When Falls the Hammer of Night
Jun 11 20:21:25 Dry|GM: Last time, on Hammer of Night:
Jun 11 20:22:25 Dry|GM: Our intrepid caravan guards departed the village of Idura Creek in the Schwarzwald with a successfully repaired wagon… only to discover trouble further down the road in the person of “Hood”, who, despite being surprisingly affable, proceeded to attack along with a number of other bandits.
Jun 11 20:22:43 Dry|GM: The caravaners prevailed, killing one of them and driving the rest off, but the corpse of the fallen bandit had a clue suggesting that this attack was… perhaps not as random as it might have otherwise appeared.
Jun 11 20:25:23 Dry|GM: After some impromptu lumberjacking, though, the bandits’ trap was cleared from the road, and the wagon proceeds onwards, the sense of oppressive gloom and malice of the Schwarzwald gradually lessening… until, at last, the wagon emerges from the shadowy forest into the sunlit hills of northern Albast.
Jun 11 20:25:33 Dry|GM: [Free to Act]
Jun 11 20:28:17 Zekki: There’s a Rabbit. Ambrutus is off and racing after the cottontail, not with the intent to
catch, more with the intent to run. Zekki is along for the ride. Sunshine is nice. Running is nice. Out of that forest that you can’t explore because it will eat you, is nice.
Jun 11 20:28:35 Bira: Bira puts the last touches on an account of the ambush before squinting up at the sun. “I’m not used to the sun at all, but it still feels better to be out in it than in the Schwarzwald.”
Jun 11 20:29:02 Sissil: Sissil pulls her hood further forward as the sunlight streams down. She’s been quiet and introspective ever since covering the body of the bandit and leaving it just barely on the road, old beat up falchion as a marker. Guilt? Business as usual? Pride? Realizing some day she too will likely end up against something she can’t defeat? It’s hard to tell what is on her mind. “… I don’t like the sun but even I do not relish the
Jun 11 20:29:02 Sissil: idea of traveling these roads after sunset.”
Jun 11 20:30:23 * Seong “Welp. You’d have to be a complete idiot or a dragon to attack in this wide open, so.” Promptly after saying that, she climbs up on top of the wagon and lays down.
Jun 11 20:30:37 Dry|GM: The driver grunts agreement. “In those woods? You said it.” He grins faintly as he watches the dog go haring off (after a hare, no less!).
Jun 11 20:34:27 Corwyn: Corwyn sits in the wagon, pretending to be asleep with her legs propped up across the bench. But as they exit the forest she stirs, pushing the brim of her hat upwards. “I don’t think anyone likes the idea of traveling these roads,” she offers out the cabin window, head tilted back towards it. If there’s more to her statement, she doesn’t share it. “At least there’s proper light again.”
Jun 11 20:34:27 Corwyn: Since the… incident earlier, what ever anger flared in her has subsided, and though not entirely friendly, she seems far, far less set on murder and pyromania than she had when the bandits had attacked. Still, though… she’s mostly kept to herseld.
Jun 11 20:35:47 Sissil: Sissil shrugs from where she’s holding on to the running boards. “… so. Remind me, is this upcoming town our destination or just a stop along the way?” Sissil asks the driver as she does relax, just a bit
Jun 11 20:37:03 Dry|GM: “The End,” the driver says, grinning even more broadly now. “A proper inn. I could eat half a hog by myself!” the driver laughs. “Just another hour or so to Sylmore; should be there before dark.” He sobers slightly as he considers their arrival. “‘course, there’ll be some questions.”
Jun 11 20:37:59 Sissil: “Yes, yes there will. The first of which is what happened to our fellows. The second of which is going to be from us.” There’s a tone to Sissil’s voice that sounds just a wee bit irritated.
Jun 11 20:38:33 Sissil: “I don’t mind doing dangerous things… I do not like being kept in the
dark about the dangers I’m facing when someone knows about them, however.”
Jun 11 20:38:55 Zekki: Bark! Bark bark bark Wuff! Apparently the rabbit has successfully eluded the chasing canine, and as a result Ambrutus is very enthusiastically digging a whopping great hole, and noisily informing the residents of their galumphing doom.
- It also gives the rabbits plenty of time to escape out the Other Entrance, as Zekki most prudently hops -off of her riding dog and stands over There, where she won’t get dirt in the feet. or face.
Jun 11 20:38:55 Zekki: Or that general are. “I’m going to have to wash you when we stop somewhere with surplus water you know.” Wuffrl? “You are getting filthy. You’re supposed to be black, grey and
white. Not black grey and mud.” Arowl.
Jun 11 20:39:14 Corwyn: “Why?” Corwyn sounds clearly annoyed. “It’s the Schwarzwald. Shit happens, and people should expect it.” She scoffs, swinging her feet down to the floor of the cabin. “Bandits should be a surprise to no one. If they want to ask questions, they can. I’ll be at the tavern or otherwise elsewhere.”
Jun 11 20:40:06 * Seong “They sounded like they were looking for something. Like they were hired. Not /exactly/ bandits, per se.” Seong doesn’t bother sitting up.
Jun 11 20:40:13 Bira: “Well, I’m sure it will be worth noting that whatever actual purpose the caravan served was successful.” Bira leans back and knocks on the bed of the wagon.
Jun 11 20:40:34 Sissil: Sissil frowns but makes no further comment.
Jun 11 20:41:18 Dry|GM: The driver doesn’t say much, but he does nod at Corwyn’s comment. “Nothing for it, I guess. Who knows? Maybe some of the others made it through.” The driver doesn’t seem too convinced of this, though.
Jun 11 20:41:38 Sissil: “… We did the best we could for them.”
Jun 11 20:41:51 Sissil: She says this, in a reassuring tone to the driver.
Jun 11 20:43:42 Zekki: Having successfully excavated a small hill, with nary a hare to show for it, Ambrutus is panting and quite happy. Of course the dog has to mark the site of his victory over the lapine species, before prancing around Zekki, tail plume held high and wagging, nudging her and getting dirt smudged from his face onto her coat. “You’re filthy.” She informs the unrepentant mutt, getting a happy bark in response before she brushes off the
Jun 11 20:43:43 Zekki: saddle and climbs back up, returning to the caravan and the driver. Ambrutus is shedding little bits of dirt the Whole Way.
Jun 11 20:45:42 * Seong “…They definitely weren’t bandits. If they were, they’d be off selling the wagon’s wares and getting drunk.” She says, mostly to the sky.
Jun 11 20:47:22 Corwyn: “They wanted us t’ think they were bandits,” Corwyn replies to Seong, now moving to hang out the side of the cabin where she been positioned earlier in their trip. “MIght as well have everyone else thinking the same thing. Will probably make this whole thing easier.”
Jun 11 20:48:37 Dry|GM: The journey to the caravan’s ultimate destination—the city of Sylmore, southern terminus of the Gemstone Road—is uneventful, devoid of both hostile idiots and dragons.
Jun 11 20:51:35 Dry|GM: Once there, it’s just a matter of the driver showing the paperwork to the gate guards, getting some stamps, and navigating to the receiving yard of the caravan’s owners—Continental Mercantile, one of the largest and wealthiest shipping companies in Albast. Things seem slow at this hour—apparently most of the traffic for the day has already gone out or been received.
Jun 11 20:52:42 Dry|GM: The wagon pulls to a stop near what looks to be a warehouse; a single clerk sits in an office, watching with mild interest.
Jun 11 20:52:52 Dry|GM: [Free to Act]
Jun 11 20:53:51 Sissil: Sissil jumps down when the wagon comes to a stop, taking a moment to look around warily. Her stance however shows she’s irritated even with her face hidden.
Jun 11 20:54:03 Dry|GM: The driver sets the reins down, heaves a long sigh, and then clambers down from the wagon. “Last stop. Thank the Forgemaster,” he says.
Jun 11 20:54:54 * Seong sits up, finally. She stretches, and shifts to sit at the wagon’s edge.
Jun 11 20:55:54 Dry|GM: The clerk—a mousy looking young woman with spectacles and frizzy brown hair done up in a bun—approaches with mincing steps, holding a clipboard in front of her chest. “Papers?” she asks.
Jun 11 20:57:41 Dry|GM: The driver hands them off. The clerk peers at the paperwork, blinks. Blinks again. Looks at the clipboard, turns a page or two back, blinks a third time. “Um… you were supposed to be here… yesterday? A-and there were supposed to be four wagons…” she says uncertainly.
