Coming from across the kingdoms, our eclectic group of adventurers find themselves in the City-State of Vas Nuar, at The Sodden Lamb, a tavern owned by The Red Hand.
Mahon has been summoned to audition for acceptance to The Red Hand, a guild of thieves in Vas Nuar.
Vex, a junior member of the Hand, is undergoing the quest as her right of passage—her Take.
Orsik and Onyx, two Dwarves from the Kingdom of Skarhold have led their prisoner Makaria across the Five Kingdoms, tracking down Etherian artifacts that have been causing rashes of destruction across the kingdoms.
- # #
Upon meeting in the tavern, Eydis informs the group that one of the Merchant Prince’s of Vas Nuar — PRINCE GALLO — has been showing a rapid increase in wealth and secrecy. She believes he’s been bringing Etherian Artifacts in and out of the city and selling them.
Etherian Artifacts are as deadly as they are valuable, though, and Eydis wants to stop Gallo before his… activity brings danger into Vas Nuar itself. To that end, she’s charged the group with going to GREYHILL, where Prince Gallo owns a keep. She believes that’s where he’s storing the artifacts.
Eydis presents the group with a CONTRACT to be signed to bring them on as guards of Prince Gallo’s latest wagon going out to Greyhill, and the group accepts. If they can, they’re supposed to see what’s inside the wagon on the way to Greyhill.
The group gets off to a rough start with the wagon as Mahon and Orsik attempt to lie to a pair of twin elves waiting by the wagon in order to see what’s being transported. Their attempt is rebuffed, but they learn that the wagon is trapped.
ASTA, a tough gnomish woman arrives to lead the wagon on its way and the group gets going. Shortly after setting out, they come upon a bridge that’s been washed away on the river. The Dwarf brothers Onyx and Orsik go to help drag the bridge in while the others keep guard.
Vex sees something strange across the way and hears what sounds like a child crying. They soon make out the shapes of two KENKU waiting across the way to ambush them. The group sets to work trying to kill the Kenku as the Dwarves drag the bridge in.
Mahon, Orsik and Onyx make quick work of the Kenku.
Meanwhile, while the group is distracted, Makaria sneaks around behind the wagon, disarms the trap, and looks at what’s inside: a single, large crystal, pulsing faintly with light. She reaches out and touches it and a vision invades her mind — a single Etherian child, shrouded by darkness.
The Etherian opens its eyes and looks at her.
The vision breaks.
Out of danger, the group make their way across the bridge and find a place to camp for the night.
A Voice (GM): (Urk, sorry — Chrome froze a moment. Writing now)
Vas Nuar — The city of a thousand names. We come upon the city as dusk settles in, the sun drifting beyond the distant mountains of Skarhold. For Onyx and Makaria, coming upon the city in a cart on the winding road from Remna, the city looms, the outer ring encircled by a grand wall, the inner ring risen up on a great stone platform overwhich water runs in great falls, spilling down into the city and feeding the many canals the criss-cross through the streets before winding out into the many rivers. At the gate, a guard directs you to The Sodden Lamb, a tavern where Orsik awaits you both.
The Sodden Lamb: A tavern in the western part of the outer ring, in the market district. The streets is fairly bustling, working people turning towards home with baskets laden with goods. Fires are burning, fighting the crisp Autumn air. Before you even enter the Lamb you can hear the warm crackle of a fire, the strings of a bard’s loot, and laughter.
(Got my mind in the game!)
(Mahon, you can be back if you’d like to be – - Orsik, you’d have returned a while ago.)
Makaria: Well, Onyx, it seems your brother’s taste in inns has improved.
Onyx Battlebeard: Ha! I doubt hes happy about waitin’ in a place such as this! Better be findin’ him quick.
A Voice (GM): Orsik, by now you may have settled up to the bar. The drinks come easy and free at the Lamb, for you — and it’s good ale, too. As strong as it is dark, and it’s near black.
Mahon: [ Nah, I’ll wait to arrive in just a moment. ]
Orsik Battlebeard: Oi! Lad o’er ‘ere! Tha ale is almost as good as back ’ome!
A Voice (GM): [ Roger roger ]
As you two push into the Lamb you see a wider array of faces than you’ve seen anywhere else in the kingdoms — here at the Lamb, and in Vas Nuar, gnomes sit among Dragonborn, Elves among Half-Orcs. A Tiefling even sits off to the side, by the fireplace.
Makaria: At the bar. Of course. You dwarves do nothing to combat stereotypes.
Onyx Battlebeard: You know I hate when ye call me lad ya fuckin prick! I mutter under my breath Minutes damn older and im a lad… You bests be havin’ a mug on its way for me!
A Voice (GM): “Thank the gods for that!” A fellow dwarf behind the counter — a woman with a fair, golden beard and wild curls of hair says, laughing and setting down two more drinks on the counter.
Makaria: Ah, the bartender is another dwarf.
Orsik, I trust you have a room? Where is it? I have things to do.
A Voice (GM): As you ask that question, Makaria…
A familiar phenomenon occurs — familiar to Orsik, at least, as the room grows steadily still, and quiet, and begins to filter out. One by one, patrons leave — not unhappy, not a one grumbling, simply looking as if they’d all found something better to do with themselves.
The crowd outside grows to a hush as well, as if the city even now drifted off towards sleep.
Makaria: Well… That was… unusual? Never mind then.
I sit by the fire and begin to open that book I found
Mahon: “Just in time, I see,” I comment as I slip in the doorway. I spot the dwarf I met earlier in the company of Eydis and make my way over, noting he’s with two others.
A Voice (GM): The Dwarven woman behind the counter gives Orsik and Onyx a small, tight smile, makes a show of leaving the cask of ale behind the counter open, and steps out the door behind the bar.
Vex: The Tiefling by the fire, one of the few who didn’t leave the tavern, gives Makaria only the most cursory of glances as the other takes the other fireside seat.
Orsik Battlebeard: Ah, mah new elven friend! Yeh came back!
Mahon: “You say, as if I had a choice,” I quip, but it makes me smile anyhow.
Makaria: Well, Master Elf, I’m glad I’m not the ONLY one here against my will.
Onyx Battlebeard: AYE! ORSIK SHE LEFT THE BLOODY CASK OPEN! I am totally oblivious to the people remaining in the inn.
A Voice (GM): Makaria, as you settle in, you alone notice something across from you, near the fireplace — a soft pulse of light in a rectangle, like the framing of a door. It glows purple, and blue, and settles on green.
[ Also, make me a History check if/when you’d like to try reading the book. Or you can go straight Int. ]
Makaria • Ability check
Result 15 | 19
A Voice (GM): As you look over the leather bound cover, you trace your fingers across the symbols embossed upon its surface — A STUDY OF DREAMSPELL — You sense the translation may not be exact, but you’re distracted by the commotion of the Dwarves.
Mahon: “It’s not against my will, as such,” I tell her with a shrug, and keep my eyes on the doorway.
Makaria: I suppose I’ll have to read this later.
I put the book away in my pack.
[ Can I make an arcana check on the glowy door? ]
Orsik Battlebeard: Aye, Kara, no’ e’eryone is ‘eld against their will.
A Voice (GM): As the conversation falls into a natural lull, a door beside the fireplace opens where no door had previously been. A half-elven woman steps out, her short, black hair mussed about her pale, angular face. Her eyes are green and bright with energy and her fingers and one of her ears are covered in an assortment of rings — silver and black onyx. "My, the room is a little fuller than I’d thought it might be just earlier today."
[ Sure, give it a go! ]
Makaria: Orsik, I know we’ve known each other for a while now, but I must insist that you stop using nicknames for me!
Makaria • Ability check
Result 21 | 25
Mahon: [ I love the mental image of all these dudes (and ladies) hanging around a tavern. ]
Vex: As the door opens and the woman steps out, I quickly rise from my chair to give her a bow. “Evening, ma’am.”
Mahon: I look from the Tiefling to Eydis and back.
Orsik Battlebeard: Stands up, puts his mug down ‘Ello Eydis, it’s good to see yeh ‘gain
Onyx Battlebeard: I roll my eyes Aye Orsik you be hearin’? No no nicknames! I let out a full laugh and roll my eyes
A Voice (GM): The woman turns to the Tiefling almost singularly, moving over to her with a warm smile. She holds out her hand and takes the Tiefling by the forearm, a warm-if-official embrace. “Almost no need for the ma’am anymore, no?”
