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DT's Old School Campaign- (Chapter 4: The Guild and The Girl)

Deuce Traveler

Adventurer
A original DnD (BECMI) campaign mixed with City-State of the Invincible Overlord (CSIO) and Wilderlands of High Fantasy (HOHF)

The Cast:

Lola (Queenie)

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Name: Lola
Class: Thief
Level: 3
HP: 7
AC: 8

Strength: 14
Intelligence: 14
Wisdom: 13
Dexterity: 13
Constitution: 8
Charisma: 16

Saving Throws

Poison or Death Ray: 13
Magic Wands: 14
Paralyzation or Turn to Stone: 13
Dragon Breath: 16
Rods/Staffs/Spells: 15 (14 vs Spells)

Weapons: 2 Sharpened Silver Fans (1d4 each)

Armor: None, Silk Green Veils outfit

Equipment: Thieves' Tools, Ruby Pendant, 2x five foot length of green cloth, 42gp in belt pouch, Potion of Cure Serious Wounds (Neb's Mending, 400xp), 553gp in large sack

At Home: Nothing

Languages: Common, Thieves Cant, (One other)

XP: 3,457

Skills:
Open Locks: 25%
Find Traps: 20%
Remove Traps: 20%
Climb Walls: 89%
Move Silently: 30%
Hide in Shadows: 20%
Pick Pockets: 30%
Hear Noise: 40%

Background: As a baby, Lola was left at the city orphanage, having been abandoned by her parents for reasons revealed only to the head mistress. She was a good child, and pretty, but every time she was considered for adoption the potential parents would leave the Mistress's office and then the orphanage without her. Over the years she was disappointed many times until hope just faded from her heart. She grew into a feisty teen, often running off and getting in trouble before being dragged back. Eventually at the age of 16 she left the orphanage and never returned.

She spent the next year living on the streets, learning how to get by. She drifted from place to place picking up unsavory skills, using her looks and charms to get out of trouble if caught. But stealing wasn't doing the job and she was often hungry and homeless. At 17 she was approached by the madam of the Naughty Nanny, who saw through the dirt and grime to her pretty looks and offered her a position there, knowing she could fetch a good price. The thought of food every night, a roof over her head, a nice room and clothes was very appealing at this point so she agreed. She quickly learned how easy it was to steal from the rich nobles and merchants who were her clients.

Six months after she started working there she met Roland Van der Vass, a handsome noble from a known and influential family, who took a liking to her. She had mostly turned off her feelings, it was important to survive this job, but Roland treated her better than any of the other inconsiderate customers she entertained. At first it took some time of longing glances before he figured out how to obtain her. After that he came to her often, frequently paying for the entire night, sometimes bringing her fancy meals or gifts, occasionally all he wanted to do the entire night was talk or sleep. It was difficult for her to keep her emotions and heart to herself; he was the only person in her life to ever really show her consideration.

One fateful night Roland was not her first customer, another noble came to her earlier in the evening. He was drunk and rough and Lola demanded him to leave. This angered him and not being used to told no, he decided to take what he wanted anyway. She tried to fend off his brutal attack but was unsuccessful. Roland had come for her that evening and when he approached her room heard her struggle. He broke down the door and seeing her so treated so badly he impulsively blasted the noble with a spell. The man turned to Roland and drew his sword but before he could attack him Lola ran her dagger through his heart and killed him. Roland quickly comforted her and without discussion he replaced her dagger with his own, taking the responsibility for the murder.

After that she didn't see him for almost two long, tortuous months. He had a trial which she heard about from other customers at the whorehouse. She was afraid she would never see him again, that he regretted his actions, that he hated her or blamed her, especially after hearing he was cast out from his family. But one night he did come to her and though he couldn't pay for her she lied to the mistress so she could see him. He professed his feelings for her, told her he wanted a future with her in it, and begged her to leave the Naughty Nanny, that it was no longer the place for her. She stiffened at talk of the future and while she didn't want to say no, she told him she needed time to think and would let him know the next day. He gave her an address where to meet him the next day.

It didn't take Lola long to know the right thing to do. He cared about her and though his feelings for her terrified her, she didn't want to lose him. She went to the Madam who was not happy with Lola leaving but she gave her no choice. She quickly packed up some of the dresses that didn't really belong to her and a few other little trinkets she had collected and hurried off into the night to find Rovan. He was surprised but very happy to see her that night and he spent the night speaking of plans of them always being together and working together to bring him back to the status he was used to, and the wealth he wanted to share with her. Lola didn't care, she just wanted to be by his side, money or not.

And so, their adventuring career would begin.

