chuckles. The ruffian blanches.
Dar Kalla slashes deep into the sergeant with his greatsword.
Magic: Tazdar just thanked the one for fanning him and then scared him into peeing himself.
Magic: After smooshing his friend his maul.
Eris Drew does a spinning downward slash with her bastard sword adding divine might behind the swing and cuts deeply into the leader's shoulder. The leader collapses in the strike and lies bleeding in the street.
Magic: And this other he-man is caroding this sergeant as well.
Magic: Did her blade just shine with the power of the sun?
Magic: It killed the lieutenant!
Magic rising to his feet.
Redshirt Greentoes does a happy dance.
Magic slow claps.
Magic clap grows louder.
Redshirt Greentoes aims as the last of the soldiers and hits.
Magic: A clear view.
Magic: What a shot!
Magic: Archers and a dwarf at that.
The last Knife Soldier disengages and dashes away from the melee.
Magic: This guy is incredible with that thing.
Magic: I just use my bolts to pick my teeth.
Tazdar waves and laughs.
Rael Octavius steps up to Munkustrap again and heals him further before retreating again.
Magic: Good show, Rael. Real good work.
Sloth pulls out his rose stem and it lashes out at the sergeant but misses him.
The Knife Sergeant, seeing his boss has gone done disengages and follows the other ruffian in an attempt to getaway.
Magic: Sorry, but this salted manticore meat is better than that attack, but here.
Magic tosses a piece through the air.
Cho Chi chases after the running rogues and catches the sergeant with a kick.
Munkustrap von Rumm sees his opponents flee and leave them to it.
Dar Kalla: We still have a prisoner to deal with.
Magic: Hurray!! We did it!
Magic makes sparks appear in the air.
Tazdar chases after the sergeant and throws an axe at him. It embeds in the rogue's skull and sends him sprawling to the street.
Magic goes to admire the medallion again but finds it missing.
Magic: I need everyone to empty their pockets now!
Magic: I have been robbed!
Magic: I'm serious. Right now.
Magic: Sloth! Tie him up!
Eris Drew searches Sloth but finds nothing.
Magic: We need to search these newcomers.
Magic: One must have taken my things.
Munkustrap von Rumm brandishes his glaive at Sloth.
Redshirt Greentoes will search the dead.
Magic: Tazdar and Munkstap we have failed the king.
Dar Kalla retrieves his short bow.
Magic starts to feed Sloth who is now tied up.
Knife Soldier: Hey! it's getting cold.
Magic: He may be a prisoner but we are not mean.
Eris Drew: No we haven't. We did what we were supposed to do, haven't we? It was supposed to get stolen.
Magic: Can you search the rest of them for the king's medallion?
Magic: No, we were not.
Tazdar: Well, why don't we pack up this gentleman and return to the palace and let the king know we failed to protect the amulet.
Magic: Maybe it was you!!
Munkustrap von Rumm: Lehnbor demands that we mete out justice.
Cho Chi: I do not have your amulet!
Eris Drew: It was not.
Magic: Eris were you in on it!
Magic: I would never suspect anyone as sweet as you Chi.
Eris Drew [Quori]: For goodness sake.
As the group searches each other and the fallen Knives' they hear a distant giggle from the north.
Cho Chi: Hey, untie him! Sloth is too lazy to steal from you.
Magic unties him.
Eris Drew [Quori]: Lia?
Eris Drew [Quori]: What was that..?
Magic: A giggle to the north?
Dar Kalla: I guess we know who stole the amulet.
Magic: No!
Magic: Not my secret love.
Tazdar: Bargrivyek! Damn it all.
Magic: This is how we communicate.
Magic: Watch this.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Do we have divination magic on the amulet so we can track the thief?
Tazdar: I don't like being taunted.
Magic starts to walk to the north yelling.
Magic: Forget me not!
Magic: Forget me not!
Magic: Forget me not!
Redshirt Greentoes will try and find the giggling.
Eris Drew wraps myself in her grey cloak as she begins to shiver violently.
Cho Chi: Hey, is there an inn near buy we need to get inside. I'm not dressed for this cold that is coming.
Dar Kalla: That was fun, FRIENDS! Let's find a tavern and go celebrate our great victory!
Magic: We have succeeded at nothing.
Redshirt Greentoes: I could use a beer.
Magic: That or the magistrate.
Cho Chi: Will the castle let us in?
Rael Octavius: Let's find shelter and take up the search later?
Tazdar: I'm with Rael. Let's go.
Cho Chi heads toward the main street looking for a tavern.
Cho Chi: I will accompany you, Sir Knight.
Dar Kalla: Friend Knight. I will share a drink with you!
Munkustrap von Rumm: Gladly, Sir.

Revelation

posted May 3, 2020, 7:09 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Nonotina 12th, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