Vex: “Maybe not! But can’t be too careful.”
Makaria: I turn on my heels sharply
Eydis? Which one of you is Eydis?
A Voice (GM): “I see you’ve found your brother, Orsik,” she says, looking over to you. “A stout fellow, if I ever saw one.” And she looks to Mahon, then. “Is Bear taken care of?”
Orsik Battlebeard: Nods, then returns to his mug
A Voice (GM): “That would be me,” the woman says, drawing back a step to better look at the room in full.
Mahon: Makaria’s surprise puts me on guard, and for a moment I start to move in front of Eydis, but stop when she mentions Bear. “She is.”
Makaria: Eydis… I met one of your friends recently. A man named Vikker?
Vex: I turn as Eydis does to view the gathered, my eyes flicking across each in turn with a more curious look now.
Makaria: I approach Eydis, entering what most people would consider to be their personal space
A Voice (GM): “Did you now? Now that is interesting,” she says, and looks away from you a moment — to a corner of the room, as if she’s searching for something. A moment pauses, a bead of silence, and then she smiles. “Remna, was it?” she asks. “You must have had quite the adventure.”
Eydis stands still, her posture casual. A casual observer could see the short-sword on one hip, the two daggers on the other. She reaches for neither.
Makaria: It was interesting, to say the least.
Onyx Battlebeard: I sit my mug down Oy… Vikker… Tha poor bastard… I grip my amulet
A Voice (GM): [Sorry, belatedly, Makaria: You would know of this as something of a Pocket Door — the door connects to a room slightly off-plane from this one. ]
Vex: “… What happened with Vikker?”
Makaria: He’s quite dead.
Onyx Battlebeard: Be some kind o’ maddness.
Makaria: And your fist, Onyx.
Vex: “Madness? You sure he wasn’t just drunk?”
Mahon: Okay, that makes me laugh a bit, though it’s not appropriate..
A Voice (GM): “I had heard as much, unfortunately… I had hoped it wasn’t the case.”
Onyx Battlebeard: It ‘twas a love tap dont be castin’ a bad light on me dammit Kara.
A Voice (GM): “My people will go in the morning to collect him.”
Makaria: You speak to a Cleric and a Wizard, Tiefling. No, he was not drunk.
Mahon: “A love tap,” I repeat to myself, chuckling.
Vex: I idly wiggle my fingers, as if Makaria’s words don’t impress me much. “Sounds like he deserved it.”
Orsik Battlebeard: (Sorry reading to catch up, dogs got out so I had to chase them down!)
Onyx Battlebeard: Ya blasted magician points to Orsik HES THE BLOODY CLERIC
A Voice (GM): “The strong survive,” Edys says, and touches your shoulder, Vex, lightly, before going to the bar.
“Dwarves can be so loud,” she says in passing to Mahon, returning to her place behind the bar to retrieve a glass and her bottle of brandy.
“But they do have their uses.”
Orsik Battlebeard: I chuckle a little at the loud comment
Mahon: I only smile at that. I find these dwarves in particular quite amusing.
Makaria: What was he looking for in that ruin, I wonder? What could be worth sending a man to die for in that old place?
Vex: My tail flicks back and forth in two quick swipes, then I follow after her, one foot in front of the other, like a large cat. “Cannon fodder?” I question, teasingly.
Mahon: I hold up both hands. “Some background, Eydis?” I request.
A Voice (GM): “The perfect distraction,” Eydis says to you, Vex, grinning. She sets down a second glass and pours you a brandy alongside her own. She drinks hers in one swallow. “Right, then. Background.”
“I believe some of you already know the situation,” she looks to Vex, to Mahon, to Orsik. “But some illumination would be helpful, I’m certain.”
Vex: I take the brandy but simply hold it, swirling the glass ever so often as I listen and pay attention to these other people.
A Voice (GM): “It appears one of the merchant Princes here has taken quite a fondness to hoarding Etherian artifacts — and more worryingly, selling them. And he’s been quite sloppy with them. Recently one was found in the hands of two Kobold out in Kettering. Another was found in a keep in Remna. I sent a man there to retrieve it, but it appears it got the better of him.”
Mahon: “Speaking of,” I mutter, with a sidelong glance at Eydis, but I say nothing more, not interrupting.
A Voice (GM): There is a certain sadness in her voice, but she seems to take the Elven view of life: it is fleeting, and it has passed. She pours another drink, and holds the bottle up to anyone who would like.
Makaria: I laugh sarcastically
Kobolds? You must be joking.
A Voice (GM): “I’m sure Mahon could tell you more of that.”
“Lucky for us they were only Kobolds.”
Onyx Battlebeard: "tis not ale but if yer offerin’! I hand my mug over for some Brandy
Makaria: You expect me to believe that Kobolds are buying and using Etherian artefacts?
Mahon: “I saw it myself,” I say pointedly.
Orsik Battlebeard: I put my hand over my mug, sticking with the ale
A Voice (GM): She pours you a good portion, Onyx, and smiles.
“Not buying, no. They found it. I suspect our Princely friend has been rather careless.”
Mahon: “Now, I won’t say they bought it .. I find that unlikely, but the kobold in question was using a necklace to make his daughter appear human.”
A Voice (GM): “I’ve heard tell that the three of you were trekking halfway across the Kingdoms, and I’d wager most of it were after these shipments that have been lost or… Waylaid.”
Mahon: “The ramifications of that are pretty severe, if you think about it,” I shrug, then move to accept a drink myself.
A Voice (GM): “And so here we are, now.”
Onyx Battlebeard: Bottoms up! I down the entire glass obviously forgetting immediately it was not just ale
Vex: “Merchant Princes being careless? Say it not be so.” I mutter.
Makaria: Ah. A mundane. How can I be sure someone who does not know magic could know such things?
A Voice (GM): [ Such a Slytherin. ]
Mahon: “I took it off the kobold girl myself and saw her change before my eyes.”
“Then I broke her leg!” I add.
A Voice (GM): Eydis seems to stifle a laugh at that.
Mahon: “Well, that was an accident. You really should have been there.”
Orsik Battlebeard: Let’s out a boisterous laugh
Mahon: “Don’t worry about it, anyhow.”
A Voice (GM): “Regardless,” she says, clearing her throat.
Vex: “Alas! I was busy! Maybe next time.”
Makaria: Next time?
Vex: I smirk. “Always a next time.”
Makaria: Not with you people, there isn’t…
Orsik Battlebeard: I motion my mug to Eydis Can yeh gives a lil more information on who we’re ‘unting now tha’ we’re all ‘ere
A Voice (GM): "I’ve put pressure on our dear prince here, as much as I am able to without exposing myself. He’s planning to move a shipment west into his holding in Greyhill, tomorrow. I’ve asked Mahon to go there and discover what it is he’s hiding. To bring it back to me. Fortune has landed the rest of you here."
Mahon: I look a little surprised at being singled out, but maybe also a little smug.
A Voice (GM): “My darling Vex here will be going along as well,” she says, gesturing with her glass to the Tiefling. “As… an assurance.”
Vex: I once again wiggle my fingers, but it’s now in a wave to the others, a small smile showing off pointed teeth.
Makaria: And is there a particular reason I should agree to work for you?
A Voice (GM): [ Speaking of which. ]
[ Belatedly. ]
[ If you would all like to describe yourselves, you can! ]
Mahon: [ Speaking of teeth? ]
[ Oh ]
Orsik Battlebeard: Snaps a look at Makaria Yeh ‘ave no choice
A Voice (GM): "As I’ve heard it, dear," Edys says, leaning across the counter towards you. “You’ve no choice in the matter.”
Onyx Battlebeard: Shut yer trap! You be actin’ as if there be a choice in the matter wizard!
Mahon: “Two against one,” I agree.
Makaria: Of course you two imbeciles agreed.
Mahon: “This is going to be a long journey,” I groan to myself.
A Voice (GM): “I get that sense, myself.”
“Luckily, I get to stay here.” She grins.
Makaria: [ Makaria. On the short side. Short black hair. Wizard robes. Black ones. ]
Vex: The woman sitting on the bar stool next to Eydis is somewhat diminutive, coming in at only 5’2", but she holds herself with a catlike grace. Her hair is long and white, her skin a pale blue-grey, and her eyes pure gold. Though she seems young, her confidence (and perhaps Eydis’ confidence in her) causes her to sit tall, even as she watches the others bicker.
