(IC) Quickleaf's Rime of the Frostmaiden

happylace

Explorer
GM POST

017-01-008.duvessa.png
Speaker Duvessa raises her brow at Logrim's question. "I... It is not impossible, but the Ice Witch kept little human company. When she sent her forces against our gates in the dead of night, they were orcs and verbeeg and winter wolves. The only men who served her were of the Bear Tribe." Running her gloved thumb along her chin in thought, the young speaker turns grey-blue eyes back to the windows of the tavern and light snows outside. "One of the adventurers who defeated the Ice Witch retired to tend the House of the Morninglord. Her name is Mishann. She was wounded and thus wasn't there for the killing blow, but she can regale you with stories closer to firsthand than my own.

GM: @VLAD the Destroyer The Ice Witch rose to power 4 years ago, but her threat was ended in that same winter season by a band of adventurers. Stories claim that her body melted away like the thawing snows of winter. No body was ever recovered.

History (lotteries): The lotteries started a few months ago in Targos and Termalaine first, with Easthaven adopting the practice soon after. They're not official per se, and most town speakers and sheriffs would abolish the sacrifices if they could.

"This Ice Witch doesn't sound relevant to the situation. However, we can go question this witness if you feel it's important," Alma says, regarding Logrim. Turning back to the Speaker and the Sheriff, "What of the caravan led by Torrga Icevein? Are any of her group affiliated with the Aurilites? Or perhaps this priest had any notable contact with a caravan member when they were here?"
 

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Quickleaf

Legend
GM POST

017-01-008.duvessa.png
Duvessa Shane, young speaker of Bryn Shander, scrunches her brows in a scowl that she seems quite practiced at. "I'd say there's not a lick of religion in any of Torrga's henchmen. Not even a cold faith like Auril's. They serve themselves and Torrga's pocketbook." Nodding toward the Sheriff, she seems to half-remember a name, "Ah, who was that guide again?"






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Sheriff Markham Southwell has been eyeing the quieter human (Zeth) and gnome (Logrim) standing near to Alma. He seems to be sizing you up as much as by what you say as what you don't say. "Corse. Fieldwalker Corse," he says with a slow measured tone. "She knows all the sled routes around Bryn Shander. Usually not discriminating in who she works for, but there was an incident with Torrga... All I know is that Corse refuses to work as a guide for Torrga's caravan anymore. Wait around the Northlook for a while," he gestures to the taproom's front door, "and Corse is sure to stop in after returning from the field."

GM: @Kobold Stew A little segue here for you to jump in when you're ready...
 

happylace

Explorer
GM POST

017-01-008.duvessa.png
Duvessa Shane, young speaker of Bryn Shander, scrunches her brows in a scowl that she seems quite practiced at. "I'd say there's not a lick of religion in any of Torrga's henchmen. Not even a cold faith like Auril's. They serve themselves and Torrga's pocketbook." Nodding toward the Sheriff, she seems to half-remember a name, "Ah, who was that guide again?"






020-01-009.markham.png
Sheriff Markham Southwell has been eyeing the quieter human (Zeth) and gnome (Logrim) standing near to Alma. He seems to be sizing you up as much as by what you say as what you don't say. "Corse. Fieldwalker Corse," he says with a slow measured tone. "She knows all the sled routes around Bryn Shander. Usually not discriminating in who she works for, but there was an incident with Torrga... All I know is that Corse refuses to work as a guide for Torrga's caravan anymore. Wait around the Northlook for a while," he gestures to the taproom's front door, "and Corse is sure to stop in after returning from the field."

GM: @Kobold Stew A little segue here for you to jump in when you're ready...

Alma frowns thoughtfully. No new information there, but at least they've confirmed that none of Torrga's crew seem to be associated with Auril. Which makes the nature of the murders even stranger, if they're involved. If it has nothing to do with the caravan, then why do the murders follow them? If it has nothing to do with Auril, why does it follow the constellation? Is that entirely a coincidence? Then why double back? And what motivation would there be, if not a sacrifice?