As the group prepares to head to the castle for the audience with the High King, an elf similar in appearance and dress to Zani, though male, enters The Fiery Stag. He approaches Zani and they both retreat to the stairs and disappears upstairs.
Rael Octavius: First, a question before we depart. Does this group have a name...moniker?
Magic: Magic and his friends.
Magic (smiling): Friends of Magic.
Magic: Magic Incorporated.
Arncoril drools as he slides off his chair and under the table.
Magic: Skys Affallin.
Magic: Magic Flight.
Rael Octavius raises an eyebrow.
Magic: Ramgaging Decent.
Rael Octavius: Maybe this was the wrong question.
Magic: Remember-Me-Not.
Magic: RMA
Magic: Remember Me Always.
Magic: I am hard to forget, though.
Rael Octavius: This is true, Magic.
Eris Drew: The Remember Always.
Magic: The Always Remembered.
Magic: TAR.
Magic: We will TAR through the enemies.
Eris Drew: The Remember Always...
Magic: RA.
Eris Drew: RA.
Magic: Sounds like RAW.
Magic: Ra Heroes.
Magic: Heroes of RA.
Eris Drew: RA.
Rael Octavius: Maybe nothing too presumptuous?
Magic: We are all pretty raw.
Rael Octavius: RMA is kind of growing on me. What do you think, Tazdar? You are very quiet.
Magic: Remember Me Always.
Tazdar: I prefer to speak with action. I don't believe we've earned a proper moniker yet, so that's as good as any.
Eris Drew: I agree.
Magic: Remember Me Always says what we want to accomplish by mocking Forget-Me-Not.
Magic: Good way to draw him out too.
Magic: Piss him off.
Tazdar: Something to be said for that.
Magic: He/She doesn't like me already.
Tazdar: An angered foe behaves predictably.
Eris Drew: The Angered Allies.
Rael Octavius: We won't need to explain it.
Rael Octavius: And it will definitely be remembered.
Magic: My best ideas take no explanation.
Magic: Or, I won't explain them...one of the two.
Eris Drew: Ricorda Sempre.
Rael Octavius: Remember Us Always?
Eris Drew: Yes, that is what I said.
Eris Drew: Ricorda Sempre.
Magic: Sounds fancier.
Magic: I am in.
Rael Octavius: Done. Shall we go?
Magic: Please and thank you.
Magic (smiling): Who will do the talking.
Tazdar: If we wish to truly send a message...I recommend we choose "The Iris" as a moniker.
Tazdar: It's meaning is "I Send a Message".
Tazdar: Often used for messengers in battle as a lapel pin.
Tazdar: If we wish to send a message, this flower thief may appreciate the targeted name.
Tazdar: We could be "The Iris."
Eris Drew: I like that!
Rael Octavius: Even better. You are a smart one, Tazdar.
Tazdar: I've learned some things in my time.
Tazdar: Half of every battle is knowledge.
Rael Octavius: Then, "The Iris" it is. We need to get going.
The group departs The Fiery Stag Inn and takes Wall Street to the entrance of the castle.
Magic triumphantly walks toward the castle.
Magic (singing): I'm headed straight for the castle They wanna make me their queen And there's an old man sitting on the throne That's saying that I probably shouldn't be so mean I'm headed straight for the castle They've got the kingdom locked up And there's an old man sitting on the throne That's saying I should probably keep my pretty mouth shut Straight for the castle
Rael leads the way into the palace, nodding to the guards. They all seem to recognize him and acknowledge him as you pass.
Magic: You a big arrow aren't you, Rael.
Magic: I bet you have all the lady guards swooning.
Rael Octavius smiles and nods.
The group enters the palace and follows a long hall to the throne room there the Lord High Seneschal is waiting. He motions for the guards to open the doors and you enter.
Rael Octavius: Lords and Ladies of the court, High King Ran, High Queen Selame, Crown Prince Nar, I present the members of "The Iris" for an audience regarding the missing talisman of which this court is aware.
Magic (whispering): Taz, I wonder how many children Rael has.
Magic (whispering): I bet at least three he doesn't know about.
Magic (whispering): A hellion that one.
The Lord High Steward takes a step forward to accept the call for the audience, but High King Ran raises a hand to him. The king stands and steps to the edge of the dais where his, his queen's and his son's thrones rest.
Tazdar (whispering): I didn't think your people matured that young.font>
High King Ran: Approach the dais.
Magic (whispering): I still have 800 years in front of me.
Magic Waltzes forward.
Tazdar: Approaches and bows.
High King Ran (addressing Rael): Are you the spokesman or leader of "The Iris", Master Octavius?
Eris Drew steps forward.
Rael Octavius (after a low bow): No, your Majesty. I am, however, prepared to assist them in whatever manner you deem appropriate regarding this situation.
Magic: I will begin with a song to ease your troubled soul.
Magic: If you would allow me, Your Highness.
High King Ran looks over the group seemingly evaluating each member in turn.
Magic bows low.
Magic: No one stopping me is always a cue to continue.
Tazdar: Raises his head and makes steady eye contact.
Magic clear his throat.
Eris Drew does not bow.
Magic (singing): To the King eternal immortal Be all the glory forever, amen To the King eternal immortal Be all the glory forever, amen In plenty and in want Your strength is all I need And deep within these shadow lies Your glory never leaves How could I repay such a debt Except with my life? And how could I give anything But sacrifice, sacrifice of praise? To the King eternal immortal Be all the glory forever, amen To the King eternal immortal Be all the glory forever, amen My praise will go on and on and on My praise will go on and on and on My praise will go on and on and on My praise will go on
High King Ran: So, the bard then?
Magic (singing): I give in all of me This is my offering.
Magic Turns to the party.
Magic: We can go now.
Applause sounds throughout the chamber as the rest of the court appreciates the bard's song.
Rael Octavius nods and motions to Magic.
Magic bows.
Rael Octavius: This is Magic.
Magic (smiling): Literally.
Magic: It is an honor.
Magic: May I approach and kiss thy ring.
High King Ran descends the stairs to the level of the group.
Magic knees graciously.
Magic his throws arms back dramatically before gently reaching for King Ran's hand.
High King Ran holds out his hand.
Magic kisses the ring 3 times.
High King Ran nods.
Magic: A king's hand tells much about his rule.
High King Ran: Now to business.
Eris Drew: Such a push-over.
Magic: And they say you rule with Wisdom, Grace, and Might!
Magic: I am but a humble servant at the will of the king, asking him for his blessing to pursue a lost object that should rightly be in his possession.
Magic still kneeling.
High King Ran: Rise, Master Bard.
Magic rises as if trying to fly, arms flapping down like that of a bird.
High King Ran: This object. Are you aware of what it is?
Eris Drew: Yes.
Magic: A talisman my dear king, but that is all that I was able to deduce.
Magic: For I did not want to pursue it without your blessing.
Eris Drew: It is a talisman, like a port key, so that one can travel to the Outer Planes.
Magic: It seems as if my astute companion has more knowledge to offer, as well.
Magic: She is but an angel descending upon this world.
High King Ran (addressing Eris): You have it right. Your name?
Eris Drew: Eris Drew.
Magic: The other has to wrap his body in rags to contain his loyalty to the crown.
Eris Drew: If it gets in the wrong hands, your highness, bad things are sure to happen.
High King Ran: This is true.
Magic: If you would be so kind as to allow us to pursue it, we would certainly find it.
High King Ran: It is currently in the wrong hands.
Eris Drew: That is why we have come.
Magic: If we had more information surrounding the travesty, we could be of so much more good to you?
High King Ran: I have means for which your offer may succeed.
The high king removes a medallion from around his neck that had been hidden under his robe. The medallion is of the same metal of which his crown, scepter, and orb are fashioned. It is in the shape of a sun with a diamond on the end of each of its twelve flares. The body of the medallion is a disc-shaped fiery indigo opal.
Eris Drew: What is it?
High King Ran: This is The Indigosun Medallion. It is priceless--far more valuable than the amulet this thief stole--and tied to the essence of this world.
Magic: I will protect it with my life.
Magic bows his head.
High King Ran: The plan is for you to transport this medallion to Magus Universitatis for you to place in their capable hands to keep safe.
Magic: I will accomplish this task without fail.
Magic: My companions are the strongest in the realm.
High King Ran: I expect this medallion will never see the inside of the archmage's school.
Eris Drew: Why is that?
High King Ran: Ironically, I want Forget-Me-Not to take it and you are the ones from whom she is to take it.
Eris Drew: For what purpose?
High King Ran: This medallion has a powerful enchantment laid upon it that will allow for the recovery of the stolen property once the thief has acquired it.
Magic: Wow.
Tazdar: Does the thief need to be in physical contact with it?
High King Ran: Possess it as any thief would.
High King Ran: One catch, however. You must defend it until you know that Forget-Me-Not is the one who has claimed it. I am guessing the arrogance this thief has developed of late will make that verification simple.
Magic: Good question, Tazdar. He is our magic expert.
Magic: You called her she, rather firmly. What do you know if her? It may allow this mission to be accomplished easier.
High King Ran: I do not know who this thief is, actually. Only my intuition tells me that they are female.
Eris Drew: Why is that?
Magic: Feminism.
Eris Drew rolls her eyes.
High King Ran: The care she takes in remaining unknown. Her patience. She has been at this a while and only recently became arrogant about her activity.
Eris Drew: Not all women are patient.
High King Ran: She steals for a purpose other than the accumulation of wealth.
Magic: Point well made, Eris.
Eris Drew: What purpose?
Magic: Stealing can be as fun as a battle.
Magic: When done with the right person.
Eris Drew: You just said that in front of the king.
Eris Drew sighs.
High King Ran: I think Rael can elaborate.
Magic smiles at the king.
Magic: Everyone has their own entertainment.
Magic: I like to talk.
Magic: You like to fight.
Magic: Forgetty Bo Betty likes to steal.
Magic: Rael, if you would please.
Rael Octavius: She, if she is a she, seems to steal from the rich and give to the poor. That is my experience, at least.
Tazdar: Giving handouts to the weak does not better them. Only through their own action can they truly rise.
High King Ran: Well said.
Magic winks at Rael.
High King Ran peers more closely at Tazdar.
Tazdar bows his head.
Tazdar: Thank you, Your Highness.
High King Ran: I have ensured that my subjects have every opportunity to better themselves.
Magic: If you don't mind, My Lord, I would like to play another song.
Eris Drew: Oh, Gods.
High King Ran: As you wish.
Magic pulls out his lute and begins to play.
Magic (singing): Lord let me serve Lord let me follow Give me a place and a purpose to fill Teach me to serve Teach me to follow Use me to do Your will People are longing to learn of the Savior Children are growing not knowing He cares Lord let me tell them about Your compassion Lord where can I be used Lord let me serve wherever You need me Make me a vessel through which You can flow Give me a mission a place of fulfillment
Magic strings begin to glow green, blue, and orange as he strums and sings.
The shadows begin to dance.
High King Ran (addressing Tazdar): You are welcome in my kingdom, soldier of the south plains.
High King Ran: There is no need for you to hide.
Magic: He isn't hiding, he has a skin condition.
Eris Drew looks at Tazdar and smiles.
Tazdar sighs.
Tazdar: I was never very good at deception.
Tazdar removes head wrappings.
Magic: Holy charming Hobgoblins, Your Majesty.
Magic's jaw drops.
Magic: Magnificent.
High King Ran: Much better.
Eris Drew smirks.
