[KAUAI]The Rod of Seven Parts: Of Hexes and Gems
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  1. #1

    [KAUAI]The Rod of Seven Parts: Of Hexes and Gems

    The Golden Cockatrice is a posh salon and bar that caters to adventurers, rakes, and other pleasure seekers with plenty of money to spend. The hall stands on a busy thoroughfare, and other businesses line the street. A cheap inn, The Wilted Rose, is directly across the byway to the north of the Golden Cockatrice. The salon opens for business in the late afternoon and closes after dawn, nine days a week. Fraternal twins Frane and Vaja tend bar at the salon. Frane and Vaja share golden hair, bright blue eyes, and muscular builds. Vaja is a little shorter than her brother, Frane, but otherwise both twins look alike. Both are attractive humans, slow to anger, and quick to laugh. One of the salon's chief attractions is the covered well and the cockatrice coop. The well is a cylinder of cunningly laid stones about three feet high topped with a windlass and a slate roof. Flecks of mica in the stones make even the palest beam of light break up in a spray of motes that dance and dazzle the eye. The coop is a weighty structure of thick timbers reinforced with wrought iron. Four bad-tempered cockatrices live inside. The cockatrices are the festhall's mascots, and the management and regulars do not look kindly on visitors who harass them. An incredibly lifelike statue of a jolly looking man stands next to the coop. The figure is hunched over and has one finger stuck through the coop's bars. Legend has it that the man was a drunken patron who took a dare and poked a finger in the coop. The hall's owners are said to have left him there as a warning and willingly paid a fine to the city authorities for the right to do so.

    The Golden Cockatrice is located within the River Ward of the city of Teggest, population 50,000+. Near the River Market section of the Ward along the city's southern wall, the Cockatrice is just opening for the day. An oversized wooden statue of a cockatrice splashed with cheap gold leafing that peels and flakes away in places stands on a 3-foot pedestal in front of the festhall's main doors. A big yellow dog, bigger that what one might normally see skulking in the city's back alleys, sits directly at the base of the statue as the Cockatrice's employees and custom begin to filter in for another afternoon and night of revelrie. The dog looks healthy if a bit dirty, and sits, attentive, as if waiting for someone.

    A pair of stout oak doors with amber-colored molten glass windows stand open during business hours. A pair of burly attendants are on hand to greet customers and to keep undesirables from entering. In the gilt light of the hot afternoon Teggest sun stand the pair of bouncers, one of them new. Introduced just yesterday as Traven, the human man isn't as tall or heavyset as Frane and Vaja normally prefer to hire, but his sharp eye caught a gambling cheat last night at the bones table.

    Brakkus and Gamad
    There's something off about Traven. His hair looks like it might be a wig, but a pretty good one, and Brakkus is pretty sure he though he saw Traven rub away some sort of face paint yesterday afternoon while the sun was hot and Traven was scratching his neck. No one else, however, seems to have noticed anything might be awry with Traven.

    The festhall's interior is huge, shadowy, and a bit drafty. The air inside the Cockatrice is thick with the tang of strong beer, fresh bread, and the lingering scent of last night's Gorles 'baccyweed smoke. Traven greets the paying custom entering the salon, "Have a seat anywhere. There's plenty of space at the bar. The courtyard is open today, too; just walk through those doors there." The attendant points to a double set of wooden plank doors that are thrown open. "But stay clear of the birds," Traven smirks.

    The main common room of the Cockatrice is 100 feet long, and about as wide. Once an old warehouse, Frane converted the building to its present function as a festhall. There are dozens of tables, but only the corner ones are currently occupied. The Cockatrice's regulars, Tailleur (the male half-elf house pickpocket, rumored to be a former Gallancais courtier), Cicer (a local gnome who performs illusionist magic tricks to entertain the crowd), Lowel (a male human hire of Vaja's and very good at spotting cheaters as well as spinning a yarn as wide as the Tegyrn River), and Cheal (a tall, lanky male human with a longsword strapped to his waist) and his six thugs sit at tables inside the large common room.