DM's Note: Lola has just recently left the Naughty Nannies, and so therefore has not yet built up a second occupation and skill set. She is adapt at understanding men and women, and knows how to turn the desires of a man she converses with against him. She can both charm and frustrate. She has an equal understanding towards women, but in a different way. Lola can taunt women into a frenzy with a look and a few choice words. She is talented at pulling information from fellow commoners in order to discover rumors. Her training at the Naughty Nannies involves being a masseuse among other abilities that need little imagination. Since the Naughty Nannies were not completely a legitimate business, Lola also learned how to forge city documents, such as inspection and registration forms. Her writing skills are considerable and near Rovan's own. Because of this and some kind of unknown latent talent, she can try to read magic scrolls, both divine and arcane, although at her level of experience there is a great chance that she may cause more harm than good.

Recently she has picked up the ability to perform several dances.
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Rovan the Mage (Fenris)

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Name: Rovan the Mage
Class: Magic-User
Level: 2
HP: 12
AC: 8

Strength: 9
Intelligence: 14
Wisdom: 13
Dexterity: 15
Constitution: 18
Charisma: 11

Saving Throws

Poison or Death Ray: 13
Magic Wands: 14
Paralyzation or Turn to Stone: 13
Dragon Breath: 16
Rods/Staffs/Spells: 15

Weapons: Throwing Dagger in sash, 6x Lead Balls (1d3 each, 20 ft range)

Armor: None, wearing black clothing and mask

Equipment: 40gp in belt pouch, Spellbook, In a large sack: 604gp, 3sp, 9cp


At Home: Nothing

Buried in Yard: Human head in a sack

Languages: Common, <one more>

Spellbook:
1st level- Read Magic, Detect Magic, Sleep, Magic Missile, Read Languages

Memorized Spells:
1st level (3 from spellbook/day)- Sleep x2, Magic Missile

XP: 3,410

Background: Roland Van der Vess was a young noble from the well know Van der Vess family. Roland grew up in the luxury and indulgence that being a noble brings. Good breeding and a love of exercise lead Roland to being very fit and healthy, he never got sick. He grew up learning all the things a good noble does, how to ride, how to behave in proper society, which fork to use and so on. But he was smart and took to his lessons well and studied maps and old stories. He wasn’t as strong as his older brother, Tristan who was a squire and then a knight. But young Roland was bright and was sent off to the famed Overlord's School of Ancient Knowledge to learn to be a magic user. Rovan proved to be fairly adept at magic and learned well.

In his off time he liked to wander the city, spending freely on drinks and women. That was how he met Lola. She was one of the most beautiful women Roland had ever met and was quickly smitten with her. He didn’t care that she worked at the Naughty Nannie. She was beautiful and he desired her. Like man nobles in the city, he was used to getting what he wanted. He came to see her quite often, but was always unlucky enough to not get there early enough before she was claimed. When he finally got his chance with her he treated her so well, with kindness and tenderness that it confused Lola and made her heart a little less hard.

So it was that the saw each other as they could, their relationship and feelings for each other growing slowly, until one night Roland came looking for Lola and heard screams coming from behind her door. He opened it to find another young noble viciously beating Lola. Roland snapped and cast a spell which struck the noble. Enraged, the other noble threw Lola to the side, drew his sword and raised it to strike Roland. A most curious look crossed his face however before he fell to the floor, a dagger sticking from his back, and Lola staring at him from where the noble fell. That mutual act of defense, Roland saving Lola from a severe beating that may have killed her, and Lola stabbing the noble to save Roland showed the other the depth of their feelings for each other.

The screams drew a crowd though and Roland quickly drew out Lola’s dagger and replaced it with one of his own, in the noble’s chest. There was a brief investigation during which the local magistrate was bribed and the killing ruled self-defense. The young man though was Chalan Hofran, and his family swore vengeance on Roland for his death, ruling or no ruling. Partly to save face and protect themselves polictically and partly to punish Roland for defending a whore, his family disowned him, casting him out onto the street.

Bereft of family, Roland changed his name since he could no longer use his family name. He took part of his last name and first name and combined them to make Rovan. Rovan the Mage. His skills as a magician were modest, but sufficient that his old masters at Overlord’s were willing to employ him for various tasks. Helping in the laboratories, classrooms and running errands. His friends, all nobles of course, turned their backs on him when he plummeted from social status and wealth. He sought out Lola, he could no longer afford her services but found that his act of saving her, of protecting her so moved her that she didn’t care that he had lost his title and money. Here was a person who was not shallow and cared about him. Who loved him for who he was. Roland convinced Lola to leave the Naughty Nanny and join him. For Roland was still a noble by birth and he enjoyed the wealth and power he had had.

He had a plan. To survive the streets, to gain wealth and power anyway they could and to rise up and reclaim his place. But not among his family. In spite of his family. He would create his own title, his own power. He just needed a few friends to help him along the way.