Tazdar: I can no longer call myself a warrior of the southern legion, Your Grace. I am an Exile.
Magic: On the bright side, I love your hair.
High King Ran: Then call my kingdom your new home.
Tazdar: In a past life I would have been First Lieutenant Tazdar of the Praetor's Right Hand.
High King Ran: Right Hand, you say?
Tazdar: Yes, and thank you, Your Majesty.
Tazdar: You are most generous to welcome a former enemy.
High King Ran: Being an enemy in these times is often a temporary condition, fortunately.
Tazdar: True enough. And you have little to fear from a defeated enemy.
High King Ran: Only if we become complacent.
Tazdar: If I had my honor, it would dictate deference to a superior officer.
Tazdar nods.
High King Ran (addressing The Iris): I entrust this medallion to you. Head to Magus Universitatis and get it stolen so you can recover my amulet of the planes.
Tazdar: Have any rumors of its existence already been leaked?
High King Ran hands the medallion to Magic.
High King Ran: They have. Just enough to draw out Forget-Me-Not.
Magic: Thank you. I am most honored.
High King Ran: Though too much to exclude The Knives, unfortunately.
Magic puts the medallion over his head and lets it rest on his chest.
Magic tucks it into his shirt.
High King Ran: I hope you understand that this information has been imparted to you in the strictest confidence. As any of the nobles and retainers that stand in this court can attest, there are dire consequences for letting this secret out.
Eris Drew: Of course.
Magic looks around to the nobles to gauge their reaction.
The audience nods knowingly.
Tazdar: The Knives seem to falter in front of their namesake, Your Grace. We are well equipped to handle them.
High King Ran: The Knives will know Forget-Me-Not will be targeting you.
High King Ran: They will have forces lying in wait.
High King Ran: Not their lackeys, I suspect.
Magic: Excellent. I love making new friends.
Eris Drew: We aren't making friends with them, Magic.
Maybe I can go find Dee, Magic thinks to himself.
Magic: One of two things Either you're a little bit lonely Or something ain't right And judging by That tear in your eye You're about to say something crazy Like goodbye Stop right there Don't say a word Just let me hold you Girl, we can fix Whatever it is So whatever you do Don't let us die The love of a lifetime Is worth at least a million tries Baby what we got Is too good for goodbye This ain't a game I'm trying to play Girl, we got something real here You don't just break up Whenever it gets tough So baby, don't you leave here I want you to say You're gonna stay And we're in this thing forever Come whatever, so Stop right there Don't say a word Just let me hold you Girl, we can fix Whatever it is So whatever you do Don't let us die The love of a lifetime Is worth at least a million tries And baby what we got Is too good for goodbye
Magic: I play myself out.
Eris Drew: You are very odd.
Magic: I am a weirdo.
Tazdar (quietly to the king): He plays the fool your grace, but he seems to be much more cunning than he lets on.
High King Ran: It is quite clear.
High King Ran: I wish you good luck. Prepare for a battle.
Tazdar nods and leaves.
High King Ran: I give you my leave and my blessing.
High King Ran turns and ascends to the dais.
Eris Drew heads through the doors.
The group departs the castle and begins their journey toward Magus Universitatis.
Magic: We had suspected the Magus Universitatis to possibly be Fergetty Betty.
Magic: This might be a good chance to get some info about them.
Cho Chi is walking through town on the way to do some shopping in the market when she sees several low-lifes sneaking into some alleys nearby.
Cho Chi follows the low-lifes into the alley to see what they are up to.
Magic nods to people along the way.
Several members of The Knives hide in the alleys along the route The Iris are following. Somehow Cho Chi loses sight of them when they take their hidden positions.
The Iris get increasingly paranoid as they traverse the city and go on heightened alert as they approach the main square of Star Plaza.
Tazdar begins to move more deliberately, searching as he goes.
Rael Octavius notices Tazdar's cautiousness and forms an emboldened bond between the hobgoblin and Eris.
A bandit hidden in one of the alleys shifts his position but reveals this position to Cho Chi is down the alley on the opposite side of the street.
The Knives Sergeant becomes antsy and shifts to see down the street. His concealment ends as a could of townsfolk notice him.
Magic activates his mantle of inspiration to have Eris move forward to be closer to Tazdar. He moves up between them and casts a spell making them heroic.
Cho Chi, having spotted anew one of the low-lifes she was tracking, moves toward the street and hides in the shadows ready to act if trouble erupts.
Eris Drew spots one of The Knives trying to hide and rushes to attack him. Her swing misses.
Another member of The Knives holds his position, not noticing the monk skulking up to him, though Cho Chi does not notice him either.
A Knives Spy begins to move up into position as the scuffle between Eris and one of his crew begins.
Tazdar notices of the spy as he turns to confront the rogue in melee with Eris.
Tazdar: There is another one across the street in that alley.
Tazdar steps over to help Eris and smashes the brigand with his maul.
Rael Octavius, at Tazdar's cue, walks forward looking for the new opponent and finds him. He launches a bolt of fire at the spy and rocks him. The spy stands scorched and stunned.
The rogue that Cho Chi spotted charges out into the street at the sound of combat.
The first rogue engaged with Eris and Tazdar takes a swipe with his scimitar at Eris but misses.
The Knives Sergeant also charges from his compromised hiding spot and heads towards the melee.
Magic casts a spell at this sergeant and causes him to hear dissonant whispers. The sergeant retreats the way he came.
Cho Chi, seeing an opportunity to strike as the sergeant retreats, rushes out from her hiding spot. She cracks the sergeant with her quarterstaff and follows up with a spinning hook kick, striking both times.
Magic: An oriental woman just ran into the street!
Magic: They have back up.
Magic: She is helping them with her stick.
Magic: No, wait.
Magic: She is attacking them with her stick.
Magic: Orange is my favorite color.
Magic: I like her already.
Magic: Now she is kicking their heads in.
Magic: What in the world!
Magic: This woman is incredible.
Eris Drew takes another two-handed swing at her opponent and slashes him open. He falls to the ground unconscious and bleeding.
Magic: Rael looks like he is in love.
Tazdar: Good swing.
Cho Chi: Do you need more motivation?
The rogue that was hiding near Cho Chi finally takes action and charges the monk, slashing at her with this scimitar. The monk is heavily wounded and doubled-over by the attack.
Tazdar touches a rune on his armor and grows to twice his height and then charges up the street toward the approaching rogue. He uppercuts the rogue with his hammer, sending him airborne before falling in a heap in the street, and then surges toward the spy. He reaches for a spear from his back sheath and launches it. The spy catches the spear in the chest, his condition deteriorating quickly.
Magic: Wow.
Magic: All this magic around me.
Magic: Magic man wears wraps on his hands.
Magic: Grows bigger than a tree.
Eris Drew: Good job, Taz!
Tazdar roars.
Rael Octavius launches a firebolt at the rogue that attacked the monk that joined the fight but it misses, nearly lighting the nearby bushes on fire.
Magic: Such a beautiful voice.
Magic: Have you thought of being a musician?
Tazdar: This! I remember this!
The sergeant thrusts a dagger into the monk's belly and then races back down the street as she collapses.
Magic turns towards the spy and casts a spell but it has no effect.
Cho Chi, only momentarily unconscious, stands up and disengages from the rogue.
Magic: One of you was supposed to protect me! Where did you go!?
Eris Drew engages the sergeant in melee with a swing of her sword but she misses.
The rogue that had been standing over the unconscious monk notices that Rael had moved up to try to help her. He now slashes at the half-elf but misses.
The spy, no recovered from the onslaught of the sorcerer and hobgoblin finds his path clear the Magic. He takes two thrusts at the bard but only strikes him once.
Magic: See!
Eris Drew: Sorry.
Tazdar swings his maul at the dodging sergeant but still manages to connect. The sergeant is starting to waver.
Magic: Get back over here!
Rael Octavius calls on the power of the Pantheon and commands the rogue in front of him to kneel. The rogue obliges.
The Knives sergeant begins to focus on the giant hobgoblin before him. He slashes at him twice striking him with the second swing. Tazdar activates the other rune on his armor and the energy of the strike shoots thirty feet through the air and collides with the spy. The spy collapses unable to withstand it. The sergeant desperately stabs at the hobgoblin with his dagger and finally causes some damage, but only the slightest nick.
Magic: I guess he is dead?
Tazdar: GWAFAFAFA!
Magic: What just happened?
Tazdar: These giant runes are AMAZING!
Magic: My Magic is strong today.
Eris Drew: Now you don't need me over there.
Magic checks his nonexistent muscles.
Magic turns toward the sergeant give him an insulting gesture and mentioning something about his mother. The sergeant becomes incensed.
Magic: Don't worry, Eris. I handled it.
Eris Drew: Nah, that was NOT you.
Magic: Who else could it be?
Eris Drew: Taz!
Cho Chi throws a dart at the sergeant that sails past Tazdar's head and over Eris' into a bush down the street. She then runs for barrels stacked up at the corner of the nearby house and launches herself onto the roof.
Eris Drew takes another swing at the sergeant, but he foils the attack with his scimitar.
The rogue kneeling before Rael remains kneeling, intimidated by his presence.
Magic: Up on the roof top click click click look at the monk lickity slip.
Tazdar swings his maul at the sergeant awkwardly but still manages to land a blow.
Rael Octavius disengages from the kneeling rogue.
The sergeant continues to focus on the giant hobgoblin, connecting with two slashes from his scimitar before missing with a thrust of his dagger.
Magic strums a lullaby and sleep falls over the sergeant and the kneeling rogue. They both collapse in the street.
Cho Chi: The entangled mind is weak.
Tazdar: Excellent cast, Magic. Well done!
Cho Chi slides back down off of the roof and moves over to the sleeping rogue. She slips off her belt and binds his hands behind his back.
Magic: That isn't the sergeant, lady.
Magic: But well done.
Eris Drew, feeling less charitable, plunges her sword into the chest of the sergeant.
Magic: The more friends to bring home to mom the better.
Tazdar catches his second wind and shrinks back down to his normal size.
Eris Drew walks over to Magic and lays her hand on him, causing his wounds the instantly close.
Rael Octavius walks back over to the sleeping rogue and casts his most potent healing spell on the monk.
Rael Octavius: Hello, lady monk.
Cho Chi: Thank you. I was hurting a bit and it was hard to ignore.
Rael Octavius: That should make you all better.
Cho Chi: Much better.
Rael Octavius looks around.
Cho Chi: I'm hardly ever out in the city.
Rael Octavius: Do you still have the medallion, Magic?
Cho Chi: Those ruffians seemed to have a nefarious purpose.
Magic: Yeah, why wouldn't I?
Rael Octavius: Forget-Me-Not is very sneaky.
Cho Chi: What medallion?
Magic: Who are you, lady? Thanks for the save back there.
Tazdar: That slippery looking one. Are they still alive?
Magic: I am just a cautious elf.
Magic: Always on the lookout for thieves.
Cho Chi: I am Cho Chi lately of The Billiken's Temple.
Eris Drew: Searches the first bandit
Cho Chi retrieves her errant dart as the others check their fallen enemies for loot. They find several gold, electrum and silver coins, and a number of serviceable weapons.