"We need more information," she concludes after a long silence. "We already know a few of the caravan's staff, but we should learn more about their actions in town. If they had any contact with the victims. Fieldwalker Corse--I'll make a note of that." Her thoughts stutter as that name triggers a distant familiarity. She recalls echoes of sentiment, recognition of ability. She nods. "She'll be a useful resource."
 
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Quickleaf

Legend
GM POST

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Chuckling at the fairy's bravado, Thidrik Steingrimsson moves the candle and empty tankard from the table to make room for cards. "Well if it's wild you're after, little fellow, then we play with Tiamat's Gambit rules!" The others emphatically agree. Any gambler knows that Tiamat's Gambit is risky. You begin with a "hoard" of 50 silver pieces. Each round when you play a card, you must add that card's face value in silver pieces to the pot (removing those silvers from your "hoard" and into the pot they go); thus, just like Tiamat's greed begins small but grows obscene, the betting starts small but can get high.

The seven mercenaries rummage around in their belt pouches, each placing 50 silver pieces in front of himself, joking with each over in throaty Illuskan – their words are lost on you, but their overconfidence is plain. The others besides Thidrik introduce themselves in accented Common, one at a time, "Arnholt... Rudolf... Sodt... Johun... Osvic, I am Thidrik's cousin... Ottar, I am his other cousin. See, it's a true joke: Ottar cousin."

GM: @Aethmud @tglassy This is a bit of an experiment! I've summarized rules here, but also attached PDF I got this from. If it's too involved for you, let me know, and we can just go with ability checks. You can assume you are able to exchange 5 gp for 50 silver pieces at the tavern.

Either of you can go first, then the mercenaries, but we can be organic about it to account for posting schedules.


A gambit (game) of Three-Dragon Ante consists of 3 rounds.

You begin with your "hoard" of 50 silver pieces.

On your turn each round you roll for a dragon card – roll a d12. Then roll the follow-up "Strength" die (if any) indicated on this chart to determine the card's Strength. There are other cards in the game (called Mortals), but they are abstracted away to focus on the powerful dragon cards.

d12TypeAlignmentStrength
1Tiamat [god]Evil1
2BrassGood1d4
3WhiteEvil1d4
4CopperGood1d6
5BlackEvil1d6
6BronzeGood1d8
7GreenEvil1d8
8SilverGood1d10
9BlueEvil1d10
10GoldGood1d12
11RedEvil1d12
12Bahamut [god]Good13

Take Silver Pieces equal to the card's Strength from your "hoard" and add them to the pot.

Optionally, you can instead withdraw in any round, forfeiting any Silver Pieces you've placed in the pot so far.

After the 3 rounds, whoever has the highest "flight" (sum of the Strength of your cards) wins and claims the pot.

Ties at the end of the game are broken in this order of precedence: largest "hoard" > most dragon gods played > most good dragons in dragon flight > whoever rolls the highest Gaming check (or DC 10 against these npc mercenaries).

In addition to whatever you might try with skill checks & magic (e.g. Gaming check to roll for 2 cards and pick one, Insight to anticipate opponent's hand, Sleight of Hand to cheat replacing your roll with a card of your choice, etc), there are 2 special rules: Card Powers & Dragon Flights (like poker hands).