Jun 11 20:58:28 Sissil: “Axel broke on our wagon, we got waylaid. The other ran into bandits. We did too, but we survived.” Sissil says this in a dark matter of fact tone. “Bandits, I might add, who were looking for something
Jun 11 20:58:36 Bira: “Bandit attack.” Bira hoists herself down and trundles over. “Most of the valuable cargo is intact, but if this makes a profit, it’ll be slim.”
Jun 11 21:00:00 Zekki: “Barouf!” Ambrutus greets the Woman Most Enthusiastically, half to see if she’ll jump, and half just because there’s not much going on. Sniff sniff sniff at poor clerks feet by a giant of a dog with a gnome perched on its back. She lets others do the talking, instead watching. And ‘controlling’ her dog. There’s the little tug to try and stop the malamute from nipping at the clerks skirt hem. “Ambrutus. Leave the nice lady alone.”
Jun 11 21:00:00 Zekki: Probable nice lady.
Jun 11 21:01:16 Dry|GM: She jumps and shies. She’s already pretty pale, but she goes paler still as she takes in the size of the dog and his… condition. “I’llbeback,” she squeaks, heading for the safety of her office at a significantly higher speed than she had arrived at.
Jun 11 21:02:00 Sissil: Sissil tilts her head, then
smiles at Ambrutus, and gives him a scritch behind the ear if he lets her.
Jun 11 21:02:34 * Seong “I have to admit, I was kind of hoping some of the other wagons got here.” She hops down from the wagon.
Jun 11 21:03:17 Bira: Bira takes the opportunity to pull her employment contract out of a small folder incorporated into her book’s front cover and look it over.
Jun 11 21:03:40 Zekki: “Bad Ambrutus.” Zekki ‘scolds’ her dog, with a little pat pat ontop of his head, “Now we have to go fetch her.” Bark! Tailwagging, and the petting is appreciated. If Sissil isn’t careful, she will get an enthusiastic thank you from Ambrutus. All over that hand. And arm. And probably the face if he can get at it! Trotting dog after the clerk, to sniff, scratch, whine and hopefully nose into the door. Wruff?
Jun 11 21:04:05 Zekki: “Lucky that our driver had the papers though. Odd that they weren’t with the wagon leader.”
Jun 11 21:04:40 Dry|GM: Through the window of her office, you can see her speaking into… some kind of brass tube. Whatever response she gets, she nods. A few moments later, the door cracks open and she peers out. “M-Mr. Dufluor will be here s-shortlEEK g-good doggy goawayplz”
Jun 11 21:04:40 Sissil: “Some of the tribes back home raise dogs like that.” Sissil notes with mild amusement. Then Sissil shrugs. ‘Usually each wagon has its own papers. The fact the clerk knows that was part of a set…"
Jun 11 21:05:45 Dry|GM: She leans frantically on the door and manages to get it shut again; how much of that is due to strength and how much is due to Ambrutus’s good graces… it’s impossible to tell, but not hard to speculate.
Jun 11 21:06:46 * Seong is now obviously wondering if she even had a contract. She’s looking through her backpack.
Jun 11 21:06:50 Sissil: “Though I think he’s the first one that didn’t growl at me…”
Jun 11 21:07:13 Dry|GM: You can still see her in through the window of her office; she takes a few moments to compose herself, but then starts making notes on her clipboard, comparing whatever she’s got there to what she’s got on the driver’s papers. After a moment, she pulls out still more papers from a filing cabinet and starts marking things on those.
Jun 11 21:08:34 Sissil: Sissil shrugs, and goes back to the wagon. And while they are waiting, starts thumping the various boards with her hand, one at a time. It’s something to pass the time.
Jun 11 21:08:40 Dry|GM: A minute or so later, another person approaches the wagon—a tall, wiry looking man in rather plain looking attire, with blonde hair and a set of small glasses.
Jun 11 21:08:40 Zekki: “Please do not shut your door on my dogs nose.” Zekki replies lightly to the clerk, tugging her dog back lightly to
let her shut the door, though he doesn’t leave it alone, scratching at the wood, barking, whining and pushing on it lightly. Baroulf! Gnome lean over to peek in window “Hey! Hey! Can I help? I like numbers! And paperwork. And I need to give my dog a bath. Do you know anywhere that might have sufficient space and
Jun 11 21:08:40 Zekki: water for the task?” Pause, and a glance back to Sissil with a grin “Ambrutus is pretty well socialised, honestly. And you smell like pack.”
Jun 11 21:08:50 Corwyn: “I think it would have to care enough to growl,” Corwyn offers back dryly, walking up to join the others. She was lucky enough ot have one replacement poncho, now pulled around her to again hide her pistol. “Sounds like everything’s getting settled well enough. What’s next?”
Jun 11 21:11:01 Sissil: “waiting for one ‘Mr. Duflour’ so we can get paid. Or get answers. Maybe both.”
Jun 11 21:11:07 Bira: “Assuming no one’s in breach of contract,” Bira squints at part of her contract, “no one’s under any obligation to do more than give us our pay and shoo us out the door, I think.”
Jun 11 21:11:46 * Seong “Hey, I kicked the mans, and they fell down. I’m pretty sure that’s all my contract wanted me to do.”
Jun 11 21:12:07 Dry|GM: A minute or so later, another person approaches the wagon—a tall, wiry looking man in rather plain looking attire, with blonde hair. He’s also wearing glasses, though his aren’t as huge as the other clerk’s.
Jun 11 21:12:35 Sissil: Sissil doesn’t respond to Bira’s comment just yet. She just frowns at the wagon and kicks one of the wheels lightly.
Jun 11 21:14:57 Zekki: New Person! Ambrutus leaves that slightly splintered door alone, to investigate this New Person. Bark! Baroof! Sniff sniff sniff. “Hello.” From Zekki on his back and a grin given to the New Person.
Jun 11 21:15:49 Dry|GM: The blond man eyes the dog with mild amusement, but doesn’t move. He inclines his head to Zekki. “Hello. And you are?” he asks politely.
Jun 11 21:17:08 Sissil: Sissil looks up towards the newcomer, but again remains silent, keeping her hood pulled forward.
Jun 11 21:17:46 Corwyn: Corwyn regards the new person with a nod of her head, leaning against the wagon with her hat pulled down over her eyes. “Can we help you?” She doesn’t sound so annoyed this time, at least.
Jun 11 21:17:51 Zekki: “Zekki. This is Ambrutus. He is in need of a bath. I am in need of my pay for the escourt, and these other lovely people are in need of answers as to just what, precisely, our cargo
was and why that might be something suspicious.” Ambrutus is a little disappointed that this New Person didn’t twich nearly as nicely as the last one. One last hruff and he walks back towards the wagon, or well, around it, and investigating All The
Jun 11 21:17:51 Zekki: Things.
Jun 11 21:21:25 Dry|GM: The blond man inclines his head, seeming to file that away. “Zekki… Ambrutus…” he says slowly, seemign to file that away. At Corwyn’s question, he looks to her and gives a small smile. “Quite possibly. I’m Frederick Dufluor, second shift administrator for Continental.”
Jun 11 21:22:55 Sissil: “… Then you would be who we are waiting for. Sissil Frostbreath” She offers as introduction. “… we got waylaid by an axel breaking. The three wagons ahead of us met… bandits looking for something specific that apparently was the
cause of our wagon breaking down.” Sissil’s tone isn’t hostile as much as it’s showing that she’s feeling a bit put out by the fact someone felt the need to hide what they were guarding from,
Jun 11 21:22:55 Sissil: well the guards.
Jun 11 21:23:09 Corwyn: Corwyn straightens up a bit at that – this is, after all, probably the person that will be paying them. “Ah, alright.” She lifts her hat back up a bit, offering a smile. “So! That doesn’t answer m’ question, then. I’m assumin’ you’re here t’ get us processed an’ paid, or you have more work f’r us. Either one sounds wonderful t’ me.”
Jun 11 21:25:06 Dry|GM: He nods slowly, first to Sissil, then to Corwyn. “I see,” he says slowly. He nods to Corwyn. “Absolutely, Miss…?” he makes it into a question, regarding Corwyn inquisitively.
Jun 11 21:26:14 * Seong is suspicious, for some reason. She walks forward nearer to the group while letting them make all the introductions.