DM's Notes: Unlike the other PCs, Rovan has a large vocabulary and finds reading quite easy. He is also talented in speaking in specific dialects and can speak languages accurately even when he is not completely familiar with the words. His education has allowed him skill in lore, so he is better able to identify the origins of both magical items along with domestic and foreign works of art. Rovan can easily mingle among aristocracy if need be due to his noble heritage, and still has an ear to some of the recent political intrigue.

Rovan has recently learned juggling and how to throw odd items.
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Edvan Chelwhistle (GlassEye)

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Name: Edvan Chelwhistle
Class: Fighter
Level: 2
HP: 13 (roll 1d8-1)
AC: 1

Strength: 13
Intelligence: 8
Wisdom: 12
Dexterity: 16
Constitution: 7
Charisma: 12

Saving Throws

Poison or Death Ray: 12
Magic Wands: 13
Paralyzation or Turn to Stone: 14
Dragon Breath: 15
Rods/Staffs/Spells: 16

Weapons: Rapier (decoration, -1 to attack and damage with chance of breaking), Hand-axe

Armor: Banded Mail, Shield

Equipment: Cavalry Officer Clothing, 49gp in belt pouch, In a large sack: 610gp, 2sp, 5cp

At Home: Nothing

Languages: Common

XP: 3,395

Edvan's family were yeomanry and displaced by the fighting, retreated to the city, and eventually succumbed to an outbreak of illness. This left him alone in the city with a slender connection to the local guard because of his father's status. They throw him an odd job once in a while, either for errands or to provide security for material coming in from the docks. But he mostly survives by playing the fipple flute in whatever tavern will pay him with a hot meal & a spot by the fire. He's not stupid but he's not the brightest by any means. He has a chronic cough, related to the illness that killed the rest of his family, which also caused damage to his lungs, and accounts for his lower constitution. He wears his father's coat (a bit too large & decorative braid and brass buttons long sold for whatever coin they could bring), and has three hand-axes tucked into his belt.

Rovan has been teaching Edvan how to read and write lately, as Edvan is a curious sort with a considerable imagination. The two practice over cups at their favorite bar, which unsurprisingly doesn't help the lessons.

DM's Notes: Edvan knows about soldiering. He can recognize small and seige weapons and is familiar with their purposes, as it was a skill he learned from his father. He gets along instinctively with professional soldiers and militia, is a welcome face in most bars since he has provided entertainment or augmented protection for cheap (during call-ups because of occasional riots), and has a strong ear for music, song, and tales.

Edvan has recently learned to ride a horse and about general cavalry tactics.
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Hilmdyn Stoneheart (garyh)

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Name: Hilmdyn Stoneheart
Class: Cleric
Level: 3
HP: 12 (1d6-1)
AC: 4

Strength: 15
Intelligence: 8
Wisdom: 15
Dexterity: 8
Constitution: 8
Charisma: 15

Saving Throws

Poison or Death Ray: 11
Magic Wands: 12
Paralyzation or Turn to Stone: 14
Dragon Breath: 16
Rods/Staffs/Spells: 15 (14 vs Spells)

Weapons: Warhammer

Armor: Banded Mail, Shield, Upper Class Clothing

Equipment: Silver Holy Symbol of Mhal (underneath shirt), 49gp in belt pouch, In a large sack: 605gp, 2cp,

At Home:

Languages: Common

Deity: Mhal, god of stone

XP: 3,401

Turn Undead (2d6)
Skeleton: T
Zombie: T
Ghoul: 7
Wight: 9
Wraith: 11

Spells (3 from list a day): Cure Light Wounds, Cause Lights Wounds, Detect Evil, Detect Magic, Light, Darkness, Protection from Evil, Purify Food and Water, Remove Fear, Fear, Resist Cold

Prepared Spell: 3x Cure Light Wounds

Background: History: Hilmdyn hales from the small frontier village of Hlymadle, over 100 miles from the City-State, and well outside its protection. Despite a childhood disease that sapped his stamina, Hilmdyn is very strong, and that combined with his common sense and force of personality, lead him to be an apprentice shaman for his village. A year ago, his village was under assualt from a death-worshipping cleric and his rough band of orcs and humans, and Hilmdyn was sent to the City-State to find aid. He found none, and now he's been drawn into the City-State, and does not know how his tribe has fared in his absence. Hilmdyn had been staying in the stables of the Tripping Trident Tavern, stretching the meager copper he had come to the City-State with as far as he could. When that ran out, though, he was forced to agree to stay on at the Trident as a laborer and occassional bouncer to keep a roof over his head and some small amount of food in his belly.

