posted Nov 17, 2020, 7:25 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak   [ updated Nov 17, 2020, 8:13 PM by Meaghan ]

Methyltina 13th, Year Two of the Reign of High King Ran and the Days Leading Up to It

Over the course of the first week of the new year, Magic, having a heightened sense of caution after the incident at his shop, he begins hearing disturbing bigotry surfacing among the conversation he is hearing in the streets and markets.
Magic: Hello, friends. I would like to talk about something that is dear to my heart.
Magic: The humans of "The City" are not being kind.
Magic: They are saying things that I care not to repeat.
Cho Chi: What do you mean.
Tartarus: I could repeat.
Dar Kalla: Who robbed your store, Magic Man?
Magic: It was a bunch of horrid dwarven bandits. One licked poor Maggie's face.
Tazdar: It's only natural for the natives of an area to feel disdain for outsiders, in my experience.
Magic: I am seeing to it, posting wanted posters and such.
Tartarus: The short men?
Cho Chi: Are they living in "The City?"
Tazdar: I find this city much more accepting than I expected.
Magic: And a bit hairy too. Tartarus with beards.
Tartarus: Ah, those men.
Magic: I don't know much about him other than we are now being stalked.
Cho Chi: You should provide some security in your store.
Dar Kalla: I be friend with many dwarf in my homeland. I know most to be honest and true.
Magic: A bad seed no doubt, or if he is even a dwarf at that. These are strange times.
Eris Drew: I agree with Cho Chi. We don't need Maggie to be hurt again.
Also, the scripture-pounders have been gathering in larger numbers again, congregating in various market squares, include The North Market near The Rogue Spoon.
Cho Chi: The dwarves that I have met in my travels were fine folk.
Munkustrap von Rumm: We've been being stalked for quite some time already. That isn't new.
Dar Kalla: Who be stalking us? Dar see nobody.
Magic: I have been training Maggie and I still live in the back. If yall could come by when available and just check in that would be helpful.
Cho Chi: I certainly can stop by as my duties to the temple allow.
Magic: I am more worried about other human aggressors. I have been feeling unwanted in the city by the human folk. Other nonhumans would agree they feel the same.
Munkustrap von Rumm: There are eyes everywhere. And some in the senate are taking interest in what we are doing.
Magic: Thank you, Cho Chi.
Magic bows like Cho Chi to Cho Chi.
Cho Chi bows in return.
Tartarus: Humans are kind of jerks.
Magic: I have nothing against humans. Some of them are even my best friends.
Dar Kalla: Dar will help guard Magic store.
Magic: Thank you, Dar. Just your presence would scare off most.
Cho Chi: I don't think that I am a jerk.
Magic: I have heard of your wins in the pits!
Tartarus: You're not a human, you're a monk.
Magic: You are making a big name for yourself.
Tazdar: Everyone is a jerk, Tartarus. People look out for themselves first, in most cases.
Cho Chi: What?
Dar Kalla: I give back all my gold at gambling tables...GAAHH!
Tartarus: Monks I meet are nice.
Tazdar: This is why strict order in society is needed.
Eris Drew: Strict order could bring more chaos.
Magic: Maybe as local heroes, we can help with the bigotry?
Cho Chi: Maybe we should do some outreach and have humans meet more non-humans.
Cho Chi: How about a block party?
Tazdar: Merit is the answer. Show the competency of non-humans to the rabble and they will have to show respect.
Tartarus: Or smash humans.
Cho Chi: Neighbors mingling socially to get to know each other.
Eris Drew:
Munkustrap von Rumm: I have seen no evidence of bigotry against non-humans.
Tartarus: That works a lot.
Magic: We could put an elf onto the council? I may know a guy.
Magic: I do like the block party, as well.
Eris Drew: Yes.
Magic ponders.
Tartarus: Blocks?
Magic: We should use my shop's square.
Cho Chi: You are good at making pamphlets. We could advertise.
Eris Drew: Gives you a chance to work on your Bard's College practice and perform, Magic.
Magic: Time to lead this community through inspiring action, parties, and parades.
Tazdar: If people question my combat capabilities, I will defeat them in combat. If my intelligence is questioned, I have always been good at dragon chess.