Jun 11 21:33:26 Zekki: Ambrutus is investigating All The Things. And sneezing. “I told you you’d need a bath. But you
had to dig up the entire mountain side.” Brawrol. Shakeshakeshake. Ambrutus is the dog that Owns The World. Since he cocks a leg whenever and proclaims this ownership at the least bit of opportunity.
Jun 11 21:33:57 Corwyn: “Raven,” Corwyn offers back with a nod. That… was it, wasn’t it? She loses track sometimes. “Do you need us in the long term, or can we adjurn to the tavern and or our inn rooms for rest?”
Jun 11 21:35:40 Dry|GM: He seems to consider this. “We’ll need to get a full recounting of what happened to investigate, Raven; once that’s complete, you’ll be free to adjourn.”
Jun 11 21:37:49 Corwyn: Corwyn groads, shoulders slumping visibly. She shouldn’t be surprised, papers and beuracracy after all. But that didn’t make her any less annoyed to have to deal with it. “It’s the Schwartzwald. Some shit happened, as it does in there. Sorry, I’m not really good a stories, someone else can probably explain it better.”
Jun 11 21:38:33 Bira: Bira gives Corwyn A Look. There is simply no better way to describe it.
Jun 11 21:39:05 Dry|GM: He grimaces slightly. “I… apologize,” he says, seeming embarrassed.
Jun 11 21:39:12 Sissil: Sissil shrugs, and digs into her belt pouch, and pulls out a note.
Jun 11 21:39:24 Sissil: She then hands that note to the man. “This was on the body of one of our ‘bandits’”
Jun 11 21:39:39 * Seong “Attacked by bandits who seemed to be looking for something specific. Likely hired mercenaries posing as bandits.” She rolls her shoulders.
Jun 11 21:40:43 Corwyn: Resuming her leana gainst the wagon, Corwyn just barely catches Bira’s look, quirking an eyebrow in response.
Jun 11 21:43:00 Zekki: “We set out, then we had to stop and get the wagon repaired with an extra strong wagon thing. Spent an extra day at that town, while the rest of the caravan went ahead. When we set off, we got a little ways and then there was a BIG tree in the road. Like huge!” Don’t worry Corwyn, Zekki will cover the words. All of the words! “Turned out to be a very suspicious tree and it was an ambush! There was fire and barbarians and a sniper
Jun 11 21:43:00 Zekki: that we couldn’t find, and one of them died and the rest ran off and the tiefling got a lover boy, some young braggart making a name for himself?” Pause. Frown. “What was that name again? Jack or something? Heeeeey what’s your boyfriends name?” Important things, these details are.
Jun 11 21:44:19 Bira: “One human male, pleasant demeanour. One dwarven male, seemed pleasant enough and apparently thought I was funny. One half-orc female, deceased, anger issues.” Bira reads off her notes. “Bira Tomedelver, pleasure to meet you.” She makes a vague bow of greeting, her hands being busy with her book.
Jun 11 21:45:07 Sissil: “… Dwarf was willing to name the Unmaker on us in that forest. Pleasant is a very relative thing.” Sissil adds.
Jun 11 21:45:29 Dry|GM: The man studies the note. He’s already pretty self-contained, but at the note he seems to go a little more still. He gives an absent bow to Bira. “Let’s… adjourn to a meeting room for this,” he says quickly. “Follow me, please.”
Jun 11 21:46:44 * Seong shrugs. “I’m not dating anyone who can’t land a punch on me.” She follows.
Jun 11 21:47:13 Zekki: “Anyways! We fought them and the halfling chased one and the driver did a masterful job of keeping the horses from bolting and we blew up the fallen trees and continued on and tada, here we are! Can I go wash my dog now or are you officially holding us captive, hostage, under suspicion for the disappearance of the other wagons that we were regretfull no where near and I wish that I was with them so I could have blown the bandits up
Jun 11 21:47:13 Zekki: proper properly and had the full wagon train arrive here a little bit singed but present?” Siiiiigh. Of
Course Zekki can’t go wash her dog right now. There are more things to talk about. “You’re as bad as an elf.”
Jun 11 21:47:23 Bira: “…Hrm, I must have missed that.” Bira’s face folds into an expression of concern.
Jun 11 21:48:28 Dry|GM: “Does that include me?” the driver asks, sounding resigned. “Lorik Stonebow, by the way.”
Jun 11 21:49:26 Dry|GM: The blond man glances to him. “Yes, if you please. I’ll try to be brief.” He turns and starts heading back in the direction he came from; the clerk in the office has looked up from her paperwork and is watching him with a faintly surprised expression.
Jun 11 21:50:19 * Seong “Hey, you were there, and you shot a guy, I’d say that counts.” She mentions down at the driver.
Jun 11 21:50:37 Corwyn: Corwyn;s expression is flat at the request to turn in to a meeting room. “Do we- get to store our things at least, first? Or is this a kind-of-needs-to-happen-now thing?” Eiether way, she’s removing her hat and following on after the man. She probably doesn’t have much of a choice anyway. “If I’m going , you’re goin’!” she offers looking back at the driver – though her grin may indicate
Jun 11 21:50:37 Corwyn: she’s not entirely serious this time. As she passes by Seong, she offers the same grin and a nod. “So, where do we line up to take a swing?” She winks, laughs, and then continues on forward.
Jun 11 21:51:28 * Seong laughs faintly. “Just not when I’m sleeping, it doesn’t count. Left that loophole in a bit too long…”
Jun 11 21:52:03 Zekki: “So all it takes to date you is to hit you?” Zekki asks curiously “That must open up a world of violent relationships for you.”
Jun 11 21:52:33 * Seong “Yep.” She nods.
Jun 11 21:53:46 Corwyn: “Sounds like someone was too clever for there own good,” is Corwyn’s response. As Zekki speaks, she chuckles, casting a look over at the gnome. “I highly doubt she’s bein’ serious. Don’t take it at face value unless you’re lookin’ to land one yourself, I guess.” This is even despite Seong’s agreeance.
Jun 11 21:54:47 Corwyn: *their
Jun 11 21:55:52 Zekki: “….Kind of odd, but okay! I’ll just throw things at her and see how well she ducks.” Zekki replies, bouncing lightly on Ambrutus’ back, as the dog follows to the Must Have Conversation. She fishes around in her bag to pull out a dog-brush, and starts to groom Ambrutus, getting rid of fur and some of the dirt-dust in his coat as well.
Jun 11 21:56:02 Dry|GM: The blond man leads the way around the corner of the warehouse, towards the biggest building in the complex—also one with a main entrance opening out onto a busy street; it appears that you’d have had to head this way anyway to leave, so that’s good. Through some corridors—not many people here this late—to a rather comfortably appointed meeting room.
Jun 11 21:56:28 Corwyn: " I don’t think-" Corwyn sighs and decides to let it go, shaking her head. “Whatever, let’s get this over with.”
Jun 11 21:57:56 Dry|GM: He ushers you inside, then departs for a few seconds before returning—now armed with paper and pencil. “I’ll be brief, Raven. My apologies for putting you through this, but this is… rather serious.” He looks mildly apologetic. “Now, if you could recount what happened again, please?”
Jun 11 21:59:03 Corwyn: “It is what it is,” she says back, giving a small shrug. They’re here, and this has to be done. Placing her hat back on her head, she plops down into one of the seats, pulling the tip down again. “My version or the actual version? I promise mine’s more interesting.”
Jun 11 22:00:18 Dry|GM: His lips twitch at that, but it’s swiftly smoothed back over into a professional expression. “The actual version, if you please.” He pauses, eying Corwyn a bit more sharply. “Though if you’d like to present your version later… perhaps over a drink…?”
Jun 11 22:00:37 Sissil: Sissil pauses to pull out her journal. “Breakdown in… Issil creek I think it was? Axel broke on the bridge. Wagonmaster left us to guard the wagon after the wagonwright could fix the wheel, noting we’d be a day late. We then come upon a downed tree blocking the road, and got ambushed by a quartet of beings. One human pugilist, a half-orc I believe with some serious strength but no real combat training, and a dwarf who knows a
Jun 11 22:00:37 Sissil: rather elder form of combat style that isn’t taught that much anymore. The… half-orc lost her head and refused to surrender.” She sighs. “We then cleared the road and continued onward to here.”
Jun 11 22:01:05 Zekki: “Uuuuugh, you’ve already heard it twice. Three times if you include the very short short version.” Zekki points out, Ambrutus still getting groomed, tailwagging and sweepign the groudn behind him enthusiastically. “Don’t do it. He’ll wait on making a decision until you’ve repeated it six times, eaten to bursting and have topee and
still won’t make a decision.”
