Friday, July 27, 2018

Roadwarden #2

Session #2


The Yard, the outer walls of Grunewood


Cuthbert's table was made of thick, stained wood and carved from the local trees around Grunewood The table was built shorter, only coming up to Genevieve's calves, so as to accommodate Cuthbert, whose short stature and stout frame marked him as a Dwarf. His hair was cut in a short, dirty blonde shag. His beard was considered 'conservative' by Dwarven standards, it being a whisk of pointed blonde hair rather than a full, hanging beard. The Dwarf studied the body through a pair of black, wire-framed spectacles.


Cuthbert: “If I had to guess, I'd say the sword did the trick.” His voice was lightly accented due to his Dwarven heritage, “Who put the sword in his neck?”


McIntyre: “That would be me. He came at me with a knife.”


Cuthbert: “Well bully for you, lad. It may take a while before we know the man's name. He certainly has an impressive set of leathers. Black and brass.”


Genevieve: “Anything else about him? Any hidden marks or scars?”


Cuthbert: “Nay. He's wiry, but he does have a build. Probably from one of the thief or slayer guilds out on Batter Row. Probably a freelancer or someone making coin outside the city if they can afford gear like this. It's not the best, but it's still good.”


Genevieve: “We found this on his person.” She let the red star symbol hang from the leather cord. Though she sensed nothing about the object, she had an urge of distaste at touching what looked like sharp, pointed ends of the star. She said, “I'd be careful if I were you. It probably could bite into your hand, Doc.”


<Does Doc Cuthbert recognize the object? 35% Yes = 54% No.>


Cuthbert: “Looks occult to me. You might want to talk to a sage, but ye better avoid the Church while you do so. Doesn't look right friendly and you know how they are.” He covered the rider's body with a sheet and said, “You two heading off?”


Lionel: “Yeah, I’m knocking off for a drink. You two take care.” Lionel walked away, stopping only to collect his pay from the side window of the Roadwarden’s office. It was the same office that served the Watch on the western side of the city. To be a Roadwarden often meant facing danger alone on the road, but it also meant higher pay.


Genevieve: “Do you have anyone that you could recommend about this?” She asked.


<Does Cuthbert know someone? 65% Yes = 52%. Yes.>


Cuthbert: “Aye, lass, I know someone. Helps me and my work with herbs. She’s an Elf who lives in these parts by the name of Annent Dreambough. Quite an Elvish name, no? Careful about being seen talking with her.”


Genevieve: “I’m not apart of the Fellowship, Doc. I don’t know what objections they could raise.”


Cuthbert: “They could raise plenty with that symbol. Make trouble for the Captain, and he’ll have yer horse and gun for making him trouble.” The Dwarf’s thick fingers gently plucked the spectacles off his eyes so he could clean them with a cloth, “Just be careful, aye?”


Cuthbert fills in the direction to Dreambough’s Herbal Emporium which is on the western side of town.


Note: Dreambough’s Herbal Emporium - Grunewood Herbalist Shop.


Genevieve heads that way. She keeps the symbol hidden in the deep pockets of her greens. She left her hat behind, her long auburn hair picked up in the wind as her heavy leather boots clicked off the cobblestones as she walked.


<Does she experience a complication? 50% Yes = 85%. No>


Fortune either favored her, or perhaps the hands and tongues that had sent out the Nightrider had yet learned what became of their messenger. She was neither accosted or followed, a hazard that had crossed her mind and which she took several trips around the same block and through an alleyway to try and lose any tails (if any). The time was later afternoon, past luncheon and heading into early supper.


<Was the area crowded? 65% Yes = 36%. Yes>




It appeared there was a throng of people near the Emporium, though not necessarily at the Emporium. The western side of Grunewood was home to a collection of woodsmen and wanderers. The woodsmen were more often than not a collection of northern stock, such as Grunewood. Hearty men with pale or lightly tanned skin with hair that were shades in brown, blonde, red, and black. There were a few in the mix with darker shades who mingled freely, but were something of a rarity. The Wanderers had skins with deeper tans or browns with dark hair. They were liked for their colorful silks and the feline grace in which both their men and women danced. They were disliked for being associated with pickpockets and charlatans- save the unlucky man who crossed one of their crones who turned out anything but, whose evil eye could truly place a curse on a man.


Of the non-Humans who lived in the west were Halflings with their ruddy skins and dark shades of hair. They made their trade brewing and serving the Woodsmen and the few Elves who truly dealt in secrets both in nature and the arcane. All of this instilled a brief sense of wonder that Genevieve felt as she crossed the street.


<Is she pickpocketed? 65% Yes = 73%. No>


As she crossed it appeared the crowd gave her a wide berth. Perhaps it was her outfit? The greens of her coat was indeed the standard uniform of the Roadwardens.


Annent Dreambough was a auburn haired Elven woman with slender features, cool brown eyes, and a set of pointed ears that framed the crown of hair that clung to her. She examined the talisman in hand. Her head tilted and her lips pursed. She broke away from the middle of her shop towards the back wooden counter, stepping around the side to get behind the counter and consult one of her tomes.