Eris Drew: You do it best.
Tartarus: Why no smash?
Cho Chi: Food and drink is always a good draw.
Magic: Lead with the dragon chess.
Eris Drew: Because despite you being good at killing things, it is not always needed.
Magic: Show other prowess than combat.
Tartarus is not content with the amount of smashing happening.
Cho Chi: Let's talk to the neighbors.
Magic: Yes, let's! I know a halfling women who can provide flowers.
Cho Chi: I will talk to local establishments to provide food and drink.
Cho Chi heads to the door to get busy.
Magic: This is going to be the party of the century.
Eris Drew: Age.
Magic: Good luck, Cho Chi!
Magic: I will talk to those around here and get the music sorted out too.
Magic: That's the spirit.
Cho Chi: Hey, a music contest would be great.
Tartarus: Will there be smashing?
Tartarus: That always fun.
Magic (magically projecting): Come one! Come all! To the Greatest Party of them All! Unity Festival this weekend!
Magic (magically projecting): Free Music! Ale! Friendship! And More
Munkustrap von Rumm: Where are you getting the funds to pay for this party?
Tartarus: Eris.
Cho Chi steps outside and looks for places likely to provide good food.
Tartarus: Eris is rich.
Dar Kalla: Dar kick in gold for party!
Eris Drew: I am not rich.
Tartarus: Yes, you are.
Tazdar: If you insist on this plan, we should charge local businesses to open booths where they can sell their food.
Tazdar: We take a cut of their earnings.
Over the course of the week, Munkustrap notices the scripture-pounders are spouting xenophobic rhetoric and not focusing on the Borgosians at all.
Dar Kalla: All da time we do stuff like dis, some nut attacks us!
Munkustrap von Rumm: Perhaps I can persuade my father to donate funds toward this party.
Tartarus: Alcohol?
Magic notices that the bigotry is becoming more overt in the streets.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I think the situation is beyond a party at this point.
Tartarus: What is the ruckus outside about?
Tartarus notices during pit fighting that he is getting derision when winning instead of cheers.
Dar Kalla: Tartarus do heel turn. Dar always face!!!
Tartarus: The cheers have died in the pits. Dar, what did you do?
Munkustrap von Rumm: I think someone in the Senate is behind all this.
Eris Drew: So no party?
Dar Kalla: We must form tag team! Fight Young Bucks for AWE Title!
Magic: Sounds like it might break out in a brawl.
Tartarus: Brawls? I in.
Tartarus: Smashing faces? I in.
Magic: See. A problem.
Tartarus: What problem?
Munkustrap von Rumm: Fennimore may have some knowledge of what is going on.
Tartarus: Fennimore?
Magic: Yes, his mother sells flowers outside my shop from her cart.
Tartarus: Oh, nice flower woman.
Munkustrap von Rumm: He works for the Lord High Inquisitor, he said.
Tartarus: She alright.
Magic: If you have connections, Munkustrap, please use them.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I can send him a message.
Magic: Please, and many thanks!
Magic: I am lucky to be friends with the kindest people in "The City."
Eravan agrees to meet and has some information regarding what is happening.
Magic has tears forming in his eyes.
Eris Drew rolls her eyes.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Can you use magic to make yourself look human, Magic?
Magic does his puppy dog eyes.
Magic: Yes, I can.
Magic: But, only for a short time.
Magic: It is how I know so much of the bigotry already.
Munkustrap von Rumm: That might help a bit or if you wear a hood to cover your ears.
Tartarus: Would a hood help me?
Munkustrap von Rumm: I don't think anything can hide you, Tartarus.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Unfortunately.
Magic: I can stick to the shadows as well. I can disappear if I want.
Tartarus: Thank you.
Magic: Become invisible is what I mean.
Eravan: So, what can I do for you, mister hobgoblin?
Tazdar: There's been some unrest in the city. My compatriots are concerned. Now that you move in higher circles, I'd like to see what you can find out about this anti-Xeno movement in the city.
Eravan: Oh, the xenophobia? Yes, I have been noticing this has been on the rise.
