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The Heroes of Dyvers Chapter Six

Aust Thale

Explorer
Respen & The Party

~Kissing hands and shaking babies ~

Respen's experience with Enllaves nobility was particularly different than that before him in Dyvers. Dewydd's party had attracted some attention, and Respen was watching the show. He felt Nel's absence, remaining in Hochoch hidden away in Abigail’s care and protection. It seemed every single lass, and quite a many married woman, were interested in tet-a-tets as a function of social climbing. Respen laughed to himself. Dewydd was not a trivial person; he had to have a reason for this exercise. Frivolity aside, the games that Dewydd devised appeared to Respen to be more than simple demonstrations of arcane ability or combat expertise; they were auditions. Respen paid attention when he teleported with Dewydd to and from Moresby Manor, now magically nearing completion as an estate complete with small castle. Moresby was doing more than simply acquiring treasure. He was using it. A bardic college and noteworthy architecture promoted an aesthetic that was attractive. Dewydd was building something. Respen smiled in spite of himself. Humans were funny sometimes. Their limited lifetimes, on balance, produced a tireless work ethic and a distilled analysis of risk. Respen hoped he would see more from this Lord. More indeed.

Respen paid close attention to two of the arcane games and the archery game. He was very tempted to participate, but he had resolved given his beloved Nel (being Drow), the birth of the twins, and his widening circle of friends and associates who coveted their privacy that he would refrain. It went entirely against his instincts, but the importance of anonymity had grown exponentially. Respen’s intent going forward would be to walk among rain drops without getting wet. He had even purchased a wide-brimmed hat from Felwin, and with Vale’s assistance, he imbued it magically both as a hat of disguise as well as one that provided wholesale anonymity and non-detection, allowing a preternatural ability to nearly hide in plain sight. He was most pleased with it. Even Dewydd hadn’t noticed him until Respen hugged him and wished him a happy birthday. He had helped Vale with the“Bolt Shirt”. In fact, it had been Respen’s idea. Dewydd was deadly when he had the proverbial high ground; with this shirt, he could pretty well keep that high ground during a particularly tough fight.

Respen watched the competition among the dwoemers and the illusionists. Felwin, who was attending from Hochoch and was considerably more talented than Collin had let on, caught Respen’s eye. He was with his protégé, a red-headed late adolescent human who could have been Vega’s long-lost younger brother. The boy was clearly interested, so focused he was that he did not notice Respen’s observation. Felwin did notice, and he approached Respen after the contest. “Who’s your shadow?” Respen asked Felwin, without looking at him.

Felwin, politely reserved in his response, answered Respen’s question, “Neville Emberwine. He was an assistant groundskeeper and cook for a widower landholder to the east of Hochoch. I say ‘was’, as now, he’s my ward and apprentice of sorts, also courtesy of that same fellow. The man’s late wife took in Master Neville aboutten years ago as a war orphan. The boy worked on their estate.

Respen,detecting something in Felwin’s comments, asks more questions, “So what happened in between?

Felwin motions toward Respen to move to the veranda outside for a smoke. As he lights his pipe, he abandons his customary careful diplomacy. “The landowner acquired wealth and land holdings in marriage. His wife died a little over a year ago, her caravan attacked by the brigands operating southwest of Hochoch. The coward survived the attack, grieved all of a day for show, and he has spent every minute since making what was her effects into his effects.

Felwin sees Vale come outside, and nods. Vale sits down alone, seemingly pleasant with wine, ale, and pipe.

The woman saw something in the boy early in his time with them, and she sought advice from me as to an appropriate maester, someone who would not draw attention while starting him early and properly in terrestrial education, martial practice, arcane arts, and divine magic as well. Her husband frowned on the whole affair, as did the wizard guild. So, I quietly recommended a fellow who was a lesser wizard but a fellow of considerable talents and a grand teacher. As he was also a gifted culinary artist, she hired him easily as a family chef. She quietly commissioned him to tutor the boy in addition to his culinary duties, and he did so until her death, as my friendwas also killed in the attack. He was under his tutelage daily for ten (10) of the last eleven (11) years.