    Cheal and Tailleur give everyone who enters the Cockatrice an appraising glance then return to their gambling. Lowel, who stands talking with Vaja next to the bar of undressed stones mortared together like wall in a field, seems to split his attention between Vaja, Tailleur, and the door. Frane, a blonde giant of a man with fists as big as the mugs of ale he serves, smiles in welcome at custom and employee alike as everyone enters. Frane's eyes drift from time to time to a new patron, a lithe elf woman carrying a longbow and a quiver full of arrows. The elf stands to the side of one of the courtyard doors, intently studying handbills offering employ that are normally tacked to a cork board maintained by Vaja.
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    Last edited by CanadienneBacon; Wednesday, 29th August, 2007 at 08:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Cutpurse (Lvl 5)

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    Block Ambrus

    Maelicent nodded curtly at the giant-kin guard at the door as he made his way into the massive hall. He'd had some trouble with the guards in the past, they finding the idea of a Gudwulf warrior gracing the floor of the place with his footstep offensive. Showing them that he had coins to trade, as valuable as any other patron's, seemed to quell their racial hatred effectively enough. That had been several months ago however and the wealth he'd managed to collect from his dead kinsmen were beginning to run short. The giant-kin city was a wonder to behold, alien in size and dizzying in the sheer number of bodies infesting the place. As different as he was from everyone else around him though, Maelicent had found it relatively easy to avoid the giant-kins' attention by simply staying out of the way and quiet. With the wild chaos of daily life in the city the small goblin wondered if the oblivious residents would even notice that they were under attack before they were all lying bleeding in the streets.

    Making his way to the stone wall the giant-kin referred to as "the bar" Maelicent deftly clambered atop one of the freestanding ladders there and plunked down four pieces of copper to catch the attention of the straw-haired giant-kin who was busily wiping the wall-top. The only words he offered the man were: "A pint." Carrying a bucket of ale was the key, Maelicent had learned, to being ignored by the hall's guards. Maelicent waited until the sloshing bucket was deposited on the wall-top before picking it up and clambering back down the ladder. Luckily there was already a horde of giant-kin beginning to crowd around. Taking the opportunity, the young goblin disappeared into the forest of legs to take shelter beneath one of the many hut-sized tables littering the hall. Out of sight and leaning back against the table's central column, Maelicent set the bucket on the ground and pulled a drinking horn from beneath his coat. Dipping the drinking vessel into the bucket, the Gudwulf warrior looked around the massive hall, picking out familiar faces from the crowd. Maelicent prided himself on his ever-improving ability to tell the giant-kin apart from each other; distinguishing not only between the elven, human and dwarven sub-races but even between genders and individuals.

    He'd been coming here for months because the place seemed to be some kind of gathering-place for adventurers. Unfortunately, except for a few brief displays of martial prowess during spiritless clashes between the guards and some obnoxious giant-kin, the studious goblin had yet to identify anything like the mystical power which had defeated his brethren. Taking a sip from his drinking horn, Maelicent sighed in frustration. Maybe he was wasting his time here and should simply continue his search elsewhere. The fact that he found himself looking forward to drinking the giant-kins' flavorless swill each night was also beginning to worry the proud warrior. That was when he noticed the bow being carried by one of the... elf giant-kin near the inner-gate; a female the sharp-eyed goblin thought to himself. Maelicent wouldn't have minded the opportunity to get a closer look at the bow it carried; its delicate craftmanship piqued his curiosity. It looked rather flimsy at first glance, but it reminded him of some of the weapons he'd seen the adventurers carrying...
    Last edited by Ambrus; Wednesday, 20th December, 2006 at 11:04 PM.

  3. #3
    Novice (Lvl 1)

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    Block Rino

    Dter, a bald dwarf with a short grey beard, comes in the tavern, he takes a good look at the gaurd by the door, sizing him up. he makes his way to the bar, while looking at what the people in the tavern and there business. he notices the look of what it looks like 2 big time gamblers, but ignores them completly. when Dter finaly makes it to the bar. he says to the barmani need a pint

    Dter takes another good look in the tavern while take a sip.

  4. #4
    At the center most table a chessboard is laid out and in the deep play. Neither black, modeled after orcs and goblins, or white, modeled after humans and dwarves, has an advantage. Alone, HL sits Indian-style on a chair facing the board, doing his best to defeat himself. In his mouth a copper coin that he is chewing on. In his hand the white queen piece he is fiddling with. His black eyes, without pupils, stares calmly at the mock battlefield before him. His ears open to all sounds around him, from the faint whispers of thugs to the dropping of a cup. He shuts his eyes for a few seconds, then opens them just as slowly. He places the white queen down in the spot he sees best fit. "Oi... check" he says quietly in faked displeasure.

    He lifts his head and scans the room.