DM's Notes: Hilmdyn has picked up a number of skills at his young age. He learned how about mines and how to track veins of ore by his early teenage years. During his time in Hilmdyn he also found that his strength was an asset in trying to find work, and he has labored as a dock worker at the harbor, and bouncer and stableboy at the Tripping Trident. He learned the value of coin during this time, as well as public speaking. Hilmdyn has developed a knack for conversation, and he is adapt at haggling for prices as well as moving people to passionate outrage with his rhetoric. He hopes to use this ability to one day influence the people of the City-State to send a force in order to liberate his people.

Because of their similar occupations, the first close friend he has made thus far is Edvan, who plays dice with him for copper at the Tripping Trident Tavern at least once a week. He smirks at Edvan's attempts to learn how to read, however. He finds letters uninteresting, though he does have deep appreciation for the power of words through speech.

Hilmdyn recently learned about the properties of copper and bronze, and how to work copper at a smithy.
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Quinn (Scott DeWar)
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Name: Quinn Setmore
Class: Fighter
Level: 2
HP: 17
AC: 7

Strength: 13
Intelligence: 11
Wisdom: 15
Dexterity: 5
Constitution: 16
Charisma: 13

Saving Throws

Poison or Death Ray: 12
Magic Wands: 13
Paralyzation or Turn to Stone: 14
Dragon Breath: 15
Rods/Staffs/Spells: 16 (15 vs Spells)

Weapons: Rapier

Armor: Chain Mail, Eyepatch (not needed), Scarlet Upper Class Clothing

Equipment: pegleg with dagger shaped hollow spot: 60 gp, silvered dagger: 30 gp inside pegleg, 45gp, 3cp, 2sp in belt pouch, In a large sack: 456gp

At Home: None

Languages: Common

XP: 2,550

Background: Quinn recently arrived from sailing the high seas with the Botany Bay.

He lost the leg in an on-board incident during a bad storm, which was the cause of a mast falling and crushing his leg. He was given a pegleg to replace the lost one. Because he has not been able to regain his 'sea legs' as yet, he has decided to try his luck on land. Hopefully he will get use to his peg leg with the stability of 'terra firma' and maybe someday return to his true mistriss, the sea.

His weapons are those of a sailor: cutlass, dagger, club/belaying pin.

His dress is still that of a sailor as well as his appearence...bronze skin, long haired tied in back, bandana on his head.

His 3-day stubble gives him a ruggedly hadsome appearence, while his smell of salty spray seems clean compared to the staled sweat of the city dwellers. The 3 point hat on his head gets tipped as a curtesy to ladies. He prefers to keep sober as that would very well lead worse walking troubles then what he has now.

He was from the Botany Bay, having been the victim of one of the 'wierd accidents' that befell the ship while transporting the witch's head. The ship and captain left him on the shore to further recover though he felt he was still hexed and was seeking out the party to help him deal with the 'curse'...

DM's Note: As Quinn has been a sea-dog for so long, he has insight into navigation and the sea. He is able to guide himself by the stars, recognize good sailing weather, and when the seas themselves are favorable. He was one of the crew who begged Bear of the Botany Bay to have the cursed package thrown overboard. He had a sense that something was 'wrong' with the package. Whether or not this was superstition or a developing 'sixth sense' has yet to be seen...

Quinn has recently learned about local ports and their imports/exports, as well as become an amateur authority on wine.
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Story So Far:

Chapter 1: Blood and Betrayals- The four defeated the sorcerer Tretchner, and freed his servant Lu Su. The party found a decapitated head (which Rovan kept), a ruby (which Lola sold), and have blown most of their gold within the week.

Chapter 2: Poison and Providence- Where the four find out when of their number is going to have a very bad couple of days. Lola was captured and placed on a sacrificial altar by a group of serpent-worshipping cultists.

Chapter 3: Blood and Betrayals- The group is nicknamed the Wilders at this point due to their night life tendencies and spendthrift ways. An ambush gone bad leads to the death of members from the thieves' and beggars' guilds. Afterwards the Wilders come away with jewels and potions while their ally, Erin, walks away with a gem called the Eye of the Serpent. His intentions are distrusted, though he leaves amicably.

Chapter 4: The Guild and the Girl- A missing girl's father asks the Wilders' to avenge her suspected death in return for a prior favor, which leads them to Liar Mukang and the Pleasure Dome.

Intro:
"Know My Lord, that in the time of the Dread Klipmaran there lay the Dark Jewel of the North, the City-State of the Overlord. From the Jewel's heart sprung a band whose adventures will leave you sleepless, for none have ever shook the earth as they. A few saw them as nothing more than brigands that Luck smiled upon. Some saw them as dangerous demagogues, shaking the important foundations of kings and clergy. But many during this dark time saw them as champions who grasped the throat of Destiny and forced themselves upon the Fates."