Jun 11 22:03:40 * Seong “There was evidence that they’d already raided at least one of the others. Now it looks like all three.” She’s leaning backward in her chair.
Jun 11 22:04:06 Corwyn: Corwyn’s own lips twitch, and she forces herself to yawn – it’s the only thing that keeps her from bursting out laughing, no offence to- whatever he had said his name was. “I appreciate the offer,” she remarks with a smile, “but I don’t think my version would laugh even half a drink.”
Jun 11 22:04:31 Dry|GM: He writes furiously at Sissil’s account. “Measure a thousand times, cut once,” he says off-handedly to Zekki. “Otherwise things get wasteful.” He writes some more. “Alright. ‘Issil Creek’, broken axel…” Seong’s comment sets off a further bout of scribbling. “Logical conclusion. What evidence?”
Jun 11 22:05:11 Sissil: “We had moved some of the product to another wagon in a extradimensional holding. Which we recovered from the fallen half-orc, along with the note earlier given.”
Jun 11 22:05:27 * Seong “They had a bag we left on one of the other wagons, right?” She looks to Bira to confirm her memory.
Jun 11 22:06:04 Sissil: “Given the condition of the contents and the note, and the fact you have not seen the other wagons, it is safe to assume the other wagons either fell to the strike or were lost to the forest.”
Jun 11 22:06:15 Bira: “Correct, containing the fire-ale we had decided needed to arrive first. A few casks were missing, presumably drank as banditry payment.”
Jun 11 22:06:17 Zekki: “Life’s no fun if you know what can be done ahead of time. Where’s the adventure, the discovery?” Zekki replies with a long suffering groan and resting her forehead on Ambrutus’ shoulder. “Do you have elf in your ancestry? You must do. Or you’ve dealt with them
way too much.”
Jun 11 22:08:09 Dry|GM: At Corwyn’s yawn and reaction, he… looks amused and knowing. “Probably for the best, anyway,” he allows. Looks like he’s gracious about being turned down, at least.
Jun 11 22:10:08 Dry|GM: He writes more at Seong and Bira’s comments. “Quite a bit. It’s an… interesting challenge,” he says offhandedly to Zekki. At last he finishes writing. “Alright. Anything further?”
Jun 11 22:12:21 Zekki: “It’s a wonder you don’t die of old age in trying to say hello.” Zekki mutters, “
Jun 11 22:12:54 Bira: Bira looks over her notes. “Aside from some academic interest in the concealed cargo, I believe that’s all the relevant information.”
Jun 11 22:14:02 Dry|GM: “Haven’t yet. I’ll take that as ‘nothing further’, then.” At Bira’s comment, he frowns. “Hm.” He glances again at the note, then sighs. “I’m afraid there isn’t a lot I can divulge about that.”
Jun 11 22:14:14 Corwyn: “That… actually is a pretty good summery of it all,” Corwyn offers more seriously, nodding in agreement. “I’m impressed, actually. No way I would’ve remembered alla that.”
Jun 11 22:15:18 Zekki: “Are we good, are we done yet? Can we get paid so I can go wash my dog yet?” Zekki is the soul of patience. Ambrutus has shed a moderate sized dirty puppy in fur in the duration of this conversation, however.
Jun 11 22:16:20 Corwyn: “Man. Maybe I should’ve been a gnome. I can’t believe you’re more impatient than I am,” Corwyn muses amusedly, leaning against her palm as she waits for dismissal.
Jun 11 22:17:01 Dry|GM: “You’ve given us enough to investigate with. As to the matter of payment…” he frowns. “We can disperse the minimum payment for safe arrival of one wagon and driver. Cargo… unfortunately, cargo is going to take a bit longer to assess, given the… repacking.”
Jun 11 22:19:41 Zekki: “Uuuuuuuuugh.” Thump. Thump. THump. Zekki head against Ambrutus side. “Please endeavour to get the cargo value quantified and finalised before the end of the week. This week. Not next week. Not seven dates from today next month.” Zekki has a stellar opinion of the get up and go progress of elves. And those who deal with them. “He’s heard six recounts of the journey, once from each of us, twice from you. And he wants another
Jun 11 22:19:41 Zekki: recounting and details and odds are he’d try and pin it on
us as our fault so that he doesn’t have to pay.”
Jun 11 22:20:13 * Seong “This was all about someone’s secret cargo, and you clearly recieved it safe and sound, so why stiff us?” She says plainly.
Jun 11 22:20:57 Sissil: “… It’ll be a bit more than what one wagon should carry worthy, at least.” Sissil offers with a somewhat cautious tone. “I’m more worried that he thinks we made off with the secret cargo. Or worse, is going to use us as scapegoats because it isn’t legal material.” Sissil doesn’t sound angry while stating this. Just resigned.
Jun 11 22:21:45 Dry|GM: “Allow me to reassure you, we have no intention of ‘stiffing’ anyone,” he says, sounding rather stiff himself. “For one thing, it’s bad business. You will be paid for all cargo delivered, plus the base fee promised.”
Jun 11 22:23:07 * Seong frowns. It looks a little like a smirk in reverse. “I’m not even asking what it was. I’m certain the wagons you lost were decoys.”
Jun 11 22:24:26 Dry|GM: “However, we have to assess exactly what that IS.” He turns to give Zekki a glower. “You can expect the freight to be fully tallied by the end of the night; I’ll let our overnight crew know exactly how grateful you are for their work.”
Jun 11 22:24:46 Corwyn: “Well, it’s better than getting paid nothing, you know,” COrwyn notes as she rises up – a surprisingly optimistic remark from her, considering her demeanor so far. “We’ll see how this plays out.”
Jun 11 22:24:49 Dry|GM: He turns to Seong. “The wagons we lost are most assuredly not ‘decoys’. It is true we received instructions regarding a specific wagon,” he allows, and it looks like it’s costing him something to say that much, “But it’s generally not profitable to run partial caravans.”
Jun 11 22:25:36 Dry|GM: He inclines his head to Corwyn. “Your patience is appreciated.” He pauses a moment. “And, for what it’s worth… I do apologize for the inconvenience,” he adds, agian seeming mildly embarrassed.
Jun 11 22:26:34 Sissil: Sissil for her part… shrugs. “Sooner I can get to an inn,t he sooner I can try to wash today away from my thoughts.” She finally says with a grimace.
Jun 11 22:26:43 Zekki: “Apart from that fire ale, ninety percent of which is recovered in that bag. There was mail and foods.” Zekki adds, trying to help the conversation along. A little bit. She gives him a slow clap “You deal with elves. It is prudent to be specific on how long you are willing to wait for them to get their arses in gear.” She points out “I don’t want to deprive your crew of their sleep, a well rested mind is an active and productive
Jun 11 22:26:43 Zekki: one. I just don’t want to be kicking around in this town for months waiting for the full value. And you probably won’t
want me to be around that long either. I’m apt to get really bored.” Grin. Helpful gnome.
Jun 11 22:26:44 * Seong shrugs. “Fine. But the next time someone has a super secret artifact cargo or some shit like that, remember that it’s bad business to keep the guards in the dark about it so you can pay them less?” She sighs. “I get that this probably wasn’t your call. YOU get that I should be getting paid artifact guarding money, not alcohol guarding money, I hope.”
Jun 11 22:27:29 Bira: Bira, for her part, simply lets the others talk. And takes notes.
Jun 11 22:30:37 Dry|GM: Dufluor sighs; he seems to be thoroughly unenthused about this mess. “Presumably it was thought that camouflage would make the best defense, and that—” he breaks off, shaking his head. “No, I won’t say anything further right now. Just… check back tomorrow, if you would,” he sighs. “Anything further?”
Jun 11 22:31:15 Sissil: “I get the impression that your striking team was either local, or hired by someone local. They felt comfterable running away DEEPER into that forest.”
Jun 11 22:31:53 Corwyn: “Not. A. Thing.” Corwyn waves a hand, moving toward the door. She’s not leaving yet, but she’s clearly ready to.
Jun 11 22:32:39 Sissil: “other than that… pay, and credit with the inn for a room, a hot meal, and a bath is enough to get me out of your hair for the night… Just… be worried they might take another shot at you.”
