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The Heroes of Dyvers Chapter Six

MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
During the down time, since there is plenty of it, Lathir will fly back to Dyvers so that he may release Angus, having no need of the bear and not wishing to further obligate the animal from his ordinary life. While he is in the vicinity, he will also check on the area of the Well that was the party's original destination.
 

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Aust Thale

Explorer
Respen: At Dame Clare's Beck & Call

Dame Clare reaches out

Respen bolted upright in bed. Clare’s mental communication wasn’t subtle as normal. Something was wrong. Her mental voice was normally soothing, thick with what Nel described as “Drow of high station” accent just as her regular voice was.
This was louder with a sense of urgency and concern. No mention of the twins, nor Nel. There was more storytelling to it, but it was strained, as if taking the time to tell the story was labored. She was selling him on taking this mission, despite their both understanding his oath.
He leaned in and kissed Nel on the neck, checked on their infant children, and moved quietly and quickly into the antechamber, answering mentally with a single mental response which he allowed Nel to hear as well.

~Clare, I will. ~

He hoped Dame Clare understood that he understood, and he hoped Nel would understand as well. He proceeded to dress and collect himself, preparing his gear and himself, his daily spells and magic enchantments. It was early outside, and clouds currently obscured the sky.
It was dreary and warm, despite Abigail’s magical climate control within.

Two parts of the story disturbed him: that she was sending him after Serindak, and the clerics presence and their activities.
He had no real interest in undertaking anything where Serindak was concerned. The spider form to which she referred was anathema to Respen as well.
If he was met with antipathy from Khubsheth for any reason, Respen was perfectly fine with it.

~ Clare, can you hinder, or better, cripple the clerics’ efforts? One of our company acquired the giants’ heads, and we have them. Surely that presents a challenge to Lolth’s people? Why on Oerth would Lolth care enough to resurrect this sorry lot? ~

Respen headed down the steps to the outbuilding first. Vale kept early hours, and he hoped their magical work together in the last months had made them friends. He found Vale firmly into his work, his prayers finished hours before and his hands full with hot metal and magicks.
He listened intently to Respen’s relaying of information; Respen gave him the high points on Clare’s request, and the whole part of her promise.

Vale replied, “ Laddie, I’m amused by the mischief you get yourself, but I’m not eager to assist with your witch-queen’s errands. That said, I’ll go with you, if for no other reason than to prevent you having more unwise notions. I can be ready tomorrow.

Respen thought to himself, ~That’s one.~

He called the fellowship together at early afternoon mealtime, where it happened that all were present. Respen laid out his plan, “I have been summoned to retrieve an artifact, by purpose or by accident. And I could use your help. I've heard that the orcs outside the Steading have moved on, at least for now, to the Stark Mounds. However, evil grows within the Steading again. The giants were puppets, and their puppeteer is attempting to bring them back from the dead. You'll recall that Sylvar was saved from a curse from the Solar. They are preparing evil rituals to give Vulka and her ilk form again. I've been offered assistance from my mistress. She will aid us in round two. However, she needs an artifact first. I must go; my oath constitutes a powerful and binding magical contract. I request your assistance."

Respen addresses Abigail as well, "Your Grace, I want to thank you for your tutelage and these months of respite, training, and kindness, to myself and Nel and my infant twins. I owe you the Key of Krigala, and it was my cause as an upspoken oath to you to retrieve it. I owe a similar oath to a mentor, Laramon, in Dyvers. I must do this other first. I'm sorry. The Helm of Selreen has higher priority, and I must find the Prophet Khubsheth in the Kingdom of Ull. I will do my work quickly, and Corellon-willing, I shall return to visit pain on the Steading and chase them from the region for good. If any of you wish to remain to attack the Steading and pursue the Key sooner rather than later, I shall respect your decision. We shall part as friends, and I will join you when I can."

At this point, Vale makes it clear that he will go with Respen. He places the bags with the giants' magically resposed (preserved) heads into the floor. And he places parchment with the questions and answers from the giants written on them on a table for Abigail, "This is everything I could glean from those tossers. Their heads are in those bags, and I've kept them nice and squishy for the last ten months. I don't think anybody will get them back among the living without their heads, and if they find a way, it will take a considerable amount of time, resources, and divine magic to do it. They'll keep. We have a little time. "

Respen says to the group, "I'll leave you to your choices, but I must leave tomorrow. Now, I must see about Nel. She and I must have a discussion about what to do with the children. Abigail, Ebony, I don't know how you feel about this, but Nel certainly values your counsel. Would you be so kind as to make yourselves available to her after we discuss what happens next?"

He proceeds back to Nel, hoping she will take his decision in stride. 'Decision'. If that's what it really is. Upon seeing her, he is struck by how strikingly beautiful she is. Her figure returned immediately, typical of most elves, but she looked 30 years younger, and radiant. Motherhood became her. It was common among the Drow, and for that matter, surface elves, to leave their young in the care of nannies or other family whilst they continue to adventure, explore, or in the Enllaves, performed hunting or trade missions. He looked at her, genuine admiration and affection in his eyes, and asked her a question, "Nel, I have to go. Clare calls. What do you want to do?" He knew the answer; she knew it too. He asked it because that's what loving parents do with each other when they are parents and obligation makes them have to choose between duty and their children. One of them had to remain with the children, and it couldn't him, or neither of them would remain with the children, and someone else could potentially raise them. "If you choose to go, we need to leave the little ones. And we need to leave them here, if Abigail is willing. They can not be detected here. I have not choice. I have been summoned."

The weight of the decision and what the others decided was as stuffy and heavy and suffocating as the summer warmth outside.
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
More DM Housekeeping Notes

Abigail said:
"...Would you be willing to act in my service, and thus, ultimately in the service of Bahamut, in return for my aid, sponsorship, and mentorship?"

GM: The party members have never actually given concrete answers to this question. The aid that Abigail has provided thus far are out of gratitude for the blow struck against The Steading, and as a token of her good will.


Abigail said:
"...I have also been able to determine that there are 3 Drow Clerics in the steading, who seem to be giving Glimval his orders. But even these 3 sisters are not in charge; they have been sending magical messages to a Drow Priestess by tbe name of Eclavdra."