Orsik Battlebeard: (Look at our picture for physical descriptions!)
Onyx Battlebeard: (“short”)
Orsik Battlebeard: (That)
A Voice (GM): [ Hahaha. ]
Vex: Almost idly, I tuck some hair behind my horns and look at Eydis with an amused expression.
Mahon: [ Mahon is about 5’2" as well. Damn Elf heights ]
[ He’s still taller than me though. ]
Vex: [ Yay shorties! ]
Mahon: [ XD ]
A Voice (GM): “So, then, can I trust in the lot of you to make it to Greyhill and return with what we’re after? If you can do as much, I can promise the Prince will look the other way. I can offer you passage into the city, as well.”
Mahon: “Promise he’ll look the other way?” I repeat. “And how is that guaranteed? We’re stealing from under his nose.”
Orsik Battlebeard: Aye, Mahon ‘as a point
A Voice (GM): "Our dear prince will remain here, in Vas Nuar. I merely need to keep him busy, so he doesn’t turn his gaze towards home."
“Which isn’t to say you won’t have your fair amount to attend to. Guards, and such,” she says and waves her hand.
[ Greyhill is a city two days ride west of Vas Nuar proper, so you know the geography of it. ]
Orsik Battlebeard: I nod to Eydis Yeh ‘ave mah brother an’ mah ’ammer’s mah lady
Mahon: [ AND MY AXE ]
A Voice (GM): “The Prince, Gallo, has a wagon going out to Greyhill in the morning. We have reason to believe it contains another shipment of his… Artifacts. I’ve managed to guarantee the lot of you a spot guarding it — not under my own name or the banner of the Hand, of course — if you take my offer.”
Orsik Battlebeard: looks towards Makaria An’ the wizard’s spells
Mahon: [ Sorry, LotR moment there. ]
Vex: [ Haha! ]
Onyx Battlebeard: I swing Bessy up over my shoulder Aye!
Orsik Battlebeard: (bahahaha!)
Makaria: Of course you do! Sarcastic cheerfulness
A Voice (GM): “My thanks, lady wizard,” Eydis bows her head in apparent deference to you, Makaria.
Mahon: “You keep bear safe, and I’m in,” I tell Eydis. I am serious about this bear, okay?
Makaria: I raise my eyebrows, taken aback by anything that resembles respect from her.
A Voice (GM): “I’m sure Bear can fend for himself, but I give you my assurance all the same.”
Makaria: Bear? You… keep a pet bear?
Mahon: “She looks nice in that bow,” I add.
“It’s a long story,” I tell Makaria cheerfully. “Don’t worry, she’s staying home.”
Vex: “Who doesn’t have a pet bear these days.”
A Voice (GM): “Of course, Vex here did the thing,” she says. “You can thank her for the bow.”
Makaria: And you could only think to name it BEAR?
Orsik Battlebeard: Oi! Kara! Respect!
Mahon: “She IS a bear,” I reply to Makaria.
Makaria: You’re not wrong.
Mahon: [ DUH, geez. ]
[ aahahahaha ]
Vex: I do a little flourishy sitting bow. “I thought pink matched her eyes.”
Makaria: Orsik, really, the nicknames are getting old.
Mahon: “I kept it,” I tell Vex. “Now no one thinks she’s a boy.”
A Voice (GM): “Well, I sense that you’ll all get along well enough not to kill one another on the way, at least,” she says, though she looks at Makaria when she speaks.
Makaria: Although I understand if Makaria has too many syllables for you.
Vex: I grin.
Mahon: “Not that she really gets out, but, you know..” I trail, waving my hands.
Vex: “No no, I caught on.”
Mahon: “You’re the first. I’m sure she was happy.”
[ I am glad we are not on voice because I am loling. ]
Vex: “Yes, well, you know… keen eyes.”
A Voice (GM): Eydis reaches into the side of the leather bodice she wears and draws out a folded piece of parchment, spreading it across the table. The formal lettering marks a contract, with empty lines at its bottom. “A contract to guard Prince Gallo’s caravan. Sign it, and you’ll begin in the morning.”
Onyx Battlebeard: Kara kara kara kara kara kara kara. You be rememberin’ what I told ye about nicknames? You’’ll be usin mine soon enough it seems!
Mahon: “Is there a nickname for Onyx?”
Orsik Battlebeard: Downing the last of my ale, I put the empty mug down, walk over, and sign the contract. Then I retreat to a table grab my holy symbol and mutter a prayer
Mahon: “.. Is it ‘O?’” I wonder aloud.
Makaria: There’s Moron.
Vex: “O my.”
A Voice (GM): “Oh dear.”
Mahon: I laugh.
I could go on…
Mahon: “Oh Dear Battlebeard.”
Orsik Battlebeard: chuckle Yeh know yeh be callin’ ‘im Daddy soon enough
Vex: I promptly choke on my brandy.
Mahon: "Wait, it’s DADDY?"
Orsik Battlebeard: Only fer Kara’s sake
Onyx Battlebeard: Kara dont be shy! You be lovin’ yer nicknames. I pull my whip out from my side AYE! Rememberin’ who yer Daddy be?
A Voice (GM): “Before the bloodshed, if you would…” Eydis holds the quill out to Makaria.
Mahon: “Pwoo. Boy. I’m sorry, I don’t think we’ll ever get that close,” I say, patting Onyx’s back.
Vex: I then double over onto the bar to muffle my laugh with my arms, wheezing softly.
A Voice (GM): Eydis shares a private look with Vex, sighing exaggeratedly, mouthing “Dwarves”
Vex: I wipe tears of laughter from my eyes and nod, knowingly.
A Voice (GM): “Whatever works, hm?” Eydis smiles benignly at you, Makaria.
Makaria: At this, I slowly disengage from the conversation, and approach an unremarkable section of wall, prodding it gently.
A Voice (GM): Makaria, make me another arcana check.
Mahon: “Okay, I’ll go first then,” I say, plucking the quill from Eydis’ grasp, as Makaria has ignored it.
Makaria • Ability check
Result 19 | 11
No, I signed!
Mahon: [ OH MY BAD ]
[ Missed that ]
[ Ignore that post then! ]
Orsik Battlebeard: (I signed also!)
Mahon: [ ffff ]
Mahon: [ Too much going on ]
RIGHT THEN I’LL JUST SIGN THIS PAPER HERE
AFTER EVERYONE APPARENTLY
A Voice (GM): Makaria, as you approach where the door has been, touching the wall and remembering its lines, you sense… Nothing. As you concentrate on it, you realize you’ve heard tell of a magical item that transforms into a portal similar to that — sometimes in the shape of a key, or a single card, usually used by people who do no great magic of their own.
[ I’m going to assume everyone signs? ]
Mahon: [ brb. ]
Vex: [ I’m assuming Vex doesn’t have to sign? ]
Onyx Battlebeard: Aye
A Voice (GM): [ Vex would’ve probably already signed, in any case. ]
Vex: [ True. ]
A Voice (GM): [ But the signature is specifically to act as a guard in Prince Gallo’s caravan, so it’d be separate from typical Hand activities. ]
Mahon: [ k ]
Vex: [ Ah, right! She signed it before she came here, then. ]
A Voice (GM): As the last signature curls across the page, Eydis collects the paper, folds it, and presses it between her hands — there’s a moment’s pause as the shadows grow between her hands and the paper disappears. “Now, then, that’s settled. I’ve reserved the upper floor of the tavern for your personal use this evening.”
Mahon: Mahon seems to think of something, then frowns and turns his back on everyone for a moment.
[ oops, third person ]
Orsik Battlebeard: Mah lady I bow Ah assume yeh ‘ave the three o’ us in the same room?
Mahon: [ Habit ]
Vex: [ Be right back super quick. ]
A Voice (GM): “The three of you may take whichever rooms you like,” she says and bows her head to you.
“As for tomorrow. The wagon will be captained by a woman by the name of Asta Crestbreaker. Fearsome woman. From what I hear, you’ll have two guests — Elves, of Gallo’s house. You’ll want to watch out for them.”