Eravan: It has been really blowing up lately, but it has been building for a while.
Tazdar: Since you're a normal human as much as anyone would be aware, I think you'd be perfect to infiltrate these zealous organizations and determine if there's a central figure or force behind it.
Eravan: I have a lot of information already that I'd be willing to share for the right price.
Tazdar: I can offer you 10 gold now and more depending on the detail you can deliver.
Eravan: Ten is a good start, but what I have is extremely valuable.
Cho Chi will visit the various temples trying to determine the people involved in the xenophobic rhetoric. She will listen and try to determine motivations.
Tazdar: I see. 20 gold then for now and I'll gladly pay more if you impress me.
Eravan: OK, so it has to do with The Iris to start with.
Tazdar: Interesting. We've not been low-profile, so I assumed people might take offense. To my involvement, in particular, I'd expect.
Tazdar slides two more gold onto the table.
Eravan: Yes, your decimation of The Knives was definitely not low profile.
Tazdar: Haha. Yes, indeed.
Tazdar: I'm sure some of their benefactors took offense.
Tazdar: No guild of thieves can operate without connections in high places.
Eravan: They have connections high and low and in the middle.
Tazdar: Always. We were much more direct with thieves in my old society.
Tazdar slides over three more gold.
Tazdar: Now, is it former clients and supporters of The Knives stirring things up? If so, I'll need names. I'd pay well for evidence, as well.
Eravan: They have allied themselves with The Deepbend Rakes.
Tazdar: Can't say I'm familiar. I'm new here, after all.
Eravan: Right, you are new to the city. The Rakes are the rebels that oppose Ran's rule.
Eravan: A bigger group of bigots you are unlikely to find outside of Ithl'Quessir.
Tazdar: Perfect. Now we're getting somewhere actionable. If you have proof of their involvement, I could get The Inquisitors to come down on them rather harshly I'd expect.
Tazdar: A couple hangings will always quiet a crowd rather well.
Eravan looks very uncomfortable at the mention of The Inquisitors.
Tazdar: Your connection with us will keep you safe though. I'll vouch for you to Ran.
Tazdar: He's a smart man and a cunning leader. He'll see your value, just as I have.
Eravan seems to relax at Tazdar's words.
Tazdar: So, do you have evidence I can use to tie the rabble-rousers to the Rakes?
Eravan: OK, the guildmaster and the leader of the Rakes are in league with Blue Midnight to try and topple Ran's government.
Tazdar: Perfect. Do you have names?
Tazdar: I need to tell the King whose door to kick down.
Eravan: I have no names. They have always been well hidden. The Inquisitors have gotten close to discovering them in the past, but they have always managed to escape identification.
Tazdar: Do you think you could infiltrate their group?
Eravan: I have been making headway into Blue Midnight, but it is very dangerous.
Tazdar: I'd expect as much. What aren't you telling me though, Eravan
Eravan: As I said, it's very dangerous. I don't want to expose an operative that is already in place.
Tazdar: I see. Well, I just need whatever evidence can be used for a conviction. If you have any communications from the group, that would help. I'm sure we could tie them back.
Dar Kalla: Can Magic use invisibility to sneak into a temple of zealots to spy on them?
Tazdar: Is this operative a contact of yours or someone King Ran has deployed?
Eravan: You get me wrong. It is Blue Midnight that has a plant in the midst of your circle.
Simultaneously, at The Fiery Stag Inn, Majestic Wares, and the pit fighting arena, crossbow bolts fly out of the shadows and strike Tazdar, Magic, and Tartarus, dropping them all unconscious.
Tartarus: Damn!
Tartarus goes unconscious.
The assassins begin to make their getaways. The assassin in The Stag rushes up the stairs to the second floor, down the hallway, and through an open door on the alley side of the inn. The assassin in the market outside of Majestic Wares skirts behind tents and stands toward the alley in the northeast corner of the market. The assassin at the arena ducks out the door on the east side of the area among the sudden flood of patrons running for cover.
Magic lies dying on the floor of his shop.
Tazdar slumps in his chair as Eravan swipes the coins off the table and ducks under the table.
Tartarus lies on the floor of the arena as patrons scatter away from him.