Card Powers:
  • Evil Dragons (steal): When you play a non-god evil dragon, steal Silver Pieces from the pot equal to 1/2 the Strength (rounded up) of the card. If the full amount of stealable Silver is not available in the pot the player steals as much as they can.
  • Good Dragons: When you play a non-god good dragon, choose an opponent with an evil dragon in their flight. That opponent must place Silver Pieces in the pot equal to 1/2 the Strength (rounded up) of the card. If the opponent does not have the full amount of Silver, they pay as much as they can now and owe a debt to whoever wins.
  • Tiamat: If Tiamat is still in play at the end of the game, the lowest dragon flight wins the pot (instead of the highest). Her apparent strength of 1 is magical treachery to make her more likely to win!
  • Bahamut: When Bahamut is in play, the owner may choose to sacrifice him at any time to destroy a Tiamat of their choice that is in play. Each of those players immediately plays a replacement card, with a Red dragon card replacing any removed Tiamat card and a Gold dragon card replacing any removed Bahamut card. The owner rolls the new dragon’s Strength as it enters play.
Dragon Flights: At the end of the gambit (game), evaluate each player's flights with the following criteria in the following order:
  1. God Flight: A player that rolled a dragon god at the start of EACH of their three turns may take 1/2 of the pot's Silver Pieces (rounded down) and add it to their "hoard." Those dragon god cards are not necessarily required to still be in the player's flight.
  2. Triplet Flight: A player with 3 dragons of the same Strength in their flight gains a reward from ALL opponents. The player chooses one the player with Silver Pieces equal to 1 of those dragon‘s strength from all opponents. If an opponent does not have enough gold, they pay what they have until they are out of gold, and owe a debt to the player for the remaining gold amount.
  3. Allied Flight: 3 dragons of the same Alignment in a flight rewards a player the strongest dragon's Strength worth of Silver Pieces from the pot. If the full amount of silver is not available, the player takes as much as they can.
  4. Leader Flight: Add the strength of all dragons in each player’s dragon flight together. The player with the strongest dragon flight (or weakest if Tiamat is in play) is the leader and wins the remaining pot.
 

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Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
" Fieldwalker Corse--I'll make a note of that." Her thoughts stutter as that name triggers a distant familiarity. She recalls echoes of sentiment, recognition of ability. She nods. "She'll be a useful resource."

A laugh rises up from the corner. "Here that, Corse? Yer a useful resource! Haw haw."
The old trapper who speaks has been eavesdropping as best he can. He's not been subtle, though, since his technique involves holding his earhorn in the wrong ear, so it points backwards.

The woman at the table with him smiles. "Who ever it is, it'll do for an introduction, Darlock. I'm not fussy." She stands, and toussles the old dwarf's head. There's a plate at her seat with the remains of a grainy loaf on the table, that had been used to soak up some gravy, and she leaves her companion as he half-heartedly reaches up for her hand to give an affectionate squeeze. "See you next time, Corse. Thanks for the cump'ny."

Her big eyes take in the group. "Sheriff Southwell," she begins formally. "I think you know I can be very discriminating. But it's nice to meet you all. I'm Corse, and if you are looking into these murders, I can take you along the trails. But if I'm interrupting, just say so. I'll be in town another day or two in any case."
 

happylace

Explorer
A laugh rises up from the corner. "Here that, Corse? Yer a useful resource! Haw haw."
The old trapper who speaks has been eavesdropping as best he can. He's not been subtle, though, since his technique involves holding his earhorn in the wrong ear, so it points backwards.

The woman at the table with him smiles. "Who ever it is, it'll do for an introduction, Darlock. I'm not fussy." She stands, and toussles the old dwarf's head. There's a plate at her seat with the remains of a grainy loaf on the table, that had been used to soak up some gravy, and she leaves her companion as he half-heartedly reaches up for her hand to give an affectionate squeeze. "See you next time, Corse. Thanks for the cump'ny."

Her big eyes take in the group. "Sheriff Southwell," she begins formally. "I think you know I can be very discriminating. But it's nice to meet you all. I'm Corse, and if you are looking into these murders, I can take you along the trails. But if I'm interrupting, just say so. I'll be in town another day or two in any case."

Alma turns at the voice. There's no hint of embarrassment in her reaction. If anything, her brows raise slightly with intrigue. That's convenient. But it's a small town and there are only so many places to take shelter.

''Hello. I'm Alma Osteergard. I don't know their names,'' she gestures to the two men with her. ''No, you've saved us the trouble of looking for you, thank you. We will likley be leaving town soon to further our investigation, so your assistance would be appreciated.'' She pauses. Then looks to the others for approval. It's not polite to make decisions for others without their input, she recalls.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
Corse nods at the greeting. "Osteergard. Oh, you'll forgive me." She pauses, thinking. "Are you kin to Nigel Osteergard, then? I used to see him in the Spine of the World."
 