“And if you can,” she says, pouring a last thumb of brandy and draining it. “I would try to get a look at what’s inside the cart before you get to Greyhill.”
Mahon: “That shouldn’t be a problem.”
A Voice (GM): “It’s likely the vast amount of his hoard is in the keep itself, but I suspect you may only have one chance at getting at what he’s bringing in, if he’s taking it there to sell.”
Vex: [ Back! ]
A Voice (GM): [ Dwarves, wanna roll me a history check? ]
Orsik Battlebeard • Ability check
A Voice (GM): [ Hahaha. ]
Orsik Battlebeard • Ability check
(Okay, hold on)
(There you go)
Onyx Battlebeard • Ability check
A Voice (GM): [ Dwarves are killin’ me, hahahaha. ]
You remember the woman Edys is talking about — Asta. You’ve heard of her during your days in Skarhold. A renowned cart driver, she famously steered her cart through Serpent Trail in the Skarhold mountains in the dead of winter. She’s also famed for fighting off a pack of wolves on her own, after her crew died.
[ Just a bit of extra info for you, since you’re from the area. ]
Orsik Battlebeard: (kk)
A Voice (GM): “If you’re all settled then, I’ll take my leave. Unless you have any questions?”
Makaria: Eydis, I have to say, I’m impressed with this operation. Particularly this tavern.
A Voice (GM): “Kind words are always appreciated,” Eydis says, warming. When she claps her hands together, her rings click. “We rather think of it as a second home.”
Makaria: I’m sure the peasants and lackeys that usually frequent the area wouldn’t notice the interplanar door you have here.
Mahon: “Eydis.” I say. Then ..
A Voice (GM): And you can tell it’s true. There are etchings in the tables, in the wooden frame of the place. The music that’s played here for years seems to live in the walls. The fire is crackling warmly. It’s like home.
“Most don’t, but there are always exceptions,” she says, and winks at you.
Makaria: Yes, it seems there are. What are you hiding among the common folk of this city?
Onyx Battlebeard: Inter planer whats what? I glance at Kara
Mahon: The others somewhat distracted, I sign quickly to Eydis. My hands are practically a blur.
Vex: “Tarrasques.” I say, strait faced.
A Voice (GM): At this, Eydis breaks out laughing.
Vex: “So many. All the tarrasques.”
Makaria: Yes, all ONE of them. If you believe superstitious legends.
A Voice (GM): “Stick around after you complete this job and maybe you’ll find out, my dear.”
“Until then, I’m afraid you’ll have to live in ignorance.”
Onyx Battlebeard: Aye ye only have a sense of humor when yer makin’ comments about yer drawven friends eh Kara? Lightin’ up!
Makaria: I bristle visibly
Vex: With a playful grin, I lean back in my seat, tail twitching.
A Voice (GM): Eydis pauses from speaking, her hands previously moving in an intricate pattern, stop — she looks at Mahon, raises a single brow, laughs quietly. “Don’t make me fear I chose the wrong person, now,” she says to you. “Don’t make me regret this.”
“I leave the rest of the evening, and the Lamb, to you,” she says, turning to regard you as a group and bow her head, her cold demeanor dropping to warmth again.
Vex: “Wait, ma’am!”
“Could you… let Isa know I’ll be back soon?”
Makaria: I disengage once more and begin studying my book.
Onyx Battlebeard: I whisper to Orsik Oi I do love watchin’ Kara tense up to a stern voice big ole baby with all bark an no bite! Laughs loud enough to everyone to hear
A Voice (GM): Eydis softens. She lingers behind the counter, reaching across it to take Vex’s hand a moment. “Dear, don’t be silly. Isa will be by this evening, I’m certain of it. She just had something to do for me, first. I’ll see you whole and well soon, all right?”
Orsik Battlebeard: Chuckles under his breath at his brother
Vex: I grin, tail wagging briefly. “Alright. I’ll keep an eye out for her. Stride safe.”
A Voice (GM): “Ever in the shadows,” Eydis says, and steps out from behind the bar and away. Makaria, due to your previous close attention, you may see her draw a single, slender key from the leather bracer on her waist — almost small enough to be a needle — she touches the wall with it, a soft glow surrounds the door, and she steps through it.
Mahon: “So.. who’s Isa?” I ask, sidling up to Vex as Eydis leaves. “Is she a bear? I mean, I’m just curious.”
Vex: I stiffen as Mahon approaches, looking him over. “Neither kind. She’s a friend.”
Makaria: I grin.
I go back to my book.
Mahon: “A friend.. like an Eydis friend? Or like a FRIEND friend?”
I am nosy.
… but it makes me good at my job.
Vex: “A friend of Eydis and I, yes.”
Mahon: I raise my eyebrows. “Not sure I want to join the Hand after all.” But my tone is light. I’m not serious, only ribbing her a bit.
Vex: I narrow my eyes. “If you’re not sure, then you’d better leave before you end up underground.”
Makaria: I start, visibly shaken.
Orsik Battlebeard: This entire time Orsik just keeps filling and emptying his mug
Mahon: [ LOL ]
A Voice (GM): [ Hahahaha ]
Vex: [ The next morning, all the ale is gone ]
Mahon: I laugh. “Just keeping my options open!”
Orsik Battlebeard: (He’s taking it all in okay!)
Onyx Battlebeard: Has been trying to out drink his brother
A Voice (GM): Orsik, thanks to your diligence you empty the entire cask — and find another beside it that’s TWICE as good.
Mahon: [ I
[ .. wat ]
Orsik Battlebeard: (In real life, he’d lose)
Mahon: [ *I (heart) dwarves ]
Onyx Battlebeard: (no question)
Vex: “If you’re not serious about this, then you have no place in The Hand.”
A Voice (GM): After Eydis has left, the gentle sound of the city returns to the world. Night has fallen and the city is quieter, but you can hear footsteps again, and a few children laughing. The tavern remains empty, aside from you, and you sense it will remain that way as long as Eydis wills it.
Mahon: “You mistake me. I didn’t say I’m not serious, nor did I say I was or wasn’t interested in being a part of the Hand,” I state, holding up my hands for a moment.
Makaria: [ Do you want me to drop another history check to read this book? ]
Vex: “I’m sure you said exactly that.”
A Voice (GM): [ Sure, go for it! ]
Mahon: “You don’t seem half as worried about these folk,” I point out.
“They’re coming too.”
Makaria • Ability check
Result 17 | 12
Vex: “They’re just travelers. They’ll finish this and keep going. It’s you I’ll have to deal with.”
Mahon: “Am I really so bad?” I laugh. “Besides, it sounds like there’s no guarantee you’ll have to deal with me.”
Vex: “… I guess not. Eydis is pretty picky with who she adopts into the fold. I’m not so sure what she sees in you.”
A Voice (GM): Makaria, you turn through the pages. The paper is beyond old, and you almost fear just touching it might ruin it, but it’s been preserved by some arcane means and does not rip or tear. You turn, and turn, seeing a thousand unfamiliar runes, but picking out a handful here or there, making a few passing guesses at more and making mental note of them. From what you can gather, it’s an Etherian book about magic specifically relating to sleep
- the ability to project oneself into someone’s dreams and, through the dream, enter the world wherever that person is. A sort of teleportation magic."
Some runes hint at a darker nature, an ability to assassinate a person while they’re dreaming. Beyond that, you can only guess at the moment.
Mahon: “Me neither,” I grin. “Probably my pretty face.”
“Or .. it could be Bear,” I frown.
Onyx Battlebeard: walks between the two YER BOTH SO SERIOUS! and I offer my my mug to the two.
A Voice (GM): [ Makaria, you’re a little closer towards learning the language. It will still take some time. ]
Makaria: I’mma study the shit outa this shit.
Mahon: [ AHAHAHA ]
Vex: I start to speak, but Onyx interrupts me with his mug. I glance at it, back up at Mahon, simply raise an eyebrow, then take the mug and take a big gulp.
A Voice (GM): You dedicate yourself to the book, almost slipping into a trance as the others bicker behind you and the fire crackles warmly in front of you.
Halfway through the book you encounter what appears to be a story written for Etherian children, the runes simple and more easily understood. It references an Aberration, a creature made to dwell in dreams, able to kill silently and inhabit people’s waking minds.
Mahon: [ Oh lovely ]
“I don’t drink after strangers,” I say merrily, refusing.