Jun 11 22:32:58 Dry|GM: He nods darkly at Sissil at that; it seems like he might have reached similar conclusions. He waves a hand. “Thank you for your patience, I apologize for the inconvenience, get your opening installment at the pay desk on the way out, enjoy your night, check back tomorrow,” he says tiredly.
Jun 11 22:33:12 * Seong “It’s fine. Camouflage also saved whoever it was a bit of money.” She shakes her head. “I’m good. We’ve gotta go wash either a large dog or a small bear, I’m still trying to figure out which.”
Jun 11 22:34:20 Dry|GM: “But did not, apparently, prevent an attack. I’ll look into your contracts and see if a bonus might not be in order,” he says.
Jun 11 22:34:56 Dry|GM: The driver, Lorik, nods. “Great. Let’s go get a damn drink. And a good bed,” he grumbles. “And that half a pig I’m gonna eat.” He heads for the door.
Jun 11 22:34:59 Zekki: “I’m sorry about the other wagons that didn’t make it. I should’ve given them some explosives.” Zekki adds, lightly, still working on her dog that is now a much lighter shade of brown for her efforts. There is a lot of fur around said large dog/small bear however.
Jun 11 22:35:51 Sissil: Sissil simply curtseys, and turns for the door.
Jun 11 22:36:18 Bira: Bira nods, closes her book with a soft thump, and follows along with the rest.
Jun 11 22:36:43 Dry|GM: The blond man looks up and seems to just notice that Zekki’s been working on her dog this whole time; he looks slightly green as he surveys the mess on the floor.
Jun 11 22:37:18 Sissil: Sissil waits until the group is outside of the meeting area before speaking. “And I suggest we get rooms near eachother. and that someone is awake on watch. Partially my fault, I pissed one of them off something personal I think when I, um, did what had to be done.”
Jun 11 22:59:39 Dry|GM: Payment is had at the front desk—the ‘minimum’ amount is enough to eat and sleep comfortably in one of the town’s mid-class inns for some time. The night passes uneventfully—no one attempts to ambush the group in their sleep.
Jun 11 23:00:54 Dry|GM: Everyone gets baths, including Ambrutus, though the staff at the inn will probably be horrified when the time comes for cleanup. The wagon driver does indeed get his half pig, and manages to eat most of it; as for the rest… suffice it to say that Ambrutus also eats well that night.
Jun 11 23:03:41 Dry|GM: The morning brings another trip back to Continental Mercantile; the freight has indeed been counted. Payment is dispensed, and the amount is only slightly less than the amount you would have received for full delivery; according to the note accompanying the payment, a bonus was allocated to all guards and drivers for… what is probably the mystery cargo, though it’s not spelled out.
Jun 11 23:04:18 Dry|GM: There’s also a second bonus, this one authorized by one ‘F. Dufluor’—this one’s labeled a ‘convenience fee’, presumably as an apology for the decided inconvenience of your arrival.
Jun 11 23:04:55 Dry|GM: Finally, there’s a note—apparently the mystery client wanted to meet with all of you for dinner at the “King’s Table” tonight.
Jun 11 23:11:52 * Seong Seong sighs. At least she’s got a dress! She spends the day cleaning her ambrutus-dirty clothes then swiftly getting into her much better looking Sari and accompanying jewelry.
Jun 11 23:12:27 Bira: With most of the day unencumbered by plans, the dwarven scholar spends it among her fellow scholars, trading information and learning about the surroundings.
Jun 11 23:13:18 Sissil: Sissil is out for most the morning, doing… something. She returns with a frown, and smelling somewhat like she’s been somewhere that deals in stale ale and other less pleasant substances.
Jun 11 23:14:49 Zekki: Ambrutus was Most Thrilled to help with the eating of dinner. He was the Most Subtle in sneaking in, and resting his head hopefully on the thigh of someone eating something delicious. It was usually productive and resulted in a sample of the delicious something for eating! …He was
less thrilled at the bath. And that Zekki made him stay Inside until he was Completely Dry. The added brushing to help with the drying was nice
Jun 11 23:14:49 Zekki: though. Convincing the inn staff to let the dog sleep inside was another matter entirely… but successful, and then there was exploring the town, looking for Seongs Boyfriend. Unsuccessfully, but neither Zekki nor Ambrutus seem particularly bothered by the success rate. Or lack there of. Payment gained and an invitation to the Kings Table. Which is Suspicious. Sissil Smells Interesting though! Sissil gets ALL THE SNIFFINGS.
Jun 11 23:18:16 * Corwyn has quit (Ping timeout: 188 seconds)
Jun 11 23:18:31 Dry|GM: Later that evening, the caravan guards and the driver find their way to the King’s Table. It is… a nice place. Not the sort of place that’s too good for booze, but it’s the sort of place where you go for the atmosphere as much for the liquor. Spacious, nicely lit, clean, lots of good food smells.
Jun 11 23:18:31 * Ashilyn (~Ashilyn@PSI-162DA5D7.rcmdva.fios.verizon.net) has joined
Jun 11 23:18:42 Dry|GM: It’s moderately busy, too.
Jun 11 23:21:07 Sissil: Sissil at least has shown up with her hood drawn, as odd as that might look, but it is polite in her experience to do so.
Jun 11 23:21:46 Dry|GM: A familiar blond-haired man sits at a corner table chatting with a red-haired woman, while a thin man in merchant attire sits alone at another table, eating bread and stew with wine. A short way down the bar sits a rumpled looking man who is drinking ale with the sort of measured pace that indicates he’s a professional at this and plans to keep putting it away for some time.
Jun 11 23:23:09 Dry|GM: Meanwhile, behind the bar, the bartender looks like a pirate who’s retired into the bartending business—he’s got an eyepatch and a long, thin scar up one side of his face. He’s wearing fine clothes and has a polite manner and an easy smile, which just makes him look more roguish.
Jun 11 23:26:42 Dry|GM: ((Also, since I didn’t specify before, Free to Act XD)
Jun 11 23:28:30 * Seong “So…I might have been kicked out of here before.”
Jun 11 23:29:24 Bira: “Really. I wouldn’t have guessed.” Bira’s flat tone makes it hard to tell whether she’s being sracastic.
Jun 11 23:30:56 Zekki: It takes a
little bit of persuasion and bargaining to get Ambrutus to agree to stay outside, since he doesn’t actually have a ‘stay’ command, just a ‘guard’ one, and having a giant dog preventing people from entering a business would probably be a bad idea. “Alright. Here, guard this.” This is her bag. “If I need it, I’ll whistle.” Bruff! SHLURP “Gyah!” Tongue up the face. All of the face. A ruffled of the fur and petting behind
Jun 11 23:30:56 Zekki: the ears before Zekki enters the place, and Ambrutus peers in the window, nose pressed up against it, or lays IN the doorway, tips of toes and nose right against the doorframe. Not inside, see? As near to being Not Inside as he can get.
Jun 11 23:31:31 Dry|GM: In the background, a guy with a guitar is setting up; looks like he’s going to be tonight’s entertainment. The familiar looking blond man nods towards the lot of you, then looks back to his date and laughs at something she said. Looks like it’s going well.
Jun 11 23:31:54 Dry|GM: One of the wait staff—a young man in a nice outfit—approaches. “Can I help you?”
Jun 11 23:34:03 Sissil: “A person indirectly employed us and offered to treat to a meal here tonight. I don’t suppose you know which table we might find said person at?”
Jun 11 23:34:33 Dry|GM: “Ah, excellent. Follow me, please,” the man says, leading the way towards a back room.
Jun 11 23:37:33 Dry|GM: The room you guys are set up in is… spacious. There are places set for each of you, plus two more. The table is big, and there’s room for a lot of food on there. “Seat yourselves, we’ll bring the first course soon. Your host said he would be arriving shortly.”
Jun 11 23:37:47 Dry|GM: The waiter offers a bow and retreats silently.
Jun 11 23:39:14 Zekki: The gnome gives her dog a Look to make sure he stays put properly, before Zekki looks towards the server. Sadly, she is not in the boat of being able to see very much. Too many medium sized people around and the giraffe in their genes block the viewing of things unless one ducks down to peer between legs. And that is usually considered rude. In to the room, and … hmm. Investigate the room! Because she’s going to be sitting for a
Jun 11 23:39:14 Zekki: -while-.
Jun 11 23:39:47 * Seong sits. “This is probably not an ambush, but I’m open to the idea. If it is, I’ll stall while you guys scoot.”