GM: Just a friendly reminder. Nel informs the party that Eclavdra's power, will, and political influence rival those of her sister, Clare. She is the most powerful of Lolth's servants.


Abigail said:
"...Mirios, the sister sword of Oros, is still here, in my possession. Would you like to see it?"

Thallok said:
"...Lady Abigail, I was wondering if I might be able to purchase the other blade from you. I think it might serve us well."

Lady Abigail smiles, and replies, "Mirios is priceless. It is not only one of the first swords I ever made, it is also one of the most powerful. However, if you kneel now, and swear your loyalty to me and to the cause of Bahamut, I will give Mirios to you, and teach you to use it as well. It is weighted differently from the Falchion you carry. It will take a bit of training and practice to get used to wielding it. And of course, I would ask a small monetary donation to the Church of Bahamut, as a token of your seriousness."

GM: You don't have any Weapon Focus or Weapon Spec feats to retrain, so getting used to wielding Mirios will only take two weeks worth of practice, and the token gold piece cost should be at least 1,000 gp., but as much as you think is fair. (The actual gp. amount is up to you.) The more gold you give her, the more impressed she will probably be. You will need to write a DETAILED ROLEPLAYING POST which covers the act of kneeling, the exact words of your oath, exactly what you do, the amount of gold that you offer her, etc.


Respen said:
He knocked on the door, hoping Laramon was home, as he hadn't heard a reply from him.

Laramon smiles as he answers the door, "Ah yes, Respen, please come in. I've been expecting you."

GM: I am going to say that the conversation with Laramon and Delbin had already long-ago occurred (first 90 days or so of downtime) by the time Respen receives the message from Clare. Respen, since your conversation with Laramon & Delbin was a private one, and occurred LONG BEFORE the mental message, I want you to write me a GMail message, and describe exactly what you asked of / told both of them. I will then respond in kind, and give you their responses.


Lathir said:
During the down time, since there is plenty of it, Lathir will fly back to Dyvers so that he may release Angus...

When Lathir is preparing to leave, Ellis happens to be there. Lathir informs him of his intentions, and Ellis informs him that traveling that way will be slow, and time consuming. Ellis realizes that Lathir wants to commune with nature and the environment, rather than traveling by magical means, and therefore, he offers the aid of his friend, Zallmar, an Elder Roc, whose flight speed greatly exceeds anything that Lathir could achieve on his own.

GM: Lathir, if you travel under your own power, as an Eagle, your flight speed will be 80 ft. If you ride Zallmar, your flight speed will be 320 ft. (Normal Rocs have an 80 ft. speed just like the Eagle, but Zallmar is an elder, and uses magic to enhance his speed.) The distance to be covered is 960 miles (32 hexes). A flight speed of 80 ft. is equal to 48,000 feet (9 miles) per hour; whereas a flight speed of 320 ft. is equal to 192,000 feet (36 miles) per hour. Flying 8 hours per day would cover 72 miles (2.4 hexes) at a speed of 80, whereas a speed of 320 would cover 288 miles (9.6 hexes). Thus, the trip is 13 days one-way at a speed of 80, while it is only 3 days one-way at a speed of 320. The choice, of course, is still yours as to which method you want to employ.


GM: Lathir gains +500 xp. for releasing Angus from service.


GM: I am still waiting on Duncan to finish his roleplaying post that he put up the placeholder for. I'd also like to hear some more roleplaying exposition from Dewydd. I apologize for how slow my responses have been, but I am in the middle of a lot of RL stuff at the moment. It's not serious / crisis stuff, just a bunch of stuff that requires the bulk of my attention to accomplish in a timely manner. Cheers! :D
 
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redraider629

Explorer
Thallok
Thallok stands there for a moment looking at Abigail. He thinks about her graciousness to the guild. He looks at his Falcion and then back at Mirios, seemingly weighing his options, however his mind has been made. Thallok approaches Abigail drops to his knees, and says "My lady, I swear my loyalty to you and to the cause of Bahamut. Whatever you need, consider myself in your service. I will appreciate your teaching me to use this priceless weapon. And I swear when I have mastered it, I will use it to it's honor as well as yours. Your mentorship, aid, and sponsorship will be much appreciated. I must let you know though, I have also sworn an oath to serve this party for a year. I must keep this oath as well. I hope you understand." He reaches into his pocket and pulls out 2000 gp. He then hands them to Abigail "This is my donation to the church of Bahamut. I hope it serves the church well."

Kleborn
Kleborn sees Thallok bending the knee and decides to take the good lady up on her offer. He walks up next to Thallok, and like Thallok, drops to his knees. He says to Lady Abigail, "I am also in your service my good lady. In exchange for your aid and mentorship, anything you need I will do. My sword and shield are yours."

Back with Respen

Kleborn
"You need to go and find an artifact you say? And if your Dame receives it she will give us her assistance?" He thinks about this for a bit, then offers "Nel has been helpful to us, I see no reason to not trust Claire...going off to search for an artifact. That sounds fun, count me in."

Thallok
"Count me in too. I think you could use all the help you can get."
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Nel scoffs, "I won't be going with you guys, in any case; I have to stay with my widdle babies. But if there's one thing you can count on, it's this: if my sister says that she will help you against the Giants, then she will. It wouldn't surprise me to see her send a golem or two into the Steading. So give her what she wants. When she's happy, you'll be happy, too. Trust me on that. You don't want to piss her off. It's much easier just to give her what she wants."
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Lady Abigail Grants Thallok A Boon!

Thallok said:
"This is my [2000 gp.] donation to the church of Bahamut. I hope it serves the church well."

Lady Abigail smiles, "That's quite a bit of gold for an individual to part with, just as a token of loyalty. You must prize your word of honor quite highly; that's a good thing, where I come from. People like you are exactly the kind of agents that I like to recruit. The longer you serve me, the more glad you shall be with your decision. You shall help me stop the spread of darkness in this region, and in return, I shall make you admired, respected, and well-connected. And that is much better than mere wealth or power; I will make you into a leader. Perhaps, in time, maybe even a king. The Orcs are in need of good leadership, especially the red-skinned variety. Times are changing, and I shall make you a living instrument of that change."