  5. #5

    Gamad - Deformed Dwarf Transmuter

    Hooded and hidden in the corner, Gamad lowered his repulsive face to his personal mug and inspected the drink Frane just gave him, every night the same, he finished working in the alchemists shop, went to feed and take care of his only trusted friend, Hamor - his donkey, and then came here, to the Golden Cockatrice, there was something strange and unique about this place, maybe the people, maybe the well, or maybe it were just the weird creatures inside the coop who fascinated him, he ordered a Spirit, dwarven spirit, although disgusted from his own kind he can't say no to the drink they made. The alcohol warmed his blood and brought calmness to his ever troubled soul.
    He looked around nervously, so sure people glancing at him, pointing their fingers and laughing at his presence, speaking behind his back, "look at this creature, so ugly, so disgusting" but none spoke, none paid attention to the puny dwarven figure that sat in the shadows, in the corner, not even noticing the few gestures and ancient words that came up from his throat, the magic flawed outside and wrapped the mug and the liquid.
    Gamad sighed again, there were no poison in his drink. "I must trust people" were the words he told to himself every time, but strangely he kept doing it every time he ordered a drink.
    From the shadows of the corner he looked around, at the gamblers, the thugs, the bartender and his twin sister, there was something about the tall bouncer that stood at the door and greeted people, something wasn't right but who am I to do something about it.
    He thought and took a sip from his drink.
    Speaking of right and wrong, this place was weird from the beginning and now there is a goblin in here, cowering beneath the table and what's that, a dwarf?!
    Gamad cowered in the corner, lowered his gaze and shrank into the shadowy corner.

    Cast Detect Poison.

  6. #6
    Brakkus rides through the crowds up people until reaching the entrance of the Golden Cockatrice. He climbs down from the saddle and hands a groom a few copper saying, "Look after him, but don't give him any carrots." The mangy beast was not worth it. He had been trying to teach it to move by his knees and come when called, but to no avail. He enters the festhall with a side long glance.

    A well built man with shoulder length hair and a well trimmed mustache, he has no problem shouldering his way over to the bar near Vaja and leans over until he catches her eye. "The usual, hon," he says trying to sound casual though a hint of a blush plays over his face. Strangely, despite it being in the middle of the afternoon, he appears freshly shaven, almost as if he had had little to do throughout the day and was just waiting for his the salon to open.

    While Vaja fetches his drink, he takes in the rest of the patrons. He reminds himself to steer clear Cheal and Tailleur. They had taken a whole months pay and he had to find an extra job mucking stables for the next couple weeks just to get by until the next payment from Gwyund. There is that strange one always muttering to himself while moving those pieces around the board. He gives a nod to Cicer, always appreciative of his shows. A few of the others he had seen before as well.

    As Vaja returns with his mug of ale, he says to her with a nod of his head toward the door, "So where'd you find the new guy?" He takes a sip of his ale while she responds.

  7. #7
    As Maelicent enters the Cockatrice, Traven averts his gaze and makes a study of Rancid Crabtree, one of the Cockatrice's regulars approaching from half a block distant. Maelicent enters through the doors, causing the large yellow dog standing guard by the outer statue to look up and track the goblin with intelligent brown eyes as the Maelicent passes. Once Maelicent steps over the threshhold, the labrador lifts its head and watches as Rancid approaches.

    All business in order to be left alone, Maelicent clambers up the barstool and croaks out a nigh silent, "A pint" at Frane. Frane frowns at the goblin but sweeps the proffered four copper pennies off the bar, then pours and hands an ale to Maelicent. The big blonde human barkeep starts to watch Maelicent cross the room, but soon loses sight of the goblin and, shrugging, nods at Dter instead. At Dter's request of drink, Vaja breaks off her discussion with Lowel and grabs a glass tankard. Slipping the mug under a spigot and filling the cup past the brim, Vaja places the ale in front of Dter with a smile. "Good Afternoon, Priest." Vaja opens her mouth to ask something of the dwarf but breaks off as Brakkus enters. Smiling in good humor at Brakkus's slight blush, Vaja pours a hearty black stout for the soldier and good naturedly shoves the drink across the bar in Brakkus's direction. "Good Sun to you, Brakkus. Another day of dullards at duty to look forward to?" Replying to Brakkus's query regarding the hire of Traven, Vaja nods. "Aye, not our kind, normally. But with the harvest looming and most of the hire-a-day work out in the fields, he came to us wheedling employ when Frane and I were troubled to find anyone." Vaja shoots a frown at Traven then looks back at Brakkus with a shrug. "Caught a cheat last night, so no complaints. Even if there's sommat amiss with him."

    Gamad casts detect poison on his drink. Finding the ale wholesome and not poisoned, Gamad drinks from his cup. The beverage isn't what it should be by proper dwarven standards, but it serves its purpose well enough. Looking up from his drink, Gamad finds that the elf woman who had previously been studying the billets offering employment on the corkboard is staring at him in wonderment. The longbow at her back jostling, the elf quickly strides over and addresses Gamad in elvish.

    "You can weave magic? Do you speak Common? The billets are all in Common and I'm having difficulty deciphering the advertisements for employment. Can you help?"