Confabulation

posted Apr 19, 2020, 4:12 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak   [ updated Apr 20, 2020, 12:05 PM ]

Nonotina 11th, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

The group is sitting around the bar in The Rogue Spoon discussing ways to set up a sting to catch Forget-Me-Not.
Tazdar fiddles with a small notebook full of scrawlings.
Tazdar: So, where do we even start?
Claricia Robert: So, you want to catch Forget-Me-Not by tricking her--I'll refer to the person as her if you don't mind.
Arncoril Oloxalim: That would be rather beneficial to us.
Eris Drew: Why "her?"
Magic: Where has that halfling been? I bet he was Forget-Me-Not.
Magic: He was near the body and has not been seen since.
Claricia Robert: Fennimore is off to investigate something he encountered with the city watch.
Magic: Likely story.
Magic: I don't buy it.
Eris Drew: What was he investigating?
Claricia Robert: This does leave you without a rogue in the group.
Magic: I can fill the role.
Magic: I am a sneaky son of a bitch.
Eris Drew: You would make an odd thief.
Tazdar: Would trying to out this thief Forget-Me-Not even work? She sounds like she's the top of her craft.
Arncoril Oloxalim: You could go around and steal all the plates.
Claricia Robert shakes her head.
Tazdar: I've seen highly skilled sappers fell a city before the soldiers even arrive. If she's as infamous as you say, we'll need a trap.
Tazdar: A chase will never work.
Magic(singing): Spread a rumor
Magic(singing): A real bloomer
Magic(singing): Something you can deny
Magic(singing): That Forget-Me-Not will have no choice
Magic(singing): But to come out of their HIDE!
Tazdar: It can't be obvious though. I'm sure the watch has tried such a tactic.
Tazdar: Do we know anything about her combat prowess?
Claricia Robert: The watch gave up after a year.
Tazdar: I'd rather not find out our trap has caught an owlbear and not a rat.
Magic: The guards were not helpful with information the last time I asked.
Eris Drew: You were probably asking the wrong questions.
Magic (smiling): I always do.
Claricia Robert: Though, since she has graduated to stealing from the king, they might be forced to take action.
Arncoril Oloxalim: Or asking the right questions, the wrong way.
Eris Drew sighs.
Munkustrap von Rumm: So Forget-Me-Not is in possession of a magical amulet and we are trying to retrieve it?
Magic: That sounds about right.
Eris Drew: Are they?
Magic: But we have no leads or clues.
Arncoril Oloxalim: What is this amulet capable of?
Magic: No idea.
Eris Drew: What if it isn't real?
Magic: It is.
Magic: I can take you to the women that sent me on this goose chase.
Tazdar: Are we sure they got it? It sounded like they robbed a fake last time.
Eris Drew: Hmmm.
Tazdar: And we were both fooled.
Tazdar: By the "knives."
Claricia Robert: Yes, this patron. She is a Germanus?
Magic: Maybe.
Eris Drew: Germanus?
Magic: Nunya.
Eris Drew: Lies.
Magic: She may or may not be our employer.
Arncoril Oloxalim: Interesting.
Eris Drew: Hmm.
Munkustrap von Rumm: What's in this for me?
Magic: She may or may not love me more than her husband she may or may not have.
Eris Drew [Quori]: I still think Claricia is hiding something, Lia.
Lia: She is, but not what you think.
Magic: Your split of the gold.
Magic: I was getting 200 or so for this.
Arncoril Oloxalim: Magic, are you in relations with our employer?
Tazdar: Munkustrap and Zani, what brought you to that street where we met? It sounds like you've been caught up in this mess now, as well.
Magic: If only I was. She has not yet experienced such Magic.
Magic: I was going to win her heart with her talisman.
Munkustrap von Rumm (to Tazdar): I, uh, just happened to be taking a leisurely stroll through the city.
Zani: I'm on the run and was directed to the Rogue Spoon for an inexpensive night's stay.
Eris Drew sighs.
Tazdar (to Munkustrap): I feel like we've all been caught in a current now. I'm not sure where it leads.
Magic: Oh well, you win some and you lose some.
Arncoril Oloxalim: I suppose you're right.
Magic: We should find Alsis and get him to take us to The Knives, thieves should know of thieves.
Magic: They have had problems with goblins getting in too, so it must not be that secure.
Arncoril Oloxalim: He may not help us.
Eris Drew (whispering): She is not what we think she is.
Magic: Maybe we can take care of their goblin problem and they might help us.
Arncoril Oloxalim: Keyword there, is might.
Claricia Robert: Alsis won't be found after experiencing Forget-Me-Not's skills first-hand.
Magic: Well, we don't have much to go on.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Thieves having issues with goblins?
Eris Drew [Quori]: Who is she?
Magic: Yes, I don't know more than that though.
Lia: Let's just say she is Blue.
Magic: Just rumors I picked up at the Stag.
Eris Drew: Blue?
Magic(smiling): It wasn't the only thing I picked up.
Claricia Robert looks at Eris.
Tazdar: What kind of goblins?
Magic: I don't know.
Eris Drew: Hey does anybody know what color the flower is?
Magic: I haven't made it over there.
Zani: Maybe we should give Alsis a try. Clarisa did say he's great at finding people.
Magic: I was too busy dodging carts.
Eris Drew: Y'all!
Arncoril Oloxalim: The raiding and looting type presumably.
Eris Drew: What color is a Forget-Me-Not?
Magic: I love Alssis despite his love of anger.
Claricia Robert: Blue.
Magic: Forget-me-nots are bluish-purple I think.
Eris Drew: Oh, no.
Magic: I only saw them for a second.
Eris Drew: Blue.
Magic: Green stemmed.
Magic: Five petals to a flower.
Magic: Bunched in a cluster.
Eris Drew: Claricia, what are you hiding?
Magic: A beautiful monster.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Do we have any leads right now?
Magic: No.
Arncoril Oloxalim: Just as much as the owner of the bar.
Claricia Robert: I think a sting is the way to go, but you need the right bait.
Arncoril Oloxalim: We can hold Magic as bait.
Eris Drew: I slightly disagree.
Arncoril Oloxalim: Kinda worked last time.
Magic: I can appear a sexy maiden in distress.
Eris Drew: I think it is too much work.
Munkustrap von Rumm: He's too loud to be bait.
Eris Drew: That doesn't need to be done.
Magic: You could gag me?
Eris Drew: That too.
Magic winks.
Eris Drew: Doubt that would even work.
Arncoril Oloxalim: He could be holding something seemingly so important, that we are guarding him; escorting him out of the city.
Claricia Robert: That isn't really appreciated outside of this place.
Magic: Haha, that needs to change.
Claricia Robert smirks.
Eris Drew: Lia thinks Claricia is hiding something from us. She says she isn't who we think she is and I do not trust her.
Magic: Your women should be in every window.
Magic: A woman who owns a brothel is a powerful woman.
Magic: You control the clam, you control the jam.
Claricia Robert: I am hiding something from everyone, but that is what madames do.
Claricia Robert: Who is Lia?
Eris Drew: That would be a long explanation.
Eris Drew: Lia is a conscience.
Zani: I agree that Clarisa is hiding something. She knows much more than she's telling us.
Tazdar: Does this Forget-Me-Not have any enemies she'd like a chance to eliminate?
Eris Drew: See.
Tazdar: We could always create an opportunity and see if she strikes.
Tazdar: vengeance is a powerful motivator.
Eris Drew: Claricia?
Arncoril Oloxalim: More kidnapping?
Zani: Good call. It would be easy to create a rumor there.
Tazdar: Or, is there something she might fear? That is equally powerful.
Eris Drew: You know much more than you are saying.
Arncoril Oloxalim: The King?
Eris Drew: No way, Arncoril.
Eris Drew: Not the King, too risky.
Magic: I can pretend to be the King.
Eris Drew: You are too short.
Claricia Robert laughs.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Forget-Me-Not is a thief, not a murderer, right?
Claricia Robert: Yes, just a thief.
Eris Drew: How would you know if she has killed someone or not?
Arncoril Oloxalim: What about souring her name?
Magic: Would anyone in the brothel like shoes? I have four pairs to sell.
Claricia Robert: She has made a point of not leaving dead bodies around.
Magic: Also willing to trade for plates.
Arncoril Oloxalim: A group new to the town boasting about besting the legendary Forget-Me-Not.
Arncoril Oloxalim: And then going to a somewhat secluded bar and making a scene; getting drunk, but not really getting drunk and then leaving.
Eris Drew: That doesn't mean she hasn't taken a life.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I trust Claricia.
Eris Drew: I don't.
Magic: Last time I boasted, a voice in my head yelled at me to shut up.
Eris Drew: A voice?
Eris Drew: I know she is hiding something. Lia told me.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Who isn't hiding something?
Eris Drew: Like a conscience?
Magic: Yes, it wasn't my own but another that said to stop talking.
Magic: Is that what that is?
Magic: Huh?
Eris Drew [Quori]: Can you get into other heads?
Magic: A con-science
Magic: I do love a good con.
Magic: I think we should pick a direction and roll with it.
Eris Drew: Like a devil on your shoulder or an angel.
Magic: The only way to succeed is to fail.
Magic smiles.
Eris Drew: Failure does give strength, I suppose.
Magic (singing): Believe in yourself
Magic (singing): Have faith in yourself
Magic (singing): Tell yourself, "I'm O.K."
Magic (singing): Believe in yourself
Magic (singing): And love yourself
Magic (singing): And all your worries will go away!
Eris Drew: Eh.
Claricia Robert: Sounds like wisdom.
Eris Drew: what does?
Magic: I am full of wisdom.
Eris Drew: Eh.
Magic: And love.
Magic: And spit.
Arncoril Oloxalim: And songs.
Magic: That too.
Eris Drew: I would say you are unwise.
Magic: Thank you for reminding me.
Arncoril Oloxalim: Of course, my singing friend.
Eris Drew: Lia?
Munkustrap von Rumm: Who is Lia?
Eris Drew [Quori]: Can you get into others' heads?
Magic: And is she single.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I know not the language you speak.
Lia: No, that's you.
Eris Drew: It's Quori.
Magic: Lia is a delightful woman, Munkustrap. I can set you two up if you'd like.
Magic: I love playing matchmaker.
Eris Drew: Don't even.
Arncoril Oloxalim: An interdimensional relationship for the ages.
Magic: Starcrossed lovers.
Zani: Speaking with Lia makes sense. Let's lay out our options and figure out what we're doing.
Tazdar: Claricia, it sounds like this isn't going anywhere.
Magic: I am with Zani.
Magic: Let's talk to this Bambi.
Eris Drew: Lia is a conscience. She doesn't always reply, however.
Magic: Oh. Alright.
Munkustrap von Rumm: So she is intangible.
Eris Drew: Yes.
Magic: I can work with this.
Arncoril Oloxalim: So a struggling, long-distance, interdimensional relationship.
Magic: Maybe you can communicate through letters.
Eris Drew: She is how Arncoril and Fennimore and I got away from the chain devil.
Munkustrap von Rumm looks at Claricia and knits his eyebrows.
Eris Drew [Quori]: Can I tell them? Will you help us?
Magic: Another dead end.
Munkustrap von Rumm: So how do we communicate with Lia?
Lia falls silent.
Munkustrap von Rumm: And who is Lia possessing?
Eris Drew: She is literally a conscience. Like an angel on my shoulder. She tells me things and I can talk to her, but nobody else can.
Arncoril Oloxalim: So we communicate through you.
Munkustrap von Rumm: How do we know you're not just insane?
Arncoril Oloxalim: Third-wheeling must suck.
Eris Drew: Who knows. She doesn't always talk.
Eris Drew: I am NOT insane.
Magic: The line between insane and genius is a fine line.
Arncoril Oloxalim: Really?
Munkustrap von Rumm: Claricia, do you have a recommendation for where we can start?
Eris Drew: Intelligence and insanity are the same thing.
Magic (singing): I thought I was going to be the king with a protection squad an item so precious the king had to deliver it himself.
Magic (singing): I have the power
Magic (singing): I hold it in my hand
Magic (singing): I have a Magic plan!
Magic (singing): I am the King
Magic (singing): Of this land
Magic (singing): I am the master
Magic (singing): Listen to me my little lambs.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Kings don't talk as much as you.
Eris Drew: Rael knows the King.
Magic: I am just waiting for you all to be more decisive.
Claricia Robert: Maybe find out if the amulet actually made it to the castle or not.
Eris Drew [Quori]: Is this amulet real? Because I don't think it is.
Lia: It is.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Good recommendation. Let's go to the castle.
Tazdar: It's better than sitting here another hour prattling.
Magic: Lady Germanous doesn't live at the castle. the king does though.
Zani: Yes, let's head to the castle.
Magic: Don't tell the king that Lady Germanus hired us.
Magic: It was a secret mission.
Magic: This would have to be us playing both sides.
Magic: Lady Germanus didn't want her family talisman given to the king, but it was not her choice.
Magic: The rest of her family did.
Magic: I was trying to keep it in the family.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I wasn't hired by anyone.
Magic: Then I don't have to pay you? Haha.
Magic: I love a man that works for free.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I am only charitable to those deserving of charity.
Tazdar: Munk, Zani, shall we get some action going then?
Munkustrap von Rumm: Yes, let us go to the castle.
Magic: Just don't mention our previous employment!
Claricia Robert: You are going to need a contact to get into the castle.
Eris Drew: Let us go.
Magic: Oh, yeah.
Claricia Robert: You may want to find Rael. He has access to the court.
Eris Drew: That is what I have been saying!
Magic: Good idea, I will do that.
Magic: He will be Real happy to see me.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Where might we find Rael?
Magic: The Fiery Stag.
Magic: He likes to hang out there.
Zani: Let's head over there, then.
Magic starts for The Fiery Stag.
Eris Drew: Sounds like a plan.
Zani: So do we walk the streets or head over to the Stag?
Arncoril Oloxalim: I want to be a streetwalker today.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Let us go to the Stag to find Rael.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Thank you, Claricia.
Claricia Robert: You're welcome.
The group heads toward The Fiery Stag.
Magic: The guards didn't tell me anything anyhow.
Magic: If you want to know more about the talisman, Lady Germanus owns the Stag.
Magic: I could introduce you but remember I have dibs.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Have your dibs. I am not looking to settle down.
The group follows the streets to and through the various squares through the city toward the inn. As they approach The Fiery Stag, they see Rael up ahead entering it.
Magic: Rael!
Magic: A moment!
Rael Octavius: Oh, hello there.
Rael Octavius: I didn't find this elf you told me about...or is this her?
Magic: This is her!
Magic: Zani meet Rael!
Rael Octavius: Greetings, Zani. Pleased to meet you.
Zani: Great to meet you as well!
Magic: Do you happen to know what we need to get into the castle to see the king?
Rael Octavius: You need to get into court?
Eris Drew: Yes.
Eris Drew: Very much so.
Rael Octavius: I can certainly help with that.
Magic: Thank you, kind sir.
Eris Drew: Good.
Rael Octavius: I will need to know why, so I can justify your audience.
Arncoril Oloxalim: More kidnapping.
Arncoril Oloxalim: Kind of.
Eris Drew: No, not at all.
Rael Octavius looks alarmed.
Eris Drew: We need to talk to him about the Forget-Me-Not.
Magic: I thought we were going to try to catch Forget-Me-Not.
Eris Drew: We have information.
Zani: Let's learn more about the amulet and whether it exists.
Magic: The king would want to know that.
Munkustrap von Rumm: We need to know if the king received an amulet.
Eris Drew: We think they have stolen something important.
Rael Octavius: Forget-Me-Not? That one is in a lot of trouble from what I hear.
Magic: We witnessed a crime.
Eris Drew: Yes.
Zani: And we think we can deal with Forget-Me-Not and potentially some other Knives if we know more from the King
Rael Octavius: So you have information about the talisman from the Germanus family?
Eris Drew: Yes, we do!
Eris Drew eyes everybody.
Munkustrap von Rumm: We don't need to talk to the king, per se. Just someone who knows the king's receivables.
Eris Drew: Sure.
Rael Octavius: That is much easier, but I can tell you the delivery did not happen.
Magic: OH NO!
Eris Drew: I knew it.
Magic gasps.
Eris Drew sighs.
