Thursday, March 30, 2017

Caves #6: The Party is Chartered

Episode 6

An Expedition is Chartered

Our Story So Far...

Picking up a lead that members of the notorious Red Knives had set up a waystation near Gorman's Junction, the party followed the clues to a shack-like house among the lots near the river. The house was rented to a human named Goodfellow who, unlike his cohorts, was subdued and taken into militia custody due to ties with the Red Knives organization. The Militia Commander, Nedwick Ryerson, has taken Goodfellow into custody after examining the maps left at the shack, the corresponding note the party had, and the fact Goodfellow says little in his defense. For the time being, Goodfellow remains a prisoner in the confines of the militia brig.

It is morning and after breakfast the party meets at Mayor Donalbain Duncan's appointed manor. Coffee and pastries are laid out on a table as the mayor greets the party.

Rendford: Speaks while eating a pastry. “Finest spread I've ever seen.”

Persefani: “It'd be finer if you eat with your mouth closed.” Makes a face and notes: “You got crumbs in your beard.”

Rendford: “Saving those for later.”

Persefani: Takes up a mug of coffee and sips at it to hide the dip her stomach takes at the thought of beard crumbs.

Donalbain Duncan is a tall specimen of a man with a thick grey mustache and beard that has only a trace of black. The loss in color has yet to slow him as he still packs an impressive figure, hardened by long walks throughout the town and sword practice rather than the soft life of a man enjoying lover's beds and pastries. Not that he doesn't mind a pastry or two, given the spread he offers.

Donalbain: “It has been a troubling past few weeks before you people arrived. We have certainly seen an influx in Orcs and Goblinoids to the area- most of whom were law abiding, but this latest waves. A lot of them have fallen into banditry- and these letters... I shudder to think such a terrible fortress is being setup near my town.”

Taicho: “Where pray tell does the Junction fall into? Whose authority?”

Donalbain: Laughs and says: “Whose indeed? I'd like the know. I guess it falls under mine as Northwald has deign to send a representative or troops of the crown. Why should they?”

Taicho: Raises an eyebrow in question but does not speak.

Donalbain: “Master Penwright, you obviously are a newcomer to these lands. You should know that as long as Northwald possesses such plentiful lands such as Lamplight City and Wheatholm- why should it care about a wild frontier? With so many nobles slain during the Great War, the Kingdom has not had the time to rebuild and stoke the passions of any man who wishes to come tame this land.”

Taicho: “So this land, being north of the river, it is technically Northwald territory?”

Donalbain: “Technically, yes. I can assure you if such powers were to possess this realm the only one who'd get little trouble coming here would be your Dwarven friend. The rest of you-” Donalbain stops talking and shakes his head.

Ramona: “I don't suppose the Junction would be interested in hiring some people to clear it out?”

Donalbain: “Interested? Possibly, Madam. It is quite a tall order to expect a small group- even such a well trained group like this to take on that kind of trouble.”

Ramona: “But you are interested?”

Donalbain: “My interest goes so far as providing transport and a stipend for room and board in the town. If you are talking about monetary interest, well, I'm sure Piper Plainview, my tax collector would take a dim view in that investment.”

Persefani: “Hey I like to help- pardon me, let me take a seat here.” She takes a seat, her eyes still on the mayor as she sips her coffee. “I'd like to help, but what would you suggest is an appropriate compensation for our services?'

Donalbain: Shrugs and says: “Perhaps any treasure recovered can be yours for the keeping. No tax, but we'd appreciate it if you spent your money here- I mean on luxury goods. I don't mind footing the bill for food and lodgings while you are helping us on this problem. But you buy your own alcohol- especially him.” Jerks his thumb at Rendford.

Rendford: “Slander if I ever heard it...” shakes his head. “The map showed us the fortress was located in the bend around the river. What we need is a boat that can fight the current and get us there. Quicker than trying to go by land- seeing as most of its forest.”

Taicho: “How fortuitous of us having met that one fellow just a few days ago...” Pauses to pick at his first and barely touched pastry.

Persefani: “One fellow? You guys are just meeting everyone left and right.”

Ramona: “He means that Halfling... Milo... Samuel... what was his name.”

Rendford: “It was Liam. Liam... whatever his last name is.”

Taicho: Holds a finger and draws his journal. He flips a few pages written in Tengu caricature before he reads: “Liam Wegley, Halfling ship captain. He seemed like a nice person when we met him.”

Rendford: “Dirty footed Halfling if you had asked me- perhaps you know him, Mayor?”

<Does the Mayor know? 50% Yes = 83% No>

Donalbain: “I'm afraid not, Master Dwarf. You'll need to speak to the Stoutly Brothers or Nyx Greenthorn.”

Ramona: “I met one of the Stoutlys. Not a very helpful fellow last time- who is the other one?”

Donalbain: “Hmmm? Oh! Nyx Greenthorn is an Elf who lives on the docks area. She rents her boat, but makes most of her wages as a healer of animals. She knows a lot of river folk in those parts of the Junction.”

Persefani: “So, if my ears hadn't failed to detect a moment ago. That was bed, board, and you'd help pay for transport to solve this problem while we keep any treasure found?”

Donalbain Paused and nodded: “That sounds... fair.”