Jun 11 23:40:04 Bira: Bira nods appreciatively at the furnishings before choosing a seat mostly at random.
Jun 11 23:42:45 Sissil: Sissil just picks a chair with her back to a wall.
Jun 11 23:44:02 * Zekki piles a couple extra cushions onto her chair, and perches at a height somewhat precarious but mostly right for eating at a humans table height. It’s more comfortable than kneeling on the chair.
Jun 11 23:44:05 Dry|GM: The door into the main room swings open, as a waiter ushers your driver in. He looks around, grins. “Fance meeting you all here,” he says, waving. He glances around. “Nice digs, huh. Whoever’s buying us dinner looks like a big spender.”
Jun 11 23:44:59 Dry|GM: The sound of muted music begins; sounds like the guitar player in the main room has started his act. Sounds like he’s launching into some kind of Albastian folk ballad, something about ‘Jack the Rider’.
Jun 11 23:45:18 * Seong “It’s you, isn’t it.” She deadpans.
Jun 11 23:46:26 Zekki: “…Sounds like your boyfriend is out in the main room.” Wriggle wriggle. Zekki failed to find anything suspicious about the room. She’s honestly a little disappointed. Things could be so much more exciting with some intruige. “Either a fan, or your boyfriend. Or knows your boyfriend. You should go say hi.”
Jun 11 23:46:35 Dry|GM: “Me?” the driver looks surprised. “Hell no! If I was that rich I’d buy a place in the sublevels of Thera and just… do whatever rich people do, I guess. Count my money? I dunno.”
Jun 11 23:52:03 * Seong “Not convinced, you strike me as being suitably eccentric. Either way, sit down.”
Jun 11 23:52:32 Dry|GM: He snorts, shakes his head, and plops into a seat. Only one seat left now—the one at the back of the room.
Jun 11 23:52:48 Dry|GM: The first course arrives—it’s a bowl of stew. Smells delicious. Another waiter arrives, taking drink orders.
Jun 11 23:53:41 Bira: Bira orders the darkest beer or ale they have.
Jun 11 23:54:29 Zekki: “Mmm. If we’re waiting on our host. Where are they gonna sit?” Zekki asks curiously, poking somewhat suspiciously at the stew. She orders a brandy and cola. Do they have carbonated beverages here? Just how backwards is the economy…?
Jun 11 23:54:43 Sissil: Sissil asks, oddly, for juice. Straight up simple juice
Jun 11 23:54:46 * Seong smiles at the waiter, then orders a fruit wine.
Jun 12 00:02:51 Ashilyn: Gods know where she’s been, but the door to the establishment slowly creeks open, and quietly Corwyn slips into the room. Minus her poncho, dressed just in a simple red dress. This does nothing to hide the holster strapped to her side, and she seems to do little to disarm herself as she tips her hat to the hostess and makes her way towards the table the rest of the group is seated at.
Jun 12 00:02:51 Ashilyn: “Well. If I’d known what time it was, I guess I would’ve gotten out of bed sooner,” she remarks a bit flatly as she offers a nod to her companions and moves to take a seat. “How goes the evening? No one tried to kill anyone yet, I hope.”
Jun 12 00:04:10 Dry|GM: The waiter nods, departing; drinks are brought. The waiter asks Corwyn for her drink order, as well, and then departs…
Jun 12 00:05:20 * Seong “Sadly no. If it’s an ambush, plan is for me to distract while you guys scoot to the coat check.” She says plainly.
Jun 12 00:05:21 Dry|GM: …and then, just as the player outside is starting his next song, your host pushes open the door to the private room and makes his entrance. “Ah, my apologies! Sorry for being late; I fear I lost track of time,” he says. It’s an older man, sounding a bit winded; he’s leaning on a cane.
Jun 12 00:05:49 Ashilyn: Corwyn orders a mix of peach liquor, herbal liquor, and cranberry juice – a drink she tried once she was told described her pretty well. SHe took offense to this, but the drink was good. Might as well recreate it now.
Jun 12 00:07:21 Dry|GM: The newcomer—your host—is… first off, he’s old. Second off, he… doesn’t look rich. He’s wearing what must have once been pretty spiffy red robes… but they’ve clearly seen better days. They’re threadbare, and have a number of minor discolorations where presumably things were spilled on them at some point long past.
Jun 12 00:11:17 Bira: Bira relaxes visibly. Something something familiar experiences.
Jun 12 00:11:44 Sissil: Sissil just tilts her head a little. She has the decorum to not
say anything yet of what’s going on with her thought process.
Jun 12 00:15:51 Zekki: “Know what that’s like when you’re wrapped up in something interesting.” Zekki at least seems fine with the host being late, old, and … a little thread bare. Eh. There’s a sweep from head to toe, and she slips off of her chair, to make with the treat the old people nicely to help with getting him to a chair.
Jun 12 00:16:33 Dry|GM: He looks over all of you, smiling broadly. “Ah, so nice to meet all of you! The heroes who protected my shipment. Thank you, thank you so much; buying you dinner is the least I could do.”
Jun 12 00:17:22 Ashilyn: Unlike Bira, Corwyn’s eyes widen a bit, and she pulls down the brim of hat to hide her face a bit better. She’s tried to learn how to hide surprise, but this one catches her a bit too off guard. At least she doesn’t let her posture slip like she used to. She tries not to look shifty eyed, even as she begins to comb the room for… well, a variety of things.
Jun 12 00:17:40 Dry|GM: He’s practically beaming. “Please, enjoy the meal!” He shuffles towards the empty seat at the other end of the table, eying the stew with interest.
Jun 12 00:18:01 * Seong “I’m not going to turn down free food. I would like to know a little about what we were carrying, though.” She sips her wine. “So when the old ones start singing the song to end the world, I at least have a funny story.”
Jun 12 00:18:34 Sissil: Sissil shrugs after a few moments. “well met. I hope everything was intact after the slightly rough ride for a bit of it.”
Jun 12 00:20:24 Dry|GM: The old man eases himself into his seat, grimacing a bit. “Oh? They didn’t tell you anything? Hm…” he frowns slightly. “Well, it came through well enough, at least. It would take more than a shake to disrupt that. For which we can all be thankful,” he nods, reaching for a spoon and taking a bit of stew.
Jun 12 00:21:15 Sissil: “As the saying goes, with what they told us, we might as well be mushrooms.”
Jun 12 00:21:46 Dry|GM: The old man eyes Sissil curiously, tilting his head slightly. He has a faintly puzzled smile on his lips.
Jun 12 00:22:13 Zekki: “Good thing it wasn’t volatile. Though, would it be flammable?” Zekki asks curiously, once the guy is settled in place, “And what are we to call you? You’re like, three steps shy of getting dubbed ‘Old Timer’ by me at least, you know.” Zekki notes cheerfully, returning to her seat and climbing up onto it, dubiously sipping at the stew. You can be as skilled a cook as you like, but a stew is still a stew and tend to be more miss than
Jun 12 00:22:13 Zekki: hit.
Jun 12 00:22:18 Ashilyn: “THat’s not a saying. Where is that a saying?” Corwyn can’t help but protest, looking up at Sissil with confusion. “You totally made that up.”
Jun 12 00:22:47 Sissil: “It is a saying from where I worked last. Mushrooms grow on manure and in the dark.”
Jun 12 00:23:11 * Seong “It’s okay, I was about to ask too.” She’s enjoying the soup.
Jun 12 00:23:47 Bira: “Very common saying among dwarves, although it loses something in translation.” Bira is enjoying the soup as well.
Jun 12 00:24:29 Ashilyn: “I- but-” Corwyn wrinkles her nose, looking eagerly for her drink to arrive. “Sure, why not.”
Jun 12 00:28:07 Dry|GM: “Ah, silly me… I neglected to introduce myself. Rellis Sterton is my name; former professor of alchemy at the university,” the old man says.
Jun 12 00:28:59 * Seong “Seong. Pleasure.”
Jun 12 00:30:05 Zekki: “Not all
that former. But then, once you start doing it, I guess you can’t stop. Makes the world more fun.” Zekki contributes with a cheerful grin, “Zekki. The big dog outside is Ambrutus. He might have licked you.” There are worse things, really. Sip of the soup. Poke at the Things In It. Tentative taste of them, one at a time.
Jun 12 00:30:39 Bira: “Bira Tomedelver, scholarly emissary for the Grand Library of the Dwarves. A pleasure.”