The Adventure Begins:

The four were in the Tripping Trident Tavern as the sun's last sliver slipped underneath the delapitated buildings, casting an orange glow over the otherwise gray city-scape. Business was slow in the tavern, as it was everywhere in the City of late. Flags of various vessels were hung up on the wooden walls along with other paraphinilia of mariners. Most trophies came from ships that were lost, their crew able to save a flag or ship's wheel before the sea claimed the vessel. Some flags were from famous enemy ships that were defeated or merchant vessels from foreign cities that were taken by force. A very select few ships so honored had long lives and their rotted hulls were taken apart to use as firewood before the ship sunk because of its ancient age, while the crew moved to a more worthy vessel. The walls and trophy stands therefore served as both tombstones and memorials, and as such the Tripping Trident always attracted sailors from around the known world. This evening it was nearly empty except for the bartender, Magloc, and a spattering of regulars.

Rovan and Lola sat at a badly-chipped, wooden table while finishing off the last of a bottle of cheap wine and discussed where they might afford to sleep. Edvan and Hilmdyn played dice on the floor nearby with their own meager pocket change. The foursome traded sharp, yet familiar banter seemlessly, Rovan needling Hilmdyn over his poor grammar and choice of profanities as the priest lost a round, then answered a question from Lola. Edvan briefly returned the remark with a flex of his muscular arm and a dig at Lola over her poor choice in scrawny men before taking his turn at a toss. All four secretly harbored similar concerns from one another. The money had about run out, business for all of them had been poor, and the only part of the future that was certain to them were their comrades.

And that's when their luck changed. Hilmdyn was the first to recognize Slug, the obese second-mate of the Botany Bay. Slug was covered in sweat and wheezing, evidently from half-running from the docks to the bar. He ordered two shots and slapped coin in front of a surprised Magloc, then downed the drinks as fast as they were put in front of him. He caught his breath, wiped his brow with a dirty rag, and caught Hilmdyn's stare. He half-stumbled to the foursome, and upon recognizing them said "Hilmdyn! Ah, and you have your companions. Rovan, it is, isn't it? You do courier work for wizards at times still, don't you? Very good! Very good! I've come for help. We need a package delivered. Well, we need it off the ship. The thing is, none of us want to touch the evil thing. Are you in need of coin? We will pay a few coin... as much as we can afford, but the wizard that is waiting for the thing, he'll pay more I am sure! Please come!"

Slug's state roused the group's curiosity, though they barely understood the man's babbling. Still, he spoke of coin, which was all the foursome needed. They half-followed, were half-pulled along as the man talked incomprehensively of jungles and witchcraft and death.

They walked through the gauntlet that was Beggar's Street, carefully avoiding the urchins that were more deft at impeding the way than the elderly. Onto Murky Street, where the few City lanterns were fewer and the moist streets were always populated by leeches that squelched underfoot. Finally onto Water-Rat Road, whose small shops carried trinkets brought in from the docks and in whose alleys less decent trades were plied. At the end of the road were the docks, and there bobbing gently onto the water was the Botany Bay. Edvan and Hilmdyn had often worked for the ship's crew, unloading cargo and the like, and they could see she was worse for wear. The sails were ripped as if by high winds and part of the deck was burnt from some recent fire. The crew had a haunted look and did not speak as the foursome walked up the plank and onboard the vessel, even to acknowledge Lola's lithe presence. Very strange behavior for sailors. Slug took them to the guest's quarters where a guard with a trident was posted outside and the ship's captain and a corpse waited within.

Captain "Bear" Slane was a man living up to his sea name, large with an unkempt brown beard growing gray in spots. He nodded as the group entered and said, "Slug here went to find some folks who are willing to do an odd job. And so here you are. Do you recognize this man," he asked pointing to the corpse.
It lay on a bed, a large and powerful yet middle-aged warrior. His face was marked with the numerous scars of an experienced fighter, but contorted as if the last moments of his life were spent in pain. His eyes were bulged and fixed onto a nearby dresser on which rested a large, brown package in paper and tie while his hands clutched his chest by his heart.

"This is Max Gottlein, a mercenary who has worked for a sorcerer named Tretchner for as long as I can recall. Old Max here used to come to our sloop with coin, would hire us to drop him off somewhere and wait, then we would return him. We would try to pick up merchandise along the way, but the trip is usually just profitable with the coin Max brings. Well Max didn't quite make it on this trip. Looks like he had a heart attack. Since we are planning to shove off very soon we were hoping that someone would take yonder package he brought back and bring it to ol' Tretchner. I'd be willing to pay a couple of gold coins to each of you, but Tretchner used to pay Max quite a nice amount for his work and I'm sure ye'd get much more from that bugger. We'd do it ourselves, but ye see most of my crew here is a superstitious lot and have no desire to touch the package since it was Max's when he died and all." He did his best to smile at the group reassuringly, but it was obvious that there was fear behind Bear's tone and the rings around his eyes spoke of a man who had not slept in a very long time. Slug waited for the party's decision while mopping sweat once more from his receding hairline with a dirty rag.
 