Steve Gorak

Adventurer
A laugh rises up from the corner. "Here that, Corse? Yer a useful resource! Haw haw."
The old trapper who speaks has been eavesdropping as best he can. He's not been subtle, though, since his technique involves holding his earhorn in the wrong ear, so it points backwards.

The woman at the table with him smiles. "Who ever it is, it'll do for an introduction, Darlock. I'm not fussy." She stands, and toussles the old dwarf's head. There's a plate at her seat with the remains of a grainy loaf on the table, that had been used to soak up some gravy, and she leaves her companion as he half-heartedly reaches up for her hand to give an affectionate squeeze. "See you next time, Corse. Thanks for the cump'ny."

Her big eyes take in the group. "Sheriff Southwell," she begins formally. "I think you know I can be very discriminating. But it's nice to meet you all. I'm Corse, and if you are looking into these murders, I can take you along the trails. But if I'm interrupting, just say so. I'll be in town another day or two in any case."

Aric had been listening to many conversations in the tavern disguised as a cat. He was intent on finding clues on who or what had killed his friend Morin Littlebucket, the halfling trapper. Some folks were talking about constellations, others about caravans, and mercenaries. Aric was a bit overwhelmed, but his gut told him some of these folks were asking the right questions and really wanted to solve the mystery. He felt he could help, so he overcame his natural shyness and decided to appear in his natural form.

Seemingly coming out of nowhere, a cat appears and looks intently at both Alma and Corse. As onlookers are wondering whether this cat is actually smiling at them, it rather quickly transforms into a frail yet friendly-looking goblin.

Hesitantly and awkwardly, the creature says "h...hi. I'm Aric. My friend Morin the trapper was killed several days ago. If your goal is to find who did it, I want to help. I'm good in the trails too."

OOC: Hey @Kobold Stew, I'll leave it up to you if our characters know each other. I didn't want to assume they did, but I think it could make sense.
 

happylace

Explorer
Corse nods at the greeting. "Osteergard. Oh, you'll forgive me." She pauses, thinking. "Are you kin to Nigel Osteergard, then? I used to see him in the Spine of the World."

Alma's brows shoot up at the name. There is a long beat of silence, like she's trying to decide something, before she replies. It might be the most expressive she's been so far. ''Yes. Right. I recognized your name from him. We are...related. He considered you very capable.''

Aric had been listening to many conversations in the tavern disguised as a cat. He was intent on finding clues on who or what had killed his friend Morin Littlebucket, the halfling trapper. Some folks were talking about constellations, others about caravans, and mercenaries. Aric was a bit overwhelmed, but his gut told him some of these folks were asking the right questions and really wanted to solve the mystery. He felt he could help, so he overcame his natural shyness and decided to appear in his natural form.

Seemingly coming out of nowhere, a cat appears and looks intently at both Alma and Corse. As onlookers are wondering whether this cat is actually smiling at them, it rather quickly transforms into a frail yet friendly-looking goblin.

Hesitantly and awkwardly, the creature says "h...hi. I'm Aric. My friend Morin the trapper was killed several days ago. If your goal is to find who did it, I want to help. I'm good in the trails too."

OOC: Hey @Kobold Stew, I'll leave it up to you if our characters know each other. I didn't want to assume they did, but I think it could make sense.

Alma startles as a cat suddenly shifts and grows, taking the form of a goblin. She rounds on him and stares, wide-eyed, a hand lifted, ready to cast. She makes a note to be more on her guard in this town. Too many things aren't as they seem. She hesitates. But like reciting a script says, ''Hello...my name is Alma Osteergard. I don't know their names,'' she tilts her head towards Logrim and Zeth. ''It's rude to eavesdrop on others' conversations.''
 

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