Jun 12 00:30:46 Ashilyn: Former. That almost might make Corwyn relax a little, but to the trained eye she still looks rather tense. She looks up enough for their host to see the smile she offers, and then looks back down. “Raven,” she remarks quietly.
Jun 12 00:33:27 Dry|GM: “Lorik Stonebow, sometime student of the Grand Library, currently employed as a wagon driver,” the driver says, nodding.
Jun 12 00:35:58 Dry|GM: Sterton nods to each of the guests in turn—is that the briefest of hesitations as Raven gives her introduction? He doesn’t seem to dwell too long, though. “I’m pleased to meet each of you, and again, I thank you for protecting my delivery.” He nods gravely.
Jun 12 00:36:27 Zekki: “What was it?” Zekki, the soul of patience, strikes again!
Jun 12 00:38:25 Dry|GM: The old man pauses, a spoon of soup already in his mouth. He makes a thoughtful expression. “Mm… there… isn’t a great deal I can say about that, I’m afraid. Private research comes with… stipulations.” He wrinkles his nose in distaste. He looks thoughtful, though. “Mm… it would be poor form indeed for me to tell you nothing, though.”
Jun 12 00:39:08 Dry|GM: He folds his hands together, pushing aside the now-empty soup bowl. “What do you know of the Asirian Empire?”
Jun 12 00:42:22 * Seong “Off the top of my head, it sounds like it might have great food.” She finishes shortly after the host.
Jun 12 00:44:08 Zekki: A glance is given to Old Timer
- Zekki promptly forgot his name after getting it. Again. She’s bad with names. And waits for the explanation. -a turkey stuffed with a pheasant stuffed with a duck stuffed with a quail, with a variety of sauces to go with. Egads.
Jun 12 00:44:12 Bira: “Unmatched in magic and technology, most of our own advancements have just been rebuilding what they had. Lost in the Reckoning, some think by their own hands.”
Jun 12 00:45:02 Dry|GM: “Alas, one area that history has yet to touch,” Sterton chuckles at Seong. The wait staff sweeps in silently, taking bowls, refilling drinks, bringing the next course
Jun 12 00:47:10 Dry|GM: The driver nods agreement, and Sterton nods in turn. “As I would expect from students of the Grand Library. Just so. Asirian work is far beyond our current standards of scholastic understanding; we have only yet begun to unearth their secrets. Now, for a harder question. Have you heard of something called dreamstone?”
Jun 12 00:51:44 Ashilyn: A drink finally before her, Corwyn quickly takes it and- well, it’s too eloquent to be chugging, but she certainly spares no time in imbibing her alcohol, motioning for another before the waiter can even leave. Really, it’s probably a good thing she drank it so fast, because even as the last of it goes down, she almost chokes on it. “D-Dreamstone?” she sounds more than a little taken
Jun 12 00:51:45 Ashilyn: aback, and for a moment her fascade falls away. “Did someone find some?”
Jun 12 00:52:29 Sissil: Sissil mean while nearly sputters her drink across her food.
Jun 12 00:54:08 Bira: Bira merely raises an eyebrow. “I assume if that was dreamstone we would have been attacked by more than four people. That’s the kind of thing you would send armies to retrieve.”
Jun 12 00:54:24 * Seong quietly and happily slices herself some of the abomination of fowl in front of her.
Jun 12 00:54:38 Dry|GM: The driver chokes a bit on his drink. “Y-yeah, that.”
Jun 12 00:55:01 Sissil: “… Dreamstone is a legend. A possible myth.” She finally recovers after a moment.
Jun 12 00:55:07 Zekki: “Or maybe that’s why there
wasn’t an army to retrieve. Folks get awful interested when you make a big hoo ha about things.”
Jun 12 00:55:29 Sissil: “…w hich would explain not declaring it.”
Jun 12 00:57:33 Dry|GM: Sterton just smiles ruefully. “No, what you were shipping was not actual dreamstone. But…” he suddenly looks deadly serious, even though he’s still smiling, "But perhaps it’s a start. Hence my enlistment in this; here I was, enjoying my retirement… well, no, actually, I was being bored out of my mind… when some individuals approach me to do some research for them. How could I turn them down? Let alone something as fascinating as this
Jun 12 00:58:31 Bira: Bira assembles a plate of fowl with a few selections of sauce and eats, at first quickly, then she pauses and slows down, savoring the flavors more.
Jun 12 00:58:35 Dry|GM: “If successful, we could move civilization forward decades. Centuries, even.” He pauses, then chuckles ruefully. “That’s the theory, at least.”
Jun 12 01:00:02 * Seong “MMm. So, everyone’s done gawking, can we share what this stuff does?”
Jun 12 01:00:30 Bira: “So it’s something akin to… raw dreamstone ore? And you’ve some idea as to the process needed to refine it?”
Jun 12 01:00:39 Ashilyn: A hand of Corwyn’s balls up into a fist at her side. Her eyes narrow, and she looks up again, this time dead at Sterton with narrowed eyes. “You’re trying to make it, aren’t you. Dreamstone. Or like- some kind of alchemic replica. A synthetic? Guh- I can’t…” remember the word is the rest of the sentence, but she stops short, not wanting to give too much away. “Are you daft?”
Jun 12 01:00:58 Zekki: “…So what’s …” And Seong asks the question. Zekki pulls apart some bread, and dips in the juice for the soup.
Jun 12 01:01:52 Dry|GM: The old man peers at Bira, then at Raven. He looks puzzled at her reaction. “I… beg your pardon?”
Jun 12 01:01:57 Sissil: Sissil takes a small portion of food to nibble on as she regains her compsure. She considers the possibilities. “It was, supposedly, the thing that powered a lot of their Great Advances. Like, for instance, imagine a thing that could dig a tunnel all on its own. You just point it the right way. No need for skill with magic or any of that. Or perhaps a carriage with no horses is more your fancy. Or a dozen other insane things.
Jun 12 01:01:57 Sissil: Some of them incredibly dangerous.”
Jun 12 01:02:27 Sissil: "…Some of the legendary siege engines their armies supposedly had.
Jun 12 01:02:31 * Seong “So, it’s just a power source.” She doesn’t sound impressed. It could be her focus on the food.
Jun 12 01:03:12 Bira: “Right, the issue is how it gets used.”
Jun 12 01:04:14 Zekki: “Combustion might heat a house, or burn it down.” Zekki notes towards Seong lightly, “Also known as ‘fire’. Sounds interesting though! With the potential to create great big holes in this country, rather than anything productive.”
Jun 12 01:04:24 Ashilyn: “It was a power source for a empire that-” Corwyn wrinkles her nose, trying to rememember. “That doesn’t exist anymore, if I remember correctly.” She leans back in her seat again, pulling her brim back down. “I can’t be the only one who sees a problem with that.”
Jun 12 01:05:11 Sissil: “… On the one hand, we don’t know if the two are related.” She notes to Corwyn. “On the other…” She frowns. “eh, I leave this to other more academic sorts.”
Jun 12 01:05:18 * Seong “Mmh. You’re thinking Dreamstone weapons destroyed them. Not necessarily true.” She pauses for a bit. “But pretty probable.”
Jun 12 01:06:05 Dry|GM: Sterton looks at Raven, inclines his head. “Just so. On the other hand… our current understanding of magic is almost entirely derived from that empire. As is much of our understanding of alchemy. Even of engineering. Even that firearm you wear is likely reconstructed from our knowledge of Asirian design principles.”
Jun 12 01:09:06 Ashilyn: “Yeah, and it kills the one person I point it at,” Corwyn counters back with. “This- stuff was an immense power source! Can you imagine if that went off? Some of the mages out there are bad enough. This?” She shakes her head, looking over towards the door. “No thanks.” She’s exhausted most of her knowledg eon the subject, but it’s still enough to leave her visibly bothered.
Jun 12 01:09:07 Dry|GM: “If we are to eschew everything of Asirian origin, where do we begin? Cobbled roads? Bricks and mortar?” He raises a hand, palm up. “What then? Do we blame the remnants of an empire long gone when men bash each others’ brains in with sticks and stones? No. It is not that we should eschew all power, but that we must use it responsibly,” he says; as he does, his expression seems to cloud. Suddenly he looks older, more tired.
Jun 12 01:09:27 Dry|GM: “I believe we can do this. I truly do,” he says, taking a deep breath and nodding.
Jun 12 01:10:33 * Seong “Strong belief in a substance that will be used to make weapons.”