Tazdar: So we can assume the flower thief has it then.
Zani: Do you know what the amulet does?
Rael Octavius: You all seem invested in this, so maybe the King will invest in you.
Magic: Yay!
Eris Drew: Very much.
Magic: Do we still need a document.
Eris Drew: He'll let us in?
Magic: Do you have an old one so that I can be sure I get the right thing?
Rael Octavius: I do know what the talisman does, but I have been sworn to secrecy by the King.
Eris Drew: Tell me.
Munkustrap von Rumm laughs.
Arncoril Oloxalim: Does it have the power to level the kingdom?
Rael Octavius: You will need to have the King tell you as one of his agents.
Zani: Ah, that makes sense. We're just trying to figure out who might be most incented to steal it.
Eris Drew: Tell me.
Zani: It would be very helpful to have an audience with the King.
Eris Drew [Quori]: Do you think I could get into his head.
Rael Octavius: I think I have enough information to set up an audience with His Majesty.
Magic: Is there paperwork involved?
Magic: I hate paperwork.
Zani: We'd very much appreciate that. Do you think he's available today? If not, we can try to gather more information until he's ready.
Rael Octavius: Why don't you wait here in The Fiery Stag and I'll arrange it... Actually, having a knight by my side would give credence to the request as well.
Rael Octavius: Master von Rumm?
Munkustrap von Rumm: I would be honored.
Zani: Wonderful. Good luck! I think I'll have an ale while I wait.
Magic heads inside.
Magic is hoping to find Mindartis behind the bar.
Rael Octavius: I would have you all talk to my father, but he is away in Tesalurk on a mission.
Zani: When do you think he'll be back and available?
Eris Drew [Quori]: I want to know what that talisman is. Can I get in his head, Lia?
Magic: Helloooooo! You gorgeous stags, I have returned!
Magic: A round for the bar!
Zani: You're so generous! Maybe I'll have two.
Magic: As many as the lady likes! Please finish your conversation with Rael. I will take care of this.
Eris Drew: Rael, wait.
Zani: I don't want to get too pickled before we have some action here.
Magic: Zani, I can introduce you to Lady Germanus.
Zani: Absolutely!
Rael Octavius: Yes, of course, Eris.
Magic: What about you, Arncoril? A drink or a dance?
Magic: Tazdar, you look out of place. Maybe take off some of those rags?
Eris Drew: You will tell me what that amulet does...now.
Rael Octavius: I cannot.
Eris Drew: You will.
Munkustrap von Rumm: He is sworn to secrecy by the King. Are you trying to get him killed?
Eris Drew stares Rael down.
Rael Octavius: You don't understand. I would, but there is powerful magic involved. It may kill me if I reveal the secret.
Arncoril Oloxalim: It will reveal itself in time Eris, calm yourself.
Eris Drew: You will tell me and only me.
Zani: Rael, we understand. We appreciate any help you can give us.
Rael Octavius: You will have to wait until the King tells you himself.
Rael Octavius departs with Munkustrap.
Eris Drew (thinks): I am going to get into his head somehow or another.
Zani: Are we in Lady Germanus' presence now?
Magic: I still have to check with Mindartis to see if she is here.
Magic: When you have a moment Mindartis.
Magic: You blue-haired beauty.
Zani: Smooth.
Magic: Mindartis is like one of those ugly cute blue mastiffs, but an elf.
The sorcerer and the knight quickly make their way to the palace, Rael using his credentials to enter. He has a conversation with the Lord High Seneschal, bantering back and forth about seemingly inconsequential events before bringing up the request for an audience.
Eris Drew sighs.
Rael Octavius: I do have one request, my lord. I have a group of acquaintances that wish to speak with High King Ran.
Lord High Seneschal: Just like that, Rael?
Rael Octavius: I have a knight of House von Rumm with me. He will be the nobles' representative.
Lord High Seneschal: This is a better start.
Munkustrap von Rumm bows.
Lord High Seneschal turns to Munkustrap and returns the bow.
Lord High Seneschal: Greetings, young Master von Rumm.
Munkustrap von Rumm: A pleasure, of course, my lord.
Lord High Seneschal: And, the basis for this request to see the High King?
Rael Octavius: Information about and a desire to recover the gift from House Germanus.
Lord High Seneschal raises his eyebrows.
Rael Octavius: I haven't revealed anything as you must know. I would likely have died.
Lord High Seneschal nods.
Lord High Seneschal: What do you know of this, Master von Rumm?
Munkustrap von Rumm: I was only recently made aware of the situation, but my cohorts and I wish to see the amulet safe in the King's possession. It's the least I can do for His Majesty.
Munkustrap von Rumm: We are trying to find a lead to help us track down the location of the amulet.
Lord High Seneschal turns to Rael.
Lord High Seneschal: He does seem to know a key piece of information. Anything else?
Rael Octavius: The thief involved they have had contact with. I believe you know of whom I speak.
Lord High Seneschal slowly nods in understanding.
Lord High Seneschal: So you wish to try your hand at catching this criminal.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Yes, my lord.
Arncoril Oloxalim walks up to the bar and places twenty-four gold pieces on it.
Arncoril Oloxalim: How much of your strongest ale can this get me?
Lord High Seneschal: You wish to know enough and operate under the auspices of the High King to accomplish this then.
Zani: Whew, I was getting thirsty.
Rael Octavius: Yes, Lord High Seneschal.
Lord High Seneschal: Very well.
Eris Drew sits down at an empty table and pulls out her dagger and twirls it in her hands.
Lord High Seneschal turns to a pedestal and flips a page in a book resting on top of it. He takes a quill and jots something down on the page.
Lord High Seneschal: There is an opening in two hours. Please ensure all follow etiquette. How many are we expecting?
Munkustrap von Rumm: Six, my lord.
Arncoril Oloxalim takes one of the bottles and starts to down the entire bottle over the course of a couple of moments.
Lord High Seneschal makes another notation in the book.
Zani: Is this a chugging contest?
Magic: Mindartis when you have a moment can you see if the lady of the house is available?
Lord High Seneschal: Very good. Please do be prompt.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Of course, my lord.
Arncoril Oloxalim: My head is in pain, Drinking eases it, for now.
Arncoril Oloxalim takes another bottle and downs it.
Magic: What worries you that you must drink like this.
Arncoril Oloxalim: Quite the lucky bunch we are.
Magic: The sauce only ends in loss.
Mindartis nods and heads upstairs.
Magic: Haha, I am lucky every day. Each day is filled with magic.
Magic: I will find you ladies and extra party favorites.
Magic: Zani, it appears we may have an audience soon.
Arncoril collapses in a drunken stupor.
Magic: Oh no!
Magic: Quick ladies, he needs mouth to mouth.
Eris Drew: Nah, that's your thing.
Magic: Maybe your conscience will do it.
Eris Drew: No, she will not.
Magic: You are missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime.
Eris Drew: Gross.
The bartender returns to the back of the bar as Lady Germanus comes down the stairs.
Magic: Suit yourself.
Magic runs to the stage.
Magic: Excuse me ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. There is a very special lady in the house.
Magic: I dedicate this little treat to her.
Magic: Flowers of Beautiful Sorrow
Magic (singing): Hey, pretty lady
Magic (singing): How are you
Magic (singing): I have some sad and some good news
Magic (singing): I found the trail
Magic (singing): Of forget-me-nots
Magic (singing): Instead of a talisman with shiny parts
Magic (singing): I was a hero
Magic (singing): Stood out in front of a rampaging cart
Magic (singing): But do not worry, I dodged
Magic (singing): And did my part
Magic (singing): I got stabbed once
Magic (singing): Seeing an angel in the sky
Magic (singing): I inspired my friends to fight and kept me alive
Magic (singing): The angel descended
Magic (singing): And crushed a man to the ground
Magic (singing): The rest of my friends killed everyone else around
Magic (singing): The trail is not dead
Magic (singing): I will find the talisman for you
Magic (singing): And maybe I'll throw my heart in too
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte gestures royally as she enters.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte approaches Magic.
Magic: Don't everyone clap at once.
Magic: You are all too kind.
Magic: Thank you.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: So, the good news is that the High King does not have my family's talisman?
Magic leaves the stage and waltzes over to her, kneels, and kisses her hand.
Magic: He does not my lady.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: Well, that's a start.
Magic: Would you like to continue this in your private chambers?
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: Forget-Me-Not has it though?
Magic: Yes, I was so close, too.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte- smiles.
Magic: I have come in contact with the best crew Magic can buy.
Magic: Please let me escort you and you can meet them.
Magic offers his arm.
Magic waves to the crew in the Stag.
Magic: We have questions.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: You accomplished the primary goal to keep it from the king. This is commendable.
Magic: But is it payable?
Magic: I joke.
Magic: Unless you want to.
Magic: Then you should.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: No, of course, I will reimburse you...and your friend here.
Magic: Thank you kindly.
Magic: we do have a few questions if you don't mind, my fair maiden.
Eris Drew puts her dagger away.
Magic: Zani!
Magic: Tazdar!
Magic: Eris!
Zani: You're so kind. Can you give us any more insight into the talisman? What does it do?
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte-: Of course.
Magic: Here are a few of the greatest compatriots a man could ask for.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte sits in a chair at a table near one of the fireplaces.
Zani: And who do you think would want it most?
Magic: Props up Arncoil in one of the chairs.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: Oh, it is very powerful. Used for traveling the outer planes, if you believe my family stories.
Eris Drew: The outer planes?
Magic (flatteringly): And I thought only your eyes could do that.
Eris Drew: As in to other worlds?
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: No one in my family has had the gall to try and use it for generations, though.
Eris Drew: Interesting.
Magic: Sounds like you could use more men like me in your family.
Zani: Who do you think would want it most?
Magic: I love trying things.
Magic: You could say I am a jack-of-all-trades.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: Oh, the wizards of Magus Universitatis, The High King or one of his lieutenants, of course.
Eris Drew: Quite ponderous. Why would they want it?
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: It is better left locked up.
Magic: That is a new name.
Magic: Magus Universitatis
Magic: Sounds like a disease.
Eris Drew: More like a parasite.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: It's the wizard school on the west side of the city.
Tazdar: The King would be someone most apt to use it from what I know of him.
Magic: Great question, Zani! Tell us more about this Magus.
Magic: Sounds like a lead!
Tazdar: Conquest of an outer world would bring great honor to this city and its soldiers.
Eris Drew: Outer worlds such as?
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: They have been trying to acquire it for years.
Magic: Hmm.
Eris Drew: I am not sure it would bring honor. It might be bad.
Tazdar: There must be endless worthy opponents in the other planes. They could be brought to heel and their powers and technologies used to benefit the people of this city. Thus should be the goal of any leader.
Eris Drew: It could also destroy "The City."
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: Interesting observation, ragged one.
Tazdar: Stagnation of any society brings destruction. One must always be pushing outward.
Eris Drew: It could be used to wipe out the entire thing.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: The wizards would be more likely to set off a cataclysm, in my opinion.
Eris Drew: Cataclysm?
Eris Drew: It might do that?
Tazdar: Yes. Those who play with magic for their own sake often bring disaster.
Magic: Indeed, we should figure out who the top lieutenants are and who are the top mages in the school.
Zani: Who else might know about the talisman's powers?
Magic: It was a secret, so who held the secret?
Eris Drew: Rael and the King seem to know.
Zani: Do the wizards answer to the King?
Tazdar: The King is no fool. Whether or not he can control these spellweavers would be my concern.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: The wizards definitely know the capabilities of the talisman. The High King's Court Wizard, set up the acquisition for the High King if my understanding of the situation is correct.
Magic: You are always correct.
During this explanation, Rael and Munkustrap return from the castle.
Eris Drew: What planes?
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: All planes.
Eris Drew: All planes?
Eris Drew eyes widen.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: The Hells, Mechanus, Pandemonium, etc.
Munkustrap von Rumm: We have an appointment with the King in 2 hours.
Tazdar: Taz is thinking that he'd love to lead troops into The Beastlands one day.
Zani: Do you have a contact with the wizards that would be useful for us to talk to?
Magic: We are going to infiltrate and get information for this search.
Magic: The amulet will be safely in your hands soon enough.
Rael Octavius: The wizards of Magus Universitatis? They take visitors.
Zani: Yes, the wizards of Magus Universitatis. Is there any other information that might be useful for us?
Rael Octavius: Regarding the High King's gift? I can only say that there is. I will let High King Ran elaborate when we meet him.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: I will defer to the Lord Herald's son, but he is correct.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte stands and approaches Rael.
Zani: Also, Germanus, can you tell us anything more about Forget-me-Not?
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: You do understand that the king should not have this talisman, correct, Rael?
Munkustrap von Rumm looks startled.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Why should the king not have this talisman or amulet or whatever name it may have?
Rael Octavius: I understand your concerns, ma'am. I ask that you trust me that the High King will keep it safe.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte scoffs.
Tazdar: I believe the best among us should wield the power. From what I know of the High King, he holds his position from merit.
Magic scoffs.
Eris Drew: Why does the King even get the amulet? It is not his to have?
Rael Octavius turns to his acquaintances.
Eris Drew: Why does the King want the power to travel to the outer planes?
Rael Octavius: Please, please. There have been months of negotiations and discussions regarding this.
Zani has another ale while waiting for two hours to pass.
Zani: Should we all go see the King or should we send a couple of representatives?
Rael Octavius: The High King, through his Lord High Seneschal, has agreed to enlighten you. The recovery of this...talisman...is paramount. It cannot remain in the hands of a thief in any case.
Magic: I agree.
Tazdar: I'm sure we can all agree on that.
Magic: A world-hopping thief.
Rael Octavius: You are all welcome as long as you keep decorum.
Rael Octavius notices Arncoril is passed out.
Tazdar: The thief should be caught and her hands, if not her head, removed. Then, we can figure out the next steps.
Magic: We can decorate however you wish?
Eris Drew: World hopping sounds interesting though.
Magic: Psst, Eris, what is decorum.
Zani: I slam my ale and chew a piece of spearmint gum.
Rael Octavius: Those of you who are going to the audience need to clean up and wear your best.
Rael Octavius and Magic go around casting prestidigitation on those they believe will be going.
Zani: Are we ready for our audience with the King?
Munkustrap von Rumm: Thanks, Magic.
Magic: Most welcome. Your muscles look even bolder with shiny armor.
Munkustrap von Rumm winks at Magic.