Onyx Battlebeard: As I havent heard a peep from Kara I walk over Kara and stand in front noticing shes not paying a lick of attention to anything else but the book. AND I TRY TO SNATCH IT OUT HER DAMN HANDS LIKE AN ANNOYING OLDER BROTHER
A Voice (GM): [ Opposed Dex checks! ]
Makaria: Dex checks?
A Voice (GM): [ Indeed ]
Onyx Battlebeard • Ability check
Makaria • Ability check
Result 21 | 17
Onyx Battlebeard: GET SOEM
A Voice (GM): [ Oh shit. ]
Onyx Battlebeard: NATURAL
Makaria: Shit dude.
Vex: [ Dang! ]
A Voice (GM): [ Roll off just to be fair! ]
Makaria • Ability check
Result 17 | 5
Onyx Battlebeard • Ability check
Mahon: “I’m beginning to think being sneaky about all this is going to be hard with this party,” I sigh, sinking into the seat by Vex, either oblivious to or ignoring the fact that she seems to hate me.
Onyx Battlebeard: welp
A Voice (GM): The two of you tousle over the book and Onyx, you almost have it! But you’ve been drinking just a bit too much and Makaria manages to wrestle the book away from you, nearly throwing it into the fire as a result of the struggle.
Makaria: ONYX, YOU KNUCKLE DRAGGER!
Vex: I wipe my mouth on the back of my sleeve and look back to Mahon. “… Look. I just take Hand business seriously. So… sorry.” She purses her lips, giving a casual glance to the struggling pair by the fire. “… You know these guys well?”
Onyx Battlebeard: Oi Kara! Loosen’ up a bit! hiccup
A Voice (GM): [ This is amazing, by the way, you guys. ]
Mahon: “Never met them in my life,” I reply.
A Voice (GM): [ A+ ]
Mahon: Then I perk up. “WAIT.”
Vex: "So we’re on the same pa
Mahon: “No. I lied. I met that guy earlier. Like two hours ago.”
A Voice (GM): [ Actually, Onyx and Makaria, both take inspiration. ]
Orsik Battlebeard: Stands up Oi! Kara! Watch yerself!
Mahon: “Is that something?”
Makaria: [ I know. We’re all spectacular. ]
Vex: “Oh. Yeah, a little, but not much. Not unless you’re the world’s greatest spy.”
Mahon: [ If not all spectacularly annoying in our own ways. I mean that LOVINGLY ]
Makaria: [ HELL YEAH DUDE ]
Vex: [ Excuse you, Vex is perfect ]
Mahon: “I might be ..” I say, as if considering it for the first time.
A Voice (GM): [ Hahahaha ]
Mahon: [ Aahahahaa ]
Vex: I smirk. “Would a real spy say that?”
Mahon: “You can always count on a dishonest man to be dishonest,” I point out.
Vex: “Or is he dishonestly being honest?”
Mahon: “It’s the honest ones you have to watch out for.”
Makaria: You’re both being foolish and vague.
I chime in.
Vex: “Or are we?”
Mahon: “You’re being a killyjoy.”
Makaria: That is not inaccurate.
Mahon: “I told you I’m good,”I tell Vex.
A Voice (GM): As the lot of you talk — or argue — or wrestle with books
- a Tiefling woman coughs, clearing her throat from the doorway. You get the sense she’d been standing there, observing for some time, unnoticed. Her skin is pale blue, her brow and forearms ridged with shining black feathers. Her eyes are opalescent, shining pink and purple, and her horns are as white as her hair, curling around her slightly pointed ears. Isa!"
Vex: I nimbly vault over the counter. "Since the tender’s left for the evening… drink of choice, Bear
I hop back over the counter to run up to her, gripping her forearm with a grin.
Mahon: “Ooh, the friend,” I say to myself. “WAIT.”
“I remember you!” I say, pointing at Isa.
Then I shrug. “But that’s all I can say about that.”
A Voice (GM): Isa, bewildered, manages a soft laugh as you come running to her and drags you into an embrace, kissing the top of your head. “Oy, dolchek,” she says. “Strange group of friends you have h—” she looks up at Mahon. “Feeling’s mutual.”
Vex: “They’re hardly friends.”
Mahon: “Friend-friend,” I state.
Makaria: I go behind the counter, after having put my book away, and find some liquor of some variety. I proceed to drink from the bottle.
Mahon: “Hey, I thought we were kind of.. well, whatever.”
Onyx Battlebeard: After messing with Kara I went back to go drink for drink with Orsik. I have clearly lost and am now slouching in my chair, drooling
A Voice (GM): “Well, maybe that’s better. Less to worry about,” she says, grinning, head ducked as if she’s doing her best to have a private moment.
Orsik Battlebeard: laughs a bit Oi, ah think it’s time for mah brother tah ‘ead to bed
Vex: I laugh. “Two alcohol enthusiasts, a bear, and a nun. Hardly the toughest crowd.”
Makaria: Oh no, Orsik? Whatever shall we do without his rhythmic mouth-breathing and mind-numbing commentary?
A Voice (GM): [ And yeah, the night is settling in! Let me know what you guys would like to do, if anything, and we can move on to the next day if you’d like. ]
Mahon: “Can I just point out,” I say, “that Eydis hand-selected me? Just think about that, Vex.”
Vex: “Oh, I’m thinking, don’t you worry.”
Mahon: [ I’m ready to get rolling :D ]
“You wouldn’t doubt her decisions,” I grin.
A Voice (GM): Isa laughs a little at that. “He has spirit, I’ll give him that.”
Orsik Battlebeard: (Same here!)
Vex: [ Think I’m good to go too ]
Makaria: Yo bueno!
A Voice (GM): She reaches up and unpins a small jade earring from her ear and puts it in Vex’s hand, embracing her briefly. “I just wanted to say good luck, dolchek. You’ll do great, and I’ll see you soon.”
Makaria: Er, soy bueno.
(Spanish is rusty. Haven’t visited the grandparents in a while…)
Mahon: [ claro que no! ]
Vex: I grin and quickly slip the earring into my own ear. “Thanks, avekka.” I murmur, giving her another hug. “I owe you a spar when I get back!”
Mahon: [ rooooomance ]
[ .. or very affectionate sisters. ]
Makaria: Or extreme platonic friends.
Vex: [ yeah! you don’t know their story! ]
A Voice (GM): “Maybe I’ll even let you win?” Isa suggests, grins. “Probably not,” she says, and ducks out the way she’d come.
Vex: “Hmph. Let me win.”
A Voice (GM): As the night settles in, those of you who wish to stay up drinking may, draining the second cask all the way to the dregs. The others may turn in upstairs where you’ll find a suite of rooms lavishly furnished with feather beds and mounds of pillows. A private room has been set aside for each of you with a marker on each door — minus the Dwarves, who were given one room together.
Makaria: I go upstairs and rest!
A Voice (GM): [ I forgot to put us on this map that whole time. ]
[ Not that we’re going to use it now, but I made it SO HERE IT IS. ]
Vex: I also go upstairs and take a room for myself. I lock the door until morning.
Mahon: [ It’s very lovely]
Makaria: (Be right back. Brothers.
A Voice (GM): [ Hah! ]
Vex: [ Wow, you made this? It’s amazing! ]
Mahon: .. I take my evening trance downstairs.
A Voice (GM): [ Oh no. ]
[ I bought the map and put it on a blank page. ]
Vex: [ Oh. ]
Mahon: [ AHAHAHAHA ]
A Voice (GM): [ Hahahaha ]
Onyx Battlebeard: (Future reference: Take the credit man and make yourself look more bad ass)
A Voice (GM): [ Hahaha. Next time. ]
Mahon: [ Yeah seriously ]
The next morning, I am already waiting for the others downstairs, presumably having breakfast?
A Voice (GM): Indeed! Morning has come to Vas Nuar. The city is rather loud in the morning as people shove off to work and children go out to play. The weather is fair — Autumn has come in full, and if you were to step outside you might see your breath in the air. The dwarven woman from last night is back and she’s bringing out platters of fresh baked bread slathered in butter and bowls of porridge drizzled with honey and dotted with raisins.
Aside from the Dwarven woman, the Tavern remains empty, and peaceful.
Vex: I’ve woken up early to stretch and limber up in my room, and have joined Mahon at the counter to partake in what looks like at least two full grown men’s worth of breakfast.