<Does she have information on the talisman? 90% Yes = 48%>


Annent: “What you have here is a symbol of Chaos. Of Shadow.” She faced Genevieve and said, her eyes narrowed, “Where did you get this?” She asked.

Genevieve: “Off the body of a criminal. Of Chaos and Shadow? Is that attached to a specific cult or something?”

Annent: “In a way yes. Chaos, the march towards destruction of laws, of the mind, of the body. Shadow, the forces of death and the magic of necromancy.” He said, “This person of yours believed in very dark forces, not simply of greed.”


Genevieve: “That would explain the other thing I got off the bed. This parchment. It’s a note.” She laid the note on the table.

“Procure some more bodies for shipment back to Grunewood. Put them in the usual storage. Send along a manifest of what you acquired with this rider here. We are expecting this manifest, make sure it gets back here with a living rider.”

Genevieve: “Is there anything magical about this object?”

<Is there? 50% Yes = 95%. No!>

Annent: Gazed over the object, turning it over again in her hand before she reported with confidence, “Purely aesthetic, Roadwarden. But it is certainly not something I would want to be caught with by the Inquisition.”

Genevieve: “Yeah, thanks.”


Meanwhile…

Lionel enjoyed himself a drink at Jilly’s, which was a working class tavern that counted members of the western Watch, the Roadwardens, and woodcutters as it’s clientele. There were generally Dwarves and Men who were among the crowd. There was no ‘Elven Code’ to prevent them from partaking, most were just as happy to not see the so-called fair folk. 

The establishment was run by a Dwarven women who busied herself in either her office or the kitchen and left the tending to Paul, her Human. He filled his role well as both bartender and bouncer, he had a broad width and scarred face with a thin tan for color. He had sandy blonde hair with a good deal of stubble clung to jaw, chin, and neck. He was a man who saw a lot of action. His left stood out in particular due to several burns and calluses that remained from a time of war.

McIntyre: “So, Genevieve takes the shot. The bullet whizzes by me and nearly clips my ear if my horse strayed a little further left and strikes him true. He’s on the ground when I get down to check him. Blighter gets back up, sword fights me, and I in turn fell him with a slash to the neck.” He tilted his glass and drank. <Blather check: 5+1 = 6>

<Does his conversation impress anyone? A 6 puts it at 35% = 90%. Exceptional No!>

People could not look less interested. After a moment or two of listening to the Warden, most of those at the bar offer a series of unpleasant looks and comments.

“Take off, mate. Tryin’ tae eat an’ yer talkin’ bout cuttin’ some bloke.”

“Trying to hustle some free drinks, Roadwarden? Why not huste the whiskey peddlers who drive on the line.”

“Jus’ a fight with some bloke? Probably half-soused on cleaner’s soap to provide much of a challenge or anything.”

The rest continued and Lionel McIntyre could only sigh and turn back Paul.

McIntyre: “How much do I owe you?” He asked.

Paul: “I’ll only charge you for two. One free for trying to tell a yarn, even if everybody hated it.” He said and eyed the crowd.

McIntyre: “Hell of a guy, Shand.” He nodded and stepped from the bar, crossed the room, and was out the door and into the streets. As he walked into the night, danger lurked behind him.

<Can he sense that he is being followed? 50% Yes = 75%. No>

McIntyre continued down the road. A tune on his lips, whistled with little grace or verve. The wind picked up and relieved him from the otherwise moist heat of the night. He turned his head as he thought he heard a crash and drew his attention down the alleyway on his right.

What he does not know is there are two men who are stalking the Roadwarden. They are dressed in black with hoods drawn and a combination of mace and knife in their hands. They are gearing up to 
strike at the possibly surprised Fighter.

McIntyre vs. Rogues Notice vs. Stealth Check - Because he did not sense them following him until it is too late, he gets a Disadvantage on his Notice check. He spends his talent that would give him an Advantage but is used to cancel the Disadvantage vs. one of the Rogues. His notice rolls are as follows: 3 and 16.

The Rogues respectively make their Stealth checks. They have a +2 Stealth and both have the cover of Night giving them the Advantage. Their checks are: 20 and Natural 20.

The Rogues rush McIntyre, both have the Advantage due to surprise and perform a quick sneak attack on the vulnerable Warden.

Rogue #1 (Result: 18 vs. AC: 12. Hit! 3 Damage): The first Rogue came upon Lionel and jammed a knife into his lower back. The blade does pierce, but the armor the Roadwarden continues to wear stops it enough that it does not puncture anything irreplaceable. McIntyre grunts and steps forward. 

Rogue #2 (Result: 20 vs. AC: 12. Hit! 10 Damage): The blunt object crashed down on Lionel
McIntyre’s head. He falls forward and spills onto the ground.

<Is McIntyre dead?: 65% Yes = 22%>

Alas, Lionel McIntyre had little else to say on the matter. He may have survived the knife wound, but the blow on the back of the head sent a shock to his brain that ultimately cost him his life. When he was found by the Watch later he found that his money was strewn about, but it did not appear to be taken. It was very clear the fallen Roadwarden was searched.

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