Without further ado, Lady Abigail walks over to the chest, and retrieves Mirios from it. It is more beautiful than you could have imagined; it is a silvery greatsword, which seems to catch the ambient light and reflect it brightly, no matter what angle it is held at. It looks to be made of Mithral, and when Thallok receives it, he realizes instantly why he shall require practice time with it; it's light as a feather! So light, in fact, that he almost drops it, due to his surprise!

Kleborn said:
"...I am also in your service my good lady. In exchange for your aid and mentorship, anything you need I will do. My sword and shield are yours."

Lady Abigail replies, "Very well, if they are mine, then hand them over to me, this instant. Let me see what it is that you are pledging to me."

KLEBORN: What do you do?
 

redraider629

Explorer
Thallok
Thallok thinks about how great it would be to be a leader of the orcs, the thought of being King sent a shiver down his spine. He thinks about how he could bring the orcs to greatness.

Kleborn
Kleborn thinks to himself, ~perhaps I should choose my words better~ he smiles and lays his sword and shield at Abigail's feet. "As I said, they are yours."
 

Waynan

Adventurer
Supporter
Seeing the events transpiring before him, one Tamartamlin Quickfoot, makes the choices he had put off until just this kind of moment.

Before Lady Abigail, he says, as he kneels, not out of fealty, but of respect and friendship:

"Most dear, fair lady and goodly mistress of all dragonkind, I thank you for your wonderful gifts and the time you have shared with me to master my original "craft", as it were. Also, I will honor our oath to only use my craft against the most villainous, despicable and nefarious; but, I cannot give fealty to Bahamut, great and glorious as he is, for I must needs use equally villainous, despicable and nefarious methods to undo these evil ones and relieve them of their prized possessions.That being being said," Here, Tam-Tam pulls out a prized gemstone from one of his pouches, "please accept this gift to you, given in Bahamut's name that he may look kindly on me in a time of desperate need. I have assessed it at around 500 gp in actual value; but, if you look closely, you will see that this diamond is perfect, without flaw or occlusion, and thus may have an intrinsic value to you in imbuing it with your marvelous magicks." With that, Tam rises, all a-blush, adding, "I am in your thrall Lady Abigail and shall always do as you wish, willingly; however, I am free-spirited enough to insist on doing it my way. I pray you understand."

After waiting on Lady Abigail's response, if any, Tamartamlin Quickfoot, Slayer of Giant princes, Wolf Rider, Troll killer, Ogre's Bane, and sworn by oath to this party that so willingly adopted him, leaves the demesne of the Silver Dragon whom he considers a goddess equal, possibly greater than, his beloved Yondalla, who is an actual goddess, lesser god though she may be. And then there was Olidammara who has always kept him in good stead at his originally chosen adventuring profession.

But now he was an Outrider who did well enough to attain corporal status amongst the recruits. It was time to go to the stables and buy his "steed". He knew which one he wanted and damn the price. She was a half-wolf, a half dire wolf, named 'Dammara', or Traveler. The name was so close to Olidammara, god of rogues and travelers, that he felt an instant affinity with her. Everytime he rode her during drills and exercises, he excelled versus any of the time he rode the mastiffs, war dogs or other half-wolves.

Tam pays for Dammara and all the necessary accoutrements to ride her. He then goes before his drill instructor, a female halfling, comely, but in a ruggedly athletic and war-weary way. He explains that he will be leaving to go with his mates, whichever group that may be, and that he wished for voluntary decommissioning, with the hopes of coming back to learn more from her and serve on the local outrider scouting and guard forces of Hochoch for a time. No promise or oath, just as a personal desire to fulfill.

Next, Tam goes to Vale while in the heat of his forgings and asks, officially and hopefully, for the Horn of Calling. He explains that as an Outrider, now he can "call in the cavalry" as it were to help against all manner of beasties (monsters), baddies (villains/enemies) and bug-a-boos (undead). Tam, will not beg for it, but he will be extremely persistent in continually requesting it until Vale "graciously" offers/hands it to him.

Then, Tam goes to Respen and Nel's chambers. He coos and cuddles the twins for a bit before he comes to the point of his visit as he hand the twins back to Nel who takes them yo their respective cribs:

"Respen, I owe you much for being the first to bring me into this great party of adventuring heroes, for that is what you all truly are; and, I have come to banish my qualms about the Drow through the wondrous helps and works of your lovely wife and help-meet, Nelveranda; upon speaking her name, Tam-Tam bows with a flourish of the Hat Sylvar gave him toward Nel who was just returning from laying the children down for a nap. As he composes himself, placing the hat jauntily on his head, he finishes, "but, by a sworn agreement, and one done in the heat of battle where, as you know, all oaths or contracts between one to another are sacrosanct, I myself can only join you if Friend Sylvar chooses to go along on your quest. As you know, A halfling oath is equal to a business agreement or contract. It is why I call our esteemed Bard, Friend Sylvar. In the world of halfling business, calling a fellow who agrees to do business with you, is entitled "Friend" to differentiate him, or her, from any business opponent. I hope you understand."

After hearing Respen and Nel's response, Tam adds as he leaves their chambers:

"Now I must go to Friend Sylvar and council with him on his...our, intentions --- either to go with you and, maybe Nel, or back to the Steading with the others."

Lastly, Tam goes to Sylvar and says, bluntly, but with earnest eagerness: "We need to talk." Tam talks with Sylvar late into the night to determine 'their' plan of action.
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Lady Abigail smiles at Kleborn, as she reaches down and picks up his sword and shield, "These are exquisite, but they are beneath your level of talent. I shall keep them, but I will give you something better in return. Take these instead..."

Lady Abigail retrieves a Mithral Longsword and a Large Mithral Shield from her chest, both of which bear the mark of Bahamut. Bahamut's mark is on the pommel of the sword, and is displayed prominently in the middle area of the shield's front. She hands them both to Kleborn.

Lady Abigail continues:"Do not fret about the marks that these items bear; many deities, even the jealous ones, admire and revere the mighty Bahamut. Carry these items with pride, but know this: those who serve the darkness will loathe you instantly, and without question."