Orsik Battlebeard: Comes downstairs before his brother Onyx will be down shortly…lad’s a lil ‘ungover this mornin’
Mahon: “You don’t say,” I chuckle.
“What a great way to start an adventure.”
Vex: I gasp in faux surprise. “No?”
Mahon: “Two hungover dwarves and their .. prisoner?”
Orsik Battlebeard: Oi! Ne’er said ah was ‘ungover!
Vex: “Got off easy, then.”
Mahon: "Then I’m impressed indeed."
Makaria: I begin to go down the stairs, and seem delighted by the fact that there are raisins in the porridge.
Mahon: [ It’s the little things ]
A Voice (GM): [ It’s the little things. ]
[ HAH! ]
Vex: [ omg ]
A Voice (GM): [ BFFs ]
Mahon: [ aahahahahhaa ]
Makaria: [ Indeed! ]
Mahon: [ basically ]
Onyx Battlebeard: I stumble down the stairs groaning Fooood.
A Voice (GM): [ The city is yours! Let me know if any of you would like to do anything, otherwise Eydis has let you know the cart will be leaving this morning from the western gate. ]
Mahon: “Please try and collect yourselves before we go on a mission of importance,” I tell the party.
Orsik Battlebeard: (Is there a temple to Tyr here?)
Makaria: You sound like the nobles who let me out of Skarhold, elf.
Mahon: “Is there such thing as an anti-hangover spell? Just wondering..” I say, mostly to myself, with a glance at the dwarves.
A Voice (GM): [ You can ask someone — someone in the room might know! But you know that Vas Nuar is not particularly religious but has temples to many gods. ]
Mahon: “That’s funny,” I shrug, in response to Makaria.
Orsik Battlebeard: I motion to the dwarven woman Mah lady, would yeh ‘appen to know if there be a temple to the God Tyr ’ere?
Makaria: Not that I know of. In theory, a powerful caster could attempt to charm a drunk person and force them to behave as a sober person.
Mahon: “That sounds like too much trouble,” I sigh.
A Voice (GM): “Eh?” The woman asks you, then raking her fingers through the thick curls of her beard. She seems blindsided by the question — odd in this tavern, no doubt. "Mm, I can’t say I’d know, but if there was one it’d be out on the east side of town with the other temples."
Makaria: It likely is, unfortunately.
Vex: I finish up my breakfast and lick the leftover honey from my fingers. “Have any of you all stocked up for the trip?”
“Otherwise I’m out to buy potions. Bound to be a few overachievers open this early.”
Mahon: I clap my hands together. “Right, if we need to get any last minute things, now would be the time. I’m sorry, no time for prayers.”
Orsik Battlebeard: There always be time fer a prayer, an’ we’ll be needin’ it on this journey it seems.
Makaria: Tiefling, I don’t believe I ever caught your name?
Mahon: “Then you can do it on the way. Let’s go.”
Vex: “Apologies. Vex.”
Makaria: Or yours, Master Elf?
Orsik Battlebeard: Onyx, yeh got Kara for the mornin’?
Makaria: Ah, Vex. Are you from this city/
Mahon: I stand and straighten my clothes. “Ah, Mahon,” I reply to Makaria.
Onyx Battlebeard: Oi brother! If ye be needin’ ta prayer this mornin’ be sayin’ a prayer fer mah hangover!
A Voice (GM): So you know: The temple district would be on the east side of town, which is maybe half an hour walk, but you can catch a cart going anywhere in the city for a copper and take less time. It’s on the opposite side of where you need to be.
Vex: “Of a sort. It’s been my home for most of my life. If you all need to know some shortcuts, I’ll gladly show you.”
A Voice (GM): The Lamb is in the Market district, so you’re near any shopping you might want to do.
Vex: [ Vex also has the ability to let you move through the city twice as quick! ]
Mahon: [ Thank god for that ]
Makaria: Are there any magic shops around here? Spell merchants and such?
A Voice (GM): [ Hah! ]
[ Vex, you would know of the nearest shop. Hang on. ]
Orsik Battlebeard: I leave for the Temple District to search for a Temple to Tyr (You can just whisper me the outcome, we can skip the whole me RP’ing and looking for a temple!)
Onyx Battlebeard: Ima be nursin’ this hangover! When yer all ready to be ‘eadin out just lemme know!
Vex: Before Orsik goes, I’d pull out my map and show him the quickest route.
Orsik Battlebeard: (Yay Vex!)
Vex: “As for magic shops, I suppose… Fizz and Pop? They’re not really high quality… for that, you’d need to head into the Inner Ring and that’s more trouble than it’s worth on a time budget.”
“But they sell enchanted items and potions… enough to satisfy the commoners.”
Makaria: It’ll have to do for now, I suppose. I get the sense that you’re a mage of some variety, are you not?
Vex: I pause, wrinkle my nose. “How’d you figure that?”
Makaria: I feel magic, and I know what to look for in a person.
Vex: “… I know some spells, sure.”
Mahon: “Right, well.” I slip out of the tavern alone. Zak, I want to go down and scope out the wagon.
Makaria: Take our esteemed companion, Master Mahon. He is clearly not a mage.
Vex: “Too late.”
A Voice (GM): [ Hahaha]
Makaria: You get the idea. In any case. Onyx! I’m heading out. Are you coming, or may I go alone this morning?
Vex: “Hey, if you’re buying potions, I’ll come with. Let the dwarf sober up.”
A Voice (GM): Mahon, you make your way through the city streets, taking in the scent of fresh baking bread, the sound of children running by, dogs giving chase, barking and laughing as they go. The sun has come out and it’s a beautiful, chilly day in Vas Nuar. The Western gate is a good ten minute walk and a cart stands pulled off to the side, two rather short, dark elves waiting beside it quietly. They both have long, dark hair pulled back into braids and they wear simple, though well made leather armor. They appear to be twins.
[ Orsik will be joining you shortly, if the two of you want to talk at all, as well. ]
Makaria: Alright, that should work. The gods know he needs some time.
Vex: I chuckle and step to her side. “Plus, I know the fastest way. After you?”
Mahon: “Morning lads,” I say to the elves.
Makaria: [ I assume you’re holding a door or something ]
Ah, thank you. Let’s go!
Vex: [ Nah, Kara would have to open the door herself :P ]
A Voice (GM): Vex, without pause or error you lead the way through Vas Nuar. The market district is large and sprawling. Makaria, who is used to the neat order of the other kingdoms, might be turned by the many twists and bends the streets make, the way buildings seem to lean near one another in a precarious, charming way.
You pass two bridges and gondolas drift down the canals, coasting gently across the water. Eventually, you come to a small, brick-built shop with a blue tile roof and a wooden sign out fron that reads “FIZZ AND POP MAGIC STOP”
Vex: “Here we are!”
A Voice (GM): The two elves are sitting on the back of the cart, leaned together in quiet conversation as you approach. One of them looks up, the other away. He watches you a moment. “Good morning.”
Vex and Makaria, as you enter the shop you’re greeted by the sight of a small halfling bumbling about behind a counter that’s much too tall for him. He stands up on a stool, picks up a few vials, turns them about. Hops down. You see his head bobbing, bobbing, and he pops up on the other side, turning another few vials, not noticing the door bell jingling as it opens.
[ Sorry! Phew. ]
Mahon: “Right, the rest of the guard aren’t here yet, but I needed to come early to get a look at things. Just making sure everything’s accounted for.”
Makaria: I clear my throat
Vex: “Morning, Errel!”
A Voice (GM): “That… Doesn’t sound likely,” he says, brows raising. “Considering I’ve never seen you before, and this is Prince Gallo’s cart, and you’re… No one.”
Mahon: “But I am someone,” I point out. “Were you two not informed, maybe? I’m surprised you weren’t, you seem so important.”
A Voice (GM): “Ah!” the halfling shrieks, looks, falls off of his stool. There’s a clattering. A scuffling. A pile of books falls over and pages scatter but — at least — he stands up, climbs back up onto his stool, adjusts his spectacles and claps his hands together. “Vex! And… Friend! Hello, hello.”
“More important than you, anyway,” the female beside him chimes in, smiling in a rather vapid way. “We’re in charge of this cart, friend. Maybe you should just wait in silence until Asta gets here?”