    Rancid Crabtree enters the Cockatrice in short order. Overdressed, and impeccably neat, Rancid is slender with thin mustaches and long hair plaited into a lone braid that falls, corded, down his back. Looking around the room and avoiding Vaja's stare, Rancid seats himself opposite H. Lewit at the chess table. With an uncertain smile, Rancid offers up, "'Evening to you, Lewit. The powers that be have seen fit to grant me the talent of curing wounds, but not the ability to win at the tables." Rancid's breath reeks of absinthe and Lewit soon finds himself in a veritable fog of the anise smell. "If you're wounded or sick and have a few coins to spare, perhaps we can reach a mutually beneficial arrangement?"

    Vaja mutters a quick, "Excuse me, Brakkus," as she shoves away from the bar and walks over to Lewit's table. With a curt, "Rancid, where's Frane's money? You owe us 8 gold and since ye been gone the last tenday, we're wanting payment right short."

    Rancid looks up in horror at Vaja's approach, then clams up as she demands payment. Smiling unctuously at Lewit, Rancid weakly offers, "So, you see, Lewit. I'm in a bind. And Mistress here wants her gold crowns."

  8. #8
    HL's game is over, a draw, but he still examines the pieces. He has spit out his coin and now has the head of a black pawn, a goblin figure, in his mouth. He doesn't notice, or at least react to, Rancid until he speaks. "'Evening to you, Lewit. The powers that be have seen fit to grant me the talent of curing wounds, but not the ability to win at the tables." he hears across from him.

    HL lifts his head and smiles. The smile that is almost always on his face when he interacts with anyone. "Games of luck are not my favorite type either." He doesn't physically react to the odor of Rancid, but it spawns some thoughts in his mind. For only a moment, his vision wonders off Rancid and focuses on the goblin sitting at the bar in the distance. HL pulls out the goblin pawn from his mouth and lines it up with the distant Maelicent, his eyes wild with curiosity.

    "If you're wounded or sick and have a few coins to spare, perhaps we can reach a mutually beneficial arrangement?" Rancid says and H. Lewit turns back to him.

    Lewit puts down the chess piece and playfully examines his arms and hands. "Hmm, no, I do not thi-" he mutters slowly, but is interrupted by Vaja.

    "Rancid, where's Frane's money? You owe us 8 gold and since ye been gone the last tenday, we're wanting payment right short."

    HL looks at Vaja, then Rancid, then Vaja again. "So, you see, Lewit. I'm in a bind. And Mistress here wants her gold crowns." Rancid weakly offers. HL faces Rancid, closes his eyes for a few seconds, and just as slowly, opens them with a innocent smile.

    "Miss Vaja, I'm sure you do not mind if I help Crabtree just a little bit? I have little use for these coins, as they are poor replacement pieces for any game I play. I might even win them back from Frane, if he wants to play me again" HL says as he reaches into his pocket and pulls out 8 gold coins and holds them in the air toward Vaja. He gives an odd chuckle.

    (OOC: Er, yeah, I never did list how much money my character has. Er, I guess it would be around 10 or 15, but I don't mind if that 8 was his last 8, it's almost fitting).
    Last edited by BRP2; Friday, 22nd December, 2006 at 03:40 AM.

  9. #9

    Gamad - Dwarf Transmuter

    What are you looking at?!
    Gamad think to himself as he looks at the elf, he lowers his eyes down to his drink and keep them low as the elf strides to his shadowy corner.
    Not wanting to establish eye contact, he keeps his hood on and replies.


    He mutters to himself in a low tone and switch to the common tongue of the humans
    I'm sorry, but I do no master the language of your kind, how can a cripple and hunchbacked dwarf be a service to such an agile and pretty elvish lady.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaja
    "Good Sun to you, Brakkus. Another day of dullards at duty to look forward to?"
    "Don't remind me. I wouldn't say I'm looking forward to it."

    By now Brakkus is used to Vaja having to depart in the middle of a conversation so he is only slightly annoyed at Rancid for the intrusion. Still, his hand instinctively rests on the flail at his belt. He takes a long pull from his drink and then wipes his mustache with the back of his hand.

    He watches the exchange between Rancid and Lewit and stares in wonder for a minute at the gold chaning hands. Why would the wierd chess player pay of Rancid's debt?

    He stares back toward the door for a moment thinking, Caught a cheat or planted a cheat to make himself look good? Oh well, as long as Vaja isn't particularly partial to him that's all that really matters.

    Always more questions than answers, and none of it probably meant anything. Looks like its going to be another boring report. Who would care about chess players giving away money and elves talking to dwarves.
    Last edited by SlagMortar; Friday, 22nd December, 2006 at 04:13 PM.

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