GM: I will send you the stats for the sword and shield in LINE chat.
 

MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
The party members have never actually given concrete answers to this question. The aid that Abigail has provided thus far are out of gratitude for the blow struck against The Steading, and as a token of her good will.
Lathir nods graciously to his hostess.
"Respectfully, I must decline your request to swear allegiance. I have given my word to my patron, and though her interests are aligned with Bahamut's, a man cannot serve two masters. I will aide you to the utmost of my capacity, nonetheless.
DM said:
When Lathir is preparing to leave, Ellis happens to be there. Lathir informs him of his intentions, and Ellis informs him that traveling that way will be slow, and time consuming. Ellis realizes that Lathir wants to commune with nature and the environment, rather than traveling by magical means, and therefore, he offers the aid of his friend, Zallmar, an Elder Roc, whose flight speed greatly exceeds anything that Lathir could achieve on his own.
OOC: NOTE to DM:
As you are familiar, I instinctively add my real world knowledge of biology to gaming situations not knowing if the mechanics will allow or align. When I took vertebrate natural history (ornithology in disguise) in my undergraduate degree, I learned that the fastest birds in level flight are doves, most particularly the white-winged dove, which can maintain a linear flight speed of 45 mph for several hours. This was not my first choice, though, as the second fastest birds in level flight are ducks, particularly wood ducks, which can maintain a linear flight speed of 37 mph for a great many hours. This would have been Lathir's choice shift. As always, I appreciate the DM's knowledge of the gaming mechanics to rectify inconsistencies between my knowledge and actual application.

Not being fully aware of the actual distance involved, Lathir greatfully accepts the offer of the Roc.
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
SUPPLEMENTAL NOTE: AERIAL MOVEMENT

GM: Actually, [MENTION=6855223]MacConnell[/MENTION], you reminded me of something; when using magical modes of flight, you can't "run," i.e., you can't "fly faster," but creatures (such as birds) with natural flight speeds CAN. Thus, the Eagle (which has an 80) can "run" at a rate of 320, which as I said above, is 37 miles per hour. But using the run rules requires more math:

Player's Handbook said:
You can run for a number of rounds equal to your Constitution score, but after that you must make a DC 10 Constitution check to continue running. You must check again each round in which you continue to run, and the DC of this check increases by 1 for each check you have made. When you fail this check, you must stop running. A character who has run to his limit must rest for 1 minute (10 rounds) before running again. During a rest period, a character can move no faster than a normal move action. You can’t run across difficult terrain (see page 148), or if you can’t see where you’re going. A run represents a speed of about 12 miles per hour for an unencumbered human.

So, assuming you don't push yourself, you can run for 17 rounds, after which, you must rest for 10 rounds. There are 600 rounds in an hour.
17+10 = 27. 600 / 27 = 22. So, in an hour, you can run for 374 (let's round to 375 for ease of math) rounds, and "walk" (move normal speed) for 220 (let's round to 225, same reason) rounds.

Thus, 320 x 375 = 120,000 ft.
Also, 80 x 225 = 18,000 ft.

Which comes to 138, 000 ft. (26 miles) per hour. For an 8 hour day, that means that you, as an Eagle with 80 ft. speed, will cover 208 miles (7 hexes.)

Thus, under your own power, the journey takes 4.5 days. Wow. That means the Elder Roc can get you there in a single day, ha ha. (His normal move rate is equal to your RUNNING move rate!)

 

Diarmadhim

Explorer
The first two days of our downtime I spend in my room, coming out only to train, eat, or use the privy. If asked, I am writing out several letters and plans of action. The first, how to spend my time during this downtime (classes, enchantments, etc.). The second, prioritization for my homebase and teams, including new buildings, land acquisitions, and hiring of additional teams. Letters to my family in Furyondy and any heads of cities/states I or my family might know, detailing the current situation we've uncovered with the forces of evil and chaos. I also write a letter to Lord Margull detailing the same and covering what we found in Skorane.

Partway through the third day of our downtime, after having told the others of Lady Abigail's request and learning that the Helm of Veldomar bears no relation to the staff we are to find, I cast Endure Elements and then summon forth a Phantom Steed, riding hard in a straight line toward Dyvers. Recalling the map that hangs in my study, I know that as long as I go relatively northeasterly I will run into the Velverdyva River, which will lead directly to Dyvers. At night, I cast Rope Trick, pulling the rope up behind me to ensure I can rest safely in peace. I make it to my destination with time to spare on the 28th of Patchwall, greeting my househould and collapsing in bed after handing my letters and plans of action to my butler with a nod, a thankful smile, and a firm grasp of his shoulder.

On Ready'reat 1, I head into Dyvers and set about procuring 100,250 gp worth of magical supplies, plus whatever the party needs, using my mercantile contacts to secure a deal on the bulk order. In order to hire a 3rd-level Bard with the appropriate qualifications for the task I have in mind, I pay a substantial sum to secure their services and agree to building a bardic college on my lands. They will use the items I provide to aid them in playing the Lyre of Building and will play for 12 hours once per week as needed. They are to report at dawn on the 1st of Sunsebb. Next I head to the local masons and inform them that I will be needing their services starting on the 1st of Sunsebb for “a project that they will surely want to take part in - the task and those that helped complete it will be spoken about for generations to come." They are to bring 450,000 gp worth of building materials and a contract is set to ensure that additional materials and laborers can be readily hired as needed. Two weeks prior to the start of each month, my butler has a pre-written letter with my seal delivered to the masons – he enters in how many materials will be needed based on our pre-set calculations for each additional farmland.

OOC: Level 3 Bard should have a minimum of 16 Charisma, Skill Focus (Stringed Instrument), and max ranks in Perform (Stringed Instrument) for their level.
I made a Diplomacy check of 18, just in case, for that bit about them wanting to take part in the task. On 1 Subsebb I will buy the building materials and lands using


I then throw myself into crafting the items I will need for the speedy completion of my stronghold. After crafting the maximum allotment of 8 hours each day, I spend the remaining time in training. I craft a Lyre of Building, Glove of Performance (Stringed Instrument) +5, and Tireless Plectrum to be used by the bard while construction is taking place on my stronghold. When the 21 days of crafting are complete, I place my arcane mark on every item and continue my training while crafting my other magical items (which also have my arcane mark placed on each of them).