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Queenie

Queen of Everything
Lola glanced from the man to the package back to the man again, and suspicion filled her. "All you want us to do is deliver this package? That's really all? Do you know where we can find this sorcerer?"
 

garyh

Villager
"Aye," Hilmdyn agreed, "it's one thing to take the... thing... straightaway to this Tretchner, quite another to wander all over the City-State and countryside, with Mhal knows what on our hands."
 

GlassEye

Community Supporter
Edvan doesn't say anything at the moment. He peers at the package and glances at Hilmdyn and Rovan. It's fairly clear that he is wondering if the two are strong enough to protect them all from whatever bad mojo rests in the package should they decide to take on this job. His hand rests near his axe, as the others know it does whenever Edvan is nervous about something, and he coughs lightly. "Sorcerer's business," he says, quietly and with a distinct tone of dismay, "is bad business for them's as not sorcerers." He shoots Slug a look of sympathy.
 

Fenris

Villager
At Edvan's adage, Rovan steps forward. He looks at the corpse, looks at the package and frowns. He goes and stands next to the corpse, kneeling down he closes one eye to get a better gauge of what Max had been looking at.

He stands with his hand on his chin for a moment. He pushes up his sleeves and over his shoulder says "You may want to step back"

With a look of great concentration at the package and very complex hand gestures, Riavn begins to recite some very impressive magical words.

"Higitus Figitus migitus mum,
prestidigitonium
abracabra, mumbo jumbo
Caveat Emptor!"


As Rovan stares at the package he gasps and terror fills his eyes and he collapses to the floor. As Edvan helps him up he shakes his head sadly.

"Captain, your men were well advised to be wary of this package. It is cursed, it is evil. The package brought about the death of Gottlein."

Rovan turns to his friends putting his hands on their shoulders "My friends I know we need coin, but a few paltry coins cannot replace our lives! No let Old Slug take that accursed package" says Rovan with a sigh as he slowly starts to walk out of the cabin.

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And yes DT, I cast no spell there :D
Hey You got to work it in the City-State right? ;)
I figure the added fear is worth a few more coin to the Capt'n
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Queenie

Queen of Everything
"Oh no... not again...," Lola looked a bit panicked as she spoke, "The last time he said that," she looked to her remaining companions and lowered her voice, but not so low as the Captain could not hear her, "Do you remember what happened?" She shivered. "Captain you would be very wise to get rid of that package as quickly as you can!"
 

Deuce Traveler

Adventurer
At first Bear seemed disgruntled that Hilmdyn and Edvan were so reluctant. But, the Captain's face became pale as Rovan cast his 'spell', then looked even paler after Lola's pronouncement. He took a draught from a flask in his breast pocket, then had the party come to his cabin where he poured a glass of weak brandy for each.

"Here! Take a sip, for you will need it for the tale I am about to weave. You did not know Max as I did, and let me say there were fewer mercenaries who lived such a successful life. He worked for Tretchner, as I mentioned before, doing all manners of tasks along the waters. He would always pay up front, and always the coin was too good to pass upon. We never asked questions when his work seemed the bloodier, for you could tell his business would be such as he would seem grimmer and less talkative. One day he came to us with several sacks of silver, the amount of which was five times as much as he had ever offered us before. Yet he would not offer us the final destination of our voyage, only saying that we would be going further south. I considered telling him no, but the crew eyed the silver greedily, and I myself was drawn hungrily. Funny... for a minute he seemed pleased with my hesitation, as if hoping his quest would be aborted before it could start. Yet for silver we sailed, east through Caravan Crossing, north into the Estuary of Roglaroon and into the choppy waters of the Roglaroon's Mouth. The east along the coast and south past the Longship Havens. South once more, to the Bay of Dolphins where few of us had ever been. South again, past Halkmean with its ancient, fallen elven spires and where ol' Tom had once claimed to visit but otherwise none of the rest of us had ever seen. The air grew warmer as we travelled and the strange sights and smells began to lose their charm as we began to wonder if we'd fall off the edge of the world. Yet Max was always sleepless and willful, always giving the same directions to the man at the wheel, 'South, south, south!'. Ever south until the coast grew thick with trees and swampy inlets infested with great, green lizards with long snouts filled with small teeth and lolling in the sun. At one point we saw an odd village made from mud huts, yet seemingly empty of people. It was here that Max told us to stop and requested a skiff so he could go to land. He got his desire, brought a box and entered the village. He came back with wet blade, stained box, and his own burned and cut skin. We offered to tend to his wounds, but he brushed us aside, only pausing to tell the ship's pilot 'Now North', before disappearing into his quarters and barring the door. So we gladly began our trek back, but the good fortune we had on our initial voyage reversed itself. A bad storm came and ripped our sails to shreds, slowing us. Our water went bad and half the crew became sick, though ol' Tom died and was buried at sea near, Halkmean, the ruined city he talked of so much. A fire broke out as a lantern collapsed unto the deck for seemingly no reason, which became such a threat that Max finally came out of his quarters to help. We spent all of the silver on repairs at various villages just to keep ourselves sea-worthy and for nourishment to sustain the crew. We all began to wonder if we were cursed, and the whispers got to Max also and loosened his tongue one night as Slug and I were at the wheel and trying to get our bearing by the stars."