Consequences

posted Apr 12, 2020, 10:36 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak   [ updated Apr 19, 2020, 4:13 PM ]

Nonotina 10th, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

Munkustrap, who received an invitation from the King's Herald, Reggot Octavius, to meet at The Fiery Stag for an introduction and possible employment with the High King, is walking south down Ballista Street. He had, just moments ago, seen the unusual sight of an armored figure leap off the roof of a building into the street below.

At the same moment, the wood elf ranger Zani, having entered "The City" earlier in the day and also following Ballista Street toward the castle, sees the same odd occurrence, only from a few feet farther away.

Magic stands among the fallen disguised as a city watchman while the rest of the group has scattered into hiding places in the side streets and alleys. He is singing as he is wont to do:

Hello Fellow Guards! It is I, one of you!
It was the Forget-Me-Nots! I found their flowers, their call sign
Oh, How I wish...
How I wish upon a star
How I wish you would tell me about the near and the far
Tell me of the forget me nots
Tell me of their secrets
And tell me of their flaws
Tell me how I can find these heathens
Before they get to FAAAARRR!
Hello Guards!

As the last word tails off, echoing among the stone buildings of this section of town, all sound seems to suddenly cease around Magic. Those in the vicinity also experience the silencing of Magic's voice.

In Magic's head, he hears, "You are causing me way too much trouble."

"I hear my own voice, my conscience speaking to me once again," Magic stays silently to himself. "I'm going to slow my role; make sure I don't cause any more trouble. Thank you, conscience, thank you."

Silently still, "How shall I proceed?"

The voice again in Magic's head, "Stop...saying...Forget-Me-Not!"

"How am I supposed to find my contacts?" asks Magic silently, scratching his head when there is no response.

"Hello, my own voice. Where did you go?"

Magic starts looking around and the sounds of the street rush back into his ears. Those that have moved into alleys and side streets can again hear Magic's melodious intonations, as well.

A bit alarmed by the leap from the roof, Munkustrap and Zani rush down the street to see about the commotion. They arrive at the scene of a disturbance with five bodies lying in the street between them and a wagon that blocks the way. Near the wagon stands a city watchman singing to himself.

Munkustrap runs over to the first body and checks it for life, this one appears to be quite dead.

"Hero checking the wounds," says Magic still disguised as a watchman. "What is your name, fine sir?"

"I am Munkustrap of the von Rumm family," the paladin replies.

"What a beautiful name," says Magic.

"Why thank you," says Munkustrap. "And, your name is?"

"I am Mister Guardd," replies Magic. "Guardd with two 'D's."

"What just happened here?" asks the paladin. "Where did all these bodies come from?"

"An unknown crew of misfits tried and succeeded in stealing something from these couriers," explains Mr. Guardd.

"And are the couriers the dead people?" asks Munkustrap.

"Some of them are not dead," says Mr. Guardd. "Some of them are only unconscious and we have not attended to them yet."

"Will you help me gather the living ones?" the paladin asks.

"We should," says Magic. "You should be a guard. You are doing much better than the rest of the guards that have been through here. We should make you one of us."

"A am already a knight of 'The City,'" Munkustap proclaims.

"Oh," says Mr. Guardd. "I am surprised we have not met. I have been a guard for ten years."

"You look quite young," says Munkustrap.

"I am an elf," Magic says. "We all look young."

Munkustrap moves to the next victim of the attack to check for signs of life.

Citizens that have been approaching the area take detours up side streets or alleys or turn around and return the way they have come entirely. Another watchman arrives. It happens to be one of the watchmen from North Market where the altercation in front of The Rogue Spoon that Munkustrap resolved.

"Hoi," calls the watchman. "What's going on?"

"Hoi," Magic returns.

"I just got here, but it looks like there has been some fighting," explains Munkustrap. "And these two right here are dead. Can you gather more guards to help attend to these bodies?"

"Oh, yes," the watchman studders. "Master von Rumm!"

"I appreciate the help you provided the other day," says Munkustrap.

The watchman, whose name is Chet, only nods to the paladin in acknowledgment, covering the disdain he feels for the paladin after the dressing-down he took from the Captain-of-the-Watch after the incident to which Munkustrap refers. Munkustrap does not notice.

Zani, in the meantime, has taken the east alley around to the side street where another body lies. She passes Arncoril without realizing he was involved in the skirmish.