Cho Chi exits the shop, peering into the darkness, searching for where the crossbow bolt may have come. She doesn't manage to catch the assassin's escape in her peripheral vision.
Cho Chi assumes a defensive stance in anticipation of further assault by the unknown assailant.
Munkustrap von Rumm rushes over to Tazdar and lays his healing hands on the hobgoblin before charging over to the stair where he calculates the bolt to have flown from.
Eris Drew casts a cure wounds spell on Magic. She then motions to Maggie to look after the downed bard as she exits the shop in search of the assailant.
Dar Kalla, seeing that Tazdar has fallen, pushes through the crowd to see if he can aid the half-ogre.
The assassin in The Stag opens the window and climbs out and onto the roof above. The assassin in the market has made it into the alley, but his careless sprinting is noticed by Eris. The assassin at the arena is overwhelmed by the rush of patrons and tries to blend in with them.
Magic revives and crawls cautiously to the door of his shop.
Eris Drew -> The assassin: Who are you? Why are you trying to kill my friends?
The assassin -> Eris Drew: Politics and money.
Magic: What happened? An arrow in my chest. YOU WILL NOT BEST ME! I LIVE! KILL THESE MONSTERS!
Magic provides his friends with inspiration before closing the door and making himself invisible.
Eris Drew: It is that way.
Eris Drew: I talked to them.
Tazdar sits up, catching a second wind, before getting up and going into a defensive stance with his weapon drawn.
Tazdar: Well, they knew who I was despite my disguise.
Tartarus, though Dar tries to stop the bleeding, begins to die.
Cho Chi runs towards the alley that Eris indicated, chasing after the assassin.
Munkustrap von Rumm ascends the stairs to the second floor and begins trying doors to see if they might be escape routes for the assassin. The first couple he tries are locked.
Eris Drew chases after the assassin.
Eris Drew [Quori]: Lia can you tell me anything of value.
Lia [Quori]: Keep running.
Dar Kalla continues to try and save Tartarus' life.
Dar Kalla: Live, damn you! LIVE!
One of the trainers begins to attend to Tartarus and stabilizes him.
The assassin at The Stag leaps the alley to the tenement and races across the roof before lowering himself down to a window. The assassin being chased by Cho Chi and Eris continues to run through the alley. The assassin at the arena continues to blend in with the patrons.
Magic locks the door.
Tazdar dashes out into the alley behind The Stag. He takes the fire escape up to the roof and grows to giant size to see onto the roof.
Tartarus lies on the floor, the bleeding stopped, but still unconscious.
Cho Chi chases after the assassin, catching him and delivering two strikes to him.
Munkustrap von Rumm continues trying doors and finally finds the escape route of the assassin. He turns back to the hall to pursue the assassin.
Eris Drew chases after Cho Chi and the assassin. As she closes some of the distance, she commands the assassin to grovel.
Dar Kalla stands and demands to know where the bolt came from. He figures from Tartarus position and the movement of the patrons that it must have been fired from the east door, so he starts pushing his way there.
The assassin that attacked Tazdar begins to work the window open and climb into the tenement. The assassin that shot Magic follows Eris's command and prostrates himself at Cho Chi's feet. The assassin at the arena calmly follows the flow of the escaping patrons.
Magic remains quietly invisible in this shop.
Tazdar investigates the roof.
Tartarus continues to lie on the floor.
Cho Chi leaps onto the assassin subduing him enough to begin binding with a rope.
Munkustrap von Rumm races through the tavern and out the back door into the alley.
Eris Drew runs up and grapples the assassin to allow Cho Chi to secure him.
Dar Kalla runs into the passage outside the arena searching for Tartarus' assailant.
Another trainer arrives to help to revive Tartarus.
The assassin being chased by Tazdar dashes through the tenement and finds a place to hide. The assassin held by Cho Chi and Eris crunches down on something in his mouth and begins to violently twitch. The assassin at the arena continues his calm attempt to escape.
Tazdar discovers the assassin has climbed through a window and moves along the roof to enter the building through the same window.
Cho Chi continues to tie him up and remove his weapons.
Munkustrap von Rumm begins to move around the base of the tenement looking for places the assassin might try to escape from.