The final seven days before construction is scheduled to start, I put out the call for more teams. I hire four additional teams of cavalry archers (each consisting of five 3rd-level warriors equipped with breastplate armor, a short bow, a longsword, a lance, a heavy steel shield, and riding a combat-trained light horse), a team of craftspeople (three 4th-level experts – armorsmith, weaponsmith, and bowyer; each should have max ranks and Skill Focus in their craft), twelve teams of elite archers (each consisting of five 3rd-level warriors equipped with scale mail, a longbow, a buckler, and a longsword), and another two teams of lackeys (each consisting of five 1st-level experts, each one filling the role of cooking and washing the laundry for one lodging). They are to report on Sunsebb 15, two hours after sunrise.

On the 22nd of Sunsebb, after having taken a week to meet with my newly hired teams and ensure their lodgings and gear are adequate for now – with the promise of better gear to be provided by this time next year – and ensuring the castle and bardic college are fully built to my standards as well as the first few farmlands, I make my return trip to Hochoch.

Needfest 1, CY 964

During my stretches from being saddle sore, Respen comes to find me. Two and a half days of hard riding at the speeds a Phantom Steed travels can take a lot out of a person. Ready to travel when I am? Where do we need to travel to? I silently ponder. Maybe I missed part of a conversation? Better to just go along with it. I would hate to leave a comrade-in-arms unprotected. With a thumbs up I signal my agreement, but quickly follow it with two fingers extended to signal I need two hours to prepare myself. Dragon at the gate my abductors are killing me! Hopefully wherever we need to go will have nothing to do with mounts...

Waiting in the courtyard, I am somewhat surprised when Respen teleports me with him... to my patio?! The minor shock is washed away by the acknowledgment that soon, I too shall have such magics at my disposal. Quietly I whisper, ”I should have embraced magic a long time ago!” When Respen hands me the sending stone I nod, understanding its use and value thanks to my extensive reading. As I walk with Respen, a smile tugs at the corner of my lips. I wonder what his reaction will be when he notices Moresby Hall is now Moresby Castle. The night is foggy, obscuring the surrounding buildings and walls. We walk through one of the courtyards and slowly angle around between the armory, stables, workstation, and the giant's quarters. When passing through the gatehouse the two guards on duty stand at attention and salute as we pass. I'll give him a tour when he next returns. ”Thank you for the stone. I'll only use it in case of an emergency. Let me know when you are ready to return to the others – I'll finish my tasks here within a day.”

Until Respen returns, I spend my days crafting my remaining items for adventuring and training to improve my developing abilities.

Moonday, Reaping 3, CY 964

I host a lavish party in celebration of my 30th birthday and spare no expense. After celebrating in the morning with the party, I ask Respen to return me for a week to my home. There, I host another party to celebrate with my teams, original staff, and any visitors; there is a quieter and more intimate celebration that night with just my original staff and any family members that visit. We dine on my favorite desert as a child, cherry cheesecake, and reminisce about days gone past while celebrating our current and improving station. There are talks and jibes of ladies that I should meet and court and I accept the ribbing with good humour.

Goodmonth 20, CY 964

GM: The party members have never actually given concrete answers to this question. The aid that Abigail has provided thus far are out of gratitude for the blow struck against The Steading, and as a token of her good will.
OOC: This occurred on the third day of downtime according to Line chat :)
My Reply to Lady Abigail.png

OOC: Will check of 18

Looking to Lady Abigail, I reply, "On our third day in Hochoch, I thanked you for trusting us and assured that I would speak of it to no one. I have, and will continue, to keep my promise. My word is my bond. On that day I accepted your offer, and I will continue to aid in furthering Bahamut's cause since his and Trithereon's goals often coincide. I also asked to hold off on your offer for spells until I had learned the secrets of the book of geometry. My studies during these ten months have allowed me to discern how to do such and I gratefully took you up on your graciousness. I would prefer to go and aid Respen, because the thought of him going without the full force and might of our group into danger troubles me. If I don't go and ill befalls him, I would not be able to look his wife and children in the eye. However, if it is your desire that I travel to the Steading, I will do so." Looking to the others I smile, "Worry not about me. I would rather you all seek to aid Respen. If I must go to the Steading, it will not be alone. I have a great many men-at-arms I can call upon."

Moresby Hall.jpg
Moresby Castle Layout.png

GM: +1,500 xp. to Dewydd for such an excellent post! Bravo, Good Sir! :D
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Tam's Interactions With Various Folk

Tam Tam to Lady Abigail said:
"Tam-Tam pulls out a prized gemstone from one of his pouches, "...Please accept this gift to you, given in Bahamut's name that he may look kindly on me in a time of desperate need. I have assessed it at around 500 gp in actual value..."

Lady Abigail smiles at the little Halfling, obviously impressed by his genuine good intent and generosity. She accepts the gem graciously.

Tam Tam to Lady Abigail said:
"...I am in your thrall Lady Abigail and shall always do as you wish, willingly; however, I am free-spirited enough to insist on doing it my way. I pray you understand."

Lady Abigail says, "I understand completely, little one. Your heart is full of courage, and that is all that Bahamut asks of anyone."

Tam Tam to The Livery Master and to Prue said:
...Tam pays for Dammara and all the necessary accouterments to ride her. He then goes before his drill instructor, a female halfling, comely, but in a ruggedly athletic and war-weary way.

The Livery Master of the Hochoch Livery, where Tam acquired the wolf, refuses his payment with a smile and a nod of his head.

He says, "Lady Abigail took care of it for you. Take good care of her, she's very special. Prue, your drill instructor, raised her, you know. And trained her as well. All I did was give her a place to stay and food to eat."

Tam Tam to Prue said:
...He explains that he will be leaving to go with his mates, whichever group that may be, and that he wished for voluntary decommissioning...