Makaria: Good morning, Master Errel.
I quickly survey the shop. What am I looking at here?
A Voice (GM): [ Orsik, you can arrive about now, if you’d like, as well. ]
Mahon: “Maaaybe, but I think it’s pretty important that I take a look here.”
Orsik Battlebeard: Orsik comes walking up to the cart Oi! Lads ah see yeh’ve met the inspector!
Mahon: “You see?”
“Good morning Orsik.”
Orsik Battlebeard: Mornin’ Mahon!
A Voice (GM): Right right, sorry — the shop! Rows upon rows of wooden shelves stack the round building. It’s a rather large building made small by the amount of things in it — stacks of books, vials. The halfling stands behind a big wood and glass case with various trinkets in it — little rings, daggers, nothing too large. “Good morning, good morning, what a lovely way to greet the day. How pleasant you are. What can I do for you?”
Vex: I smile and head for the counter, leaving Kara to investigate. “What’s the market looking like for healing potions?”
A Voice (GM): The female elf rolls her eyes
- the male elf laughs to himself, quietly. “If you’re going to act fools, perhaps we should call the city watch and make sure you get home safely?” She really likes rings. Even when they aren’t enchanted. ]
Makaria: What are these rings for? Are they enchanted?
Mahon: [ WISH ME LUCK GUYS ]
A Voice (GM): “Oh, you know, good enough, good enough,” Errel says, drumming his fingers on the counter. “We’ve had a bit of a rush of people buying, but I’ve busted my… Well, you know, and I’ve a few set aside, yet.”
Vex: “Early adventurer gets the worm, looks like.”
Mahon: “Listen, you’re making this a lot harder than it needs to be,” I implore.
Orsik Battlebeard: Orsik squares up next to the male elf Listen ‘ere lad, we’ve been ‘ired tah escort these goods an’ tah make sure they get there in one piece, now if yeh don’ let my inspector ‘ere do ’er job, then ’ow are we tah know everythin’ makes it in one piece
Mahon: [ Mahon is a boy. :D ]
A Voice (GM): “Welllll,” Errel says, leaning sideways to peer at Makaria, adjusting his spectacles. He totters over, dragging his stool, peering into the case where you’re looking. “I’ve managed to enchant these ones here,” he points to a a set of small silver ring, the band thick. “With a spell of protection. Popular among the folk going off into the ruins, reckless thing, that…”
Orsik Battlebeard: (I know this, and it’s MY BAD)
Mahon: [ hahahahaaaa ]
Mahon • Ability check
Makaria: [ Makaria seems pretty interested
Mahon: [ FUCK ]
Vex: I casually hop up to sit on Errel’s counter, kicking my legs as I watch Kara browse.
Mahon: [ [ Well that went poorly]
Orsik Battlebeard: (If that was a check for us! Can Mahon have advantage cause, you know, Dwarf power!)
A Voice (GM): You can see the case is full of other rings and, your arcane senses are high enough that you can tell they’re yet to be enchanted — pretty things, brass and iron, silver and gold, many with very intricate, beautiful workings.
Mahon: [ YES CAN HE ]
A Voice (GM): When he sees you looking, he smiles rather proudly. “Those are… Passion projects.”
Mahon: [ Orsik got my back ]
A Voice (GM): [ Sure! ]
Mahon: [ ok rerolling ]
A Voice (GM): [ Sorry if this is taking me long! Haha. ]
Orsik Battlebeard: (Woooo! And now, it’s fine!)
Mahon • Ability check
Roll type With advantage
Vex: [ You’re doing great! ]
Orsik Battlebeard: (No, not now, lol)
Mahon: [ You’re grand Zak ]
Makaria: I walk over to a fancy gold ring and stare at it for a bit. Could I commission this to be enchanted, and pick it up in, say, 4 days time?
(And you’re killing it, dude!)
A Voice (GM): The elves seem cowed by the Dwarf shouting in their face, and the other harping at them. “We can’t,” the male elf snaps at last. “It’s been sealed by Prince Gallo. Anyone who opens it now will set off the trap, so why don’t you both shove off or quiet down already?”
Mahon: [ WHAAAT. 22 wasted ]
A Voice (GM): [ Hah! Well, not quite. ]
[ You wouldn’t have known it was trapped before! ]
Mahon: [ Truuueeee ]
A Voice (GM): [ Now You Know ]
Vex: [ It’s the little things ]
Mahon: “They weren’t supposed to do that before we got here,” I sigh, shaking my head mournfully at Orsik, as if we were in on the joke.
A Voice (GM): “Oh, dear,” the halfling says, staring fixedly at the ring. A small smile twitches at the corner of his mouth. “Truly? Most people only come and want this or that, these clunky things, but… If you truly like that one. Yes, yes, I could do that.” He snatches the ring up quickly, beginning to turn it about in his hand, muttering under his breath, tiny, quick calculations. “Yes, I could do that. Four days time.”
[ Yikes, forgot you weren’t holding it, hah! He plucks it out of the case. ]
“Incompetent,” one of the elves says to the other.
“Fools,” the other says in turn.
Mahon: [ Assholes. ]
[ I’d like to persuade them to feck off ]
A Voice (GM): “It would be… Quite expensive, though,” Errel says, looking up from the ring.
Makaria: Well, what enchantments can you perform, and how much would it cost?
A Voice (GM): “I can only truly claim perfect skill with an enchantment of protection, and I don’t feel comfortable doing less than my level best,” Errel says, nodding, glasses bobbing on his nose. “Something like this…” He looks at Vex a moment, then back at you. “I could sell for…. One thousand gold.”
Vex: I hop off the counter and saunter over. “Actually, Errel…” I lean in to stage whisper. “We’re here on official business from Eydis. You know how she likes conserving coin…”
“Don’t suppose you could lower that price a bit?”
Makaria: I am literally stunned by the fact that Vex is offering help right now.
A Voice (GM): [ Roll me a persuasion, Vex? ]
Vex • Ability check
Result 15 | 19
Makaria: Can I give her advantage with my inspiration?
A Voice (GM): [ I’ll say no need, here, you can save it! ]
Makaria: [ Yusssss ]
Vex: [ \o/ ]
A Voice (GM): Errel looks up at Vex, startled almost to the point of falling off his stool again, but he manages to collect himself and stares at the ring another long moment — pausing — muttering to himself — finally he looks up again. “You’ve all been very good customers to me,” he says… mumbling a few more things. “Six-hundred gold? And a good word for Isa?” he says the last hurriedly, looking at Vex, grinning bashfully.
Vex: “Sounds reasonable to me. What do you think, Kara?”
Mahon: I shake my head at Orsik, as if telling him to stand down. We’d have time.
Makaria: I… Uh… Yes! Yes cough that sound quite reasonable.
Vex: “Right then! Add five healing potions to that and Kara’ll pay for the lot!”
A Voice (GM): “Then it will be,” Errel says and a brief flash of competence, makes the ring disappear in his hand in a feat of close-up magic. He’s grinning when it’s done. “Of course, potions! Pay for those now and the ring when you get it, yes?”
Vex: I nudge Kara forward with my shoulder. “Yep yep.”
A Voice (GM): Errel hops off his stool, scurries into the back and comes back a minute later with a box, a few potions clinking around inside of it. He struggles to get back up and set it down on the counter. “That’ll be two-hundred and fifty gold pieces.”
Orsik Battlebeard: Orsik sits down on a stump, polishing his shield
A Voice (GM): Back at the cart: The elves are sitting about, yawning, whispering to one another in Elven — and both grow very still a moment later as the door to the tavern by the gate bangs open. A moment later a figure saunters out — a gnome wearing well fitted leather clothing, a short sword strapped to her hip and a crossbow in her hand, her black hair streaked with silver and a scar across her right eye. “Oy! What’re yeh doing slacking around there, elves? Tie off the canvas! Get the horses ready!”
The elves hop off the cart, suddenly full of bustling energy as they take the block out from behind the wagon wheel and start strapping down the cart.
Vex: I grin and give the two a cheerful wave. “I’m going to go check on the others! See you at the gate, Kara!” And with that, I saunter out the door.
A Voice (GM): “You what passes for guard folk around here?” the gnome says, passing Mahon, then stopping when she sights the Dwarves. She grins broadly. “Now those are faces I like to see on my side!”