"'Betrayal of your sword-mates is a poor thing' he had said, followed by a moment of awkward silence and his tale. In his youth he had been an adventurer together with Tretchner and a lady corsair named Krika. They had a successful run as privateers and had made a certain amount of wealth when Tretchner decided that they should retire and run their illicit operations in the City-State. Krika disagreed, feeling that Tretchner was trying to command them rather than have an equal partnership. So she gathered her share of the wealth in small gems and slipped away one night. Tretchner was furious, seeing the action as a theft and did not forget the slight. Max himself did not have an opinion, but stuck by his sorcerer friend because of the promise of comfort and easier wealth. Well it seems that Tretchner never did forget the imagined slight, and when he finally tracked Krika down he sent Max to take care of her, find what was left of the gems, and return proof of her demise. Max didn't find the gems, but he did bring back proof. What kind I do not know, but it is in that package I am sure. Max then cried out a wail and tore at his garments. It was obvious the man was drunk. He talked of Krika cursing him, of not allowing him rest, of whispering to him of night... sometimes laughing and reminding him of forgotten moments when they stood side by side, other times he said that she wept and swore at him for his deed. We wondered what effect sleeping near that package was doing to his mind, but none of us wanted to touch that thing. His outbursts were heard by the crew and I feared that they might see him as the source of their misfortune and toss him into the waters in order to placate Kikra's spirit. Action was plotted as we got nearer to the city, though Max's skill with a sword likely frightened them out of acting sooner. Before despair forced the men into action, Max died. He was found like this by the second mate after several crew members heard strangled screams coming from his room. Soon after we landed here. And now you know the tale, and confirm are fears for your young wizard agrees that the package is cursed. None of us will touch that package, least of all me. And now we have a cursed ship for as long as it remains. I'll be lucky if the crew remains if a solution is not found. I'll pay each of you four gold coins to move that evil thing off my ship, and the last bottle of my brandy. You will also have my gratitude and that of my crew... one we would be willing to repay in way of voyage once should you need it. And know that Tretchner will likely pay well for the package, as he used to pay Max well for his bloody work. The sorcerer lives in an estate with three gargoyles over double doors on the northwestern side of the Plaza of Profuse Pleasures, near the entrance to the Park of Obscene Statues."
 

garyh

Villager
Hilmdyn sits, contemplating the captain's words in the heavy silence. Finally, he says, "As Edvan said, 'sorcerer's business is bad business for them's as not sorcerers.'" But after a pause, he continues, "But four gold is four gold, and that's more coin than I've ever had in my pouch at one time. I'll take the job, captian."

To himself, Hilmdyn mutters "Mhal protect this poor fool..."
 

Queenie

Queen of Everything
Lola shot back her brandy in one quick and smooth motion then placed the shot glass back on the table silently. "I feel for your story, Captain, it is certainly a tale of woe. However, I am hesitant to agree to this... four gold is a fortune, no doubt, but not worth our lives, or the risk of this evil curse becoming ours to bear." She looked to her other two companions. "Do you agree with Hilmdyn, we should take this risk?"
 

Fenris

Villager
Rovan sips his brandy quietly. He hadn't had any since before the trial, and this wasn't great stuff, but it was passable.

He set his glass down and looked at his companions, then the Captain.

He closes his eyes for a moment as he leans back in his chair. His eyes open again as the feet touch softly down. "No, I do not wish to risk my life for this thing. Yet, as has been said 'sorcerer's business is bad business for them's as not sorcerers'. Well as far as that goes I am a sorcerer so it may not be bad for me. But I feel for Captain Bear here, if we leave, this thing will sit here, no one will touch it, the crew will abandon the ship and it shall rot where it sits in the water. We cannot allow that to happend to the dear captain. Especially when he offers us as payment something so dear as his last bottle of brandy, not to mention the gold, the promise of a voyage on him and I am sure his undying gratitude. So I say yes we shall do the good captain a favor and deliver this evil thing to Tretchner, I shall carry the thing myself, being magically gifted." says Rovan looking to the others.
 