Prue tells Tam, "How can I decommission you, when you haven't been fully commissioned yet? Your training is barely finished. You are so sweet, almost naive. I can see why Lady Abigail was so intent upon my meeting you. I don't live here in Hochoch, you know. I hail from the village of Berrywell, near the city of Waybury, in the Duchy of Ulek, far to the East of here. I hope that you will join me there, one day. I'm the Captain, you know; I trained all of Berrywell's Outriders. And it is my hope that, until that day, you use the skills I have taught you to bring ruin to the dark legions, and champion the cause of good, wherever your travels may lead you."

Tam Tam to Respen said:
"...Now I must go to Friend Sylvar and council with him on his...our, intentions --- either to go with you and, maybe Nel, or back to the Steading with the others."

GM: At this point, the remaining concerns that Tam has must be addressed by Sylvar. So I am asking Sylvar to reply to Tam on this point, at his next opportunity.
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
A Secret Message From Kwuest!

Lord Rogers Kwuest said:
”I would be so lucky! Give my regards to your mate.” Clapping Duncan on the shoulder.

Duncan, you take notice of a small pin-prick pain when Kwuest claps you on the shoulder. You lock onto Kwuest's gaze at that moment, and his countenance seems to carry a sense of urgency, concern, and pleading. The look lasts only an instant, before being replaced by a casual smile, and a polite dismissal.

GM: Sir Duncan: Sense Motive check, DC 15. Result = 15 (Success)


Duncan realizes that Kwuest has done him no harm, and continues on his way; out of the corner of his eye, Duncan notices Kwuest making a quick exit of his own, on the opposite side of the inn.

When Duncan has gone some distance down the street, he puts his hand on his shoulder; there is a tiny, metal tack stuck through his shirt, into his skin. The pin-prick is tiny, barely drawing a single drop of blood. Duncan removes the tack, and examines it. It flashes a dim blue for a brief instant, and Duncan feels a wave of magic wash over him!

GM: Details in private message on LINE chat.
 

Damionte

Explorer
:: Undercovers :: - Canvasing The Town

As he makes his way back towards the tower Duncan thumbs his bonding band on his left hand, and speaks the command word "Jennexia". Causing the matching ring to vibrate on Ebony's hand. She repeats the command word allowing the two to communicate.

Duncan: "Love how do you feel about a night out on the town."
Ebony: "That sounds fun .... Hmmmm what would I wear though."
Duncan: "Perhaps your leathers."
Ebony: "Mmmm ohhh that sounds fun. I've been talking a lot with Nelvandra lately. You know the Drow have some interesting practices with whips and...."
Duncan: "No not those leathers!"
Ebony: "Hu... oh ohhhhhh the Bard leathers. Well... yes I guess that could be fun too but...."
Duncan: "Focus my love something sinister may be going on. We need more information though. I'd not want to upset or insult our host with unsubstantiated rumors."
Ebony: "Ah so some trouble is brewing. Well yes I suppose that could also be fun. Things have been slow this past week since we've returned. We should get out and get a better feel for the city."
Duncan: "Yes there's lots to do. I'm on my way back to the tower to change and we can go together."
Ebony: "Sounds good."
Duncan: "Oh before you disconnect..... what about whips?"

The pair head out on the town that night and for the next few. Talking to people, making new contacts and getting a feel for the political, business, and social nature of the town. Both bards are natural socialites and attempt to put those talents to good use. Concentrating on three major topics. Rumors and the general attitude of the people towards their host the Lady Abigail, Making inroads on starting a business in logistics and commerce, and the general political situation in town. Who's in charge, who thinks they're in charge.

Shopping II_003.png
 
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Sylvar B.

Explorer
Sylvar responds to Lady Abigail, he enters the room and bows Lady Abigail, I cannot pledge loyalty to Bahamut as I am Uller's Champion. However, your hospitality and graciousness have been great to us and I owe an equally great debt that can only be repaid through equally great acts. Sylvar waves both hands at Abigail. Please, do not say that I owe you no debt, my honor will not allow such a statement to stand. I'm afraid that I would become a nuisance in my insistence that you allow me to complete tasks for you, should you attempt to dismiss me in such a manner. So, I swear that I will be at your disposal until such time that my debt to you has been repaid. However, I ask that I could delay my voluntary indentured servitude until such time that I can finish assisting Respen with his quest, and the clearing of the Steading.

Sylvar responds to Respens plea at the dinner table I will also go with you, we are much better off together

Sylvar speaks with Tam Tam, I believe that our place is with our friends. Going it alone is often times an imprudent choice, you and I both are distance and speed fighters, if we get into a bind there won't be a Lathir or Respen to rain destruction on our foes. We can go after the Key after we do what is needed with Respen and the Steading.
 

Waynan

Adventurer
Supporter
Tam agrees with Sylvar's council, actually breathing a sigh of relief, because he didn't like the idea of splitting up.
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Respen’s Meeting With Delbin

GM:
Even though this is a private meeting, I am assuming that Respen will eventually reveal this information to the party, therefore, I am posting it openly. I also wanted you, my players, to see the amount of detail in this response, to illustrate the fact that, despite my recent slow-down in rate-of-posting, I am indeed still working very dilligently on this campaign.


~ I wonder how many elves find themselves afar from where they wanted to walk their lives… ~


Knocking on the door to Laramon’s tower, Respen was very nervous, palpably so. This was really what he had travelled so far to do. Who he travelled so far to meet.
Who his destiny was supposed to be before he became “Elf. Interrupted.”

Laramon met him at the door and granted him entry.

Respen said:
He had sent Gus back with Vega, so obtaining the animal for Vale would require Respen to see her. That would require repeated explanations and explanations of explanations. He would deal with it later.

GM:
OOC: Do you not remember Laramon’s 6th sending? Vega has returned to Dyvers and is staying with Laramon. And Gus has been in Laramon’s care since the end of the Respen’s Gambit thread.

Vega greets Respen when he enters, and tells him that she had an amazing adventure while he was away. She says that Margull was searching for a True Vampire named Parrinzor. He did not find Parrinzor, but he did find a Vampyr by the name of Gellen Riveroak, whom had subjugated an entire minor noble family in Blackmoor, establishing a large coven. Margull went to destroy Gellen and his coven; but while Margull was fighting the Vampyr Spawn, their master Gellen escaped. It was Gellen who found Margull’s portal and tried to enter it.