"Do you know who committed this murders, Mr. Guardd?" asks Munkustrap, being more determined now that another watchman has arrived.

"Yes," replies Magic. "Of course I do. I know everything that goes on in this city. I have been working here forever. Twenty years."

"Then why are you not doing anything about it?" the paladin retorts.

"I am!" exclaims Mr. Guardd. "Do you not see me stroking my chin? I am thinking hard. Come close, come close. I will whisper in your ear."

They approach each other and Magic whispers into Munkustraps ear, "Forget-Me-Not."

Munkustrap has no idea what it means. He only knows forget-me-nots to be flowers and is thinking the watchman is a bit off his rocker. He even tries to detect alcohol on Magic's breathe, but being drunk does not seem to be the issue.

"We are not supposed to say it out loud," says Magic. "We need to be careful as they are watching us."

"Who is?" asks the paladin.

"The flower," whispers Magic. "Shh."

"Is this some kind of gang or guild?" Munkustrap inquires.

"They are the criminals in town," stays Magic. "There have been killings and kidnappings happening all over town related to this same activity."

The victim at Munkustrap's feet groans, which Munkustrap immediately reacts to by laying his hands on the person, channeling healing power into the dying man. The paladin then looks further down the street, seeing two other victims of the carnage over by the wagon blocking the street.

Munkustrap checks on these two, while Zani checks on the one she has come upon when entering the side street. They find that all three of these victims have expired.

Eris, after the paladin has moved on, returns to the street and the scene of the crime to see that the one Munkustrap stabilized is the one she jumped on from the roof.

Remembering that he had picked up the forget-me-nots that were in the couriers' packages, Magic goes to produce them for Munkustrap to see, but they have mysteriously disappeared.

"Mr. Guardd," the paladin addresses the disguised bard. "We should get these bodies into this wagon so they can be transported to the morgue."

Magic starts to maneuver the wagon around to make the back of it face the bodies.

Chet has been wandering around further north up the street and spots another body.

"Hoi," he says. "There is another body over here."

The body is in very bad shape, his chest caved in from Arncoril's devastating attack.

"Holy lord!" yells Chet. "What in The Hells hit this one?"

"That one needs to go to the morgue, as well," states Munkustrap.

Zani, after searching the body near her and seeing the courier has stab wounds, she decides to enter the shop just north of the side street. As she enters all she sees is the top of the proprietor's head peeking over the counter.

"Is...is it over yet?" the shopkeeper asks.

"It seems to be over for the moment," Zani assures him. "Can you tell me anything about what happened?"

"No...no," he studders. "I just heard blasts and yelling and screams and somebody stomping around on my roof."

"Is there any history of things like this happening before?" asks Zani.

"No!" the proprietor says. "This is one of the main streets that leads to the castle. Some scuffles will happen, but nothing like this has happened before."

The shopkeeper, a middle-aged human, stands up and steadies himself on the counter still shaking from the violence of the incident.

"What is your name?" Zani inquires of the shopkeeper.

"My name is Elisis," he replies. "Not to be confused with Alsis. He's a crook."

"I appreciate your help," says Zani. "I may be back for a few more questions, but hopefully the watch is keeping the peace and you are all safe for now."

"Oh, thank you, thank you," says Elisis. "I'll make sure the shop stays open. Everyone needs leather goods."

Zani departs the leather goods shop and heads for the door to the south beyond the side street.

"Hello," Magic addresses Zani. "You seem like a busy bee."

"Hi," she greats Magic still disguised as a watchman. "I am just trying to help out the town."

Zani enters the building and finds herself in a tavern. There are a number of patrons hunched over mugs or pints. They all look over as she enters.

"What was all the ruckus out there?" they all ask at once. "Need any help?"

"The watch could use some help out there," says the wood elf. "I am wondering if you know anything about what happened or maybe who it was that were attacked?"

"No, no," a number of patrons answer. "Stuff happened, very quick and then it got quiet. Saw a watchman walk by, so we figured they had it under control."

"If you hear any rumors," Zani begins. "let me know. Though, I do not know where I am staying yet in this city."

"I have a room," says Roderick the barkeep. "I can set you up if you are interested."

Munkustrap, in the meantime, has begun loading corpses of the dead victims onto the wagon. While he is carrying bodies, he notices Eris in the street and recognizes her as the one who leapt from the roof. After loading the corpse he is carrying onto the wagon, he approaches her.

"I saw you leap from the roof," says Munkstrap to Eris. "Why would you do that? Do you know what was going on here?"

"No!" Eris lies.

"I do not know what you are trying to hide, but if you are involved in these murders, you will have to be taken into custody," states the paladin.

"I totally agree with you," interrupts Magic. "I will take her immediately. Come here, young lady."

"No," Eris says flatly.

"Oh," says Magic. "Alright."

Munkustrap waves to Chet.

Chet begins to approach from the north at the knight's summons. As he does so, he sees the last of the victims in an alley on the west side of the street.

"Oh, my god!" he says. "There is another body."

"Watchman," says Munkustrap. "Would you please take this woman into custody. I think she is involved in these murders."

Eris makes to slip away.

"Keep an eye on her while I finish moving the bodies onto the wagon." the paladin says to Chet.

"I will," agrees the watchman.

Soon all the corpses have been loaded onto the wagon, leaving the one stable victim still lying in the street, which Munkustrap attends.

Zani, having exited the tavern, makes her way west down the side street still searching for someone who might know what happened. She enters another establishment, this one being an apothecary. All of its cabinets and displays locked up tight before its proprietor retreated. They, however, forgot to lock the front door.

After a quick look around, she heads across the street to another place. As she does so, she notices a huddled figure further along in the street, though she does catch a glimpse of chainmail under the cloak and rags it is covered in.

Magic approaches Zani to distract her with conversation when see begins to approach Tazdar. The tactic works as the hobgoblin slinks away into an alley and begin to make his way back to The Rogue Spoon.

Zani takes the nearest door and enters a grocery. There is no one to be found here either. She grabs a carrot and leaves to investigate more of the shops and begins to find that they have been locked up.

Back in the street, Munkustrap turns to Eris again.

"I know you know more than you are letting on," accuses Munkustrap. "I saw you jump from the roof. What is going on here?"

"Lots of things," says Eris evasively.

"You do not want to be charged with murder, do you?" says the paladin.

"No."

"Then why not cooperate and help me figure out who the murderers are?"

"Why would I do that?"

"So that you are not charged with murder, yourself."

"I can heal this one," Eris offers and does so, laying hands on him as Munkustrap had before.

The guard awakens, groaning and bleary-eyed.

"You are welcome," says Eris.

"Wait a minute," says the prone guard. "Aren't you the one that landed on me?"

"No!" Eris blurts out.

Magic quickly pulls out his lute and strums a chord causing those standing around the guard to fall unconscious. The guard and Munkustrap are fully affected by the spell, while Eris manages to shake it off.

"Arncoril!" shouts Magic, "You grab the guard and let us get out of here. That knight is asking too many questions. Grab him too, Eris, we will bring him with us."

The group, carrying the knight and the guard, slips into the west alley intent on returning to The Rogue Spoon. In the shadows of the alley, they bind and gag the unconscious before the spell wears off and then continue on. Slowly, they make their way through the city, keeping to alleys and eventually making their way to the alley behind the inn.

Zani finishes her check of the shops in the area and returns to Ballista Street to find it empty, only the wagon piled with the dead remaining. Wondering where everyone went, she begins to wander back toward the center of town figuring those that were around must have headed that way or she would have seen them when they left. Eventually, she ends up near the middle of "The City" in North Market having gleaned rumors and information from the chatter of the town that points her to The Rogue Spoon Inn, where this Munkustrap von Rumm was involved in an incident a few days earlier. Also, among the information gathered indications that an elf with rather loquacious mannerisms could also be found at this inn.

While Zani is wandering through the city, the conspirators enter the inn. Tazdar is the first to arrive and he enters through the door from the market and takes a seat in a corner, being as unobtrusive as possible.

A while later, the rest enter through the back-alley door and quickly take their captives to a back room in the inn. Arncoril bribes the bartender, Felicia, with some gold to be blind to what just passed through the bar while Magic buys a round of drinks for those in the bar. They lay the paladin and the guard on separate beds try to figure out what to do next. Shortly, Tazdar joins the rest in the back room, which is now quite crowded.

Having been hanging out in the inn since he was on this side of town, Rael Octavius watches with interest making his way down the hall toward the room where everyone else has gone. He knocks on the door.

Arncoril opens the door just a crack.

"How are you doing?" says Arncoril when he sees Rael through the crack.

"I am curious," says Rael. "You just carried captives through the bar."

Munkustrap tries to yell through the gag.

"You took them with you," says Tazdar. "Why did you take them with you?"

"It's alright," Magic trying to calm Munkustrap. "You don't need to scream."

"We are just having a party in here, Rael," Arncoril tells him. "Nothing to worry about."

"A party?"

"Yes," the warlock continues. "A magical party, you see, so you cannot come in. It's a surprise party for you. You might wreck the surprise."

"Yeah, you guys are full of crap," says Rael. "What in The Hells did you get into."

"Alright," says Magic. "Let him in. I'll explain everything."

Arncoril lets Rael into the room.

"Earlier today we were walking in the street as heroes do and these guards were attacked by these bandits trying to rob them. So, we slew the bandits," Magic fabricates. "Yes, that was us. Heroes. But, this guard may have been in on it. Someone knew something. We need to interrogate him because I am sure he is working with Forget-Me-Not. And, this one over here was asking too many questions. We can't be sure of his motives either. There was another. A woman named Zani. We need you, Rael, to go and find this wood elf as she was trying to help, but we got separated."

"Can you give me a description?" asks Rael.

"She is a lady elf with a skullcap in woodland clothing," Magic recollects.

"She is somewhere in town," says Rael. "And, has no idea where you would go?"

"No."

"Where was she the last time you saw her?"

"Ballista Street."

"Alright," says the half-elf. "I will humor you."

"Thank you, Rael."

"Was Fennimore not with you?" Rael asks, realizing the halfling is not among the company.

"He was the smart one," says Tazdar. "He got away."

"Whatever you did probably was bad," conjectures Rael. "I do not want to know, so I am going to go find Zani."

Rael exits the room and departs the inn.

The guard starts to struggle against his bonds.

Magic goes over to Munkustrap.