Vex: [ Be right back. ]
A Voice (GM): “Don’t make ’em like you south of the frosty mountains, eh?” she asks and gives Onyx a punch in his armored arm.
[ Got it! ]
Onyx Battlebeard: After eating literally the equivalent of a large horse the hangover starts to fade. Mostly
Mahon: “Good morning Madame,” I say, with a quick bow.
Orsik Battlebeard: Aye gnome, yeh know a good guard when yeh see one
A Voice (GM): [ Onyx, I assumed you were at the gate with your brother and Mahon just now! Haha. ]
Mahon: Though I am ignored. OH WELL
Onyx Battlebeard: (I stayed back nursing the hang over saying to grab me when everyone was ready!)
Mahon: [ Whatchu got against elves D:< ]
A Voice (GM): “Damned right I do, I’ve lost too many fools to not know,” she says and spits in the road, then squints up at you, Mahon, for a good long moment. At last she says “You’ve a cutting look about you. You’ll do.”
[ Okay, then she punched Orsik! Haha. ]
Mahon: This makes me laugh a bit, and I nod. “At your service.”
A Voice (GM): “Are you good with that bow?” she asks, then too quick for you to answer, “You’ll sit up front with me. Shoot anything that moves. We ask questions later.”
Makaria: Let’s make a deal, Master Errel.
I procure the Etherian book.
This book is written in Etherian. It is a treatise on the magic of dreams. I can’t let you have it, but I could let you hold it for four days and get it copied. How much is that worth to you?
A Voice (GM): “Don’t talk too much, don’t sing in Elvish, don’t drink all me damned ale,” she looks at you, Orsik, pointedly, “and we’ll get along famously. But where the devils are the rest of you?” she’s moving around, strapping down ropes, walking around the cart as she talks.
Mahon: “On their way, no doubt,” I reply. I watch her intently, trying to glean anything about the cart itself.
A Voice (GM): As you produce the Etherian book, the ring that Errel had secreted away drops out of his sleeve and clinks against the counter. “Uhm…” he stammers. He reaches for it. His little hands are shaking.
“Let me make transcriptions from the book,” he says, “and the ring is yours.”
[ Perception check, Mahon! ]
Mahon • Ability check
A Voice (GM): This cart is sturdily built and well maintained — the wood has been freshly standed and stained, it’s shining in the early dawn light. But as you lean down to help her with the straps, pretending to help to get a bit closer, you notice the mechanism tethering a trap to the canvas. You think if you had a minute or two alone, you could cut it easily.
Vex: [ Back! }
Makaria: Can I drop an Arcana check to see what the enchantment is on the other rings? Or, more is possibly, whether or not this guy is even capable of magic worth what I’m offering.
Mahon: [ wb ]
A Voice (GM): “Thanks!” Asta says, claps you on the arm for your help and hurries around to the front of the cart, hopping in and stirring the horses. The elves climb back onto the back of the cart, obstructing your (Mahon) view of the trap again.
[ Sure! ]
Makaria • Ability check
Result 29 | 21
A Voice (GM): [ Holy geez. ]
Vex: I take a moment to stop by the tavern and check on Onyx. “You ready to go?”
Mahon: “Where are those idiots?” I mutter to myself, walking back to stand by Orsik. I give him a glance I HOPE he can read.
Mahon: [ wow ]
Vex: [ Nice ]
A Voice (GM): [ So the ring that you were looking at earlier — the enchantment he’s talking about doing, is a Ring of Protection, 2
Makaria: Just do an unskilled dex check.
Onyx Battlebeard: yeah in the skill tab unskilled dex check makes the roll just fine
Mahon: rolling 1d20+3
Makaria: I use my inspiration on that roll.
A Voice (GM): It fails its dex save!
Orsik Battlebeard: rolling 1d8
A Voice (GM): Makaria, you force yourself to tune out the sound of combat around you as you focus — the clang of weaponry and cries of creatures fades away into the gentle pulsing of the crystal. You reach out, your hand hovers over its smooth surface. You’ve never heard of anything like this before, you’re sure you don’t know what it is … Your hand hovers over it and for a moment the world is darkness. Emptiness. You see the crystal. You see a child inside the crystal, perfectly still, pale skin blue as winter ice, the faint etchings of scales like cracks around the skin of its cheeks. It opens its eyes, black as pits, consuming you — all flashes to blackness again and you’re startled awake.
Makaria: Shit dude.
Mahon: [ it’s totally a white walker. ]
A Voice (GM): Just as the creature gives a vicious cry and falls, the radiant flames singing away the feathers on its chest and leaving it staggers, gaping, dropping on the ground, rolling in the bushes dead.
Makaria: [ It’s my little brother. ]
A Voice (GM): [ Mahon, you’re up! ]
Vex: “Alas, bird thing, ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.”
A Voice (GM): [ Vex, you’re on deck. ]
[ I love Vex right now. ]
Vex: [ o7 ]
Mahon: [ Right okay, I’m going to kill this other guy ]
[ … hopefully ][
Shortbow (Sneak Attack)
Mahon • Ranged attack
Damage 13 Piercing
A Voice (GM): [ Holy geez! ]
Onyx Battlebeard: [dat sneak attack doe]
A Voice (GM): Mahon, how do you want to do this?
Vex: [ lmfao ]
Makaria: How do you want to do this
Shit got real.
A Voice (GM): [ Asta didn’t even get to show you how badass she is! … YET. Haha. ]
Mahon: Right, so, hunched in the tree, unseen and probably forgotten by my companions (except maybe narrator Vex), I draw back my arrow and aim right between the creature’s eyes.
Onyx Battlebeard: [I just imagine from the tree yelling “BOOM! HEADSHOT!”]
Mahon: DEAD before it even gets a chance to fuck with anyone.
You are welcome. XP plz.
Makaria: Mortal Kombat voice FATALITY.
A Voice (GM): The arrow strikes from the tree boughs, zipping across the river. The creature hears the quiet twang of the bow string just in time to look up, its beady black eyes glinting once before an arrow strikes it through the skull and it tips back, silent in its death.
Vex: I sigh and shove my daggers back into their sheathes. “Boy, that sure was an interesting fight. Glad everybody got their moment to shine.”
A Voice (GM): “Oy! Let’s get back in the wagon and get out of this place before more show up,” Asta is calling, headed back for the cart. “Is the canvas secure?” she calls back to you, Makaria, seeing you near it — her voice holds no suspicion, though.
[ Awww, sorry Vex. ]
Mahon: Annnd I hop down from the tree to rejoin the others.
Vex: [ lol! she’ll get over it]
Makaria: Of course. Just guarding the cargo.
Vex: I trot back towards the cart to hop back onto my spot on the side, grumbling softly.
Makaria: Is anyone hurt?
A Voice (GM): “These kenku tend to swarm, so we’d best be quick about it,” Asta says, clapping you on the arm, Makaria, and walking around to climb into the cart.
Onyx Battlebeard: spits onto the ground damned thing got me with a bolt but ‘tis nothin’
Makaria: Good. Let’s get on our way, then.
A Voice (GM): “Nothing but a flesh wound, eh, friend Dwarf?” Asta calls and grins as you pass by, Onyx. “Plenty of ale for it later.”
As the lot of you hop into the wagon, Asta wastes no time in putting the cart back onto the road. The horses clamber up onto the bridge and — though the wood creaks and the river shakes it — the bridge holds, thanks to the trusty work of the Dwarves, and you’re able to cross the river.
As you pass the bodies of the two creatures, Asta makes a silent salute with her crossbow, then spits out in the road for good measure, and you trundle off away from their bodies.
Much of the rest of the ride that evening is uneventful. Asta is prone to humming quietly to herself — old songs from Skarhold — and the day bleeds out into the night as you pass through the rolling hills and out into the fringe of Vas Nuar. Towards night, Asta finds a small place nestled between the trees for you to camp, and the twin Elves finally make use of themselves by starting a fire and preparing a meal while the rest of you unpack your travel kits.
[ And that’s as good as any place for us to close the thrust of the story for the evening ]
[ You guys are settling in around the fire. ]
A Voice (GM): [ You can talk amongst yourself as you will, and I’ll continue to play Asta and whatnot. ]
[ But I’ll leave off the central stuff for those who need to turn in and whatnot. ]