Unknown to Margull, another True Vampire (NOT Vampyr!) named Tymbray The Dark, whom had been trying to find Margull (and who had NO IDEA who Gellen was, or even that he was in the area) found the portal at the EXACT SAME MOMENT; when Vega broke the mirror, she and Tymbray were plane-shifted to Sigil, and Gellen was transported to an unknown location.

Vega tells Respen that Tymbray turned out to be one of the good guys, although Margull was not pleased to see him. “From what I can gather,” Vega says, “Margull is an EXTREMELY ancient True Vampire, and Tymbray is much younger, even though he calls himself an Elder. Margull told Tymbray to cease meddling in his affairs, and threatened to kill him if he saw him again. I’m not sure what that was all about, although Tymbray later confided to me that he was concerned about Margull being so standoffish, and that he seemed pre-occupied with something, perhaps even to the point of obsession.”

Vega says that Tymbray is an extremely powerful sorcerer, and that he could have killed her at the slightest whim, had he wished to; but he didn’t, and her instinct about him is that he is a good sort, despite Margull’s distrust of him. She tells Respen that she and Tymbray met Delbin in Sigil (the place they ended up in, a strange city that was not of this world) and that Delbin was the one who helped them to make such a speedy return.


As Laramon excused himself to make tea and refreshments, he pointed to Respen’s letter of introduction from Auror on a library table along with some other parchment. Respen had left it with Laramon for such an occasion as this. Laramon’s Mirror of Mental Prowess jumped to life, and a middle-aged Elf with flowing, multi-colored robes and wearing a slim, golden headband stepped into the room as if he had always been there, perhaps having stood up from a chair to stretch before afternoon tea.

Respen smiled. He picked up the letter of introduction with genuine excitement, and he bowed before the archmage in deference and respect, “Master Delbin, I presume. My name is Respen Coraellus. Thank you for your audience. I present my credentials as instructed by my uncle, Auror Tyraenel. It was his fondest wish for you to know how highly he regarded you, as he explained to me often before he passed. He also pressed me that there was a private message to you in the letter. He gave me no hints as to what it was. Perhaps you might. ”

Master Laramon, hearing the arrival of Delbin, came to take his travelling jacket and staff.

GM:

Delbin reads the letter aloud:

To my old mentor, friend, adventuring companion, and chess opponent,

This letter will introduce my nephew, young Respen Coraellus, an aspiring student of the arcane, reckless wanderer, and all-around troublemaker, whom I loved very deeply, as if he were my son. I think my actual son resented me for that sentiment, but it is nevertheless true; and for that reason, I am calling in the debt you owe me.

Remember, it was I who discovered the location of your most treasured possession, the sphere, and it was, in turn, the sphere which helped you accomplish your greatest triumph, and establish your reputation as a Slayer of Demons.

I had intended to train the boy myself, but I have known for some time that my body was failing, and the fact that you are reading this contingency letter is testament to the fact that I have died before being able to accomplish that goal.

You would also do well to remember that, since I have died, you’ll never be able to have your revenge on me for all of those chess games you lost. The only thing you can hope for is a proxy victory against the boy, which should provide enough incentive for you to keep him around. However, you should be warned, that my family is filled with chess masters, for many generations past; it is possible that the boy has inherited the family knack for the game, although I will admit that I have never seen him play, nor am I certain that he even knows how. Chess is another of things that I always meant to train him in, but never had the chance.

Lastly, you will also recall that I was a Grand Druid when you were still a twinkle in your father’s eye; thus, my request for the boy’s training carries with it the weight of an elder whose request you are expected to fulfill, simply out of respect. I thank you for teaching me my second vocation, but I am still your elder, in both years and social rank. Put simply, you cannot refuse me. Or at least, you should not.

And if you do refuse, I’ll return to haunt you every day, until the end of your long life. If you’ll recall, you were never fond of my singing voice; and as a spirit, my voice would be unceasing.

Just be thankful you’re still on the top side of the grass, quit your complaining, and just do this for me.

Your Friend,

“Ancient” Aurie

P.S.: To Respen: If Delbin’s dangerous lifestyle has somehow caught up to him, and he is dead, and you happen to read this, give this letter to Laramon in Dyvers. Laramon’s talents do not approach the natural genius of Delbin, but he’s no slouch, not by a long shot. And like me, he was trained by Delbin as well. He’s a good sort, even if he is a homebody, a recluse, and a curmudgeon. Alas, no one is perfect.



Delbin frowns, but is silent for a long, few moments before finally speaking, apparently having reached some sort of decision:

Delbin looks upward, as if addressing Auror’s invisible spirit:

”You old goat, you’re never going to let me live that down, are you? Dammit, Aurie, you know how I feel about neophytes. They’re only a half-step away from accidental oblivion. This little spud probably doesn’t know his ass from the Plane of Shadow!”

Delbin grins sheepishly at Respen, “No offense, laddie.”

Laramon frowns disapprovingly, and Delbin, despite being the high-ranking magus in the room, looks quite uncomfortable under the scrutinizing gaze of an Elf who is obviously his elder.

”Don’t look at me like that Larry. He could get himself killed! Delbin retorts, despite Laramon’s silence.

Laramon says, “You don’t have to take the boy with you on your excursions, you know. Just teach him the lore, the rest will come with time.”

Delbin ponders this for a moment, before finally acquiescing to his friend’s assertion.

Delbin says, “Oh, ok, fine. Congratulations, boy, you have yourself a mentor. But if you need a lab or a library, use Laramon’s; mine are off limits. No offense, it’s for your own protection. I’ll leave my backup spellbooks here with Larry, so you can have access to them. I’m not going to teach you how to cast spells, or simple things like that; when we meet to talk, it will be to push the envelope, and to discover new things. That’s what separates the Wizards from the Magi; one is simply a Magic-User, the other is a Master of the Arcane.”