The guild would not touch him, politics being what it is. Fortunately, the lady had made allowance for Neville in her will, something the husband wasn’t able to steal. Instead, he simply turned the boy out of the estate to his own devices. The young fellow picked up some culinary ability from his former teacher, and he’s an able chef. He lives in the upper attic level above my shop, and he works in the tavern across the boulevard. I have tutored him for the last year, rather,I’ve monitored his progress. He soaks up learning nearly everything as a sponge, but he needs purpose. And not with a middle-aged gnome with a clothing shop.

Respen, keying on Felwin’s remark, replied, “Aye. A simple tailor are you?” Respen knew full well what the gnome was.

Felwinsmiled, “Aye. A simple tailor indeed. With a chef and groundskeeper in his attic. One in sincere need of better prospects.

Respen,replied. “A chef and groundskeeper, eh?

Felwin, “Indeed. And more. Shaping up to be a Jack of All Trades. Would be a good step up for him to work or study near a Bardic College. He can pay his own way while he proves himself. His late foster mother certainly saw to that.

Respen,“I see where you are going with this conversation. I’ll discuss it with Dewydd.

At that moment, Respen, who had been talking with Felwin but observing Dewydd talk with a rather self-important fop who fit the bill for a human diplomat or merchant. The man held a ring toward Dewydd as if togive it to him, as Respen noticed with his newly acquired arcane sight the magic aura accompanying it. Dewydd evidently saw it as well, and he didn’t like it any more than Respen. Dewydd’s reaction was swift, moving into a fighting stance and calling Dyvers guards to his aid. Felwin realizes abruptly that he was speaking to thin air as Respen had moved with sudden speed back inside toward the quickly growing commotion. “Vale! Trouble.” The dwarf was incapacitated, severely drunk and mostly asleep. He stirred, turning over and toward the events, but he was in no condition to fight. Respen continued quickly inside, moving toward Dewydd, but stopped as the fellow offering the ring produced a potion almost out of thin air and consumed it. Respen waited for a moment, but…nothing. The potion drinker smiled, and almost as quickly froze in place as Laramon cast a spell to paralyze him. It was then that Respen realized that he had nearly not noticed as the fellow had turned invisible and visible again, the only evidence being that his hue had changed. Respen hadn’t realized what to look for until Laramon had ended the event.

At Lathir’s revelation regarding the ring’s similarity to the ring that had bewitched Sheriff Denby, as well as the fact that several other guests present possessed copies of it, Respen reacts viscerally, but silently, preparing his teleport spell to abduct the offender and drop him in the middle of Dame Clare’s food supply, or in Benquist’s dungeon, depending on how the next few minutes proceeded.

He slides close to the paralyzed man, at the back of his left shoulder, speaking quietly but audibly to him, “I am not impressed with your pomp nor your diplomacy, and though you are paralyzed, I know you can hear me. I can put you in one of two places, one being Benquist’s good care. There are fates worse than those currently facing you, blood-bag.” Respen smiles. He’s having fun teasing the poor bastard, in spite of himself, “Yes. Many fates indeed.

As Benquist’s guards deal with the other party-goers with rings, Respen scans the room with his arcane sight and magically messages Laramon what he sees. Nearly simultaneously, he notices Lathir making his way surreptitiously through the crowd. He scans toward the location with his arcane sight, locating every enhancement, enchantment, or otherwise magical item in the room. His wide-brim hat providing him the subtlest of disguises and non-detection from others around, he maintains his veneer of secrecy.

"Eenie-meenie-meinie-mo. Catch a brigand by the toe. If he hollers, lay him low. Eenie-meenie-meinie-mo."
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
More Shenanigans!

GM:
Lathir's Spell Concealment Check: 31. Opponent's Spot Check: 29. Lathir wins.


GM:
Sir Duncan's Sense Motive Check: 24 (DC 23 = Success!)


Lathir has surprised his opponent!

GM: Lathir, please make an UN-ARMED TOUCH ATTACK, against an AC of 11. Your base attack is 10, your STR bonus (19 Str) is +4, for a total of +14. So just don't roll a 1 on the d20.


As Lathir is doing this, Sir Duncan notices that despite pretending to be shocked, dainty, and docile, Palimov Shostakovitch looks at the paralyzed man out of the corner of his eye, and for the briefest instant, has a look of angry, malevolent hostility in his eyes. You get the feeling that he would slit the man's throat, were he alone with him.