Eris Drew lays hands on the assassin realizing he is trying to commit suicide.
Dar Kalla, spotting the likely assassin, flies into a rage and lets fly a handaxe that strikes true.
The assassin hiding in the tenement continues to hide. The assassin captured by Cho Chi and Eris remains unconscious. The assassin at the arena ducks down a side passage and prepares to surprise his pursuer.
Tazdar swings off the roof and crashes through the window. He makes a quick scan of the room.
Tartarus runs after Dar after the trainer tells him which way he went.
Cho Chi and Eris begin carrying their quarry back to Majestic Wares. Cho Chi calls for the guard as they go.
Munkustrap von Rumm continues to scout around the tenement as city watchmen arrive. He directs them to search the building and warns them not to attack the giant hobgoblin that is hunting for an assassin within.
Dar Kalla quickly rounds the corner to be struck by the assassin's poisoned crossbow bolt. It isn't enough the stop him in his rage and he strikes back with his greatsword.
The assassin in the tenement continues to hide, though starts scoping out an escape route. The assassin in the side passage has been stunned by Dar's strike and recovers his bearings.
Tazdar begins to search the tenement for the assassin.
Tartarus lumbers after Dar seeing him duck into a side passage.
Munkustrap von Rumm continues guarding the base of the tenement.
Cho Chi and Eris carry their prisoner to Majestic Wares.
Dar Kalla strikes the assassin again with his greatsword.
The assassin in the tenement begins to move around looking for a means of escape as Tazdar gets out of range.
The assassin in the arena passage draws his sword and strikes at Dar, wounding him heavily with the poisoned blade.
Tartarus rushes around the corner in a rage to find Dar engaged with the assassin. The half-ogre wails on the assassin with devastating force.
Munkustrap von Rumm continues to guard the tenement.
Cho Chi and Eris drag the assassin into the shop and sit him on a chair preparing to interrogate him.
Dar Kalla continues to press his attack against the assassin, wounding him in turn.
The assassin in the tenements frantically looks for a way out opens a second-story window to climb back onto the roof from.
The assassin in the side passage turns his attention back to his original target and stabs Tartarus, who is knocked unconscious again.
Tazdar continues to search the interior of the tenement as watchmen join him.
Tartarus begins to die again.
Munkustrap von Rumm notices the assassin climbing out the window and leaps, running up the wall high enough to take a swipe at the assassin with his glaive, divinely smiting him.
Cho Chi secures the assassin to the chair.
Eris Drew looms over the assassin threateningly and booms in an unearthly voice.
Eris Drew: Who are you? And who do you work for?
Captured assassin: I'm no one. My orders come from above.
Eris Drew takes the cowl off the assassin.
Cho Chi: You are the chink in the armor of your group that will be their demise.
Dar Kalla strikes the assassin one more time and he finally falls.
The city watchmen gathered in the alley begin to fire their crossbows at the assassin scaling the building to the roof. However, the assassin is not brought down by the couple of bolts that find their mark.
Tazdar begins to climb the stairs back to the roof from within the tenement upon hearing commotion outside. As he opens the door to the roof, the assassin is right in front of him. The hobgoblin wastes no time and swings his greatsword at the villain.
Tartarus continues to lie on the floor bleeding out.
Munkustrap von Rumm rushes up the fire escape to the roof and flanks the assassin with Tazdar.
Cho Chi and Eris begin to interrogate their prisoner as city watchmen begin to enter the market area.
Dar Kalla kneels down beside attempting once again to save Tartarus. This time he believes he has.
The assassin flanked by Munkustrap and Tazdar thrust a devastating blow at Tazdar, but the blow is miraculously deflected, its force obliterating a crow on a nearby roof.
Tazdar attacks the assassin again and hits, however, the assassin remains a threat.
Tartarus, coming out of his unconscious state again, rolls over while swinging his massive hammer and crushes the assassin's skull as he lies there dying.
Tartarus: Time for sleep.
Munkustrap von Rumm strikes the assassin with the flat of his glaive's blade empowered by Lehnbor's power and knocks the assassin out as the watchmen arrive on the roof.