"You promise not to yell?" Magic asks the paladin.

Munkustrap mumbles assent and his gag is removed.

"Why did you gag me?"

"We couldn't have you yelling."

Arncoril points his crossbow at the paladin.

"I demand you cut my bonds," says Munkustrap.

"I demand you answer some questions," says Arncoril.

"I do not know anything," replies the paladin. "This is why I was asking all the questions."

"Why were you there?" they ask each other.

"Right place, wrong time?" says Munkustrap. "So, are you murderers?"

"We were supposed to be recovering a stolen good for some family," says Tazdar. "Unfortunately, it got stolen by others first. Called after some flower, daisy, pansy, I don't know."

"Forget-me-not," Eris chimes in.

"Oh," Magic recalls. "I heard a voice in my head. And not the normal want that tells me to do things. This one was telling me not to do things, so I know it wasn't me."

"What did this voice tell you not to do?" asks Arncoril.

"Stop saying Forget-Me-Not," answers Magic. "And, everything else was really silent when it happened. Like it echoed inside of my head. It was quite weird."

"Interesting."

"They must have been close," continues Magic. "Watching us. I think that guard that walked away might have been with them."

"Do they want to be forgotten or not, then?" asks Tazdar.

"A little bit of both?" says Magic. "They do, but I don't. Forget them, but not me, but we need them to find them, so we can get the talisman from them."

"What talisman?" asks Munkustrap.

"What do you know of Forget-Me-Not?" Arncoril request of Munkustrap.

"I know nothing," the paladin replies.

"He might be one of the good guys," states Magic regarding Munkustrap. "I think we can trust him. Cut his bonds."

"Not yet," interrupts Arncoril. "We should question this guard first, just be safe."

The warlock removes the gag from the guard and aims the crossbow at him instead.

"Who are you?" demands Arncoril.

"Who am I?" says the guard. "I am a guard."

"No," says Magic. "I am a guard."

"No," says the guard. "You are a fraud."

"Who were you hired by?" asks the warlock.

"I was hired to deliver something to the castle," answers the guard evasively. "To make sure what happened wouldn't happen. I failed."

"Who hired you, though?" Arncoril repeats.

"The Germanus family," he answers tentatively. "For their heirloom going to the castle."

"Which Germanus?" asks Magic.

"The head of the family," states the guard. "The patriarch."

"Where did you retrieve it?"

"At the Germanus estate."

"If he is giving up information this willingly," posits Tazdar. "I doubt he really knows anything valuable."

"Should we kill him?" says the warlock.

"Only if you have a good way to dispose of the body," says Tazdar.

"Now hold on," interrupts Munkustrap. "I thought you were not murderers."

"I never said that we were not," says Arncoril.

Magic starts tormenting the guard.

"Stop! Stop!" shouts the guard. "Enough. Stop. I don't know anything!"

"We could kill you or we could let you go," says Magic.

"A true warrior would have wanted death," states the hobgoblin.

Tazdar, standing by the door hears someone lurking there and draws everybody's attention with a wave of his hand. The occupants of the room fall silent.

A female clears her throat in the hallway outside the door.

"Open the door!" Claricia calls out.

"Claricia!" hollers Munkustrap.

Tazdar opens the door as it is the proprietor of the place while Magic casts prestidigitation to straighten up the room.

"What on earth is going on in here?" asks Claricia as she enters the room. "What are you doing with my Munkustrap?"

Munkustrap motions to her to stifle the concern.

"It is just a minor misunderstand," explains Magic.

"Cut him loose," demands the madame.

She spots the other captive on the bed as she moves further into the room.

"What is this scum doing in my establishment?" spits Claricia.

"Mostly begging for his life," says Arncoril.

"Oh, really," the proprietor says. "I could really make him beg for his life."

The captive guard goes deathly pale.

"What are you speaking of, Claricia?"

"This one," she says. "Is a member of The Knives."

The madame motions for everyone to backup.

"You have some explaining to do," she says.

"We need to get Alsis in here," says Magic.

"Alsis?" says Claricia. "He is behind this? Where in The Hells is Alsis? He is a member of The Knives as well."

"He is my informant," states Magic.

"Well, well," says Claricia. "I am guessing you are not going to see him again because he is going to make himself scarce."

"Claricia," says Tazdar. "What about a half-orc named Sark?"

"Sark?" she says. "Oh, he is the blind gladiator from years ago. I do not believe he is in a faction at all. He is just a helpful soul down in Nightfield."

"He is the one that introduced me to Alsis," stages the hobgoblin.

"Oh, yes," recalls the madame. "He does find people for jobs."

"Look here, guard," says Magic. "You are going to take me to The Knives hideout and get me in there."

The guard chuckles, "Yeah, right."

Arncoril repositions the crossbow, pointing at the guard's face again.

"I assume he rather we just kill him," says Tazdar.

"We can do a lot worse than kill him," says the warlock.

"I don't care," says the guard. "You can do whatever you want with me because you are all on Forget-Me-Not's bad side."

"Tell me," says Magic. "How do you know about the Forget-Me-Nots?"

"No, no," says the guard. "It isn't the Forget-Me-Nots. Forget-Me-Not is an individual. The premier thief of 'The City.' Nobody knows what they look like. Nobody knows who they are. They are a master thief, never been caught, never been seen and very, very vindictive. They won't physically harm you, but can pretty much ruin your life."

"I promise it is not me," says Magic.

Munkustrap laughs.

"Hard to ruin something I barely have," says the hobgoblin.

"Claricia," says Magic. "How do we find this Forget-Me-Not."

"Find Forget-Me-Not?" says the madame. "Nobody even knows who it is."

"Why were The Knives hired by a noble family?" asks Tazdar.

Tazdar moves in close and menacingly toward the guard as Arncoril begins to squeeze the trigger of the crossbow.

"Alright," the guard yields.

"Did the Germanus family know that you are with The Knives?" presses Tazdar.

"Ha, Germanus," chuckles the guard. "I've never met them."

"Then what were you doing with the caravan?" asks Tazdar.

"Oh, we are The Knives," he says. "We were trying to steal the heirloom, as well."

"What is this bloody thing that everybody wants it?" swear the hobgoblin.

"It's a magical amulet," answers the thief.

"What makes this one so special?" Tazdar blusters.

"It is powerful enough to gift to the High King," replies the thief. "We had no idea where the actual amulet was. We took one of the routes that it could have traveled on to the castle to try and steal it ourselves."

As this line of questions continues, Zani enters the inn. She approaches the bar as the bartender turns to greet there with a smile.

"Hello," Felicia the bartender says. "How may I help you."

"I had some friends venture in here," she explains. "I am wondering if you have seen them. But, first, I could use a drink."

"Friend, friend," ponders the bartender. "If you mean who I think you do, they can be found down the hall there in the last room on the right."

Zani takes the hall and tries the handle of the door. The room hushes again.

"Hello," calls out Magic.

"It's Zani," the wood elf replies. "May I come in?"

Magic throws the door open.

"Hey, guys!" he says. "Look who's here?"

He pulls her into the room and quickly closes the door again.

"I am glad I found you," says Zani. "Are we learning anything? Who's in charge here?"

Magic studders as Claricia steps forward.

"I am the proprietor of this place," she states. "I am going to bring some sanity to what is going on around here."

She looks the newcomer over, "Elves can be so much fun. But, this is for another time. Right now we have a matter of thievery that needs to be dealt with."

She glares at the captive guard who blanches yet again. She turns to the guard.

"You are in my established and you are not allowed here. You are going to help my friends here or I am going to make your life a living hell," the madame threatens.

"You know where I come from," Tazdar interjects. "We cut the hands off of thieves."

"You seem far more afraid of Claricia than me," says Arncoril. "And, I am aiming a crossbow at your head."

"You all should be very afraid," states the guard.

"That is enough out of you," says Claricia. "You do realize how this is going to end."

"Claricia? What are you hiding from us?" asks the warlock.

"What am I hiding?" she says. "I am not hiding anything from you, but you do not what to get on my bad side."

Arncoril relents.

"I think the rest of you need to go out to the bar and have a drink," suggests Claricia. "I will deal with our friendly Knife."

She turns to Munkustrap as he gets up to leave the room.

"Munkustrap, I am sure they are all very sorry for the way you were treated," says the madame. "You are on the same side. Who they 'murdered' deserved it."

"Oh," Munkustrap understands.

"We'll buy you a drink, Munkustrap," says Arncoril. "We can all drink it away."

"So," Claricia repeats. "Please, leave the room. Go sit at the bar and talk to Felicia, order some food, and I will be out in a few minutes."

Most leave the room and head to the bar. However, Magic lingers.

"You too, Majestic," says the madame.

"Can I not stay?" he says, flatteringly. "How can I admire you and your skills if I am not allowed to stay?"

"Very well," she says. "You may stay and watch me work, Magic."

She notices that Zani also lingers and figuring if that one elf is in the room, two is not any more of a burden. She turns to The Knife. She stands intimidatingly over him and glares.

"You are in such a wonderful position," she begins as she slips a small object into his armor. "You are going to take this and return to your guild house and you are going to them that your mission failed miserably and that Forget-Me-Not got in our way again. Chop, chop. Off you go."

The guard, now mesmerized, stands as Claricia releases him and wanders out through the bar and departs out the alley door.

"That was marvelous," says Magic.

"And something you should learn to do quite soon," says Claricia.

The three having followed the charmed crook from the room, join the rest at the bar. Claricia moves behind the bar with Felicia.

"What really happened?" begins the madame. "I want the truth."

Magic relates the sequence of events of taking out the couriers and finding that they only carried forget-me-nots, the silence and the voice that spoke to him, and the aftermath that led to their return to the brothel.

"This is the way Forget-Me-Not operates," explains Claricia. "Anamously, with purpose and contingencies."

"You seem to know a lot about this thief," says Magic.

"My profession makes me privy to much knowledge and many secrets," she says.

"How long has Forget-Me-Not been around."

"A couple of years now."

Magic makes rumor of another shipment, this one of jewels, wondering if it will attract Forget-Me-Not's attention.

Claricia plays along seeing where his thoughts are leading, implying that Forget-Me-Not has moved on to much more valuable items, such as this amulet meant for King Ran.

They clear the bar area to begin discussions for setting up a sting to capture Forget-Me-Not, playing on their greed and assuming they must make a mistake they don't have a contingency for eventually.

Ballista Street (North on the left)

The Rogue Spoon Inn

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