Respen, as you are looking about the room with your Arcane Sight, you are careful to avoid looking straight at either Laramon or Margull, who shine like the sun in terms of magical auras. Several people in the room are wearing minor magical trinkets; after all, most of them are royalty. All four of the diginitaries have a moderate amount of magic upon their person, and of course, your fellow party members do as well. You notice that the man whom Lathir is approaching is not WEARING magic, but that he actually IS magical, in some way. At the very same instant that you recognize this, you glance out of the corner of your eye, and notice that both Margull and Laramon have just noticed the exact same thing.

EVERYONE: At This Point, We Once Again Need To Roll Initiative!
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
DM HOUSEKEEPING: START OF COMBAT

GM:
Initiative Order (Thusfar):

Margull: 34
Laramon: 33
Tam: 21
Lathir: 17
Sylvar: 16
Vega: 15a
Thallok: 15b
Duncan's Team: 15c
Collin: 15d
Respen: 12
Kleborn: 11
Dewydd: 10
Lathir's Opponent: 8a
Lt. Benquist: 8b
Dewydd's Guards: 4



GM:
Surprise Round:

Lathir's grapple attack lands. (Attack roll 23 vs. AC 11.)
Lathir must make an opposed Grapple Check; Lathir's roll = 1d20+14.
Lathir's result = 27 (Success!)
Lathir has pinned his opponent.

Opponent's Grapple Check: 1d20+25, but for special circumstance which will be explained later, his current check is 1d20+21. Result = 26.


GM:
OTHER NOTES:

10 Months of Downtime, Important Dates:

Dowtime begins Patchwall 23, CY 963.

Downtime will end on Goodmonth 22, CY 964.

Reaping 3, CY 964 = Date of Dewydd's party (253rd day of the 300 days of downtime.)

Goodmonth 11, CY 964 = Clare's mental message to Respen. (289th day of downtime.)

Reaping 5, CY 964 = Nel & Respen’s twins are born.
 
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Waynan

Adventurer
Supporter
At this point, Tam-Tam wakes up from his food and ale stupor, due to the raised voices and fracas.

"Hey what's all the commotion about?" He sputters as he awakes to see the scene of conflict between Dewydd, Respen, Lathir and several of the party guests.
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
COMBAT BEGINS: MARGULL ACTS FIRST!

GM:
Dire Charge to sqaure L13. Distance covered = 30 feet.
Choosing to inflict non-lethal damage. Opponent has 5 pts. DR.
Opponent has AC of 19 normally, but only 15 while pinned.
Attack #1: (38) = Hit
Attack #2: (35) = Hit
Attack #1: (1d4+10 Base Damage + 17d6 Sneak Attack vs. Flat-Footed) - 5 = 70 pts.
Attack #2: (Same) - 5 = 75 pts.
Total Non-Lethal Damage: 145 pts.
Opponent's HP = 127. Current non-lethal damage: 145. (18 pts. Above.)
Oppoenent has been rendered unconscious.


Margull leaps into action with the grace and speed of a Cheetah! It takes him less than a second to cover the 30 foot distance, because his strides are so long; it's almost as if he's leaping, his feet touch the ground only twice during the "run."

Margull leads with an elbow attack, smashing his right elbow into the man's nose! Blood spurts from the broken appendage, as a sickening crunch is heard!

He follows up with a right-handed backhand to the right side of the man's face, catching him squarely in the jaw. The man spits blood, along with 3 teeth, as the blow lands; but he does not notice, because the second blow renders him unconscious.

GM: Dang, I forgot how bad Margull was! I didn't even use his 3rd attack!


Once again, combat has ended before really having a chance to get started. The guests stare in awe at their mayor, whose sleeve and right hand are smeared with blood.

Margull surveys the crowd, and says: "You think this was impressive? My sensei would have laughed at me, for making such a mess. Master Luis is unforgiving, in his pursuit of perfection. I guess that's why he's the one on the hilltop, running his own monastery, and I'm the one down here in the marshlands, babysitting a port city."

EVERYONE: What do you do?
 

Diarmadhim

Explorer
I nonchalantly cast Prestidigitation and clean the Lord Mayor's sleeve and hand. I then continue to clean the floor and the unfortunate fellow. "Color me impressed regardless."
 

MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Lathir unceremoniously drops the unconscious man to the floor, dusting his hands afterward as if they had gotten dirty.
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Laramon's Analysis

Laramon says, "Now that I have had the chance to take a closer look at these two," pointing to the paralyzed man, and the now-toothless unconscious man, "I can tell that they are not what they appear to be. Both of them are under the effects of a spell known as Shapechange. I cannot see their true form, but I recognize the presence of the spell itself. The ring-giver has a true form which is man-sized, but the toothless wonder here has a true form which is much more massive, perhaps 10-12 feet in height. But I can't tell exactly what sort of creature it is. But I can say this: both of them are as evil and as corrupt as any fiend I have ever encountered, almost their entire aura is either purple or black, which is indicative of a murderous and psychotic nature. These men will require magical restraint."
 

Waynan

Adventurer
Supporter
Tam-Tam is confused by the scene before him at first.

"Way to go Giantkiller.", he says to himself. Then he mentally berates himself for being able to slay orcs, trolls and giants; but allows himself to be taken out by a mere dozen ales. And he only had pre-supper and supper. He never got to desserts and late night snack.

Tam then sees a familiar face who nods and signs to him. He is startled at first, not expecting him to be here. He nods back and then moves toward the center of the action. As he does so, he surreptitiously grabs one of his daggers whilst dabbing something on its tip. He weaves just enough amongst the crowd to hide his actions. Before he gets near anyone he hides the blade under the folds of his shirt and vest.

As Tam gets close, he hears Laramon's comment.

Laramon says, "Now that I have had the chance to take a closer look at these two," pointing to the paralyzed man, and the now-toothless unconscious man, "I can tell that they are not what they appear to be. Both of them are under the effects of a spell known as Shapechange. I cannot see their true form, but I recognize the presence of the spell itself. The ring-giver has a true form which is man-sized, but the toothless wonder here has a true form which is much more massive, perhaps 10-12 feet in height. But I can't tell exactly what sort of creature it is. But I can say this: both of them are as evil and as corrupt as any fiend I have ever encountered, almost their entire aura is either purple or black, which is indicative of a murderous and psychotic nature. These men will require magical restraint."

As Tam stands beside Laramon, looking at the two Shapechangers, he can almost feel the dangerous and even evil aura around them. He looks up at Laramon and disarmingly asks:

"Shouldn't we just kill them?" Tam then pulls out his dagger and gives a flashing, quick strike; using only the tip to scratch a wound into the "man"'s forearm, as he says with a wickedly mischievous glint in his eye, "Like this. Only deeper, of course."

He then wipes any leftover poisonous ichor, now disguised with blood, off the blade on the paralyzed man's vest and deftly places it back in its scabbard, noting that he would have to burn the scabbard later and replace it with a new one.
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Tam’s True Colors...

GM:
Sleight of Hand DC to approach w/ knife: 25.
Roll: 27 (Success)
Avoid accidentally poisoning yourself: 2-20 on d20.
Roll: 16 (Success)
Victim is paralyzed; attack automatically hits.
Damage inflicted: 4 pts.
Deathblade poison: DC 20.
Immediate roll: 25 (Success)
Secondary onset: 25 (Success)

Tam, although you succeeded in delivering a poison attack, your would-be victim resists the poison completely.


Both Laramon and Margull eye Tam with an incredulous look! This level of callousness was apparently NOT what they had expected of the little Halfling.

Lieutenant Benquist rushes forward, grabbing Tam by the arm!

Benquist says, “Hold there, small one! You are under arrest!”

Margull holds up his hand, waving Benquist away.

Margull says, “No need, lieutenant. I will handle this PERSONALLY.”

Margull glares at Tam, and points to the couch where Tam had been crashed out. He doesn’t say a word, probably because he feels that he doesn’t need to. It is GLARINGLY OBVIOUS that he wants Tam to sit down, and be silent.

GM: EVERYONE: Make a Spot check DC 25.


TAM-TAM: What do you do?
 
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Waynan

Adventurer
Supporter
Tam-Tam looks for his contact and finds him gone from sight. He then bows to Margull's command and heads back to the chaise. When he gets there he sits down on the couch knowing that to please a master, he has lost the trust, and maybe the friendship, of the others he cares about.