Respen said:

At the appropriate time and prompting, Respen explains his presence in Dyvers, the party’s encounters in and back from Caltaran, and the trip to Skorane, with special unvarnished emphasis on his encounter and relationship with Dame Clare, the Orb of Errinder, and Nelvandra.


Delbin arches one eyebrow quizzically, before saying: “A Drow Vampiress? You seem to have a rare talent my boy, for getting yourself in over your head. Reminds me of… me.”

Respen said:

He explains her being freed from magical conditioning, as well as his concern that Dame Clare will attempt similar control over the children.

GM:
Actually, Nel has already explained (see Respen’s Gambit thread) that Clare’s control will not be through Domination or through Bardic Conditioning, rather, it will be through the direct blood bond between Master Vampire and Childe; and it’s not only the children who will be turned, but Respen and Nel as well; all of you are to be the cornerstone, the foundation, of Clare’s coven.


Respen said:

He discusses the attack on the Steading in great detail, as well as their encounter with Collin and Abigail, leaving out any mention that that they are dragons. He describes her as an epic elven beauty with many resources and supremely sensitive with her privacy, but with a penchant for many fine things. And he describes her interest in the artifact that she wants from the Steading and their plans to go back there on her behalf.

Delbin says, “Ah yes, Lady Abigail. I know her well. Little Collin, as well. Abigail and I have both worked together many times in the service of Bahamut.”



Respen mentions that they were destroying an inherently evil weapon and had possession of a minor artifact elven druidic helm. He also mentions at great length the Solar, how it came to save Sylvar, as well as the preceding details regarding the Lady of the Hool.


GM:
Delbin nods as he takes in the info, but says nothing at the moment.



Respen remarks darkly, “I am worried about what else Dame Clare wants from me in the future. She must have some good somewhere in her; otherwise, we’d not be meeting, and I’d be a blood flask. However, her mechanizations appear to put Nel and my children in harm’s way, if not directly, then definitely by her enemies. The only way to battle that effectively is with secrecy and on the surface. I have not heard from her in months, and I’m very much at ease with that.”

Respen continues, “As to my own studies and powers, I am crafting and co-crafting magic items to aid me, and I have mastered teleportation, as well as several spells from Auror’s scrolls.”

Delbin tells Respen to be cautious in his dealings with Clare, because she is obviously operating on some sort of plan or agenda, and Delbin has serious doubts about the completeness of Clare’s disclosures.

Delbin says, “I doubt she’s telling you everything. I wouldn’t, were I in her place.”
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
A Few Nights On The Town...

Sir Duncan said:

“...The pair head out on the town that night and for the next few. Talking to people, making new contacts and getting a feel for the political, business, and social nature of the town. Both bards are natural socialites and attempt to put those talents to good use. Concentrating on three major topics. Rumors and the general attitude of the people towards their host the Lady Abigail, Making inroads on starting a business in logistics and commerce, and the general political situation in town. Who's in charge, who thinks they're in charge.”

OOC: Taking 10, working together: 23, Taking 20, each working separately: 31/24


In general, you discover that, as far as city government goes, the Lord Mayor is in charge, although he has an 8-member advisory council to assist him, one of the members of it being Lady Abigail. There are those that say the Lord Mayor relies too heavily on Elven counsel (for that is what Lady Abigail is believed to be—a Gray Elf)

The Lord Mayor, Sir Aubrey Talloak, is a landed knight, who has sworn loyalty DIRECTLY to the Grand Duke, Sir Luken Finnegan, and therefore enjoys wide authority throughout the Duchy, acting as the Grand Duke’s Royal Justiciary. He is, in effect, a travelling judge, going from place to place in order to mete justice on the Grand Duke’s behalf. As a result, he is often gone for weeks at a time, during which periods the city is under the direction of Sir Jonathan Salte, the Captain of the City Guard, who is also a Paladin of the Order of Saint Cuthbert.

The Mayor’s Council is composed of 8 members, all of whom are major “players” in the city; the list is as follows:

1] Lady Abigail - Senior member of the Hochoch Merchant’s Guild, emeritus member of the Hochoch Mage Guild, and holds the title of Senior Council Member, since she is the longest-serving member of the council. Lady Abigail served Sir Aubrey’s father, back when he was the Lord Mayor, and remained on the council after Sir Aubrey took over.

2] Rothschild Fenwick - Guildmaster, Hochoch Merchant’s Guild. Council Secretary.

3] Maelick Ferne - Guildmaster, Moneylenders Guild. Council Treasurer.

4] Miskatuuk Flameward - Guildmaster, Hochoch Mage Guild. Council Sergeant-At-Arms. Holder of the Mace of Hochoch.

5] Sir Vincent Brightleaf - Respected citizen, owner of the largest cattle ranch in the Duchy, the Rolling Waters Ranch, which is only a day’s gentle ride from Hochoch. He is also the Emeritus Captain of the City Guard for Hochoch.

6] Lieutenant Nelson Trundle - Respected citizen, owner of the Trundle Winery, and currently serving as a volunteer assistant deputy to Sir Jonathan Salte. (His lieutenant rank is honorary.)

7] The Reverend Sir Leslie Smith - High Priest of Saint Cuthbert, Rector of the Hochoch Cathedral of Cuthbert.

8] Winston Rosecrest - Respected citizen, owner of the Rosecrest Cheesemaking Wheelhouse.

GM: TO BE CONTINUED
 

Diarmadhim

Explorer
Patchwall 25, CY 963
I arise with the sun and wait patiently for Respen to open his door to go to breakfast. "Please scan this letter and see if there are any changes you'd like me to make. I've taken care to leave out any of your personal matters. This is the one I'll be sending to Margull. Similar ones will also go to my father and various heads of state and dignitaries, discussing this information. I would like to include more information about what else we've found, but I'm having difficulties putting it all to pen. Any reminders of information we've uncovered would be appreciated."

Letter to Lord Margull Pertaining to the Events in Skorane and What Happened After.png

Flocktime 3, CY 964

I send out the following invitations for my birthday celebration. They will go to my family members, guards, servants, fellow party members, Collin and Abigail, nobility, merchants of note, mercenary leaders, and people of note in the surrounding area.

Birthday Invitation.png
 

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