Ramona: “Well then. I guess it's a good time to clink our coffee mugs to such a successful venture.” Smiles and raises her own mug in a brief toast.

Donalbain: Clinks his mug and raises it, albeit slower as he tries to calculate the true cost of what his deal has done.

By Mid-morning the Party has left the Mayor's stead and has traveled across town, out the southern gate back down to the boats. A Weather check for spring (8 = Mild, Sunny, Breezy). The storms had passed leaving what one might think a cold front in its wake that leaves the area mild and pleasant with little cloud cover. A breeze is welcomed, especially those who wear heavier armor as they make their way down to the shore. Several fishing boats are missing as fisherman set out to ply their trade. The party makes their way past the Stoutly Ferry towards the slim trail that leads them through a tree lined path to a small clearing that borders a stream. In front of the party is a single story log cabin with a fire going in the front. To the left side are a pair of horses stabled together and to the right in the water are several small boats tied to the dock. Sitting on her porch knitting is an Elven woman with light brown hair, her eyes flick up as the party approaches.

Nyx: “Afternoon, can I help you with something?” <Attitude check comes up with a 2d6: 2-6 = Unfriendly, 7-9 Neutral, 10-12 Helpful. Result is: 11>. She smiles at the party and her ears perk up as she speaks.

Taicho: “Good afternoon, Madam. We are hoping you could direct us somewhere.” Puts a hand to his chest and bows.

Rendford: Stays behind and fishes out a cigar to smoke. He rolls his eyes at the formality of the Tengu, but shrugs it off as he smokes.

Persefani: Also stays behind and says: “Got an extra one?”

Rendford: “Since when did you smoke?”

Persefani: “I enjoy the odd cigar or cigarillo.”

Rendford: Pads his pack <d20+3 vs. 10 = 22>. He fishes out a smaller cigarillo and a Dwarven firestick and offers them to Persefani.

Ramona: Maintains a neutral expression as she sees another Elf. She crosses her arms and seems to look around. <Is this noticed by Nyx? 65% Yes = 33%>.
Nyx: Notices Ramona's reticent reaction but continues to maintain a cheery smile. Her eyes focus on the Tengu who bowed to her. She says: “Quite a charming fellow we have here. What can Nyx Greenthorn do for you?” She asked.

Taicho: “We are looking for an introduction to a local ship captain, a Captain Liam Wegley who is known in these parts. We have had little luck dealing with the Stoutlys and wished to see if you could help us.”

Nyx: Looks over Taicho and thinks...

<Would she know Liam Wegley and his whereabouts? 75% Yes = 04% - Exceptional Yes!>

<Is Liam in port right now? 25% Yes = 82%>

Nyx: Recalls and nods, her smile dims a little as her green eyes meet Taicho's black ones. She says: “I'm sorry, good sir. But I'm afraid Mr. Wegley has left port for a run into the Great Saltmarsh. He will be unavailable for a few weeks.”

Ramona: Hisses and says: “Damn it!”

Taicho: “That certainly is unfortunate...”

Rendford and Persefani both make Notice checks to see if they hear Ramona's angry outburst. They are engrossed with smoking and Roll with a Disadvantage. Persefani's Elven features counter so that she rolls normally: Rendford <d20+3 DISADVANTAGE = 7. No!> Persefani <d20+3 = 16. Yes>

Persefani: “Looks like trouble.” She steps and walks over to the rest of the group.

Rendford: “Yeah.” He puts out his cigar and follows behind.

Taicho: “Perhaps, then, if you're available to hire?”

Nyx: “I can rent a boat out, friends. I'm afraid I'm taking care of some sick horses right now and cannot leave them for long.”

Taicho: “Are you sure cannot be spared for a few days? We do have both money and backing of the town. Certainly they will compensate you well for your aid in ridding of a menace.”

<Taicho spends a few moments explaining the Red Knives attempt to infiltrate the town and of their encounters of the Orc. This gives him the Advantage on a d20+3 Persuasion check. His roll = 14.>

<Will Nyx help pilot the boat? 50% = 71%>

Nyx: “I'm sorry my friends, but I must care for the horses. I can provide you some guidance based on this map you brought me. I can give you something of an overland route. I know it will take sometime.”

Persefani: Makes a noise: “A lot of time..”

Ramona: “Times fine with me. Let's go with that.”

Rendford: “Aye, I hate boats.”

Taicho: “Well... thank-you, Miss Greenthorn for your help.” He begins to dig out 3 coins.

<Does Nyx accept the money? 35% Yes = 66% No.>

Nyx: “No friend, keep your money. I'm sorry I cannot be a better direct help.”

Taicho: “Perhaps you could stock us some supplies? I noticed a very lovely garden grown back there.”

Nyx: Smiles and says: “Certainly.”

<Taicho spends 5 gold coins and re-stocks his party of their rations. For 1d6 days (3) they are well-fed on their travels. They gain +1 modifier to all d20 rolls for the next 3 days when they set off>

Session Notes:

-Party enters agreement to deal with the Red Knives and the Caves of Chaos.

-Ramona reveals a discomfort around fellow Elves. She does seem to work well with, Persefani, but then again Persefani is a Human with few Elven traits due to her lineage.

-Liam Wegley has set sail as he planned to earlier while offering a job to the party they didn't take. The party will set out over land.

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