GM: +1,000 XP bonus for all the roleplaying you've done so far, and for sticking to your character's personality, even though it got you into trouble. Well done.
 
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Sylvar B.

Explorer
Sylvar wakes from his slumber with a start... THE PARTY he exclaims loudly. He collects his lute and bard's cloak and makes his way to the hall where the party is taking place. He finds the room guarded but attempts to diplomatically persuade the guards to let him in anyway.

Sylvar bursts into the room with a flourish, announcing his presence but trailing off as he notices Tam getting the third degree from Margull....LADIES and gentlemen, Gretious.......Von...Kirk...When Margull finishes with Tam, Sylvar intercepts him on his way to his intended seat. Sylvar whispers, What is going on?".
 
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Damionte

Explorer
Duncan looks back to his team with a quizzical look on his face that speaks for itself. "Anyone know what's going on." Says his face silently. The team collectively gives him a shrug. Ebony notices the hors d'oeuvres, taps the twins on the forearms. The trio light up with excitement and make their way to the food. It takes Duncan a moment longer to turn around to see what they're so excited about, and ends up at the back of their little line as they crowd the table taking all the good snacks. Whatever drama was going on seems to have been handled, and there was food to be eaten.
 

Aust Thale

Explorer
Vale - The Drunken Master

~ Wha? ~

The commotion and Respen's hand on Vale's shoulder shook him awake, but the wine, mead, and ale left him anything but alert. He staggered inside as Lathir bear hugged the noble and Margull popped him seemingly unconscious. Respen stood behind another noble or merchant standing stiffly, clearly magically paralyzed. The others were in various positions around the room.

"What in bloody <hiccup> blue blazes are you all <hiccup> DOING?!" Vale slurred in Common. He staggered forward toward the downed noble as Tam moved to quietly nick the paralyzed one, and Margull lost his temper. Vale loudly, drunkenly commented..."Yeh bloody well <hiccup> oughta know, these fellers aren't the <hiccup> trifling type."

Silence. The crowd was rather nervous, the frivolity limited to areas of the room and patio away from the altercation, the guests without rings fading back toward the refreshments and more congenial company. Margull and Laramon ignored Vale, as did Benquist. Respen looked Vale in the eye at a distance and slowly shook his head. It was then that Vale noticed the silence. The Axe of Copperbeard had gone silent.

"~Nothing to say, Axe?~"

Nothing.

"~What gives?~"

Nothing.

Vale sensed something significantly amiss. No glow for undead. No communication.

A brief moment of panic forced him into lucidity, but the alcohol recaptured his senses. He lurched toward a table and a keg of water, taking hold and swallowing it as quickly as he could. He grabbed a big piece of venison and some bread and shoved it down his mouth and into his stomach. Perhaps that would help.

Vale had become used to the Axe of Copperbeard, having many conversations during the past year. Its sudden absence was accentuated by the encounter going on and his alcohol-induced inability to do anything about it. He wondered if this encounter had anything to do with it. It was too coincidental.
 

Aust Thale

Explorer
Respen, Tam, and the Disappearing Act

~ The rings...again. ~

Respen quietly speaks again to the paralyzed man as Margull KOs the other ring-bearer and Vale drunkenly wanders into their midst.

"Ah! Nothing like an ale-pickled dwarf."

As Tam approaches the prisoner and cuts him, albeit lightly, Respen chuckles in spite of himself. The halfling had stones the size of apples.

Speaking again to the prisoner, "I wonder, my friend. Are you used to being dealt as opposed to dealing?"

As Margull admonishes Tam, and Benquist threatens him with arrest, the hair stands up on the bank of Respen's neck, and his eyes narrow.

Again, very quietly, "Mate, if my comrade finds himself in boiling water over the likes of you, I'll open you up like a butchered pig."

Attempting to lower the tension and draw attention away from Tam, Respen loudly interjects, "Lord Margull, Lt. Benquist, where do you want these two? I shall retire them from here to there forthwith."
 