Jun 12 01:11:02 Ashilyn: “Forgive me if I don’t have faith. I’ve never been given much of reason to.” COrwyn crosses her arms, still looking off to the side and away from the others.
Jun 12 01:11:11 Zekki: “The plans of mice and men are oft wrought awry.” Zekki notes lightly, no longer even really pretending to be interested in her soup as she looks at the Old Timer. “I’d be honoured to have a look, or y’know, help out a bit? If you’re okay with an outsider alchemist have a look see through your notes?”
Jun 12 01:11:12 Bira: “They said that about gunpowder as well. I have notes from the First Dwarven Symposium.”
Jun 12 01:11:43 * Seong looks blankly at Bira, holding up her fork. “But…but gunpowder IS used to make weapons.”
Jun 12 01:12:02 Sissil: “it’s also used to clear passes in winter, and in mining.”
Jun 12 01:12:28 Dry|GM: Sterton looks at Raven for a moment, nods slowly. “I… can’t say I don’t understand that,” he says slowly. “Gods know, I’ve seen it before. But all I can do is try my best with these two hands of mine to see to it that it never happens again.”
Jun 12 01:12:47 Bira: “There are even medicinal uses, although every soldier I’ve spoken with has said they wished a cleric hadb een there instead.”
Jun 12 01:13:32 Sissil: “Every tool can be used for good and ill. A blade can be used with intent to save others or to deprive them of life and liberty.”
Jun 12 01:14:00 Dry|GM: At Zekki’s offer, he frowns. “I… can’t say I wouldn’t appreciate help, but I fear that would be going too far. As I said, private research has… restrictions involved. Truthfully, I shouldn’t have told you this much, even, but… it would be a poor thanks for your work to leave you in the dark.”
Jun 12 01:14:07 Dry|GM: He nods agreement to Bira and Sissil’s points.
Jun 12 01:14:50 Bira: “Regardless, I feel we’ve strayed from the topic, even if it is a good discussion to have. But… we are near the mark, then?”
Jun 12 01:15:31 Sissil: “… Then it’s only fair to let you know that in my diggings the ones who were hired to hit us are somewhere in the general vicinity of the town. I might know more later. I might not.” She shrugs.
Jun 12 01:16:20 * Zekki lifts her shoulders in a shrug “No worries. I understand confidentiality. I specialise in explosives, and given the potential volatile nature of the refinement…” She trails off and waves a hand lightly. “Might be interesting to find a way to render it inert, if weaponisation was engineered. Explode this much, but no more, you know?”
Jun 12 01:17:06 Dry|GM: “Not… entirely.” The old man gives a rueful grin to Bira. “It’s more to say that an interesting base material has been found and I’m examining approaches. Whether it will ever come to anything… that I don’t know.”
Jun 12 01:17:53 * Seong “In other words, they haven’t told you what they want it for.”
Jun 12 01:18:02 Ashilyn: Corwyn has a lot more to say on the matter – about her gun, about her gunpowder, about her lack of faith, and about people with power. But she isn’t philisophical enough – nor open enough – to continue with the discussion. Instead she crosses her arms and continues to watch off to the side, a look of consternation on her face as she contemplates the immediate future.
Jun 12 01:22:28 Dry|GM: The old man make a sour expression. “At this point, I don’t even know what the ‘it’ is that we’re going to get out of this. I’m just doing analysis on an ore someone dug up from somewhere. Dreamstone is any alchemist’s… well, dream… but I don’t know if this is even going to come to anything. It’d be premature to make plans for what we’re going to do with it before we even know what ‘it’ actually is, don’t you think?”
Jun 12 01:23:43 Sissil: “… Ore is better then playing with already made stuff I think.”
Jun 12 01:23:45 * Seong “THEY certainly have a goal in mind, though. That’s what worries me.” She doesn’t sound particularly worried.
Jun 12 01:23:55 Sissil: “learn to walk before one runs.”
Jun 12 01:27:20 Ashilyn: “Wait.” Corwyn turns back, looking at the old man, and then the others. “You don’t even know what you’re trying to accomplish at this point?” She looks absolutely dumbfounded. “I direct you to my earlier question,” she replies flatly looking off to the side again. “I don’t mean to be discourteous. I appreciate the job, the dinner, and the eventual honesty. But this sounds like a disaster
Jun 12 01:27:20 Ashilyn: waiting to happen to me. Alchemy itself is unpredictable, and now this is getting added to the mix?” She lets out a long sigh. “I’m sorry. I just don’t have the faith.”
Jun 12 01:29:56 Dry|GM: The old man watches Raven for a long moment. “I can’t say I don’t understand where you’re coming from. I can sympathize, even. But… I can’t just give up on this world. I want to do something to make this world better. Dreamstone was used by the Asirians to perform wonders beyond anything we’ve seen. Imagine it, for a moment, if you will. Dreamstone engines carrying mankind across the sea, to see what lands lay beyond.”
Jun 12 01:31:14 Zekki: “I’d settle for a convenient way to get across the mountains that doesnt include kobold warrens.”
Jun 12 01:31:15 * Seong “Not to be negative about idealism, but good people will always be manipulated by someone. Just keep it in mind, Sterton.”
Jun 12 01:32:16 Dry|GM: “Dreamstone flying machines, letting people soar through the skies! Journey to the center of the earth safely, and return to tell of what wonders might lie there! To the stars, to planes beyond the ones we know… the potential for new advancements is… tremendous.” He sighs. “My work may amount to nothing. But can I really just sit idly by and rot in retirement, if my work might yet make the world a better place?”
Jun 12 01:32:57 Sissil: “I think your dream is noble. Just… be careful, okay?” Sissil smiles, as she finally brushes her hood back and sets into eating in earnest.
Jun 12 01:33:31 Bira: “Well,” Bira picks a bone from her teeth, “you’ve my support, sir, I’ll be listening with interest ot hear news either way.”
Jun 12 01:35:30 Dry|GM: To Seong, he offers a helpless shrug, palms up. “Perhaps so. But… I can’t just sit by. All I can do is try to do my best… and then try to see to it as best I can that my work is not misused.” To Sissil and Bira, he nods. “Thank you.”
Jun 12 01:36:01 * Seong “I’m not saying it’s a bad idea. I’m saying you’ve got to be more careful than you’ve been.” She nods, and offers a smile. Since her teeth are sharp, it doesn’t look nearly as friendly as it’s meant to. But it’s nice.
Jun 12 01:36:04 Zekki: “Good luck. If you need help, and your restrictions are okay with bringing me in, give me a bell.”
Jun 12 01:38:53 Dry|GM: He eyes Seong’s smile for a moment, decides to take it in the spirit it’s offered. “I’ll try.” To Zekki, he nods. “I doubt that will be the case—to be honest, I shouldn’t have said as much as I did. But so noted. And now… I fear I must be leaving.” Slowly, he levers himself back to his feet, leaning on his cane again.
Jun 12 01:39:23 * Seong “Thank you profusely for the dinner, Sir.” She nods, still half focused on eating.
Jun 12 01:40:06 Dry|GM: He regards each of you in turn… and it seems as though his gaze lingers on Raven for a bit before moving on. “Take care, and be well, each of you,” he says, offering a bow… and then he shuffles out the door and away.
Jun 12 01:40:36 Sissil: Sissil stands a few moments later. “I have some other business to address before the night is out. Can I find you guys back at the inn when your done?”
Jun 12 01:41:55 Zekki: “I’ll come with. Ambrutus probably needs a run anyways.” Zekki notes lightly, taking a sip from her drink, another bit of bread before pushing her chair back and being quick to slip down.
Jun 12 01:42:22 Ashilyn: Corwyn, on the other hand, doesn’t really say much. Once the old man is gone, she rises to her feet. Grabbing a refilled glass in front of her, she downs it as fast as the last one, and leaves silently through the door – clearly still fuming about the conversation that was just had.
Jun 12 01:42:58 Bira: “Aye, we’ll see you later.” Bira looks towards the kitchen, wondering if dessert might be in the offing.
Jun 12 01:43:30 Dry|GM: Indeed it is—the wait staff comes bearing at least six different kinds of pie shortly thereafter, all of them extremely bad for you.
Jun 12 01:43:58 Dry|GM: As Corwyn storms out through the main room, several sets of eyes follow her out the door…
Jun 12 01:44:20 Dry|GM: Next time, on Hammer of Night… at what price, progress?