GlassEye

Community Supporter
Edvan looks grim. He gulped his brandy down and sat stiffly through the Captain's story with his hands held firmly on his knees as if he were prey attempting to avoid the notice of the predator. His eyes light up at the mention of gold but he is clearly torn between greed and good sense. After his companions all have their say, he slowly nods. "Aye, if Rove and Hill can keep this unquiet spirit at bay I reckon I can keep an eye on their backs while they're doin' it."
 

Deuce Traveler

Adventurer
The captain was surprised and estatic, and the crew equally so as they saw the party gather the package and prepare to depart. The coin was counted out... 4 gold pieces each, enough for food and a roof for more than a week if spent rightly. Rovan held the package while Lola nursed the brandy and had it ready in case her companions wanted a nip.

The party left the boat as Bear and Slug rallied their crew in preparation to depart. The foursome walked out of the harbor and south onto Water-Rat Road, though they were leered at by three large and rough-looking dock workers. The group noticed that the three men started travelling down Water-Rat Road behind the party, and at a quicker pace.

Lola
[sblock]
You know the leers of men, and these rogues seem to be staring at the large package instead of you.
[/sblock]

Hilmdyn and Edvan
[sblock]
The two of you have worked with those men before. That's Ben Sills leading his two fellow brutes, 'Scar' Briggs and Craig Hastings. Ben is the more muscular, though each is a known bully and part-time thug.
[/sblock]
 

Queenie

Queen of Everything
"That's curious," Lola commented softly as they walked away from the boat, her eyes keeping a vigilant watch around them, "Those men over there seem to be looking intently at this box... perhaps they know something of it, or even were waiting for it to come off the ship? Otherwise, what would they care about some random package?" She found herself taking a few steps closer to Rovan, her free hand brushing against her thigh were she kept her weapon. "We should make quickly away from here, I think."
 

garyh

Villager
""Edvan and I have actually worked with those three before," Hilmdyn says quietly. "They're thugs of the worst sort. Not a brain between the three of them, but plenty of muscle if they are looking to give us trouble."
 

Fenris

Villager
Rovan, had been blissfully unaware of the men, focused rather on his package and the delivery. Without turning around he acknowledged Lola's concerns as he continued walking along briskly.

"Well fellows, we have three choices as I see it. One, try to out run them to Tretchner's place. Two, hide the package among us and then split up, if I make a show of giving it to Edvan and he peels off, then at least one may follow him. At worst we all split up and confuse them. Even if they still come after me thinking I have it, you three can circle around to watch them. Three, we choose a battle ground, where we have the advantage and lure them in and dispose of them before they do the same to us. I do a spell or two that may level the playing field for us, but it may not be pretty. Of course, nothing says we can't try them, in that order so see if each works" suggests Rovan
 

GlassEye

Community Supporter
Edvan glances back trying to gauge how much time they have before the decision is taken out of their hands. "Hill gots the right of it. Sills can be a nasty piece of work when he wants ta be. So I says number three; I thinks we'll be facin' off anyways and I'd rathers not leave it ta Sills ta be choosin' the place." Edvan turns his attention to the street ahead looking for a place that is clear of bystanders and that might favor him and his companions over Sills and his pair of thugs.
 

garyh

Villager
Hilmdyn nods at Edvan's words. "Aye, only a fool lets his enemies decide the time and place of battle. Let us set the terms instead."
 

Queenie

Queen of Everything
"Are we certain they want trouble and this is not just a coincidence? Either way let us choose a quiet alley to turn down quickly. We shall soon see what trouble is following us. I can see by the look on those men that talking is not going to get us out of this."
 

Deuce Traveler

Adventurer
Lola took the lead and ducked into the nearest alley, which was next to the Red Pearl Inn. She led the party another fifteen feet down and waited in the gloom while the trio who pursued them stopped at the entrance in confusion. The largest of the three recovered and pulled a small broom handle from out of his sleeve, wielding like a short club. His ally next to him had a large scar under his left eye and took out a piece of metal that he held like a shiv, while the third man pulled out a small sack of coins to use as another makeshift weapon. The largest yelled out into the alley, "Edvan Chelwhistle and Hilmdyn Stoneheart, this is Ben Sills. I'm calling ye out, ye cowards! I know ye and your friends took some package off that ship and the way ye've been holding it I know it's probably valuable. I'm thinking that ye ain't shown me and the boys some proper respect of late. Why don't you and your friends come on out with it and we can make this nice and civil?"
 

GlassEye

Community Supporter
Edvan turns towards the three men and steps forward nodding sagely and obviously resting his hand near his axe. "I hears wot you're sayin', Sills. And if you woulda come out and made nice instead of comin' on like some wet behind the ears, penny ante thug with an unhealthy interest in our business we might coulda come to some sort of arrangement. My Da used to say you gotta earn respect; you thinks you can earn mine then keep on comin' and we'll see wot's wot. You wanna rethinks, then go on an' get yourself a drink down at the Trident and maybe we can keeps on being sociable."
 

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