Waynan

Adventurer
Supporter
When Margull finishes with Tam, Sylvar intercepts him on his way to his intended seat. Sylvar whispers, What is going on?".​

Tam glances at Sylvar from the corners of his eyes, as he passes him heading toward the chaise, shaking his head in polite dismissal. He really didn't want to talk to anyone right now. Reaching the chaise, he slumps into the couch-like lounge chair and, with head hanging nearly between his knees, mutters:

"Why would my Guildmaster and trainer demand of me such a dastardly and provocative act? --- And why did I obey so readily...without so much as a inquiry as to why? Ah, that's what you get for getting the big head, ol' boy. Killing a giant or three really made you feel bold as brass. Fool! All to impress a mentor and Master. By the Nine Hells..."

He continues in this vein until interrupted by Margull, Benquist or any of his mates.
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Of Rings, Spells, and Consequences...

As Tam-Tam sits down, a murmur cuts through the crowd. It seems that Tam has caused quite a stir; many people begin to whisper and point, until Margull silences them with a single gesture.

Margull addresses Tam, but it’s obviously for the crowd’s benefit: “My little friend, justice here in Dyvers is indeed swift, and sometimes brutal, but it is also always fair. As much as I hate to say it, you will now be charged with unauthorized weapon brandishment, and with physical abuse of a prisoner. Despite the fact that these men are criminals, and despite the fact that many gathered here likely feel the same way as you, it is NOT within your purview to render judgment, nor to carry out punishment. Each of these two crimes carry a hefty fine, although I shall waive the hard labor period, as long as you swear to LEARN YOUR PLACE, and in the future, to KEEP WITHIN IT!”

Margull gives Tam a long, hard stare.

[sblock=If anyone can make a DC 15 Sense Motive roll, feel free to read this]
Margull is giving Tam a pleading look, as if begging him to accept his sentence willingly and quietly, without making a fuss. It’s obvious he is going very light on him for some reason.
[/sblock]

GM:
Laramon uses various spells to restrain the interlopers, and instructs Lieutenant Benquist to take them to his tower. Laramon gathers up the gold rings from the guests, as well as the silver ring from the paralyzed man. He places them in his belt pouch, saying that he will examine them later in his laboratory. Laramon says that he can see the magical auras of the rings, and that he can tell from looking at them that they are keyed to function under two conditions, the first being that the ring is actually worn, and the second being that the ring is presented to someone as a gift.



[sblock=Tam’s eyes only]
Tam notices Palimov staring at him, an angry look in his eyes. Palimov signs to him again, saying: WHY DID YOU TAKE SUCH A HUGE CHANCE? YOU SHOULD HAVE SLIT HIS THROAT! YOU SILLY, LITTLE OAF! YOUR INCOMPETENCE HAS COST OUR GUILD DEARLY!

Margull notices what Palimov is doing, and does some signing of his own: I TOLD YOU TO SHUT UP AND BE SILENT. WE WILL ALL TALK ABOUT THIS LATER, IN PRIVATE! THIS IS MOSTLY YOUR FAULT!

Palimov puts on a calm face, so as not to attract attention, but it is obviously that he is still fuming in silence. Tam, you can’t help but wonder what the relationship between Palimov and Margull is, that Margull is able to command such complete and immediate obedience…?
[/sblock]

Margull continues, “This party, unfortunately, is at an end. All guests who did not receive rings are free to go. Those that did, shall accompany Laramon and I back to his tower. Dewydd, you and your companions, ESPECIALLY THE HALFLING, will accompany us as well. I have business to discuss with all of you. That will be all.”

Once everyone involved is within the private confines of Laramon’s tower, Margull separates the party members and the ring recipients in two different rooms. Margull enters the room occupied by the party, closes the door, and being satisfied that the room is sufficiently private, he speaks candidly to all of you:

”Let me begin by apologizing to you, my dear Tamarlin, for scolding you thus, in public; you will not actually be charged any kind of fine, because it is my belief that these ‘men’ are not men at all. I suspect that they are fiendish in origin, which seems to be a pattern here lately, considering what occurred last year in my courtroom. The laws of Dyvers protect men, but they do not apply to creatures of fiendish origin, sent to corrupt mankind and spread chaos.

However, I would caution you against such wanton defiance of authority in the future, because I would have indeed fined you, and perhaps worse, had your intended victim been a normal man. Justice in this city is mine, and mine alone.

