The Heroes of Dyvers Chapter Six

Aust Thale

Adventurer
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
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
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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