And as for Palimov, I saw him order you to do what you did, which is another reason that I shall not punish you, although he and I are long overdue for a serious talk. It seems that I have granted him too much leeway, and he now feels that he can ran amuck, even to the extent of ordering a murder within not only my jurisdiction, but quite literally under my very nose! Palimov is a dear friend, but this act of defiance will test the limits of that bond!

But nevermind all that now; I have never taken the time to thank all of you properly, and for that, I also must apologize. You have all played an important part in the stability of this city and of its domain; your rescue of Sheriff Denby in Caltaran, and your subsequent capture of Beringer Crestwall, and your protection of Beringer during the assassination attempt, not to mention your swift action against the fiends who defiled my courtroom, are all actions worthy of praise, and what you have done here today is to add even more icing to an already impressive cake.

I shall write a proclamation this day, designating all of you as The Heroes of Dyvers, granting all of you titular petty nobility status, which means that all of you are now authorized to wear the insignia of Dyvers upon your vestments, and be known as Lords and Ladies, and addressed as such by those beneath your station. I shall extend this courtesy even to your newfound friends, having heard tell of their loyalty, bravery, and excellent behavior.”


GM: All party members, with the exception of the twins (who are seen as hirelings), have been granted Minor Writs of Nobility and have had their 2,500 gp. per year fee WAIVED, although Margull suggests that making some sort of annual donation to the city’s maintenance (payable to the Viceroy) would be looked upon with kind favor.


GM: The ‘men’ are placed within a Forcecage (barred cage version), from which there is no escape. Laramon casts Dispel Magic upon the captives, who turn out to be a Doppleganger, and a Rutterkin, respectively. It seems that Margull’s suspicions are confirmed with an uncanny degree of accuracy. Laramon then re-paralyzes both creatures, dismissing the Forcecage spell; he then follows up by casting Imprisonment on both of them. The two prisoners are now both out of sight and out of mind. A grim, dismal fate to be sure.


Margull continues, “I am now going to confide something in all of you, something that must be kept strictly secret, for the sake of this city, and of the stability of the entire region. I am what most people would call a vampire, although this is technically incorrect. I am indeed immortal, and possessed of a tainted life force. My kind are few and far-between; we call ourselves The Ones of the True Blood, although some people who have discovered our existence erroneously misinterpret that title, referring to us as the True Vampires. But the term “vampire” does not do my kind justice; we are so much more than that. The power of The Abyss itself runs through our veins, and we are all connected by a single lifeforce, spread across a vast web of consciousness. The lifeforce is said to be demonic in nature, but in our long history, only two of my kind ever proved to be truly evil. While it is true that we are cursed to require fresh blood as our primary source of sustenance, most of us struggle daily to slake that thirst without the taking of sentient life.

I am now over 2,200 years old; but early in my existence, upon reaching my 150th year as an immortal, at the age of 309, I was captured by a mortal Wizard who was bent on obtaining immortality at any cost. He kept me prisoner for over 200 years, experimenting on me, making potions from my blood, extending his lifespan, and finally, succeeding in turning himself into a rude mockery of my kind, an abomination, which my kind refer to as Vampyr, which literally means, Those of the Stolen Blood. By the time I freed myself from my imprisonment, that fiend had spawned thousands of his kind, and it is those creatures, The Vampyr, whom your kind despise and fear, calling them “vampire.” And I have made it my life’s purpose, since the time of my escape, to hunting down Vampyr wherever I can find them, and eradicating them completely. It is for this purpose that I pay so well for the hunters of the undead; where there are minor undead, there are usually also Vampyr, and seeing proof of their destruction helps bring me closer to my life’s goal. Alas, the one thing about the Vampyr that makes them formidable is the rate at which they can breed. Those of the True Blood are slow to breed, and selective, because most mortals never survive the transition. My kind only breed for companionship; carrying our curse for all eternity is truly and deeply lonely, which is why some of my kind choose to procreate. But the Vampyr have no compunction, no morality, no honor; they spread their diseased existence randomly and carelessly, leaving destruction and ruin in their wake. They are hated by my kind, although I am the only one, thusfar, that actively seeks them out.

I am one of the oldest of my kind; there are those among the True Blood who call themselves “elders,” but most of them are more than a thousand years my junior, and none of them have the slightest notion about the true extent of our powers. True Bloods of my era are known as The Antediluvians, and we exist unseen, even by the rest of our kind. The older we become, the more we are able to mask our presence from the younger True Bloods.

Respen, Laramon has told me that you have become indebted to one of the Vampyr, a Drow Sorceress named Clare, who calls herself The Empress of Darkness. He told me that she not only spared your life, but also mated you to her mortal sister, for reasons that neither Laramon nor I myself can begin to fathom. She could have literally chosen anyone, and quite easily forced Nelvandra to comply with that choice; I must say, I am deeply intrigued. Most Vampyr wield their powers without concern for the living, nor even the slightest consideration for others of their kind. Most Vampyr are completely self-absorbed, and deviant to the extreme. Hearing of one that engages in diplomatic relations with lesser beings is nothing short of astounding. Other Vampyr would consider her actions as the equivalent of playing with one’s food.

However, I am still inclined to end her, should we ever chance to meet. I doubt that there is anything that she could possibly say that would convince me to spare her life. But as a favor to you, and to your new wife, I am telling you this with the utmost sincerity, so that you may warn her to steer clear of dealings on the surface, especially within the Domain of Dyvers. If she remains in the Underdark, I might never chance to meet her, thus ensuring her continued longevity. If she does not, she should be aware that I have it within my power to kill her with but a single glance. She would not survive our encounter.”


GM: At this point, Laramon uses an epic version (of his own design) of the Legend Lore spell to discover various things about the two prisoners. As a favor to the party, Laramon allows you all to collectively “ask the questions” to be answered by his spell. You may ask 30 questions whose answer MUST be in the form of a YES / NO response. Discuss it among yourselves in LINE chat, and post the final list of questions HERE; I am designating Duncan to be the party’s spokesperson / “caller” ; Duncan shall post the list, once the questions have been decided upon.


EVERYONE: What do you do?
 
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MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Lathir paces about the room, listening, but not really interested in the conversation. He is much more interested in leaving the confines of the room.
 
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Sylvar B.

Explorer
Sylvar smiles as he muses internally, "So this means I can introduce myself as "Sir Gretious Von Kirk." Sylvar says nothing else, he merely takes it all in for the Epic he is going to write concerning the exploits of his "Respens Raiders"... The title causes his smile to deepen, partially because he likes it, and partially at the thought that mentioning it might annoy Respen... but he holds his tongue, rankling his friend doesn't seem like the proper thing at the moment. He'll save it for later. He does however, reach back into his memory for anything concerning Margull, the "True Blood" and Vampires.

OOC:
Bardic Knowledge check = 25
 
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Aust Thale

Explorer
Vale...A Vicious Buzz...and Vampires...

"Oy mate...I said OY!!"

Vale bellows at Margull. "Ye old fart...ye bloody well explain yourself. Ah don't give a flying fartknocker what you are. Ye sent us to Skorane on a fishin' expedition with a scroll on a post and a bottle of sanctimony? What the hell were you thinking? Oh, I know. You weren't. You're...what did ye say...2200 years old? So what was it? Sanctimony? Maybe you forgot the scroll was on the post as you disappeared through your mirror? "

Vale was stupid drunk (clearly), and he is amazed that he strung more than a couple of words together. Still he delivers righteous indignation to the ancient Vampire...or whatever the hell he is.


"My cousin will never be the same. Yeah, it's his fault he took up with those bloody idiots, but you sent all those idiots to that disaster knowing full well what was there? Too good for ye? You're the type who is so above the fray that he sends any butt-reaming moron off to poke the bloody undead bear?"


Respen comes behind Vale, placing his hand on his shoulder. Vale shoves it off and staggers off, not waiting on Margull's answer.

" Avance, Elf. Ça va aller. Mais le Seigneur Margull a besoin d'une dose de réalité. Et j'ai besoin de plus de boire. Maudit Vampire. "

OOC: Move along, Elf. I'll be fine. But Lord Margull needs a dose of reality. And I need more to drink. Damn vampire.


Vale doesn't notice that he properly address Margull as a Lord, even as he staggers away back toward his room at Dewydd's manor.

~ Petty nobility, meh ass. I'd rather have meh eyebrow back. ~
 

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